What To Do After a Car Wreck
This guide describes initial steps to take after you have been in a car crash. This is no substitute for legal counsel and should be a simple starting point.
Get Medical Treatment Right AwayAfter a wreck you will be confused and disoriented. Like most people, you do not want to be hurt. Unfortunately, you will need evaluation by a medical professional. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Do not refuse treatment from first responders. Do not avoid taking an ambulance ride to an emergency room (ER) simply because of cost. If you cannot use an ambulance, get to the emergency room as soon as possible after the crash. When dealing with medical providers tell them all the areas of your body where you feel pain or discomfort.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer ImmediatelyAs soon as you are capable, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Almost all personal injury lawyers, including myself, provide a free consultation. We work on a contingent fee arrangement. This means we only get paid if we get you a settlement or a judgment at the court house. Since we are not getting paid by the hour, our goal is to be efficient and maximize your recovery. You need someone in your corner. Do not go it alone.
Do Not Deal With An Insurance Company AloneDO NOT begin discussions with any insurance company. Insurance companies have adjusters who exist for one purpose- pay as little on claims as possible. In the State of Texas, insurance companies that represent third parties (the person who hit you) owe you NO duties. They DO NOT have to be fair to you. They DO NOT have to tell you the truth. They are in the business of selling policies- not paying claims. DO NOT provide a statement to an insurance adjuster. You are under no obligation to do so and it will only harm your case. Adjusters are not there to get your side of the story. They are looking for a way to deny your claim PERIOD. Do not be fooled by cute commercials. No famous football player will come to your aid when you are injured. They will be too busy counting all the money they get paid to help sell policies for the insurance industry.
Get The Following Information Together For Your AttorneyAfter you have received some medical treatment and contacted an attorney you will need to have some information available. Try to get a copy of any police report made after your crash. Make sure to get a copy of YOUR car insurance policy or your declaration page. Any personal injury attorney will want to see the types of coverage you may have. If it turns out you were hit by an uninsured driver, you may have coverage that would help you. Additionally, most Texas drivers carry the bare minimum policy limits. This means if you are killed by another person there may only be $30,000 to compensate your loved ones. If that is the case, you may have underinsured motorist coverage to help cover your damages.