Frequently Asked Questions
POST-ACCIDENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What to Do After an Auto Accident
The following provides some general answers to questions that we frequently hear in our practice. These answers are not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts, circumstances, and law pertaining to a specific case. If you have questions about an accident, are in need of a Houston car accident attorney, or are seeking legal representation in any of our areas of practice, please contact the Law Offices of Alexander M. Gurevich at (713)568-5896 | (713)568-5896 for a free consultation so we can discuss your case.
What should I do if I am in a traffic accident involving injuries?
What information should I collect when involved in an accident?
Should I call the police when involved in a traffic accident?
If I am hurt in an accident, when should I contact an attorney?
Should I see a doctor after being in an accident?
Should I report the accident to my own insurance company?
Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
A. Stop your car and summon the police and medical help (phone 911). Texas law requires drivers involved in any accident causing injury or death to stop at the site of the accident (or as close as possible without obstructing traffic), help anyone who is injured, and immediately report the accident to the police. If the accident occurs on a freeway in a metropolitan area, drivers must move their vehicles to a designated accident investigation site or other safe location if the vehicles can be safely driven. You must remain at the scene to give other people involved in the accident your name and address, your vehicle’s registration number, and the name of your motor vehicle liability insurer. Tex. Transp. Code §§ 550.021 – 550.026.
A. You should collect the following information:
- The full names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers of all drivers involved
- The full names, addresses, and phone numbers of the registered owners of the vehicles
- The full names, addresses, and phone numbers of any passengers in any of the vehicles
- The full names, addresses, and phone numbers of any pedestrians or other parties involved
- The full name, addresses, and phone number of any witnesses to the accident
- The vehicle license plate numbers and registration numbers
- The name of the insurance company and policy number for insurance on all vehicles and drivers
To the extent possible, make notes about the following:
- Describe the exact location of the accident
- Describe the direction in which the vehicles were traveling
- Record the time of the accident, the weather conditions, the road conditions, and the visibility conditions
- Describe how the accident occurred
- Identify anyone who was injured or received medical assistance and describe their injuries
- Identify anyone who denied being hurt or who refused medical assistance
- Note whether any of the vehicles had damage or an impairment prior to the accident, such as a broken brake light
- Describe any damage to the vehicles caused by the accident, identify any vehicles towed from the scene, and record the name and contact information for the towing company
- Note whether anyone admitted responsibility for the accident; did anyone say “I’m sorry, it was my fault…I was driving too fast…I wasn’t paying attention“
- Note whether the police came and whether they issued any tickets; record the officers’ names, badge numbers, and the police report number
- Note whether any drivers were driving for their job or driving a company owned vehicle
- Take several photographs of the accident from many angles and photograph the vehicles, any damages, and any injuries
A. Yes, it is always a good idea to contact the police if you are involved in a traffic collision. Generally, the police will secure the scene and immediately investigate the accident. They will check the drivers for drug and alcohol use, take witness statements, and prepare a police report. The police report and officers testifying as witnesses can provide valuable unbiased evidence of your accidental injury, and a police report is essential to collecting uninsured motorist insurance in a hit-and-run accident.
Texas law requires that the police be notified immediately of any accident causing injury, death, or damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven (Tex. Transp. Code § 550.026). If an accident is not investigated by a law enforcement officer, and the accident resulted in a death, personal injury or property damage to the extent of $1,000 or more, the driver involved must give a written report of the accident to the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident (Tex. Transp. Code § 550.061).
Resist the urge to settle things with the other driver on the spot without involving the police or your insurers. It is difficult to determine the true extent of any damage or injuries in the excitement and commotion of the accident scene, and it may take several days for symptoms to develop. Consult a trusted doctor to determine the extent of your injuries and consult an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your best legal options for collecting compensation.
A. As soon as possible, after seeking medical help and calling the police, call an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Alexander M. Gurevich at (713)568-5896 for a free consultation so we can discuss your case. We can quickly take steps to investigate your accident and document and preserve valuable evidence, including the damaged vehicles.
A. It is very important to seek medical care for any pain or discomfort that you feel following the accident. Do not just hope that the pain will go away. Delaying treatment may not only complicate your injury, it may hurt your chance of obtaining proper compensation for your injuries because there is no medical record of your injury at the time of the accident. It is also a good idea to visit a doctor even if you seem to feel okay after an accident. It sometimes takes days for symptoms of soft tissue injuries to appear. Seeing a doctor immediately following the accident will provide a preliminary diagnosis, possibly reduce your future discomfort, and reduce the need for later treatment.
A. Your insurance policy most likely requires you to report your automobile accident promptly and to assist in your insurer’s investigation of the accident. However, if you or a passenger was injured, it is wise to consult with a personal injury attorney before providing a recorded statement or signing any document that releases your legal rights.
A. Politely, but firmly, decline to give an oral statement to the other side’s insurance company. Insurance company claims adjusters are practiced at getting people to unwittingly provide information that may hurt their injury claims. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who has your best interests in mind and can advise you on the best way to proceed with the adverse insurance company. Contact the Law Offices of Alexander M. Gurevich now at telephone number (713) 224-9600 for a free consultation so we can discuss your case.