What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Houston?

Woman sits on curb after car accident. | Patrick Daniel Law
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If you have been injured in a car accident in Houston, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Car accident victims have clear legal rights under Texas law, and insurance companies have a legal obligation to pay what they owe.

However, asserting your legal rights and holding the driver and their insurance company accountable isn’t easy. There are several steps involved in filing a successful claim, including many that require experienced legal representation.

Patrick Daniel Law is Strategic. Meticulous. Merciless. in protecting your legal rights if you were injured in a car accident in Houston. Call (713) 999-6666 today for a FREE case review.

What To Do After Being Injured in a Car Accident In Houston

1. Get Medical Attention!

If you are severely injured in a car crash, get medical attention immediately. Call 911 or go to an emergency room. Your first priority should be to obtain medical treatment for your injuries. If you don’t seem injured, you should still seek medical care once you leave the accident scene. See a doctor promptly or go to urgent care if necessary.

Many injuries may not show up immediately. Whether this is due to the adrenaline pumping or the nature of the injury, if you don’t get medical attention, it could endanger your health and your economic recovery.

2. Collect As Much Evidence As Possible

While you are at the scene of the accident, and if you are able, you should try to collect any and all evidence you can. This includes documenting the following:

  • The damage to your vehicle
  • The damage to the other driver’s vehicle
  • The area surrounding the scene of the accident
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Weather and road conditions

Ultimately, there is no such thing as too much evidence when it comes to a car accident claim. It is in your best interest to take photos and video footage of anything that can help prove who caused the crash.

3. Get the Other Driver’s Information

Before leaving the scene, you will also need to obtain information from the other driver(s) involved in the crash. This includes:

  • The driver’s name and contact information
  • Insurance information for the driver and the owner of the vehicle (if the driver doesn’t own the vehicle involved in the accident)
  • Details about the vehicle, including the year, make, and model
  • The license plate number and VIN on the vehicle

If multiple vehicles were involved in the accident, you should ask each driver for all of the information above.

4. Get a Copy of the Police Report

Whenever you are involved in a car accident involving property damage and/or physical injuries, you should call 911 from the scene (unless someone else calls before you do). Wait for the police to arrive and provide a statement to the officer.

The Houston Police Department says to allow 5 to 8 days to process an accident report. You should request a copy of the report as soon as possible and review it for accuracy. To request an accident report, you will need to provide at least 2 of the following items:

  • Accident date
  • Accident location
  • Driver(s) name(s) or name(s) of party(ies) involved
  • If available, provide an incident number

Accident reports can be purchased online, via mail, or in person.

5. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

When you have a car accident claim, following your doctor’s advice is important for protecting your health and legal rights. Fill your prescriptions, rest as instructed, take care of your injuries, and make sure to keep any and all appointments with doctors and other medical professionals involved in your care.

6. Write Down Everything You Remember

If you hire a car accident lawyer, your attorney will rely on you to provide as much information as possible. With this in mind, you should write down everything you remember about the accident. The more details you can write down and share with your lawyer, the better.

7. File an Insurance Claim

Taking notes will also help you with filing an insurance claim. While you need to file a claim to protect your legal rights, you need to be very careful when doing so. Be as accurate and concise as possible, stick strictly to the facts, and don’t say anything the adjuster may be able to construe as admitting fault in the accident. Consulting a car accident attorney is always recommended before engaging in correspondence with an insurance company.

8. Stay Off of Social Media

Just as you need to be careful about dealing with your insurance company, you must also be careful about what you say and do online. The best way to avoid mistakes is to stay off of social media altogether. If you post photos or comments the insurance companies can use against you, this could prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

9. Document Your Losses

While you need to be careful about what you post publicly, you should do your best to document your accident-related losses thoroughly. To do this, keep copies of your medical records, bills, and any documents you receive from your employer, document your pain levels on a scale of 1 to 10 each day, and write down all of the ways your injuries negatively impact your life (i.e., preventing you from doing yard work or forcing you to miss your children’s games or recitals).

10. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Finally, and most importantly, you should speak to a car accident attorney about your case as soon as possible. You will need to hire an experienced lawyer to prove liability, calculate your economic and non-economic damages, help you avoid costly mistakes, and fight for just compensation on your behalf. You can consult a car accident lawyer at no out-of-pocket cost, and you should only incur legal fees if your lawyer helps you recover just compensation.

Damages in a Texas Car Crash

When you’re injured in a crash, the initial shock is terrible, but the subsequent barrage of medical bills and the inability to work can leave you overwhelmed. Should the accident be someone else’s fault, you want to seek every opportunity to recover your losses. Some of the damages that may be available to you include:

  • Current medical bills
  • Future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain & suffering
  • Physical therapy
  • Modifications to your home & vehicle
  • Home healthcare
  • Loss of consortium

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in Texas?

Understanding the statute of limitations on a car accident injury in Houston can be vital to recovering your losses. If you should try to file a lawsuit after the time limit is up, your attempt will most likely be fruitless.

According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have 2 years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit for your injuries. The process of building a solid claim for compensation can take time. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult an auto accident lawyer as early as possible.

How Long Does It Take To Settle a Car Accident Claim?

The time it takes for a car crash claim to settle depends on several factors. Sometimes, it won’t settle at all, and your lawyer will have to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries you’ve suffered and length of treatment, and the insurance company’s willingness to settle—among other things—your claim could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to come to a conclusion.

Generally, attorneys recommend negotiating a settlement rather than filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits can be lengthy and pose a greater risk. However, Patrick Daniel Law isn’t afraid to litigate if it’s in your best interest. If the insurance companies are attempting to lowball you, we will go after the compensation you deserve in court.

How Can a Car Crash Attorney Help?

Hiring a lawyer can help in many ways throughout the process of a car accident claim—from start to finish. The invaluable assistance an attorney provides includes:

  • Knowledge of the Law: While your energy is invested in recovering from your injuries and getting back to work, an attorney’s understanding of the law can help you pursue just compensation for your losses.
  • Determining Liability: Sometimes, liability in a car crash can be complicated. Especially in accidents involving large trucks or multiple vehicles. Your lawyer can help to determine what party(ies) is responsible for your injuries under the law.
  • Seeking Maximum Compensation: A driven car accident attorney can skillfully negotiate with insurance companies or litigate your case in court if you cannot come to a fair settlement.
  • Access to Experts: When you hire a lawyer, you will also have access to their network of expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists. This expertise can strengthen your claim exponentially.
  • Support At a Difficult Time: Your attorney can guide you through the process of pursuing the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries. If you have questions along the way, they will provide prompt and thorough answers.

An initial consultation with a Houston car accident lawyer is free. Consult an attorney today to ensure your claim is handled properly.

Injured in a Car Accident in Houston? Patrick Daniel Law Can Help

Attorney Patrick Daniel is committed to protecting your rights if you are injured in a car accident in Houston. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top attorneys in high-stakes litigation.

When drivers are negligent behind the wheel, car accidents can lead to serious injuries and death. At Patrick Daniel Law, we are dedicated to pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve in your time of need.

Contact Patrick Daniel Law today for a FREE case review. Our Houston car accident lawyer serves clients throughout Texas.

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