As you can imagine, attorneys and insurance agents are regularly called by their customers with questions “I have just got an accident? What do I do?”. In this article, we are going to discuss what you should do if you find yourself in an auto accident.
First of all, remain calm. This sounds kind of obvious but if you are not calm, you are not thinking clearly, and you are going to forget to get some information that you need to to help you file a future claim.
The first thing you need to do after you have remained calm, is you need to check to see if there have been any injuries from the accident. If there are injuries, by all means, call 911 and they will send the police out and they will also send an ambulance. Don’t call your insurance agent or lawyer, not now. If there are any injuries, remember to turn on your hazard lights and both of you should move the vehicles to the side of the road or preferably to a parking lot if there is one.
We rather recommend you dial 311 which is the non-emergency police number to get the police to come out to file a police report. The reason why this is kind of important is that after an accident, sometimes people stories can change and it does help sort of to have a third party there to mediate everything. While you are waiting for the police to show up, this is when you should get the other parties contact information. You need to get the name, two phone numbers if possible – their cell and work phone number – the address, their insurance company, their policy number. You need to get all that information but don’t discuss the accident in great detail with the other party. Also, by no means, don’t say “Oh my god, it was totally my fault, I didn’t see you, I don’t know how it happened, etc.” Don’t take the blame. That’s why you have an insurance company and an attorney to determine who was at fault. The point of impact on your car speaks a thousand words. You don’t need to say anything at that moment.
When the police come, they will give you the police report, they could even issue a citation. You need to make sure that you make a note of who the police officer was if they can give you that information.
If you are sure the accident was not your fault, you can actually call the other party’s insurance company and file a claim on their policy. If they don’t have insurance (in the state of Texas about 25% don’t have insurance!), you have to claim that under your uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. Hopefully, you carry that. We recommend you keep in your glove compartment an accident detail form and use it in the case of an accident.
When you have an accident, is when you want to have a good agent and good Dallas car accident lawyers because before you file your claim, you should talk to them so they can assess the situation.