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When Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can be stressful, even for a driver with years of experience. A crash can not only cause significant damage to your vehicle but also result in significant injuries, either to you or other people in your car. Even if you feel that you and your vehicle’s occupants escaped the accident with little-to-no harm, it’s a good idea to seek medical care and contact a Houston car accident lawyer in the aftermath of the crash. You might be wondering, though, when the right time is to go about those steps.

In this article, we discuss the series of events following a car accident. We hope this article helps you or your loved one navigate the aftermath of a collision with confidence and as much peace-of-mind as possible, given the situation.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Having an idea of the steps you need to take after a collision can help you respond quickly in the event of a crash. After an accident occurs, we recommend doing the following:

  • Check that everyone is ok: The scene of a collision can be chaotic and difficult to take in. However, you should do your best to make sure that no one at the scene is suffering from obvious, serious injuries. If you, someone in your car, or another motorist is seriously injured, be sure to call 911 for medical assistance right away and convey the severity of the situation to the operator on the phone.
  • Call 911: Even if no one seems to be seriously hurt, you should call 911 so that local law enforcement comes to the scene and makes an official incident report. If you choose to take legal action against the party liable for the collision, this accident report can be a critical piece of evidence in your case.
  • Exchange contact & witness information: Before leaving the scene of the crash, exchange contact and insurance information with anyone else involved in the collision. At this time, you should also do your best to take down the contact information of any witnesses who saw the crash take place.
  • Obtain evidence: If you or another member of your party are physically able to, carefully document the scene of the accident. Take photos from multiple angles of both vehicles, roadside conditions that may have contributed to the crash (such as patches of ice or a large pothole), the location of the accident, any traffic signs or signals, and any visible injuries suffered by you or your party. If the scene is unsafe, do not risk your wellbeing to take photos.

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

While there are some steps that you should take after almost any collision, there are also some things that you should not do in most cases. You should avoid:

  • Taking responsibility for the accident: You should never accept blame for the accident, even if it seems likely that you were responsible for the crash at the scene of the incident. Investigators may uncover additional factors that contributed to the crash, such as an undetected vehicle defect or dangerous road conditions, that take responsibility for the collision off of your hands. However, if you admit fault early on, these findings may not be enough to help you win a legal claim against the actual liable party.
  • Accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer: There are some cases where accepting an insurance company’s initial offer may be the right choice for you and your loved ones. However, we strongly suggest speaking to a car accident attorney before making the decision to accept or reject an initial settlement offer. They can help you gain a clearer understanding of your case’s estimated value and what the best course of action to take is.

Seeking Legal Assistance After a Crash

When you choose to reach out to an attorney after a collision depends on the circumstances of your unique case. If you find yourself in any of the following scenarios, reaching out to an attorney as soon as you are physically well enough to do so may be the best course of action.

  • You or a loved one suffered serious injuries
  • There are areas of dispute in the filed police report
  • Fault is not clearly determined in your case
  • You or a loved one expect to pay significant medical expenses and be unable to work for a significant length of time
  • A crash involved multiple vehicles
  • An uninsured or underinsured driver was involved in the collision
  • You are having problems with insurance companies

States in the U.S. have established statutes of limitations that determine how much time plaintiffs have to take legal action via a car accident claim. If you want to explore legal actions following a crash, we advise speaking to an attorney as soon as possible so they can begin investigating the situation. A lawyer will be able to advise you on possible courses of action and help you pursue the best possible outcome for your family.

Seeking Assistance in the Aftermath of a Crash

We understand how nerve-wracking it can be to experience a car crash, especially if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in the collision. We hope this article helps you secure justice and fair compensation for any damages incurred in the wreck.