Crashes are common in Dallas, so you should be prepared if another driver hits you.
Knowing what to do after a car accident caused by another driver in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas can be confusing. Even knowing what your legal options are might not be clear. That's why it's critical that you know what steps to take in such situations. Otherwise, you might have difficulty getting the compensation you deserve for medical bills, vehicle repairs, replacement income, and other accident-related expenses.
Below, you can find a list of steps to take if you were in a car accident that was not your fault. Please note: if you ever have questions about what to do following a crash, call an experienced Dallas car accident attorney from our law firm to review your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What to do after a car accident caused by another driver
If another driver crashed into your car, take the following steps:
- Call the police immediately and tell them you've been involved in a car accident. Depending on where your crash occurred, a local police officer or state trooper from the Texas Highway Patrol will respond to your collision. Later, the investigating officer will generate an accident report with important details about your crash.
- Ask the police to send an ambulance if you or anyone else was injured in the crash. Then, a paramedic, EMT, or emergency room doctor at the nearest hospital can examine you.
- Take pictures of the crash scene. The more photos you take of the crash site, the better—details matter. Be sure to include all property damage, street signs, traffic signals, tire marks, visible injuries, and anything else that may be relevant to your wreck. Taking pictures of the scene from different angles can also be helpful.
- If someone witnessed your accident, get their name and contact information.
- Exchange information with the other driver. This includes name, phone number, address, driver's license number, and car insurance information.
- Once you have exchanged information with the other driver, don't discuss your accident with anyone at the crash site or argue with the other driver about who's at fault for the accident. Anything you say could later be used as evidence against you. For example, saying "I'm sorry" at the crash scene could be misconstrued as an admission of fault, affecting the compensation you're eligible to recover.
Several hours later – what to do
Your car accident happened a few hours ago—what should you do now? Depending on what transpired at the scene of your accident, you should take the following steps as soon as possible:
- If you have not already had a medical professional look at you, have a doctor examine you as soon as possible. Don't try to diagnose yourself. You could have a life-threatening internal injury and not even realize it. Instead, after a crash, always see a doctor to diagnose and document any potential injuries you may have. If you wait too long to seek medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injury isn't serious or that you have a pre-existing medical condition.
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident. It's never too early to seek legal advice from an attorney. After a bad crash, the deck is stacked against you. A car accident lawyer can level the playing field, deal with the insurance company, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
- If you did not call the police at the time of your accident, do so as soon as possible. In Texas, you are required to report your car accident within 10 days, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
- Call your insurance company and tell them you have been in a car accident. You must notify your insurance company of the accident, but you don't need to go into too much detail. Remember, anything you say could potentially be used as evidence against you—even when you're talking to your own insurance company.
Several days later – what to do
Your car accident happened several days ago—worried about what to do next? It's okay. You still have time to take important steps to protect your health and your rights, including:
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Many car accident injuries take several days to develop, especially whiplash and concussions.
- If the at-fault driver's insurance company contacts you, don't talk to them. Anything you say could be used as evidence to reduce or deny your injury claim.
- Write down any medical issues you might be experiencing due to your accident. Are you in pain? Nauseous? Dizzy? Depressed? Keep track of any symptoms or medical problems due to your accident.
Final car accident 'to do' checklist
Whether your accident happened several hours or days ago, make sure you have taken these steps if another driver caused your collision:
- Call the police and report your accident.
- Notify your insurance company.
- See a doctor at least once.
- Talk to a lawyer.
Contact a Dallas car accident lawyer
The sooner you have an experienced lawyer handling your car accident case, the better. Many car accident claims or lawsuits quickly turn into complicated legal cases, but you don't need to take on the other side alone. At Marye Law, we can investigate your car accident and build a strong legal case in support of the compensation you're entitled to under Texas law. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we secure a financial settlement or verdict for you. Discover what we can do for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with an experienced Dallas car accident attorney.