Did you know that as many as 42,000 people died from car accidents in 2021 alone? Car accidents happen all the time and even when there are no fatalities involved, the situation can still be stressful and difficult to deal with. This is one of the many reasons why having a car accidents lawyer in Houston, Texas, is so important.
But what should you do if you’re involved in a car accident that isn’t your fault? In this case, there are certain steps you should follow to make things go as smoothly as possible for you.
Keep reading and learn more about where you should start below.
Gather Information About the Car Accident
As long as you haven’t suffered any injuries due to the accident, you should immediately start gathering important information. Of course, you should do this only after you move your car out of the busy street and instead off to the side where you and the car will be safe. You should also call 911 if you, anyone in your car, or anyone else around the accident has been injured.
Even if no one has been injured, it will be a good idea to call the police so that you can make it known that a car accident has happened. Once you do all that and you know that you are not at fault for the car accident, you should take it upon yourself to start gathering information concerning the incident. This is important because whatever information you can pick up will help make it clear that the accident really wasn’t your fault.
A car accident lawyer, of course, can also help make this clearer. However, since you are the one involved in a car accident, it will be up to you to gather a lot of the important information as it is still fresh after the accident. For example, some of the most important information you can gather involves the license plate number of the car (or cars) that was involved in the accident.
You can also collect the name, phone number, and address of the person who caused the accident and anyone else who might have been in the accident. If there were any witnesses to the accident, then it will be a good idea to get their names and contact information as well. That way, in case those witnesses need to be called upon later on, it won’t be difficult to find them.
Taking pictures of the accident will also be quite helpful. It will provide a fresh image of what the accident looked like and it will be useful to show to your car accident lawyer down the line. Once the police arrive at the scene, you may also want to consider asking if you can get a copy of the accident report.
You might not always be able to get a copy of this document, but sometimes it is possible and this additional information can help you and your lawyer later. Having all this information together can help make it clear that you were not at fault for the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Some people may be concerned to contact their insurance company after getting in a car accident. Some may even avoid contacting their insurance company to tell them about the accident altogether. This is because they may be afraid that telling the company about the accident will cause their insurance rates to go up.
However, not telling your insurance company about your car accident usually has far more downsides than upsides. This is true even if the car accident was minor. You might think that the accident didn’t cause much damage to your car but it might have done much more than you thought.
This, of course, could end up costing several hundred or even thousands of dollars to fix. The person who caused the accident may say that they may pay you back for the damages but they may not really have enough money to do so. If you don’t contact your insurance company, then you’ll be in big trouble when it comes to figuring out how to pay for the repairs.
Besides that, a good insurance agency can even help you get the compensation you need for the damages that occurred from the accident. Waiting too long to talk to your insurance agency can cause all sorts of problems. In some cases, if you wait too long, your insurance agency might not be able to help compensate you at all.
But how long is too long to wait? Ideally, you shouldn’t wait longer than 24 hours after the car accident. A few hours more than this range shouldn’t hurt, but any more than that can get a bit risky and complicated.
What You Need to Know
Just make sure that when you do contact the insurance company you give as much important information as you can. You should provide details about the severity of the accident, how many cars were involved, if anyone was hurt, and so on. This will all make it easier for your insurance company to do what it’s supposed to do to help you.
If you leave out any significant information, the insurance company might not be able to give you the compensation that you need to recover from the car accident. This, of course, would be a serious problem, especially if the accident was quite expensive and caused a lot of damage. As long as you provide all the information that you need, you shouldn’t have to deal with this issue.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to try and sue the insurance agency of the driver who caused the car accident as well. If you aren’t sure how to go about doing this or know if it is a good idea or not, your car accident lawyer can always help. As long as you have a good lawyer on your side, progressing through this kind of car accident shouldn’t be too difficult for you.
Hire a Good Car Accident Lawyer
While you already know that having a good car accident lawyer is important, you might not know how to hire a car accident lawyer or where to find one. There are several things you will have to consider if you want to choose the right lawyer for your case.
For one, you will want to make sure that the lawyer you choose has a good reputation. Of course, the last thing you want to deal with is a lawyer who has a terrible reputation. Such a lawyer certainly won’t be of much help to you and will most likely be more of a burden.
But if you stumble across a lawyer that has been suggested to you, this is a good sign. It is also a good sign to do some research online before choosing anyone. This will give you the chance to browse different lawyers in your area and see what makes some better than others.
What to Know
For example, some lawyers may have online reviews from previous clients. If you find a lawyer that has mostly negative reviews, then this is a clear sign that you should avoid that choice and instead look somewhere else. On the other hand, if you find a lawyer that has mostly positive reviews, then this is a sign that you should research that lawyer further.
Besides that, another factor you should consider is the experience a lawyer has. A lawyer who is fresh out of law school won’t be of much help to you since such a lawyer won’t have a lot of experience taking on cases like yours, especially if your case happens to be particularly complicated. Instead, you will want to get a lawyer that has several years of experience.
Ideally, try opting for one that has three years of experience or more. So many years of hands-on work will give any lawyer plenty of skills and expertise regarding a wide variety of legal situations. That way, an experienced lawyer can tackle your problems no matter how complicated they may be.
Car Accidents Lawyer: Proceeding After an Accident
Being involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault can be stressful, especially if your car took some serious damage or if someone was injured. The main thing to keep in mind is to gather information about the accident and report the incident to your insurance company. And, of course, make sure you have a good car accidents lawyer on your side.
To learn more about getting legal representation, contact us here.