What to Do After a Car Accident
San Antonio car accident attorney gives you the information you need
An auto accident can be chaotic and unnerving. If you’ve never been in an accident before, it’s hard to keep your composure and know what to do unless you’re prepared. To help you get through what can be a harrowing experience, the Law Offices of Marion W. Cain, P.C. offers this list of steps to take after an accident. When it’s time to consult an attorney, we hope you call us at our San Antonio office.
Steps to take after a motor vehicle accident in San Antonio
San Antonio has some of the deadliest intersections in the state, where hundreds of injury crashes have occurred in just the last few years. If you are involved in a collision, your first concern has to be for your safety, but you also have to have the presence of mind to preserve your legal rights. We recommend the following steps:
- If possible, get your car out of traffic to safety — This is especially important if your crash occurs on the highway where approaching vehicles would not have time to see a stopped vehicle and react.
- If you can’t move your car, alert oncoming traffic — A secondary collision from an approaching vehicle can be deadlier than the initial impact. If possible, lay florescent triangles, road cones, or flares to divert traffic around you. If it’s dark, illuminate your cabin to make your car more visible.
- Decide whether to leave your car — If your car is stopped in the road, you have to decide whether you are safer there or you should risk leaving your car to get to the side of the road. There are many factors to consider: the distance to the side of the road, the speed of oncoming traffic, your visibility to approaching drivers, and the speed at which you can move.
- Tend to your injuries and your passengers’ — The severity of the injuries will dictate whether you can delay help until you’ve taken the steps above. Never move an injured passenger unnecessarily.
- Call 911 — As soon as possible, you want to summon the police and medical assistance, if necessary.
- Exchange identifying information with the other driver(s) — By law you must show your license and proof of insurance to the other driver, and you will need his or her information for your claim.
- Offer reasonable assistance to anyone in the other car who is injured — This is a legal requirement.
- Document the auto accident scene — Jot down any information that might be helpful, and take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries.
- Get contact information from potential witnesses — If anyone stops, ask them if they saw the accident and get their name and phone number.
- Ask police where you can obtain a copy of the accident report — Accident reports can contain helpful information for your case, but they can also contain errors that can hurt you.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you think you are okay, you should go to an emergency room to be checked out. Adrenaline can mask injuries, so you may not feel the effects for several hours.
- Contact your insurance agent immediately — You have a contractual obligation to contact your agent.
It is also very important to contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can begin investigating your crash and preserve vital evidence to help your case.
Thing you should never do after an accident
You also want to avoid common mistakes that could jeopardize your safety and your legal case. Please do not:
- Lay flares if your car is leaking oil or gas
- Apologize in any way for the accident or otherwise indicate liability
- Give any recorded statements to insurance claims agents or sign any documents
Perhaps most importantly, you should not try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your own. What begins as an amicable discussion always ends with a lowball offer, followed by one delay tactic after another as the insurance company tries to wear you down. Insurance adjusters are professionals whose only concern is limiting losses for their company. To get the compensation you deserve, you need a professional working for you.
If you are not sure what to look for in a car accident lawyer, remember that attorneys accept car, truck and motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means there’s no charge for a consultation, so you can shop around until you find someone you feel comfortable with.
Contact an experienced attorney in San Antonio after your car accident
After an auto accident in San Antonio, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Marion W. Cain, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. We provide personalized client service and highly professional representation. Call 210.551.0985 or contact our San Antonio office online. As our client, you pay no attorney’s fees until we recover compensation on your behalf.