If you have never been involved in a car accident in the past, you might find yourself experiencing a wide range of emotions if you suddenly end up on the receiving end of an accident, especially if you’ve been injured. With emotions running high and your adrenaline rushing, it’s easy to forget what steps to take, what information to get, or you’re simply left questioning whether or not you should call the police. Most people don’t realize that having a police report can help prove what happened in an accident; it’s not just a mere record for the police department – it’s firm proof to the insurance carrier of who is at fault so that liability is near impossible to question.
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7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in San Antonio, Texas
Following these steps helps ensure that you do not forget to collect vital information that can protect your claim against the at-fault party:
- Report your accident – Call and report your accident to 911 if there were any injuries or death, if any of the vehicles can’t be moved, you suspect the driver to be intoxicated, or the accident was a hit and run. Quickly assess if someone will need emergency care.
- Wait on the scene – leaving the scene allows the police to charge you with hit and run. If possible, move your vehicle out of the way to a safer location and ensure everyone has turned their hazards on to alert others on the road. Once the police have arrived, try to remain calm so that you’re thinking clearly and giving the reporting officer accurate details and facts of what happened. Don’t blame yourself or others, and don’t give an official statement to police or insurance carriers without speaking to an experienced attorney.
- Take photos – Capture everything you can think of that happened (like the damage to all vehicles) or what may have contributed to the accident (like the condition of the road). Take pictures of your injuries if you can. Take pictures of damage in the road, blocked road signs, or if there was construction in the area. Document any crash debris like shattered glass or skid marks in the road. Having too many pictures of the damage and the surrounding scene is far better than having none.
- Exchange information with the other driver – Gather their name, phone number(s) and any additional contact information, their driver’s license number, their insurance company and policy information, their vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number. If anyone refuses to provide this information, wait for the police to arrive – you’ll be able to get this information from them instead. If there were any witnesses, be sure to collect their names and contact information too.
- If you were transported to the hospital, make sure you fully assess what injuries you’re experiencing so that the charting doctors and nurses will have a record of it. If your injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, you should contact a doctor who specializes in treating car accident injuries as soon as possible. Having full and complete records shows the at-fault carrier the extent of your injuries from medical professionals. Make notes of any changes in between your appointments. If you don’t know where to go, call our attorneys so we can assist you and find trusted doctors in your area.
- Contact your auto insurance carrier to report your accident. Don’t give them a statement, just simply inform them you are providing the facts of your accident. It’s best to report the accident within 24 hours. Use caution with who you speak to about your accident and injuries. Our attorneys can provide further assistance on the Dos and Don’ts after an accident.
- Reach out to a dedicated car accident attorney – our attorneys strictly practice personal injury matters and are highly experienced with car accidents.
Still Have Questions About Your Car Accident in San Antonio? We’ve Got Answers
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Do I Have to File a Police Report in San Antonio?
Texas law requires a police report to be filed if someone is injured or has died, or if there is damage greater than $1000 to at least one vehicle. Failure to file a report under these circumstances is punishable with a fine up to $5000, jail time, or both.
How Do I Report an Accident to the DMV in San Antonio?
If the police weren’t called to your accident and you need to file a report, you have 10 days to complete the CR-2 form, commonly known as the “Blue Form” and submit it to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Are Car Accident Reports Public Records in San Antonio?
Car accident reports are not available online to the general public but can be purchased for a small fee if you have the specific information needed to identify the accident.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Despite the number of safety measures we may put in place in our everyday lives, there will always be car accidents – they’re just an unfortunate part of life. Being too hard on yourself only adds unnecessary stress in an already highly stressful situation. Let our experienced attorneys and staff handle the insurance carriers and do all the leg work while you focus on the important part – seeking treatment so you can heal from your injuries.
We go above and beyond for our clients. Call our team at Patterson Law Group today at 817-784-2000 for a free initial consultation regarding your case.