What should you do after a car accident in Houston, TX, equally important as what you should not do? Car accidents are common in the USA. The majority of the accidents result in fatal injuries. The injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of income, all take a toll on the victim.
If you are a part of a car accident in Houston, TX, at no fault of yours, here are the right steps to get you an upper hand in dealing with the car accident lawsuit case. If you are not sure of anything, it is always better to contact a Houston automobile accident attorney.
Steps to take after a car accident in Houston, TX
Step 1: Call the police and 911
If you think you were partially at fault for the accident, you should still call the police and 911. If you are injured, allow the witnesses to call the police.
It is important to call the police as they prepare a detailed accident report. The police officers and investigators are responsible for talking to the drivers involved in the accident and collecting all necessary information. This is the same report used by the judge or prosecutors during the car accident lawsuit.
There is no harm in talking to the other driver and making sure they are okay. Do not indulge in deep conversation about the crash or who is at fault. Do not talk anything about admitting your fault.
Step 2: Get medical attention
If the accident is serious and involves serious injuries, it is necessary to call 911 and get immediate medical attention. You should get your injuries examined and get a copy of the medical report. You should not avoid medical checkups or running mandatory medical tests.
Such a medical report helps provide evidence of your injuries and claim compensation. A car accident can result in many major and minor injuries resulting from the strong impact of the accident. You can suffer from cuts, scratches, lacerations, bruises, knee and ankle injuries, shoulder injuries, bone fractures, nerve injuries, and many more.
Some of these injuries, usually the impact injuries, take time to show up. Running the full medical tests can help diagnose the injury beforehand and help from worsening it.
Step 3: Collect evidence
You should not wait for your attorney to collect evidence. Being a firsthand view of the accident, the victim is in the right position to collect evidence. You can collect the required evidence from the accident scene without hesitation. You should not tamper with the evidence.
Evidence can be collected by taking pictures of the vehicle damaged, skid marks, and the accident scene. You can also collect the name, addresses, and contact numbers of the witnesses present. Furthermore, you can look at the CCTVs near the accident scene and collect the recording.
If you are a social media addict and choose to document everything that happens in your life, it is advisable to keep this information away from social media. Posting the collected pictures and videos on social media can backfire when claiming compensation. If your profile is public, the insurance company adjusters are smart enough to extract any information about you from social media. Finding such evidence can allow insurance adjusters to lower the compensation amount they owe.
Step 4: Inform your insurance company
This step should be followed within 10 to 20 minutes of the accident. If your vehicle is insured, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Any delay in reporting allows them to deny the claim. Therefore, in the aftermath of the accident, do not forget to ring your insurance company. On the contrary, stay away from the insurance company of the other driver. You should not talk to them regarding the compensation, even if they hint at starting a conversation.
Step 5: Hire a car accident attorney
It would be a fair decision to hire a car accident attorney in Houston, Tx, at this point. If you think the insurance adjustors of another driver are way too much to handle, you can call on an attorney.
An attorney knows how the insurance adjuster function. They are experienced and know how to deal with insurance companies and their adjustors. They do not fall for negotiations. Instead, car accident attorneys first take a good look at your case, understand it in detail, and then develop a feasible solution.
They clearly state the amount of compensation that should be claimed to look at the accident’s severity. Thereby, they talk to the insurance adjusters on your behalf. If the adjusters don’t settle on the negotiated amount, an attorney can help move the case to the court.
They file for the lawsuit and perform legal duties on your behalf. An attorney also presents your case before the court of law to seek rightful negotiation.
How much does a Houston personal injury attorney charge?
Car accident attorneys in Houston, Tx, work on a contingency fee basis. According to this, they do not charge on an hourly basis or a fixed amount. They only charge when they are able to recover the compensation amount.
The standard contingency fee is 33 1/3% of the compensation amount recovered. If no amount of compensation is recovered, they do not charge anything. You only pay when they win the case. This is also known as a pay-as-you-go system.
You can book a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Houston, Tx. They can overview your case and provide the best possible advice. If they find the case stronger, they will suggest going ahead with the lawsuit. If not, they will try to negotiate for the maximum possible compensation with eh insurance adjustors.
When do you need a Houston automobile accident attorney?
If you are at fault in a car accident, you may need a car accident attorney to defend your case. In such a case, an attorney works towards minimizing your punishments and educating you on the entire process. An attorney can help in challenging the compensation amount such that the minimum possible amount is payable. They also help attend the correction program and suspension of driving license (if needed).
If you are a not-at-fault party and are seriously injured, your vehicle is fiercely damaged, you can hire a Houston personal injury attorney to claim compensation. When claiming compensation, you get a monetary and non-monetary benefits. You can claim the damages for the vehicle, benefits for covering the medical bills, and seek compensation for lost wages and quality of life.