You and your family are driving home from a friend’s house on a Sunday evening. It had been a day full of cheering on the Texans, card games, and lots of laughs.
As you pull into an intersection, an approaching pickup truck runs a red light. Seeing your brake lights too late, the driver tries to avoid your vehicle—but to no avail.
Twisting metal, shattering glass, and the jerk of your car instantly changing direction fling you and your family onto the nearby sidewalk.
Amidst the terror, confusion, pain, and shrieking bystanders, you need to act.
But what do you do?
In 2013, there were 65,539 serious injury crashes in Texas. In those crashes, 89,270 people sustained serious injuries. Based on these numbers, one person was injured in a Texas car accident every two minutes, 16 seconds. (Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation)
A car accident in Houston, Texas, presents unexpected challenges—both minutes after the crash, and far down the road. Knowing how to respond to such a crash can save you money, time, and headache in the future.
As a Houston car accident lawyer, I do my best to aid clients severely hurt in a crash caused by the negligent actions of another. It helps me if the client, or those helping that person if he or she is too hurt to take action themselves, keeps a few things in mind after an accident.
Minutes Following the Car Accident
The first thing to do is pull over. Even if you are not the driver at fault, you do not want to leave the scene of the crash. After the accident, pull out of the line of traffic (if your car is operable), turn your hazard lights on, and stop your car.
Next, you should call 911. Even if no one is hurt, you still need to alert the authorities. It isn’t illegal to just exchange your insurance information with the other driver and move on. However, the documentation of a neutral third party, such as a police officer, can save you headache with the insurance companies later. Bottom line—get a police report.
Be sure to exchange car insurance information with the other parties involved in the crash. You and the other driver’s insurance companies need each other’s contact information to decide who pays for the damage resulting from the accident.
Also make sure you record the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, and a description of his or her vehicle. You also want to write down the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
You should take photos of the scene with a camera you have handy, or with your smartphone. In today’s world, most people are able to capture photographs of the accident scene with even their cell phone
If there are any witnesses nearby, gather their accounts. You should record their names and contact information, and, if possible, record their recollection of the crash.
Hours Following the Car Accident
If you require medical attention, go to a doctor or emergency room to ensure you get the treatment you need. Do not avoid getting help if you are injured.
Next, contact an experienced Houston car accident injury attorney. As you may be unsure how to handle your crash injury at this point, a lawyer can provide you with guidance that may help you down the road.
Days and Weeks Following the Car Accident
With some accidents, it may take a few days before serious pain begins to set in, which can alter your lifestyle. Or, you may decide after an extended period that you indeed need the help of a Houston injury attorney. If you meet either of these criteria, do not assume it is too late to reach out for help. Continue to seek medical help through doctor visits, therapy, and specialist opinions Contact a lawyer to discuss your options at this point.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
We hope the aforementioned steps help you or a loved one after a car accident. An auto accidentthat leads to an injury can seriously alter many areas of your life—work, family time, finances, social relationships, etc. Making sure you’ve partnered with a legal team that understands the implications surrounding your injury is extremely important.
More Texas Auto Accident Injury Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation has provided us with very revealing statistics. While we all want to live under the idea that “I’ll probably never be hurt in an accident,” the numbers below may shed a new light on your perspective—albeit an unsettling one.
The following statistics relate to 2013 Texas accidents:
- There was one reportable crash every 71 seconds.
- 232,041 people were injured in traffic accidents (includes minor and severe injuries).
- One person was killed every two hours and 36 minutes.
- There was not a single day in 2013 without a fatal accident.
- 460 people were killed in auto accidents that involved distracted driving.
- 1,089 people were killed in traffic accidents where a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
- 767 people were killed in accidents in or related to a Texas intersection.
- 523 people were killed in head-on auto accidents.
As you can see, these numbers are staggering. While many of us believe the odds are in our favor, preparation is always a good idea. Know what to do and who to call for help if you or a loved one is injured—or worse, killed—in a car accident.
If you have more questions about car accident injuries in or near Houston, Texas, or would like to discuss the steps to take after a crash in greater detail, contact the car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C.
Please practice defensive driving when on Texas roadways. Put down the phone, set your GPS before taking your vehicle out of park, and make sure all passengers are buckled up—including yourself.