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20 Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Last May, the Texas Department of Transportation published a report analyzing “crash facts” from 2017. According to their data, there were 14,282 serious collisions that resulted in 3,727 fatalities and 17,535 reported injuries. In other words, at least one Texan is killed in a traffic accident every 2-3 hours. Sadly, but not surprisingly, many of these accidents are caused by reckless, distracted, and intoxicated motorists.

Taking Steps to Protect Your Right to Damages

Statistically, every American will be involved in about 3-4 motor vehicle accidents throughout their lifetime. A car accident can be a stressful and distressing experience, especially if you’ve been injured by the actions of a negligent driver. After all, even a “minor” car accident can result in catastrophic injuries that necessitate surgical procedures and ongoing medical treatments.

A plaintiff can suffer the following injuries in a car accident:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Nerve injuries
  • Concussions
  • Dismemberment
  • Paralysis
  • Neck sprains

Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Before your medical bills start piling up, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can investigate your case, negotiate with claims adjusters, and protect the validity of your claim.

At the Law Office of Shane McClelland, we have successfully represented injured drivers and passengers in a variety of complex car accident claims. To help you protect your rights to damages, we’ve compiled a list of 20 steps you need to take immediately after an accident:

  1. Turn on your hazard lights and, if possible, move your vehicle out of the line of traffic.
  2. Call 911 immediately.
  3. If you’re injuries are not too severe, take pictures of your injuries, any vehicles involved, and the entirety of the accident scene.
  4. Check that everyone – passengers and drivers – are safe and unharmed.
  5. Don’t say “sorry” or admit/imply fault for the collision.
  6. Exchange license and insurance information with the driver(s).
  7. Help law enforcement complete the accident report and get statements from witnesses.
  8. Write down the names and badge numbers of all responding officers.
  9. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the officers give you permission.
  10. Talk to witnesses and write down their names and phone numbers.
  11. Seek immediate medical assistance, even if you don’t think you’re injured—you may be in shock from the collision and not realize that you’ve been injured.
  12. Make sure the doctor notes that your injuries are due to a car accident in your medical record.
  13. Request a copy of your updated medical and billing records from your medical provider, and request a copy of the accident report from the police.
  14. Take notes about the doctors you meet with and the treatments you receive.
  15. Keep an ongoing record of your injury-related financial losses (bills, receipts, lost wages, etc.).
  16. Gather your own insurance documents to determine if you have: Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, Medpay coverage, or Underinsurance / Uninsurance Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
  17. Notify your insurance company about the collision.
  18. Contact a qualified car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
  19. Do not speak with or give a recorded or written statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company’s adjuster, direct them to your attorney.
  20. Do not post about the accident on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.).

The defendant’s insurer may engage in questionable tactics to deny or compromise your right to damages. Do not speak with or give a recorded or written statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you can’t complete any of these steps due to your injuries, contact a trusted friend, family member, or legal representative for assistance. At the Law Office of Shane McClelland, we can utilize the full measure of our firm’s resources to ensure that your claim is protected.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Contact the car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Shane McClelland if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a negligent motorist. Our client-driven legal team can guide you through each step of this challenging legal process and negotiate with shrewd claims adjusters on your behalf. We take great care when calculating the maximum value of a claim to make certain sure clients secure a favorable settlement. If the defendant’s insurer refuses to negotiate, we can represent your interests in court to obtain a beneficial verdict that safeguards your quality of life.

Contact the Law Office of Shane McClelland at (713) 242-1302 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.

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