You’re probably a safe driver. Or, at least, you probably think you are. Most people think they’re good behind the wheel. However, the truth is that car crashes aren’t always about your skills.
The numbers say you’re likely to get into a crash at some point. The conventional wisdom among car insurance companies has long been that drivers file claims once every 18 years. Reports show 77% of all drivers have been in a collision. Every year, crashes force nearly 4.5 million Americans to seek medical treatment. And the Texas Department of Transportation recorded over 239,000 traffic injuries in 2021.
It’s not just you. Every time you turn the ignition, you’re playing the odds. So, what should you do when the odds catch up to you?
Check For Injuries
The first and most important thing to do after a crash is to check whether anyone has a serious injury. If you see or feel any concerning injuries, call 911. Get help immediately.
Move To Safety
If possible, you want to get out of traffic. Signal your turn and pull over to the side of the road. But do not leave the scene. If your vehicle is badly damaged, you might leave the vehicle and find a place nearby.
Call The Police
Texas law requires you to call the police for any car crash that results in injury, death or property damage worth $1,000 or more. It’s pretty easy to hit that $1,000 damage target, so it’s generally in your best interest to call the police after any crash.
Get the other driver’s license plate number, name, insurance company and policy number. It’s also a good idea to get the other driver’s phone number. You should also provide this information when asked. However, you don’t want to apologize or offer extra information.
Insurance companies, the police and attorneys will all try to determine fault based on the evidence. The more evidence you gather, the stronger your case. Take photos of the vehicles and crash site. Talk to witnesses, and ask for contact information from those who can say what happened.
Get A Medical Evaluation
Some injuries aren’t immediately obvious. Brain injuries may take days to manifest. Internal injuries may offer no immediate external signs. Your adrenaline can mask your symptoms. You want to see a doctor.
Report The Crash
As soon as possible, you need to report the crash to your insurance company. When you do, stick to the facts, and don’t offer more information than you need to. You’ll need to say when and where the crash occurred. And you’ll want to provide the other driver’s name and insurance policy number. But remember that your insurance is looking for reasons to pay less. Don’t downplay any injuries. Don’t say you’re “okay.” And you have no reason at all to talk to the other driver’s insurance.
Call An Attorney
In 2014, the Insurance Research Council found that crash victims who worked with an attorney received, on average, 3.5 times more compensation than victims who represented themselves. Insurance companies work hard to minimize their payouts. They’ll twist your words and use them against you. Most victims need help to win a fair settlement.
8 Steps To Regain Control
Crashes aren’t always about you. The numbers say you’re likely to get in a couple crashes over the years. Sometimes, you just can’t control what’s going to happen.
However, you can take influence what happens after a crash. By following the right steps, you can put yourself in a better position. You can start to regain control.
Juan Pablo Garcia is the attorney responsible for this ad. Primary Practice Location: Uvalde, Texas.