When I was in the Boy Scouts back in the 1960s, one of the mantras we were taught was to be prepared. I went on to become an Eagle Scout, and that tip has served me well over the years. No one thinks they will ever be in an auto accident in Fort Worth or North Texas. It happens in the blink of an eye. But if you have unfortunately been in a wreck, you will not be prepared for what to do next. There are certain things you need to do to get the medical treatment you need and the financial compensation you deserve.
This post gives you some tips on what to do – and what not to do – so that you are prepared if, God forbid, you are in an auto accident in Fort Worth.
1. Contact the police
The first thing is to call 911 for assistance. The police need to investigate, find the other driver at fault, and file an official report. It is required if vehicle damage is more than $1,000.00 – which always happens. And even if you are not feeling major pain immediately, you will be in shock, and your adrenaline has kicked in, but when that subsides, you will wish you had reported the crash to the authorities.
Insurance company representatives pour over every word in the police report and contact eyewitnesses who are listed to verify the details.
If your case has to go to a trial, having the police officer read his report in front of the jury will guarantee that it finds the defendant responsible for causing the crash.
Do not accept an offer of cash from the other driver or let him talk you into not calling the police because he is afraid his rates may go up or his policy may be canceled. Later, he can and will deny that he was at fault, and now there is a swearing match that inevitably ends up in front of a jury.
2. Gather evidence
As long as you are not suffering from a severe injury, stay at the scene for the police and ambulance to arrive. This gives you time to collect evidence. You or someone else should take pictures of the damage to your car – preferably in the street before you move it off the road. Also, photograph damaged items like a cracked screen on your cell phone or car seat and the other car to show where the vehicles collided and how bad the property damage is. Document the other car or truck’s license plate and their driver’s license. If you have visible injuries such as cuts and bruises, photograph them or ask the police officers or bystanders to do this for you.
Ask the other driver for their insurance policy or card and photograph that. Get their contact information. If there were any witnesses, videotape or write down their statements and get their contact information. Note down the location of cameras that may have recorded the collision.
3. Go to the hospital or Your doctor ASAP
When you get injured in an auto accident in Fort Worth, it is critical to obtain immediate medical treatment. They will take X-rays or CT scans to rule out serious injuries like fractures or bulging discs. Tell them about any pain you’re experiencing. Just like the police report, these initial reports will be scrutinized.
Follow their treatment plan. Take prescribed medications and go to all appointments If you don’t keep up with your treatment, it could hurt your chances of recovering from your injuries and getting a good settlement.
4. Do NOT talk to the other driver’s insurance company first
Soon after your crash, you should receive a phone call from the other driver’s insurance provider. Confirm that there was an accident but don’t give any further details. They’re going to pressure you to take a recorded statement to catch you off guard. This will hurt your case.
They might even offer you a settlement – don’t take it. It’ll be too low. You never know how your injuries are going to pan out. Instead of talking with the insurance company, call a personal injury lawyer instead.
5. Call a good personal injury lawyer
Research the top car accident attorneys online and call their offices. Have a list of questions ready. Show or send them all the information they need, including any medical records and evidence of the accident you have. If you were not able to gather those, don’t worry – your lawyer will get them for you.
You may be wondering how you can afford a lawyer. They are more affordable than you may realize. A personal injury lawyer will conduct a free case review on the phone or in your first meeting. They will charge you a percentage of the settlement or verdict from a court, not for every time they work on your case. You will not have to pay them any money until you are paid. They will get you much more money than you can get without an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. And if they are somehow not successful, you owe them nothing.
If you were injured in a car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident – the only cases we handle – and need assistance, we are here to help you. Call us at 817-885-8000 or get in touch on our website. We look forward to helping you with your case.