In the immediate aftermath of a truck accident or car accident, your first priority must be your own safety. Check-in with yourself first to assess whether you are safe to move, and if you are, then you can check on others for injuries, contact emergency services, and move out of the way of any hazards.
At this point, you can begin to collect evidence from the scene, speak with the responding officer and contact an experienced car accident attorney. You may want to speak to an attorney before you inform your own car insurance company that there has been an accident.
Once you speak to an attorney, they can advise you based on your specific circumstances. At Abraham Watkins, we offer a free consultation so you can gain clarity on your next steps, regardless of your situation.
If we believe you have a valid compensation claim and you decide to continue with representation, then we will work on a no-win no-fee basis, so you will never be left out of pocket for seeking help. We believe that truck and car accident victims deserve access to high-quality legal representation without an upfront cost.
Abraham Watkins has been serving accident victims in Texas since 1951, which makes us one of the longest-serving law firms in the state. We want to use our knowledge, experience, and resources to help secure justice for car and truck accident victims.
Arrange a free consultation today at 713-535-9319.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident With a Commercial Truck? – Quick Answer
If you are currently at the scene of the accident, then you may need a quick answer to your question. So before we go into detail about what you can do to protect both your health and your right to compensation at the scene of an accident, here is a quick run-through.
- Check-in – Check yourself for injuries and decide if you are safe to move.
- Check for Injuries – Check those around you for injuries, starting with your passengers.
- Move to Safety – Move out of the way of any potential danger, such as oncoming traffic, but don’t leave the scene of the accident. If safe to do so, take a photo of the full scene as it is before you move your vehicle.
- Call 911 – If anyone requires medical attention, call 911.
- Call 911- Even if the injuries are not so severe that they require paramedics, but there is serious property damage, road hazards, or you think the other driver might be under the influence, then you need to call the police.
- Swap Driver Information – If possible, get the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. If they do not own the vehicle, then get the owner’s information too. If the other driver is a truck driver, then get the trucking company’s information as well.
- Take Photos – Take photos from the scene, including vehicles from all angles, your injuries, road conditions, and anything else of relevance, such as debris, road signs, or property damage.
- Seek a Medical Examination – Medical treatment will be integral to the car insurance claim process. The sooner after the accident, the better, as it will be clear that your injuries resulted from the accident.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – You will need to inform your insurance company that there has been a crash in order to be able to make a car accident claim. However, do not admit fault or downplay your injuries. Simply tell them when and where the accident occurred and give them the details of the other driver and police officer if you have them.
- Contact Abraham Watkins – We offer a free consultation so you can gain clarity on your next steps based on your specific case.
Keep Yourself Safe
For some people, their first instinct after a car or truck accident is to check on those around them. However, your priority should be your own well-being. Adrenaline often takes over in these types of situations, but it is important that you take a minute to check in with yourself and decide whether you are safe to move. If you feel pain in your neck or back, then wait for paramedics to arrive.
If you are safe to move, then you can check to see if anyone else requires medical attention, starting with your own passengers and then anyone else involved in the accident.
Most car accidents will require you to call emergency personnel. If anyone requires medical treatment, then you should call for paramedics as quickly as possible. If there is someone who is unresponsive, then paramedics may advise you on how whether to move them or not.
If paramedics are not necessary, then you may still need to call the police. Police must attend the scene of any accident that causes injury or serious property damage. You should also call them if you are concerned about any remaining hazards for other road users. For example, perhaps the accident was caused by debris on the road, failing traffic lights, or you have concerns that the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Move Out of The Way of Danger
If it is safe to do so, then you should move out of the way of any potential hazards, such as oncoming traffic.
Before you move your vehicle, it may be helpful to take a photograph of the full scene of the accident. However, if doing so would put anyone in danger, then skip this step.
Swap Driver Information
You should ask all drivers involved in the accident for their information. You should ask:
- Full names.
- Contact information.
- Vehicle number plate.
- Insurance provider and policy number, if possible.
- Whether it is their own vehicle. If it isn’t, then you should ask for the driver’s name and contact information.
- If you were in an accident with a truck, then ask for the name of the trucking company the driver works for.
Photos and videos can be great sources of evidence for your auto accident claim. When you have documented proof of key factors of your accident, such as the level of damage, it will be very difficult for the other party to dispute it.
If you know how to timestamp images on your smartphone, then this could help to establish the facts of your case. However, don’t worry if you don’t know how to do this, as this data can be accessed if needed.
Try to take clear photographs from various angles. However, never put yourself at risk and only take photographs if safe to do so.
Some of the things that it might be helpful to take photographs of include:
- A photo of the full scene that shows the positions of all motor vehicles before they are moved, if possible.
- The registration plates of other vehicles involved in the crash.
- A photo or video of all vehicles involved in the accident (including your own), showing all angles and any damage.
- Photograph anything that you think could be relevant such as hazards, skid marks, damaged property, road debris, road signs, or traffic lights.
Ask Witnesses For Their Information
If there are any potential witnesses, including pedestrians, or other drivers and passengers, then ask them for their names and contact information. Witnesses can be great sources of evidence because they are neutral third parties, and they may have seen the accident unfold from a distance, giving them a different perspective.
Cooperate With Police
The police will deal with any hazards to keep everyone safe. They will also file a police report which will be important to your claim. They may ask you a few questions, and it is important to cooperate and be honest with the police.
Ask the responding officer for their name and the police report number; this will make it easier for your attorney to get hold of it.
If the police do not attend the scene, then you should file an accident report with your local police department within ten days. This is also an opportunity for you to give your version of events.
Call a Tow Truck if Needed
If your vehicle is seriously damaged, it may need to be towed to a repair shop. You may have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy, or the police may call a tow truck company. However, if a tow truck does show up that you have not arranged, then you should verify their credentials and take down their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are not taken to the hospital by paramedics, then you will need to seek a medical examination and treatment as soon as possible after the accident. This is important for two reasons. First, it helps to protect your health and well-being. Adrenaline could be masking serious injuries, and a medical professional will assess your condition and advise you.
Second, it is key to your personal injury claim. If you do not have a medical record after the accident, then you will not be able to claim for your injuries. The sooner after the accident, the better, as it will be easier to establish causation between the accident and your injuries and resulting damages.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Abraham Watkins
The sooner you contact Abraham Watkins after a car or truck accident, the better. A personal injury attorney will advise you on your next steps based on your specific circumstances. They will review your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. If you do and you decide to continue with representation, then they will get to work quickly to protect important evidence, investigate your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for a fair settlement.
Those who try to pursue a claim without an attorney often end up with less than what they deserve. Insurance companies will have large legal teams who will fight to lower your settlement, but with an attorney from Abraham Watkins by your side, you level the playing field.
The aftermath of an auto accident can feel incredibly stressful, and you should not have to deal with it alone. An attorney will take away a lot of the stress involved in claiming compensation so that you can focus on your recovery.
They will also fight to ensure that all of your damages are considered, including your past and future medical expenses and lost income. They will work to establish your non-economic damages, such as your pain and suffering, physical pain, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In order to file a claim with your insurance company, you will need to tell them that you have been in a crash. You may have a limited time in which to do this, such as 24 hours. But remember, car insurance companies are driven by profits, and that means paying victims like you as little as possible. An insurance adjuster may try to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries, and it is important to avoid this.
Here is some advice for speaking to your insurance company:
- Refuse to have your statement recorded.
- Stick to the facts. You only need to tell them where and when the accident occurred, the other driver’s information, and the police report number if you have it.
- Do not say you are sorry, admit fault, or downplay your injuries.
- Consider calling a car accident lawyer first so that they can advise you.
Keep Track Of Damages
After the immediate aftermath of a car accident has settled, you should continue to preserve evidence. For example, keep a record of all expenses relating to your accident, including lost wages, repair bills, hospital bills, and prescription costs. Where possible, keep receipts or invoices.
You should also continue to take photos of your injuries and record the ways in which they are affecting your life. Are you prevented from doing things that you usually would? How much pain are you in? Have you been traumatized by the accident or your injuries? All of this information can help your attorney establish your noneconomic damages.
Things NOT To Do After A Car Accident
Now we have covered what to do after a car accident. It may be helpful to know what not to do.
- Don’t Agree to Handle it on Your Own – It might be tempting to avoid calling the police or reporting the accident to your insurance company, especially if the accident was minor. However, every accident, no matter how minor, should be reported to the police. If you don’t speak to the police or your insurance company, then it will just be your word versus theirs, and securing compensation may be more difficult.
- Don’t Apologize – You should not say that you’re sorry after an accident, even if you think you could be to blame. You may not have all the information yet, and by saying sorry, you could be considered to have admitted fault, which will harm your claim for compensation.
- Don’t Downplay Your Injuries – Don’t claim that you are fine. Wait until you have had a medical examination before making any claims about your injuries.
- Don’t Say Things on Social Media – You should avoid saying anything on social media about your accident. Even something you believe to be harmless could jeopardize your claim. In particular, do not post photos of the scene, your vehicles, or your injuries.
- Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement – Some car insurance companies may be quick to offer you a settlement. However, if they do, it is usually far less than what you deserve. They do this in the hopes that you will accept the settlement and therefore forfeit your right to fight for more. The fact that they have offered you a settlement quickly is a sign that you have a strong claim. Before you accept any potential offer, you should speak with an attorney who can talk through your options.
- Don’t Delay Contacting an Attorney – Do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company prior to hiring an attorney.
What to do After a Car Accident – FAQ
Can I claim compensation if I contributed to the cause of the car accident in Texas?
In Texas, even if you contributed to the cause of an accident, you may still be able to secure compensation in an auto insurance claim. Texas is a modified comparative fault state, and as long as you are deemed to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still make a claim. However, it will be reduced by the percentage that you are deemed to be at fault. So a claim that is worth $80,000, becomes $72,000 if you are found to be 10% at fault.
If the other driver’s insurance company calls me, what should I say?
As soon as you have secured representation, you will not be required to speak to any insurance companies. Therefore, you should simply tell them that your attorney will be in touch.
How long does the claims process take?
All motor vehicle accidents are different, and the length of time required to gather evidence, establish the facts of the case, and negotiate a settlement varies widely. Some cases are over in a matter of months, while others can take over a year. The best way to speed up the process is to have the support of an experienced attorney.
Will I have to go to trial?
Most car accident claims never go to trial, which is a time-consuming and expensive process. However, at Abraham Watkins, we are experienced trial lawyers as well as negotiators, meaning we can help you negotiate a settlement outside of trial or secure the compensation you deserve through litigation. Trial experience is important for any attorney as it lets insurance companies know that they cannot get away with a lowball offer or they could risk losing more at trial.
How much time do I have to make a car accident claim?
In Texas, the statute of limitations on car accident claims is two years. Once this time has elapsed, you will be barred from claiming compensation. However, the sooner you contact a car accident lawyer, the better, as they will get to work quickly to protect evidence and build a robust case.
What if I am in an accident with a truck?
All of the steps to take after a car accident listed above apply to truck accidents as well. Due to the size and weight of trucks, accidents tend to be severe. At Abraham Watkins, we are uniquely prepared to handle the complexities of truck accidents and are committed to securing victims the compensation they deserve. If you have been in an accident with a truck, then do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation today.
Speak to One of Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Abraham Watkins, we have been helping victims of truck and car accidents in Texas for more than seven decades. We have a stellar reputation and a wealth of resources that give us a unique advantage when it comes to securing justice for our clients.
We believe all accident victims deserve access to high-quality legal representation without an upfront cost, which is why we work on a no-win no, fee basis. If you decide to agree to representation, we will get to work quickly to ensure that your case is as strong as it can be.
Speak to one of our car accident lawyers in a free consultation at 713-535-9319.
Schedule A Free Consultation Today.
If you have additional questions about your accident or injuries – or if you wish to speak to one of our attorneys about your legal options – please complete our online contact form or call our Houston law office at 888-261-8831 or 713-244-5486.
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