Car Accident Help Guide
What You Should Do After a Car Accident
Chalaki Law Firm helps people with personal injury claims throughout Texas. Read our Car Accident Help Guide and learn what the next steps are in bringing your personal injury claim, make the right decision and talk to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer by calling 972-793-8500 or contact Chalaki Law.
The following Car Accident Help Guide will help provide insight into how the personal injury claim process works:
What to do after a car accident?
- Contact the police – Immediately following an accident call the police to file an accident report. You may think that you can resolve it yourself, but the damages to yourself and your car may be more serious than it seems. It is important to have an official record of the accident.
- Do not move your car until the police tell you to – Unless the accident is blocking traffic and must be moved, wait until the police arrive on the scene. If you do have to move your car, take pictures before you do — leaving a disposable camera in your car is a great way to be prepared should an accident occur. A cell phone camera will also work.
- Get the names of any witnesses – You never know if the accident may lead to legal action, so it is important to document everything you can. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any potential witnesses before they leave the scene.
- Collect insurance information – Write down the other party’s insurance information, including the insurance company’s name and policy number. Be sure to take down the other driver’s name. Note where the accident took place. And, take pictures of both vehicles.
- Do not admit responsibility – Only discuss the accident with the police, and even then, never admit fault —even if you think you were to blame, because you could be wrong. Admitting fault will be used against you by the insurance company.
- Seek medical attention – While you may think that you are not hurt, some injuries are not always immediately noticeable. Keep a record of everything the doctor tells you — your diagnosis, prescribed treatment and any concerns the doctor may have. Be sure to get copies of any papers the doctor has.
- Follow through with what your doctor says – If your doctor prescribes medication, take it. If he or she recommends physical therapy, make an appointment — and keep it. Do everything your doctor tells you and be sure to follow up with him or her.
The Personal Injury Process
- After a car accident, make sure that you seek medical treatment. Get checked out by a doctor even if you think your injuries are minor — they could be more extensive than you realize.
- Gather documentation from the doctor, as well as from the accident. If you filed a police report, get a copy. Create a file or notebook where you can keep a record of everything.
- Before long, a representative from an insurance company will contact you asking for a statement or pressure you to sign something. Before you provide a statement or sign anything, speak with a personal injury lawyer.
- Once you bring Chalaki Law Firm, into the picture, our car accident attorneys will work with you to gather additional evidence. We’ll look at what you’ve gathered, and access your medical records. We may visit the accident scene and track down witnesses, as well. In cases of severe injuries or particularly catastrophic accidents, we might even consult with an accident reconstructionist.
- Based on our research, we will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you have a claim, what your case is worth, and how to proceed.
- The next step in the process is actually filing the lawsuit. While you may be hesitant to sue the driver who is responsible, it is important to take this step to send a message to the other party’s insurance company. It will also preserve your rights if a resolution is not reached before the statute of limitation expires.
- After filing a complaint or petition with the court, the court will issue a summons that identifies when the defendant has to respond. As the case moves forward, both sides will conduct discovery — interviewing witnesses, requesting documents, answering interrogatories.
- As part of pre-trial hearings and negotiations, we may reach an agreement to settle the case. If that is in your best interest, then we can resolve the matter through settlement. But, if the case does not settle, then we will take the case to trial.
Do I Have a Case?
If you are the victim of another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim; for personal injury cases seeking damages for pain and suffering to be successful, there must be three elements present: injury, liability and coverage. Chalaki Law can help you determine whether these three elements are present and whether you should pursue your personal injury claim. Call today.