Under Texas law, you must report a car accident if it resulted in death, injury, or property damage exceeding $1,000. For practical purposes, it’s wise to report all car accidents to the police. Even if it seems no one was hurt, you should still file a report. The reason for this is because many injuries do not appear until hours or even days later.
Failure to report a car crash can result in a $5,000 fine and possible jail time. However, the most critical reason for reporting even a minor collision is– if you are feeling any pain– there is an official report describing the incident to aid in your right to seek financial recovery for your injuries. For example, concussions may not become apparent for several days. It is hard to prove an at-fault driver is the cause for your pain and injuries if there is no record of the accident.
Also, you must report the crash to your car insurance company. However, you should not agree to give your insurer a recorded statement until you speak with a highly experienced lawyer. Angel Reyes and the attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm can negotiate with your insurance company to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The first few minutes after a car accident are typically chaotic. The first thing to do after a car accident is to check yourself and anyone else in the crash for injuries. The next step is to call the police or the local sheriff’s department. Let the dispatcher know if anyone appears to be badly hurt. Do not exit the vehicle until you know it is safe by checking your surroundings.
Exchange your name, address, contact, and insurance information, and driver’s license numbers with the other driver. If you cannot get that information from the driver, the police officer at the scene will provide it for you.
Take photos of the crash scene, including road conditions, as well as any injuries. Be sure to collect photo evidence of your vehicle’s property damage. More importantly, you need to also capture photos of the other party’s vehicle as well. If there were eyewitnesses, gather their names and contact information. You can also ask them to stay until law enforcement arrives.
Stay at the scene until the police arrive. Tell them what happened, but do not admit fault. The police officer will fill out a CR-3 form. If they submit this form, you do not need to file your own accident report.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are suffering from injuries due to a car accident, seek medical attention right away. Either go to the emergency room with the paramedics or visit an urgent care center as soon as possible. Receiving a physical exam after an accident is crucial, even if you do not think you were hurt. Again, should an injury surface within a few days, having a record of such an examination can help your claim.
When a minor accident occurs, far too often, the drivers decide not to file a police report. This is a big mistake you would be wise to avoid making. Perhaps the damage to your vehicle seems minor, but it could turn out that it will cost more than $1,000 to repair. Without a police report, you cannot prove the collision happened.
If you happen to find yourself in a fender bender, download and fill out a CR-2 Form to document the accident within 10 days. Keep the form for your records. The dated form is evidence the collision took place.
Contact a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation
If you or someone you know is suffering from injuries from a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley. There is no fee unless you receive compensation. Call or text us 24/7 at (214) 526-7900 to schedule a free consultation or complete our online contact form.