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The moments after an auto accident are filled with confusion and stress. Knowing how to appropriately handle the situation is key for not only safety, but also for properly exercising your legal rights regarding fault determination, insurance claims, and securing compensation for any resulting injuries or losses.

Here at the Premiere Injury Clinic of DFW, our car accident doctors and legal team have created this comprehensive guide covering the essential steps to take after an auto collision in order to effectively preserve your health and your rights under the law.

Stop Right Away and Ensure Safety

First and foremost, Texas law mandates that all drivers involved must immediately stop at the scene of the accident, no matter how minor it may seem. “Hit and run” charges bring steep fines and other consequences, so always pull over as soon as safely possible. Turn on hazard lights, set out road flares if you have them, and check on the welfare of any passengers in your vehicle.

If injuries are apparent or vehicles are disabled in the roadway, dial 911 to alert police and EMTs. While waiting for professional help, administer first aid if properly trained and do not move injured persons unless they face immediate peril.


Exchange Contact/Insurance Information

Collect key details from the other driver(s), including their names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance details, driver’s license data, and license plate information of all vehicles involved. Photographing the exchange documents or damage can supplement accident scene documentation as well.

Failure to provide valid insurance information is prohibited. If the at-fault motorist seems evasive or leaves without furnishing these details, be sure to, at minimum, record their license plate number and vehicle description.

Consult Authorities

Contact law enforcement personnel following any accident with injuries, deaths, or substantial property destruction – criteria that varies slightly based upon municipality. Moreover, having an official report is advisable in most all auto accident cases. Supplying the responding officer with an accurate account of the collision circumstances allows them to fully investigate fault and preserve findings in the police report.

Request a copy of this report to retain for your records, as insurance adjusters and injury lawyers will need it to assess compensable damages. Never admit guilt or speculate on cause without first discussing with an attorney.

Photograph/Document Extensively

While waiting at the scene, photograph damage to all vehicles, final positions, any skid marks, weather/road conditions, traffic signs or controls nearby, and visible injuries. Additionally, record the names and contact details of witnesses willing to give statements later. Make written notes of how the crash unfolded while the memory is still fresh in your mind. If feasible, sketch a diagram mapping out important accident factors like vehicle paths/lanes, points of impact, intersections, etc. Thorough documentation can significantly help prove legal claims regarding fault and injury later on.

Get Checked Out by a Doctor After An Auto Accident

Even if nothing seems amiss in the moment, we strongly advise accident victims visit our clinic or their doctor/emergency department for assessment ASAP after any collision. The adrenaline rush often masks subtle symptoms like whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding. Early medical records will provide critical evidence if injuries emerge or worsen over time, enabling vital treatment as well as supporting insurance/legal demands should chronic issues develop. Let our car accident injury physicians evaluate you.

Notify Your Insurance Carrier

When reasonably possible following the crash, report pertinent accident details to your insurer like location, damage/injuries sustained, at-fault party if known, etc. as required by most policies. Cooperate fully with any investigation and keep your adjuster updated on emerging damages or expenses not immediately apparent (medical bills, lost wages, etc). However, discuss any settlement offers with one of our personal injury attorneys before signing to ensure adequate long-term compensation.


Consult Our Car Accident Legal Team

In the aftermath of your accident, continue seeing medical providers until all collision-related health problems fully resolve. Keep meticulous records of medical visits, pharmacy receipts, auto repair invoices, missed work days, rehabilitation expenses, and so forth for inclusion in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Adjusters may press for premature settlements before full costs are realized, so having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side levels the playing field.

Follow these steps when acting After an Auto Collision

Staying calm and collected following a crash enables sound decision-making. We hope this guide helps clarify the safest and most legally-protective actions to take. Do not hesitate to call our Premiere car accident physicians and attorneys here in the DFW area for assistance any time after an unfortunate accident. We are always available to properly document injuries, advise on insurance claims, determine negligence, and pursue maximum compensation for you.


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