June 7, 2021 | Car Accidents
The last thing anybody expects when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle that they will be involved in an accident of any type. However, fender benders are not uncommon throughout the state of Texas. There are a variety of ways that fender benders occur, and in many scenarios, these incidents result in relatively minor property damage or injuries. However, that is not always the case. Accidents involving seemingly “minor” rear-end or head-on collisions can result in significant property damage and major injuries. Here, our motor vehicle accident attorneys in Austin want to discuss the steps that you need to take in the aftermath of a fender bender to ensure that you follow the law and are able to recover the compensation you need.
The number one thing you need to remember after any vehicle accident, regardless of how minor you think it may be, is that you need to stay on the scene. Texas law requires that nearly every single accident be reported to law enforcement, and this means that those involved must stay there and talk to the police. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime in Texas. Even if another driver involved tries to tell you that you don’t need to report the incident, you need to do so anyway. Do not rely on the good graces of someone you do not know. As soon as you leave the scene, what is to stop the other parties from calling the police and saying that they are seriously injured and that you fled?
First, you need to check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. After a fender bender, it is not uncommon for those involved to think that they have not sustained any type of injury. However, the signs and symptoms of many accident injuries do not appear until hours or even days after the crash occurs. This can lead to victims deciding to pass up receiving medical care, only to realize later on that they have sustained a personal injury. This delay in receiving medical care can cause a problem when it comes to securing compensation from the insurance carrier.
After you have checked yourself and others in your vehicle for injuries, you should then check on other drivers and passengers involved in the crash. So long as the other people involved are not hostile towards you, there was no harm in making sure that they are safe.
You should call the police and let them know where the accident occurred so that a law enforcement official and emergency crews can get there. Again, even if the accident does not seem severe, there still may need to be some sort of roadway cleanup or traffic control measures.
If there are any injuries, you need to make sure that the 911 dispatcher knows this so that they can ensure that medical personnel are on the way to the scene. If you are unsure of whether or not there are any injuries, you still want to make sure that EMS personnel come to evaluate every party involved. This is one of those situations where it is better safe than sorry.
If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, you can begin gathering as much evidence as possible. This can include using your cell phone to take pictures of everything you see, including vehicle damage, injuries, causes of the crash, license plates, debris around the scene, and more. You should get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash, as well as the driver’s license number, insurance information, and registration information of the other drivers involved.