After a serious car accident, you may be confused or even traumatized by the experience. Reporting the accident right away can help you protect your legal rights and can provide added evidence for insurance companies about liability and fault. Contacting a Houston car crash attorney can also be helpful in the aftermath of an injury accident. Here are some of the most important steps to remember when reporting a traffic accident to the police.
Call the Police
Not all car accidents require a 911 call. If both vehicles are drivable and no one has been seriously injured, calling the non-emergency line for the Houston Police Department is usually sufficient. If injuries are involved, however, be sure to inform the emergency dispatcher that medical help will be required. In all cases, you are required to remain at the scene of the accident until police arrive to take statements and to evaluate the scene of the accident.
If the other driver is not seriously injured, you can exchange insurance information, addresses, phone numbers and names. Be sure to copy down the license plate of the other vehicle and to note its make, model and year of manufacture if available. It is also usually a good idea to get the names of any passengers in the other vehicle and of any witnesses on the scene. This can provide added help for your Houston traffic accident lawyer in reconstructing the accident and in determining how best to represent your case both in and out of court.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as is practical after the accident occurs. This can help you get a head start on the claims process and can provide your insurer with precise details about your accident while they are still fresh in your mind.
Make a Driver’s Report
If no police officer is available to investigate the accident, you may be required to file a CR-2 Driver’s Crash Report with the Texas Department of Transportation (TDoT). This is only necessary if the accident caused more than $1,000 in damages or if anyone was injured or killed in the incident. The form can be downloaded from the TDoT website and submitted by mail within 10 days of the accident. In most cases, however, Houston police officers on the scene will file their own reports to eliminate the need for this process.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious accident, calling a Houston auto injury attorney from DeSimone Law Office can help you obtain fair compensation for these incidents. Call us today at 713-526-0900 to set up your free initial consultation with us. At DeSimone Law Office, we want to be your attorneys for life.