Unfortunate accidents can happen to anyone at any time, even to careful drivers. Life is fast-paced and people are driving every day, rushing to get to their destination. Is there a way to somehow avoid such events? Maybe, if you have a more aware approach and insight into the most common causes of auto accidents.
- Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) most accidents happen between 3 and 6 p.m.? At this time lots of people are getting back from work, rushing home in the greatest traffic congestion.
- Of all US states, Texas leads with over 3,000 fatal auto accidents each year. The numbers are increasing every year, sadly, raising the percentage of motor accidents as well. Due to the increase of fatal outcomes of accidents in Texas, the CRIS system in the state is the most advanced compared to other states in the US.
So, when driving, you should be cautious about the things around you and comply with traffic rules and signs. Be prepared that even though you might follow the rules, others may not. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident, here are some actions that you can take to protect yourself and the others involved.
Stop At The Scene!
If you are involved in any kind of accident, it is your obligation to stop at the scene even if there is no damage. Additionally, you can help the situation by turning off your engine and turning hazard lights, flares, or other kinds of light to prevent further accidents and alarm other drivers of your presence.
In case of an accident, the most significant thing to do is to check and determine whether someone is in need of urgent medical care. In the state of Texas, the “Good Samaritan law” lets you help the injured individual. If you or anyone else at the scene is severely injured, it is necessary to call an ambulance and wait for medical attention. Even if you are not hurt, it is advisable to seek medical treatment as pain and consequences can arise the following days.
Get In Touch With The Police
Whether you are in a serious or minor auto accident, it is necessary to contact the local police agency, so that they can observe and document the situation. This is essential in case someone leaves the scene or if the other driver was careless and under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
It is important that the authorities fill out a police report of the accident so that they have every detail and record about the situation. This report will not only provide your insurance company with basic information about your claim but will secure protection if legal problems appear.
The police officers will provide support for everyone involved and they will make sure the scene is secure, interview the witnesses and evaluate the situation and give tickets for negligence if necessary.
The procedure may vary from state to state, so you have to know the rules for the state you’ve had an accident. If your accident happens in Texas, and you have minor damage, it’s very unlikely that the police will come to the crash scene. This is because Texas has so many auto accidents. So once you call the police, you’ll probably have to take over. This includes paying attention to all the details and reporting them.
What Steps Follow If the Police Don’t Come to the Scene?
If the law enforcement is not available to arrive at the scene, you have the option to file your own online report, called the CR3 “Peace Officer Report” or Texas accident report, and receive all necessary explanations about the procedure as reports can be intricate because all details should be documented.
The CR3 “Peace Officer Report” is actually called the Texas accident report because Texas is one of the states that use the most advanced technology to handle reports. Through their CRIS system, you don’t have to wait for your report in the police office because you get instant online access. By using this online TxDOT system you can also check out the report about your accident if it’s already done by a police officer and get a copy of it.
Gather And Exchange Mandatory Information
Although experiencing an accident is very stressful, you need to make sure that you gather and exchange your own information. The police will take into consideration all the details, so you should give them information such as your name, address, insurance information about everyone involved in the crash, contact numbers, contacts of witnesses if there were any and your observations or facts.
Moreover, you can take notes about things that you remember such as the location and time of the crash, weather conditions, visibility, what kind of damage was done, were there any injuries, contacts of witnesses, and other records. What would also contribute to the case are pictures of the vehicles, their models, registrations and their position, visible damage and injuries. All these details are crucial if your accident happens in Texas because you have to type them in the online report. So, make sure you remember them all!
Equally important is to restrict yourself from discussion with the others involved and not to accuse anyone or speculate about the situation as well as to not admit any faults and legal liability before everything is resolved. Only discuss with the police, medical personnel or with your insurance company.
Contact Your Insurance Agency And Implement Damage Valuation
After all the formalities are settled, you need to contact your insurer in order to make a claim and determine the extent of your coverage. The best time to do that is at the time of the accident. Furthermore, you should provide the agency with information such as policy number for identification, then registration of the cars and basic data about the other driver such as name, address, insurance details, number, registration details, facts about what happened, and other useful tidbits.
All this procedure is implemented to receive financial compensation which can vary from the damage that was done to your vehicle and the injuries that you suffered. If you are not very familiar with the process, you can contact a lawyer or representative that will inform you about expenses, how coverage works and more about the laws in your state.
The companies usually want to make statements after the accident, so make sure that you receive legal advice. In addition to this, the adjuster will take into consideration all the details that were provided and after the accident is resolved, they will determine the extent of coverage that you will receive.
After your insurance company estimates the damage to your vehicle, you can get it repaired. Keep in mind that not all damage is directly visible, so you can check for internal damage as well. Similarly, in case you are injured, the company can cover your medical costs as well.
All things considered, accidents are frightening experiences that happen unexpectedly in a matter of seconds and that can change someone’s whole life. For that purpose, everyone needs to be prepared to take the necessary actions and follow the mentioned steps. This way, you can take actions that can protect you and your interests and focus on working on your insurance expenses. Keep in mind that other participants experienced an unfortunate event, so do not accuse anyone and wait for the institutions to make a decision.