Know What to Do After Being in a Car Accident

What to Do if You're in a Car Accident

Houston Car Accident Lawyer

So you have been in a serious car accident — now what? There are important steps that everyone should follow after being involved in a car accident — even if you do not believe that you were injured. At my Houston law firm, Gary Lee, Attorney, PLLC, I have more than forty years of experience and can help you secure justice in the wake of a serious car accident.

I can help you take immediate and meaningful action. Call (281) 335-0015 for your free initial consultation on contingency fee cases.

If you have been injured or involved in a motor vehicle accident, the following steps are critical to ensure that your rights are fully protected:

Contact the police:

"Let's just handle this on our own." Do not be tempted to resolve car accident claims without getting the police involved. Too many times, when parties believe they are not really injured and that property damage is minimal, the police are not called and claims are not submitted to the insurance company. However, if symptoms later start to surface, it can be difficult to prove that the injuries are related to the accident because a police report was never filed.

Obtain information:

If you are involved in an accident, you should collect the contact information of the other driver and any witnesses. We will immediately go to work interviewing witnesses and obtaining statements before their memories fade. Because car accident lawsuits can last for several years, eliciting information from witnesses while it is still fresh in their minds is imperative.

Make observations/documentations:

No matter how serious the accident was and how significant an impact it had on your life, memories fade. Specific details about the car wreck, injuries, weather conditions, road conditions and other pertinent information can be beneficial in preparing a strong personal injury claim. However, days, weeks or even months after the accident, it can be difficult to recall these specific details. In addition, at that point your memory may have been influenced by what others have told you — particularly insurance companies or individuals attempting to deflect liability.

Take pictures:

Document injury symptoms, medical treatments and doctor visits in a journal. Retain receipts for medical bills paid - including expenses for mileage to and from treatment, prescription medication costs and any other out-of-pocket costs related to your accident and injuries.

Seek medical attention:

We believe the most important thing to do after an accident is to seek proper medical attention. Your recovery is our number one concern. Even if you are unsure if you are injured, seeking immediate medical attention is vital. You may have suffered serious injuries and not even realized it. In fact, in cases of closed head injuries, it may take days or even weeks for the symptoms to surface. However, a skilled medical professional can perform a simple evaluation and make recommendations regarding follow-up care or symptoms to watch out for. In addition, by seeking immediate medical attention you are again establishing critical evidence regarding the car accident.

Contact an experienced lawyer:

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer right away. Insurance representatives may contact you to collect information about the crash or your injuries. Ultimately, they will use this information to deflect liability or support their reasons for providing minimal compensation. Please do not make any recorded statements or sign any papers until you have spoken with an experienced car accident attorney.

Obviously, if you are rushed off to the hospital with the first medical responders, it can be difficult to take many of the above mentioned steps. However, if a friend or family member is capable of gathering and documenting information promptly after your car crash, it will only increase your probability for a strong personal injury claim and recovery of fair compensation.

Contact Us

At the Houston law office of Gary Lee, Attorney, PLLC, you can expect that I will be honest, realistic and supportive after your car accident. I provide knowledgeable advice and steadfast advocacy to clients who have suffered serious injuries or families who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident. Contact me for a free initial consultation on contingency fee cases to discuss your case, your concerns and your options.

Car Accident Claim Timeline

Houston Car Accident Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident, you likely have many concerns. Medical bills may be piling up and other bills may be accumulating simply because you cannot afford to pay them when you are not working. At the Houston office of Gary Lee, Attorney, PLLC, I can help you understand and anticipate what to expect after a car accident in Texas.

I can help you take immediate and meaningful action. Call (281) 335-0015 for your free initial consultation on contingency fee cases.

I have over forty years of experience working on personal injury cases. I offer clear advice, caring guidance and aggressive legal representation in personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents or other motor vehicle accidents.

Right Away After a Car Accident

  • Immediately after a serious car accident (within minutes, or sometimes, within hours), you should do your best to do the following:
  • Contact the police. A police report is essential evidence in a car accident claim.
  • Obtain contact information from witnesses.
  • Fully document everything you can remember about the accident.
  • Seek proper medical attention — even if you are unsure you were injured.

Within Days After a Car Accident

The days following a serious car accident can be very critical. It is important that you take the proper measures to ensure your right to compensation is fully protected. Right away (usually within a few days), you should do the following:

Report the accident to your insurance company:

While most insurance policies require prompt notification of auto accidents, it is not required that you make a recorded statement about the accident. If asked to make a recorded statement or any declarations of fault, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before going any further. Many people have unintentionally hurt their chances for fair financial recovery by making improper statements to the insurance company before consulting with a lawyer.

Contact a lawyer:

While not every injury case demands legal representation, having an experienced attorney on your side from the beginning after a serious accident can increase your chances for fair compensation. With an experienced lawyer protecting your rights, you can be sure that the insurance company will not take advantage of you.

Be mindful of deadlines:

Car accident injury claims have many time restrictions. It is important that your lawyer is careful in reviewing your situation and making certain that timelines are not missed. This could include filing your personal injury claim before the applicable statute of limitations runs out, or filing for lost wages within a reasonable time.

Weeks, Months and Years After the Accident

After the initial days following the accident, timelines become much grayer. Accident reconstruction, thorough accident investigation, review of medical records, and preparation of injury claims can all take months or even years to accurately complete. Moreover, in many cases, it is important to hold off on settling a personal injury claim until your doctors believe they understand the full extent of your injuries and your expected recovery. Early acceptance of a settlement offer could result in your accepting compensation that is far less than what you would otherwise need.

Throughout the investigation process, both sides of the personal injury lawsuit will collect information about the accident and your injuries. Negotiation talks may commence to discuss settlement of the injury claim or the claim may proceed to trial. The claim can be settled at any point up to the moment that the jury renders a verdict. After a settlement is accepted or verdict is rendered, it can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days for compensation to be received from the other party.

Contact Us

For more information on serious car accident injury claims or how I can help, please contact me to schedule a free initial consultation on contingency fee cases and case evaluation.