A rear-end accident can cause an injury that interferes with the rest of your life, such as whiplash or a concussion. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end car accident, the driver that hit you may be financially responsible for your injuries and losses. Take the following steps to increase the chances of collecting the compensation the law entitles you to in San Antonio, Texas.
Pull Over and Check for Injuries
Texas’ hit-and-run law requires all drivers involved in auto collisions, minor or major, to stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible. You must pull over and check yourself and others for injuries. If someone is injured, you have a legal responsibility to render aid, meaning to call the police or drive the victim to the nearest hospital.
Report the Rear-End Collision to the Authorities
Texas law also requires you to report any car accident to the police that causes physical injuries, fatalities or more than $1,000 in property damage. You may also wish to call 911 from the scene of a more minor accident to receive an official report that documents the rear-end accident. Having the police at the scene of the accident can benefit you in many ways. For example, the other driver may receive a ticket for reckless behavior such as speeding, tailgating, driving drunk or driving while distracted.
Do Not Admit Fault
It is important not to admit fault for a rear-end collision. Even if you are the rear driver and will most likely take responsibility for the collision, do not admit fault to the other driver or the police. Claiming fault right away will eliminate the need for a crash investigation. If you do not admit fault, on the other hand, an investigation may find proof of other liable parties, such as the other driver’s shared fault.
If you can, take photographs while at the scene of your rear-end car accident in San Antonio. Capture pictures of the damaged vehicles, your injuries and some wide-lens shots of the entire crash scene. Photographs can paint a picture of how the collision occurred and who is liable, such as by capturing brake marks in the road or a hidden stop sign.
Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information with the other driver. Since Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, you will need to bring your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Ask for the name of the driver’s auto insurance company while still at the scene. You can also reference the police report for this information later.
Go to a Hospital in San Antonio
Get medical care immediately after a rear-end car accident. Common injuries suffered in these collisions are whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, back injuries, herniated discs, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and knee injuries. Prompt medical care can show an insurance company that you did your part to mitigate your physical damages.
Call the Insurance Company
Call the other driver’s insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Most insurance carriers have deadlines on filing. Be careful when discussing the accident with the insurance company, however, as the carrier will want to minimize your financial recovery. Do not admit fault or allow the claims adjuster to record a statement Also, do not sign anything sent to you or agree to a settlement offer without an attorney’s approval.
Consult With a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio
Your next step should be to contact a car accident lawyer in San Antonio to schedule a free legal consultation. You have nothing to lose in arranging a consultation and potentially a lot to gain. A lawyer can review your case to help you understand and protect your rights.
If the other driver is to blame for your rear-end collision, that driver’s insurance company will be financially responsible for your losses. An attorney can help you prove fault and negotiate for maximum financial compensation so you can move forward after a rear-end accident in San Antonio.