The First 72 Hours After an Accident
Oct. 31, 2022
Being involved in a traffic accident is never an easy situation. It can sometimes be a traumatic experience. Nevertheless, what you do the first 72 hours after an accident are crucial to ensure your safety, well-being and chances for recovery .
At my firm, Rick Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law, we have the experience and tools necessary to assist you with all the complications after an accident. We enjoy helping our clients through hard times and have the comprehensive skills and abilities in our practice to succeed. If you are injured in an automobile accident, trucking accident or motorcycle accident, contact my firm immediately. I proudly serve clients in Bryan, College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Madisonville, Caldwell, Washington County, Grimes County, Burleson County, and Madison County, Texas.
What Do I Do After an Accident?
Being injured in an accident can be a very confusing situation. There are plenty of things going on around you. You may find yourself dazed or confused. What you do in the first 72 hours after an accident can be vital to get the medical and rehabilitative attention that you need and ultimately the compensation to which you are entitled to pay for your medical care, for your lost wages or other income and for pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Not all accidents cause injuries that require medical care. However, it is always good to seek medical attention and evaluation as a preventive measure if you have been involved in an accident. You may feel physically okay, but some injuries take time to manifest themselves and you may not know the extent of injuries you sustained in the wreck. I always advise my clients to seek medical treatment and get checked out, even if it is only a precautionary measure. Most importantly, you must document your medical treatment, rehab, and hospital visits for legal purposes and for insurance. Your auto insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will cover emergency room visits following an accident.
Call the Police
Attempting to figure out what happened in an accident on your own may leave you with no evidence of the true facts if you have to go to a jury trial. Ultimately, by trying to investigate an accident on your own, you may come to an incorrect conclusion and also make yourself vulnerable to other party making false or exaggerated claims about injuries. Moreover, without an independent investigation and documentation of it, you may have no way of proving that the other party’s claims are false.
Therefore, calling the police is among the first things you should do if you are involved in an accident. Involving the police goes a long way to help you to document everything that occurred. Furthermore, the police usually draft a report detailing what happened in the accident. If the other party is at fault, a police report can help you to document your side of the story.
A police report is just one type of documentation you may need to file an insurance claim or to respond to any unfair claims against you. Proper documentation is crucial, especially if the other party decides to sue you. Here is some of the documentation that I recommend that my clients collect following an automobile accident:
The other driver’s information. We strongly recommend getting the other driver’s contact information (name, number, address, and license number). This information should also be listed on the police report. Additionally, you and the other party can exchange insurance information cards. If you do so, we can more easily contact the other driver’s insurance company to file a claim on your behalf against the negligent party.
Witness information. Oftentimes, there are witnesses at the accident scene. Witnesses can provide you with a very convincing way to corroborate your version of the events leading up to an accident. However, you must get witnesses' contact information (at least a name and number). Please note that witnesses may not want to talk to the police and avoid getting involved. So, sometimes it is up to you to make sure you get witness contact information.
Police report. A police report can be crucial to document who is at fault in an accident. Insurance companies often base their liability decisions on the police report. Police reports are generally available 48 to 72 hours following an accident. Be sure to order it and check it for accuracy. If important information is missing, you can request the report to be amended or we can help you do that.
Medical records. It is key to getting copies of your medical records and documentation of your emergency room visits. We strongly recommend getting copies of them as soon as possible. Once you hire us, we can get certified copies of these records to help prove your personal injury claims.
Your personal account of an accident. You will need to provide your account of the accident to the police. However, you may be unable to do so if you are transported to the emergency room. Sometimes, it is necessary to ask that the police report be amended to include your account of the accident. We urge potential clients to contact us to help them amend the police reports when necessary and file written and recorded statement with the insurance companies. It helps us help you when you provide us with as much evidence as possible to ensure you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Ideally, you should call your own insurance company at the accident scene shortly after the accident. Your own insurance company can help you document the accident, particularly if you have been injured or transported to a hospital by ambulance. However, doing so at the time of an accident is not always possible. So, we always recommend to potential clients that they call their insurance company as soon as possible after the accident if they were not able to at the time of the accident. While most insurance companies do not have a specific timeframe in which to report an accident, we recommend that you do it as soon as possible. Please note that some states have a statute of limitations for claims for personal injuries. For instance, Texas law allows you up to two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages cause by an accident. After that, you can no longer file a claim and your claim in barred.
Please remember that the longer you wait to involve an experienced personal injury attorney, the more difficult it may be for you to make your claim. It is beneficial to contact an attorney within the first 72 hours of an accident. This timeframe is short enough to allow us to get all the documentation we need to file notice of an initial claim and ultimately get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Speak With a Dependable, Experienced Attorney
It is especially important to hire an attorney if you have been seriously injured or require ongoing medical treatment. A personal injury attorney can help you review your options and get the compensation to which you are entitled. At Rick Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law, we have the right legal team to help you get the compensation you deserve and the resources to get the treatment you need. Contact my firm today to arrange a consultation. Together, we will find the best way to help you get through tough times. We proudly serve clients in Bryan, College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Madisonville, Caldwell, Cameron, and other towns throughout the Brazos Valley including Washington County, Grimes County, Burleson County, Milam County, Robertson County and Madison County, Texas.