A Houston Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably have a lot of questions. You or a loved one may be injured, and you may not know what to do or where to start. Knowing what to do in these situations can be overwhelming. One person will tell you to do one thing. Someone else might tell you to do something completely different.
What should I do after a car accident?
Make sure to get the name, address, license number, registration, and contact information of every driver involved in the crash. Exchange insurance information with the other driver, including policy numbers.
Once you’ve exchanged information, you should also:
Get details about other vehicles involved in the crash
Document the year, make, model, license plate number, and VIN number of every vehicle involved in the collision. The VIN can be found at the corner where the dashboard and windshield meet.
Call the police
Always call the police after a crash, even if it’s just a fender bender. Take down the responding officer’s name and badge number and ask how you can obtain the crash report. An official crash report can prove to be a valuable piece of evidence when trying to win a car accident claim.
Take photos or videos
If it’s safe to do so, you should always take photos or videos of the crash scene from different angles. Be sure to show damage to every vehicle involved in the accident. You’ll also want to take pictures of any tire marks, damage to nearby buildings or structures, and any relevant street signs or traffic signals. If possible, try to document the weather conditions as well.
Talk to witnesses
If anyone witnessed your accident, see if they’re willing to provide a statement. Make sure to take down their name and contact information. Witness testimony is often a deciding factor in car accident claims.
Write down the details of your car accident
While it’s still fresh in your mind, it’s important to write down all the details about your crash, including the time and location of the accident, which way the vehicles were going when the collision occurred, weather conditions, road hazards, and any other relevant information about the crash.
How do I read my Texas car accident report?
The first page of your Texas car accident report will show the date, time, and location of your crash, including county name, city name, street name, and whether or not your accident took place at an intersection or in a construction zone. This page will also have information about each driver, passenger, bystander and vehicle involved in the crash. There will also be an “injury” code box indicating the type of injury, if any, a passenger sustained in the crash.
The second page will list any charges filed against a driver, passenger, or pedestrian at the scene of the crash along with a crash narrative and pictorial diagram of the accident scene. The order of events leading up to the collision and an officer’s opinion on how the crash occurred will also be on this page. This page also contains information about where any injured victims were taken, including ambulance unit and hospital identification information. If anyone was killed at the crash scene or within 30 days after the accident, the date and time of death will be included on this page of the report."
Page three of your crash report will have information about commercial vehicles involved in your accident. If a commercial vehicle (delivery truck, tractor-trailer, etc.) was involved in your crash, you will find the name, address and contact information for the commercial carrier. You will also find additional information about the cargo on the truck, vehicle weight and additional information about the commercial truck driver.
The fourth page of your Texas crash report explains many of the codes and terminology included in your accident report. Our law firm can explain these technical items and thoroughly analyze your accident report with you in person. The more information you have about your Texas car accident, the better.
What if the car accident wasn’t my fault?
If you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be entitled to compensation. When it comes to car insurance, Texas is a "fault" state. This means that the driver who caused the accident is generally considered responsible for paying the damages.
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Texas?
The amount of compensation you receive for your car accident will depend on the specific details of your crash. If you were injured in a collision that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages from missed time at work, pain and suffering, and more.
How do I make a car accident claim?
Texas is a "fault" car insurance state. In short, this means the driver responsible for causing the accident is generally considered responsible for paying the damages. Every driver in the state is required to carry car insurance, with minimum amounts of liability coverage. (You can also choose to add additional insurance, such as personal injury protection (PIP) or collision coverage.)
If you've been injured in an accident, you have different options for seeking compensation.
- File a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Do I need a car accident lawyer?
An experienced lawyer will investigate your accident and look for evidence of negligence that resulted in your crash and caused your injuries. A lawyer will know how to build a strong case and bring the insurance company to the negotiating table to reach a settlement that works for you. Often, when insurance companies see they have a strong case and are ready to fight, they will offer a favorable settlement to the accident victim.
How we can help you
When you hire an experienced car accident attorney from our Houston law firm, we can take care of everything so you can focus on what really matters – your recovery. While we realize you probably want to take time to recover from your accident, it's important to contact our law firm immediately to protect your rights. A delay could impact our ability to gather evidence in support of your claim.
We have extensive experience winning car accident cases, including ones involving:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Rear-end crashes
- Seat belt and airbag injuries
Our experienced attorneys will investigate and look for evidence of negligence that resulted in your accident. We know how to develop a strong case and bring the insurance company to the negotiating table to reach a settlement.
If they don’t want to negotiate, or if they try to suggest you were to blame for what happened, it can become necessary to take them on in court. Our experienced attorneys have won many court battles against insurance companies. We know what it takes to win.
In addition to past and future medical expenses and lost wages, you may be entitled to other damages. These can include compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering and any disfigurement. Our attorneys have the experience needed to thoroughly investigate your car accident, find out how it has impacted your life, and advocate for the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
At Smith & Hassler, an experienced personal injury attorney will assist you or your loved one with your case. Call (713) 739-1250 for your free personal injury consultation today.
Your initial consultation is free, and you don't pay us unless you win. Smith & Hassler – hard-working Texas car accident attorneys you can trust.