Phone: 281-491-1300        SugarLaw@LarryHarrison.com
What To Do If You Are In An Auto Accident
"We will work hard on your behalf to ensure a legal recovery that is consistent with honesty, ethics, and good business sense."
TAKE A PHOTO
It's worth a thousand words if not a million. And use your cell phone at the scene, of all vehicles involved, in the ambulance, and at the emergency room, on crutches, bandages, cuts, bruises, X-Rays, CT Scan, MRI's, wheelchair, on gurney, in hospital room etc. Take photos to "tell your story" and you only get one chance so when in doubt, take a photo.
CALLING THE POLICE:
Call the police, particularly if someone has been injured. A police report of the accident will help your insurance claim and any liability claims. Ask the officer how to get a copy of the accident report and note the officer's name and badge number. If you receive a traffic ticket, it does not mean you are guilty of a traffic offense or that you are responsible for the accident. Be aware that you may hurt your claim for damages from the other driver if you plead guilty. Consult your lawyer and insurance agent before pleading guilty to any traffic offense.
EXCHANGING INFORMATION WITH THE OTHER DRIVER:
Exchange information with the driver of the other car. You should get the following information:
  • Other drivers name, address, phone number, driver's license number, name of insurance company and policy number.
  • Passengers name, address and phone number.
  • Witnesses name, address and phone number.
  • Owner (if not the driver) name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number.
  • TAKE NOTES:
    Make notes about the time of day, weather conditions, road conditions, street lights and length of skid marks. Also make a diagram of the accident scene noting the location of the vehicles, cross walks, stop signs and traffic signals.
    DO NOT ADMIT RESPONSIBILITY:
    When you exchange information with the other driver and give facts to the police, don't admit responsibility for the accident. Things that you say can be used against you if there is litigation. You may think that you were responsible for the accident and later learn that the other driver caused it or that the other driver was equally at fault.
    TOWING YOUR CAR:
    Before you allow a tow truck driver to pick up your car, be sure to ask the driver how much it will cost and tell the driver where to take your car. Get the name, address and telephone number of the driver and the towing company.
    SEEING YOUR DOCTOR:
    Both you and your passengers should consider seeing a doctor after an accident. The doctor may recognize injuries, sometimes serious, that are not apparent to you. The charges for a doctor visit and medical treatment may be covered by your insurance. Don't settle claims from the accident until your doctor has advised you about the extent of your injuries.
    NOTIFYING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT:
    Call your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident. Your insurance company may have grounds to deny coverage if you fail to give prompt notice of the accident. Follow up the phone call with a written notice and save a copy for your files. The written notice should contain information about the date, time and place of the accident, with names and addresses of the other drivers, injured persons, passengers and witnesses. If you were at fault, your liability insurance should pay for any injuries or property damages. If the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance, your insurance may pay for damages to your car(collision coverage), your medical expenses (medical payment coverage) and even for your pain and suffering (if you have uninsured motorist coverage).
    CALLING YOUR LAWYER:
    If you are considering a lawsuit, or expect one to be brought against you, or if you received a traffic ticket, your lawyer can advise you of your rights and responsibilities. The sooner you call your lawyer the better, since witnesses may forget the details of the accident. Your lawyer can counsel you on how to respond to questions from insurance adjusters and help you recover compensation for your personal injuries and damages to your car.