What to do at the Scene of a Car Accident
The Kishinevsky Law Firm is a personal injury law firm representing individuals who have been injured in car accidents and other accidents in the greater Houston area. If you have questions relating to a car accident injury claim, call our Houston car accident attorney today for a free consultation.1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation
Car accidents are unexpected and disorienting. One second you are driving along and the next you are jarred by a sudden impact as you feel your entire body shift in reaction to the force of several tons of metal colliding with your vehicle. Your body releases adrenaline as your “fight or flight” response kicks in. During these first early moments after the crash as you try to re-orient yourself and process what just happened, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation.2. Are You Seriously Injured? Is Anyone Else Seriously Injured? Is Anyone in Danger?
Determine whether you have any serious injuries, whether anyone else has any serious injuries, or whether anyone is in danger. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, call 911 immediately.3. Is It Safe for the People and Vehicles to Remain Where They Are? Is Traffic Being Blocked? Are the Vehicles in a Condition Where They can be Moved Safely?
Is there a significant risk that another car may come along and hit any of the vehicles or people involved if they remain where they are? Are any of the vehicles blocking traffic? Are the vehicles in a condition where they can be moved safely? In assessing whether your vehicle or other vehicles can be moved safely, consider both the condition of the vehicle and how far away the nearest safe place is.4. Document the Initial Crash Scene Before Moving Any Vehicles if You can do so Safely and Quickly; Otherwise Document the Crash Scene After Moving the Vehicles.
You should not put yourself or others in danger or unnecessarily delay moving vehicles. If you can quickly document the initial crash scene by taking photos or a short video, before moving the vehicles, you should do so. Otherwise, document the scene as best you can after moving the vehicles. Take photos of the damage to all the vehicles involved, the road conditions, the crash scene, and any other details that may be relevant. If the other driver appears to be intoxicated or does anything unusual such as throwing alcohol bottles out of their vehicle, make sure to document this.5. Exchange Information
Texas Transportation Code Chapter 550 requires all drivers at an accident scene to exchange information. You should get the following information from any other driver involved:
- Driver license (photograph the front and back), address, and phone number
- Insurance information: insurance company name and policy number. The easiest way to do this it to photograph the insurance card. When obtaining the other driver’s insurance, you should check to see whether the policy is current, whether the vehicle he/she is driving is listed on the policy, and whether he/she is listed on the policy as the policyholder. If the answer to one or more of these questions is no, it does not necessarily mean the other driver does not have valid insurance, but this may be a red flag.
- Vehicle license plate and general vehicle photos
Additionally, if there were any passengers involved in the crash or witnesses at the scene, you should get their name, address, and phone number. If any of the other driver(s) involved in the accident flee the scene, do not attempt to chase after them. Photograph their license plate if possible and call the police.Call the Police and a Tow Truck if Your Car is not Drivable
If there are no serious injuries at the scene or other emergencies requiring immediate attention, do not call 911 to summon the police. Instead, call the police non-emergency number. The non-emergency numbers and contact us pages for several law enforcement agencies in the greater Houston area are provided below.
- Houston Police Department: Non-Emergency Number: (713) 884-3131
- Harris County Sherriff: Non-Emergency Number: (713) 221-6000
- Montgomery County Sherriff: Non-Emergency Number: (936) 760-5800
- Sugar Land Police Department: Non-Emergency Number: 281-275-2020
- Fort Bend County Sherriff: Non-Emergency Number: 281-341-4665
- Bellaire Police Department: Non-Emergency Number: 713-668-0487
If you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident in the greater Houston area, before you talk to the insurance company, call the Kishinevsky Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Houston car accident attorney and see how the Kishinevsky Law Firm may be able to help you with your specific situation.