The aftermath of a car accident can be just as hard to deal with as the initial squeal of brakes, rush of adrenaline and sickening crunch of metal. The moment when a negligent driver runs a red light is not the time to wonder how a crash will affect you and your family. If the accident causes an injury, you could be unable to drive your car or work for weeks. As scary as it is to imagine, it is better to prepare yourself for that possibility. You can take steps to protect and advocate for yourself.

If another driver causes an accident in which you sustain an injury, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Report the crash to the appropriate authorities. Whenever a car accident causes an injury, the Texas Department of Transportation recommends that you call the police. The police report can be a very helpful document in determining who was at fault for the accident. If you call from the scene of the accident, you are more likely to remember all the pertinent details of the incident. It may seem wise to wait until you know the full extent of the injury, but this increases your risk of forgetting important details. Keep in mind that you will have to complete a crash report within 10 days of the accident if an injury occurred but the police were not called.
  2. Document as much of the accident location and your injury as you can. An easy first step toward documentation is to take pictures. You should record images of the damage to your vehicle, the crash site and the injury. These pictures will be useful in filing an insurance claim. They could also be instrumental if the court becomes involved to determine fault for the accident. Another helpful detail can be eyewitness testimony. If anyone saw the accident happen, attempt to get her or his contact information.

These two steps can help smooth the settlement process so you can focus on recovering.