What to Do After a Fender Bender in Texas
Even a minor accident can be a pain in the neck, both literally and figuratively. After a fender bender accident in Texas, there are some steps that should be followed right away to ensure your safety and well-being, and to protect your interests in any claims resulting from the accident. Here is what to do after a fender bender in Texas and if you have any further questions, speak with a knowledgeable Austin car accident attorney.
Remain at the Scene
No matter how minor the accident may have seemed to you, Texas law requires you to stop at the scene of an accident, even if you believe it was not your fault or the damage was negligible. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in steep fines, even if the accident was the other driver’s fault and there was little or no damage. It is a good idea to say very little to the other driver. If you say, “I’m sorry,” that could be taken as an admission of fault.
Call the Police
If you are not injured, find out if the other driver was injured and call the police. Let them know where the accident occurred and if anyone is injured. It is important to get the police involved in even a minor accident. It can take time for some injuries to become apparent, or the other driver could later claim injuries after seeming to be uninjured at the scene. A police officer will gather the necessary information for filing a claim and makes a neutral report of what happened in the accident. Keep your comments restricted to just the facts of the situation. Request a copy of the accident report and exchange information with the other driver.
Take Necessary Safety Precautions
While waiting for the police to arrive, take precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of the other motorists near the scene. In many places in Texas, the law requires you to move your vehicle off the roadway if it is reasonably possible to do so. If moving the car will not worsen any injuries or damage to the vehicles, you should move the vehicles off the road. In any case, you should turn on your hazard lights, if possible, and set out warning flares or triangles if available and you are unable to get out of the roadway.
Photograph the Scene
Pictures of the scene of the accident are important for providing objective evidence for the conditions at the time of the accident. It is a good idea to take pictures of both vehicles, especially of any damaged areas. If you have visible injuries, take pictures of those as well.
Call Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident to let them know about the incident. Failing to notify your insurance company about an accident can result in denial of claims or a delay in getting compensation for repairs or medical expenses. Regardless of who is at fault, you should inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
Following these steps should ensure that no further harm comes from the accident and that your rights and interests are protected in any claim following the fender bender.