It should come as no surprise that automobile accidents are a growing problem in the United States. In fact, more than 35,000 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2015, and approximately $4 million more were injured. These statistics don't take into account minor injuries and property damage.
Given the number of accidents, it is likely that many of us will experience at least one car accident in our lifetimes - especially in the high-traffic areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Do you know what to do if you have an accident?
The Texas Department of Transportation recommends taking the following actions after a traffic collision:
- Check for injuries. Tend to individuals who are hurt and call 911 for medical assistance.
- If possible, move vehicles out of the roadway to a safe spot. If vehicles cannot be moved, set up flares or raise hoods to protect the scene.
- Exchange contact details, driver's license information, license plate and vehicle identification numbers and insurance information with all drivers involved in the crash.
- Write down details of the crash, including location, traffic and weather conditions. Obtain information from any witnesses.
- Contact the police if there are injuries or fatalities, if vehicles cannot be moved, if you suspect a driver was intoxicated, a driver leaves the scene or if one party does not have insurance. If a law enforcement office does not arrive to investigate, be sure to file a crash report with the Texas DOT within 10 days.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you need help with an accident claim. This person can serve as your advocate with the insurance companies and work for fair and full compensation.