What to do after a car accident?
When a person is in an auto accident, the first thing to do is to gather information. A lawyer calls it preserving the evidence. You need all the information about the driver of the other vehicle, or drivers if multiple cars are involved. Name, address, license plate, drivers license number, and insurance carrier. All of this information is obtained by the law enforcement officer investigating the accident. It is added to your information to produce an accident report. That report is the officer’s written opinion of who is at fault, and who received a traffic citation. A copy of that report can be obtained within a few days of the accident from the officer’s police department.
Of course, if you are injured to the point that you cannot get this information, hopefully, a passenger will help out. If not, you will need to rely upon the accident report. You also need to take pictures of your vehicle that show the damage from the accident. You will also need copies of the pictures taken by the body repair shop, and a copy of their repair estimate.
All of this information is crucial when you speak with an Austin car accident lawyer. That attorney will want to know all of the above plus more. This is where good record keeping will be rewarded with a larger insurance settlement. You need to document all medical treatment, including dates, locations, and all tests and medicines prescribed. That lawyer can obtain any information you are unable to provide.
The best way to make certain that the Austin car accident lawyer you choose to represent you can do the best job possible is to keep a diary or log. Start with the date of the accident and go forward. For each day, write down anything that involves the accident. This includes all medical treatment, all days when you cannot work with documentation of the lost wages, all trips, and mileage related to the accident, and any cost associated with your injuries. An example would be a trip you had to cancel due to your inability to travel, and the non-refundable costs you incur.
Texas law has what is called modified comparative negligence. That means that your recovery will be reduced by any amount that can be attributed to your own negligence. For example, if the accident was 90 percent the fault of the other driver, and 10 percent your fault, then a recovery of $10,000 would be reduced by $1,000. This needs to be kept in mind when putting together the accident package and reconstructing the accident. Your lawyer will assist you with this.
One last item is the pain. It is important to document your pain each and every day in your notebook. You will not remember how much it hurt, or the numbers of days you are in pain. This is just important to document as your trips to the doctor.