If you’re a resident of Houston or even just passing through, understanding what to do following a car accident is essential. From reporting the accident to understanding the implications on your record, this guide will walk you through the steps and address some commonly asked questions.
1. Immediate Steps after a Car Accident in Houston:
- Safety First: Ensure everyone is safe. If the accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic. Turn on hazard lights.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, some injuries don’t manifest symptoms immediately. In Texas, you typically have up to 72 hours to seek medical attention to claim insurance. However, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Who to Call After a Car Accident in Houston:
- Emergency Services: If there are injuries or the road is blocked, call 911 immediately.
- Houston Police Department: For non-emergencies, you’ll need a police report for insurance purposes.
- Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to start the claims process.
3. How to Find Out About Local Car Accidents:
- Check local news websites or their dedicated traffic sections.
- Houston’s local government or police department may have online incident reports or traffic updates.
4. Post-Accident Actions & Reporting in Texas:
- Exchange Information: Get names, addresses, insurance details, and license plate numbers from all involved drivers.
- Document the Scene: Take photos, note the weather, road conditions, and any potential witnesses.
- Report the Accident: In Texas, if there are injuries or damages surpassing $1,000, you need to report the accident to the Texas Department of Transportation.
5. Understanding the Implications of a Car Accident in Texas:
- Texas is an “at-fault” state, meaning the person responsible for causing the accident is liable for damages.
- If you’re not at fault and the other driver is uninsured, you can use your insurance’s uninsured motorist coverage (if you have it).
6. How Long Do Accidents Stay on Your Record near Houston, TX?
- Typically, accidents remain on your driving record for 3 years. This can affect insurance premiums and potentially employment opportunities if driving is a job requirement.
7. Near Misses – What To Do After Almost Getting Into a Car Accident:
- Stay Calm: Pull over safely if you need a moment to recover.
- Reflect on what caused the near-miss and how you can prevent it in the future.
8. Recovery After a Serious Car Accident:
- Recovery time varies based on the severity of injuries and the individual’s overall health. It can range from weeks to several months or even longer.
- Physical therapy, counseling, and regular medical check-ups might be necessary.
Car accidents, whether minor fender benders or major collisions, can be a jarring experience. Being prepared and knowing the steps to take can make the post-accident process smoother. Always prioritize safety and health, and when in doubt, seek legal advice to ensure you’re taking the right steps. Safe driving, Houston!