If you’ve been an auto accident in San Antonio, Dallas, or El Paso, Texas, and you’re at fault, there are some specific steps you need to take in order to make sure that you protect your rights:
Say as little as possible at the scene
Don’t admit fault to passengers or the other driver until you have a chance to talk to your independent agent. Do, however, be honest with the police if they ask you what happened.
Report the accident to your insurance company
Call the insurance company as soon as you can and report that you’ve had an acident.
Call the police
If the accident was minor, the police may not show up on the scene, but most states require that police are least informed if a car accident has happened and has caused bodily injury or property damage that’s greater than $500-$1000. Protect yourself and call the police right away if anyone complains of being hurt or if there is significant damage to the other vehicle.
If you have a camera or camera phone with you, take as many pictures as you can, including those which show damage to both vehicles, before you leave the scene. Take pictures of things like speed limit signs or stop signs, as well.
Get witness names
Get the names of passengers (including people in the other car) and the driver. If other witnesses like those external to either car (on the sidewalk, for example) so the accident, get their names and contact information if you can.
Talk to a lawyer
This is an area where you have to be very careful. Your insurance company will want to refer you to one of its own attorneys, but this is a double-edged sword. Although it may be helpful to you, that lawyer will generally have the insurance company’s best interests in mind. Insurance companies are legally obligated to make sure they consider your interests equal to theirs, but that may also set up a conflict of interest. In other words, the insurance company may want to settle a claim with the injured party for certain amount and leave you with out-of-pocket expenses. Hiring your own attorney may be advisable, depending on the circumstances (and again, you may or may not be able to hire your own attorney, depending on the specifics of your policy).