When you’ve been in an automobile accident, your entire world can be thrown out of order. You may be left seriously injured or even permanently disabled, or lost a loved one, and your car is destroyed. Both immediately after the accident and in the days to come, you have certain legal rights as a victim of a car crash that you need to know in order to best protect yourself.
Your Responsibilities After a Texas Car Crash
First and foremost, it’s important to know your responsibilities after a crash. For instance, you must stop your vehicle after an accident, otherwise you can be criminally charged with a hit-and-run. You must contact the police if anyone has been hurt, killed, or if more than minor property damage has occurred. You must also communicate with the other driver to exchange information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers, as well as any other relevant information.
However, you do not have to, and should not, offer small-talk or apologies the other driver, as this can come back to harm your legal position later on. Simply exchange information and keep your distance, if possible. The police may be able to assist you with this part.
Do remain on the scene to make sure that this information is exchanged and that anyone who needs medical assistance gets help before you leave. You have the right to medical assistance, too, should you need it. Health and safety always takes priority over everything else in an accident.
Your Rights After an Automobile Accident
Personal injury law is complex, and you have many rights you may not be aware of. As a victim, you have the right to seek compensation in a court of law for physical, financial, or emotional losses that you suffered as a result of another driver’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence. You may be able to seek damages for:
- Medical costs, including hospital bills, skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation.
- Any disability, temporary or permanent, caused by the accident.
- Damage to or loss of your personal property.
- Loss of income or earning ability in the future.
- Mental distress and agony, including the costs of therapy.
- Pain and suffering.
You always have the right to an attorney after an accident. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine what parties may be responsible for your accident, how to seek the compensation that you’re owed, and advise you of the ways that the other driver’s insurance company may try to trick you into giving up the money that you’re owed. The insurance company has no duty to tell you about the damages you may be able to receive or what your best options for compensation are.
Many people aren’t aware that they also have the right to refuse to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Many times, the opposing insurance company will call victims and ask for a recorded statement. In these situations, it’s often best to consult with your attorney before you agree to make a statement or accept a settlement offer.
Remember, the opposing insurance company is not there for your benefit. Anything you say could be used against you to diminish the value of your potential settlement or personal injury case. When in doubt, simply state that all discussion should be handled by your lawyer, hang up the phone, and call your attorney immediately.
When it comes to your rights after a car accident in Texas, the best protection is an experienced attorney. He or she will know what your legal rights are and how to best protect you.
Get Help After an Accident Now
To speak to a law firm with decades of experience helping car accident victims, reach out to Wayne Wright LLP today. We can help you get the medical care that you need while we navigate the complex legal process for you, so that you can focus on recovery. Call us by phone, use the live chat box, or click the contact link on this page to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation about your Texas car accident today.