Being involved in a car accident can be alarming and confusing. It can be easy to forget what information you need to exchange with the other driver in the adrenaline of the moment. It is important to exchange certain information, however, to abide by Texas’ state law as well as to protect your right to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and property repairs. In the aftermath of a car accident in Dallas, do your best to exchange the following information.
Texas Transportation Code Section 550.023 states that after striking another motorist or an unattended vehicle, you have a legal obligation to give your name and address to the owner of the other vehicle. You will exchange this information with the other driver(s) involved in the crash, or else you will leave your own information in a note affixed in a conspicuous place on an unattended vehicle after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner. The note should also include a brief description of the accident.
If requested and available, both drivers should show their driver’s licenses to the other party. You may take a photograph of the other driver’s license, if desired, or write down the driver’s license number. If the other driver does not have a driver’s license or it is not available, call the police to report the infraction, as driving without a license is a traffic violation in Texas. If the other driver does not request to see your license, you do not have to show it.
Exchange information about your vehicle with the other driver, as well. This includes a description of the make, model, year and color of the car, as well as the registration number and vehicle identification number (VIN), typically found on the dash of the car or the inside of the driver’s side door. You may also wish to write down the vehicle’s license plate numbers.
Finally, exchange insurance information with the operator of the other vehicle and anyone else injured in the crash. This includes the name of your motor vehicle liability insurance provider, as well as your policy number. Ask for the other driver’s insurance information before you leave the scene. If you discover that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, report it to the police.
You also have a duty to render aid to anyone injured in the car accident. This means to provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the car accident, including calling an ambulance or transporting the person to a hospital for medical treatment, if necessary.
If you leave the scene of a car accident that causes any injuries, deaths or property damage without fulfilling your responsibilities as a driver, you have committed the crime of a hit-and-run. In Texas, this crime can result in expensive fines, jail time and a misdemeanor conviction.
In Texas, the law requires you to report a car accident to the police if it causes more than $1,000 worth of vehicle damage or any injuries or deaths. Call the police immediately, while still at the scene of the crash. Check yourself and others for injuries. Then, take photographs and videos of the crash scene. Capture close-up shots of any property damage, as well as wide-lens shots of the entire accident scene.
Go directly to a hospital in Dallas after leaving the scene of the crash. Prompt medical care can help you recover from your injuries, as well as show an insurance company that you did your best to mitigate your losses. When you are ready, call your car insurance company to file a report of the crash. Then, contact a car accident attorney in Dallas for a free consultation about your legal rights. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the other driver.