Although most people picture a collision between two vehicles when they imagine a car accident, many collisions involve just one car. If you get injured in a single-vehicle crash in Dallas, do not assume you have no legal options. Someone else may be financially responsible (liable) for your losses. Take certain steps to protect your rights after a single-car crash.
You are still legally required to report a car accident to the police in Texas if it only involves your vehicle. Use your cell phone to call 911 immediately if it causes injuries, a passenger’s death or at least $1,000 in property damage. If you have injuries, request an ambulance. Remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Until a paramedic has cleared you to move, do your best to remain in place and limit your movements – especially if you feel pain, numbness or tingling in your back or spine. If you have a spinal cord injury, moving or twisting the wrong way could exacerbate the injury and trigger more serious effects, such as permanent paralysis.
When the police arrive, give the officer your side of the story. Do not assume you are at fault, however. Even if you were the only driver involved in the accident, there could be other elements you are unaware of that contributed to the collision, such as a defect with your vehicle or a roadway hazard. Admitting fault can automatically place liability for the accident with you, even without an investigation.
If you can, collect evidence before leaving the scene of the car accident. Use your cell phone or a camera to take photographs of the scene. Capture close-up images of the damage to your vehicle, as well as wide-lens shots of the entire scene. If you believe something at the scene contributed to your crash, such as an obscured road sign, take photographs of this, as well. If you cannot take pictures right away, return to the crash site as soon as possible – before the city has the chance to clean up or repair any hazards.
Do not delay in going to a hospital in Dallas to treat your car accident injuries. Waiting to see a doctor can make your injuries worse and can give your insurance company a reason to deny your claim. You may not notice the symptoms of an injury right away. Some injuries, including neck, brain and back injuries, have delayed symptoms. Your adrenaline from the car accident may also be masking symptoms. Always go to a hospital after a car accident, even if you believe you are uninjured.
Contact your auto insurance provider to report the collision. A representative will ask for details about the crash. Stick to the truth and do not elaborate more than is necessary to answer the questions asked. Again, do not admit fault for the accident. Wait for the insurance company to investigate and determine causation. Do not settle your car insurance claim until you have consulted with an attorney.
You may still be eligible for insurance coverage as the victim of a single-vehicle car accident. Your insurance policy may have coverage available if you have medical payment, collision or comprehensive insurance. You may also be able to file a third-party claim if someone else contributed to the accident. For example, you may have the right to bring a claim against the government for failing to maintain a safe roadway.
Speak to a car accident attorney in Dallas for professional assistance. An attorney can protect your best interests. A law firm can send investigators to the scene of your accident to determine the cause of the crash, for example, as well as identify third parties that may share fault for the collision. A lawyer can guide you through the entire legal process for the best possible outcome.