Houston Car Accident Law: The Basics

A car crash can change your life forever, and in Texas, these accidents have become too common. If you are involved in a car accident, it’s wise to hire a qualified, experienced lawyer with the right skill set and knowledge to help you comprehend all your legal options and take the most appropriate action. Here is what you should do once you get involved in a car crash.

Pull over, and get a professional to assess the injuries and damages

In Houston, just like all other areas in Texas, it’s important to stop your car at the scene of the accident whenever there is property damages, death, or injuries. You and the other drivers must remain at the scene, exchange the right information and offer reasonable help to the injured individuals. This reasonable help includes calling 911 immediately, transporting the injured to a nearby medical facility or even making transportation arrangements for the injured people to a hospital. It’s also wise to contact competent injury attorney Greg Baumgartner for legal guidance.

If there are no injuries, the next step is to assess the vehicles and find out if they can be moved from the accident scene. Where possible, move the vehicles to facilitate better traffic flow and to maintain safety. In case the vehicles can’t be moved, protect the scene by setting up flares or raising your hood. The Texas car accident law requires the drivers involved in the accident to share the following details;

  • Full names and addresses
  • The vehicle registration number
  • Driver’s license (if requested)
  • The name of the car’s insurance service provider.

Call the police in the following cases;

  • Someone was injured
  • The anticipated property damage amounts to $1000 or more
  • You suspect the other driver is intoxicated
  • The other driver lacks insurance cover
  • The other driver tries to leave the accident scene.

If the police are not called at the scene and the crash results in death, property damage worth more than $1000, or injuries, the law requires you to file a car crash report with the Texas Department of Transportation within a maximum of ten days.

Notify your insurance service provider

Houston drivers who get involved in car accidents must have indisputable proof of financial responsibility for their cars. An automobile insurance company often accomplishes this for the driver. Generally, the insurance covers a minimum of $30,000 per injured individual, $25,000 for property damages per accident, and a maximum of $6,000 per accident. In some cases, the coverage might be higher depending on your preferences.

It’s advisable to notify your insurer about the crash right away. However, that doesn’t mean that you should always accept their financial settlements, appraisals or estimates. Handling the insurance claim issues can be sometimes tricky. Hire a competent professional to help you protect your rights.

Determining fault and damages

If you suffered injuries from the car crash, you could seek monetary compensation for your loss. These damages include vehicle repair cost, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In most cases, determining who was at fault, the overall damages, and liability is a complicated process and always come to witness accounts of the accident and police reports.