Navigating a Texas roadway by motor vehicle can definitely be a stressful experience. Whether you’re behind the wheel or riding as a passenger, if there’s a distracted driver nearby or an intoxicated or reckless motorist, your immediate risk for injury skyrockets. It’s not uncommon for people to go into shock after sudden collisions occur.
If you were to suffer life-threatening injuries in a motor vehicle accident, what happens directly thereafter would be largely out of your control. In fact, you might not even be conscious when rescuers transport you to the nearest trauma center. If you are coherent at the accident scene, there are several things to keep in mind regarding post-accident decisions.
Avoid legal complications
While your first instinct may be to get as far away from the scene of the accident as possible, the last thing you want to do is leave. Legal problems can definitely arise if you leave the site where you’ve been involved in a collision before responding police officers give you the okay to go.
Even if you feel well enough to depart on your own and you don’t see any signs of serious injury in anyone else that was involved, it is a misdemeanor in Texas to flee the scene of an accident.
Don’t get into a confrontation
It may be apparent to you that the collision was another driver’s fault. Maybe someone ran a stop sign or failed to yield a right-of-way at a merge point. Approaching another motorist in a confrontational manner is always a bad idea and may even place your personal safety at risk. In the near aftermath of a collision, it’s best to avoid discussing the issue with the other party involved, except perhaps to exchange insurance information.
It’s always best to document a collision
You have no way of knowing if another driver is telling the truth when he or she provides insurance information. Many people carry fake insurance cards. That’s why it’s always best to call 911 and report an accident. As soon as you do so, you’ve carried out the first step of documentation. If you fail to report the accident, you have no proof that it occurred.
Never decline medical attention
Injuries are not always immediately apparent after a car accident. In fact, sometimes, symptoms don’t surface until days or weeks later. Seeking immediate medical attention after an accident is a critical part of the documentation process. Consequently, if you decline medical attention because you feel okay, there will be no documentation of the near aftermath details and your condition at the time, if you wind up seeking medical examination because of late-developing symptoms down the line.
Don’t hesitate to seek support
Even minor collisions can cause emotional trauma. If you’re involved in a Texas motor vehicle accident that resulted in moderate to severe injuries, you’ll likely have physical, emotional and financial damages in the weeks and months that follow the incident. Avoid hesitation or procrastination when it comes to seeking additional support.
You may want to speak with a licensed counselor to help with emotional trauma. Many Texas accident victims also speak to others who are well-versed in personal injury law if they’re considering seeking financial recovery for their losses in court.