Texas has fault-based car insurance laws. Motorists are required to prove they will be able to compensate victims of accidents they cause. How? By purchasing a car insurance policy that meets minimum levels, as set by the state.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident and someone else is at fault, you can pursue compensation by filing a claim with that person’s insurance provider.
But, in order to file a claim, you’ll have to (a) confirm they have insurance and (b) get the policy information.
Your first priority after being involved in an accident in Houston is to confirm you’re relatively unharmed. Move to a safe spot away from traffic once you’ve done so.
Next, calmly check on the condition of the other drivers involved in the accident. If you believe another driver caused it, you may feel the impulse to confront them in anger.
Don’t. It’s imperative that you maintain your composure now, as difficult as that may be. Check to see if the other drivers involved need assistance, then exchange names, contact information, and insurance information. Avoid discussing who may or may not have caused the accident. You could say something that may be interpreted as an admission of fault.
Ideally, all others involved in your accident will provide their insurance information willingly. In fact, it’s required by law.
After asking the other driver for their information, you need to make sure that you call the police and report the accident. A dispatcher will send an officer to the scene.
Document the scene while you wait for the officer to arrive by taking pictures from various angles. Be sure to take pictures that capture the license plates of the other drivers’ vehicles first. Having these pictures will be very helpful if a driver decides to flee before an officer arrives.
Cooperate with the officer when they ask questions. See a doctor right away when they allow you to leave the scene.
The police officer who investigates the accident will collect the insurance information of all those involved. If someone refused to provide you with their insurance information at the scene, you can later call the police department to request it.
The police might not have the information on hand. But, they do have access to resources that can lead them to it. TexasSure is a website that allows law enforcement agencies in the state to check to see if vehicles are registered and insured. After an accident, the police can use this resource to see if the other motorist in your accident was insured. This information can be used to (a) locate the uncooperative driver and (b) put you on a path to financial recovery.
Calling the police is generally an easy way to find out if a driver you were involved in an accident with has insurance. However, it’s worth noting that you may also request this information from the DMV.
This is an option you may consider if the police don’t have the driver’s insurance information because they fled the scene. If you have any information about the driver, such as their license plate number or name, you can supply this information to the DMV.
You’ll have to prove you have a valid reason to see the information you’re requesting. For instance, you might have to explain that you were the victim of a hit and run. If you can provide some details about the vehicle and show a police report documenting the incident, the DMV might be able to help you out.
You don’t have to go through any of these steps on your own. In the days after an accident, you should really be focused on your recovery, anyway. That’s where an experienced personal injury lawyer can help.
Attorneys aren’t just specialists in the law – they’re professionals with access to incredible resources and contacts. By hiring an attorney, you’ll take the stress of getting money off of your plate. Your lawyer can investigate, work with experts, coordinate with law enforcement, and take other steps to secure necessary insurance information and put you on a path to financial recovery.