Sometimes car crashes are unavoidable, but many times they are completely avoidable or at least able to be minimized. When you are on the road, it is important to know what to do, whether it is to stay safe and avoid crashes to know what to do if you are involved in a car accident. Most crashes in Texas are caused by the following, according to the Department of Transportation:
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Failure to yield;
- Following too closely (tailgating);
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
Along with avoiding the above driving habits, you can also prevent a crash by:
- Slowing down in poor conditions;
- Looking both ways before entering an intersection;
- Signaling every turn and lane change.
If you have gotten into a crash, it is important to follow these steps:
- Check for injuries;
- Move your car off of the road, either to the shoulder or further if possible. Then, you can exchange information with the other driver such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information;
- If you cannot move your car, signal the crash with flares or by putting up your hood;
- Record the location of the crash and get contact information from witnesses;
- Call the police if there is an injury, if the vehicles cannot be moved, if a driver is intoxicated, if a driver has no insurance, or if a driver flees the scene.
Sometimes when the accident is not serious, people choose not to file a report or call the police and settle the damage on their own to avoid legal penalties. There are certain incidents though, in which you should definitely file a report. If you do not file, you could end up paying a $500 fine plus court costs. You must file within 10 days if:
- The accident caused injuries;
- Damage has the potential to exceed $1000;
- There are challenges with the other driver such as intoxication, fleeing, or lack of insurance.
If you have gotten into an car crash and you do not know if you need to file a report or you are facing legal issues because of the accident, contact a Texas accident attorney. Located in New Braunfels, Tex., the Bettersworth Law Firm is full of great attorneys to assist you in court today.