Anderson Injury Lawyers | August 30, 2023 | Car Accidents
“Fender bender” is a term used to describe a minor car accident. However, very few car crashes are “minor” accidents. Every collision has the potential to cause injuries and property damage.
Fatal car accidents are in the minority, and property damage crashes make up the majority of traffic collisions in Texas. However, thousands of car accidents cause injuries ranging from mild to catastrophic.
Because fender benders might not cause apparent injuries or property damage at the accident scene, drivers can be confused about whether to call the cops for a fender bender in Fort Worth. Because what happens at the accident scene could impact the outcome of a personal injury case, drivers need to know what to do after a minor fender bender in the area.
Remain at the Accident Scene and Report the Crash
Even though you consider the crash a fender bender, you should stay at the accident scene. Texas traffic laws require you to report traffic accidents that meet any of the following criteria:
- There is property damage of at least $1,000
- Someone was injured in the accident
- The crash resulted in someone’s death
The quickest way to report a traffic accident is by calling 911. The operator will dispatch the appropriate law enforcement agency to the accident scene.
Even if there is minimal damage, you are required to stop your vehicle to exchange information with the other driver. Leaving the scene of a fender bender can result in fines and even jail time. A fender bender can cause a few thousand dollars in damages, so you likely meet the $1,000 threshold to report the crash.
Be Mindful of What You Say at An Accident Scene
Check on the other driver and anyone else involved in the crash. However, do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone. Saying you are sorry could be interpreted as admitting fault.
Instead, wait for the police officers to arrive. Tell them what happened, but do not embellish or try to skirt the truth.
While waiting for the police to arrive, you can collect evidence at the accident scene. Take photographs of the vehicles and the crash scene. Make a video of the entire accident scene to capture anything you missed taking photos.
If witnesses are present, ask them for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be very persuasive should the other driver try to dispute liability for causing the accident.
Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
Even a minor car accident can cause injuries. It is always best to be checked by a physician after a car accident. You might not need to go to the emergency room, but you should consider seeing your doctor within a few days. Medical records may prove critical to the success of any insurance or legal claims.
Call Your Insurance Company
Texas drivers are required to have minimum amounts of car insurance coverage. Call your insurance company to report the collision. If you do not call your insurance company within a reasonable time after the accident, the company could deny your claim if you need to file one.
When speaking to your insurance company, stick to the facts as you did with the police officer. It can be wise to avoid speaking with the insurance company for the other driver until you have spoken with a Fort Worth car accident lawyer.
What Comes Next After a Fort Worth Car Accident?
If you were injured, see a doctor and follow the doctor’s treatment plan. The other driver’s insurance company should pay for the repairs to your vehicle if the accident was the other driver’s fault. You can also file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims, which means you can file a claim against the driver responsible for your crash. In that claim, you will have the burden of proof. Most car accidents are caused because of negligence.
Proving negligence in a car accident case requires you to:
- Establish that the other driver had a legal duty of care. All drivers have a duty of care to use reasonable behavior and follow traffic laws.
- Prove that the driver failed to use reasonable care while operating the vehicle, which resulted in a breach of duty.
- Prove that the driver’s failure to use reasonable care was the direct and proximate cause of the car accident. For example, the driver was speeding or made an illegal lane change, resulting in the crash.
- Establish that you sustained harm and injuries because of the other driver’s behavior.
Proving causation, fault, and liability for a car crash can be challenging. You might consider hiring a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to handle the investigation to gather evidence and build a case against the other driver. You can request a free review to get more information.