Archive for the ‘Auto Accident’ Category

Houston’s Most Dangerous Road to Receive $28 Million Upgrade

Car speeding at night in city

The federal grant is the largest grant any city received in Texas.

The City of Houston has announced a major overhaul to one of its most dangerous roadways, as the federal government has pledged $28.7 million to enhance safety measures on a seven-mile stretch of Bissonnet Street, according to Chron.com.

The project, which will focus on the stretch of Bissonnet between S. Dairy Ashford Road and Hillcroft Avenue, aims to reduce the number of fatal accidents on the roadway, which city data shows has a higher death toll than any other street in Houston.

Houston is among 510 communities nationwide to receive funding for safety improvements through “Safe Streets and Roads for All,” a federal grant program announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that awarded a total of $800 million in grants.

“The project will help reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries along the corridor, which travels directly through the underserved communities of Alief-Westwood, Gulfton, and Braeburn,” DOT officials wrote in the project’s description.

Upgrades are a welcome change.

The advocacy group LINK Houston, which advocates for equitable transportation access, has welcomed the much-anticipated safety improvements. LINK Houston has long been pushing for a robust and equitable transportation network and has named the intersection one of the city’s most dangerous (No. 8 on the organization’s priority list).

“It’s about time,” LINK Houston’s Gabe Cazares said. “It’s about time that every level of government use every resource available to them to make sure people stop dying on Texas roads.”

The initiative aligns with the city’s “Vision Zero” mission and aims to reduce traffic accidents and improve safety for motorists and pedestrians along Bissonnet Street. This particular stretch of road, which is part of Houston’s High Injury Network, has seen a disproportionate number of fatal crashes and serious injury incidents compared to other city-owned streets.

According to ABC 13, upgrades to the stretch of road are scheduled to begin in 2025 and are set to be completed by 2028. The revamp will feature wider sidewalks, multi-use paths, new traffic signals, and pedestrian crossings designed to lower dangerous speeds. The new design will aim to create a safer and more accessible environment for all street users.

Bissonnet Corridor Fatal and Serious Injury Crash Statistics (2014-2021)

According to data published in the Bissonnet Corridor Safe Streets Project application, from 2014 to 2021, there were 19 fatalities and 149 severe injuries due to crashes on the Bissonnet Corridor. Of those 19 deaths, 11 were pedestrians, and 8 were classified as motorists (drivers, passengers, motorcyclists).

For serious injuries, there were 111 suffered by motorists, 35 by pedestrians, and 3 by bicyclists.

With a fatality and serious injury crash rate of more than 18 per mile over the eight years of analyzed data, this stretch of road affects a significant portion of the city’s population. Over 135,286 residents, or 6% of Houston’s total population, live along Bissonnet Street. In addition to these residents, the area is home to 19 schools and over 25,000 workers.

The grant application states that commuting along Bissonnet Street is especially challenging for those who rely on walking, biking, or public transit, with 8% of commuters using these modes of transportation. The #65-Bissonnet bus route, which carries an average daily ridership of 4,055 people, is one of METRO’s busiest and most important routes, and it is slated to be upgraded as part of the Safe Streets Project.

The project’s overall goal is to make Bissonnet Street safer for all who live, work, and travel along it.

Contact a Houston car accident lawyer if you’ve been injured.

In the aftermath of a crash, your focus should be on your recovery, not navigating the often-complex claims process. With this in mind, it is crucial to have an advocate who understands the ins and outs of securing full compensation for damages sustained.

At Smith & Hassler, Attorneys At Law, our car accident attorneys possess the knowledge and experience to manage all the details of your claim, allowing you to focus solely on your recovery. Whether a resolution is reached through a settlement or a jury verdict, our team is committed to pursuing the maximum possible recovery on your behalf.

To learn how an experienced Houston car accident lawyer can help you, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

How to pursue a claim after a rear-end car accident

Rear-end collision

Even though rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, no one ever expects to get rear-ended and injured. Rear-end crashes are almost always the result of negligence and typically occur at intersections, stop signs, and during traffic jams. This usually makes establishing fault very easy. For example, if you were hit from behind by another driver while you were legally stopped at a red light, the other driver is almost certainly at fault. The driver who hit you could have been texting, speeding, or driving while impaired.

While establishing fault in a rear-end crash usually isn’t difficult, dealing with the at fault driver’s insurance company and getting appropriate compensation for your injuries is a different ballgame. That’s why it’s important that you consult with an experienced attorney who can gather the facts, build your case, and advocate for your best interests.

Linking your rear-end collision to your injury

Rear-end accidents often cause injuries that require medical treatment, even when they occur at low speeds. The most common injury linked to this type of crash is whiplash, which occurs when the victim’s head jerks back-and-forth in a rapid, whip-like motion, causing the soft tissue in the neck to become overstretched and damaged.

People who sustain whiplash in a rear-end collision often don’t realize that they’re injured until days later. Common symptoms include neck pain and stiffness; loss of neck mobility; tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, and arms; tingling in the arms and hands; fatigue; dizziness and vertigo; difficulty focusing; and difficulty sleeping.

If you did not experience these symptoms prior to your accident, your attorney can help prove that your condition was a result of the crash. This is why it’s critical that you see a doctor as soon as possible to get a proper medical evaluation and diagnosis. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the easier it will be for the insurance company to argue that your injury isn’t that serious.

Whiplash is typically treated with heat and cold applied to the neck, pain medication, and rest. It can take several months to make a full recovery. During that time, you may have to avoid working and engaging in certain physical activities. In high-speed rear-end collisions, it’s possible for crash victims to sustain traumatic brain injury, broken bones, lacerations, serious spinal injuries, and damage to internal organs.

Gathering the evidence

Before your attorney negotiates a settlement with the insurance company, your accident should be investigated. Even when it’s clear who caused the crash, the other driver’s insurance company may try to place some of the blame on you so that they can offer you less in compensation. They may even attempt to blame the weather or roadway conditions for the crash rather than the actions of the other driver.

Furthermore, Texas is an “at-fault” or “tort” state. That means a burden of proof of negligence exists when litigating your case. Through an in-depth investigation, your attorney can find evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. Evidence can be gathered by:

  • Interviewing witnesses and asking them what they saw.
  • Obtaining electronic records from the other driver’s cellphone company.
  • Measuring the tire marks in the road (or lack of tire marks) to determine how fast the other driver was traveling.
  • Obtaining video footage from surveillance cameras or witness dashcams, if possible.
  • Getting a copy of the official police accident report.

Your attorney will also need to calculate the total cost of all your accident-related losses, including but not limited to:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages if you can’t work
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Contact our Houston lawyers if you were hurt in a rear-end crash

The car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler have more than 30 years of experience fighting for injured crash victims throughout the greater Houston area. Our passionate and professional legal team is committed to helping victims and their families recover every penny owed to them in compensation. If you were hurt in an accident, contact our law firm online or call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

How to drive defensively around reckless drivers

Houston auto accident attorney

Reckless drivers rarely ever use caution on Texas roads, and it’s the good, responsible drivers who often pay the price when serious crashes occur. Thousands of people are killed in crashes across Texas each year, because of reckless drivers. Several thousands more suffer serious injuries.

We have all seen these drivers zipping down the highway, weaving through traffic, or engaging in grossly negligent behavior at some point. It’s not hard to spot these drivers on the road with enough attentiveness and awareness. While you can stay safe by keeping a safe distance from them, a crash could be unavoidable.

Common reckless driving behaviors

Knowing which drivers to keep your distance from isn’t difficult. All it takes is to be aware of the following actions and keep your distance when you see them:

  • Driving too fast when road conditions are unsafe: Whether it’s during a traffic jam, roadside construction, a rainstorm, or other hazardous conditions, reckless drivers often drive at speeds that are not safe and prudent.
  • Disregarding the safety and rights of other road users: All drivers are expected to give others on the road the right-of-way. Failure to do so can lead to a serious crash and injure or kill others on the road. Not only do reckless drivers often refuse to yield the right-of-way, they too often ignore the rights of bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians and treat them as a nuisance.
  • Failing to obey traffic laws: When some drivers are in a rush, they may deliberately blow through red lights or stop signs. They may also make illegal turns or travel well above the posted speed limit.
  • Alcohol-impaired driving: Alcohol causes impaired judgment, decreased reaction time, and decline in physical and cognitive control. The degree of impairment depends on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration, which at 0.08 percent is illegal.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: Distracted driving has been one of the main causes of serious and fatal crashes across Texas and the United States. In 2018, 2,841 people died in crashes nationwide due to distracted driving.

What should I do if I was injured?

If you or a loved one was injured by a reckless driver, the Texas car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler, Attorneys At Law can help you pursue a claim against the at fault driver and his or her insurance company.

Our legal team is committed to helping injured motorists recover medical bills, lost income, and other damage accrued from your crash. To learn about how we can help you maximize your compensation, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation. We serve clients in the greater Houston area.

Best ways to prevent drowsy driving on long trips

Houston auto accident attorney

Feeling tired behind the wheel is something we can all relate to. Most drivers have felt heavy eyelids and struggled to stay awake at some point in their lives.

Some people are more prone to drowsy driving than others. These people usually include commercial truck drivers, business travelers, night-shift workers, parents of young children, people who take sedative medications, and people with undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorders.

For everyone else, drowsy driving can happen after a night of inadequate sleep or a long driving trip. One study that was conducted in 2000 found that staying awake for 17-19 hours within any given night can have a similar effect to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent.

A BAC of 0.05 percent is considered “buzzed driving.” Think about how of great of a chance buzzed drivers have of being involved in a crash in comparison to sober drivers. The likelihood of being involved in a crash is also high among drivers who don’t get enough sleep.

Long-term drowsy driving safety tips

Lack of sleep can be especially problematic when embarking on a long driving trip. BMW’s Changing Lanes podcast discusses the factors that can lead to drowsy driving and the many ways it can be prevented on long driving trips.

Here are some long-term prevention tips shared on the podcast:

  • Be sure to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep before driving on a long trip.
  • Be aware of the warning signs of drowsy driving. These often include frequent yawning, frequent blinking, heavy eyelids, poor concentration, wandering thoughts, memory loss, restlessness and difficulty staying within the lines of the road.
  • Take 20-minute naps every four hours in a parking lot or rest stop.
  • Avoid driving between 2-5 a.m. and between 1-3 p.m., when the body is naturally programmed to sleep.
  • Take frequent breaks by getting out, walking around and getting fresh air.
  • Avoid driving on an empty stomach or after eating too much.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or during a long trip, as this can induce drowsiness.
  • Listen to music or have a conversation with a passenger to stay mentally active.
  • Avoid taking certain medications that can cause drowsiness before a long trip.

Short-term fixes to stay awake

For drivers who may be experiencing drowsiness, but only need to stay awake for a short amount of time, the podcast offers these short-term fixes:

  • Consume sugar or caffeine for a temporary energy boost, but never rely on this method to stay awake.
  • Roll down the window for a short boost of oxygen, which can temporarily increase alertness.
  • Chew on gum to temporarily increase blood flow to the brain.
  • Listen to loud music to stay mentally engaged temporarily.

What should I do if I was injured in a drowsy driving car accident?

If you were hurt in a drowsy driving crash, you may be overwhelmed with high medical bills. In addition, you may be dealing with the emotional and financial devastation of not being able to work or engage in certain activities.

That’s why it’s important that you speak to an experienced Texas car accident attorney who can help you rebuild your life after a crash. Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law can fight to help you recover all economic and non-economic damages owed to you. We have been serving crash victims in the Houston area since 1989. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our law firm online.

5 Dangerous Driving Habits That Lead to Accidents

Houston auto accident attorney

In Houston and throughout Texas, car accidents are a frequent occurrence. People’s lives can be changed in an instant. They are seriously injured and need medical treatment. They may not be able to work or take part in their usual activities. The medical expenses add up quickly and they are left to fight with the insurance companies over compensation.

Why do car accidents happen? Most of the time, they are caused by negligent drivers practicing dangerous driving habits.

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is against the law in Texas, but that hasn’t stopped many people from doing it. There are other types of distracted driving, too. Some drivers talk on the phone or read social media posts. Others adjust dashboard controls or use a GPS while driving. There are some drivers who don’t see a problem with eating or drinking while on the road.

The problem is that engaging in these or other activities while driving takes the driver’s eyes off the road. It may only be for a few seconds, but that is more than enough time for a driver to fail to see a car stopping suddenly, or a car pulling in front of them.

Speeding

We’ve all seen drivers going way too fast – on the highway, on streets and on back roads. Whether the speed limit is 75 mph or 35 mph, exceeding that limit can easily lead to a crash.

The speed limits are set for a reason. Those are the top speeds at which a vehicle can be driven safely. Traffic conditions can change quickly, and drivers need to be able to respond. Driving above the speed limit makes it more difficult to control a vehicle, making it much harder to avoid a collision if a driver needs to quickly slow down or come to a complete stop.

Reckless Driving

There are many drivers who seem to think that state driving laws don’t apply to them. These are the drivers who weave in and out of traffic on the highway. They pass other cars on the wrong side of the road or suddenly change lanes without signaling. They speed up to try to beat the light. If there’s heavy rain, they don’t even think about slowing down. Then there are the tailgaters who are following much too closely. These are all dangerous driving behaviors that put others at risk.

Driving Under the Influence

Too many people still think they’re OK to drive after having a few drinks. Alcohol, prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines and illegal drugs can all have powerful effects. They can reduce the ability to focus, negatively affect judgment and slow reaction times. Driving under the influence of any of these substances greatly increases the risk of a crash.

Fatigued Driving

This can happen when drivers don’t get enough sleep or spend long hours on the road. A driver who is fatigued is not fully alert and may be slow to recognize and respond to changes in traffic conditions. Fatigue also slows reaction time, making it more difficult for a driver to prevent a crash with another car.

Since 1989, Smith & Hassler has been fighting for the rights of people injured in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. If you’ve been injured in the Houston area, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

The 10 Most Dangerous Intersections In Houston

Houston auto accident attorney

Everybody knows that busy intersections can be dangerous places for pedestrians and bicyclists. One negligent driver can cause an accident that leaves someone seriously hurt. LINK Houston, a non-profit organization that advocates for transportation options for underserved communities, set out to answer one question.

What are the 10 most dangerous intersections for people walking or biking in Houston?

LINK Houston analyzed 12,707 crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists that occurred in the Houston area from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017, using data from the TxDOT Crash Records Information System (CRIS).

So what did they find?

The 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in Houston

  • Fannin & Pierce (Downtown, near Midtown)
  • Ranchester & Bellaire (Sharpstown)
  • Westheimer & S Dairy Ashford (Eldridge West Oaks/Briar Forest)
  • Long Point & Gessner (Spring Branch West)
  • Westpark Dr & US 59 South (Gulfton/Mid-West/Sharpstown)
  • Old Spanish Trail & 288 South (AstroDome Area)
  • Fondren & West Bellfort (Greater Fondren Southwest)
  • Bissonnet & Wilcrest (Alief)
  • West & Airline (Greater Greenspoint)
  • Bellaire & S Gessner (Sharpstown)

The study found that during the time period analyzed, there were seven crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists each day on average. There were 618 fatalities and 1,634 people seriously injured.

What types of car accidents happen at intersections?

Houston intersections see countless cars traveling in several different directions every day. Not surprisingly, they are also the location of many car accidents in Houston. One of the most common types are T-bone accidents. The front of one car crashes into the side of another, creating the shape of the letter “T.” They often happen when one car is making a turn.

Other types of car accidents happen at intersections, too. They include:

  • Rear-end accidents – The front of one car crashes into the back of another.
  • Head-on collisions – One car veers into another lane and crashes head-on into an oncoming car.
  • Multi-vehicle accidents – There is a chain reaction of crashes at intersection involving multiple drivers.

It only takes one negligent driver to cause an intersection accident that injures a pedestrian or bicyclist – or another driver or passenger. Common causes of intersection accidents include speeding, distracted driving (such as texting), reckless driving, fatigued driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What types of injuries happen in intersection accidents?

People involved in intersection accidents can suffer broken bones or injuries to the head, neck or back. In more serious cases, they can suffer traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury. Medical treatment may involve surgery, hospitalization, medication and physical therapy.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are at greater risk of suffering severe injuries because they have no protection in a crash. As a result, recovery from their injuries may take months or even longer. They may even be left with a permanent disability, and medical expenses can quickly add up.

If you were injured in a Houston intersection accident, it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law have been serving the injured in Houston since 1989. We have the experience and resources to fight back against insurance companies and get results. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

GHSA study calls for treatment for impaired drivers

Houston auto accident attorney

The good news: Drunk driving deaths in 2018 were at their lowest rate – 29 percent – since the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration began compiling the data in 1982. The bad news: A fatality still happens once every 50 minutes, which is about 29 a day.

A report on the subject, High-Risk Impaired Drivers: Combating a Critical Threat,” recently was released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Responsibility.org, a liquor industry drunk driving prevention group. It says offenders lack self-control while meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or higher. These drivers were involved in 60 percent of impaired fatalities in 2018.
  • Driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. The number of these drivers has climbed 16 percent in the past 10 years.
  • Having more than one previous DUI arrest. Repeat offenders are involved in about one-third of impaired fatalities each year.

Fines and jail terms not enough

Obviously, offenders need to be punished, particularly if they cause damage, injuries and, at worst, fatalities. In addition to fines and jail time, the study calls for “individualized justice,” which criminal justice experts say is more efficient at deterring bad behavior.

The key, the study says, is treating underlying issues that plague impaired drivers. That means screening, assessment and testing drivers for drugs besides alcohol. Currently, they believe, many drivers escape detection because they are not tested.

“Right now, our approach is to catch, convict and punish the high-risk impaired drivers and then release them. It’s a cookie-cutter approach that doesn’t treat the underlying problem,” said Chris Swonger, CEO of Responsibility.org. “Instead, we need to identify the root cause of each individual’s behavior and then determine what treatment, along with sanctions, should be administered so that we break this cycle and prevent impaired driving deaths.”

Victims should not have to pay, too

Treating people with substance abuse problems is a noble endeavor. It doesn’t help you, however, if you are the victim of a drunk driver. While the offender is getting help for their addiction, you may be injured, out of work and unable to support your family. The bills are piling up while an insurance company, knowing your financial situation, tempts you with a settlement that does not come close to meeting your short- or long-term needs.

You need an advocate, too. The car accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler have been handling cases just like yours in the Houston area since 1989. We will aggressively pursue justice for you and your family. Contact our Houston firm today for a free case consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.

Texas adopts Vision Zero initiative of no fatalities

Houston auto accident attorney

Texas hasn’t had a single day when there hasn’t been a traffic fatality in nearly two decades. That day was November 7, 2000. Since then, more than 67,000 have died in crashes on Texas roads.

The biggest contributor to Texas’s massive death toll is the general attitude and culture surrounding traffic fatalities. The concept that fatal crashes are inevitable rather than preventable only normalizes the problem, thus ousting the possibility of finding solutions. It shows in Texas’s per capita traffic fatality rate, which currently exceeded the national average between 2010-2018. What’s worse, Texas outpaced other large states such as Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and New York.

In 2018, approximately 3,642 people were killed on Texas roads — 612 were pedestrians and 69 were bicyclists. High speed limits, dangerous roadway infrastructure, distracted driving, and drunk driving were cited as the leading causes.

Can Texas achieve its Vision Zero goal?

For years, safety advocates have pushed for change. Now, the Lone Star State is finally taking their pleas seriously, according to D Magazine.

Texas transportation officials have launched a new Vision Zero initiative to eliminate statewide traffic fatalities by 2050. Laura Ryan is a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). She tells The Texas Tribune that the state has become “very numb” to the rate of traffic fatalities.

“This is probably one of the most deadly situations we have in the state, and it’s one of the most controllable situations we have in the state. Ninety percent of the deaths that we’ve had over the 19 years are preventable,” said Ryan.

Texas officials have set aside $600 million in funding to widen some roadways, upgrade guardrails, and improve safety conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. These efforts are only one component of a bigger picture.

A change in infrastructure and driving culture is needed to get to zero deaths

Vision Zero seeks to make infrastructural changes that accommodate all road users, not just motorists. This poses a problem due to Texas’s primarily suburban landscape, where pedestrians and bicyclists are left to fend for themselves. Most Texas roadways have been designed to accommodate high-speed vehicular traffic. For pedestrians, crossing the roadway or navigating intersections is particularly risky.

Another major component is education. Serious and fatal collisions should be viewed as preventable, rather than be accepted as something that just happens. Obtaining the goal of zero deaths by 2050 may seem far-fetched, but the pursuit of the goal may have a profound impact on the safety of Texas roadways. Just maybe we’ll see another day like November 7, 2000. That feat would be a major milestone for the Lone Star State.

Until then, we will likely continue to see more deaths and serious injuries on our roads. That’s why the attorneys at Smith & Hassler are dedicated to fighting for the rights of crash victims and their families.

If you were hurt in a crash or lost a loved one in one, contact our Houston law firm to find out how we can help. We offer free case evaluations and operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case.

5 Things to Expect in the Days Following a Crash

Houston auto accident attorneyIf you have a driver’s license, you likely know the standard procedures to follow after a crash: exchange insurance information, call the police, get medical attention and report the crash to your insurance company. What about the aftermath of a crash? Even after following the standard procedures, pursuing a car accident claim can be complicated and overwhelming.

That’s why it’s important to know what to expect in the days that follow. Here’s what you should know.

1. You may be in shock

You may feel absolutely nothing after a crash. If your crash was serious, the feeling as if nothing happened may be unsettling. This is actually quite normal and often a result of being in shock. A crash can traumatic. You may have adrenaline running through your body, making it difficult to process what just happened.

2. Physical and emotional stress after the shock wears off

Once the shock begins to wear off, you may experience a wave of physical and emotional stress. In addition, emotions such as anger, pain, guilt, and even fear of driving may begin to surface. In time, this can turn into physical pain, especially if you sustained an injury that didn’t produce any immediate symptoms. Delayed reactions such as this is why you should always seek immediate medical attention after a crash.

3. A long list of things to do

The days after a crash can be messy. You have paperwork to handle, medical appoints to schedule, and insurance red tape to deal with. In addition, your car may need to be towed to an automotive shop for repair. While some shops may provide you with a loaner car, not all do. You may have to be issued a rental car from your insurance company, which could cost you upfront money out of pocket until you are reimbursed.

4. The other driver’s insurance company will contact you

It’s inevitable. You will receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company. They may either be pushy and try to pin the blame on you, or they may be friendly and try to offer to a small settlement. They are not your friend and are only looking to protect their own bottom line. They know that they can save more money in the long run if you take a lowball settlement. They’ll ask you trick questions in hopes that you’ll provide answers that can later be used against you.

It’s important that you refrain from speaking to them. The only insurance company you should speak to is your own, and even then, the details you provide should be minimal. If the insurance companies have any further questions, an experienced car accident attorney can answer on your behalf.

5. You will need legal representation

Car accident claims are highly complex and often create further stress for crash victims. Having a highly-skilled attorney in your corner can help ease some of that stress.

The only thing you have to do is set up your free case evaluation with Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law. Contact us to schedule one today.

6 Pieces of Evidence to Collect After a Car Wreck

Houston auto accident attorneyToo many people attempt to pursue a car accident claim without first gathering important evidence after a car wreck – especially when it’s not a catastrophe. Even a minor fender bender can result in whiplash or some other injury that may not produce any immediate symptoms. That’s why it’s critical that you always collect these six recommended pieces of evidence after a crash. They can be helpful when it comes time to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and his or her insurance company.

Information from the other parties involved in a crash

Taking down the names and phone numbers of all parties involved in a crash is essential but there is more information you should get, including the other person’s address, license number and car registration. You should always exchange insurance information, including policy numbers.

Details of other vehicles involved in a crash

Always gather information on the other car. Document the year, make and model; license plate number; and VIN number. The VIN can be found where dashboard and windshield meet.

Information regarding the responding law enforcement officer

Always call the police after a crash, even if it’s just a fender bender. Document the officer’s name and badge number and ask him how you can obtain the crash report. This document highly sought after in car accident claims and can help you in the long run.

Crash scene photos

If it’s safe to do so, you should always take photos of the crash scene from different angles. Be sure to snap pictures of car locations, skid marks in the road, and any damage to nearby buildings or structures.

Statements from witnesses

Witness statements are very helpful in car accident claims. If there are any witnesses available at the scene of a crash, take down their names and phone numbers.

Details of the crash scene

While at the crash scene, it’s important to document specific information regarding the location, directions in which cars were traveling and situated, the road and weather conditions, and other factors that may have lead to the crash. You may take note of these details or take photos and videos. If a police officer arrives at the crash scene, he or she will also document these details in the crash report.

You’ve followed all the recommended steps. Now what?

So you were involved in a crash and followed all the recommended steps. Now there are only two people you should share the evidence with: your insurance company and an experienced Houston car accident attorney. You are required to report your crash to your insurance company within a certain time frame but only provide the required details. Everything else should be discussed with your attorney.

Let the legal team at Smith and Hassler Attorneys at Law handle your claim. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation and operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win. Contact us today to learn more.