It is easy to feel overwhelmed by being involved in a car accident. Your body undergoes stress, and that is before you you even start considering the logistics of the car wreck, particularly if you are in a rental car.
So what should I do?
Below I will take you through simple procedures you can follow immediately after being involved in a car accident.
It is important that you follow the stipulated process after a car wreck if you are to receive any coverage for damages under Texas law concerning rental car wreck.
First things first!
1) When you are involved in a car accident, STOP.
It might seem like such a minor detail, but under Texas law concerning rental car wreck, stopping and/or parking as close to the scene of the car wreck is necessary and essential.
By stopping close to the scene, you:
• Avoid prosecution for fleeing a scene or revocation of your driver’s license.
• Preserve the integrity of the scene which is crucial to the claims process.
• Are able to assess the damage to your rental car as well as that of the other driver.
• Can get the contact details of the other driver involved in the accident (if there is one) as well as those of witnesses of the car wreck.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, below is the list of information you should obtain from the other driver immediately following a crash:
• The name, address, and phone number of the driver
• License registration number
• License plate number of the car or cars involved
• Insurance information for the motorists involved.
In Texas, each driver must have at least basic automobile coverage.
2) Help those you can
Accidents can have casualties within or out of the cars involved in the crash. Once you stop, look around for any casualties at the scene. If there are any, contact emergency response services and arrange for their transportation to nearby hospitals.
3) Report the Incident
The Texas DMV recommends contacting the police following a car accident because police officers make great witnesses in the claims process. Also, filing a police report is crucial under the following circumstances:
• If the damages will accrue to more than $1,000 for any of the motorists involved
• If anybody died, or was injured, in the course of the car wreck
Drivers who do not file a police report after involvement in accidents can file a Driver’s Crash Report with the TX DOT up to 10 days after the incident. The report will include your insurance information, driving history, and current license details.
4) Speak to the Rental Car Company
Depending on the company, the procedures and liabilities following an incident will defer. Call and find out what processes they follow after accidents to be on the safe side.
5) Dealing with the Legalities
Navigating Texas laws concerning rental car wreck can be difficult. Reaching out to a law firm is crucial, they can give you the following services:
• Advice you on how to coordinate between your rental car and insurance company
• Guide you on which forms you need to file with the TX DOT in the wake of a car accident
• Educate you on your rights and liabilities as far as the accident and resulting damages are concerned
Word of advice as I conclude: do not be afraid to reach out to an attorney.
An attorney will be a great resource in this situation and he or she will advise you on how to proceed. Also, keep records of medical expenses incurred because of the accident. They may come in handy!