In one recent year, there were 2,464 suspected minor vehicle crashes in Austin, Texas, and 3,304 suspected minor injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Getting into a minor fender bender may not seem like a big deal. Yet knowing what to do when you get in a Texas fender bender is essential. Responding correctly to an accident, even if it seems minor, can help you protect yourself from allegations of wrongdoing. It can also preserve your ability to pursue legal claims against the driver that caused the accident.
Should You Call The Police For a Fender Bender?
Calling the authorities for a minor accident is a good idea, even if the damage and injuries seem minimal.
Immediately following the fender bender accident, you might not know the extent of the damage to your vehicle or injuries you may have suffered.
Some injuries and vehicle damage become apparent days or weeks after a car accident. Individuals may find that their car is not working correctly, and they may notice physical symptoms.
Whiplash, for instance, can cause delayed onset pain. If you have whiplash, you might not notice right away.
The Texas statute of limitations on personal injury cases gives you two years to make a legal claim after an accident. This time frame allows you to take action even if you do not realize the accident’s severity at first.
Notifying the police can help you preserve a record of what happened and facilitate future claims.
Even if you think your accident is minor, the accident report could indicate that the accident is more severe. Additionally, for minor accidents, the police may give you an exchange of information form. This helps you share insurance information with the other driver.
When making the crash report, the responding officer summarizes the facts of the accident and interviews all involved participants.
The report contains information about the accident, including:
- Date and time
- Insurance information for each driver
- Description of the damages
- Report of known injuries
- Witness statements and contact information
- Weather and road conditions that could affect the accident
- A diagram of the accident
- Regulations the drivers violated, if applicable
- The officer’s opinion of who was at fault
This information can be helpful, particularly if the accident wasn’t your fault. If you choose to take legal action against the other driver who was at fault, the report can substantiate your claims. Should the other driver ledge false accusations against you, the information can contract these claims.
Even if you played a role in causing the accident, the other driver could be primarily at fault. Texas’s modified comparative negligence law allows you to recover some compensation if you contributed to an accident, as long as you were not the primary cause.
Do You Have to Call The Police After an Accident?
Texas law requires individuals to report accidents that are severe, resulting in injuries or deaths, or $1,000 or more of property damage. While the law does not require you to report minor accidents, you might not know the accident’s severity when you are still at the accident scene.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer For Help With Your Injury Claim
If you were involved in a car accident in Texas, FVF Law can help you assess your options. Should you decide to take action to recover compensation, FVF Law can advocate for you and protect your interests. Get in touch with FVF Law today.