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By Jim Adler October 25, 2016

A car crash pileup can be traumatic, injuring you or a loved one and leaving you dazed or disoriented. It helps to know in advance what to do after such a car wreck, and Jim Adler & Associates can help.

Our law firm has assisted thousands of Texas with their auto accident injury claims for over 40 years. We know what steps are vital if you’re involved in a pileup crash.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Hopefully in advance of a crash you’ve purchased uninsured motorists (UM) or underinsured motorists (UIM) insurance coverage. This coverage can protect you if the driver who’s at fault lacks insurance — which, in itself, is a violation of state law. Without UM or UIM, your own insurer will resist paying for another driver’s mistakes

Always keep your proof of insurance with you when you drive, along with your driver’s license and a means to photograph an accident’s aftermath and to take notes.

After a wreck, get other drivers’ insurance information via their proof of insurance, if available. Note the name of the insurance carrier and the policy number. Also get the other drivers’ email addresses and phone numbers, and make a note of the other vehicles’ make, model and license plate number.

Get Medical Help and Stay Put

After a crash involving injury to you or a passenger, summon medical help and, if possible, move your vehicle out of traffic and turn on its hazard lights.

Then stay put and wait for medical and possibly police help to arrive by calling 911 for major injuries in a major accident. Call your doctor about minor injuries.

Find Witnesses to a Crash

If possible, quickly find witnesses to a crash which wasn’t your fault — witnesses who can back your side of things. Politely ask them for their contact information.

Never admit an error to anyone, including police. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign a ticket if police give you one. It’s the law that you must sign. But signing a ticket is not an admission of fault.

Take Photos, Videos

Take photos and videos of an accident scene by using a cell phone camera or other device. Be sure to get visual evidence of the entire accident scene, such as positions of the vehicles if they haven’t been moved, street signs, road and weather conditions and skid marks.

Also get visual evidence of damage to your vehicle and injuries to you or a passenger. And try to remain at the scene until the accident site has been cleared and police and the other drivers also leave.

Contact Your Insurer — and an Injury Lawyer

After leaving the scene and getting medical help, you should notify your insurer and the other driver’s insurer, and also contact an injury lawyer such as those Jim Adler & Associates provides. Do not accept a quick “low-ball” settlement from your insurer or sign anything before engaging an injury attorney, who can fight for your right to fair, fitting payments for your injury losses.

Many Americans are tempted to share much personal information on social media, but in the case of a car wreck, do not do so. Anything that you convey in an email or post on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or elsewhere online could be used against you in a legal proceeding when you’re claiming damages.

To alert relatives, friends or neighbors, speak to them in person or by phone, with no written record. That way, if you reassure them “I’ll be fine” even if though hurting, there won’t be a written record to undercut your injury claim.

Taking such steps before a crash, at an accident scene and later following a pileup crash should help your efforts to claim payments for injury losses including medical costs, lost salary and pain and suffering. Get what you deserve by knowing what to do if you’re involved in a crash pileup.

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