You don’t think about getting into an accident every time you get behind the wheel of your car.  You’re just driving to work or to run errands and minding your own business.  Then, suddenly and without warning, someone else hits your vehicle!  Now you are the victim of an accident.

Sadly, it happens every day in this country, and here in Houston where so many of us depend on our automobiles to get around the city, it happens a lot.  The State of Texas DOT reports that in the year 2015 there were over 110,000 total crashes in Harris County.  You may very well be a safe driver and think the odds are in your favor – until it happens to you.

An accident can be anything from a slight scrape or fender bump to something much more devastating.  But at any level of accident severity, you do not want to take chances.  Here are suggestions about what to do.

Stay in your vehicle especially if you are on the highway or a busy street. If you have a mobile phone with you, call 911, alert the local police and possibly an ambulance. Wait until the authorities arrive on the scene. Try to stay as calm as possible along with anyone else who may be in your car.  Only open your door and exit your car with the help of a police officer or an EMT.

Provide as much information as you can for the police report, including your auto insurance policy number and vehicle registration number. Then call your insurance agency and let them know what happened.  They will give you the step-by step instructions to follow.

Hopefully you and your passengers are not physically hurt, but be aware that even in minor bumps soft tissue injuries can occur.  You can’t just assume you are 100 percent okay just because you don’t see anything wrong or don’t feel any pain immediately after the accident.

There could be neck trauma, internal bleeding, or nerve damage that can lead to much bigger problems if undetected and left untreated.  If you feel any soreness, numbness, headaches, or, worse, shooting pains or muscle spasms hours or days later, you must not ignore these signs.  You need to see your doctor right away for a professional assessment.

Meanwhile, you should contact John Zaid, a Houston personal injury attorney.  He or she will act as your representative to resolve any medical or insurance issues that may occur. You have been through enough and don’t need to add more stress to your life.  A good reputable attorney who specializes in this type of law will give you the help you need and put your mind at ease.