Car accidents can leave physical, mental, and financial scars; in terrible scenarios, they can result in fatalities. While car and medical insurance should help alleviate some of the financial concerns, dealing with the insurance companies before they grant compensation can be a nightmare.
Here are a few friendly tips from your Pflugerville car accident attorneys on how to best navigate insurance claims for car accidents and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
How Is Fault Determined After a Car Accident in Texas?
That’s the million-dollar question — sometimes literally. Fault for a car accident in Texas is determined by who caused the accident, though that answer isn’t always straightforward. Several investigations will be conducted throughout the claims process, first by a police officer at the scene, then by the respective insurance companies and legal firms who may take on the case.
The percentage of fault by each person involved in the accident will be accounted for; this is called comparative negligence and is a standard in Texas. Those parties who are found to be less than 50% responsible for the accident are allowed to file claims. Some of the things used to judge fault during the investigations are:
- The speed of the vehicles
- If alcohol or other drugs were involved
- If the drivers were obeying all traffic laws
- If dangerous driving behavior occurred
The whole claims process can take some time to complete. If everything is straightforward, it could be solved in a matter of weeks; if things get complicated, the ordeal could take upwards of a year. Because the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the car accident date, you want to file as soon as possible.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Texas
Your insurance company will often ask you for the following:
- The other driver’s insurance information
- A police report
- A detailed account of what happened at the accident
- Medical records pertaining to the accident
- Proof of damages and need for medical leave
To give yourself the biggest advantage after a car accident and the easiest possible path to compensation, make sure you follow these steps:
- Call 911 and file a police report at the scene of the accident. If no officer arrives, make sure you fill out a car accident report within 10 days of the accident.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver.
- Ask people who saw the accident happen for their contact information or for any photos or videos they took of the accident.
- Get medical assistance; if an ambulance is not called to the scene of the accident, make sure you immediately go to the hospital as soon as possible.
- Write down the events of the accident, and compile all photos and videos.
- Request traffic camera footage and a copy of the police report. You can usually get this through your local police department.
- Contact your insurance company to file your claim; the sooner you do this, the smoother the process will go.
While you can follow all these instructions to protect yourself and present proof to an insurance company that you were injured, there may be further complications. Complex cases could involve drivers who are uninsured. Allow the professionals at Pastrana & García Injury Law to take the lead and negotiate with the insurance companies for your just compensation.
What Damages Are Available After a Car Accident in Texas?
Depending on the cost of the medical bills and other damages, the compensation for car accidents varies. You can request compensation for:
- Medical bills for surgeries or treatments from the accident
- Any prescription medication
- Pain and suffering
- Counseling or other mental health treatments
- Wages from time lost at work, including future lost wages
- Continuing care, or future suspected medical treatments
Knowledgeable Pflugerville car accident lawyers can help you calculate the amount you deserve. However, insurance companies are known for trying to undercut what they pay you in any way possible, including trying to get you to admit fault. If an insurance company contacts you, do not engage in conversation. They may try to:
- Get you to backtrack on your statement
- Ask leading questions or deliberately misinterpret your words, so they can put you at fault for the accident
- Request that you sign a medical release form; with this, they can try to pin your accident injuries on previous medical issues
- Offer a settlement that sounds good but won’t be in the long run; this usually means that your costs are much larger than their offer
- Deny or minimize your claim
After a car accident, it’s always a good idea to have an experienced and qualified attorney negotiate your claim with the insurance company. Let us deal with them; you worry about getting better.
Contact Your Pflugerville Car Accident Lawyers
Allow our legal team to help through this time with compassion and empathy. Your first consultation is always free. We’re here for you at 512-474-4487, or you can start a conversation with us through our online portal.