If you’re a driver in a car accident, you may wonder what rights you have and what kind of compensation you may be eligible for. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of car accident claims in Texas and outline the steps you need to take to make a claim. We’ll also provide information on gathering evidence to support your claim and help secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. So whether you were injured in a car accident or have family members who were, read on to learn everything you need to know about making a car accident claim in Texas.
How to determine fault in a car accident
Determining fault in a car accident is a crucial step in filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The party found to be at fault for the accident will typically be responsible for paying for any damages or injuries resulting from the collision. Here are some factors that can help determine fault in a car accident:
- Police Report: After an accident, the responding police officer will usually create an accident report that documents the details of the accident, including any observations of what caused the crash. This report can be a valuable tool in determining fault, as it typically includes information about the location of the vehicles at the time of the accident, any traffic violations or other contributing factors, and contact information for witnesses.
- Eyewitnesses: Eyewitnesses can provide valuable information about the accident, including details about how the accident occurred and who was at fault. It’s important to get contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident, as their testimony can be used to support your case.
- Physical Evidence: Physical evidence, such as skid marks, vehicle damage, and debris at the scene of the accident, can also help determine fault. Photographs of the scene can be particularly helpful in documenting the extent of damage and the position of the vehicles at the time of the accident.
- Traffic Laws: Texas traffic laws can also play a role in determining fault. For example, if one driver failed to yield the right of way, ran a red light, or violated some other traffic law, they may be found at fault for the accident.
- Comparative Negligence: In some cases, both parties may share some degree of fault for the accident. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
To determine fault in a car accident, it’s important to gather as much information as possible about the circumstances of the accident. This may involve contacting witnesses, gathering physical evidence, and consulting with an experienced car accident attorney who can help guide you through filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Understanding the different types of damages that can be claimed
The types of damages that can be claimed will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the injuries or property damage you have suffered. Here are some of the different types of damages that may be claimed after a car accident:
- Medical expenses: If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to claim compensation for medical costs such as hospital bills, prescription medication, rehabilitation services, and other related expenses.
- Lost wages: If you have had to take time off work due to your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation for lost wages. This can include any income you have lost as a result of the accident and any future earnings you may miss out on due to ongoing disabilities.
- Pain and suffering: In addition to compensation for tangible losses such as medical bills and lost wages, you may also be able to claim compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. This can include physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Property damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you could claim compensation for repairs or replacement.
- Loss of consortium: If you have suffered a serious injury that has affected your relationship with your spouse, you may be able to claim compensation for loss of consortium. This can include loss of companionship, affection, and other aspects of your relationship that have been impacted by accident.
The process of filing a car accident claim
Filing a car accident claim in Texas can be complex and time-consuming, but it is essential to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Before you file a claim, collecting as much information as possible about the accident is important. This can include contact information for the other driver and any witnesses, photos of the scene and vehicle damage, and a copy of the police report.
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They will ask you to provide information about the accident, such as the date, time, location, and a description of what happened. They will also assign an adjuster to your case. Your insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and review the evidence you provide. They will also communicate with the other driver’s insurance company and may arrange for an independent medical exam to assess your injuries. Once your adjuster has gathered all the necessary information, they will make a settlement offer. You can accept the offer or negotiate for a higher amount.
If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. This can be a complex process that requires the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Common mistakes to avoid when filing a car accident claim
When filing a car accident claim in Texas, there are several common mistakes that you should avoid. These include:
- Waiting too long to file a claim: There is a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Texas. You have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit, so it’s important to act quickly to protect your rights.
- Provide more evidence: To support your claim, you will need to provide evidence such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements. Failing to provide enough proof can weaken your case.
- Talking to the other driver’s insurance company: The other driver’s insurance company may contact you to ask for a statement. It’s important to avoid making any statements that could be used against you in negotiations or a lawsuit.
- Settling too quickly: Insurance companies may offer a quick settlement that may seem tempting, but it’s important to ensure you have enough information and negotiate a fair settlement.
- Not seeking legal help: Car accident claims can be complex, and working with an experienced car accident attorney can help ensure that you have the strongest case and can recover the compensation you deserve.
By avoiding these common mistakes and working with an experienced car accident attorney, you can maximize your chances of a successful claim and obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and damages.
The importance of hiring an experienced car accident attorney
An experienced car accident attorney thoroughly understands Texas laws related to car accidents, insurance, and personal injury. They can provide you with expert legal advice on the best action to take and help you navigate the complex legal process. Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. They can also represent you in court if necessary. An experienced car accident attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company that covers all of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can provide you with the legal expertise, guidance, and representation needed to navigate the complex legal process and help you move forward after a car accident.
Working with an experienced lawyer can protect your rights and maximize your chances of recovering compensation for injuries and damages. Avoid common mistakes made after car accidents, and consult with an attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case. At O’Hara Law Firm, they have years of experience in the car accident legal system and are prepared to help you recover what is rightfully yours.