When it comes to insurance claims after a car accident or other instances where personal injury protection coverage is required, there are two types of states in the US: no-fault states and at-fault states (or tort states). The difference between the two is made by the insurance company a personal injury victim will file a claim with: their own or the one providing coverage for the fault driver. As we will explain in this article, Texas is an at-fault state, and a Texas car wreck attorney can help you recover financial damages (medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages, among others) from the fault party.
The fact that the state of Texas requires personal injury victims to file a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance carrier means that they are also required to prove that the other driver was at fault for their crash. A skilled Texas car wreck attorney can help you from the very beginning until you win the compensation you deserve.
First of all, let us state clearly once again that Texas is an at-fault state. Now, what exactly does it mean for the injured party in an accident? In no-fault states, a person will file an accident claim with their own insurer, which will pay out of the person's liability coverage. It is not necessary to name a responsible party and to prove their fault.
In an at-fault state, the injured party must prove the other party's fault and recover their damages out of the fault driver's insurance policy. Also, there is the question of whether they are eligible to recover any damages after a motor vehicle crash if they share fault with the person responsible for the crash.
The state of Texas uses the comparative negligence principle in personal injury cases. This means that an injured party cannot be more than 50% at fault for their accident in order to be eligible to file accident insurance claims. Also, the final compensation amount collected by the accident victim will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
First of all, let us explain the type of auto insurance coverage each driver must carry in order to drive legally on the public roads and highways in Texas. The minimum bodily injury and property damage coverage each motorist must carry is:
Why is it important to know these numbers? The answer all legal professionals give is: because any claim filed with an automobile insurance company will be paid up to the insurance limits. Thus, if a driver carries only minimum insurance and your damages exceed the amount, you would have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver for the remaining amount.
There are also other circumstances that affect your ability to collect damages, such as a hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver. For these circumstances, personal injury lawyers recommend car owners to purchase uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage, which is available as additional insurance coverage, just like comprehensive coverage.
As a general rule, insurance agencies try to avoid having to pay compensation, even if their clients carry sufficient insurance coverage for property damage and bodily injury. They are for-profit businesses, and they have developed a series of strategies to protect their profits.
In most cases, an injured person will be approached after an accident by an insurance adjuster who will try to:
People with attorneys will not fall victim to these tactics. A Texas car wreck attorney will:
1. Investigate the Motor Vehicle Accident
Your Texas car wreck attorney will search for all evidence of negligence available to establish fault, from the accident report prepared by the police to photos, videos, and eyewitness testimonies. If necessary, the lawyer will hire accident reconstruction specialists to prepare crash reconstruction reports, showing how the accident happened. This will help establish the at-fault driver.
2. Conduct the Legal Process on Your Behalf
For most auto crash victims, the first months are a period of intense pain, stress, and worry, as they stay in hospital undergoing various treatments and even surgeries. They are in no position to start the accident insurance claims process and fulfill all the obligations on time. This is what a competent attorney will do on their behalf: file all the required forms, attach supporting documents, and any other paperwork required by auto insurance rules.
3. Calculate Your Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Auto accident insurance claims are successful when you include a fair and accurate estimation of your losses. If you undervalue your claim, you will be left to cover the rest of your losses out of your pocket. If you overvalue it, the insurance company will deny it.
An experienced Texas car wreck attorney will calculate the damages in your best interests but also within fair limits, including:
4. Negotiate Your Claim with the Auto Insurance Carrier
An experienced Texas car wreck attorney at Calhoun Meredith will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. We have extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies and making sure that our clients get fair compensation for their economic losses and non-economic damages.
Whenever we do not manage to get the desired result during amicable negotiations, we will instruct our clients to file a personal injury lawsuit, and we will represent them in court.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay if we aren't successful in recovering compensation. So schedule a free case review with us now: 855-664-0273!