Steps to take after an Accident
What should I do immediately following a car accident? Who is liable for paying for my physical injuries as well as any personal property damage?Who is responsible for an accident involving my vehicle and a city street pothole? Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering me? What issues will I face in making a claim for my injuries sustained in an auto accident? What if I cannot afford to pay my medical bills?When will my personal injury claim be resolved? What is a permanent injury? I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment. Now, a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?
What should I do immediately following a car accident?
If you are not severely injured, collect all pertinent information from the other drivers – driver’s license numbers, address, telephone numbers, insurance card information, etc. Keep a daily journal beginning with the date of the accident to document all physical and mental injuries, as well as document your view of the accident. Notify the arriving Texas police officer of the events of the accident that you can recall. More information on this website
If I am partially responsible for an accident, can I still make a claim?
In a no-fault state, you and the other driver will collect from your own insurance companies. In a fault state, whether you can make a claim depends on whether the state applies contributory negligence or comparative negligence rules.
Under contributory negligence rules, you will not recover if you were partially at fault.
Under comparative negligence, you can recover a portion of your damages if you were partially at fault. For example, if you were 40% at fault, then you would recover 60% of your damages.
Who is responsible for an accident involving my vehicle and a city street pothole?
Responsibility for damage caused by improper maintenance or repair of Texas roads and highways generally lies with the government agency responsible for the upkeep of such roadways. If it were a pothole on a city street, the city would be responsible, etc.
Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering me?
You should not take any settlements offered by an insurance company without first speaking with an experienced Texas auto accident lawyer. Insurance companies typically offer a minimal amount of money in return for your signature stating that you will not sue them. Never take an insurance check without first consulting an attorney.
What issues will I face in making a claim for my injuries sustained in an auto accident?
The three categories of issues that typically arise in a tort claim after an automobile accident are:
Liability – who is at fault and to what degree
Damages – injuries or losses that were caused by the accident
Insurance Coverage – what the insurance company will pay for after an accident
A claim for injuries usually is based upon carelessness or negligence. In worse case scenarios, it involves an intentional or reckless act.
What if I cannot afford to pay my medical bills?
If you suffer injuries from a car accident, you will likely have medical bills from physicians, hospitals, physical therapists, and other health care providers. Under Texas law, you are primarily responsible for paying your bills, regardless of the cause of your injuries. The at-fault person’s liability insurance carrier is responsible for paying you reasonable compensation for damages incurred, which includes medical bills, but the insurance carrier is not responsible for paying your doctors, hospitals, and other providers. Sometimes the amount the insurance company is willing to pay is far less than the actual amount you owe.
When will my personal injury claim be resolved?
Personal injury claims can be resolved in a matter of a few weeks or months. However, they can take up to several years depending on the complexity of the case. It is best to speak with an experienced
Texas personal injury attorney about your specific case.
What is a permanent injury?
A permanent injury is an injury that will be with you for the rest of your life or for some period beyond the settlement of the claim. In most cases, the injured party is entitled to compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company for all medical bills incurred to date and into the future for all injuries caused by the accident.
I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment.
Now, a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?
You should immediately consult your medical provider regarding any pain, discomfort or possible injuries from a car accident, even if you think they may be only minor injuries. Even if you did not complain of injuries at the scene of the car accident, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, and emotional distress due to personal injuries. You should consult an experienced Texas car accident attorney to discuss whether you need representation on your claim.