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After a car accident, recovering compensation for your injuries and damages may be one of your top priorities. However, because the process of filing an insurance claim in Texas can be complicated, you may need assistance from a Texas car accident lawyer. Check out the main steps of the process of filing a claim before you contact a lawyer.

Contact the Police

After a car accident, you should contact the police as soon as possible. It’s important to contact the police if there are any severe injuries or significant property damage. When you contact the police, the responding officer will gather details about the crash scene and create a police report about the accident. The accident report can be used to establish fault if your claim is denied.

In Texas, you are legally obligated to file a crash report within ten days after an accident if the accident is not immediately reported to the police and if the accident involved an injury or property damage greater than $1,000. Under Texas law, if you fail to report an accident in Texas, you may be subject to penalties such as incarceration or fines up to $5,000.

Document the Car Accident

Next, you will need to document the car accident. Determining fault after car accidents can be very difficult, which is why you will benefit when you have more evidence on your side. Pictures of the scene of the accident, damage to your car, and even your injuries can all be very influential. Video evidence of the car crash, such as from dashcam footage or security tapes, can also prove which driver is at fault.

Record Accident Details

Alongside video and photographic evidence, you can also record details about the accident. Writing down information such as weather conditions, road conditions, street signs, the time of the accident, the accident date, and other details can be used to prove your claim later on.

Exchange Information

You will also need to exchange information with the other driver or other drivers involved in the accident. The other driver’s information will ensure you can contact the other driver and the other driver’s insurance company when it’s time to file a car accident claim. Important information to exchange should include the other driver’s insurance information, such as the policy number, and details about the vehicle.

Get Witness Statements

If you can, getting witness statements or asking witnesses for their contact information is also a good idea. When you need to file a claim, witnesses who can offer first-hand accounts of the accident can prove which driver is at fault.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Contacting a car accident lawyer is crucial for getting through the car accident claims process. Whether or not you need to file a car accident lawsuit right away, your lawyer can help you get a fair settlement for all of your damages and injuries. To find the right attorney, you may want to attend a few free consultations. Much of the time, legal help can be obtained on a contingency fee basis.

Investigate Accident

Aside from police reports, lawyers can use other details about the accident scene to help determine fault in your accident. Carefully investigating the accident is essential if you need to prove your car accident claim to an insurance company. Other evidence your lawyer may gather includes your medical records, accident details, and car accident reconstruction by experts.

Send Demand Letter

After your attorney investigates your accident and assesses your damages, the next part of filing a claim in Texas is to send a demand letter. This is a letter that is sent to the other driver’s insurance company to tell the insurance company the settlement you should receive for your estimated damages.

This letter will also include information about the accident, evidence for why the other driver is at-fault for the accident, proof you suffered injuries, and the medical treatment you received after the accident.

Await the Insurance Company Response

After your lawyer sends a demand letter, the next step of the car accident claims process is waiting for the other insurance carrier to respond to the letter. This step of the process can take several weeks while the insurance company investigates the claims.

In Texas, an insurance carrier has 15 to 45 days to accept or reject your claim. You should receive a letter notification, which includes details of why your claim was rejected or why the settlement offer is lower than you expected. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you negotiate for a better car accident settlement.

What If the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Is Contacting You?

If the other driver’s insurance provider is repeatedly contacting you after a demand letter is sent, it could be because the insurance adjuster assigned to your insurance claim is trying to find evidence to deny your claim. For example, the insurance adjuster could try to get you to admit fault by apologizing for the accident. This is why it’s best to let your lawyer talk to the other driver’s insurance provider on your behalf.

File a Lawsuit

Sometimes, the at-fault driver may claim that you are liable for the accident instead, or the insurance company may deny your claim. At this point, you will need to file a car accident lawsuit, so you can pursue fair compensation for your personal injury. A personal injury lawsuit can mean that your case is taken to trial, where a judge or jury will determine which party is considered the at-fault driver.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit by this date, you will forfeit the right to any compensation for your injuries or damages.

What Are Texas Car Insurance Laws?

In Texas, each driver can be held liable for an accident, which is why it’s a good idea to have minimum insurance policies such as collision coverage, property damage coverage, and bodily injury coverage to pay for medical expenses. Some drivers may also choose to have uninsured motorist coverage.

How Much Will Your Settlement Be?

Although a lawyer can’t guess how much compensation you will receive after you file a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will fight for maximum compensation when you file an insurance claim. Your car accident settlement will be greatly influenced by several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the cost of your hospital bills and medical bills, the extent of your medical treatment, and more.

Your compensation after a car accident in Texas may also be calculated by estimated economic damages, such as lost wages or lost earning ability, as well as non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. A skilled attorney can use evidence of your damages to negotiate for a better settlement.

Car accidents can result in significant injuries and damages. If you want to hold the other party responsible for your Texas car accident, you will need guidance from an experienced attorney to guide Reach out to Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 for a free consultation today.

If you have been injured in a car accident in College Station, Bryan, Madisonville, Huntsville, Buffalo, Caldwell, Navasota, Buffalo, Rockdale, Hempstead, or Brenham, it is important to speak with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the claims process. At the Law Office of Brian C. Gutierrez, Attorney Brian Gutierrez is committed to providing personalized legal services for victims of car accidents. When you work with our firm, you are working directly with Attorney Gutierrez. Our clients are like familycontact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.

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