Car accidents can be a terrifying and traumatic experience. They can leave victims with life-long injuries and psychological distress. Unfortunately, it’s likely that most of us will experience a car accident at some point in our lives. As such, it’s a good idea to know how to prepare for the aftermath of a crash before it happens. Get the facts on Texas liability laws and how to protect your rights in the event of an accident.
Texas Liability Laws
Car accident liability laws vary state to state. Some states are “no-fault” states, which means that motorists may sue for severe injuries and pain and suffering only if the case meets certain conditions. Typically, insurance companies compensate their policyholders for the cost of minor injuries, regardless of who caused the accident. This system was designed to keep most small claims cases regarding traffic accidents out of the courts, as well as lower the cost and speed up compensation delivery for car accidents.
Texas, however, is an at-fault state, which means the party that caused the accident is responsible for all medical bills, pain and suffering, and damage. In this situation, the responsible party’s car insurance company will pay up to the policy’s limit. After these funds are depleted, the at-fault driver will have to pay the rest out of pocket. If the injured party does not agree with the amount paid by the at-fault party, they may file suit and seek damages.
In order to determine liability in the state of Texas, you must prove that:
The other motorist failed to exercise reasonable care while driving.
The other motorist’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused the accident.
The accident caused your injuries.
If you are able to prove the above criteria, you may be able to recover compensation for the accident. Damages that may be recovered in the state of Texas include, but are not limited to, the following:
Past, present, and future medical expenses
Loss of future earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Physical impairment or disfigurement
Loss of consortium
What to Do after a Car Accident
Although it may be difficult to think clearly immediately following a car accident, it’s in your best interest to try to take the following steps in order to protect your rights:
Check on all parties involved and contact emergency services if necessary.
Contact the police and file a police report.
Take photos of any injuries and damage at the scene.
Gather the contact information of the other parties involved and of any witnesses at the scene.
Seek medical attention, no matter how minor your injuries may seem. Keep records of all medical treatment received.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you through the process.
Working with a qualified personal injury attorney greatly improves your chances of recovering maximum possible compensation. In addition, letting your attorney guide you through the legal process gives you more time to focus on your top priority: recovering from your injuries. Our Corpus Christi car accident attorneys can provide the experienced legal representation you need during this difficult time.
Why You Should Work with a Car Accident Attorney
A car accident attorney can help you navigate this complex area of law while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Your attorney can help you handle the insurance adjuster, who may try to contact you before you’re released from the hospital. Insurance adjusters are notorious for putting on a friendly demeanor in order to achieve their goal: settle your claim as fast as possible for the least amount of money. To do this, the insurance adjuster may say:
“I’m your friend and I work for you.” The adjuster may try to act like they are on your side. However, insurance companies’ only priority is profit, and it’s the insurance adjuster’s job to maintain their employer’s bottom line.
“I need a statement to begin processing your claim.” Insurance adjusters may try to acquire your statements and releases before you have had the opportunity to talk with a qualified attorney. The purpose of this tactic is to gain information the insurance company can use to deny or undervalue your claim. For example, if you tell the adjuster you were running late, they may use this information to say you contributed to the crash because you were distracted or speeding. This can result in you receiving less compensation than you deserve.
“I need a medical authorization to obtain records to verify your injury.” In some instances, a car insurance company will use past medical records to argue that your injuries did not result from the accident, but rather from another circumstance or that the accident merely aggravated prior injuries. This information may be used to deny or undervalue your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will arrange to send the necessary records at the appropriate time.
At Bandas Law Firm, our experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorneys know how to handle the insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. A car accident can be life-changing, and you shouldn’t have to worry about financial insecurity when your main focus should be on getting well.
Our team can help you determine if any third-party negligence or product defects, such as seatbelt issues, vehicle instability, faulty fuel systems, or more caused your accident and, ultimately, your injuries.
Contact Bandas Law Firm, P.C. at (361) 238-2789 to learn how we can help you.