Filing a car insurance claim after an accident in Texas involves collecting evidence, submitting paperwork and documents, communicating with insurance agents, and more. Read on to learn more about the insurance claim process and how you can secure compensation.
Steps You Should Take Immediately Following a Car Accident in Texas
According to Texas Transportation Code § 550.021, the first thing you should do after a car accident in Texas is stop at the scene. Failure to do so could constitute a hit-and-run, which may involve criminal penalties. After stopping, you should take the following steps if physically able.
Call 911 and attempt to render aid if possible if anyone needs emergency medical assistance. In addition, Texas Transportation Code § 550.062 requires that you report accidents involving bodily injuries, death, or property damages exceeding $1,000 to local law enforcement. Finally, contacting law enforcement to report a crash also creates an official record for your car insurance claim.
Write down as much information as possible about the other parties involved in your collision. For example, get the drivers’ names, contact information, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and registrations. Also, record license plate numbers and the vehicles’ make, model, and year. Finally, take photographs of your injuries, property damage, and the crash site. If you cannot gather this information at the time of the accident, we can help you obtain it later using police reports and other evidence.
Accept Medical Treatment
If you have a severe injury, you will likely receive medical treatment at the scene. If not, consider seeing a doctor right away—especially if you experience pain or develop head injury symptoms (e.g., headache, blurry vision, or nausea). Seeking treatment protects your health and creates a medical record for insurance or legal action. Do not be afraid to take an ambulance to the hospital. Qualified car accident attorneys like Domingo Garcia will make sure your hospital bills are covered by any car wreck settlement. Failing to go to the hospital when your injuries require it can severely limit the amount of money you can recover in a car accident settlement.
You should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. For instance, you may hold policies to pay for some of your damages, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Med Pay, or collision coverage. Also, you should contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company if you intend to file a claim against a liable party.
What Car Accident Damages Can You Seek?
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), motorists must carry a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability (30/60/25 coverage). These automobile insurance policies pay for accident damage caused to another party by the insured vehicle’s driver.
If a negligent driver hurt you or your loved one, you could seek compensation for the following via a claim against their auto insurance policy:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency treatment
- Medications and mobility aids
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Long-term nursing services
- Lost income, benefits, and earnings
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle and personal property damages
- Physical pain
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Debilitating and catastrophic injuries
- Mental and emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Wrongful death of a loved one
You can pursue compensation up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits. If you have severe injuries and medical expenses that exceed their coverage, you can seek damages in civil court with a car accident lawsuit.
What Documents Will You Need to Provide With Your Car Accident Claim?
Most insurers will require you to fill out a proof of claims form and provide a copy of the police report of your accident. You may also need to supply evidence to establish fault and prove you suffered injuries and financial losses. Evidence may include:
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damages
- Photographs of your injuries
- Medical records
- Testimony from healthcare professionals, crash reconstruction specialists, and other experts
- Eyewitness statements
- Available dashcam, surveillance, or cell phone video
- Medical bills, pay stubs, vehicle repair records, and other proof of your collision-related expenses
How Long do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
You can usually find a timeline for submitting a claim and receiving a response on an insurance policy’s “declarations” page. However, you should notify involved insurers immediately after a car accident in Texas and start on your claims as soon as you can.
You also want sufficient time to work through your claim and negotiate a satisfactory settlement before the statute of limitations for legal action expires. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, starting at the time of the accident or your loved one’s passing.
Do You Need a Texas Car Accident Lawyer?
You are not legally required to hire a lawyer to handle your car insurance claim. However, seeking the services of an auto accident attorney with our firm can:
- Give you an ally with legal experience. We have over 35 years of experience we can put behind investigating your accident, proving liability, and negotiating for the maximum possible settlement.
- Take the burden off you and your family. Paperwork, deadlines, and haggling with insurers are the last things you want to face following a crash—especially as you recover from an injury. Instead, we can handle these tasks and more for you, saving you the effort and protecting you from making a misstep that could hurt or delay your settlement.
- Protect your right to compensation. We do not allow insurance companies to give our clients the runaround, employ bad-faith tactics, or pressure them into settling for less than they deserve. Instead, we identify and calculate your damages, fight for every cent owed to you, and work tirelessly to ensure you do not leave money on the table.
- Win you a Bigger Settlement. Studies have shown that car accident personal injury victims who are represented by a qualified car accident attorney receive much higher settlements than those who try to pursue a car accident settlement on their own.
Can You Afford a Lawyer?
Our personal injury attorneys work on contingency, and we can take your case for nothing upfront or out of pocket. Instead, we only get paid if we win your case, with our payment coming from your successful settlement or verdict. Domingo Garcia car accident lawyers will NEVER charge you a fee UNLESS WE WIN your personal injury case.
Contact Domingo Garcia for Help With Your Car Insurance Claim
Contact Domingo Garcia today for a free consultation. We can tell you more about how to file a car insurance claim after an accident in Texas and help you get started.