Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Claims
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know that car accidents with injuries can be traumatizing and confusing, and usually come with more questions than answers. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions we receive after a vehicle collision.
How do I know if I have a valid car accident claim?
A valid car accident and injury claim requires four critical elements.
- The driver who caused the crash owed other drivers a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely.
- The driver who caused the crash breached that duty of care by negligently operating their vehicle.
- You — the person the driver collided with — suffered injuries during the crash.
- Your injuries directly led to damages — including medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses — that have led to you seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
If you are unsure how to prove these elements, our auto accident lawyers can help file your claim and determine whether you have a qualifying case during a free consultation.
How is fault determined in a car accident?
To determine who is liable for a vehicle collision, we must be able to prove the negligent driver caused this crash. Doing so may require an investigation that involves reviewing the crash report, video footage, and photos, interviewing witnesses and law enforcement from the scene, and consulting with accident reconstruction experts when necessary.
Our experienced car accident and injury attorneys can help investigate your claim to learn whether the at-fault driver was speeding, impaired, distracted, or driving recklessly when the crash occurred.
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
Immediately after a vehicle collision, victims should — if their injuries allow:
- Call 911 and remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives and completes a crash report.
- Collect evidence from the scene, including the at-fault driver’s contact, vehicle, and insurance information, any contact information from witnesses at the location, take pictures and videos of the cars involved in the crash, the direction of traffic, and any traffic or signage details that will help support your case.
- Seek medical care immediately when you are free to leave the scene and follow all your doctor’s orders, including all general care directions and keeping appointments.
- Contact our experienced car accident attorneys in Texas to discuss your claim before speaking with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. We can help explain your legal options and help ensure your rights are protected from the start of your claim.
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Texas?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a car insurance claim. This is the same statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you miss the deadline, the at-fault party and insurance company are not required to pay you.
Will my insurance cover all my medical expenses and damages?
The Texas Department of Insurance requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, and you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can pursue your insurance coverage for your damages — up to your policy limit. If you do not want uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you must write to the insurance company.
In addition, if you carry Medical Payments coverage, it will pay your and your passengers’ medical bills. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage pays your and your passenger’s medical bills, lost wages, and other nonmedical costs. All auto policies in Texas include PIP coverage. You must tell the company in writing if you do not want it.
What if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured?
If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, and you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can pursue your insurance coverage for your damages — up to your policy limit.
What if I contributed to the accident? Can I still file a claim?
Under the Texas modified comparative negligence standard, you can sue for damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. However, if you are found to be primarily responsible for the accident (50% or more), you cannot recover any damages.
Should I speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
The simple answer is no. You should never speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company without consulting a car accident and injury lawyer first. Insurance companies use long-established tactics to manipulate injury victims into taking partial (sometimes entire) liability for the crash to minimize their exposure. Unfortunately, most accident victims do not know their line of questioning is misleading until it is too late. Do not allow the insurance company to take advantage of your vulnerable position. Allow our skilled Austin personal injury lawyers to take the lead and handle all communications.
What types of damages can I recover in a car accident claim?
Each personal injury claim is unique and requires an experienced team of attorneys to evaluate its value.
Based on how the injuries have affected your life, the damages we pursue on your behalf may differ but could include:
- Past medical expenses.
- Future medical expenses.
- Loss of past wages.
- Loss of future wages.
- Loss of wage-earning capacity.
- Reduced future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering in the past.
- Pain and suffering in the future.
- Mental anguish in the past.
- Mental anguish in the future.
- Physical impairment in the past.
- Physical impairment in the future.
- Physical disfigurement in the future.
- Loss of household services in the future.
How are damages calculated in a car accident case?
Calculating economic damages requires compiling and adding up all the tangible expenses of the accident, including income loss, medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, and other expenses. Non-economic damages, including pain and anguish, require outlining our client’s long-term needs based on how the accident has impacted their ability to perform daily activities and overall quality of life.
What if the insurance company denies my claim?
Most car accident and injury victims attempt to pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance company on their own before realizing how difficult it is to recover a proper settlement. Most insurance companies deny car accident claims immediately, leaving injury victims wondering what to do next. You do not have the insurance company’s word for your case’s outcome. We can help. Allow our experienced car accident and injury lawyers to review your claim during a free consultation so you know immediately whether you have a valid lawsuit.
How long does it take to resolve a car accident claim?
There is no average time for a car accident claim to be resolved because there are many variables that impact when a case will settle, including:
- The severity of the claim.
- Whether there are disputes over liability, damages, or insurance coverage.
- The extent of injuries and property damage.
Our auto accident and injury lawyers update our clients during each step of their cases, so they know what to expect, even if the timeline shifts.
Partnering with a car accident and injury attorney allows victims and their families to focus on regaining control of their lives while our law firm handles the details of their case. A majority of all personal injury claims are settled during negotiations, and our clients pay zero upfront costs or legal fees until we win their cases. You do not pay anything unless we recover compensation for you.
Contact Our Skilled Car Accident Attorney Today
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys hope our fellow Texans never need us because they have been hurt in a crash caused by a negligent driver. If you do, we stand ready to help you. Call our skilled Austin car accident attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk with us.