Car Accidents Claims Process in Texas

Harrell & Paulson
Man sitting on the ground on phone after car accident

In the Lone Star State, where vehicles are essential for daily commutes across its sprawling cities and wide-open countryside, car accidents are an unfortunate but common occurrence.  

If you've been involved in a car accident in Texas, it's important to understand the unique steps involved when going through the claims process. From the initial collision to the final settlement, the path to recovery—both physically and financially—can seem difficult. However, understanding the Texas claims process can help you fight to secure the compensation you deserve. 

Understanding the Claims Process

The Texas car accident claims process is paved with various steps, and each is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome. Here, we take a closer look at the steps of the claims process, equipping you with the knowledge you need to effectively manage your claim. 

The Importance of Documentation

Regardless of whether you feel immediate pain or notice visible injuries, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are instances where injuries may not show symptoms immediately, and only a medical professional can properly evaluate your condition. This not only ensures your health but also serves as crucial documentation should you decide to file a claim. Without this medical documentation, your claim may be affected. 

Once you've assessed your health, the next step is to gather evidence. This part of the process is vital for building a strong car accident claim. We advise our clients to take photos of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and the overall scene. Additionally, collecting contact information from any witnesses and obtaining a copy of the police report can significantly strengthen your case. 

Report to Your Insurance Company 

After documenting the incident, notify your insurance company. It's important to provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. However, be careful when discussing the details of the accident with the other party's insurance company. They may use your statements against you to reduce the amount of compensation you receive. 

Consult With an Attorney 

Before proceeding with your claim, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced car accident attorney. Our team at Harrell & Paulson has extensive knowledge of handling car accident claims and can provide you with the necessary guidance throughout the process.  

Establish Liability 

Establishing liability in Texas follows a "modified comparative fault" rule, which indicates that the damages a plaintiff can recover are proportionally reduced by their percentage of fault for the accident. Texas law allows for the recovery of damages as long as they are not more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, if they are found to be 51% or more at fault, they are barred from recovering any compensation from the other parties involved. This law emphasizes the importance of gathering comprehensive evidence to accurately establish fault in car accident claims. 

Calculating Damages 

Calculating damages after a car accident involves assessing both the tangible and intangible impacts of the incident. From a financial perspective, this includes medical bills, repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, and any lost wages due to time away from work. Additionally, compensation may be sought for less quantifiable losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Insurance companies typically calculate damages using formulas that account for these various factors, placing particular emphasis on medical expenses and property damage. They may also consider the policyholder's coverage limits and the details surrounding the accident to determine the offer of compensation. However, it's important to remember that an insurance adjuster's primary goal is to minimize the payout on behalf of the insurance company. 

Negotiation and Litigation 

Depending on your case, we will either negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or proceed to litigation. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and experienced trial lawyers who will fight for your rights and best interests. 

An experienced car accident attorney can play a crucial role in ensuring you receive fair compensation. At Harrell & Paulson, our attorneys are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for our clients on their behalf. We not only help in accurately calculating the full extent of your damages but also in gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, we are prepared to represent you in court to fight for the compensation you deserve. 

FAQs About Texas Car Accident Claims

Q1: How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Texas? 

A1: In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is generally two years from the date of the accident. It's crucial to initiate legal proceedings within this time frame to avoid forfeiting your right to compensation. 

Q2: What if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured? 

A2: If you're involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may still be able to recover damages through your own insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. 

Q3: Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the accident? 

A3: Yes. Texas' modified comparative fault rule allows you to recover damages even if you're partly at fault, as long as you are not more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. 

Q4: How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Texas? 

A4: The duration varies significantly depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of one's injuries, and the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate. Some cases can be settled within a few months, while others may take several years to resolve. 

Get Legal Support Now

At Harrell & Paulson, we are dedicated to providing attentive service, relentless advocacy, and empathetic support to our clients throughout the car accident claims process. If you've been involved in a car accident and need assistance with your claim, don't hesitate to contact us. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you after a car accident.