In Texas, car accident cases revolve around who is at fault for the collision. Sometimes fault is not in dispute, but in many cases each side cannot agree who is ultimately responsible for the wreck.
Receiving a settlement is vital for paying your sudden medical expense and covering other economic losses, like lost wages and damage to your vehicle. Below, we highlight the key steps for bringing a successful car accident claim. Reach out to DC Law if you have a question.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene
Evidence is the basis for any claim. The evidence you get can be used to show who is at fault for the crash. Unless you are so badly injured that you need an ambulance, you should try to gather as much helpful evidence as possible at the scene:
- Take pictures of damage to the vehicles. Get pictures from all sides and zoom in if you can’t see the damage.
- Identify any witnesses to the accident. Get name and contact information.
- Call the police. An officer can write and file a police report which will contain helpful information.
You should also obtain the name and insurance information for all people involved in the crash as you might need to submit a claim to one or more of them.
Documenting Your Losses
Remember to hold onto all medical bills and receipts for anything that you purchase to treat your injuries. If you miss work, also get a copy of your recent pay stub. Your attorney will use this information to help prove how much the car accident has cost you in money.
Negotiating with an Insurer
You should report the accident to your own insurance company and the insurance carrier for everyone involved in the crash. Insurers will need to determine liability for the accident. Unless the cause of the accident is clear, insurers might fight between themselves.
You can make an offer to settle the dispute when you reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point in time where you can’t get better even with additional rest or medical care. At that point, the full extent of your losses should be known to you.
We recommend you do not negotiate a settlement on your own. Instead, hire an attorney. You can also receive a fair amount for pain and suffering and other intangible losses, but insurers rarely make fair settlements.
Hiring an Attorney
A lawyer is a huge benefit when making a car accident claim. A lawyer can make a compelling argument that you did not contribute to the crash, so you are entitled to full reimbursement of your expenses. A lawyer can also help document your pain and suffering.
Soon after an accident, schedule a free consultation with an Austin car accident attorney. At DC Law, we will listen to you describe what happened and determine whether you can bring a solid claim. Then we can handle all other steps in the process.