Car accident victims are often surprised that, even if liability for the accident seems clear-cut, the settlement from the negligent party’s insurance company can be anything but straightforward.
It helps to know what to expect from a car accident settlement in Texas — from the time of the accident until you receive payment. That way, you will understand more about the process and be able to adjust your expectations accordingly.
Generally speaking, car accident settlements that cause serious personal injury are best left to experienced personal injury lawyers to follow up while you recover from your injuries. Even with minor injuries, medical bills and other expenses can mount up quickly.
Don’t be tempted into a quick settlement, which is what you may be offered by the insurance company. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that nothing important is missed, and you will receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
But how much are you entitled to, and how will your claim proceed?
Drivers have a duty of care to other road users. All road users — car, truck and motorcycle drivers as well as cyclists and pedestrians — need to obey the road laws and ensure that their actions are safe.
When drivers fail to live up to their duty of care, they may act negligently, which can make them liable for accidents and any losses that result.
Accidents in Texas most commonly result from one of the following:
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Manufacturer defects (faulty auto parts)
If you’re involved in a car accident in Houston, it’s important to take steps to help you determine liability, protect your rights and make a successful claim.
- Calling the police to visit the scene of the accident: even if the parties can drive away, a police report will usually be key supporting evidence to advance a claim.
- Taking photos/video at the scene: including photos of the vehicles (highlighting damage), license plates, markings on the road, road signs and any other notable features at the scene.
- Noting witness details: take the contact details of anyone who saw the accident.
After the accident and you have attended to your injuries, your next move should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney, who can help you collate evidence for your claim. If necessary, an accident reconstruction specialist can be hired to assist.
A valid claim with a third-party insurance company will likely result in an out-of-court settlement but it’s important to prepare for litigation. The insurance company is likely to play hardball and use strategies to downplay a claim.
Receiving a fair settlement for the full amount of your claim can be an enormous challenge if you attempt the process alone.
Settlements for car accidents in Texas may include three types of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages and punitive damages.
Learn More → How Much Can You Expect From a Car Accident Settlement in Houston?