Motor vehicle crashes are rather common on the roads of Texas. In fact, the state reports one of the highest numbers of fatal car accidents every year in the US. Immediately after a car accident in Houston, you need to call the police. As per Texas laws, this is a must if there was death, injury, or considerable property/vehicle damage involved. If you (or someone else) need medical attention, call 911 from the accident site. Also, take photos of the accident scene and note down all other relevant details. It would help if you also informed your insurer without much delay. When you have received medical attention and feel better, consider hiring a Houston car accident attorney.
Most car accidents are complex
If you have suffered injuries and financial losses due to an unfortunate car accident, you have two options –
- File a first-party insurance claim with your insurer
- File a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer
Texas is a fault state. The at-fault driver must compensate you for your financial losses. However, just because you have sustained injuries doesn’t mean you can always blame the other driver. This is where an attorney can help. A capable personal injury lawyer will investigate the accident to find fault and liability. They can guide you on the worth of your claim and what you can expect from the case.
When you are at fault
Many states follow the modified comparative fault rule, and Texas is one of them. If you are more than 50% at fault or more at fault than the other party, you cannot expect a settlement, even when your financial losses are considerably higher. At-fault drivers rarely admit wrongdoing, and insurance companies will do their bit to shift the blame. If your share of fault is less than the other driver, you may end up taking the blame because of bad faith insurance tactics.
Legal advice is not expensive
Hiring an attorney is more about negotiating with insurance companies like a pro. Attorneys also know when to pursue the matter at trial so that you don’t settle for a lower amount. At the same time, they will do their best to reduce the pressure on you. Lawyers don’t charge an upfront fee for accident claims in general. If the lawyer wins a financial settlement, you need to pay a contingency fee, and typically, the fee is a part of the final settlement. Lawyers will take 25-40% of the compensation only when they win.