Jason Stephens | March 16, 2021 | Car Accidents
If you were hurt in a car accident in Texas caused by another individual, you’re likely wondering what your legal options are. Pursuing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party will allow you to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses.
While not every car accident case requires legal representation, you should consider consulting an experienced personal injury attorney. Most offer a free consultation where you can discuss your collision and determine whether you need assistance.
Your attorney will handle all aspects of your Texas car accident claim and ensure that you understand your rights and options. They’ll also be your best chance at securing the financial recovery you need for your accident-related damages.
Below, we discuss how to file a personal injury claim after a Texas car crash.
Steps To Filing a Car Accident Claim in Texas
Because Texas is an at-fault state for auto accidents, the party who caused the collision is responsible for paying for any resulting damages. The victim usually files a claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance company.
While all Texas car accident cases are unique, many follow the same general steps. Below, we outline the process – but keep in mind that your claim may differ depending on the circumstances.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
One of the most crucial steps to take following a collision is receiving immediate medical treatment. You should do this even if you don’t think you’re injured, both for your overall well-being and to avoid potential legal issues.
Your medical record is an essential piece of evidence because it helps to establish that the car accident caused your injuries. You should follow your doctor’s treatment plan to avoid any allegations that you failed to mitigate your damages.
Investigate the Car Accident and Gather Evidence
Most car accidents are caused by a driver’s negligent behavior, such as speeding or driving while distracted. In these cases, you’ll have to prove that the driver breached their duty of care and directly caused the collision, resulting in your injuries.
Your attorney will investigate the car accident to gather evidence, which may include:
- Photos, videos, and surveillance of the crash
- Medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness assistance for any complex issues
- The crash report and data
Once you’ve gathered evidence proving your claim, your attorney can assess your damages.
Identify and Calculate Your Damages
Many people are unaware of the potential damages they can recover after a Texas collision.
You can seek compensation for your financial losses (economic damages) and your personal, more difficult-to-value losses (non-economic damages), including:
- Medical expenses
- Future healthcare needs, such as ongoing physical therapy
- Lost wages and employment benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced enjoyment of life
While economic damages typically have a receipt, statement, or bill available to calculate them, non-economic damages are more challenging to value. Your attorney will know how to assess your damages, including future losses.
Send a Demand Letter To the Opposing Party and Engage in Negotiations
You or your attorney will identify the appropriate party to engage in the claims process.
If the at-fault driver is insured, you’ll likely file a claim with their liability insurance provider. Alternatively, you might have to file a personal injury claim directly against the responsible party, such as if they’re uninsured. You may also have a valid case against a third party.
Your attorney will send a demand letter to the opposing party outlining the legal arguments, your injuries, and a demand for compensation. This begins the negotiation process. The parties may engage in back-and-forth negotiations until a settlement is reached.
If the parties can agree, a car accident settlement agreement will be prepared by either your attorney or the other party, and you will review and sign it. Once you sign the agreement, you cannot pursue further legal action – so be sure you understand the terms.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit If You Cannot Reach a Settlement
There are various reasons you may have to file a formal personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Texas. If the opposing party refuses to settle in good faith or you cannot reach a settlement, you may choose to file a lawsuit to show them you’re serious about your case.
Other reasons to file a lawsuit include:
- To get access to the pretrial discovery process so that you can obtain information and evidence from the other side
- The two-year statute of limitations is approaching – if you don’t file your lawsuit within two years of the collision, your claim may be dismissed
A lawsuit begins by filing a complaint and summoning and serving them on the defendant. Then, the parties engage in discovery. Just because you file a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will go to trial. It can settle at any time before the jury renders a verdict.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer If You Need Help Filing a Personal Injury Claim
The Texas personal injury claims process can be daunting and stressful – especially if you’re dealing with injuries. One of our car accident lawyers will alleviate your worries and get fair compensation for your damages. We’ll guide you through the claims process and handle every aspect, allowing you to focus on your emotional and physical recovery.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your claim.