If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an automobile accident, it can be difficult to know what you are supposed to do, who was at fault, or who you should talk to. Below we answer several of the most frequently asked questions related to car accidents. We understand that every situation will be unique and if you have a question unanswered below, do not hesitate to contact the Corpus Christi Personal Injury Lawyers at Brunkenhoefer, P.C.
After a car accident it is important to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers. You should also be sure to take down license plate numbers, driver’s license and ID numbers, and the information of any passengers involved. If there were witnesses to the accident, try to record their statements and collect their information as well. If you have a camera available, take pictures and video of the accident as well as the surrounding area. The information you record during this time will help your claim in court. It is virtually impossible to take down too much data.
Yes. Calling the police is a critical step in any accident, even if the damage is minor and no injuries occurred. The time directly after an accident is perhaps the most important period for collecting information and evidence about your accident. The police will take your statement and file an official report which you can later use in court to support your claim. Be sure to take down the officers contact information as well as the incident report number.
Although this is one of the most commonly asked questions, there is no simple answer. Car accident claims can be enormously complex and every accident will have unique factors. It is possible to settle some claims in a matter of weeks, while other cases can take years. The length of a claim can be influenced by several factors including if serious injury occurred (and how severe), as well as if the case goes to trial.
It can be difficult for the average person to estimate what a fair settlement will look like and in most situations, the initial offers presented by insurance companies will have room for negotiation. You are not required to accept a settlement, especially when you feel as if it is not fair compensation. An attorney can consult with you to determine if an offer is fair and help you to negotiate a higher claim.
No. While it is important to remain polite, you are well within your rights in refusing to talk to the insurance company representing the other driver. They will not have your best interest in mind and may use information you give them to hurt your claim. If you are contacted by another insurance agency, or they present you with a settlement, contact the lawyers at our firm immediately. We will help to protect your interests to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Unless you were entirely responsible for an accident, such as in the case of driving while drunk, you may still be able to collect restitution for damages. Texas law follows the rule of comparative negligence, sometimes called proportionate responsibility, which states that fault for an accident can be shared by multiple parties. The monetary compensation awarded to each driver will be adjusted by the percentage that they are determined to be responsible.
The reality is that not all drivers on the road are legally insured and if you have been hit by a driver who does not possess liability insurance, collecting restitution can be difficult. If your automobile insurance provides coverage for uninsured motorists, you may be able to collect damages from your insurance. If you do not have this coverage, it is still possible to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
While you are not required to hire an attorney for a personal injury car accident claim, it often makes sense to do so. While the average person may only experience a car accident a few times in their life, our attorneys are involved in personal injury cases on a daily basis. A good lawyer will be intimately familiar with the laws surrounding personal injury and car accident claims and can assist you in negotiating settlements, disputing unfair treatment, and ensuring your interests are protected.
Still have questions regarding your car accident? Schedule a free consultation with the Corpus Christi Personal Injury Lawyers at Brunkenhoefer, P.C. today!