Personal Injury

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Texas

A guide to understanding accident compensation

You've been in a car accident. Now what? It can be a very upsetting experience that can throw your life into chaos. Many people aren't sure what to do next and have lots of questions. The Texas car accident attorneys at Tracey Fox & Walters have prepared this basic guide about how the process works.

It will take time to sort out everything. If you are injured, the most important thing is getting the medical attention you need. There will also be expenses related to your accident that can add up before you receive any compensation. Our car accident lawyers can help you keep track of those, and if you have trouble paying medical expenses, we may be able to help with that.

Each case is different. Sometimes, your injuries are apparent right away. Other times, you might feel pain days or weeks later. Feeling sore is common after an accident. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case and advise you on the best approach for your case. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

Car accident claim checklist – what to do

Get legal advice

This is the best way to make sure your rights are protected. Your case may be more complicated than it seems. There may be other parties involved. Insurance companies may try to pay you less than you are owed. It's always a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney to see where you stand. And it won't cost you a thing. We offer a free case evaluation and can advise you of your legal options.

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Prove negligence

If you choose us to represent you, we will conduct our own investigation of what happened and build a solid case. In general, we need to be able to show that:

  • The negligent person had a duty to keep you safe
  • The party was in breach of that by acting negligently
  • The other party's breach of that duty resulted in your injury

As part of our investigation, we'll conduct a thorough review of all documents, including police reports and medical records. We'll talk to witnesses to get their accounts of the accident. We can seek data from the other car's data recorder, or "black box." This can have information such as the car's speed, and whether brakes were applied just before the accident. If needed, we will bring in experts to analyze the evidence.

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File the claim

Next, we submit a complaint to the court, along with a suggestion for compensation. When determining the value of your claim, we consider many different factors. This includes the impact the injury has had on you and your family. We will consider medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and any disfigurement or physical impairment. We can also consider damages (financial compensation) for pain and suffering and emotional distress, and possibly punitive damages.

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Fight for your claim

Next, we work to get you the compensation you are owed. Because of our past success, we are often able to negotiate a settlement that's right for you with the insurance company. We will be ready to fight for you in court, if that's what it takes. You don't owe us a penny unless we win.

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Frequently asked questions about car accident claims

Can you file a car accident claim without a police report?

Yes, it is possible to file a car accident claim without a police report in Texas, but it can be challenging. A police crash report can provide important documentation and evidence for your claim, so it's generally recommended to have one if possible. However, if there was no police report, you can still proceed with your claim. Contact one of our car accident claim lawyers for guidance.

How long after a car accident can you file a claim?

You can typically file a car accident insurance claim in the following days after the accident, but it's a good idea to do so as soon as possible. If you were hurt in an accident, that will be taken into account, but you should still try to file your injury claim soon after a car accident.

The exact timeframe may vary depending on your insurance policy and the laws in your area, but generally, it's best to notify your insurance company and begin the insurance claims process promptly after the accident. Delaying the filing of a claim can potentially lead to complications or difficulties in obtaining compensation.

What happens if your car accident claim exceeds insurance limits?

There’s no simple answer to this question. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your options may include filing a claim with your insurance provider under a underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM or UIM) policy or taking legal action against a different liable party. To understand the options available to you and choose the one best suited for your situation, contact our experienced Texas car accident claim lawyers now.

Why is my car accident insurance claim going to court?

A car accident claim may proceed to court for different reasons. Initially, parties involved in a car accident typically attempt to resolve the matter outside of court with the goal of settling through negotiations. Most cases ultimately are resolved by settlement, but not all. Here are some scenarios in which a car accident claim might wind up in court:

Disagreement on liability

If an agreement about who caused the accident cannot be reached, the claim may end up in court. The court will then decide who is legally responsible based on evidence and arguments presented by the plaintiff (you, the party who filed the lawsuit) and defendant (the party being sued).

Insurance disputes

If insurance providers refuse to provide a fair settlement, present a low-ball offer, or dispute the extent of damages, negotiations may hit a dead end. Going to court may be necessary in order to pursue the compensation you need and deserve after your car accident.

Our attorneys have the experience needed to take your case to trial if necessary. Most often, when the insurance company sees we’re ready to take them to court, they offer a fair settlement. But if they won’t, we are prepared to do what it takes to advocate for your rights from start to finish.