Nobody intends to get into a car accident. Some people will have multiple crashes throughout their lives, while others are lucky enough only to have one or none at all. However, getting into a car accident can be stressful. It is easy to forget what to do, even if it has happened to you before.
If you get into a car accident in Fort Worth, TX, there are some basic Fort Worth car accident FAQs that everyone should know. Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers has compiled this information so that you only need to look in one place.
From there, we encourage you to contact a Fort Worth car accident attorney to schedule a free consultation. At that time, we can review your accident, answer any further questions you may have, and advise you on your best course of action.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Fort Worth, TX?
After getting into a car crash, there are several things that you should do. For better or worse, the immediate aftermath of an accident can significantly impact the success of any insurance or legal claims you may bring.
Call the Police
It’s generally a good idea to call the police after a car accident. Texas law doesn’t require every accident to be reported, but it can be helpful to get a police report right after the crash. You are required, however, to report a crash that causes:
- Property damage over $1000
When the police arrive on the scene, they will document relevant evidence, write a report, and take statements. They may also call an ambulance for emergency medical treatment if someone is hurt.
Get Medical Treatment
In some cases, an ambulance will provide you with emergency medical treatment on the scene of an accident or drive you to the hospital. You must get medical treatment for your injuries. Not only will this prevent your injuries from worsening, but it will also create a record for use later in your case.
If an ambulance doesn’t come to the scene, you should go to the doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible. Sometimes the symptoms of serious injuries can go unnoticed. It’s better to be safe and overcautious than to experience a worse injury down the line.
Exchange Insurance Information
If you have called the police, they will facilitate the exchange of insurance information after a crash. If they don’t come to the scene, you must get insurance information from the person who is responsible for causing the crash.
You may be able to use their policy to cover your damages. When people forget to exchange information on the scene, it can make their case harder. They might not have contact information for the other driver and are left without options for pursuing damages in the future.
How Does Car Insurance Work in Fort Worth?
Texas law requires drivers to carry car insurance. The minimum is $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Some drivers also carry PIP (personal injury protection) insurance.
When you get into a car accident, you will file an insurance claim with the insurance company for the person who is responsible. However, if you have PIP insurance, you will usually file a claim through that policy first. PIP insurance is a no-fault insurance scheme. It means that you can get coverage for your reasonable medical costs regardless of who caused the crash.
If you have outstanding medical bills or damage to your car or other property, then you will file a claim with the insurance company for the person who is responsible. The insurance company will investigate the claim and collect evidence.
Then they will decide whether they will accept or deny your claim. They might make an offer to pay for less than you are requesting. This will open a negotiation period where you can accept or reject their offer. If you agree, then you will sign a document that releases the driver from future liability and get a check for the agreed amount.
What Evidence Should I Collect After a Crash in Fort Worth, TX?
Evidence is the foundation of any car accident case. After a crash, you should collect evidence such as:
- Taking photos of the cars
- Taking photos of the scene
- Taking photos of your injuries
- Writing down what happened
- Collecting video footage
- Requesting medical records
- Identifying witnesses on the scene
- Requesting police reports
A Fort Worth car accident lawyer can also help you collect evidence after a crash. However, depending on when you hire a lawyer, they might be too late to get certain types of evidence, like photos.
What Happens if I Caused the Accident?
Texas applies modified comparative fault law. This means that you can still recover money even if you are partially responsible for causing an accident. Specifically, you can recover damages as long as you are not more than 50% responsible for the crash. If you are more than 50% responsible, then you cannot recover anything.
If you are partially responsible, then you can get damages proportionate to the defendant’s share of blame. For example, if you are 25% responsible, then you can recover 75% of your damages.
It’s important to mitigate your responsibility so that you don’t jeopardize your case. Never accept blame for an accident, and if you sense that you are getting blamed, then call a lawyer to help protect you.
Should I Give a Statement to the Insurance Company?
It’s normal for an insurance company to request a recorded or written statement about the accident. They usually ask for this from the policyholder and all drivers or witnesses in the crash. You should not offer to give this type of statement without advice from an attorney.
The insurance company is probably not on your side. Their job is to pay the least amount of money per claim. That means the insurance adjuster will look for ways to blame you for the accident or minimize your injuries. You should never accept blame and be very careful that you don’t say anything that could hurt you.
If you are recorded, your statement can be used later in a lawsuit. This may be helpful, but it can also hurt. A lawyer can prepare you to give the statement to make sure that you don’t answer unfavorably. They will also help to protect you from an insurance adjuster asking tricky or confusing questions.
When Is It Appropriate To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
Unfortunately, not every car accident case ends with insurance. Sometimes it is necessary to file a car accident lawsuit. Usually, this happens when:
- Insurance outright denies your claim
- Insurance offers less money than you deserve
- Insurance is blaming you for causing the crash
- The at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance
It’s great to have a lawyer working on your side during the insurance process for this reason. Often they can help prevent a lawsuit by holding insurance companies accountable. However, if negotiations fail, they have the experience to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Texas. Within these two years, you will need to pursue insurance claims and negotiate. It’s best not to wait too long after a crash to get started on this process. There are also exceptions to the two-year time limit in some cases.
If you miss this deadline, then you will lose your right to pursue damages in court. If insurance negotiations fail, then you are out of luck. By speaking with a lawyer immediately after your accident, they can keep track of this deadline and make sure that everything is in order by the time the deadline comes around.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a Car Crash in Fort Worth?
A Fort Worth car accident lawyer can help you immensely after a crash. If you have serious injuries, you probably won’t have time to deal with insurance and a legal case. A lawyer will take charge of the insurance process, negotiation, and a lawsuit when necessary.
Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers has 37 years of combined experience handling car accident cases in Fort Worth. We know how to handle these cases so that you can focus on healing. To date, we’ve recovered over $75 million for our clients.
Contact a Car Wreck Lawyer in Fort Worth to Schedule a Free Consultation
Our lawyers offer a free consultation. That means that you can get preliminary advice and share your story without any downside. If you do decide to hire us, then we charge a contingency fee. You aren’t obligated to pay us anything unless we win money for your case. If we do win, our fee comes from the settlement or jury verdict.
As a result, you can have confidence that we are working hard on your case and that you will always be able to afford our services. Call us to set up a free consultation and learn more today.
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