What should I do after a car accident?
According to the ASIRT (Association for Safe International Road Travel), nearly 2.35 million people are injured in car accidents each year. With such a high statistic, it's no wonder insurance companies don't want you to contact a car accident attorney. Let's be clear, insurance companies care about profits more than they do about you. However, at Daly Campbell, we firmly believe that we can ensure you get a maximum recovery for your injuries. As former prosecutors now handling personal injury and car accident injuries, we are relentless fighters for the little guy against the big insurance companies.
Regardless of your injury, there are some things you'll want to cover to ensure the best outcome for you.
Time Frame Requirements
It is important to understand that there is a time limit on how long you are able to file for a motor vehicle accident. In Texas, there is a two year maximum time frame that you must file by when dealing with a personal injury from a car accident. Starting from the date of the accident, you will have two years to file for personal injury claims. It's important to note that this does not include the time it takes to file your claim with the insurance company. However, it's a good idea to file with your insurance as close to the accident as you can. Once it's filed, there will need to be an inspection of the vehicles and an evaluation of injuries. Do not underestimate how fast time can go by so take action as soon as possible.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Car accidents are scary and can cause an array of emotions. In the midst of the all the charged emotions, it's important to remain as calm as possible in the situation and be careful what you say at the scene. In the event that you are conscious and able to communicate well, do not admit to fault at the scene. Any statement you make can be used as evidence in the case filed. Try to limit your conversation with the other person involved and stick to the exchange of insurance information and police investigation cooperation. If the police officer asks you for an explanation of the scenario, be equally as careful in your word choice.
File a Report to Your Insurance
Though you have a two-year window, be prompt in filing your accident. It is possible for insurances to refuse the option to protect you if you failed to report the accident early on. When you file with your insurance agency, dig a little deeper into your insurance plan. Ask them about the in's and out's of your policy and what you may be entitled to for benefits, rental cars in the event that your car is totaled, wage loss if the injury is serious, or any medical bills. Once the claim is processed, if you are not responsible for the accident, you won't see a raise in your insurance rate. As you continue to move forward with your insurance company, cooperate with them and the requests they may have. If you sought medical attention after the accident, they may want to speak with your doctors or need to have a specific company they have pre-approved check your vehicle. Though you'd like to assume them to be on your side from the get-go, insurance companies are careful with their stance as well and can remove the benefits you could receive if you do not cooperate with them. Above all, be honest and transparent with them. In the event that you hide details that come to light later, your insurance can, again, refuse to cover you or even drop you.
And we mean everything. If you do seek medical attention immediately after the accident, which we highly recommend, take special note of the instructions your doctor gives you. Failure to comply with these directions or choosing to not get an initial evaluation from your doctor can cause issues with your claim. If and when you have decided to file the claim against the other driver, ensure you are keeping record of all losses you experience in that time, due to the accident. This includes time off work as well as medical bills, lodging, food, etc., keep track of all viable documentation.
Include a Lawyer Early
Believe it or not, you can actually have a lawyer handle the claim of your accident. Knowing early on that you plan to file against the other driver involved can give you the benefit of reaching out to a lawyer to handle all the messy details. Victims often end up with two or three times of the amount they would normally when they choose to include a lawyer. As mentioned above, dealing with accidents is a stressful, and often emotional, situation. Allowing a lawyer to step in can help alleviate any further stress and give you the confidence to know you're being fought for by someone who knows the law.
Contact Daly Campbell Law Firm
At Daly Campbell Law Firm, we offer consultation appointments to learn how we can best represent you in the scenario. We fight to protect you, not the insurance company. Our passion is to accurately represent the victims of personal injury due to vehicular accidents. Let us help you move forward to a full recovery. Call Daly Campbell Law Firm today or schedule an appointment online for a virtual meeting.