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What are my rights after a car accident?

Know your rights and how to navigate insurance claims in Abilene, Texas

Car accidents can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when it comes to understanding your rights and the necessary steps to take afterward. If you find yourself involved in a car accident in Abilene, Texas, it’s crucial to know your rights and the process for filing insurance claims and potential lawsuits. This blog post aims to guide you through these aspects, ensuring you’re well-informed and prepared. At The Low Law Firm we believe it is imperative that you understand the process and know the steps necessary to handle your car wreck claim in Abilene, Texas. If you need assistance please call an experienced car accident lawyer at The Low Law Firm 325-455-1889.

Immediate Steps to Take After an Accident

car-accident-attorney-abilene-texas Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention: Your first priority should be safety. Check for injuries and call 911 if anyone is hurt. Seeking medical attention is crucial, even if injuries seem minor.

Report the Accident: Texas law requires you to report the accident to the police if there are injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage. Obtain a copy of the police report, as it will be important for your insurance claim and any potential lawsuit.

Exchange Information: Collect the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance details from all involved parties. If there are witnesses, gather their contact information as well. All to often this information is not included in the crash report, so if you are able to obtain this information at the time it will save alot of headache later.

Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs. These can serve as crucial evidence.

Understanding Your Rights

Right to Compensation: If you are not at fault, you have the right to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help navigate the complexities of insurance claims and lawsuits. At The Low Law Firm we will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your options.

Right to File an Insurance Claim: Texas follows a “fault” system, meaning the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering the damages up to the amount of their insured’s policy limit. You can file a claim with your own insurance company or directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer. Oftentimes it is faster to file with your own insurance and let them handle the property damage portion with the at fault party’s carrier.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the necessary details and documentation.

Investigation and Determination of Fault: The insurance companies involved will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. This may involve reviewing the police report, speaking with witnesses, and examining evidence.

Settlement Offer: If the other party is found to be at fault, their insurance company will likely offer a settlement. It’s important to carefully review this offer, as initial settlements may not fully cover your expenses. There are a number of factors involved in determining any settlement offers, it would be very wise of you to discuss this with any attorney before accepting any settlement offers from the at fault insurance company. These companies frequently make low-ball settlement offers quickly after the accident, and all to often these offers do not adequately compensate you for your damages.

Negotiation: If the settlement offer is insufficient, you or your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fairer amount.

Filing a Lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Filing a Lawsuit

Consult an Attorney: If you haven’t already, consult with a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best course of action.

Statute of Limitations: In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to have either settled your claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. Failing to file within this period may result in losing your right to seek compensation.

Pre-Litigation Process: Your attorney may send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, outlining your injuries and damages, and requesting compensation. This can sometimes lead to a settlement without going to court.

Filing the Complaint: If a settlement is not reached, your car accident attorney will file a petition in the appropriate court. Once that petition, or lawsuit, is filed the at fault party will be served and should file an answer within a certain time period.

Discovery: Both sides will gather evidence, take depositions, and exchange information during the discovery phase.

Mediation and Settlement Negotiations: Before going to trial, there may be opportunities for mediation or further settlement negotiations.

Trial: If the case goes to trial, both sides will present their evidence and arguments. The judge or jury will then determine the outcome and any compensation owed.

Appeal: If either party is dissatisfied with the trial outcome, they may appeal the decision to a higher court.

Understanding your rights and the processes involved in filing insurance claims and lawsuits after a car accident in Abilene, Texas is essential for protecting yourself and ensuring you receive fair compensation. By taking the right steps immediately after the accident, documenting everything meticulously, and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can navigate this challenging time with greater confidence and clarity. These claims have become incredibly complex and convoluted. It is imperative that you seek counsel quickly to know what rights apply to your situation. At the Low Law Firm, in Abilene, Texas, we offer free consultations on these matters at our office located at 7242 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas. You can also call us at (325) 455-1889.

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