The first thing you should do is get medical help for you or anyone else who was injured. You should also file a police report. This report will prove valuable if you wish to seek financial recovery from the driver who caused the accident. You should also consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who can explain how to handle a car accident in Texas.
A lawyer will help you determine the accident’s immediate and ongoing costs. These can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer will also explore your financial recovery options, contact the at-fault party’s insurance company, negotiate a favorable settlement, and comply with the state’s statute of limitations. While your lawyer handles your case, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
What Else Should I Do to Handle My Texas Car Accident?
Between calling the police and contacting a lawyer, there are several other things you can handle following your car accident in Texas. You could:
- Exchange information with the other driver and any witnesses at the accident if your health permits. You should keep communication at a minimum and never apologize or admit fault. Remain neutral. If the other driver is hostile, wait for the police.
- Collect and document what you can. Take photographs of the car damage, the accident scene, and your injuries. Keep your clothes and any damaged personal items unchanged. Write down what you remember from the accident. Retain all bills and invoices while you recover from your injuries.
- Let your car insurance company know you were in an accident. Just tell them the basics, such as when and where the accident occured. Do not offer any suggestions how the accident happened, and do not admit fault with them either.
If you decide to contact a lawyer for assistance, these steps can help the two of you build a case for financial recovery.
Let a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle Your Texas Case
When a lawyer handles your car accident case, he fights to get the financial recovery for your medical care and expenses that stem from your injuries. Your lawyer will:
- Investigate the accident
- Gather supporting evidence
- Handle all communication
- Assess your potential damages
- Negotiate on your behalf
Your lawyer will prepare your evidence for the settlement process, including organizing and submitting it on your behalf. Your evidence will include your police report, medical records, property damage information, and proof of income. He will also prepare it for presentation in court if you cannot reach a settlement.
Texas law requires you to file a police report after a car accident if anyone in either car is physically or fatally injured or if either vehicle is damaged. The report will tell your lawyer valuable information, including contact information for the driver, his insurance company, and accident witnesses.
It will also have notes and diagrams from the reporting officer and possibly contain police-generated photos. The report will note whether the other driver received any traffic violations that contributed to the accident. It will also note other contributing factors, like distracted driving, intoxication, or speeding. These details can help your lawyer prove negligence and negotiate an appropriate settlement.
Medical records prove the extent of your injuries and the costs of your existing treatment plan. Your medical records will contain a prognosis for your future recovery. Your prognosis will help your lawyer determine the physical and financial impact your injuries will make on your future.
Property Repair or Replacement
The negligent driver is responsible for restoring your car to its pre-accident condition. If your car is declared a total loss, it will be replaced at its current value. You can determine that value using authoritative guides. Some vehicles may be repairable after an accident but will not retain their pre-accident resale value. If that is the case with your vehicle, you can request financial recovery based on its diminished value.
Proof of Income
After a car accident, your recoverable damages will include income loss. You can request recovery of all regular income sources while you could not work. You can prove your lost income with check stubs, direct deposit receipts, or tax records.
Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
While most car accident cases are settled without going to court, you may still wish to file a lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can do this for you. It protects your ability to recover damages if you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
Texas’ Statute of Limitations
Even if you enter settlement talks, you should file your lawsuit without delay because Texas law generally limits your right to file to two years from the accident’s date. The same statute and timeline apply if you file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in a fatal car accident.
A personal injury lawyer can clarify the filing deadline and any factors that may alter. They can also ensure your lawsuit is filed on time and eliminate the risks of filing too late with sufficient notice.
A D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® Case Consultation Is Free
Were you or someone you love injured in a car accident? You do not have to assign financial liability or seek damages on your own. Our personal injury team can tell you how to handle a car accident in Texas and help negotiate a settlement. Find out what else we can do for you by calling one of our team members at (713) 850-8600.
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