Steps in Settling Your Claim in Houston, Texas
Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? If so, you may be wondering what the steps in settling your personal injury claim process look like in Texas. While the steps in settling your claim process can be confusing and overwhelming, you don’t have to go through it alone.
The team of experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Scott M. Brown & Associates are here to help. We have over 15 years of experience handling personal injury claims in Texas, and we know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about the steps in settling your claim and how we can help you.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney for Settling My Claim in Houston?
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering what the next steps are in settling your personal injury claim. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the property damage caused, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But the legal system can be hard to understand, so you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
At Scott M. Brown & Associates law firm, we pride ourselves on being able to provide our accident victim clients with the best possible outcome in their case. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the aftermath of an accident, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.
What are the Car Insurance Laws in Texas?
As a driver in Texas, it’s important to be aware of the state’s car insurance laws. Texas is a “fault” state for car insurance, which means that the driver who caused an accident can be sued for damages and injuries.
Every motorist is therefore accountable for vehicle accident damage and injuries (Sec. 601.051). Drivers can also add coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers to their policy (Sec. 1952.101).
If you’re involved in an accident, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to settle your claim. First, you’ll need to file a police report and notify your insurance company.
After an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Most policies have a deadline for filing, so it’s important to check yours to make sure you don’t miss it.
Most insurance companies require you to give written notice of an accident, and some have special forms for this purpose. Once the insurer has received your notice, it has 15 days to acknowledge receipt and 60 days to deny or approve your claim (Sec. 542.056).
If your car accident claim is approved, the insurance company must then pay you within five days (Sec. 542.056 and 542.057). If you’re not satisfied with the insurer’s decision, you can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.
By familiarizing yourself with the car insurance laws in Texas, you can be prepared in the event of an accident.
How Do Texas Motor Vehicle Accident Settlements Work?
The process of settling a claim following a car accident in Texas can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you’re dealing with an insurance company. However, by understanding the steps involved in settling your claim, you can improve your chances of getting the full compensation or settlement amount you deserve.
First, it’s important to gather all the evidence you can to support your personal injury claim. This includes witness testimony, police reports, and any other relevant paperwork.
Next, you’ll need to calculate the full extent of your damages, including both economic and non-economic damages. Once you have this information, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate with the insurance company.
The settlement negotiation process can take some time, and it is not unusual for it to take several months to reach an agreement. During this time, the insurance company will likely make several low settlement offers in an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
Insurance companies are prohibited by law from engaging in unfair claim settlement practices such as willfully misrepresenting relevant facts or policy conditions, or negotiating in bad faith (Sec. 542.003).
It is important to remember that you are not obligated to accept any offer, no matter how low it is. If you are not happy with the settlement offer being made, you can continue to negotiate.
If you’re unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit. Even during the proceedings, settlement talks may continue.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not to accept a settlement offer. However, if you do choose to settle your case, be sure to get everything in writing so there’s no confusion about the terms of the agreement.
To settle a claim, the insurance company may require a release stating you won’t make further claims connected to the same accident. You shouldn’t sign anything unless you’re sure the payment covers your damages, including future medical care. Sec. 541.060 of the Texas Insurance Code says that insurance companies can’t hold off on paying a claim to get a release.
What is the Settlement Process and Timeline for Car Accidents in Texas?
If you’re in a car accident, there are several steps you’ll need to take in order to receive compensation for your damages. First, you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company of the person who is at fault. Then, the insurance company will investigate the claim.
Once they have finished their investigation, they will offer you a settlement. If you’re not happy with the settlement, you can negotiate with the insurance company.
If you still can’t reach a settlement agreement, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit. In Texas law, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident.
So it’s important to keep track of deadlines and start working on your case as soon as possible.
Must I Report a Motor Vehicle Accident?
After you have been involved in a car accident, there are a few steps you should take in order to settle your claim.
First, you will need to file a Crash Report, Form CR-2, within 10 days if the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage over $1,000 and was not investigated by a police officer (Sec. 601.004). Once everyone is secure, you will need to exchange personal, car, and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. (Sec. 550.023),
You will also need to obtain witness information. Additionally, you should take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident and note any weather or road conditions that may have contributed to it.
Finally, never blame yourself for the accident. Even if you feel guilty, the evidence may prove otherwise.
How Much Is A Fair Settlement?
After you’ve been in a car accident and filed a claim, it is likely that you will have to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Each vehicle accident is unique, therefore there is no specific formula for determining a settlement value. However, there are some general things to keep in mind when negotiating with an insurance company, such as:
- The extent of your injuries: mild whiplash is less serious than a permanent spinal injury.
- Medical expenses that are both reasonable and essential.
- Wage losses, both current and future.
- Whether you contributed to the accident: Texas uses “modified comparative negligence” to limit or decrease damages based on fault.
- The amount of information and documents you provide.
- Your or your attorney’s ability to explain your case.
- The Procedure for Resolving Your Claim types of insurance coverage the other driver possesses
In most cases, it is advisable to hire an attorney to help you settle your claim. An attorney will be able to navigate the insurance claims process, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.
When Should I File My Claim?
Filing your claim too soon or too late can have an impact on the outcome. It’s critical to ensure that your injuries and medical conditions have stabilized before filing.
This is known as “maximum medical improvement,” and filing before your body has reached this point can result in some of your medical bills or costs getting lost in the flow. You shouldn’t settle until you know your full injuries. Personal injury cases must be filed in Texas within 2 years of the accident.
Otherwise, there’s no recompense. After gathering documentation and assessing your damages, file a claim. When you’re ready to file your personal injury claim, you’ll need to provide:
- A) Documentation of your injuries and treatment costs
- B) Proof that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence.
If you have both of these items, you’re ready to proceed with your claim. If not, you may want to consult with an attorney to see if you have a case worth pursuing. When it comes to claims, timing is everything, so be sure not to file too soon or too late.
Do I Need to Send a Demand Letter?
Yes. You’ll need to send a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurer. Your demand letter should explain what happened, how the defendant is to blame, what happened to you and how you’ve been hurt.
Your demand letter should end with the claim amount (the sum of all of your damages). Each assertion should be supported by facts and proof. Include your medical records, police report, and any other materials related to the case.
Once you’ve sent your demand letter, the insurance company will have a set period of time to respond. If they choose to deny your claim or make an offer that is much lower than what you’re asking for, then you may need to file a lawsuit.
However, if they make a fair offer, then you can avoid going to court and resolve your case outside of court.
How Do I Appeal an Insurance Company’s Decision?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be wondering how to appeal an insurance company’s decision. The first step is to send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurer.
In the letter, you should include information about the accident, your injuries, and any financial losses you’ve incurred. You should also state the amount of compensation you’re seeking.
If the insurer doesn’t respond within a month, keep trying. The insurer can respond in several ways. They may determine that you haven’t established your case and owe you nothing.
If this happens, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. More often, though, the insurance company will agree to a small payment for some of your damages. This will start the negotiation process.
Remember, it’s important to be patient and professional. Don’t be afraid to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston if you have any questions or concerns.
Get Legal Assistance With Your Texas Car Accident Settlement
If you’ve been in a car accident in Texas, you may be wondering how to go about settling your claim. The first step is to contact a local automobile accident lawyer with experience in Texas’s settlement process. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on your best course of action and help you build a strong case against the insurance company.
The next step is to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. There’s no set time for negotiations, but you and the insurance adjuster should reach a fair settlement after a few offers and counteroffers. If you can’t settle, you may have to go to court. Either way, your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way, fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Go to Court
If the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement, you may have to take them to court. In Texas, if your losses don’t exceed the state limit, you can take them to small claims court.
Higher compensation claims must be taken to court. Most lawsuits are settled out of court because it’s less stressful for everyone involved.
If you do have to go to court, engage the services of a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. They will know how to collect evidence and build a strong argument for you.
With their help, you stand a much better chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Call our Competent Personal Injury Attorney Now.
If you’re involved in a personal injury accident in Houston, TX, it’s important to take the necessary steps in settling your claim.
Our law firm has extensive experience handling all types of personal injury claims in Texas. We have settled claims for pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, motorcycle accidents, and even truck accidents.
We’re here to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. So call us now to get started.