If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas and got injured, chances are you will be making an injury claim with the insurance company. Depending on the facts of the accident, this could be a few phone calls back and forth or it could be a long process that drags on for months.
Typically, you or your car accident attorney will make your points clear about your claim to the insurance adjustor along with submitting a demand letter and all other supporting documents. The insurance adjuster will do the same, and will typically fire back with a settlement amount lower than the amount requested in the demand letter. This might go on for a bit until both parties agree to settle on a number in between that satisfies everyone.
To help guide you through this tough process, I’ve put together some of the most important tips for making a successful car insurance claim in Texas.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Since Texas is a fault state when it comes to insurance, claims must be filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company, or an uninsured/underinsured policy from the injured person if the at-fault party has no insurance.
When it comes to negotiating with the insurance company, the most important thing is to understand the motivations of the insurance adjuster. Since their top priority is to save their company money by offering the lowest possible settlement, you need to explain in detail the extent of your injuries, any emotional difficulties you’ve been through, the trauma caused by a serious accident, the medical care you had to seek, and the financial situation this whole accident has placed you in. The better prepared you are the more difficult you could make it for the adjuster to offer you the lowest settlement.
In order to have a strong claim, calculate your damages in detail prior to meeting with the insurance adjuster. Prepare proof for your claims and send your firm settlement offer to the adjuster and be prepared to negotiate until you reach a favorable sum.
Do Not Accept the First Offer You Get
As mentioned before, the insurance company’s main goal is to pay out the least amount possible to settle. In order to truly understand what your claim may be worth I’m going to breakdown what damages you could recover in addition to your medical and car repair bills:
Future Medical Expenses
In many cases, victims of a serious accident must receive medical care for a period longer than the days following the accident. Some more serious injuries might require surgery and extensive medical care. While generally it’s better to wait until all medical treatment is completed before filing a personal injury claim, sometimes you might risk running past the deadline to file the suit. So, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can present your future medical expenses as part of your claim.
As a result of a serious accident, you might be obligated to miss work for days, months, or even longer while you receive treatment for your injuries. An experienced attorney by your side will carefully calculate the wages you were supposed to be receiving and present them to the insurance company to earn a higher settlement payout.
Pain and Suffering
This is arguably the most difficult avenue to truly place a monetary value on. There are numerous mental difficulties one might go through after a serious injury. An experienced injury attorney knows exactly how to express that to the insurance adjusters, showing them the grave effect the accident has had and will have on your life.
In the case where the other party that has caused the accident was intoxicated or driving recklessly and putting people’s lives to danger, you would be able to receive punitive damages against them.
Obtain Legal Representation
It’s agreed upon that the process of negotiating with an insurance adjuster is no fun experience. Especially after being injured in an accident. Luckily, you can always obtain legal representation from a local personal injury attorney. Having an experienced attorney by your side will greatly increase your chances of securing a favorable settlement.
Not only does the lawyer have years of experience in handling injury cases and negotiating with numerous insurance companies, having them on your side on it’s own will keep the insurance companies from giving you low-ball offers and will speed up the process of reaching an agreement.