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Pursuing a car accident claim in Texas can be a frustrating and anxiety-inducing experience. Knowing how to deal with insurance after a car accident can help make the process smoother. Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters because they are looking for ways to twist your words and minimize your potential settlement. 

Learn how to communicate effectively with insurance companies and protect your rights. If you have questions about how to pursue a claim for damages in Texas, speak with a Texas car accident lawyer at The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C

What You Should Do Immediately Following a Texas Car Accident

The steps you take following an accident will impact how you deal with the insurance company. Protecting your rights begins immediately following the accident. Your first priority should be your health and safety. Check yourself and any passengers for any severe injuries. You should contact emergency services if needed. 

Next, it’s important to have the police respond to the accident to prepare a report for your subsequent claim. The responding officer will assess the scene and include notes on who they feel is at fault for the accident. 

Additionally, collect evidence at the scene if it is safe to do so. Take photographs of the damage, your injuries, and the surrounding area. You want to include images that can help your claim, such as skid marks or vehicle debris. Look for other details that might be pertinent, such as road construction, wet streets, overgrown foliage blocking a street sign, etc. 

Communicating with Your Own Insurance Company

Promptly notifying your own insurance company about the accident is a provision in most insurance policies. Not reporting the accident can impact coverage and any first-party benefits. When you contact your insurance company, be ready to provide basic information about what happened and who was involved. 

You should avoid any speculation on fault. Stick to the basics to prevent inadvertently impacting your personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance. That means you should not admit fault or say anything that could be construed as fault. 

Sometimes, you might present a liability claim to your insurance, such as an accident involving an uninsured driver. These are tricky because you’re presenting a claim to your carrier, but they will conduct an investigation and treat you as though you’re presenting a claim to the other driver’s insurance. That is why you want to be cautious about what you say because your company’s adjuster might use it against you in a liability investigation. 

Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

When it comes to dealing with the other driver’s insurance, you always want to be cautious about what you say. Be wary of early settlement offers and comments aimed to dissuade you from hiring a lawyer. 

When the other driver’s insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, it’s advisable to decline until you have time to speak with a lawyer. Insurance companies use these statements to trip you up or get you to admit you are at fault for the accident without even realizing it. 

Be wary of signing any documents from the other party’s insurance company without fully understanding them. When you settle your claim, you’ll be asked to sign a release of all claims. You should have a lawyer review the terms to ensure you’re not signing your rights away. That is especially true if you only resolve a portion of your claim. 

Collecting and preserving evidence is crucial in establishing the facts of the accident and confirming your total damages. The more solid your evidence, the better your position for negotiating a fair and just settlement. 

Negotiating a Texas Car Accident Claim 

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. You can receive compensation for your damages, provided you’re not primarily at fault. The law bars you from recovering any compensation if you are more than 50% at fault.

But, if you’re 30% at fault, you could still receive 70% of your damages. Because of that, insurance companies will do whatever possible to show you are primarily at fault so they can avoid paying out any compensation. 

Negotiating a potential settlement is one of the most challenging aspects of the car accident insurance claims process. Understandably, you think your case is worth one amount, and the insurance company feels it’s worth much less.

To effectively negotiate your claim, you need to understand your claim’s total value. You have the right to ask for past, present, and future damages in some instances. For example, your doctor thinks you will need additional medical care down the line, or you cannot return to your career. You have the right to seek compensation for those future losses. 

When pursuing a personal injury claim against the responsible third party, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as your mental anguish. Pain and suffering is one of the most challenging damages to calculate because there’s no direct associated financial loss. If you cannot reach an amicable resolution to your case, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver might be necessary. 

Should You Hire a Texas Car Accident Lawyer?

Rather than potentially settle your case for less than it’s worth, consider hiring an experienced Texas car accident lawyer. When you have a lawyer representing you, the insurance company cannot communicate with you directly. All communication—including settlement negotiations—must go through your lawyer. 

Your attorney knows how to accurately evaluate your claim’s total value and how best to preserve evidence. You should concentrate on your recovery rather than stressing about negotiating a resolution to your claim.

At The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., we’ll be there every step of the way, ensuring your rights are always protected. The sooner you hire a lawyer after the accident, the sooner we can help.

Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer at The Zimmerman Law Firm 

With nearly 90 years of combined experience, the attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm know how to represent you after a Texas car accident. We understand the nuances of car accident claims and insurance companies’ tactics.

Please don’t go up against a Texas insurance company alone; let our skilled legal team help. To learn more about how to deal with insurance after a car accident, contact The Zimmerman Law Firm to schedule a consultation. 

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Author Photo

Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.

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