After a car accident, insurance companies are looking to close a claim as quickly as they can. That is why it is often not a good idea to settle with the insurance company right after the car accident. In order to get the fair value of your vehicle damages and medical expenses, it may be in your best interests to consult with an attorney to review your case. At Paxton Law, we have over 20 years of insurance claim settlement experience and we have helped thousands of people get the money they deserve.
How Car Insurance Claims Work in Texas
In the state of Texas, drivers are required to have car insurance. This is meant to prevent drivers from financial stress after a car accident. However, in many cases, car insurance companies are difficult to work with and don’t want to pay you the fair value of the damages to your vehicle or your medical expenses. Don’t be rushed into settling with an insurance company.
After you get into a car accident, you can make a claim with your insurance company for the damages to your vehicle and additional expenses (such as medical). When you provide the insurance company with the proper documentation, they should reimburse you for the amount of money that you required to repair your vehicle and your medical bills. In some cases, it is that simple. The insurance company looks at your claim and provides you with the money that you need. Unfortunately in most cases, the insurance company will either deny your claim or offer you an amount below what you have paid or will pay or may need. So should you settle with the insurance company or look at further options?
In a car insurance claim, you can include economic and non-economic damages in your claim. Economic damages are ones that can be quantified in a dollar amount, while non-economic damages are those that are more difficult to quantify into a monetary amount. Economic damages can include lost wages, the cost of medical treatment (therapy, medications, surgeries, etc.), and vehicular repairs. In addition, non-economic damages can include mental/emotional pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of future earning potential, and loss of quality of life.
Texas is an “at fault” state, meaning that insurance companies will not pay for damages until the person who was “at fault” for (caused) the accident has been determined. This means that your insurance will pay for the other party’s expenses if you are determined to be at fault, and vice versa.
But then what if it was both people’s fault? That is called a comparative fault case. This means that both parties were responsible for the accident and neither one was more responsible. In these cases, you can still receive compensation for damages but you may not receive as much, since it is dependent on the percentage you are determined to be at fault.
Deadline to File a Suit
In order to avoid someone filing an insurance claim long after the accident has occurred, there is a statute of limitations on insurance claims. This deadline, in the state of Texas, is typically two years after the date of the accident.
Insurance Companies are Are Protecting Their Interests
It may be a hard pill to swallow, but car insurance companies are looking out for themselves. Even if your claims adjustment manager is the kindest person around, they have orders from higher ups to protect their investments. But how can you tell when your insurance company is looking to close a claim? There are a few signs that the claims adjuster is looking to close as fast as possible. This can include:
- Providing an offer before all medical treatments or repairs are done.
- Offering a much lower amount than what you are owed.
- Claiming you are lying about your expenses
- Delay your claim or ignore your inquiries.
Should you Settle with the Insurance Company after your Car Accident?
Because of the many ways that an insurance company will try to not fairly compensate you, you typically should not settle with the insurance company after your car accident. Once you sign the settlement, the agreement is finalized and considered resolved. This means that you cannot demand more money from your claim after you “agreed” to the settlement. If you haven’t received medical attention for your injuries, haven’t completed car repairs, or have not determined a possible long-lasting and chronic injury, you are signing away your right to pursue money for these claims later.
Even if you do not want to pursue a personal injury claim or a bad faith insurance suit, you can still counteroffer and negotiate the settlement. When making a counteroffer you should highlight the severity of your injuries. It is common for the insurance company to come back with a counteroffer to your counteroffer, which is why the process can take weeks or months to complete.
Car Insurance Lawyers in Texas
In order to receive the full and fair amount of compensation for your car accident, you should consult with an experienced car insurance claims attorney. They can compile the evidence and fight the insurance company on what you are owed. Don’t let your car insurance company take advantage of you and cheat you out of your fair compensation, let the lawyers at Paxton Law fight for you.
Our car insurance claims attorneys have over 20 years of experience in the industry. We have successfully helped people receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages due to a car accident. Contact us today by calling (281) 978-2244 or visiting our website for a free consultation.