How do insurance companies decide to total a car in Texas? The short answer is insurance companies can choose to repair your car up until the cost to repair exceeds the fair market value of your vehicle. However, insurance companies will usually total a vehicle when repairs exceed 50% – 75% of the value. It’s important to know whether the insurance company will be totaling your car after an accident. First, it gives you the opportunity to get an early jump start on researching comparable vehicles to present to the insurance company in order to increase your offer on the actual cash value of the car. Second, it will give you more time to shop for a replacement vehicle while the insurance company performs their investigation and estimate of the damages. Third, it may help to avoid accruing additional costs such as storage fees that the insurance company may refuse to pay if you failed to properly mitigate your damages by leaving your car at a storage facility for an unreasonable amount of time. Texas Law on When a Car is Totaled Texas law mandates how insurance companies determine when to total a vehicle and provides a formula, as indicated in the Texas Transportation Code. According to Texas Transportation Code Section 501.091(15), a salvage or “totaled” vehicle has damage to or is missing a major component part to the extent that the cost of repairs, including parts and labor other than the cost of materials and labor for repainting the motor vehicle and excluding sales tax on the total cost of repairs, exceeds the actual cash value of the motor vehicle immediately before the damage. In other words, the Texas total loss formula to determine whether a damaged vehicle must be a total loss is: Cost of Repair > Actual Cash Value If the total cost of repairs is greater than the actual cash value (ACV) or market value of car, then the insurance company will total the car. For example, if your 2008 Honda Accord has an actual cash value of $4,500 and the cost to repair it is $5,000, then your car would be totaled. $5,000 > $4,500 Please keep in mind that insurance companies may decide to total a vehicle when the damages are less than the actual cash value. The Texas Transportation Code just provides a damage threshold in which a vehicle will be considered totaled. Texas courts have also examined when a vehicle is totaled. In Canal Ins. Co. v. Hopkins Towing, No. 12-06-00411 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2007), the court ruled that a vehicle “is a total loss if a reasonably prudent uninsured owner, desiring to restore the property to its preincident condition, would not utilize that property for such restoration. Logic dictates that, absent other factors, a reasonably prudent uninsured owner would not repair a vehicle where the repair costs exceeded the vehicle’s preincident fair market value.” The court’s rationale in this case reinforces the Texas Transportation Code’s definition that a vehicle is totaled when the cost of repair exceeds the fair market value. Click to book a free case evaluation with a Houston car accident lawyer today. For tips on how to handle your own car accident property damage case in Texas, click here.
Who pays for towing and storage after an accident? If your car was towed because of an accident in Texas, you may be wondering who pays for towing and storage. Of course, the answer will depend on the facts of your case, such as whether another driver or you caused the accident. Also relevant in answering this question is whether insurance covers towing and storage after an accident. The short answer is “yes,” towing and storage is covered under most car insurance policies. But, to know for sure whether insurance will cover these fees, you will need to know whether the at-fault driver has insurance, and whether you have “full coverage” insurance. In addition to answering who will be paying for towing and storage fees after a car accident, it’s also important to discuss the following related questions: What can I do if the insurance company won’t pay towing or storage fees? What are the car storage fees after an accident? The police towed my car after an accident. How can I find it? Who Pays for Towing and Storage After an Accident? Who pays for your towing and storage fees after a car accident depends on who was at-fault for the accident. In addition, whether there is insurance coverage to pay for the towing and storage fees will be relevant in determining who will pay. Three scenarios are discussed below: Scenario 1: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver has insurance According to Texas Occupations Code Section 2303.156(b), “an insurance company that pays a claim of total loss on a vehicle in a vehicle storage facility is liable to the operator of the facility for any money owed to the operator in relation to delivery of the vehicle to or storage of the vehicle in the facility regardless of whether an amount accrued before the insurance company paid the claim.” So, if your vehicle is totaled and you were not at fault, the insurance company must pay towing and storage costs as well. However, in cases where your car was not totaled or where liability is still pending you can either use you own insurance, if you have towing and storage coverage, or you can pay out-of-pocket, save the receipts, and then submit these expenses to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement. Once they accept liability for the accident, they will reimburse you or your insurance company for what was paid for towing and storage. Scenario 2: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have enough insurance, or was a hit-and-run If you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage for property damage (UMPD), you can file a UMPD claim with your own insurance company. This will cover the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car. There is a deductible of $250 to use this coverage. Also, it is your insurance company’s burden to determine whether the at-fault driver had insurance in a Texas UMPD claim. If you don’t have UMPD coverage and have collision coverage, you can use this coverage to pay for the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car. However, the deductible will usually be more than if you used UMPD coverage. Scenario 3: If the accident was your fault If you have collision coverage and/or towing and storage fee coverage with your own insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. If you don’t have this coverage, double check by calling your insurance company. If they confirm that you don’t have this coverage, make sure you act quickly and retrieve your vehicle from the storage lot before the storage fees get out-of-hand. If you leave your car in the storage lot for an extended amount of time and do not pay the fee, after proper notice is sent to you, the storage lot will eventually sell the car through a public sale, with the proceeds from the sale going towards the towing and storage fees. Any remaining amount may be paid to the vehicle owner. What Can I Do If the Insurance Company Won’t Pay Towing or Storage Fees? The at-fault driver’s insurance company usually won’t pay towing and storage fees for several different reasons. We will discuss the most common reasons and some solutions below: The At-Fault Driver was Uninsured or Underinsured If the at-fault driver was uninsured, meaning they didn’t have an active auto liability insurance policy in affect at the time of the accident or didn’t have enough insurance to cover the damage to your vehicle and the cost to tow and store it after the accident, you can use your own insurance to cover these expenses. As discussed above, you can use either your uninsured / underinsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage or your collision coverage. This also applies if you were involved in a hit-and-run. The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Has Not Determined Liability Depending on the facts of the accident, the insurance company may take their time to investigate the accident to determine who was at fault for the accident and whether their insured was covered at the time of the accident. This usually happens if the liability isn’t clear cut, such as in a left-turn collision at an intersection or when more than one party is at fault. If the accident involves clear cut liability, such as in a rear-end accident, liability is usually more promptly accepted. If they are slow to respond, hiring a car accident lawyer will encourage them to act more quickly. You Were Fully At-Fault or Partially At-Fault (More than 50%) for the Accident As in Scenario 3 above, if the accident was your fault, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your collision coverage. If the insurance company determined that you were 50% or less at fault, you will still be entitled to some of your towing and storage fees. Texas is a “modified comparative fault”…
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 14,282 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2017 alone, with 17,535 people sustaining a serious injury. These harrowing statistics translate into the following: One person was killed every two hours 21 minutes, one person was injured every two minutes four seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 59 seconds that year. Even the safest of drivers can not control the actions of other motorists, and when someone else’s negligence causes a car accident, the physical and financial aftermath can be devastating. Contacting the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Texas Legal Requirements If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, you should follow these steps to ensure your rights are protected. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is your greatest asset, and needs to be protected first. Call for emergency medical services at the scene if anyone has been injured. If you do not believe you have been seriously injured, you still need to have an official medical evaluation done by a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional. This is not only important for your own health, but this official medical evaluation can be important and significant to your legal case. Additionally, it is important for you to document any symptoms starting from the initial car accident through to the present. Documentation of your injuries and keeping a file of your medical visits is important if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Contact the police: Get the police to the scene of the accident so they can create a police report. If you do not contact the police immediately, you are required by law to file an accident report with the appropriate police department. Texas law requires you to file a Crash Report within 10 days after the accident if the police were not called to the scene of an accident and the accident resulted in either the injury or death of a person or property damage that is greater than $1,000. That police report may prove valuable to your future personal injury case. Exchange Information: Attempt to obtain the personal identification, vehicle identification, and insurance information of all other drivers involved. Additionally, exchange information with any witnesses, if possible. Document the Accident: If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, any injuries you may have suffered, the weather and road conditions, and any other pertinent information. This documentation can prove useful later if you choose to file a lawsuit. Texas Car Insurance Texas is considered a “fault” insurance state, which means that you do not file with your own car insurance first, but rather, you may file an insurance claim directly with the other driver’s insurance if he or she was at-fault in the accident. This law allows every driver to be held personally liable for any damage that he or she may have caused. You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as is reasonably feasible. Filing an Insurance Claim According to the Texas Insurance Code Section 542.003, Texas law requires that insurance companies not engage in inappropriate or unfair claim settlement practices. Insurance companies are not allowed to misrepresent any facts or parts of your insurance policy or attempt to negotiate a settlement with you in bad faith. However, even with this law in place, insurance companies have teams of people working hard on their side and do not have your best interests in mind as they create settlement agreements. Take an abundance of caution before signing a settlement that waives your rights to future compensation that you are owed. Working with an experienced car accident attorney who can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other evidence can help strengthen your case and prevent you from accepting low-ball settlements from the insurance companies. Car Accident Settlement Amounts There is no specific amount or actuarial table that can directly calculate the amount that your car accident will ultimately be worth, but hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your rights regarding how much compensation you may be owed. There are many factors that are involved in the determination of a settlement, including: The severity of the car accident, and the severity of your personal injuries The cost of medical expenses, both already incurred and possible future expenses Lost wages, and potential future loss of wages Insurance coverage of both parties If you were partially at fault for the accident (Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” doctrine.) Amount and quality of documentation The ability of your attorney to successfully negotiate your settlement or argue your case in court. Texas Statute of Limitations A “statute of limitations” refers to a law that limits your time to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a personal injury claim by this deadline established by Texas law, then the Texas courts will not hear your case and potentially dismiss it. Texas statute of limitations laws are quite strict, and according to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003, the deadline to file a claim in a personal injury case related to a car accident is within two years of the date of the accident. Contact an Attorney If you have suffered personal injuries due to a car accident in Texas, contacting an experienced car accident attorney should be one of your first steps. The statute of limitations laws in Texas is short and quite strict. Filing your claim within that time limit is vital to ensure that you do not lose the ability to obtain the compensation you are owed due to the negligence of another. Working with an experienced car accident attorney at the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Our legal team can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other appropriate evidence to not only help strengthen your case and ensure that you file in a timely manner, but also help you obtain the compensation…
First, if you’ve been involved in any car accident, you need to make sure that you or anyone in your vehicle aren’t injured. If anyone is injured, seek medical treatment immediately. If there are injuries, it’s best to contact a Houston car accident lawyer to evaluate your case. Whether there are injuries or not, the following 12 tips for handling your own car accident property damage case will steer you in the right direction when dealing with the stress of a car accident. 1. Know the Texas Statute of Limitations for Property Damage You need to make sure you’re “still in the game” statutorily and that you haven’t lost your rights to receive compensation for your losses under Texas law. Note: the statute of limitations for Texas property damage cases is two years from the date of the accident. In uninsured / underinsured motorist property damage claims against your own insurance company, the statutes of limitation are more complicated, which include breach of contract (four years–generally), bad faith (two years); and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (two years). However, when these statutes start to run are different in every case and your insurance company may contract around them. So, it’s best to call a Houston car accident attorney to avoid losing your rights. 2. Get Your Texas Car Accident Police Report After you have been involved in a car accident, even a minor one, call 911 and have a police officer write a car crash report (Peace Officer’s Crash Report – CR-3 Form). This is important for several reasons: you need to document that the accident occurred; you’ll need information from the report to assist you in filing a claim with the insurance company; and usually the officer will assign fault by citing the driver responsible for the accident or will provide contributing factors based on their investigation, which will help with determining liability later. According to Texas Transportation Code Section 550.062, a Texas police officer is required to write a Peace Officer’s Crash Report whenever the accident resulted in injury or death or property damage of $1,000 or more. This report must be filed with the department no later than 10 days after the accident. If the accident doesn’t immediately involve injury or death or property damage that exceeds $1,000, then you should still fill out a Blue Form Crash Report (CR-2 Form), even though it’s not legally required. The CR-2 Driver’s Crash Form is for the driver’s records only and, as of September 1, 2017, is no longer turned in or retained by the Texas Department of Transportation. Drivers involved in a crash not investigated by a peace officer should retain this form for their records and fill them out as soon as possible so not to fail to put any important details that may be forgotten from passage of time. Find out how to get your crash reports below: Harris County Dallas County Fort Worth San Antonio 3. If your car isn’t drivable, keep track of where it is being taken and stored. Have it moved quickly to a repair shop of your choice or to the insurance company’s storage facility to avoid accruing fees. The whereabouts of your car will usually be given to you by the tow truck driver and will also be noted on the police report. However, it’s important to have this information up front so that you can accurately give this information to either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company when you file your claim. The insurance company will need to know where the car is stored in order to send an adjuster to estimate the damages and move it to a repair shop. Keep in mind, that under Texas law you have the right to choose which repair shop your vehicle is repaired, as well as the replacement parts that are used. If your vehicle is stored at a storage lot, you will be assessed a daily fee, which can quickly add up. Even if it was the other driver’s fault, it is your duty under Texas law to “mitigate your damages.” This means that you must take reasonable steps to reduce the damages, cost, and to prevent them from getting worse. If you do not mitigate your damages and just let your car sit in the storage lot for an unreasonable amount of time, the insurance company will not be responsible for paying all the storage fees. If the insurance company is still investigating liability, try to have the insurance company move the vehicle to their storage facility to avoid accruing fees. For more information about Texas car accident storage fees, click here. 4. If the accident wasn’t your fault, file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If you haven’t hired a Texas car accident attorney, make sure when you talk to the insurance representative that’s opening your claim, to stick to the facts of the accident and be consistent with what you told the police officer that investigated your accident and wrote your report. The insurance company will later have access to the crash report and will know whether there were inconsistencies in your side of the story you told the police and what you have told them when you filed the claim. Be concise, truthful, consistent, and try not to be emotional. You’ll be giving the insurance representative mostly basic information such as your name, address, date of birth, vehicle information, where your car is being stored, and location and time the accident occurred. They will also ask if you suffered any injuries as a result of the accident. If you feel any pain at this point, it’s best to contact a Texas car accident attorney to get their advice before speaking to the insurance company regarding your injuries. Most people don’t know how to properly approach these questions when asked by the insurance company. The insurance representative will then provide you with a claim number and claim adjuster’s name…
Getting your vehicle damaged in an accident can be frustrating in both your personal and professional life. You need a car to get to work, run errands, and do a number of other day-to-day tasks. In many cases after a car accident, the victim is entitled to a rental car, but who pays for a rental car after a car accident? An experienced Texas car accident attorney can ensure that the insurance company covers those costs following an accident, and at the Milano Legal Group our office is here to help. Call or contact the office today to learn more about your legal options after a car accident. Rights to a Rental Car Case law dictates that victims of a car accident are legally entitled to a rental vehicle after an accident. Furthermore, the costs of a rental vehicle can be included as part of an overall settlement in a car accident legal case. The insurance company should cover the costs of a rental vehicle, but you will need to follow specific steps in order to ensure that the insurer will pay for the rental car expenses. An experienced attorney will be able to help you through the process to make sure that you will not bear the burden of paying for your own rental vehicle. Steps for Getting a Rental Car After an accident, it is important that you collect the name of the other driver, their address and phone number, their insurance company information, and the policy number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information, as well. Pictures and videos of the accident scene are also incredibly helpful to this process, so if possible, try to also document the scene. The next step is to contact both the insurance company as well as the police to report the accident. The insurance company will begin the claims process while the police will create an accident report that can be used as evidence later in a legal case. Many states legally require police notification if the damage is over a certain value or if anyone was injured as a result of the crash. Depending on the specific facts of your case, either your insurance company or the insurer of the other driver will cover the costs of your rental vehicle. If the other driver was clearly at fault, the other insurance company should cover the costs. If you have rental coverage as part of your auto insurance, your insurer may pay for the rental vehicle and go after the at-fault driver for compensation of the costs. Rental reimbursement coverage is an additional liability coverage you can purchase for your vehicle. A knowledgeable Houston car accident attorney will be able to communicate and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance companies as well as arrange your rental car so that you can focus on what is most important – your recovery. Call or Contact the Office Today To learn more about payment for rental vehicles or other issues that arise from car accidents in the Houston area, call or contact the Milano Legal Group today to schedule a free consultation of your case.
One of the fastest growing options for transportation are rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Rideshare companies allow people to use their personal vehicles like taxis, driving passengers to their destinations for a set fee. However, with the advent of ridesharing comes rideshare accidents, and confusing questions can arise about who is liable in a rideshare accident as well as what a Lyft or Uber settlement amount is worth. With experience handling all types of auto accident cases in the Houston area, our office is here to represent you in your rideshare accident and help you understand what a rideshare settlement might be worth. Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies carry auto insurance coverage for the vehicles operating under their company banner. Both Uber and Lyft carry third party liability coverage up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. In addition, these companies maintain uninsured/underinsured coverage up to $1 million per accident. The policies only apply during a ride, from the time that a driver picks up a passenger to when the passenger is dropped off, and not in between rides. However, these policies only apply in certain situations when a rideshare accident occurs. What Insurance Coverage Applies? Determining what insurance coverage applies is based on the specific facts of your case. A typical auto insurance policy has an exception for business use, which means that the insurer will not cover damages that occur while the driver is using the vehicle in a for-profit way unless the driver has a commercial driving provision that covers their vehicle as a rideshare driver. In an accident where the rideshare driver is at fault, the insurance policy of the driver applies first, and the rideshare company’s third party policy kicks in if the total compensation exceeds the driver’s personal policy limits. If the accident is caused by the driver of the other vehicle and not the rideshare driver, then the insurance policy of the at fault driver will apply to your claims. All drivers in Texas are required to carry minimum auto insurance coverage while on the road. If the driver at fault is uninsured, underinsured, or is unknown due to a hit and run accident, the rideshare company’s uninsured/underinsured policy may apply to your case. You should only trust a knowledgeable car accident attorney with a case involving a rideshare company due to the potentially complex nature of your claims against multiple entities that could cover the damages caused by the accident. Talk to a Qualified Attorney Today Accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft can be complex and fact-specific to your case. To learn more about Uber and Lyft settlement payouts as well as a free review of your claims, call the office or contact us today at the Milano Legal Group in Houston to speak with a knowledgeable Texas auto accident attorney now.
Drunk drivers cause considerable damage on Texas roads. According to Department of Transportation statistics, over 1,000 people in Texas were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2017. Tens of thousands of other people are seriously injured by drunk drivers every year. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you are probably wondering what compensation you can receive. Read on for more information. Compensatory Damages If you were hit by a drunk driver, settlement negotiations will focus mostly on compensatory damages. These are the losses that you suffered as a result of the drunk driving crash. The purpose of civil lawsuits is to put the victim in the position she would have been in had no accident took place. In other words, the drunk driver should shoulder the fallout of the accident, not the victim. To this end, you can receive compensation for economic losses, such as: The cost of medical care and rehabilitation Lost wages or lost self-employment income Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle The settlement should ideally cover the entire economic loss. If your medical bills and lost wages total $30,000, then you should receive at least that much. However, you can also receive compensation for non-economic losses that don’t have an obvious market value; things like: Physical pain and suffering Inconvenience Loss of enjoyment of life Disfigurement Emotional distress or mental anguish How much can you receive in non-economic losses? There is no set standard or magic formula to use. A seasoned attorney can rely on his experience to estimate an amount that seems fair. Obviously, you would like your old body back, but receiving compensation for physical and mental anguish is the next best thing. And it’s the only thing courts can give you. Punitive Damages In Texas, punitive damages are called “exemplary” damages. These are not meant to compensate a victim but instead focus on punishing the defendant. Exemplary damages are available when there is clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Drunk driving usually qualifies as an example of gross negligence. However, an insurance company will not offer punitive damages in a settlement, so suing a drunk driver might be your only option. An attorney can help you bring a lawsuit in court. Texas does cap punitive damages, usually between $200,000 and $750,000. Speak with an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer As a leading Houston personal injury firm, we receive questions from the public, one of which is, “A drunk driver hit me, what happens now?” Because every case is different, you should hire an attorney to help you. At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we have worked on many drunk driving cases and know what it takes to win. We will do everything in our power to get the maximum settlement you are entitled to under the law, and we aren’t afraid to go into court if need be. To schedule a free consultation, please contact our Houston drunk driver accident lawyers today.
In the aftermath of a crash, even a minor one, obtaining an official accident report seems like a hassle on top of everything else you are dealing with. Obtaining a Dallas County accident report, however, is a very important and necessary step if you want to make sure that you and other involved parties get the justice they deserve. Fortunately, the Dallas County Sheriff offers several convenient ways to obtain a Dallas County accident report: either online, in person, or by mail. How to Get Your Dallas County Police Reports Online You can obtain a copy of your Dallas County police reports online from the Dallas County Sheriff’s website for $8.00. Under Texas law, only people directly concerned with the accident may obtain a non-redacted version of the crash report, so it’s good to have your driver’s license number or vehicle identification number (VIN) available when searching for your reports. Keep in mind that it may take up to 14 days after the crash before your report appears in the search results. How to Get Your Crash Report In Person A copy of your Dallas County accident report can also be obtained by visiting the Fiscal Department of the Frank Crowley Courts Building, located at: 133 North Riverfront Boulevard 1st Floor Dallas, TX 75207 The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. How to Get Your Crash Report By Mail Finally, you can also request your Dallas county police report by mail. To do so, you need to send a money order in the amount of $6.00 (no personal checks) payable to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department along with a self-addressed and stamped return envelope. The money order and envelope should then be addressed to: Dallas County Sheriff’s Department Attention: Fiscal 133 North Riverfront Boulevard, LB-31 Dallas, TX 75207 After Getting Your Report, Get Help with Your Case If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, a car accident attorney can make sure you are properly compensated for the pain and suffering endured. Contact Milano Legal Group today.
In the stressful time following an accident, it can be difficult to think about obtaining a police report. Doing so, however, is crucial to making sure you get what you deserve and hold the responsible party accountable. Luckily, obtaining San Antonio police reports is easy and can be done in a few simple steps. 1. Make Sure You Have the Right Information Before requesting an accident report, make sure you have the following information: The exact date of the accident The location of the accident The name of a person involved If you have a case number, it may make it easier to find your report, however, the Sheriff’s office does not require it. 2. Request the Report in Person or By Mail Once you have the required information, San Antonio police reports can be requested in person or by mail. Requesting Your Report in Person If you want to request your report in person, you need to visit the Bexar County Adult Detention Center at the following address: Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Central Records, Reports Desk 200 N. Comal Street San Antonio, TX 78207 The office is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The service fee for obtaining an accident report is $6.00. A certified accident report can be obtained for $8.00. Requesting Your Report By Mail If you want to request your report by mail, you need to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope, along with a money order payable to “Sheriff, Bexar County” in the amount of $6.00, to Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Central Records, Reports Desk 200 N. Comal Street San Antonio, TX 78207 A certified accident report can be obtained for $8.00. Get Help with Your Case If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, getting you San Antonio police report is just the first step. Contact Milano Legal Group today to speak with experienced car accident attorneys about getting the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents can be expensive. In addition to needing your car repaired, you also might need medical care. If your injuries were serious, you might have missed work and lost out on income. It is not unusual for even a relatively minor fender bender to cost thousands of dollars. If you were injured, you should get the at-fault driver’s insurer to pay you. You can submit a claim to the insurer without a lawyer’s help, but you must take the right steps. Below, we explain how to get money from a car accident without a lawyer. Keep in mind that generally, settlements are significantly higher if a lawyer is on your side. You can file yourself, but car accident insurance claims are complex, especially if injuries are involved. You may also have to go to court, and in that case especially, it is in your best interest to be represented by a lawyer. Note How Much Time You Have Texas has a statute of limitations that gives you 2 years from the date of the crash to bring a claim. If you miss the deadline, an insurer will not negotiate with you. Take careful note of the amount of time you have left. You probably won’t make a claim right away with the insurer. Instead, you will wait until you reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you can’t get any better, and the full extent of your losses will be known. Of course, even if you are recovering slowly, you need to get a claim in before the statute of limitations expires. Collect Important Documents The at-fault driver’s insurer needs certain information from you before they can agree to a settlement. You should pull together the following: Medical records that show the full extent of your injuries. Medical bills and receipts for prescription drugs or medical equipment. These bills help show how much your care costs. Even if you used your health insurance to pay, you should submit the full amount of all your medical bills. A copy of the crash report. You should have called the police to come out to the accident scene. Evidence of missed work. You can receive compensation, even if you used sick or vacation days to recover from your injuries. Bills for repairs to your vehicle or other damaged property. Pictures of the accident scene, including pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash. These pictures help “set the scene” for the insurance adjuster to understand what happened. Submit a Demand Letter You should add up the amount of money the accident cost you. These are your economic losses, and you should expect to receive 100%. Also remember to include money for any pain and suffering or emotional distress. Submit your evidence and a demand to the insurer. They might immediately reject your offer and make a lower counteroffer. You will need to negotiate until you hit a number that works for you. Of course, many people do not know how much to request. In particular, they do not properly value their pain and suffering or other intangible losses. This is where Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys can be helpful. Based on our experience, we can properly value your injuries and then negotiate a tough but fair settlement for your injuries. Please contact our Houston car accident lawyers today to get started. We offer a free consultation.