Getting involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. If you have suffered serious injuries, this could be physical pain, mental shock, and enormous financial losses. Immediately after a car accident, it is important to take necessary steps, which includes talking to a lawyer. An experienced Houston car accident attorney can help you case tremendously in all ways. In this post, we are answering top questions related to car accidents in Texas.
- I wasn’t hurt. Should I inform the police?
Yes, it is rather necessary to inform a law enforcement agency about the car accident. If a police officer didn’t investigate the accident, you are required to file a crash report within 10 days, as per laws in the state. This is mandatory for all accidents that resulted in injuries or vehicle damage. Sometimes, a driver may want to talk you out from calling the police. Don’t be fooled by such tactics.
- What if I was partially at fault? Will I get compensation?
Texas follows the “modified comparative fault” rule. This means when someone is injured, but also has part share of fault, they may get compensated, but the settlement will be reduced according to their share. For instance, if you were awarded $20,000 and your share of fault is marked at 30%, you will only get $14,000. However, if someone’s share of fault is more than 50%, they cannot recover anything.
- What is the statute of limitations in Texas?
Every state has a statute of limitations, which specifies a deadline for bringing personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault party. In Texas, you have two years to file such a lawsuit. The counting starts from the date of the accident. Note that the statute of limitations doesn’t apply to insurance claims.
- Do I need a lawyer?
There is no law that makes it mandatory to hire a lawyer after a car accident. A lawyer, however, can be your biggest asset in proving your claim. They can work with the insurance company, investigate the matter, and build the case, in case the matter doesn’t resolve through negotiations. It is a huge relief knowing a lawyer is working in your interests and is protecting your rights.
Also, even when you were not at fault, it is wise to inform your insurer about the accident. If the other party pins the blame on you and files a claim, your insurer has to act.