In Texas, you have large cities like Dallas and Houston. You also have rural areas and smaller communities. It’s a huge state, so one person’s experience living there and someone else’s might completely differ.
You can get in a car accident as a big city resident, and you can also get in one living in a much smaller town. If a vehicle hits, you should probably file a claim with the other driver’s insurance.
If you feel sure that they caused the accident, you should get money. If the other driver does not agree that they caused the accident, then a courtroom battle might commence.
Assuming the other driver agrees that they caused the accident, you should start filing your claim quickly. Texas demands filing car accident claims within two years, and you should not miss that crucial cutoff date.
You should take several steps that can expedite your claim. We will run through them right now.
Get Medical Attention
You should first seek medical attention. If you know at the accident scene that the crash hurt you, you might visit an emergency room immediately. If you are bleeding, have an obviously broken bone or anything along those lines, you should get an ambulance ride and figure out what’s happening with you before you do anything else.
However, you might feel alright at the crash site, but then, shortly afterward, you don’t feel so good. Maybe the adrenaline wears off, and you realize you didn’t walk away unscathed like you first thought.
You should seek medical attention as quickly after the crash as you can. If you don’t see a doctor that same day, you might do it the following day. If you wait any longer, you won’t get a fast diagnosis that can help you while you file your claim.
You want that information. If the crash hurt you, you need documentation, and you should know definitely what happened, with no guesswork.
Investigate the Accident
Next, you can investigate the accident. If you hired a lawyer, they can help you at this juncture. A lawyer will likely have investigators on their payroll.
These investigators can find out whether any crash footage exists. If it does, you can more easily prove what you say happened that way. They may find traffic camera footage, store camera footage, or possible footage on social media if anyone posted any.
Your lawyer can also hire a car crash reconstruction expert who can recreate the crash using physical evidence. They can find any eyewitnesses. They can get the police report and any medical reports following the crash.
If you didn’t hire a lawyer, you won’t have all of these resources. You will still have some, though. You can ask business owners or employees around the crash site whether they saw anything. You can still get police report copies and medical report copies. Those should come in handy later.
Calculate All Damages
Next, you can calculate all damages as best you can. You should include things like medical bills. You might have an emergency room bill. You may have bills if the hospital took X-rays or did an MRI.
You can calculate your lost wages if you’ll miss some work after the wreck. You might include physical therapy costs if you need any going forward.
You must calculate all of the medical expenses that you can easily document, and you can calculate things like lost wages easily enough as well. However, since you’re not a lawyer, you presumably can’t calculate the intangibles, like your pain and suffering. You know you’re experiencing pain, but you don’t know what that’s worth from a legal standpoint.
You might figure that out later, but for now, at least calculate all the tangible costs during the car wreck’s aftermath.
Send a Demand Letter
At this point, you can send a demand letter. You will engage the other driver’s insurance company since they will pay you.
If you have a lawyer, they can help you write the demand letter or write one for you. They have done this before, so they should know how.
If you don’t have a lawyer, you can figure out how car wreck victims write demand letters. You can find that information online, just like you can find virtually anything else these days.
Your demand letter should explicitly state your injuries and how much your medical bills cost. It should mention any work you’re missing as well.
This demand letter starts the negotiation process. It might take some time, and you may go through some back and forth till you reach a settlement.
The sooner you can start the process, though, the better. You need the money the settlement will bring you since you’re missing work and have those medical bills.
File a Lawsuit
If you can reach an equitable settlement, you can collect your money soon. However, some insurance companies might drag their feet, and they may also send you a lowball offer during the early negotiating process.
Insurance companies make money. They’re for-profit enterprises. They don’t like paying out claims, and they won’t do it if they can avoid it.
Even if they agree that the other driver caused the accident, they may feel like you probably don’t know your claim’s actual worth. They might offer you an amount far lower than you should get, figuring that you might take it.
If you feel strongly that you should get more, you can file a lawsuit. You probably won’t like that idea, but you have little choice.
At this juncture, if you have not hired a lawyer yet, you probably should. Your attorney will take some of your money if you eventually get some, but without them, you might get nothing.
Your attorney knows personal injury cases, and they’ve probably gone through the process many times. They can help you get the full amount possible. Once you have your money, you can resume your life.