You have been involved in a car wreck or a truck wreck and you have suffered an injury. You do all the right things, obtain information from the other driver, report the accident, seek medical care, and file an insurance claim. The accident report you collected clearly shows the other driver was at fault. Despite this, the insurer denies your claim.
Understanding Insurance Limits
When you register a motor vehicle in Texas, you are required to show proof of insurance. In general, drivers must have $30,000 of coverage for injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. These amounts may not come close to covering the cost of your injuries, which would include your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses you could have suffered. This is when you should seek immediate legal help because the next steps will get complicated.
It is also important to remember something: if you are involved in a truck wreck, there may be multiple insurance companies who are involved in the initial claims process. Truckers are required to carry a substantially larger amount of insurance. However, that does not mean that the claims process will result in a fair settlement offer.
Wrongful Death Claims
Across Texas roadways in one recent year, more than 27,000 people suffered a serious or very serious injury in a wreck. Unfortunately, in that same time period, nearly 4,000 people lost their lives. If your family was one of the many who lost a loved one, you may have the basis for a wrongful death claim.
To learn more about your legal rights as an injury victim, or as a surviving family member, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Armstrong Law Group, PLLC as soon as possible and schedule a free consultation.
The Unfair Settlement Offer
Despite having done everything right, the insurance company has made an offer which will result in your being thousands of dollars out of pocket if you accept it and now you need to know what options you have in Texas. The simple answer is you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your out-of-pocket losses, and potentially more.
Filing a personal injury suit is not easy. There are several steps which have to be taken and there is a short period of time in which you can file a claim with the courts. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations which begins the day of the accident which resulted in an injury.
Steps to Starting and Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You may be tempted to tackle a lawsuit on your own. However, this would not be a wise move because insurance companies love to take advantage of those who they believe do not understand the law.
Here are a few things you should know about filing a personal injury lawsuit and the process:
- At-fault driver does not have to face criminal charges — just because a driver who caused a car or truck wreck is at fault does not mean they will face criminal charges. This should not stop you from filing a personal injury lawsuit.
- Proof of negligence is required for a lawsuit — it is necessary to prove negligence, which will require witness statements, copies of police reports, and in some cases may require an accident reconstruction expert. An attorney will be able to perform these tasks on your behalf.
- Establishing damages — gathering medical expenses, documenting lost wages, and calculating pain and suffering are part of establishing damages. Your personal injury lawyer can help you understand what documents are necessary to complete this phase of the lawsuit process.
- Prelawsuit notifications — notifying the responsible party and their insurance company comes next. This is to let them know you intend to file a lawsuit. This is important because this may be the first step in obtaining a settlement offer from the insurance company.
- Negotiation phase — once these notifications have been made, the insurer will likely make a settlement offer. Your lawyer will discuss each offer with you and advise you of the pros and cons of accepting each offer. Then you get to decide what is acceptable. If no offer is acceptable, then the next step would be to file the lawsuit in civil court.
- Civil court filings — your lawyer would then file the appropriate case documents with the court. This will include a statement of damages and may also advise the court of any discussions which have taken place.
- Mediation will likely be ordered — in nearly all civil cases, the court will recommend mediation as a way to settle your dispute. It is always a good idea to have an attorney representing your interests because the insurance company will have a lawyer representing them. The lawyer for the insurance company is there to help them pay as little as possible.
- Discovery process — if mediation discussions do not end with a reasonable settlement offer, then your attorney will be fully prepared to go to trial to obtain a reasonable settlement for you.
Keep in mind, even after the court filing, your attorney may still be accepting offers from the insurer. In most cases, personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court, which is good because it helps keep the legal fees lower and means you get the money you need to tackle the mounting expenses from your injuries.
No Legal Fees Unless a Settlement is Successful
You should be aware that unless we are successful in settling your case or winning at trial, you will not be responsible for paying any legal fees. Once we have obtained a settlement or obtained a judgment after a jury trial, we will take a pre-agreed upon amount from your settlement. If there is no settlement or no judgment then you will not pay any legal fees.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a car wreck or any roadway accident or you are a surviving family member of a person who lost their life in a car wreck, Stay Strong! Contact The Armstrong Law Group, PLLC today at 214-932-1288 or by filling out our online contact form. We are ready to help you understand your legal options to pursue a personal injury claim.