In Texas, passengers in vehicles involved in accidents have rights. When it comes to personal injury cases, not only do you need to know your rights and duties so that you may take the right steps in the period immediately following the motor vehicle crash, you also need to hire a law firm that can protect your rights and get you compensation that you deserve.
Passenger in a Car Accident – Claims in Texas
The very first thing to do is to establish fault. You can refer to this article to understand how fault is defined under Texas law. If you’re a passenger, you must first know who was at fault – the driver of your car or the driver of the other vehicle. Or, was it something else, like maybe a work zone that was not clearly demarcated.
You can begin the claims process after determining fault. Call the person’s insurer and initiate the claims process. You will work with an insurance adjuster throughout the case.
Remember, you will be compensated only if initiate the claims process. Such compensation may include medical bills, loss of income, and pain & suffering.
Also remember that you’re not automatically entitled to claim money simply because you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident. You will have to conclusively prove that the driver at fault was responsible for the accident and that the injuries resulted from the accident.
Do what you can to strengthen your case. Gather photos of the site, talk to witnesses, and document your injuries.
What if the at-fault driver was the one driving the vehicle you were in and this driver tries to shift the blame on to you? It happens. The driver might say that you distracted the driver by pointing out a site, dropping hot liquid, screaming suddenly…anything.
This is another reason why you need the services of a good lawyer so that you can refute any allegations that may be raised to pin the blame on you. It is also possible that you may have to defend against the charge of “contributory negligence”. If found guilty, you must help the driver with the compensation costs. There will be evidence against you and for you. Your lawyer will assess these to prepare a case that will lead to the most favorable scenario on your behalf.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer?
If you’re an injured passenger in a car accident, then you will need a lawyer so that you get monetary compensation that you deserve and may actually need it badly, especially if you don’t have health insurance and the treatment is a drain on your finances. The claims process can be an involved one, and if you’ve never handled a claim before, you will need guidance. There’s every chance that the insurance company will get you to settle for less. But with a lawyer by your side, the insurance adjuster will have to play by the rules.
Insurance adjusters have the training and the motivation to save money for the insurance company. Their interests are aligned with those of the insurance company. A lawyer’s interests are aligned with yours. Insurance adjusters cannot bluff and bully their way with lawyers. Your claim won’t be undervalued.
There’s a huge difference between knowing and proving. Lawyers know how to prove. They know the value of evidence, the right way to present it, points, counter points, laws…everything there is that can influence your case will be known to a good personal injury lawyer. Law firms have the resources to activate for a client.
Convincing the insurance company to pay you the full amount is not easy, and only experienced personal injury attorneys that know how to systematically prove negligence and fault can hope to succeed. Time is vital in such cases, and law firms know it. Skid marks, injuries, debris, eyewitness accounts, CCTV recordings, and such evidence have far greater value when collected fresh. The value tends to reduce with time.
The Law Offices of Alex R. Hernandez Jr. will fight for fair compensation for you, and if it’s not forthcoming then we escalate the matter to the court.