Being in a car accident can be a harrowing experience, but it’s not uncommon—there were around 15,769 serious injury car crashes in Texas, just in 2021. From the physical and emotional trauma to the financial burden of property damage and medical bills, recovery from an accident is a lot to deal with.
That’s where car accident claims come into play.
Navigating the insurance legal system and obtaining fair compensation can be quite a challenge. At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I want accident victims to feel empowered to make informed decisions about their cases. That’s why we’re here to shed light on the common myths and misconceptions about car accident claims we hear from our Texas clients.
If you live in Missouri City, Texas—or in neighboring towns like Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, or Fresno—and are looking to recover damages from a recent auto accident, be sure to contact my firm for professional legal help.
“My Own Insurance Will Be Responsible for Covering Medical Costs and Damages to My Car.”
Insurance companies are for-profit entities. They hope to pay out as little money as possible and will consider the amount of your claim exclusively.
It won’t be part of their agenda to consider any potential future medical expenses or loss of earnings, pain, and suffering. Their main focus is to find ways to keep their clients’ insurance premiums low while limiting the number of payouts to accident victims.
To pursue fair and full compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, and other losses, you’ll need to hire an experienced car accident lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf and accurately assess how much your claim is worth.
“I Don’t Need to Seek Medical Attention Because I Feel Okay.”
An alarming number of people in Texas choose to forego medical attention after a car accident because they “feel fine.” In other words, they don’t want to waste time or money on a doctor’s visit when they don’t have any immediate or obvious injuries. However, believing this misconception can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident.
Your Own Sake
Accident-related injuries don’t always exhibit immediate, obvious symptoms. For instance, the adrenaline rush experienced right after an accident can mask pain, leading people to assume they are physically okay when they really aren’t.
However, some injuries don’t begin revealing symptoms for days or weeks after the accident. These can range from internal bleeding to spinal injuries, brain injuries, and others. Seeking medical attention immediately improves your chances of discovery and treating the extent of your injuries effectively.
After an accident, you should always try to document everything as best as possible. This includes getting the other driver’s contact and insurance information, taking photographs and eyewitness accounts at the scene, but it also includes all medical reports you acquire.
Bills or physician’s notes, will serve as essential documentation you may need during your personal injury claim. The longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the less credibility the reports will have when it comes to getting compensated in your claim.
Insurance Company Can Use It Against You if You Don’t
Skipping a medical checkup after a car accident can also have negative effects on your insurance claim. Insurance companies will often use this decision against you, emphasizing the fact that a settlement-worthy injury couldn’t have emerged if you didn’t urgently seek medical help.
The moment you give the company the impression that you weren’t in enough pain to go get checked out, the more likely they are to decline your claim, which will likely result in you having to pay for future medical bills and other damages out-of-pocket.
If It’s a Minor Accident, It’s Not Necessary to File a Police Report
So, is it necessary to report the accident? Almost always, the answer is yes. According to the Texas Transportation Code, drivers involved in a car accident must report it to the local police department or sheriff’s office if there are:
- any injuries or fatalities;
- damage estimated to be $1,000 or more; or
- damage to a vehicle, except for the driver who caused the accident, that required a tow.
You must report the accident within 10 days, regardless of whether the police were involved. Failing to report the accident can result in legal penalties and even a suspension of your license. If you’re found to be at fault in a car accident, and there’s no official report of that accident, you could be subject to fines, fees, and jail time.
Plus, if you don’t file a police report at the scene of the accident, you may not have the documentation to support your claim later on. Insurance companies often require a police report to process a claim correctly. Without it, you may have difficulty getting compensation for your injuries and other damages.
“I Can’t File a Personal Injury Claim Because I Was Partially At Fault.”
One very common misconception regarding auto accident claims is that you cannot file a personal injury claim if you were partially at fault in the accident. So if you’re asking yourself, “what if I was partially at fault for the accident?” pay close attention here.
Under Texas Comparative Fault Rule, even if you were partially at fault, you still may be entitled to compensation. Also according to this rule, your compensation for personal injuries or property damage will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
For example, if you were deemed 30% responsible for the accident, the total compensation you’d be able to receive would be reduced by 30%. Therefore, even if you were partially responsible for an accident, you can still file a personal injury claim in Texas and secure a fair settlement to help support your recovery.
“I Don’t Need an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim.”
Many people believe that they do not require the assistance of a car accident attorney to file a personal injury claim, especially if it’s clear who is to blame in a car accident. However, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to complicated cases involving partial fault or other tricky situations.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate through the legal system, guide you through the claims process, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Personalized Legal Counsel
Don’t let misconceptions about car accident claims in Texas keep you from getting the help you deserve. At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I’m here to help you every step of the way.
Whether you’ve been in a minor fender bender or a more serious collision, my team can provide the personalized legal counsel you need. Contact my firm today to get started on your road to recovery.