If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Tampa or Hillsborough County area, you will need a copy of your crash report in order to properly document your accident, as well as file a claim with the insurance company. Download Your Crash Report Online This is the easiest and quickest option to get your crash report. Go to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles official crash report portal here. It will cost $10. Request Your Crash Report Online You can directly order your crash report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office here. Although it doesn’t require that you create an account, it is preferred so that you can better keep track of your request. Get Your Crash Report By Mail You can send a request via mail to: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Attention: Records Section / Freddie Solomon Annex P.O. Box 3371 Tampa, FL 33601 Call a Hillsborough County Car Accident Lawyer Next After you’ve had a chance to review your crash report, it’s essential that you speak to a Hillsborough County car accident lawyer to learn about your rights. Remember: time is not on your side in these types of cases.

palm beach county crash report

Getting your crash report after a crash is extremely important. The crash report will serve as a source for useful information that you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company. There are several ways you can obtain your Palm Beach County crash report. Download Your Palm Beach County Crash Report Whether you live in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boyton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, or Palm Beach Gardens you can always download your crash report online here for $10. Request Your Crash Report By Email You can also submit your request for your Palm Beach County crash report via email. Submit your request to emailcentralrecords@pbso.org. Get Your Crash Report Through Mail You can submit your request via mail along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Sworn Statement for Traffic Crash Report Information. Send your request along with the form to: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s OfficeAttn: Central Records3228 Gun Club Rd.West Palm Beach, FL 33406 Get the Help of a Palm Beach County Car Accident Lawyer After you receive your crash report, call our Palm Beach County car accident lawyer to discuss your case. We offer free consultations 24/7. If you hire us, we collect no fee unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your favor.

broward county crash report

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in any of the Broward County areas, including Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lazy Lake, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston, and Wilton Manors, one of the first things you should do is get your crash report. The crash report provides valuable details and will help you while you are filing your claim with the insurance company. Get Your Crash Report Online You can download your Broward County crash report online for $10 here. You can also use Broward County Sheriff’s Department public records request portal here. You’ll need to create an account first. In Person You can request your Broward County crash report in person, as well. The reports that are taken by Broward County Deputies take several days to be processed through the Records Division. Broward County Sheriff’s Department states that you should allow 5 business days before submitting your request to ensure your report is ready. Make your request at the public records window which is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The window will be closed Friday through Sunday. Your request must include: the case number (if available) date, time and location of the event or accident the name(s) of the person(s) involved. If this request is within 60 days of the accident you will need to complete a Request for Traffic Crash Report Information Form. Mail the completed signed and notarized form with your letter of request to the address below. After 60 days, the form is not necessary and anyone may obtain a copy of the report. By Mail You can also mail your request to Broward County Sheriff’s Department. You’ll need: the case number (if available) date, time and location of the event or accident the name(s) of the person(s) involved You will also need the Request for Traffic Crash Report Information Form if the accident happens within 60 days. Send your request with the form to: Broward Sheriff’s Office – Public Records Unit P.O. Box 9507 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310 After You Get Your Report, Get Help Call a Broward County car accident lawyer to discuss your case. Time is of the essence in any personal injury case.

After you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Miami area, it’s crucial that you obtain and review the crash report in order to properly handle your case. You’ll need the crash report to identify the parties involved and get an overview of the facts, as well as it serves as proof that the accident occurred. Get Your Miami Crash Report Online The State of Florida has made it much easier to now obtain your Miami car accident report. Go to this link and download your copy of your accident report for $10. It may take up to 10 days before the report is available. This is the quickest way to get your report. Get Your Miami Crash Report in Person To get your Miami crash report in person, you will need to make an appointment online here. Request Your Miami Crash Report By Mail You can request your Miami crash report by mail by completing and notarizing the Sworn Statement for Traffic Report Information form and send this form with your request to: Central Records Bureau 9105 NW 25th St. Doral, FL 33172 Request Your Miami Crash Report By Email Send your request along with the Sworn Statement for Traffic Report Information form to the Public Records Custodian, Loretta Gabe-Charles at: Lgabecharles@mdpd.com Once You Are Done Getting Your Miami Crash Report, Get Help Once you’re done downloading your car accident report, give us a call to talk to our Miami car accident lawyer to discuss your options. The sooner the better. Every conversation you have with the insurance company without a lawyer can be devastating to your case.

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Texas: An Overview How is pain and suffering is calculated in Texas? How pain and suffering is calculated in a personal injury case will depend on where you are in the timeline of your case.  The approach to calculating pain and suffering before a trial and during trial are not the same.  Insurance companies typically use claims software to calculate pain and suffering. On the other hand, a jury does not use any special formulas, but only their own best judgment based on the evidence presented to them. However, keep in mind that there are many steps that are required before you go to court for a trial.  Many personal injury cases settle even before a lawsuit is filed and most settle before trial.  Before a trial you may be negotiating with the insurance company to reach a reasonable settlement amount.  Alternatively, if your case goes to trial, your attorney may be arguing your case before a jury or judge.  We will discuss how pain and suffering is calculated in both situations, how you can maximize your pain and suffering in both instances, how you can prove pain and suffering in court, and look at some real-world Texas settlements and jury verdicts for examples.  But first we need to define some terms to better understand Texas pain and suffering law. What Are Damages? Before we can get into calculating pain and suffering, we need to learn some key legal concepts.  In any personal injury case based in “negligence,” you need to prove “damages.”  “Damages” are the actual harm or injury as a result of the responsible party’s carelessness.  These are not presumed in cases where you are claiming someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.  You need to prove them with evidence, such as with medical bills.  “Compensatory damages” are those that are meant to compensate you for your losses, intending to place you back where you were prior to the accident.  In Texas, there are two types of compensatory damages: Special Damages (economic damages) and General Damages (non-economic damages). What Are Special Damages? Special damages, also known as economic damages, are those that can be easily quantifiable.  These damages can be proven by medical bills, pay-stubs, or some other evidence showing out-of-pocket expenses that flowed from the injury.  These damages are intended to compensate the claimant for monetary losses that were suffered.  Special damages include past and future medical expenses, past lost wages, and future loss of earnings. What Are General Damages? General damages are damages that are not so easy to quantify.  They are also meant to compensate the claimant for losses, but for those that are not quantified specifically in a dollar value.  Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12) specifically lists what are considered general damages, including: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. What is “Pain & Suffering”? Now that we know how pain and suffering is categorized under the law, what exactly is pain and suffering, anyhow?  Pain and suffering damages are awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for the physical pain that he/she endures as a result of an injury.  This is distinguished from the mental aspects of an injury, known as “mental or emotional pain or anguish.”  Pain and suffering strictly concerns the actual physical pain that an injured party feels from a physical injury.  Although pain and suffering and mental or emotional pain or anguish are two distinct types of damages, they are often lumped together when submitted to the jury.  However, there are many Texas cases that recognize that these are two distinct elements of a plaintiff’s damages. (See Daniels v. Univ. of Tex. Health Science Center of Tyler, No. 12-03-00399-CV, 2005 WL 1642969, at *2 (Tex. App.—Tyler July 13, 2005, no pet.)(mem. op.).  Texas law allows recovery for physical pain and suffering in the past and future (See A.T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. O’Merry, 727 S.W.2d 596, 599-600 (Tex. App. Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, no writ).  As you guessed, quantifying someone’s pain in dollars is difficult.  Texas courts have stated that there is no definite way to measure pain and suffering in terms of money but that the jury should arrive at some fair compensation based on its “common knowledge and sense of justice.” Hernandez v. Baucum, 344 S.W.2d 498, 500 (Tex. Civ. App. 1961).  Below, we will discuss how pain and suffering are calculated both pre-trial and during trial. Calculating Pain & Suffering Pre-Trial (Claims Software) Before a trial, either before or after a lawsuit is filed, you will be negotiating your case with the insurance company.  The claims adjuster will be valuing your case based on a variety of factors.  Typically, the large insurance companies use claims software programs such as Colossus, Mitchell Claim IQ, and Claims Outcome Advisor (COA) to calculate settlement offers, especially on soft tissue injury cases (e.g., whiplash, sprains, and strains).  They’ll enter in medical billing codes, injury codes, and several other factors to arrive at a settlement range.  Typically, these soft-tissue injury cases are handled by low-level adjusters and these adjusters are prohibited from offering anything outside the claims software settlement range, unless you can present “new” information to them. Insurance companies use this software at a varying degree with some heavily relying on the settlement ranges that are provided, such as Allstate.  With more serious injuries, the reliance on this software is not as significant.  As discussed above, pain and suffering is part of what are called “general damages” and are considered within the software’s algorithm.  The nature of the injury and treatment will have a large effect on the amount of pain and suffering and total general damages that is given in any case.  Muscle sprains and strains will yield little pain and suffering compensation. …

Typical car accident settlement amounts

What is a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount? The Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2017 the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,270 and $3,638 for property damage. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, in 2013 the average bodily injury car accident settlement was $15,443. To get an idea of what these cases are worth when they go before a jury, the National Center for State Courts published data collected in 2001 from several counties throughout the United States, including Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Harris counties, that calculated the median jury award for motor vehicle accidents. The median jury award for motor vehicle accidents was $17,544. Unfortunately, these figures don’t tell us much. Since car accident injury settlements are so fact intensive, an average doesn’t provide much help in regard to what a particular case is worth. As discussed below, there are several factors that go into valuing a car accident injury settlement case. Only through experience can someone know how to value a car accident injury case properly. If you feel that the insurance company is undervaluing your case, it’s best to consult an experienced car accident attorney. Don’t Trust “Magic” Formulas or Online Settlement Calculators Many car accident injury victims will Google what a typical or average car accident settlement amount would be for their specific situation.  This search will yield many results with websites claiming to give an exact calculation or formula to determine a typical settlement amount for a car accident injury case.  Most common is the calculation of taking the dollar amount of the medical bills and lost wages of the injured victim and multiplying it by some arbitrary number (1.5-5) to arrive at a pain and suffering dollar amount, then adding the total amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering together.  However, this is almost always inaccurate.  Neither insurance adjusters nor Texas juries are instructed to use this method to calculate the value of any car accident injury settlement or award.  This practice arose in the past from both insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys “guesstimating” an amount of where an appropriate settlement amount would be for usually minor, soft tissue injuries (e.g., whiplash).  The reality is there is no formula or calculator that can provide an actual car accident settlement amount. There are simply too many variables involved in each case to accurately calculate an average or typical car accident settlement amount. However, there are factors that you should know that can affect the value of your case, such as the amount of your “damages,” the calculation of pain and suffering, and other relevant factors. An overview of these points are discussed below, as well as real car accident injury case settlement examples from several different counties in Texas. Before delving further into the discussion of typical or average car accident settlement amounts, it’s important to know what exactly a “settlement” is. What is a Settlement? A settlement is an agreement between parties of a legal dispute which resolves the dispute prior to either filing a lawsuit or proceeding further after a lawsuit is filed.  The parties usually agree to settle the underlying dispute for a dollar amount in exchange for releasing the liable party from any further liability.  In the car accident context, the liable party’s insurance company would agree to pay the injured party a sum of money in order to release their insured from any further liability.  The settlement amount will be an amount both parties feel is fair to settle without proceeding further in the dispute and avoiding further litigation expenses.  Keep in mind, insurance companies are businesses with a main goal of maximizing profits. This means they will do their best to pay out as little as possible in settling claims. Depending on the facts of your case, accepting a settlement may make sense. However, there are situations where filing a lawsuit and going all the way to trial is necessary to achieve top dollar for your case. Most Important Factor in Determining Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts One of the most important factors in determining a typical car accident settlement amount is knowing what your “damages” are.  Damages are a term of art in the law meaning the calculation of losses realized in a personal injury case.  You must be able to prove damages in order to receive fair value for your car accident injury case. There are two main types of damages, including Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages, in addition to other sub-categories of Compensatory Damages which are broken down below. Compensatory Damages Compensatory Damages, also known as “actual damages,” are the monetary compensation that are awarded to an injured victim as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.  Compensatory damages are intended to put the injured party back to where they were before the accident and make them “whole.” Special Damages Special Damages or “Specials” are a type of compensatory damages that are quantifiable, such as past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses.  You prove these damages by presenting evidence such as medical bills, paycheck stubs, W-2s, or simply a letter from your employer detailing the amount of lost time, your salary, your position at the company, and how many hours you usually work. Lost wages include the time you missed from work and weren’t paid, as well as sick time and vacation time used as a result of the accident. General Damages General Damages, also known as non-economic damages, are another type of compensatory damages that are difficult to quantify.  According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12), non-economic damages include: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. Due to the difficulty in calculating General…

who is at fault in a rear-end collision

Rear-end car accidents are the most common type of collision.  Determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision isn’t always as straightforward as you think.  There are many scenarios where liability may not necessarily automatically go to the “following” vehicle.  In some cases, liability may go either to the “lead” vehicle, the following vehicle, or both.  Of course, if either party involved in a rear-end collision is 51% or more at fault in Texas, they are barred from recovering any of their damages such as medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.  Distracted Drivers and Rear-end Accidents Rear-end accidents are usually caused by distracted driving, such as texting and driving, or tailgating.  The most common types of distracted driving that cause rear-end collisions are smoking, daydreaming, external distractions such as “rubbernecking,” fixing hair or putting on makeup.  Proving fault in a rear-end collision involves determining which driver was “negligent.”  To prove negligence in Texas, you must show four things: Duty – We all owe each other a duty to exercise reasonable care and drive safely so as not to do anything that will harm any other driver on the road.  For example, we all have a duty to pay attention to the car in front of us while we drive in rush hour traffic; Breach of Duty – a breach of duty would be failing to exercise reasonable care and not driving safely, such as by failing to pay attention to the car in front of you as it slowed down in rush hour traffic because you were texting and driving; Causation – the breach of duty (e.g., failing to pay attention to the road and the driver in front of you) causes the accident; and Damages – Damages just mean recognizable and actual losses as the result of the breach in duty.  Whiplash or a fractured vertebra in a rear-end collision are great examples of damages.  You’ll need to prove damages by providing evidence such as medical bills and lost wages.  How to Prove You Were Not At Fault in a Rear-end Collision Usually, it’s easy to see why the following vehicle is at fault in most rear-end collisions.  However, there are exceptions to this rule.  Even if the following vehicle is negligent, it doesn’t always absolve the lead vehicle completely from liability.  The lead vehicle driver may also be driving distracted and may also share some of the liability, proportionate to the amount of their comparative fault.  Ways to prove that the lead vehicle’s driver was at least partially at fault would be to provide evidence that they were driving distracted talking on their phone while driving or looking down at their phone and texting.  You may prove this by getting their phone records to show that they were sending or receiving text messages or receiving or making phone calls at the time of the accident.  However, obtaining the other party’s phone records usually involve filing a lawsuit against them first.  In addition, having an independent witness who saw the accident and can verify that the lead driver was on their phone or texting, will also help to prove that they at least shared some fault. When Is a Rear-end Collision Not Your Fault? Factual scenarios when a rear-end collision is not your fault or at least partially the lead vehicle driver’s fault, include when the lead vehicle: Is in reverse and causes the collision. Makes an unsafe turn or lane change by not signaling or suddenly changes lanes, cutting off the following vehicle. Quickly stops unexpectedly for no apparent reason. “Brake checks” the following vehicle. Has turn signals, brake lights or taillights that are not functioning. Is driving at a significantly slower speed than the speed limit (e.g., driving 25 MPH on the freeway). Unsafely pulls out in front of the following vehicle. Injuries Caused by Rear-end Collisions Most rear-end collisions involve a very slowing moving or stopped lead vehicle.  The impact, even at low speeds can cause significant injuries to the spine, head, and internal organs.  The most common types of injuries caused by a rear-end collision are: Whiplash; Vertebrae fractures; Neck pain; Shoulder pain; Numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities; Muscle, tendon, or ligament sprains, strains, and tears; Disc herniation; Lower (lumbar) back pain; Middle (thoracic) back pain; Internal bleeding; Traumatic brain injuries, even mild cases that may go undetected through standard testing; Concussions; Headaches; Blurry vision; Dizziness; and Anxiety / Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Rear-end Collision Settlements Rear-end collision settlements are heavily determined on the type of your injuries and medical treatment that you receive.  The more serious your injuries, the more likely your settlement will be larger.  With “soft tissue” injuries, or those that involve sprains, strains, and bruises, generally, the settlement value tends to be on the lower side of the settlement spectrum.  Rear-end collisions where there are more serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or those requiring surgery, generally, the greater the settlement amount.  The value of any rear-end collision case relies heavily on the injury severity and the amount of medical bills that have accrued, as a result of the injury.  What’s most important in all rear-end accidents is getting the proper medical treatment as quickly as possible.  Without providing proof of your injuries to the insurance company through medical bills and other evidence, the more difficult it will be to be fairly compensated for your injuries.

How do insurance companies decide to total a car in Texas? The short answer is insurance companies can choose to repair your car up until the cost to repair exceeds the fair market value of your vehicle. However, insurance companies will usually total a vehicle when repairs exceed 50% – 75% of the value. It’s important to know whether the insurance company will be totaling your car after an accident. First, it gives you the opportunity to get an early jump start on researching comparable vehicles to present to the insurance company in order to increase your offer on the actual cash value of the car. Second, it will give you more time to shop for a replacement vehicle while the insurance company performs their investigation and estimate of the damages. Third, it may help to avoid accruing additional costs such as storage fees that the insurance company may refuse to pay if you failed to properly mitigate your damages by leaving your car at a storage facility for an unreasonable amount of time. Texas Law on When a Car is Totaled Texas law mandates how insurance companies determine when to total a vehicle and provides a formula, as indicated in the Texas Transportation Code. According to Texas Transportation Code Section 501.091(15), a salvage or “totaled” vehicle has damage to or is missing a major component part to the extent that the cost of repairs, including parts and labor other than the cost of materials and labor for repainting the motor vehicle and excluding sales tax on the total cost of repairs, exceeds the actual cash value of the motor vehicle immediately before the damage. In other words, the Texas total loss formula to determine whether a damaged vehicle must be a total loss is: Cost of Repair > Actual Cash Value If the total cost of repairs is greater than the actual cash value (ACV) or market value of car, then the insurance company will total the car. For example, if your 2008 Honda Accord has an actual cash value of $4,500 and the cost to repair it is $5,000, then your car would be totaled. $5,000 > $4,500 Please keep in mind that insurance companies may decide to total a vehicle when the damages are less than the actual cash value. The Texas Transportation Code just provides a damage threshold in which a vehicle will be considered totaled. Texas courts have also examined when a vehicle is totaled. In Canal Ins. Co. v. Hopkins Towing, No. 12-06-00411 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2007), the court ruled that a vehicle “is a total loss if a reasonably prudent uninsured owner, desiring to restore the property to its preincident condition, would not utilize that property for such restoration. Logic dictates that, absent other factors, a reasonably prudent uninsured owner would not repair a vehicle where the repair costs exceeded the vehicle’s preincident fair market value.” The court’s rationale in this case reinforces the Texas Transportation Code’s definition that a vehicle is totaled when the cost of repair exceeds the fair market value. For tips on how to handle your own car accident property damage case in Texas, click here.

Who pays for towing and storage after an accident? If your car was towed because of an accident in Texas, you may be wondering who pays for towing and storage. Of course, the answer will depend on the facts of your case, such as whether another driver or you caused the accident. Also relevant in answering this question is whether insurance covers towing and storage after an accident. The short answer is “yes,” towing and storage is covered under most car insurance policies. But, to know for sure whether insurance will cover these fees, you will need to know whether the at-fault driver has insurance, and whether you have “full coverage” insurance. In addition to answering who will be paying for towing and storage fees after a car accident, it’s also important to discuss the following related questions: What can I do if the insurance company won’t pay towing or storage fees? What are the car storage fees after an accident? The police towed my car after an accident. How can I find it? Who Pays for Towing and Storage After an Accident? Who pays for your towing and storage fees after a car accident depends on who was at-fault for the accident. In addition, whether there is insurance coverage to pay for the towing and storage fees will be relevant in determining who will pay.  Three scenarios are discussed below: Scenario 1: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver has insurance According to Texas Occupations Code Section 2303.156(b), “an insurance company that pays a claim of total loss on a vehicle in a vehicle storage facility is liable to the operator of the facility for any money owed to the operator in relation to delivery of the vehicle to or storage of the vehicle in the facility regardless of whether an amount accrued before the insurance company paid the claim.” So, if your vehicle is totaled and you were not at fault, the insurance company must pay towing and storage costs as well. However, in cases where your car was not totaled or where liability is still pending you can either use you own insurance, if you have towing and storage coverage, or you can pay out-of-pocket, save the receipts, and then submit these expenses to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement.  Once they accept liability for the accident, they will reimburse you or your insurance company for what was paid for towing and storage. Scenario 2: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have enough insurance, or was a hit-and-run If you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage for property damage (UMPD), you can file a UMPD claim with your own insurance company.  This will cover the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car.  There is a deductible of $250 to use this coverage. Also, it is your insurance company’s burden to determine whether the at-fault driver had insurance in a Texas UMPD claim. If you don’t have UMPD coverage and have collision coverage, you can use this coverage to pay for the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car. However, the deductible will usually be more than if you used UMPD coverage. Scenario 3: If the accident was your fault If you have collision coverage and/or towing and storage fee coverage with your own insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.  If you don’t have this coverage, double check by calling your insurance company. If they confirm that you don’t have this coverage, make sure you act quickly and retrieve your vehicle from the storage lot before the storage fees get out-of-hand.  If you leave your car in the storage lot for an extended amount of time and do not pay the fee, after proper notice is sent to you, the storage lot will eventually sell the car through a public sale, with the proceeds from the sale going towards the towing and storage fees.  Any remaining amount may be paid to the vehicle owner. What Can I Do If the Insurance Company Won’t Pay Towing or Storage Fees? The at-fault driver’s insurance company usually won’t pay towing and storage fees for several different reasons. We will discuss the most common reasons and some solutions below: The At-Fault Driver was Uninsured or Underinsured If the at-fault driver was uninsured, meaning they didn’t have an active auto liability insurance policy in affect at the time of the accident or didn’t have enough insurance to cover the damage to your vehicle and the cost to tow and store it after the accident, you can use your own insurance to cover these expenses. As discussed above, you can use either your uninsured / underinsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage or your collision coverage. This also applies if you were involved in a hit-and-run. The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Has Not Determined Liability Depending on the facts of the accident, the insurance company may take their time to investigate the accident to determine who was at fault for the accident and whether their insured was covered at the time of the accident. This usually happens if the liability isn’t clear cut, such as in a left-turn collision at an intersection or when more than one party is at fault. If the accident involves clear cut liability, such as in a rear-end accident, liability is usually more promptly accepted. If they are slow to respond, hiring a Texas car accident lawyer will encourage them to act more quickly. You Were Fully At-Fault or Partially At-Fault (More than 50%) for the Accident As in Scenario 3 above, if the accident was your fault, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your collision coverage. If the insurance company determined that you were 50% or less at fault, you will still be entitled to some of your towing and storage fees. Texas is a “modified comparative…

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 14,282 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2017 alone, with 17,535 people sustaining a serious injury. These harrowing statistics translate into the following: One person was killed every two hours 21 minutes, one person was injured every two minutes four seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 59 seconds that year. Even the safest of drivers can not control the actions of other motorists, and when someone else’s negligence causes a car accident, the physical and financial aftermath can be devastating.  Contacting the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Texas Legal Requirements If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, you should follow these steps to ensure your rights are protected. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is your greatest asset, and needs to be protected first. Call for emergency medical services at the scene if anyone has been injured. If you do not believe you have been seriously injured, you still need to have an official medical evaluation done by a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional. This is not only important for your own health, but this official medical evaluation can be important and significant to your legal case. Additionally, it is important for you to document any symptoms starting from the initial car accident through to the present. Documentation of your injuries and keeping a file of your medical visits is important if you decide to file a personal injury claim.  Contact the police: Get the police to the scene of the accident so they can create a police report. If you do not contact the police immediately, you are required by law to file an accident report with the appropriate police department. Texas law requires you to file a Crash Report within 10 days after the accident if the police were not called to the scene of an accident and the accident resulted in either the injury or death of a person or property damage that is greater than $1,000. That police report may prove valuable to your future personal injury case.  Exchange Information: Attempt to obtain the personal identification, vehicle identification, and insurance information of all other drivers involved. Additionally, exchange information with any witnesses, if possible.   Document the Accident: If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, any injuries you may have suffered, the weather and road conditions, and any other pertinent information. This documentation can prove useful later if you choose to file a lawsuit.  Texas Car Insurance Texas is considered a “fault” insurance state, which means that you do not file with your own car insurance first, but rather, you may file an insurance claim directly with the other driver’s insurance if he or she was at-fault in the accident. This law allows every driver to be held personally liable for any damage that he or she may have caused. You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as is reasonably feasible.  Filing an Insurance Claim According to the Texas Insurance Code Section 542.003, Texas law requires that insurance companies not engage in inappropriate or unfair claim settlement practices. Insurance companies are not allowed to misrepresent any facts or parts of your insurance policy or attempt to negotiate a settlement with you in bad faith. However, even with this law in place, insurance companies have teams of people working hard on their side and do not have your best interests in mind as they create settlement agreements.  Take an abundance of caution before signing a settlement that waives your rights to future compensation that you are owed. Working with an experienced car accident attorney who can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other evidence can help strengthen your case and prevent you from accepting low-ball settlements from the insurance companies. Car Accident Settlement Amounts There is no specific amount or actuarial table that can directly calculate the amount that your car accident will ultimately be worth, but hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your rights regarding how much compensation you may be owed. There are many factors that are involved in the determination of a settlement, including:  The severity of the car accident, and the severity of your personal injuries The cost of medical expenses, both already incurred and possible future expenses Lost wages, and potential future loss of wages Insurance coverage of both parties If you were partially at fault for the accident (Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” doctrine.)  Amount and quality of documentation  The ability of your attorney to successfully negotiate your settlement or argue your case in court.  Texas Statute of Limitations A “statute of limitations” refers to a law that limits your time to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a personal injury claim by this deadline established by Texas law, then the Texas courts will not hear your case and potentially dismiss it. Texas statute of limitations laws are quite strict, and according to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003, the deadline to file a claim in a personal injury case related to a car accident is within two years of the date of the accident. Contact an Attorney If you have suffered personal injuries due to a car accident in Texas, contacting an experienced car accident attorney should be one of your first steps. The statute of limitations laws in Texas is short and quite strict. Filing your claim within that time limit is vital to ensure that you do not lose the ability to obtain the compensation you are owed due to the negligence of another. Working with an experienced car accident attorney at the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Our legal team can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other appropriate evidence to not only help strengthen your case and ensure that you file in a timely manner, but also help you obtain the compensation…