Brian White | October 20, 2023 | Car Accidents
A car accident can upend your life faster than you can even ask yourself what happened. In an injury accident, it’s not only your body that takes a toll. Your finances can take a hit as medical bills mount and lost work time accumulate.
If you have a personal injury claim against Allstate (typically because the accident was someone else’s fault), you might be tempted to take the first settlement offer just to get your money right away. Don’t do it.
Steps To Take Immediately After the Accident
Take the following measures immediately after the accident, if your injuries allow you to:
- Report the accident to your insurance company, even if it’s not Allstate, within 24 hours of the accident if you can. The terms of your insurance policy might require this. Don’t provide too much detail, though, before speaking with an attorney.
- If you were driving one of the cars in the accident, exchange insurance, and contact details with the other driver. Texas law requires this.
- Get the contact details of any witnesses.
- Photograph anything relevant at the scene of the accident (skid marks, property damage, injuries, road conditions, weather, and more);
- Seek medical treatment ASAP; and
- Get a copy of the crash report.
Always seek medical treatment if your body suffers any impact whatsoever. Some injuries take time to manifest symptoms.
Texas Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Requirements
Texas operates a “30/60/25” system for auto accident liability. That means coverage must top out at no no less than:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person;
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident; and
- $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Despite these requirements, about 8% of all Texas drivers are uninsured. You might need uninsured motorist insurance to collect compensation under these circumstances.
Whose Fault Was the Accident?
If the accident was another driver’s fault (including the driver of the car you were in), you probably have a third-party insurance claim against their auto accident liability insurance policy. If things go well, you can collect compensation from this policy even though your name is not on it. That policy might be an Allstate policy.
If the accident was your fault, you might still have the ability to claim damages against Allstate if you have optional auto accident insurance with them. If you have collision insurance, for example, you can collect for damage to your car even if the accident was your fault.
Reporting the Accident to Allstate
If you have suffered injury or property damage that you believe Allstate is responsible for, take the following steps:
- Call the Allstate claims hotline (1-800-ALLSTATE) immediately to report your accident. You can file online if you have an Allstate policy or if you own a vehicle with an Allstate policy.
- Follow up regularly with Allstate. Better yet, have your lawyer take over all communication with Allstate.
- Obtain a quote for property damage: Allstate will send an adjuster to inspect your vehicle and give you a quote for repairs. You select a repair shop of your choosing if you’d prefer to do it this way.
- Repair your vehicle: Allstate will cooperate with the repair shop to expedite repairs.
- Keep documentary evidence of any out-of-pocket costs such as car rental fees or medical bills. Submit them to Allstate for reimbursement at the appropriate time.
- Settle your claim with Allstate. This could take some time, and it might involve some negotiation and complexity.
You can expect a denial of your claim or a lowball settlement offer at first. Don’t be concerned; this is routine. Treat this as the starting point for negotiations, and don’t sell yourself short. If Allstate deals dishonestly with you, you can file a bad-faith insurance claim for additional compensation.
Mistakes To Avoid
Avoid the following claim-damaging mistakes:
- Stay off social media. Allstate can use your social media posts as evidence against you, both in court and at the settlement table. Tell your friends not to post about your accident, either.
- Get a lawyer for any case more significant than a non-injury fender-bender.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
- Don’t admit fault or say, “I’m sorry,” even to be polite.
These are only a few of hundreds of possible ways you might damage your claim. A lawyer can help you avoid all of them.
An Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer Won’t Fall for Any Insurance Company Tricks
There are a hundred ways for Allstate to devalue your claim, justify an arbitrary denial, or lull you into missing the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit. An experienced Houston car accident lawyer won’t fall for a single one of them.
In fact, Allstate is unlikely to even bother to try using them once they learn that you have retained a competent lawyer. Schedule a free initial consultation today.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer to Help You With Your Claim
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054