Brian White | January 25, 2023 | Car Accidents
Since Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims, a person could file a claim against you if you are involved in a traffic accident. Even if you did nothing wrong, the person might try to file an insurance claim to get money from your liability insurance coverage. Texas requires all drivers to have minimum car insurance coverage if they cause a traffic accident.
Sometimes, a person might file a fraudulent car accident claim because they want money. In other cases, a person might sincerely believe that you caused the car accident in Houston. In either case, the person filing the claim has the burden of proving negligence before recovering compensation for damages.
Proving Negligence for a Car Accident in Houston
The victim must prove fault to create liability for damages caused by a car accident. Most car accident cases are based on negligence. Therefore, the person filing the claim would need evidence proving the following:
- You owed them a legal duty of care;
- You breached the legal duty of care;
- Your breach of duty directly led to the car crash (causation); and,
- The car accident caused them to suffer harm and losses (damages).
Texas drivers have a legal duty of care to take reasonable steps to avoid causing injury or harm. Failing to follow traffic laws, drinking and driving, texting while driving, speeding, and other conduct could be considered a breach of duty.
However, the conduct must be the direct and proximate cause of the car crash. Therefore, a person driving at excessive speeds might breach their duty of care. You must prove that the driver did something that caused the accident, such as driving on the wrong side of the road or making an improper lane change.
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of income and benefits
- Mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Decreased quality of life
- Disabilities and impairments
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
If the person files a lawsuit, they must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. The jurors must believe there is more than a 50% chance that you caused the crash and the crash caused the person’s injuries and damages.
Will My Insurance Company Defend Me Against a Car Accident Claim?
The insurance company investigates all claims filed against you. It assigns an insurance adjuster to review the case and determine whether you caused the accident. The adjuster also determines how much the claim is worth.
If the insurance company denies the claim or refuses to negotiate a settlement, the injured party could file a personal injury lawsuit against you. Your insurance company should hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit. You can retain a Houston car accident lawyer to represent you at your expense.
You cannot force your insurance company to settle a claim. However, if you believe your insurance company acted in bad faith by refusing to settle a just claim, talk with a Houston personal injury lawyer. You might have a claim against the company if it acted in bad faith and its actions caused you damages.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Car Accident Claims in Houston?
Report all car accidents to the police by calling 911 immediately after the accident. Remain at the accident scene, but do not discuss the crash with anyone other than the police officer. Also, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident.
Evidence can be crucial in proving that you were not at fault. Try to take photographs and make a video of the vehicles, damage, and accident scene. However, do not place yourself or others in danger to do so.
Contact a Houston car accident attorney and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your health is your primary concern. Prompt medical attention could help prove you are entitled to damages if the other person caused the car crash.
An accident lawyer investigates the cause of the crash and gathers evidence proving fault. Even if you were partially to blame for causing the accident, you could still be entitled to compensation for damages.
Texas adopted a modified contributory fault law. If you are more than 51% at fault for causing a car accident, you cannot recover any money for your damages. However, if you are less than 51% at fault, you can recover damages, but the compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
Most insurance companies record telephone calls, especially those from adjusters and investigators. A statement you make could be intentionally interpreted to imply fault. Therefore, it is best to refer the insurance company to your lawyer and let your attorney handle all communication regarding your accident case.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
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