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Accident Claims Against Insurance Companies

Accident Claims Against Insurance CompaniesUnfortunately, no matter how safe you are on the road, car accidents do happen. And when you are involved in one, whether it’s minor rear-end damage or a serious crash that sends you to the hospital, you’re going to have to deal with an insurance company.

Even small car accidents can trigger long-term back and neck pain that requires years of doctors’ visits and physical therapy — or even surgery. The more extensive the injury, the longer your insurance claim may take to resolve.

Working with insurance companies like Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, and Germania can be frustrating, and it can feel like your accident claim will never be closed.

By working with accident claim lawyers who are experienced in claims against insurance companies, you can more quickly get results and move past your accident.

An auto accident insurance attorney can help you make your way through the often-complicated claims process and advocate your case so that you get the best results possible.

When Should You File an Accident Insurance Claim in Texas?

It’s best to contact your insurance company as soon as you can after an accident, while the details are fresh in your mind. Most insurance policies stipulate how long you have to report your accident, and some may prohibit you from recovering damages if you don’t make a report within the indicated period of time. However, you should take caution before giving a recorded statement to any insurance carrier.

The process for filing an accident insurance claim varies depending on whether your insurance company is Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, Germania, or another provider. Some companies allow you to submit your claim and any relevant information online or through a mobile app, but you can always call directly to make a report.

While it’s okay to provide an insurance company with any evidence of the accident — such as photos or the names and numbers of witnesses — you should never provide a recorded statement without first consulting an attorney.

Under Texas law, an insurance company must approve or reject your claim within 15 days of receiving all the needed information. An approved claim must be paid within five business days. If the insurance company denies your claim, they must tell you why it was rejected.

Insurance claims are often drawn out because it takes some time for the relevant information and evidence to be gathered. Insurance companies are notorious for drawing out the claims process even more as a way to postpone a payout.

An auto accident lawyer can help make sure your claim gets reviewed and decided upon in a timely manner. They’ll work with the claims adjusters at Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, or Germania to make sure all of the relevant information is submitted and will diligently stay on top of your claim until a decision is made.

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Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Texas

In Texas, you can file an auto insurance claim and sue the at-fault driver if the accident was caused by their negligence. If the other driver was texting or driving under the influence when the accident occurred, for instance, you may have a valid personal injury claim.

Under the state’s statute of limitations, you must file any personal injury claim within two years of the date of the car accident. However, depending on the details of your accident, you may have more or less time in which to file. A Texas auto accident insurance attorney can advise you on your options for filing a personal injury claim and ensure you get all of the proper documentation filed in time.

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Who Was at Fault?

Whether it was a multi-car pileup or a two-car collision, it can be hard to figure out who was at fault in an auto accident. Making a determination often involves an investigation of the drivers, whether they were on the job at the time of the accident (meaning their employer may be liable), and whether any alcohol or drugs were involved. Insurance companies must also consider if there were vehicle defects or any contributing factors at the site of the accident (such as a slick street from a recent storm or road construction).

Texas is a “fault” state, which means insurance companies won’t pay out any claims until they determine who was at fault in an accident. While it’s often obvious which driver caused the accident, there are times when both drivers are determined to be partially at fault. For example, if you ran a red light when the other car made an illegal turn and hit you, your damages may be reduced by your percentage of responsibility for causing the collision. Texas allows you to recover damages as long as you’re no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.

Insurance companies like Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, and Germania may argue that you were more at fault for the accident than you actually were so they won’t have to pay out as much. Experienced accident claim lawyers are familiar with this tactic and will perform their own investigation to determine who was at fault. They’ll make sure the right percentage of fault is allocated in order to get you the best recovery possible.

Damages Available in Accident Claims

Car insurance policies typically reimburse for property damage, lost wages and medical bills, but the extent of your coverage depends on the terms of your particular policy. The damages available to you after a car accident are often based on both your and the other driver’s insurance coverages, as well as any evidence and other information you have to support your claim.

What you can receive also depends on how much damage was done to your vehicle, how extensive your injuries are, and if you were determined to be partially at fault. An auto accident insurance attorney will make sure all aspects of the accident and your injuries are considered so that you get sufficient recovery.

Protecting Yourself when Dealing with Auto Insurance Providers

Dealing with auto insurance companies like Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, and Germania can be difficult. They may try to delay your claim or deem you more at fault than you were as a way to avoid paying damages. They may also make you a lower offer than you deserve just to get you to settle quickly.

It’s important to protect yourself when interacting with insurance companies. One of the best ways to do this is to get everything in writing so you have proof of any conversations and potential settlements they offered.

While insurance companies may make recommendations for places to get your car repaired or to get medical services, you are always free to go where you’d like. And you’re never obligated to agree to or sign anything that you don’t feel comfortable with.

The best way to protect yourself is to work with an attorney who will help you negotiate and settle your claim. A lawyer will advocate for you to ensure that your interests are represented, that you get a fair deal, and that you recover what you deserve.

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Steps to Take Following a Car Accident in Austin, TX

Before you ever reach out to an insurance company, it’s important to take care of yourself and any passengers after an accident (even a small one). Here are some steps you should take following a car accident to ensure that any relevant evidence is documented for your insurance claim.

  • Look for injuries. Always check for injuries after an accident, no matter how small. If you, a passenger, or the other driver incurred serious injuries, call 911 or get medical help immediately.
  • Exchange insurance information. Swap names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license information, vehicle license plate numbers, and insurance information with the other driver. This information is necessary for filing an auto accident claim.
  • Gather witnesses. When possible, get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. They may be vital to proving who was at fault.
  • Make a police report. Filing a police report is one of the best pieces of evidence for your claim. Whether you call the police from the scene or call after the fact, you can offer statements and your version of the incident, which may be vital when proving your insurance claim.
  • Get pictures. Photos can provide important evidence of damage to yourself or your vehicle.
  • File an accident insurance claim. Any time you are involved in an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance provider — whether it’s Texas Farm Bureau, Kemper, Chubb, Germania, or another provider. Once they have all of the relevant information, your claims adjuster will contact the other driver’s insurance company to get your claim settled. At this point, you may want to consider working with accident claim lawyers who can help get your claim resolved quickly.

How Our Austin Car Crash Lawyer at FVF Law Can Help

Getting into a car accident is a stressful event, and having to deal with insurance companies only increases that stress. Our accident claim lawyers are here to provide the information and resources you need in order to focus on recovering from your accident.

We can help you navigate the auto insurance claims process to maximize your financial recovery. For a free, no-commitment case consultation, contact our lawyers in Austin, Texas, today.

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