Because Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims, an accident victim might file an Austin car accident claim against you. The person who causes a car accident can be held financially liable for damages. Therefore, if you caused the car crash, the other party may try to file a claim to recover money for their injuries and damages.
Fraudulent Claims and Working With Your Insurance Provider
It can be frightening to have a car accident claim filed against you. It is also frustrating when the person filing the claim walks away from the accident, acting as if they were not injured.
Fraudulent car accident claims are common. People try to “make money” from an accident.
A person claims that the car crash caused injuries when they did not sustain any severe injuries. The person might have been sore for a few days, but now they claim they sustained serious injuries. These types of car accident claims often involve soft tissue injuries, which can be much more difficult to prove or disprove.
Try not to panic if you receive a car accident claim. Instead, contact your automobile insurance provider to report the claim and begin the claims process. Your insurance company likely wants to limit its liability as much as possible, which in this circumstance could be to your benefit.
Does My Automobile Insurance Company Handle the Car Accident Claim?
All Texas drivers are required to have minimum insurance coverage, including bodily injury and property damage coverage. Liability insurance pays for damages resulting from a car accident you caused.
Therefore, your insurance company should handle any claims filed against you, including hiring a lawyer to defend a lawsuit. In addition, because the insurance company could be liable for damages, it generally conducts a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
The insurance company is unlikely to pay a claim unless there is sufficient evidence proving fault and damages. Unfortunately, you have no control over whether the insurance company pays the claim and how much it pays.
However, your insurance provider is only liable up to your policy limits. If you have the minimum limits for bodily injury, you could be responsible for any damages above $30,000.
If the person is claiming damages that exceed your insurance policy limits, you might want to consider seeking legal advice. The attorney hired by the insurance company could do what is best for the insurance provider. Therefore, it is wise to get legal advice from a lawyer who is looking out for your best interests.
Ways To Protect Yourself Against False Car Accident Claims
Most car accident claims are legitimate. If you caused a car accident, you are legally liable for the damages. You did not intend to cause someone harm, but it happened.
However, it is always in your best interest to take steps to protect your legal rights after a car crash, regardless of who caused the collision. The steps you should take after a traffic accident include:
Report the Accident to the Police
Calling 911 is the quickest way to report an accident to the police. An emergency operator takes your information and dispatches emergency medical services and police officers to the accident scene.
Never let the other driver talk you into exchanging information without calling the police. It is better to have an official record of the crash from a law enforcement agency in case the other driver files a claim. Police crash reports often contain the officer’s observations regarding fault, injuries, and property damages.
Document the Accident Scene
If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to each vehicle. Making a video using your cell phone to capture the entire area is also helpful.
You should also ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information. Make a note of any traffic cameras and nearby businesses or homes that might have surveillance cameras that recorded the collision.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Contact your automobile insurance provider immediately to report the car crash. Provide the documentation that the officer gave you to your insurance company.
Do not lie to your insurance company when giving it information about how the accident occurred. However, you do not need to openly admit fault for causing the accident. Instead, give the company the facts and let the insurance adjuster investigate the crash to determine the cause.
Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident is a good idea. You might not believe you are injured, but you could develop delayed symptoms of an injury in the hours or days following the accident. Prompt medical care protects your health, and it also protects your rights regarding a personal injury claim.
Seek Legal Advice from a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about your legal rights or the car accident claims process, you can ask an Austin car accident lawyer. Most accident attorneys offer free consultations, so it does not cost you anything to meet with an injury lawyer.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Austin, TX
3101 Bee Caves Rd #301, Austin, TX 78746, United States