ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MOTOR VEHICLE
following should not be considered
legal advice on your personal injury
claim. For questions about your specific
claim, you should consult an attorney.
The following information is based
on the current common or case law
for the State of Texas. The laws for
motor vehicle accident claims vary
from state to state and are subject
to change. You need to consult with
an attorney licensed in the state
where your accident happened for advice
and information regarding your claim.
- Who is going to pay for my damages?
first question that someone involved
in an accident asks is who is at fault.
To answer this question it is important
to get as much information as you
can about the location of the accident
and the persons involved. You need
to write down this information about
your case as soon as possible. You
may want to draw a diagram of the
accident identifying the cross streets,
showing the direction each vehicle
was traveling, the location of traffic
signals or signs, and any landmarks.
Write a description of each vehicle
(e.g., make, model, year, and license
plate). You also need to get as much
information as you can about the other
driver including the driver's name,
address, and license number. This
is especially important if there is
no police report. Finally, get the
name, address, and telephone number
of all witnesses.
- Do I need to do anything if there
is a police report?
cannot assume that liability or fault
will be admitted. Persons who cause
accidents may tell you at the scene
they are at fault but then may change
their mind or tell their insurance
company it was your fault. Liability
can be disputed even if the police
report is in your favor. They key
may be what witnesses say. You need
to get the name and telephone number
of all witnesses. You need to ask
them what they saw and whether they
mind giving a statement.
- The police did not come to the scene,
do I need to report the accident?
you are involved in an accident that
results in someone's injury and/or
at least $500.00 in property damage
to the vehicle you were in, then you
need to complete and send a written
report (blue form) of your accident
to the Texas Department of Public
Safety within ten days from the date
of your accident. You can obtain a
copy of a blue form from your police
or sheriff's department office. Be
sure to keep a copy of the completed
report for your file.
- What do I do about transportation?
If your car has been towed, then you
need to get it out of the pound as
soon as possible. If you car is not
driveable, then the insurance company
is suppose to provide you with a rental
AFTER they have made a decision regarding
liability. Your property damage claim
includes repairs, rental, towing,
and storage. Insurance companies will
either reimburse you for your rental
expense or they will arrange for a
rental car company to provide you
with a rental at their expense (also
known as "direct billing").
If you have rental insurance under
your own policy, then it is a good
idea to use it because it can sometimes
take weeks before the insurance company
for the other driver to decide whether
to accept or deny your claim. If you
decide to arrange for your own rental
be sure to ask the rental car company
for the insurance rate. Insurance
companies typically only pay approximately
$21-$24 dollars per day. This is typically
significantly less than the rate charged
by most rental car companies. For
more information about property damage
and rental bills, you may want to
consult with an attorney.
- I have been injured, who will pay
for my medical expenses?
person who caused the collision is
liable for your medical expenses.
You need to find out if the other
driver has insurance. You need to
exchange insurance information with
the other driver. It is good idea
to look at the other driver's proof
of insurance card. You need the name
of the insurance company, the policy
number, the name of the insured, and
the telephone number for the carrier.
You need to contact the insurance
company as soon as possible and report
the accident. Be careful about what
you say, be sure that you have your
facts and information correct before
you call. DO NOT AGREE TO GIVE A RECORDED
STATEMENT WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH
AN ATTORNEY. The liability carrier
will not pay for any medical expenses
or lost wages, however, until your
bodily injury claim settles. You have
several options: you may want to file
on your personal injury protection
(PIP) through your automobile insurance
policy; you may want to use your health
insurance; or if you do not have any
insurance some medical providers will
treat you under a letter of protection
(LOP) issued by an attorney. PLEASE
NOTE THAT UNDER TEXAS LAW YOU CAN
ONLY RECOVER THE AMOUNT OF MEDICAL
BILLS INCURRED OR PAID BY YOU OR ON
- I have been injured and I cannot contact
the other driver's insurance company,
what should I do?
you need medical treatment, then you
need to get treatment as soon as possible.
Do not delay treatment while you wait
to contact the insurance company or
get permission to treat. You should
go to the emergency room or consult
with your physician as soon as possible.
A prolonged delay in treatment (more
than 2 weeks) may adversely affect
your health and diminish your case
value. Some medical providers will
accept a letter of protection (LOP)
from an attorney. This is a letter
from the attorney essentially promising
to pay the medical provider from any
settlement or verdict, assuming there
is a sufficient recovery in your case.
This LOP may allow you to get the
medical treatment you desperately
need while your claim is pending.
If you have no means to pay for medical
treatment, you should consult with
- The insurance company has inspected
my vehicle and taken photographs,
is there anything I need to do?
need to take your own photographs
showing the damage to your vehicle.
Do not rely on anyone, especially
the insurance company to do your job
for you. Photographs maybe a crucial
piece of evidence in your case. Most
claimants fail to realize how important
photographs can be. They are important
to document both your property damage
claim and your bodily injury claim.
35 mm cameras (even disposable) are
preferable to Polaroid. You need to
take several photographs. It is a
good idea to stand at least 3 to 4
feet away from the car.
Please feel free to call me at 1-800-275-6720
(in Texas only) or 214-739-3800, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. Or visit our Contact Us page for more information about
contacting our office.