In Texas, the driver at fault for causing a car accident will have to pay for related injuries, medical costs and vehicle repairs. Fault for a car accident is not always immediately clear, however. If the other driver’s insurance company is wrongly accusing you of causing a crash that you believe was not your fault, there are steps you need to take to protect yourself from liability.
The outcome of your car accident case in Texas will come down to evidence. Evidence refers to the information, documentation and tangible items that support the claim that you are making. If you are arguing that the other driver caused the crash, for example, you will need evidence that establishes the other driver’s fault. If you can, collect the following evidence while still at the scene of the accident or in the days following:
Call the police to report your car accident from the scene, whether the crash was major or minor. Even if Texas law does not require you to report the car accident, notifying the police can lead to an official crash report that contains important information about the collision. The police can interview everyone involved and examine the scene to help collect evidence of fault.
Admitting fault is one of the most common mistakes made by drivers involved in car accidents in Texas. It is common for a driver to quickly apologize to the other driver as soon as he or she gets out of the car. Admitting fault right away, however, can mean you end up absorbing 100 percent of the liability for a crash even if someone else also contributed.
Never admit fault while still at the scene of a car accident or while talking to an insurance company’s representative. Admitting fault can halt an investigation before it begins, placing liability with you even if you did not actually cause the crash. If you believe you caused a car accident by pulling out in front of someone, for example, you may admit fault before an investigation can discover that the other driver was speeding and is also partially to blame.
A representative hired by the insurance company known as a claims adjuster will contact you shortly after your collision. Do not trust the claims adjuster, as he or she does not have your best interests in mind. The adjuster wants you to admit fault or make another mistake that can place liability for the car accident with you. Most attorneys recommend not talking to an insurance adjuster at all. If you do wish to talk to the adjuster, do not admit fault, agree to give a recorded statement, sign anything or accept a settlement before you have spoken to a car accident attorney.
The law may entitle you to compensation even if you are found to be partially at fault for a car accident. Texas is a comparative negligence state, meaning that a plaintiff can still recover a monetary award even if he or she contributed to the crash. A car accident lawyer can help you establish the other driver’s portion of fault to maximize your financial recovery as much as possible.
It is important to hire an attorney if you have been wrongly accused of being at fault for a car accident in Dallas. A lawyer can immediately investigate your crash and preserve and collect evidence of fault on your behalf. A lawyer can also help you refute allegations of fault using experts and crash reconstructionists. Your lawyer can take many steps to help you prove that someone else was to blame for the crash, making you eligible for financial compensation through that party’s insurance company.