Frequently Asked Legal Questions Answered
You got questions? We got answers
- WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM IN AN ACCIDENT?
Stay calm and call the police. Even if the injuries are not serious, it is always good to have the police come to the scene so the crash can be properly investigated and documented. Many times, attorneys and insurance company adjusters rely on the crash report to determine fault issues. Also, seek immediate medical attention for any injuries, as they may be potentially serious or life-threatening. Lastly, if you can, take photos of the scene and all vehicles involved.Still have questions?
- SHOULD I SPEAK TO THE OTHER PERSON'S INSURANCE COMPANY
I always advise my clients not to speak with the at-fault party’s insurance company until they have retained me and I am present. If you speak with an insurance adjuster prior to this, be honest and tell them the truth, but give very little information, especially about your injuries. At this point, it is way too early to determine the nature and/or extent of any injury; the discussion should be more about the damaged vehicle. When talking to the other side’s representative without your own attorney (which is not advised), give them “name, rank and serial number” answers.Still have questions?
- WHAT ABOUT MY CAR? WHAT CAN I DO? WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
When your car is damaged in a crash, it is either repairable or a total loss. This is usually based on the amount of the repairs, the age/condition of the vehicle, the mileage and overall damage from the crash. Typically, the more damage, the more likely it will be a total loss, unless it’s a very new model. If repairable, you have the right to have your vehicle fixed by the shop or person of your choice. Also, you have the right to a replacement vehicle during the time it takes to fix everything.Still have questions?
- WHAT ARE THE OTHER PERSON’S INSURANCE LIMITS? WILL THEY BE ENOUGH?
Texas law mandates liability coverage as follows: 30/60/25; this is minimum coverage, and a person or company may have more. The first $30,000.00 is to cover bodily injury damages for any one person. The second $60,000.00 is the amount the insurance company would be obligated to pay for the injury claims in one accident, regardless of the number of people injured; and the third $25,000 is the amount allocated for property damage to the vehicles involved. Liability coverage protects “the other guy” in a crash scenario.Still have questions?
- WHAT IF THE NEGLIGENT OR AT-FAULT DRIVER DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH INSURANCE TO COVER ALL MY LOSSES/DAMAGES OR HAS NO INSURANCE AT ALL?
Unfortunately, with the high cost of medical care, this situation happens often. You can protect yourself by purchasing underinsured/uninsured (UIM/UM) insurance coverage. This is considered “excess” coverage people can buy to protect themselves and their family or passengers when a collision happens with drivers who either have no or too little insurance. When another vehicle or driver has no insurance or you are involved in a hit and run and cannot identify the other vehicle, you would use your uninsured motorist coverage. Keep in mind that the law mandates that insurance companies must offer this coverage, but you may be rejected when you attempt to purchase it. The majority of people do not have this coverage, even when they think otherwise. It is always important to make sure you do.Still have questions?
- WHO PAYS MY MEDICAL BILLS? WHAT IF MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAYS THEM?
The negligent or at-fault driver is responsible for paying the damages he/she causes, including – but not limited to – medical expenses. However, it may take months or longer to resolve the case. In the meantime, your private health insurance will and should pay your medical bills. However, if it does, keep in mind that your health insurance may have a right to be paid back out of any settlement you recover through their right “subrogation.” At our office, we can also assist with making arrangements for deferred billing and payment plans so you don’t have to pay high charges, deductibles, etc. out of your own pocket.Still have questions?