For most people who have been injured in an accident, knowing what to do after the dust settles can be very confusing and can cause some people to procrastinate. That is the absolute worst thing to do after a car or truck accident. In Texas, you only have two years to file suit. That may seem like a long time, but trust us. IT IS NOT. Also, procrastinating on doing certain things will only draw your claims against the insurance company out further. In our office, like most offices, we have a set operating system for each of our personal injury clients here in the Forney, Rockwall and Dallas areas, with each client’s case run by an attorney and our staff in a way that best moves the case forward once we receive it. Most firms want to keep that system “proprietary”, but I am willing to share a little of the way we do things in order to help out each injured person, regardless of whether you actually hire our office to help you. Why? because every injured person deserves a fighting chance against the insurance company, not just those who hire an attorney.
So, here is a quick list of the things yo u need to do after a car or truck accident. This list begins AFTER you have received any necessary medical treatments and have begun the recovery process, if possible. This list shows some of the basic steps we take in order to begin moving your claim forward if they have not already been done. So, by doing any or all of these steps prior to hiring our firm, you will speed up the process of settling your claims against the at-fault party.
MAKE A CLAIM WITH THE AT-FAULT PARTY’S INSURER
This is the first step. You need to make a claim with the other party’s insurance carrier to begin the process of having the claim investigated by their insurer. While, overall we do not care what the insurer says about liability if you know the other party WAS actually at-fault, in most cases, if its clear the other party was at-fault, the insurance carrier will accept liability.
However, as we will talk about in a little while, acceptance of liability does not necessarily mean anything.
MAKE A CLAIM WITH YOUR OWN INSURANCE
This is particularly important if you have PIP coverage and/or uninsured/undersinsured motorist coverage. PIP will help with the cost of medical bills that you currently have. The limit on most policies that have PIP is $2,5000, so it most likely will not cover all of your bills, but it will help.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is vitally important if you have high medical bills due to a severe accident. In Texas, the minimum liability insurance a driver is required to keep is $30,000/$60,000. This means that if you are the only person in the accident injured as a result of the at-fault party, their policy will pay out only a maximum of $30,000. IF your bills are above that amount, they will not be covered under the policy. That will make it difficult when negotiating with providers and lien holders if your bills exceed that amount. My advice is to always carry this type of coverage. It isn’t expensive and can really help in the event of a significant accident with moderate to high medical bills.
SEEK ANY AND ALL NECESSARY SUBSEQUENT MEDICAL TREATMENT
If you are still hurting or suffering from injuries, make sure you are going to any and all medical appointments. Whether it be subsequent treatments for broken bones, soft tissue injuries, whatever, get your treatments done. Just because you tell the insurance company that you are still hurting does not mean that you are going to obtain any recovery for that continued pain. You need to show them by going to any and all necessary treatments and getting yourself taken care of. Period.
Why? Because the insurance company is going to say “yeah, you’re saying your hurt, but you didn’t go get any treatment done so you must not have been hurting that badly.” Regardless of whether that is the truth, that will be their argument.
So, go get the care you need.
OBTAIN ALL OF YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AND MEDICAL RECORDS FROM YOUR PROVIDER
After each visit, request copies of medical bills and medical records from your provider to be sent to you or made available online. If you are going through your personal health insurance, also obtain your Explanation of Benefits. Those are easy to obtain online through your health insurance online portal page.
Also, try not to wait until you hire an attorney to begin obtaining or obtain all of your medical bills and records. That will only serve to slow the claims process down. The more information you have at the time you retain an attorney, the more your attorney will be able to help you. So, speed up the process and begin the process of obtaining medical records and bills right away.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TRAVEL MILEAGE AND LOST TIME FROM WORK
This is another very important step that people gloss over. Any time you miss from work is recoverable in a personal injury claim. Therefore, obtaining employment information, such as pay stubs that indicate missed time will be important in proving loss wages due to time missed from work due to the injuries and your treatments.
Also, keeping track of the mileage you drive to and from medical treatments is another area of recovery that many injured persons miss out on because they fail to keep good records of mileage. Figure out how far the treatments are from your place of work or home, or wherever you leave from and keep track of the distance driven to and from each appointment. We can get you compensation for that as well.
HIRE A LOCAL, TRUSTED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Most accidents occur close to home or work. Hiring good, experienced local counsel is very important. A local attorney will know the area and will be able to more adequately represent you in the event of an accident. Hiring a big name attorney from Dallas does not mean you will get any more for your injuries than a local attorney will be able to get you. Often times what the big name attorneys do is take your case and if it does not settle, they get rid of your case but still retain an interest in it, which only puts a further burden on your case and may make it difficult for you to hire another attorney going forward. Hire someone you trust.
Once we have all of your medical bills and treatments done, then we will begin the negotiation process of settling your claims with them. Although liability may be clear, that is not usually the most contentious part of your claim. The most contentious part is how much the insurance company will pay you for your injuries. That is where the real legal work actually begins. At Guest and Gray, P.C., our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to get you top dollar for your injuries.
INJURED IN A TEXAS AUTO OR TRUCK ACCIDENT? CALL THE TRUSTED LEGAL TEAM AT GUEST AND GRAY, P.C.
If you have been injured in an accident in the Dallas, Kaufman or Rockwall county areas, or anywhere in the State of Texas, you need to call the trusted personal injury team at Guest and Gray, P.C. Our firm is the largest and highest rated firm in both Kaufman and Rockwall counties. Our personal injury attorneys are caring, trusted and local. We pride ourselves in hard work and results.
Don’t call just any law firm to guide you through the courts. When you hire an attorney from Guest and Gray, P.C., you not only get an attorney assigned to your case, but you get a knowledgeable and caring support staff. Dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one is stressful enough. Don’t waste your time having to hassle with your legal team. Call the law firm that cares. Call Guest and Gray, P.C. at 972-564-4644