Frequently Asked Questions
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This is my first car accident. I am hurting – what do I do?
First, if you are hurting, it is important that you get immediate medical attention to assess your injuries and make sure you have no serious, life-threatening condition(s). Next, if you have health insurance and need further curative treatment, such as physical therapy, it is vital that you see your regular physician and obtain substantive physical therapy. If you have already started treatment with your physician or chiropractor, it is important that you continue with treatment until you have been released by your doctor.
The auto insurance company has said they will pay my medical bills, so why should I get an attorney?
Auto insurance company representatives often say that they will pay your medical bills, but this is never guaranteed. If an insurance company adjuster finds evidence of a prior injury, or if they find any evidence to indicate that you had any contributory negligence in the collision, the adjuster will use this information to reduce or deny your claim for medical bills incurred.
What do I do if the auto insurance company has said they are “investigating the accident” and are not moving to accept liability and fix my vehicle?
Insurance companies are obligated to investigate any claim against their insured driver, but that entails a duty of due diligence, or duty to act in a timely manner. The most common excuse is, “We are still trying to contact our insured to get a statement.” While this is sometimes unavoidable, if a defendant is dodging his/her insurance company, an injured claimant is frequently left without recourse or transportation. We can advise you on response options.
The insurance company adjuster is demanding a recorded statement from me before they will settle my bodily injury claim. Can they do this?
Providing a recorded statement to an insurance company is not required, but often helpful. Many auto accident claims are settled on the basis of a police collision report alone. We recommend that no recorded statement be provided to anyone regarding your injuries and collision until you have retained an attorney, discussed your case in detail, and the attorney arranges to be present with you during the statement. While the recorded statement is part of the insurance company’s investigative process, they may use any negative information you provide to reduce or deny your claim. We can guide you through this critical part of your case to lessen the risk to your claim.
I had no regular physician at the time of my accident. Who can I see for medical treatment of my injuries?
You are free to choose any health care provider you wish. The question is how that provider is to be paid. If you have health insurance, we recommend you use a health care provider on your designated provider list. If you need a referral to a health care provider, or have no health insurance, we can assist you on a limited basis.
The other driver had no automobile liability insurance at the time of the accident. What are my options?
Texas law stipulates that a driver must have proof of financial responsibility in the event of a collision. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem with an estimated 25% of Texas drivers not possessing the required liability insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy, we can assist you in filing a bodily injury claim for medical treatment.
How long will it take to settle my injury claim?
First, no reputable law firm will settle a bodily injury claim until you have finished medical treatment and been released by your doctor. Second, after you have informed our office that you have completed all medical treatment, we will order/obtain all pertinent medical and billing records, which can take several weeks, depending on where you treated and how many hospitals or doctors treated you. These records are absolutely necessary to prove your bodily injury claim. Third, we will evaluate the claim, discuss settlement authority with you, and submit a settlement demand to the insurance carrier. Negotiations usually start and conclude within a few weeks thereafter. Once the claim is settled, and the settlement check and release are received, we will move to process payment of medical bills and reimbursement claims before closing your file.
How much will I get for my bodily injury claim?
No reputable law firm can ever honestly predict the final amount to be paid to a client until the file has been evaluated and a settlement demand is submitted, the settlement is reached, and medical/reimbursements have been determined.
If I receive a telephone call or questionnaire from my health insurance company after my accident, what do I do?
If our office is representing you, we request that you defer on providing significant information and notify our office so that arrangements can be made to assess the situation and respond accordingly. We do not recommend that you deal directly with the health insurance company unless our office is consulted.