What Information Do You Need for a Car Accident Claim?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Filing a car accident claim is the only way to obtain reimbursement for expenses such as medical costs and vehicle repairs. Every driver in Texas must carry automobile insurance. Bringing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company should result in fair and full payment for your losses. For your claim to succeed, however, you will need to gather and present certain information to the insurance company. The best way to fully account for all damages and recieve prroper compensaiton is to work with a car accident lawyer.


What Information Do You Need for a Car Accident Claim? 1

Photographic evidence can be vital for proving the other driver’s fault for your car accident. Photographs of the other driver’s vehicle damage, for example, could show crash reconstructionists that the only way the damage could have occurred is if the other driver ran a red light. Photographs can also serve as proof of your vehicle damage and injuries.
If your injury permits, use your cellphone to take photographs while still at the scene of your crash. You can also ask a trusted friend or eyewitness to take photos for you. Take close-up shots of vehicle damage and other key elements, as well as a few wide-angle shots of the entire crash scene for reference.

Police Report Number

If you called the police to the scene of your car accident, ask the responding officer for the number that will be on your police report for future reference. The police officer will have to submit the report to the police department and the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident.
In the days following the car accident, once you are well enough, you can contact the police department in the county where the accident occurred and request a copy of the police report using the number obtained. The police report can contain important facts about your case, such as whether the police ticketed the other driver for an infraction.

Medical Records

Medical records will be imperative if you wish to file a claim for an injury after a car accident in Texas. The insurance company will request evidence of your injury diagnosis, as well as medical bills to establish how much your required medical care will cost. Ask your doctor for copies of all relevant medical records, including x-rays and test results. Your medical records should indicate that you suffered the injury as a direct result of being in the car accident, that you sought immediate medical care and that you followed your doctor’s treatment plan exactly.

Pay Stubs for Time Missed

Car accident victims frequently have to miss work for a few days while they receive injury treatment. You may have to miss work for a longer period if your injury temporarily disables you and gets in the way of you doing your job. You could recoup the wages you lost due to a car accident if you submit copies of your most recent pay stubs prior to the crash, along with a letter from your employer and/or doctor confirming that you cannot currently work, to the insurance company to seek reimbursement.

Insurance Policy Information

Finally, it will help to have a copy of the insurance policy you plan on using for benefits. If you are filing a first-party claim with your own insurance company for a crash involving a hit-and-run or an uninsured driver, access a copy of your policy online or by speaking to an insurance agent. If you are filing a third-party claim against another driver, call that driver’s provider using the information he or she gave you at the scene of the car accident. Having the insurance policy information can help you understand your rights and the benefits available.
For help gathering all the information you need for a successful car accident claim in Texas, contact a car accident attorney near you.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:51 am

First-Party vs. Third-Party Insurance Claims

Monday, September 26, 2016

Filing an insurance claim will start a series of events that should end in you receiving financial compensation for your damages. The type of insurance claim you file will depend on liability for your accident. In Texas, the party that causes an accident will be the one responsible for paying for victims’ losses. Sometimes, however, this party is unavailable or uninsured. Whether you need to file a first-party or third-party insurance claim for benefits will depend on the coverage available. a personal injury lawyer will ensure you receive justice including maximum compensation for your losses.

What Is a First-Party Insurance Claim?

First-Party vs. Third-Party Insurance Claims 4

A first-party insurance claim is one you file with your own insurance provider. The law requires every driver in Texas, for example, to carry automobile insurance. You may also have homeowners insurance, renters insurance, health insurance and other types of policies. If you caused your own injuries in Texas, you will file a first-party insurance claim with your own provider for benefits.
You may also file a first-party claim if the at-fault party does not have insurance. You could file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own company, for instance, after a collision with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run accident. During a first-party insurance claim, you will negotiate a settlement award with your own insurance company. It can help to understand the language and details of your policy, including coverage types and limits. That way, you can be informed during negotiations with your insurer.
First, call your insurance provider to notify them of your accident. Cooperate with the insurance process, answering the questions asked and providing any additional information necessary. Then, ask the insurance company to pay you a fair amount for your medical bills, property repairs and other damages. Your insurer will respond with either a settlement offer or a reason for denying your claim. You will need to have the right type of insurance for a successful first-party claim.

What Is a Third-Party Insurance Claim?

A third-party insurance claim seeks compensation from another person’s insurance company. It is a claim against the policyholder, not the insurance company itself, that requests compensation from the individual for negligently causing the accident and injuries in question. Instead of paying out of pocket, the individual can turn to his or her insurance company to pay for damages, in most cases. Bringing a claim against a person or party for negligence is generally synonymous with filing a third-party insurance claim.
One of the main differences between a first-party and third-party insurance claim is the fiducial duty owed to the policyholder. With a first-party claim, your insurance company owes you a duty to act in good faith. As an insured policyholder, you have a contract with the insurance company that creates a fiduciary relationship under the Texas Insurance Code. You do not, however, have this fiduciary relationship with someone else’s insurance company. Instead, the insurance company will owe a duty of care to its insured.
If your insurance company breaches its fiduciary duties to you, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the provider for a violation of the Insurance Code. A bad-faith insurance lawsuit alleges that the insurance company did not handle your claim according to the rules of your contract. A successful bad-faith insurance claim for a violation could result in financial compensation for your losses. You could recover treble damages – three times the amount your insurance company originally would have paid – if you can prove an intentional code violation.

Tips for Negotiating an Insurance Claim

Whether you need to file a first-party or third-party insurance claim in Texas, hire an attorney for assistance going up against the insurance company. Insurers often put their bottom lines over their clients. An insurance provider may intentionally make it difficult for you to recover fair financial compensation for your past and future losses. Having an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney negotiate your first-party or third-party insurance claim for you can improve your chances of a positive outcome.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:04 am

What Are Some Tips to Prevent Stroller Injuries to Children?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Although stroller and other child safety technologies have advanced over the years, they are still not 100% safe in every situation. During a five-year study, there were an estimated 64,373 stroller-related injuries to children three years old and younger. In the study, 70% of children came to hospitals for stroller-related head traumas. Stroller injuries are unfortunately common, particularly in the first year of a child’s life. Learn how to prevent stroller injuries, and help ensure your child does not become a statistic.

Choose Your Stroller Wisely

Stroller safety begins with buying the right stroller for your child. There are a variety of stroller designs available to parents today, each with its own pros and cons. When looking for strollers for your baby, consider where you will be using the device. If you live in a city, for example, you will need one that can maneuver along sidewalks and collapse to fit onto a bus or subway. In more rural locations, you may need a more durable stroller for dirt roads that can fold to fit inside your vehicle’s trunk. Also, think about when you will be using the stroller. There are special strollers designed for jogging, for instance. Your child’s age is a major consideration when choosing a stroller. A newborn needs a stroller that reclines, since newborns cannot sit up or support the weight of their heads. Some strollers work with a bassinet attachment or infant car seat. Jogging strollers and umbrella strollers typically are not meant for newborns younger than six months old, as they do not provide adequate head support. If your baby has special needs, the stroller needs storage for any necessary equipment.

Check Your Stroller’s Brakes

A stroller rolling into traffic is a parent’s worst nightmare. Help prevent this tragedy by choosing a stroller with practical, easy to operate brakes. A special safety feature on some strollers is brakes that lock two wheels for extra protection. The brakes should be easy to engage, but not easy to disengage. Make sure the brake release lever is out of reach of your child while in the stroller. Always engage your brakes when you stop the stroller. Check for stroller recalls to ensure that you do not purchase one with a known defect or hazard.

Know Your Stroller’s Pinch Points

Most strollers today are expertly designed to prevent child injuries. Checking the design for yourself, however, is an excellent way to ensure you purchase the safest one for your needs. Many stroller injuries result from pinched or caught extremities, leading to lacerations or crushed bones. If you need a double stroller, for example, look for one with a single footrest to avoid your child’s feet becoming trapped between separate footrests. Often, strollers have hinges that may injure a child’s fingers. Manufacturers have even recalled several models for this reason over the years. Use the pencil test to check for other parts of the stroller that could potentially pinch or injure your child. If the pencil can go into a point and get stuck, your child’s fingers are at risk. Keep a close eye to keep your child’s hands away from recognized pinch points, and keep children a safe distance away while folding and unfolding the stroller.

Stay Close to the Stroller

Never leave your child unattended in the stroller or unbuckled. Watch out for any situation that could lead to the stroller tipping over, as this is a common cause of stroller-related head injuries. Avoid hanging heavy items on the stroller’s handlebars to further prevent this issue, and ensure that your child is within the weight limits of the stroller. Prevent accidents from happening by knowing what to look out for and staying close to your child while in the stroller.
Posted by at 9:18 pm

What If a Rideshare Vehicle Hit My Car?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Negotiating a car accident claim can be difficult enough without a complicating factor such as a rideshare vehicle’s involvement. Rideshare has not been around long enough for most drivers to understand what to do after an accident with one. If an on-duty rideshare driver strikes your car, your case will look different than a typical insurance claim. Learn what to do to successfully recover from a rideshare accident in Dallas.

Determine Fault

Like other collisions in Texas, you will need to determine fault before you can file a lawsuit after a rideshare accident. The at-fault party will be the one that must pay for your damages, according to Texas’ fault-based insurance system. You may need to review police or investigative reports before assigning fault for your car accident. If you caused the crash, you will file a first-party claim with your own insurance company and that will be the end of your case. If the rideshare driver or company was at fault, proceed with a third-party claim.

What If a Rideshare Vehicle Hit My Car? 6

File an Insurance Claim

File an insurance claim with the correct party. If the rideshare driver was guilty of some act of negligence or recklessness that caused the crash, such as speeding or distracted driving, and was logged into the app at the time of the crash, you will file your claim with the rideshare company. Rideshare companies do not accept vicarious liability for their drivers (they use independent contractors to avoid liability), but they do offer insurance coverage for third parties in some situations.

  • Logged in, no passengers. Uber and Lyft offer insurance coverage for victims’ damages if the rideshare driver was on the clock (logged into the app), even if the driver did not have passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Coverage will go up to $50,000 per injury and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Logged in, with passengers. Both rideshare companies offer up to $1 million in third-party insurance coverage if the driver had a passenger at the time of the accident. However, Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverages will only apply once the rideshare driver has exhausted his or her personal insurance.
  • Off the clock. If the rideshare driver was driving for personal reasons, not to pick up passengers, and was not signed into the app, you would proceed with your claim the way you would with any other driver. Call the driver’s personal auto insurance provider and demand compensation for your losses.

It may also be possible to file an insurance claim directly against Uber or Lyft if the rideshare company somehow contributed to your accident or injuries. If, for example, an investigation finds the driver caused the crash while looking at the rideshare app, you may be able to bring a case against the company for making its drivers use an app while driving. A car accident lawyer can help you understand how to bring an insurance claim after a collision with a rideshare driver.

Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney

Navigating a rideshare accident claim in Texas can be difficult. The rideshare company may try to refute liability for its actions or those of its negligent driver. The at-fault driver may not have insurance, or not enough to cover your damages. The insurance company responsible for settling your claim may offer far less than you believe your damages are worth. The best way to protect your interests in the aftermath of a rideshare vehicle accident is to hire an attorney.
A Dallas rideshare accident attorney will know how to go up against powerful companies such as Uber or Lyft in pursuit of fair compensation for the full extent of your damages. Your lawyer can take over conversations with insurance companies on your behalf while you undergo medical treatments. Trusting your case to a lawyer can give you peace of mind during the complex claims process.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:12 am

Can I Hire an Attorney in a Different State Than Where I Reside/Accident Happened?

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Accidents can happen at any time and in any place. When one occurs in a different state than where you reside, it can complicate the claims process. The laws may be different than in your state, and you may want to hire an attorney who holds a license in the state where you are addressing the legal issue.

Protocol for Interstate Legal Problems

Jurisdiction laws typically require that you file a case in the state where the accident occurred. However, it is common for plaintiffs to want to hire a lawyer from their home state. In general, an attorney must have admittance to the state bar in the state in which he or she wishes to represent a client. This is true for any kind of case, whether you need an attorney to represent you in a personal injury suit or a real estate transaction. If you need an attorney to represent you in the state in which an accident happened, the attorney must have a license in that particular state. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you would prefer to use an attorney from your home state with whom you have worked before in a different state, find out if that state will grant your attorney a limited law license. States will grant this request in some situations, usually for public defenders or legal aid services. The attorney must have a license to practice law in another state for this option. Some states also allow an in-house counsel exception, in which a corporation hires an out-of-state attorney to represent them as in-house counsel. In some cases, the state will allow an attorney from out of state to represent a client “for this one case,” or “pro hac vice.” The attorney must petition the court to represent the client and must have a license in another state. It is up to the court’s discretion whether to grant the petition, grant it with conditions, or deny the petition. A condition may be that the attorney must work with in-state counsel, for example. Pro hac vice is only a good option if the attorney is familiar with local and state laws. An attorney can obtain state licensure without taking the bar exam in certain situations. If an attorney has practiced law in another state for a certain number of years, some states will grant faster admission to the bar. This is called reciprocity.

Should You Hire an Out-of-State Attorney?

Deciding whether to try to bring an out-of-state attorney to your case or to hire an attorney in an unfamiliar state depends greatly on the circumstances of your case. If you are the defendant in a case, for example, your insurance company will likely provide you with a personal injury lawyer. In this case, you would not have to worry about hiring an attorney at all. Since most personal injury cases get settled outside of court without litigation, your attorney only needs to be competent and knowledgeable enough to skillfully handle negotiations. If you are the plaintiff, on the other hand, the state in which your personal injury attorney holds a license matters more. If you believe your case will go to court instead of reaching a settlement, it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney who lives near you. This makes it easier to communicate with them regularly about your case’s progress and work with them face-to-face. However, it is crucial that you hire an attorney with the proper skill set and expertise to obtain the best outcome for your case. An out-of-state attorney may not have as deep a grasp of the state laws as a local attorney. Ask your desired attorney if petitioning the court to practice law in a different state is the best option for your case.
Posted by at 10:18 pm