What Do I Do if I’m Found At-Fault in an Accident?
What does at-fault mean?
Texas is one of the 38 at-fault states. So, what does that mean? It means if you are involved in an accident in Texas someone will be declared at-fault. This most greatly impacts insurance. The insurance company of whoever is found at fault will take on the financial responsibility of the accident.
Being in an accident is a stressful time for anyone. If you are found to be at-fault for an accident, you may feel more anxiety. The first step is not to panic. The best thing to do is take accountability just like you would want someone else to.
Right after the accident, you and the other driver should file a police report. This may be when they decide who is at-fault. This is also the time to take pictures and exchange insurance information.
Getting insurance involved
You should talk to your insurance company as soon as possible. Getting them involved faster will start the process of repairing both vehicles. Make sure you provide them with information from the police report.
If you are found to be at-fault for the accident, your insurance policy will be used to cover property and medical damages. It is important to know what kind of coverages you have, to ensure you can take care of both yourself and the other driver.
It is also important to know that any changes made to the policy after the accident takes place will not be applied to the accident damages. Insurance will use your coverages at the time of the accident.
Automobile insurance policies have language that can destroy the insurance coverage you have to cover another’s injury if you do not inform your insurance carrier of the wreck and then cooperate with the defense that your insurance carrier hires for you.
What if the other driver is seriously injured?
This is when things can get messy. If the other driver is seriously injured or fatalities occurred, you could be sued. Don’t panic. Your insurance company may come to a settlement which would mean you won’t have to go to court.
These settlements can include coverage for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Pain & suffering
Your role here is to cooperate with the defense hired by your insurance company. Cooperation merely means answering questions truthfully, producing documents requested by your insurer and appearing for deposition or trial. It does not mean lying or creating a defense when none should exist. Always be truthful in any legal proceeding. Do not let fear or pride goad you into being untruthful. There are serious criminal consequences for lying in court proceedings.
Your own losses
If you have collision coverage, your property damages should be covered. You will still have to pay your deductible. Make sure to check your policy for PIP coverage in case you are found at-fault in an accident that causes you to be injured. Even if you are at fault in causing the wreck, you may still be able to claim personal injury protection also known as PIP coverage available on your own policy to cover medical expenses and even lost wages.
If you were found at-fault for an accident, your insurance rates may also increase. This is something you should speak to your insurance company about.
You are not alone
Remember, you are not alone in these situations. If you have questions or feel that the insurance company is not treating you fairly, reach out to an attorney at McCraw Law Group today.