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What types of car insurance coverage should I have to protect me in a Grapevine car crash?
In Texas, a negligent driver is legally responsible for compensating the victims of an auto collision. However, the reality may be that the negligent driver has no or insufficient insurance coverage to compensate you and your family for the injuries he caused in a Grapevine car crash. That is why it is important to be certain that you have enough auto insurance coverage to protect yourself if you end up in this situation.
What Insurance Coverage Should I Get in Grapevine?
You need to have sufficient auto insurance to protect yourself as the victim of a wreck. Not being sufficiently insured can make the stress and financial toll of a car crash all the worse and have long-term consequences to your life and the lives of your family. The following are the required and optional insurance coverages that you should consider purchasing:
- Liability insurance. You are required to carry a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per wreck for personal injuries and $25,000 for property damage. This will compensate victims of an auto crash that you caused. You should purchase additional coverage to properly protect yourself because a victim’s compensation could be substantially more than this amount.
- Collision coverage. This is optional coverage that you would be required to purchase by your lender if you have an auto loan. It can pay for the cost to repair your vehicle or replace it up to its actual cash value—the current value of your vehicle minus depreciation—if it cannot be repaired.
- Comprehensive. This is optional insurance to pay the repair or actual cash value of your vehicle if it is damaged by fire, vandalism, hail, or falling objects.
- Medical payment. Medical payment coverage is another type of optional coverage that can be helpful. It would pay your medical bills or those of passengers in your vehicle and other injured people up to the coverage limits regardless of who caused the wreck. It will also pay funeral expenses.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage will pay medical expenses, up to 80 percent of lost wages, and the cost to hire a caregiver for passengers, other injured persons, and you no matter who caused the crash. You will automatically receive this coverage unless you reject it in writing.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage. Uninsured and underinsured property and personal injury coverages pay for your vehicle damage and personal injuries if the other driver had no insurance or too little insurance to fully compensate you. This is another type of insurance that you receive automatically unless you reject it in writing. You should consider purchasing additional coverage over the minimum to protect yourself if you are in a serious crash with a driver who has no or little insurance.
- Towing and car rental. These are both optional coverages that would pay your towing and car rental costs if you were involved in an auto collision and your vehicle was damaged.
Do you have questions about your auto insurance coverage or need to file a claim following a Grapevine auto collision? Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Learn how our experienced car crash attorneys can help.
We help car crash victims throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Eules and all points between.
Should I sign a medical authorization release following a drunk driving wreck in Grapevine?
Being injured in a drunk driving crash caused by another driver while you are on your way to Tom Thumb or to meet a friend at Winewood Grill is a frightening experience. It is overwhelming to suddenly be dealing with serious injuries and the reality that you will have no income for months or longer while you recover. When you are most vulnerable, the insurance adjuster for the drunk driver could contact you—even before you are out of the hospital—with a barrage of questions and requests. One request that you need to be wary of is to sign a medical authorization for release of information.
Why You Do Not Want to Sign an Insurance Company’s Blanket Medical Release Following a Grapevine Drunk Driving Wreck
While it is true that the insurance adjuster will need your medical records regarding your injuries before settling your claim, this does not mean that you should sign the insurance company’s blanket authorization for release of medical information. You should not agree to this because doing so:
- Provides too much information. If you sign the insurance company’s release, you are most likely giving them access to all of your medical records. This can give the insurance adjuster the ability to search through your records for prior injuries or mention of an ache or pain to the same body part in the past or other information that he can try to use to deny or reduce your claim.
- Invades your privacy. By signing the authorization, you are giving the insurance adjuster access to irrelevant medical information about you that may be private and sensitive. This is an invasion of your privacy, and you are not required to disclose this irrelevant medical information to settle your claim.
- Weakens your case. You may make it harder for an experienced drunk driving attorney to settle your claim for what it is worth because you are providing the insurance company with ammunition to dispute your claim. While your attorney will have strategies to defeat some of the insurance company’s arguments against paying you, he may need to compromise on some disputes that are potential weaknesses in your case.
You should never sign a medical authorization, settlement agreement, or other document provided by the insurance company without first having it reviewed by a lawyer. This ensures that you are not waiving important legal rights and are receiving what you deserve. He can also provide the insurance company with the medical records they truly need and not irrelevant ones that invade your privacy and hurt your case. If you need to file a claim following a drunk driving crash in Grapevine, contact us online or call our office in Colleyville directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case review.
We help car crash victims throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Eules and all points between.
How does a drunk driving auto wreck claim differ from other car crash cases in North Richland Hills?
Your chances of being injured in a drunk driving wreck in North Richland Hills may be greater than in other nearby communities due to the number of college students attending the University of Texas in Arlington and the University of North Texas. If you suffered injuries or a loved one was killed, you can hold the drunk driver responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. When filing your claim with the driver’s insurance company, you do not want to make the mistake of treating your claim like a traditional car collision case.
Key Differences Between North Richland Hills Auto Crash and Drunk Driving Claims
In some ways, a drunk driving crash is the same as a standard car wreck. In both incidents, one or more vehicles causes a rear-end, head-on, T-bone, or other type of collision. However, there are important differences in the settlement of these claims that is important to understand if you are the victim in a drunk driving wreck, including:
- Fault may be easier to prove. While you still have to prove that the driver’s intoxication was the cause of your wreck, this may be easier to prove than fault in other crashes due to how alcohol impairs driving.
- A DWI is a criminal case. Unlike many car crashes, the driver could face DWI criminal charges as well as face civil liability to compensate you. You may need to obtain evidence from the criminal case—such as his blood test to prove his blood alcohol concentration—to help prove his negligence. In addition, if the driver pleads guilty in his criminal case, he may be found negligent per se—which is an automatic finding of negligence—in your civil case against him.
- Punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are awarded in North Richland Hills auto collision cases to punish the driver rather than compensate the victims. However, you are more likely to be awarded this type of compensation if you are hit by a drunk driver than a negligent driver who was not intoxicated.
- Other parties may be liable. You may be able to hold the bar, restaurant, store, or social host who served the drunk driver alcohol liable for compensating you under Texas’ Dram Shop and Social Host Laws.
- The value of your claim may be higher. The value of your claim could be higher because you are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death in a drunk driving wreck. The possibility of being awarded punitive damages can also make your claim worth more.
- Insurance companies will sit up and listen. Insurance companies tend to take drunk driving cases more seriously. However, you will still need the assistance of an experienced car crash attorney to obtain the settlement you deserve.
Our experienced legal team is committed to fighting hard for the compensation our clients in North Richland Hills deserve when they are the victims of a drunk driving crash. We are not afraid to take a case to trial if necessary so that our clients receive the compensation they are entitled to. Because our office is located in nearby Colleyville, we have an even greater understanding of how these crashes occur in North Richland Hills. Find out how we can assist you in obtaining justice by contacting us online or calling us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused my crash in North Richland Hills?
If you were injured in a drunk driving wreck while commuting to UTA on Northeast Loop 420, or on any other busy road in North Richland Hills, one of the most important laws to understand is the statute of limitations. This is the time period you have under Texas law to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver for compensation for your injuries. If you miss the deadline set by the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to hold the drunk driver responsible for compensating you.
Statute of Limitations for Your North Richland Hills Drunk Driving Crash
In Texas, the time period to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver is the same as in other car crash cases. Here are the important deadlines that you must comply with:
- Property damage. The deadline is two years from the date of your crash to sue for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any property in it that was damaged.
- Personal injuries. You also have two years from the date of your wreck to file a lawsuit for compensation for your personal injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one died as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence, the statute of limitations is slightly different. You must file a wrongful death action within two years of his death, not the date of the accident.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time period, you may waive your right to sue the negligent driver and the judge could dismiss your case. However, even if you think you missed the statute of limitations, you should consult with an experienced car crash attorney because your collision may fall into a limited exception to this rule.
Why You Should Not Delay in Retaining an Experienced Car Crash Attorney
If your crash in North Richland Hills occurred recently, this does not mean you should wait to retain an experienced attorney. It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your wreck. By doing so, you give him the opportunity to more thoroughly investigate how it occurred. For example, he may go to the scene of your collision to look for missed evidence and can contact witnesses who saw what happened before they disappear or their memories fade. He can also guide you through the process of filing your claim and help you avoid common mistakes that North Richland Hills crash victims inadvertently make.
Let Us Help You With Your North Richland Hills Drunk Driving Claim
At the Hart Law Firm, we have years of experience fighting for the rights of victims who work and live in North Richland Hills and are injured in drunk driving wrecks. Let us take over the burden of holding the negligent driver responsible for compensating you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation at our Colleyville office.
We also help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
What is the statute of limitations in my car wreck case?
When you must file a lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused your injuries, you are right to be concerned about the statute of limitations. This is the deadline you have to sue the negligent driver for the compensation you are entitled to. The penalties for failing to sue within this time period are severe. If you do not file your lawsuit by the deadline set by Texas law, the judge would dismiss your case.
What Is Texas’ Statute of Limitations in Car Crash Cases?
The time period to sue in your car crash case will depend in part on whether the victim survived the crash or died. These statutes of limitations will apply to your case:
- Personal injury. The time period to sue is two years from the date of the wreck for personal injuries where the victim survived.
- Property damage. The time period to sue for property damage is also two years from the date of the wreck.
- Wrongful death. If a crash victim died, you would need to file a lawsuit within two years of his date of death—not the date of the crash.
Why You Do Not Want to Wait to Pursue Your Claim
Even if your crash happened a few days or weeks ago, you do not want to delay hiring an experienced car crash attorney to pursue your claim. Yes, you still have plenty of time to sue under the statute of limitations. However, you could be hurting your case by not taking prompt action. Here’s how waiting could reduce the value of your claim:
- You could lose important evidence like eyewitnesses who could move or forget what they saw or business surveillance tapes that may have recorded your crash but were taped over. You hamper your attorney’s ability to thoroughly investigate the facts of your wreck by delaying in hiring him.
- You could make inadvertent mistakes in talking to the negligent driver’s insurance company or in making other decisions about your claim without the advice of an attorney right after your crash.
- Your claim will appear weaker to the insurance company for the negligent driver. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver is looking for reasons to deny or reduce your claim. You give him powerful ammunition to argue your injuries were not that bad or that they were caused by something other than the crash if you wait to pursue your claim.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a car crash, don’t delay any longer in pursuing your claim for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to represent victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Arlington, Hurst, Irving, Euless, Grapevine, North Richland and all areas in between.
What factors could affect my Texas car crash settlement?
If you must pursue a claim against a negligent driver who caused your injuries, you want to know how much you can receive in settlement. It can be frustrating to learn that there is no set formula for determining the exact worth of your case. However, certain factors can increase—or decrease—the amount of compensation you receive.
Important Factors That Could Influence Your Bottom Line Settlement
Many variables will come into play in your attorney’s analysis of what your case is worth and the amount he is able to negotiate for you in a settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. However, these four factors are often important in determining the outcome of your case:
- Consistency in your statements. You will be telling your version of how the crash happened at various times in the claims process. This starts when you give a statement to the police officer at the crash scene. If your statements are relatively consistent about what occurred throughout, you will appear as a more credible witness and not give the insurance company ammunition to poke holes in your story—potentially increasing the amount of your settlement.
- Evidence of the other driver’s negligence. When the other driver’s fault is not disputed or is more clear-cut, such as in a rear-end collision or if the driver was texting, this can increase the likelihood of a higher settlement because there is less for the insurance adjuster to argue about.
- Doctor’s report supports your injuries. If your treating physician’s medical records and reports support your complaints regarding your injuries, this will help your case. When the report and tests do not support your claims of pain, the insurance adjuster could believe that you are exaggerating your injuries and your right to compensation.
- Your activities are consistent with your injuries. Consistency throughout your case is important, including that the activities you do after the wreck are consistent with the injuries you claim to have suffered. You should expect the insurance company to engage in surveillance at some points in your case. If they catch you doing activities that you should not be able to do, this could negatively impact on your attorney’s ability to obtain a favorable settlement for you.
An experienced attorney can advise you of the factors in your case that will help—or hurt—your ability to obtain all the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
The Hart Law Firm is proud to represent car wreck victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, Arlington, Irving, Bedford and North Richland.
What types of compensation can I receive from the negligent driver who caused my auto crash?
Once you have received the immediate medical treatment you need after a car crash, the reality that you will be off work for months or longer recovering from your injuries without any income may sink in. The next burning question could be how to pay for your expensive medical treatments and how to replace the wages you have lost and will lose. Fortunately, you may be able to make the negligent driver who caused your collision pay for these losses and more.
Types of Compensation You Could Be Entitled to in a Texas Car Wreck Case
You need to understand the types of compensation you could recover to know what your case is worth and also to collect the documentation you will need to prove that you really are entitled to the amount you are requesting. Damages that are recoverable in these cases include:
- Medical expenses. This includes the bills you incur for doctors, hospital stays, ambulance, chiropractors, and physical, cognitive or mental health therapists. Expenses you may not think of are travel and lodging expenses if you must travel for medical care, assistive tools like crutches, wheelchair, or shower or toilet special seats, and in-home medical and non-medical care.
- Lost wages. Your lost wage claim includes much more than the back pay and future wages you will have lost. Be certain to include any commissions, profit sharing, benefits, vacation and sick time, and other perks of your job that you are missing out on. If you are unable to return to your former job or are permanently disabled due to your injuries, you could be entitled to damages for your lost earning capacity to compensate you for the long-term losses you will suffer.
- Personal property damage. This includes the cost to repair your vehicle, towing costs, car rental fees, and replacement or repair costs for property in your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering. You are entitled to compensation for the physical pain and emotional—or psychological—distress caused by your injuries. How insurance adjusters calculate these damages can be complicated, and you need an experienced car crash attorney who can help you value these more intangible but very real injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment. These damages compensate you for the loss of enjoyment in the day-to-day activities—such as hobbies, recreational activities, interests, friends, and family—that you can no longer enjoy due to the long-term consequences of your injuries.
- Loss of consortium. If your injuries affect your level of affection, intimacy, or sexual relationship with your spouse, you could be entitled to damages for these losses.
- Wrongful death. If a close family member died as a result of the crash, family members could receive compensation for their losses—including loss of the enjoyment of the crash victim—through filing a wrongful death action against the negligent driver.
Were you injured in a car wreck caused by another driver? Was a family member killed? Our experienced and compassionate legal team is here to take the burden of negotiating your settlement off your shoulders. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.488 to schedule a free case evaluation. The Hart Law Firm proudly represents injured victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, North Richland, Arlington, Irving, Grapevine and Bedford.
Can The Insurance Company Spy on Me After A Texas Car Crash?
If you were injured in a Texas car crash, there's a lot to worry about, including the progress of recovery, how to pay your monthly expenses, and when you'll receive the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. You might also be concerned if you see a strange vehicle parked down the street from your house, following you to the doctor's office, or cruising along as you run errands. Could the other driver’s insurance company be spying on you? Sadly, yes.
Why Would the Insurance Company Spy on You?
Insurance companies for negligent drivers do not always engage in surveillance. They must hire a private investigator to do it, and this is an expensive task. If a victim suffered minor injuries and is only off work for a short period of time, the insurance adjuster usually decides not to do this. However, the insurance adjuster may feel there is probable cause for surveillance for the following reasons:
- To learn more information about you and the true nature of your injuries
- To poke holes in your believability by showing you doing activities you claim you are too injured to do
- Because your damages are serious and the amount of compensation you could be entitled to—especially for pain and suffering—is a large sum
- Because you claim to have a serious, long-term condition, but your medical records do not support this assertion
When Will the Insurance Company Engage in Surveillance?
The insurance company will most likely not engage in surveillance immediately after you make a claim. They do not have enough information about the wreck and the extent of your injuries to justify it. Key times that an adjuster could order surveillance include:
- Before your deposition. An insurance company may hire a private investigator shortly before your deposition, which is when the insurance company’s attorney asks you questions that are transcribed into a written statement that can be used against you in court. The belief is that surveillance may reveal damaging information about your activities that can be used to discredit you in the deposition.
- Before your trial. If your case does not settle, the insurance company could be worried about the amount of money it may have to pay you and could engage in surveillance as another attempt to discredit you.
The bottom line is that the negligent driver's insurance company could spy on you at any time during the course of your case, so be prepared. As long as you are honest about what happened and how badly you were injured, surveillance should not hurt your case.
If you or a family member was injured in a Texas car crash caused by another driver, we urge you to speak with an experienced legal team regarding your rights. The Hart Law Firm represents clients injured in car crashes throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Colleyville, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving as well as across the entire Dallas Fort Worth area. Contact us online or call us directly at 817- 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.
Should I purchase car insurance from the rental agent when I rent a car?
If you are going on a business trip or vacation and are renting a car, you will certainly be asked this question: Do you want to purchase insurance to cover your car rental? If you say no or hesitate, the salesperson will probably warn you of the dire consequences of not buying it and how you could owe thousands of dollars if you got into a crash. You know you do not want to drive a rental vehicle without insurance. However, the car rental could add $15 to $30 to your daily rental fee, which can add up. Fortunately, you may already have other insurance to cover possible losses.
Two Insurance Policies You May Already Have
You may already have an insurance policy that will cover you if you get into a wreck in your rental car. Two sources to investigate include:
- Your vehicle insurance policy. Your own automobile insurance policy could provide insurance coverage for your rental car. You could have the same coverage and deductible as if you were in your own vehicle. Check your policy before renting a car.
- Your credit card. Many major credit cards, like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover provide some insurance coverage if you get in a crash in a rental car. However, there may be significant restrictions on vehicles and limitations on what damages they cover. So check this with your credit card company before you leave for your trip.
If another driver in a rental car caused your crash, you will need to look to his automobile insurance company and credit card as well as any car rental insurance policy to compensate you for your injuries. These cases can be more complicated with the multiple parties that could be responsible. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.
Do I have a case against the other driver if I was partially at fault in causing my car crash?
If you were partially at fault in causing your car crash, you could still be entitled to compensation for at least part of your lost wages, medical bills, and emotional trauma from the other driver under the comparative negligence law in Texas. Your recovery might be substantial, so don’t let your own beliefs about your level of fault stop you from pursing a claim for the money you need while you heal from your injuries.
How Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Recovery
Texas follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. It allows an injured victim to recover a portion of damages if he was partially at fault in causing his crash. Comparative negligence in Texas works as follows:
- If the victim was less than 51% at fault in causing the collision, he would be entitled to compensation. However, the amount of his recovery would be reduced by the percentage of his fault in causing the crash. For example, if a victim was 25 percent at fault in causing a wreck, he could receive a recovery of 75 percent of the damages he was entitled to.
- If the victim is 51 percent or more at fault in causing a collision, he would not be entitled to any recovery.
Even if you were negligent in some way—for example, if a brake light wasn’t working when you were rear-ended or you turned your head for a few seconds to talk to your child—your negligence could have played a small part in what caused the crash. You need to consult with an experienced car crash attorney who can advise you on how your own actions could affect your settlement. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation where we’ll be happy to explain this to you.