Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions regarding your Texas accident case? At The Anderson Law Firm, we have the answers you're looking for. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience helping accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. We have the skill that's needed to recover the highest compensation possible for your case.
- Page 1
How Do I Get My Texas Traffic Accident Police Report? Fort Worth Lawyer FAQ
After a Texas auto accident, one of the most important piece of evidence is the police report (also called a crash report or accident report). Even though police reports aren't always entirely accurate, they contain information that's very useful when filing an insurance claim and determining who caused the accident. Take my advice as a Texas personal injury lawyer: the more proof you have that the wreck was the other driver's fault, the more likely you are to recover full compensation.
Get Your Crash Report For Free – Without The Hassle
If you've been hurt in an accident in Tarrant County and you'd like a free copy of your accident report, fill out this form.
For over ten years, the Anderson Law Firm has been providing free police reports to Tarrant County accident victims, no strings attached. We offer this complementary service because Mark and his team have seen a real need in the community and we want to break down some of the barriers that prevent accident victims from getting their crash report.
Where to Find Your Dallas-Fort Worth Area Police Report On Your Own
Often, you can find your police report on PoliceReports.US. This website charges $6.00 per report, and to find the report, all you need is the date of the wreck and one of the driver's names, or the report number.
What If My Police Report Isn't Available Online?
If the city where you had your wreck does not make the reports available online, then you must appear in person at the police station to collect it. Alternatively, you can mail them a check and they will mail the report back to you.
If for some reason you are still unable to locate your accident at the local level, you can request a copy from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in Austin, Texas, by submitting TxDOT Form CR-91. TxDOT maintains an archive of all accident reports taken in the State of Texas for a period of 10 years.
Once you obtain your police report, you may have questions about what it all means. Click on my Analysis of a Police Report for a reference guide to deciphering the reports.
- Also Read: Analysis of a Police Report
If the city where you had your wreck does not make the reports available online, then you must appear in person at the police station or mail them a check and they will mail the report back to you. The cost for each report is $6.00.
To request your free crash report, fill out this form.
Do I Have to Give the Insurance Company My Social Security Number?
After you've been in an accident, you'll start the claims process which - unsurprisingly - requires a lot of paperwork. Most insurance claims forms will ask you to list your social security number, but with identity theft running rampant, it's no wonder you're hesitant. Do you have to give up your social security number? No, you don't.
Why Do Insurance Companies Want Your SSN?
The reason the insurance company wants your social security number is to see if you have coverage under Medicaid or Medicare. If you do, the insurance company is entitled to be paid back by your Medicaid or Medicare for anything they (the insurance company) pays you for your medical expenses.
So let's say Joe rear-ends you and you're sent to the hospital as a result. You'll file a claim through Joe's insurance - he caused the wreck, so it's his job to pay for your medical bills and damage to your car.
After Joe's insurance company pays you for your medical bills, there are some instances where they're entitled to be paid back. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, this applies.
If You Don't Have Medicare or Medicaid
If you don't have either of these, then the insurance company doesn't need your SSN and you have nothing to worry about.
If You Have Medicare or Medicaid
If you have either of these but you still don't want to give the insurance company your social security number, there is a form you can sign to verify you are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Simply ask your adjuster for this form instead.
You are not required by law to give out your social security number. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, it's good to remember that in most cases, your insurance adjuster won't need it.
Someone Hit My Car and I'm Not Hurt But My Car Is Damaged. Should I Get An Estimate or Just Call the Other Driver's Insurance Company?
Neither. I say you should first call your own insurance company if you have full coverage. Your company will move much faster and will generally treat you better. You will have to pay a deductible, but you should get that back later when your insurance company "subrogrates" back to the other driver's company.
If you don't have collision coverage insurance, then quickly call the other driver's company and report the claim. They will move slower, but ultimately, you should be able to get them to pay for the repairs and provide you with a rental car. There is no need to go get estimates on your own - the insurance company will send out an estimator for you, or will ask you to take your vehicle into a shop.
You have the right to pick your own body shop. But don't expect to get a big, fancy SUV for your rental; you usually are only authorized a small $25-per-day car.
You might also want to read:
My Child Was Hurt on a Friend's Trampoline. Should We Pursue a Claim?
Unsurprisingly, this situation is fairly common - kids get hurt on their friends trampolines all the time.
The difference is that if your child is hurt on someone else's trampoline, you'll have to pursue a claim against the homeowners if you want to recover insurance money to pay for your child's medical bills. This, of course, can be awkward. You likely know and like your child's friend and their parents. You worry that if you file a claim against them for your child's accident, it will create bad blood between the two families.
If these thoughts are going through your mind, it's important to remember a few things:
- The reason people purchase insurance is to protect them when accidents happen. It's because of situations like these that we have insurance in the first place!
- Trampoline injuries can be serious and can leave your family with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical bills. You don't want to be without insurance.
In Texas, Is a Rear-End Accident Automatically the Fault of the Driver Who Hit the Other?
Automatically? No, it's not automatically the fault of the person who rear-ended the other. However, I'd say about 90 percent of rear-end car wreck cases we handle were the fault of the rear driver.
Unfortunately, since it's not automatically the rear-ender's fault, you'll need to prove that the person who hit you caused the accident before you can make a claim against them.
Furthermore, sometimes the front car is truly to blame for an accident. I've written a helpful article that dives deeper into these issues with examples - you can find that here:
Can a Child Ride In Front of an Adult on a Motorcycle in Texas?
No. The law in Texas states that all passengers must sit on a permanent, fixed seat when riding a motorcycle. No passengers (children included) are allowed to ride in front of the adult operator of the motorcycle. Passengers must always sit behind or to the side of the motorcycle operator (for example, in a side-car).
For more information regarding the law in Texas concerning child motorcycle passengers, please click here.
Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:
How Do I Get a Rental Car After My Fort Worth Auto Accident?
For simplicity's sake, let's say you were hit by another driver and it was their fault. After the accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company will interview its client, complete an investigation and agree yes, their client was responsible for the wreck.
At that point, Texas law requires the at-fault driver's insurance company to give you a rental car for a "reasonable" amount of time - usually until your car can be repaired and returned to you.
Sometimes, this authorization takes a long time, leaving you in a bind. You might be forced to rent a car on your own and seek reimbursement later. If you have rental car coverage on your own insurance policy, it's often easier to use it rather than waste time with the other driver's insurance adjusters. However, every situation is different.
Now, what if your car was totaled in the accident? Unfortunately, the other driver's insurance does NOT have to pay for your rental car. Luckily, they usually will anyway, since it's not always immediately obvious if your car was totaled or not.
What if it IS obvious that your car is totaled and the other driver's insurance won't pay for your rental? At that point, you'll need to look at your own car insurance policy to see if you have rental car coverage.
Unfortunately, rental car coverage is expensive, so not many people carry it. The benefit of it is that if you're in a wreck, you'll still have a car to get around in. If you don't have rental car coverage, you might end up being out of a car for a while.
If you're having trouble getting the insurance company to call you back or cooperate after your Fort Worth accident, please don't hesitate to call me. I'm available at all hours at 817-294-1900 and am happy to discuss your case or set up a consultation, free of charge.
Should I Use My Health Insurance for My Medical Bills If The Accident Wasn't My Fault?
If you're hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle wreck and it was someone else's fault, you'd naturally expect the other person's policy to pay your medical bills. Since they caused the accident, they should be responsible for your injuries and other damages, right?
Unfortunately, there's a common setback to this logic. The other person's insurance company is NOT going to pay your medical bills while your treatment is still ongoing. Insurance companies will only pay you after your doctor's appointments, surgeries, physical therapy and other treatments are complete.
Use Your Health Covereage for Face the Consequences
When you're hurt in an auto accident, you need to seek treatment quickly. Not only does an immediate trip to the doctor help your health, it can also help your case if you have to file a lawsuit later down the line.
If you have health insurance, it's wise to use it to pay your medical bills as they're incurred. Why? Depending on the severity of the accident, it's possible to rack up thousands of dollars in medical expenses. By using your own medical coverage, you won't have to worry about your bills as you're trying to recover from your injuries. (Take note, the other party's insurance will NOT pay your bills as they come up, but rather will pay them all at one time at the end once the case it settled).
Furthermore, using your own coverage prevents your bills from being sent to a collection agency and possibly causing you credit problems. It's another sad story I see too often: people don't even realize their unpaid bills are hurting their credit, and by the time they turn around to fix the mistake, it's too late. (There's a time limit to submit your medical bills to your coverage, sometimes as short as 30 days).
Will Using Your Own Health Coverage Save You Money?
Don't forget, you're only using your health coverage as you're waiting for your claim to settle. At the end of your case, (assuming it's successful), you'll receive a settlement from the other driver's suto protection company.
In the long run, you'll likely end up paying less for your medical treatment since you won't have to pay all your medical providers back separately after your claim is settled. Your health insurance company has a contractual agreement with your medical providers and the company usually pays only a portion of the fee charged; the remainder of the fee is discounted.
When your claim is finally settled, your health insurance company will ask for reimbursement (it’s called subrogation). The reimbursement amount from a subrogation is usually less than was actually paid to the doctors, hospitals, etc. This means that if you use your own health coverage, more of the settlement money at the end of the case will go directly to you.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when being involved in a car accident is to go to the doctor and get your injuries treated. This will ensure that you receive the appropriate care you need, in addition to adding credibility to your accident case. The best way to do this is by going immediately to a doctor or clinic after the accident occurred. Taking into account the speed of the accident, you may not consider to go to the hospital because you believe the accident was probably not as big as a deal as it is, but in reality your injuries may start to appear hours, even days after your accident occurred.
How Does Having a Personal Injury Attorney Make a Difference?
Beside the property damage your vehicle went through, you have your wellbeing to consider. As I have previously mentioned in other blogs and articles, wounds and injuries after car accidents aren't generally evident. Once in a while it takes days for you to acknowledge you're harmed. It is not uncommon for injured accident victims to think their injury is something insignificant, however it ends up being something else completely.
The safest option to take is to see a specialist rapidly. I've taken care of situations where my customer's auto looked totally fine yet the client had a genuine blackout. I've likewise taken care of situations where my customer was in shock and couldn't tell they had broken bones. Most importantly, regardless of the possibility that you feel approve, make a meeting with your doctor just certainly.
In any given point you experience any pain from the accident, go a doctor, clinic, hospital, or anywhere where you can receive medical care. They are the experts and know how to treat wounds. In the event that you go to the doctor, you significantly increment the possibility that you will have an effective and complete recovery. By not choosing to go to the specialist, you are putting your recovery at risk.
As an aside, some doctors will just not treat injuries from a car accident. It is insane, but they simply don't do it. In those cases, a personal injury attorney can propose to your doctor that any of the medical expenses generated at the time will be paid at a later date. At my firm, we make those proposals constantly and are happy to have the capacity to do that for our customers (it is typically done with a letter or protection).
What Does "Personal Injury" Mean? Who Can File a PI Claim?
If you were hurt because of someone else's negligence, you have a right in the state of Texas to file a personal injury claim. For instance, if you were crossing the street and a car hit you, if you were attacked by a neighbor's escaped dog, or if you were read-ended while driving, these are "personal injury" cases.
If a death resulted from someone's negligence, this becomes a "Wrongful Death" claim.
In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to either file a claim or not. If your injuries are serious, you'd normally hire a personal injury attorney to help ensure you're compensated fairly.