After a Car Wreck, Who’s Insurance Will I File a Claim Through?
The person who caused the wreck is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries it caused, so you’ll file a claim using the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If you were in a car accident and you believe the other driver is at-fault, you should contact their insurance company to start a claim. This is why it’s so important to get the other driver’s insurance information after a wreck – you’ll need their name and policy number in order to contact their provider.
It should be noted that Texas is one of the few states where fault in a wreck can be shared. So for example, if you were texting while driving and pulled out in front of a driver who was speeding – causing them to wreck into you – you can both be at-fault; should shouldn’t have been texting, but they shouldn’t have been speeding. In these situations, you can still make a claim against the other driver, but you won’t be able to recover 100% of the costs (medical bills, auto repairs, etc.) you incurred in the wreck.
Who Decides Who’s At-Fault?
The insurance company will listen to each side of the story, review all the evidence you (or your lawyer, if you have one) present to them and ultimately make an offer depending on who they think caused the wreck. However, insurance companies don’t always accept responsibility for a wreck.
So let’s say you file a claim against another driver who hit you. If their insurance company “accepts liability,” then the claim gets moving toward a resolution, which is a good sign.
If the insurance company “denies liability,” then the only way you’re going to win is if you file a lawsuit.
Once you file a lawsuit, liability is decided by a jury (instead of the insurance company).
How Much Money Can I Recover?
This, as you probably expected, varies from case to case. The amount of money you can recover (and what your case is worth) is determined by a few factors:
- Who caused the wreck? Were you partially at fault? (This will lower the value of your claim).
- Can you prove who caused the wreck? Do you have strong evidence to support your story?
- How much will it cost to fix your car?
- What sort of personal injuries did you suffer in the accident?
- Did you miss work as a result of the wreck? (You can claim for lost wages if so).
- Has the wreck negatively affected your life in the long term? (You can also claim for pain and suffering).
Additionally, the best way to get an accurate picture of how much your case is worth is to contact a personal injury attorney. For accident victims in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we offer free consultations where we explain your rights and discuss the viability of your case.