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Frequently asked questions about car accidents

Our Houston car accident attorneys answer your questions

Do you have a question about your Texas car accident? Not sure who to ask? Make sure you talk to a car accident attorney who knows the law and understands how the legal system works in Texas. Make sure you speak with a Houston car accident lawyer at Smith & Hassler. We can help you every step of the way.

Our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience handling serious car accidents throughout Texas. As a result, we know the law and understand how the legal system works in Houston, Harris County and throughout Texas. That’s why you can rely on us for accurate information about your car crash.

What is your car accident question?

Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about car accidents in Texas. If you don’t see your specific question, don’t worry. Even if you do see your question, we strongly encourage you to contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with us. That’s because every car accident is different and requires its own unique approach. Learn more about what we can do for you. Schedule an appointment today with Smith & Hassler. We go above and beyond in pursuit of justice.

Should I call the police after my Houston car accident?

Yes. Make sure you talk to the police and ask them to come to your Houston car accident. Having a police officer at your accident can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Insurance companies pay close attention to car accident reports. That’s why it’s critical that you have a police officer respond to your crash and create an official report for your Houston car accident. In addition, we can review your accident report with you and make sure the facts about your crash are accurate. That’s our job and we would be honored to help you.

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How do I obtain a copy of the accident report?

If the Texas Highway Patrol investigated your car accident, you can request the report directly from their local office. Similarly, if a county sheriff's department or local police department was involved, you should contact the specific department that responded to the scene for their procedure in obtaining the report. Many of these local law enforcement agencies offer online portals or physical offices where you can request and pick up your report.

Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provides access to crash reports through their online system, the Crash Report Online Purchase System. This system allows you to search for and purchase a copy of your crash report electronically. Generally, there is a fee associated with obtaining these reports, and it may take a few days to a few weeks after the accident for the report to become available.

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Should I see a doctor after my Houston car accident?

Yes. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident. Even if you feel fine, you could have a serious or even life-threatening injury. That’s why it’s critical that you have a doctor, or another medical professional examine you right away. Another important reason why you should have a doctor examine you is because insurance companies often carefully review your medical records after your accident. If you don’t have an official record of your injuries, you may have a tough time getting the financial compensation you deserve for your car crash.

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Should I talk to the other driver after my car accident?

Yes, but keep your comments to a minimum. Simply get the other driver’s name, address, phone number and insurance information. You can also provide the same information to the other driver after your accident. We strongly advise against discussing your car accident with the other driver. Anything you say to the driver could be used as evidence against you to deny your car accident claim. Even saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” could be used by the other driver’s insurance company to blame you for causing the crash and to deny your accident claim.

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Should I call my insurance company after my car accident?

Yes, but simply tell your insurance company you have been in a car accident caused by another driver. Don’t say anything else at first. That’s because your own insurance company may be the one responsible for compensating you for your accident, depending on the circumstances of your crash. That’s why it’s important to be cautious when dealing with any insurance companies after an accident, including your own. The reason why? If your insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your crash, they may look for an excuse to not pay you the money that’s rightfully yours.

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What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me after my crash?

Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company. If they contact you, tell them to talk to us. We know how to deal with insurance companies and the games they often play with people injured in car accidents. Even if the person on the phone sounds nice and their questions seem straightforward, they are simply fishing for information they can use to deny your accident claim.

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Should I accept a settlement offer for my car accident?

While it may be tempting to accept a settlement offer after your car accident, settlement offers made soon after a crash by insurance companies often do not cover all your accident-related expenses. They make these offers because they know many people need money right away after an accident. So, they’re hoping you will accept their lowball settlement offer. Because once you accept a settlement offer for your accident, you often cannot ask for any more money ever again. That’s why we want to meet with you and help you review any settlement offers you receive. We can advise you on whether we believe you should accept the offer.

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Can I ask for more money for my car accident?

Yes. You can and often should ask for additional money for your accident-related expenses. Insurance companies rarely offer you all the money you need to cover all your accident expenses. As your attorney, we can help you demand the money you deserve for your car accident.

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How much is my Houston car accident worth?

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to car accidents in Houston or anywhere else. Your car accident might be worth a few thousand dollars. Or your crash could potentially be worth millions of dollars. All that depends on many different factors. We can review them when you meet with us and discuss your crash during your free case evaluation at our Houston law firm.

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What can I be compensated for after my car accident?

You can and should be compensated for all your car accident-related expenses, not just for the expenses immediately after your car accident. You should be compensated for any expenses related to your accident now and in the future, including:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Surgical procedures
  • Follow-up medical care
  • Lost income during your recovery
  • Lost future income if you cannot return to work
  • In-home medical care if necessary
  • Modifications to your home if you have a permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering in certain circumstances

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Can I file a car accident lawsuit in Texas?

Yes. You have the right to file a lawsuit after your car accident in Texas. In many cases, filing a Texas car accident lawsuit may be the best way to obtain the financial compensation you need and deserve for your accident-related expenses. This is especially true if the other driver’s insurance company denies your car accident claim. You can discuss all these options and what’s the best approach for your accident when you meet with one of our Houston car accident attorneys and discuss your crash during your free case evaluation.

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What if I was partially at fault for a car accident?

In Texas, if you were partially at fault for a car accident, the state's "modified comparative fault" rule applies. This rule means that you can still recover damages from the other party involved in the accident, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you up to the 50% threshold. If you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you’re barred from recovering any compensation. For example, if you are found to be 30% responsible for a car accident, and your total damages amount to $100,000, you would be able to recover 70% of the damages, or $70,000.

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What happens if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured?

In most cases, you can seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. But if the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you’ll have to turn to your own insurer for compensation. In Texas, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are optional. This coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

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What if I lost a loved one in a car accident?

Losing a loved one in a car accident in Texas is a devastating experience. Texas law provides a way for families to seek justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim.

In Texas, the immediate family members of the deceased, such as a spouse, children, and parents, are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. If these relatives do not file the claim within three months of the death, the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate may do so unless specifically requested not to by the family.

Compensation in a wrongful death claim can cover:

  • Lost earning capacity
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Loss of companionship and guidance
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Medical expenses accrued by the deceased
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses

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How much time do I have to take legal action after my car accident in Texas?

In many cases, you often have up to two years to file a lawsuit after your car accident in Texas. It is important to take legal action as soon as possible after your crash, however. That’s because the evidence needed to build a strong legal case can disappear over time. That’s why we want to meet with you and get straight to work investigating your car accident.

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What are the common mistakes to avoid after a car accident?

What you don’t do after a car accident is just as important as what you do. Common mistakes that can hurt your chances of getting compensation include:

  • Not calling the police.
  • Forgetting to exchange insurance information with the other driver.
  • Failing to notify your insurance company.
  • Admitting or discussing fault.
  • Not getting prompt medical help.
  • Providing the other driver’s insurance company with a recorded statement.
  • Posting about your car accident on social media.
  • Accepting a low-ball settlement offer.
  • Not getting help from an experienced car accident lawyer.

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How can a Houston car accident lawyer help me?

There are so many ways a Houston car accident attorney can help you after your accident. The biggest reason why you should hire our law firm is we will work hard to make sure your accident gets the attention you rightfully deserve. Our car accident lawyers know how the legal system works in Texas. We thoroughly understand the state and federal laws that apply to car accidents. We’ll go above and beyond to demand the compensation that’s rightfully yours. This may be your only opportunity for justice. Seize it. Contact our Houston law firm and schedule your free case evaluation right now. Your best interests come first here.

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Smith & Hassler

1225 N Loop W #525
Houston, TX 77008
Toll Free: (877) 777-1529
Local: (713) 739-1250
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10039 Bissonnet St Suite #214
Houston, TX 77036
(713) 804-6863
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14200 Gulf Fwy Suite #103
Houston, TX 77034
(713) 929-2230
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15201 E Freeway Service Rd
Suite 203
Channelview, TX 77530
(281) 559-6566
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