All drivers in Texas must carry automobile insurance in at least the minimum required amounts. Texas uses a fault-based system to determine liability for an auto accident, meaning the insurance of the at-fault party will pay for the crash. If the other driver admits fault for your auto accident, he or she should report the wreck to his or her insurance provider. Some drivers, however, forget or intentionally fail to report accidents. Find out how to respond in these situations.
Car Accident Reporting Requirements in Texas
In Texas, it is mandatory for drivers to report car accidents that cause $1,000 or more in damages to at least one person’s property, personal injuries, or deaths. Drivers should call 911 from the scene, but if not, they have 10 days of the date of the crash to report the car accident to the Texas Department of Transportation. Failing to report a serious accident is equivalent to a hit-and-run. No law exists, however, that requires drivers to report their car accidents to insurers.
File a Third-Party Claim Yourself
When a driver reports an at-fault car accident to his or her insurance company, the company will assign a claims adjuster to the case, who will then contact the other driver involved. If it has been a few days after your car accident and you have not received a phone call from an insurance claims adjuster from the other driver’s provider, take it upon yourself to report the crash. You can also report the car accident to the other driver’s insurance company immediately, the day of the accident, to be sure it gets reported.
While you are at the scene of a car accident in Texas, ask for the other driver’s full name, address, phone number, and insurance policy details. The other driver should have an insurance card available to show you with the name of the company and a contact phone number. Use this phone number to call the insurance company and report the car accident as soon as possible. Explain that you wish to file a third-party claim against one of the company’s policyholders. Give the policyholder’s full name and information about the crash. Then, wait for a response from the insurance claims adjuster.
You do not need to rely on the other driver reporting the car accident to his or her insurance company to receive compensation for your damages. You have the right to seek compensation yourself by filing a third-party claim directly with the other driver’s insurance provider. If the other driver does not report the crash, file a claim yourself. Support your claim with enough evidence to show the other driver was at fault for the car accident.
How to Handle a Car Insurance Claim in Texas
Insurance companies profit their investors by minimizing the amount of money they pay claimants. As someone reporting a car accident and requesting insurance benefits from another driver’s policy, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of fault. Start collecting evidence from the day of your auto accident. Take pictures of the crash, talk to eyewitnesses, go to the hospital and obtain copies of your medical records. Calling the police from the scene of a serious accident can also help you document the crash.
The insurance company hearing your claim will investigate the car accident and determine responsibility for the crash. If the insurer accepts your claim, it will offer a settlement it believes is fair for your medical bills and property damages. This amount may not be sufficient if the insurer is lowballing your claim. You may need to hire a San Antonio car accident lawyer to help you negotiate with another driver’s insurance company. A lawyer will know how to convince an insurance claims adjuster to offer a fair amount based on your damages. An attorney can take care of the insurance process, whether or not the other driver reported the crash, while you focus on healing.