Thankfully we live in a state that requires a minimum amount of insurance coverage for motor vehicle accidents.
Texas state law requires all motor vehicle drivers to carry auto liability insurance in the form of bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Additionally, if the vehicle is still under lien, the lender will require that the policy holder also carry collision and comprehensive coverage. In Texas, the required minimum coverage for bodily injury liability coverage is:
- $30,000 per person injured in any one accident
- $60,000 for all persons injured in any one accident
- $25,000 for all property damaged in any one accident
Car accidents are extremely expensive. This is the reason why so many car owners choose to get insurance policies, to help protect their finances if they ever get involved in one. Having an insurance policy does not automatically mean you’re worry free after an accident. Insurance companies do not automatically approve any claim for compensation just because you’ve been faithful customer.
Usually after an accident, the insurance company will investigate the facts of your case. If it’s determined you were not liable for the crash, an insurance adjuster will sometimes try and discuss a possible settlement. An insurance adjuster, or a claims adjuster, is the person that investigates insurance claims by interviewing the claimant and witnesses, consulting police and hospital records, and inspecting property damage to determine the extent of the insurers’ liability, and eventually negotiate a settlement for your accident in order to try and prevent you from filing suit. Don;t be confused; the objective of the adjuster is to settle for as low a figure as possible.
Dealing with a car accident on your own can quickly become overwhelming. Hiring a lawyer will allow you to focus on recovering, while your attorney handles your claim from beginning to end.
How are settlement offers determined?
The adjuster will determine the value of the car, amount of damages sustained, type of medical injury suffered, pain and suffering (depending on your personal policy), lost wages (also depends on your policy), and more before coming up with a settlement offer worth MUCH less than your actual case is worth.
Just because the adjuster makes you an offer, it is not an ultimatum to take their offer or file a lawsuit (even if they lie and say they can’t go any higher). One of the most-important parts of an accident attorney’s job is to negotiate with the insurance company. While you may not hold much leverage yourself, an attorney does.
Of course sometimes the insurance company will say that you’re not covered because the accident was your fault (even when it wasn’t). There are also instances when they would question your injuries, the veracity of your medical report, and even try to relate your car accident injury to a previously-existing injury in order to justify a low settlement offer.
In instances such as these—when your insurance adjuster is trying to pay you less than what you believe you deserve—it would be advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer. In reality, you should speak to a lawyer before you even speak to the insurance company. These attorneys work on contingency, meaning you never have to pay a dime out of pocket. Call us at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.