Fault: How is it Determined in Texas?
When an automobile accident happens in the state of Texas, the first thing all parties involved need to do before calculating the damage they have sustained is to discover who is at fault. After all, you won’t be able to settle who needs to pay for which damages, if fault is not determined. Car accident laws in Texas use traditional tort-based rules for deciding fault. This simply means that auto lawyers in Texas seek damages from the party who is at fault for causing the accident.
Either you or your vehicle damage lawyer will need to prove fault before damages can be awarded to pay for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other forms of damage.
How the Law Handles Houston Traffic Accidents
Fault after an accident is determined in different ways and at different levels in Texas.
The first to make decisions concerning fault are the police. Police personnel assess the scene and record their findings using notes and photographs. They are interested in determining whether criminal activity is involved such as intoxication, negligence, or malice. Their evidence and observations will be used by subsequent experts to further the case.
Insurance Claims Adjuster
Next, after insurance companies are informed that an accident has occurred involving one of their policy holders, and after receiving a claim for damages, a claims adjuster will be assigned to assess the damage. The adjuster may work for an interested insurance provider, or they may be hired independently. The adjuster will contact the policy holder, and possibly anyone else who may have been involved in or even witnessed the accident.
If a claims adjuster contacts you after you have been involved in an accident, it is in your best interest to politely decline to comment or give a recorded statement. An adjuster may attempt to use your statement to justify the denial of your claim or a reduced payout. Just as it is the job of the police to make accusations, and it is the job of prosecutors to obtain guilty judgments, the job of a claims adjuster is to adjust a claim in favor of the insurance company, and against your interests.
When an accident claim makes its way to the court, it means that insurance negotiations have failed. At this point, a judge will weigh all of the available evidence to determine who is at fault, who is not, to what degree, and who pays what amounts to whom. An auto accident case may go to the courts if you choose to appeal the decision made by the insurance company.
At this point, a judge or jury will decide who was at fault. The judge or jury will listen to testimony from both parties and representatives of the parties. This is just one area where a Houston auto accident lawyer can help make the difference between receiving the damages you deserve or being set back by up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Accident Lawyer Houston
At this point, you can probably imagine how a car accident lawyer in Houston can be very helpful after you have been involved in an accident. With so many parties all doing their best to keep their money, hoping for someone else to pay the bill, it makes sense to have a legal professional who will go to bat for you.
Any good attorney will tell you that the law is a language all its own and that every court and every legal institution has its own norms and standards that can be tough to navigate and difficult to understand. All of this, combined with the fact that everyone involved will be aligned against your interests, means you need a legal professional experienced in auto accident law to represent you.
After an accident, you may have injuries and medical appointments. These will reduce the time and energy you have available for filling out forms, submitting paperwork, and jumping through legal hoops. Your Houston legal representative can help with all of this. He or she will help you build your case, do much of the legal footwork, and argue on your behalf.
If you have incurred harm in an automobile accident, and you believe you deserve compensation, get in touch with the auto accident law experts at McLemore Law Firm. We have the expertise needed to get you the judgment you deserve, and a winning reputation. Call or find us online today to learn more.