As the second largest city in the State of Texas, San Antonio sees its fair share of traffic. Unfortunately, where there’s traffic, accidents tend to follow. Crash stats reveal that there are roughly 105 car accidents reported in the City of San Antonio every day. If you live or work in San Antonio, the chances of getting into a traffic accident are fairly high.
If you’ve recently been in a car accident in San Antonio, TX, you probably have a ton of questions about your rights, the steps you should take, and the legal process ahead of you. Our San Antonio car accident attorneys at George Salinas Injury Lawyers have the answers you need. Give us a call at (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation
What’s the First Thing I Should Do After a Car Accident in San Antonio, TX?
Call 911 and report the accident to the local San Antonio Police Department. Calling for help will ensure that emergency medical professionals are dispatched to provide help and get an officer down to the scene.
Emergency medical professionals can render critical medical care at the scene and ensure that seriously injured crash victims are transported to a hospital immediately. Prompt care can be critical, especially in situations where injuries are internal and not obvious right away.
When a police officer arrives on the scene, they’ll conduct a preliminary investigation and document details of the crash in an accident report. This report may not be admissible as evidence down the line, but it can provide your attorney with important information about the wreck as they conduct their own independent inquiry.
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, damaged property, and your injuries while you wait for the first responders to arrive. Exchange insurance information with other parties involved in the crash, too.
Should I Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement?
No. It’s okay to speak with an insurance company about very basic or general details about your accident, but you do not want to go into detail – especially not on the record. The insurance company – whether it’s your’s or a third party’s – is going to try to find a way to deny your claim for benefits or minimize your payout.
They’ll do that by asking seemingly thoughtful, innocent, or unassuming questions. These questions, however, are designed to elicit information that can be used to damage your opportunity to secure compensation.
Remember, insurance adjusters are highly trained and have extensive experience handling claims like yours. They’ll try to manipulate you into saying something that can hurt your car accident claim.
It’s best to have an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney handle all serious conversations and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
What’s Comparative Negligence and How Can It Affect My Car Accident Settlement?
Sometimes accidents are complicated and happen for more than just one reason. When multiple parties contribute to a car accident in Texas, they all share responsibility for the resulting damages.
This includes accident victims.
Texas allocates liability under a modified comparative negligence system. Simply put, you will be able to recover compensation for crash-related damages as long as your liability is not greater than 50 percent.
When you’re partly to blame, your damages will be subject to a proportionate reduction. If you’re 25 percent responsible for a San Antonio car accident, your financial recovery will be reduced by 25 percent.
Don’t be surprised when an insurance company or negligent motorist attempts to shift blame and say that you’re (at least partly) responsible for your car accident. The more fault you share, the less money you’ll ultimately be able to recover through a settlement or jury award.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney near you in San Antonio can help to limit the effectiveness of these victim-blaming tactics. Your attorney will be able to anticipate these strategies and work to protect your fight for compensation.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Car Accident Report?
In Texas, car accidents must be reported if it causes $1,000 in property damage, injury, or death. When you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you’ll want to get a copy of that report.
In San Antonio, you can get a copy of your car accident report online, by visiting the Department of Records, or by sending in a request through the mail.
- Online: Visit the TxDOT Crash Report Online Purchase System and purchase a copy of your accident report. You’ll need information related to the crash, such as the name of the driver involved in the accident, a Case ID number, or the vehicle’s VIN to find the right report. It typically takes up to 14 days to receive a copy of the report.
- In Person: Visit the San Antonio Police Department at 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78207, and submit a request for your report. It can take up to 5 days to receive your copy.
- Mail: Print out the request form and mail it to the Department of Records at 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78207. You’ll need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) and payment for the report.
You should expect to pay $6 for a copy of your accident report.
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim for Property Damage or Personal Injury After a San Antonio, TX Car Accident?
In Texas, you will typically have two years from the date of your car accident to file a claim relating to property damage or personal injury.
However, keep in mind that most insurance companies in Texas require claimants to take more accelerated action. Typically, an insurance company will require you to provide immediate notice of your accident and submit a claim within a “reasonable” amount of time after the crash -typically 30 days.
If you do not file your claim within the applicable statute of limitations, you will give up the right to recover compensation for damage to your property, medical bills, and lost wages.
How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Car Accident in Texas?
Every year, scores of car accidents in San Antonio, TX, are fatal. In 2022, 171 fatal crashes and 182 fatalities were reported. In these situations, surviving family members may reserve the right to take legal action and demand compensation for the tragic death of their loved ones.
Texas law also has a two-year statute of limitations that applies to wrongful death lawsuits. However, the clock does not begin to run until the date of the victim’s death. In some cases, this may be after the date of the fatal crash.
Statutes of limitations have exceptions in some instances, so it is best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the timeline you have for your case.
Is Texas a No-Fault State For Car Insurance?
No, Texas follows a fault, or tort, based system for car insurance. State law requires all motorists to canary minimum amounts of car insurance before they can legally drive on public roadways.
Current minimum car insurance requirements, known as 30/60/25, are:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
When you are involved in a car accident in San Antonio, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is primarily responsible for crash-related damages. So, you can file a claim with another driver’s insurance company to recover benefits up to their policy limits.
If your car accident is catastrophic, your damages may exceed what their insurance company will pay. In these situations, you can initiate a civil legal claim against the at-fault driver or seek damages from other liable parties.
What Happens if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
Despite the fact that Texas has strict insurance requirements, not all drivers get coverage before hitting the open road. In fact, about 8.3 percent of all drivers in Texas are uninsured. Based on that figure, approximately 1.1 million drivers in Texas are uninsured.
So, how do you get compensation under the state’s at-fault system when the at-fault driver is uninsured? Texas requires car insurance companies to offer something called Uninsured Motorist Coverage when selling insurance policies. Simply put, this add-on coverage can be used when you’re in a hit-and-run or involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The coverage steps in and takes the place of the coverage that the at-fault driver should have had.
Alternatively, you can initiate a civil lawsuit against the uninsured driver or seek damage from other negligent parties.
When Should I Call a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio?
As soon as you can after your accident. Not only will you have a limited time to pursue compensation, but the strength of your claim will fade over time.
By calling an attorney immediately, you can benefit from a prompt investigation. This can help to preserve critical pieces of evidence and set the stage for a successful legal claim for damages.
When you hire a lawyer, you also take the burden of a legal claim off of your shoulders. Instead of fighting the insurance company, you can focus on recovering and moving forward with your life.
At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, our award-winning San Antonio car accident lawyers have 110+ years of experience handling complex car accident disputes. We’ve helped our clients win hundreds of millions of dollars in life-changing settlements and verdicts. Now we’re here to answer your questions and help you fight for the money you deserve, too.
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