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Automobile Accident: Personal Injury Lawsuits


This article provides information on how to protect yourself if you are in an auto accident and you are being sued for property damage and/or personal injuries.

Learn more about what you should do if you are in a motor vehicle accident.  

What should I do if I am in an auto accident?

  • Check for injuries 
    • Drive your vehicle to a safe location. Check yourself and others for injuries. If you or someone else suffered an injury, call 911 for assistance. Be ready to share your location and details about any injuries in a calm manner. Follow instructions given by the 911 operator. First responders will arrive soon. 

  • Report the accident to the police 
    • In Texas, Transportation Code 550.021 states that if you are a driver involved in an auto accident that results in injuries or death, you are required to stop your car at the scene of the accident, determine whether anyone involved in the accident requires aid, and give notice of the accident to the local police department or sheriff’s office. When the police arrive, you must also remain at the scene of the accident until your duty to provide information is satisfied. Make sure that you answer questions thoroughly when filing your report. You can access your car accident report later using the Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Report Online Purchase system
  • Gather information 
    • While you wait for the police to arrive, begin gathering information about the accident. Make notes about what happened and take pictures of the scene and the damage to any vehicles and surroundings. Ask for the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance company and policy number, vehicle registration number, vehicle make and model, and driver’s license number. It is a good idea to take a picture of their driver’s license and insurance card. Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information too. Documenting your injuries and future doctor’s visits may also be helpful later. 
  • Notify your insurance company 
    • You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible whether you or another person is at fault for the auto accident. 

What do I do if the other party sues me?

Notify your insurance provider immediately. Send them a copy of the lawsuit you received and follow up with a telephone call with your insurance agent. Acting quickly is important because you have a limited amount of time to respond to the lawsuit. The court could enter a default judgment if you fail to respond before the deadline expires. Once you provide your insurance with a copy of the lawsuit, they will hire an attorney to represent you against the lawsuit. 

What happens if I no longer have the same insurance company I had at the time of the accident?

The company that insured you at the time of the accident will still provide you with assistance. If you switch insurance companies after an accident, you will still need to cooperate with your old insurance company to settle outstanding claims. You will not be able to file a claim with your new insurance company for an accident that occurred when you had your old insurance policy. Attempting to make policy changes and falsifying the date of an accident is insurance fraud. 

What happens if I don’t have insurance?

The Texas Department of Insurance requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. If you are uninsured, the police will likely give you a ticket and a court may fine you. Your driver’s license could also be suspended if you are a repeat offender. If you are sued for damages, you are personally responsible for the amount of damages.  

Will my insurance pay to fix my car?

It depends. You will need to review the type of coverage you have with your insurance company and if it allows for repairs of your vehicle. If the other driver is at fault for the accident, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. If the other driver’s insurance provider refuses to pay for repairs, you can file a property damage claim with your insurance company. Depending on the type of coverage you have, your insurance company might pay for repairs. 

Will my insurance pay to fix their car?

If you are at fault for an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s vehicle repairs. 

Do I need to hire my own attorney even if my insurance company hires one for me?

No. Your insurance company should provide you with a lawyer to defend the suit. If there is a conflict between your interests and the insurance company's interests, you should not be represented by the same attorney. 

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