After you have been in a car accident, you have quite a few responsibilities. Not only will you need to make sure you get the medical care you need and have your vehicle repaired, but you are also responsible for reporting the accident to law enforcement and to your car insurance company.
Understanding Your Responsibilities After a Car Accident
Although your insurance company may want a copy of the law enforcement accident report, you are the one who is initially responsible for alerting your insurer to the accident. It is also your responsibility to ensure that an accident report is filed with the police department or other law enforcement agency.
If your injuries from the crash are especially severe, you may not be able to report the accident personally. In those cases, someone else can report the crash to law enforcement on your behalf. You should know that even if you are not able to talk to law enforcement officers at the scene, you will eventually be asked to give a statement about what happened in the crash.
Even if you end up hospitalized after the crash and unable to personally call your insurance company, you are still responsible for making sure that someone does this for you. You can ask a spouse, a relative, or your lawyer to report the crash for you.
How Long Do I Have to Notify My Insurance Company?
How long you have will depend on your insurance company’s policy, but it is always good practice to report the accident as soon as possible after the crash occurs.
CarInsurance.org reminds drivers in accidents that they have a duty to allow their insurer to begin investigating a claim as soon as possible. Usually, this is an amount of time that is considered “reasonable.” What is reasonable may vary on a case-by-case basis. For example, a person who does not have severe injuries may be expected to report an accident in a shorter amount of time.
Although your time limit for reporting an accident to your insurance company may be just a few days or weeks, you have up to two years’ time, per Texas law, to file a lawsuit after a crash.
Should I talk to the insurance company after a crash? It is also important to note that reporting your crash is not the same as giving a recorded statement to your insurance company. You have a duty to give the basic details: when and where the crash happened, and who was involved. You do not have an obligation to give a recorded statement.
What to Do After You Report Your Crash
After you have reported your crash to both law enforcement and your car insurance company, the next thing you should do is to call an attorney. An experienced Austin and Waco car accident lawyer can assist you in the claims process and aggressively negotiate for a full and fair settlement.
To schedule a free case consultation with the skilled attorneys at The Bob Richardson Law Firm, contact us online or by phone today. You can learn more about how a lawyer can help you after a car accident by watching our vehicle accident videos.