Posted in Personal Injury on November 25, 2019
Despite your best efforts, you could make a mistake or error in judgment that ultimately culminates in someone else’s personal injury. You could then face civil liability for the victim’s losses and damages in San Antonio. In other cases, you might not have done anything wrong, only to still have someone bring a personal injury claim against you. Either way, it is critical to protect your rights as a defendant from the beginning.
Call Your Insurance Provider
First, contact your insurance provider. If the personal injury claim is regarding an auto accident, call your auto insurance provider. If it is about a property defect, an accident that occurred on your premises or a dog bite, call your homeowners insurance provider. A personal injury matter will involve your insurance company since this is the entity that will most likely pay a settlement or judgment against you. Since most individuals cannot pay out of pocket, the plaintiff’s lawyer will go after the insurance company instead.
Upon receiving notice of a complaint against you, your side of the case will generally have until the Monday after the expiration of 20 days (including weekends and holidays) to file an answer. If the 20th day falls on a Monday, the deadline will move to the following Monday. Contact your insurance provider right away to avoid missing your deadline. Provide your insurer with a copy of the summons and complaint, as well as any information you have about the case against you. Your insurance provider will file a response with either an acceptance or denial of the claim.
Your insurance provider has a legal obligation to defend any personal injury claim made against you if you have adequate insurance to cover the damages in question. Upon notifying your insurer of the claim, the company should take over the legal process for you. Do your best to cooperate with an investigation and the insurance company’s lawyers. You should not have to retain a third-party personal injury attorney unless your insurance company refuses to defend your case or you do not have insurance.
Protect Your Rights
Never say you were at fault while at the scene of an accident. Before the police investigate, it is impossible to know for sure who or what caused the accident. You might think you were at fault when in reality a third party also contributed to the accident. Be polite and cooperative, but do not admit fault or say anything that could incriminate you. Do not apologize to the other driver or party. Call the police at the scene of a serious accident if no one else has already done so. An official police report can help document the facts of the case.
Texas is a fault-based car accident state, meaning your insurance company will be responsible for paying for victims’ damages if you did cause the wreck. It is important not to say you caused the crash – not to the other driver, the police or an insurance claims adjuster. Instead, wait for an investigation to determine the cause of the victim’s injuries. The same is true at the scene of other types of accidents, including slip and falls or dog attacks. Stay calm and do not admit fault. Let your insurance company handle the personal injury claim against you from there.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in San Antonio
If your insurance company refuses to defend the case against you or appears to be handling things in bad faith, contact a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio. You have a right to retain an attorney to help you defend yourself against a personal injury claim. A lawyer can walk you through what steps to take, as well as communicate with your insurance company on your behalf. A lawyer will have the experience to help you defend your rights. A lawyer can also provide counsel from start to finish, so you will never be in the dark about a claim against you.