When you were in a car accident with a negligent driver, you know their insurance company is looking for a way to mitigate damages, but that does not mean your insurance company is on your side either. Remember, all Texas insurance companies are looking to make a profit at your expense. After all, if they paid out on every claim what that claim is worth, they would not make any money.
Talking with an insurance adjuster
If you have a Dallas, Texas, attorney, do not talk with the insurance adjuster until you talk with your attorney. In fact, do not talk with anyone about the car accident without consulting with your attorney first. However, if you are not engaged with an attorney, be careful what you say to the adjuster.
They want to find a way to twist the facts to make you at fault, or depending on any agreements the insurance companies may have, find a way to share the responsibility to mutually lowball their respective customers. Do not talk about your injuries until you see a doctor. And, be careful of leading questions where they are looking for an answer. Usually, that answer will only benefit them.
Texas is a comparative negligence state
In Texas, we use the model of comparative negligence. This means that, if the negligent driver was 100% at fault, they are responsible for all the injuries and damages that result. This is paid by their insurance company up until the insurance maximum.
On the other hand, if you were partly at fault, then you are responsible for the amount of your fault. And, if you were more than 50% at fault, then you will not receive compensation. For example, if you were 20% responsible, then you would only be entitled to 80% compensation.
Bad faith insurance practices
Bad faith or unfair insurance practices are illegal in all states. Unfortunately, because of the incentives to maximize profit, sometimes, at the expense of the insured, car insurance companies act in bad faith. This happens if the car insurance company fails to pay out a legitimate claim in a reasonable time, delays the investigation, fails to respond or acts fraudulently.
What to remember
For our Dallas, Texas, readers, a good takeaway from this post is that dealing with car insurance companies is a hassle and legally fraught. They have an outsized advantage in the process as they deal with it every day and know the law, and they, unfortunately, use that against you. And, they, sometimes, go even further into bad faith insurance practices.