Texas Personal Injury Claim Myths:
The most common, false beliefs about Texas personal injury cases are:
* If I write the insurance company a nice, reasonable letter, I will receive a reasonable settlement offer.
* If I am in an accident, I always need an attorney.
* I should allow my lawyer to refer me to a doctor.
* If I am injured in an accident, and it was not my fault, there will always be an insurance company that will pay for my injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
* If another person hits me in an automobile, his insurance company is required to pay my medical bills as soon as they are incurred.
* When I have been an accident, the legal system is a way to get rich.
* All lawyers who advertise for personal injury cases have the same experience and ability.
* I should choose my personal injury lawyer based on the biggest ad in the Yellow Pages or on television.
* If I am in an accident and the other person's insurance company requests a recorded statement, I must give one or they will not settle my case.
* The insurance adjuster is my friend.
* The main goal of the insurance company is to pay me fair compensation as soon as possible.
* Texas juries are generous.
The Reality of Texas Personal Injury Claims
In theory, insurance companies provide a valuable service by spreading the risk we all face that we will be in an accident and incur expenses that we could not afford on our own. Insurance is a way for many people to pool their money to protect against the chance of one person (or a few people) incurring a large financial loss. In a perfect world, when you are injured in an accident, the insurance company would pay you a prompt, fair settlement for your injuries.
Unfortunately, the reality is often different. Insurance is a business like any other. Their goal is to make a profit. The more premiums they collect, and the less they pay out in claims, the more money they make. This profit motive causes the insurance company to work very hard to pay you as little as possible (or nothing) for your injuries.
The insurance company (even your own insurance) is not your friend. They make money by collecting and investing premiums, not by paying claims. And, when you have been hurt by someone else, and you are trying to get the other person's insurance to pay for your injuries, the insurance company will fight you even harder. The insurance adjuster may discourage you from talking with an attorney. The adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement, where you might say something that would damage your case. Keep in mind that the insurance industry has spent many years and vast sums of money on two projects. First, they have conducted a vast public relations campaign to convince the public (from which juries are drawn) that most personal injury claims are bogus. Second, insurance companies have spent a fortune and many years convincing lawmakers around the country to change the law to reduce or eliminate your ability to go to court to recover compensation when you are severely injured. Since the insurance industry is one of the richest in the country, and since it donates large sums of cash to political campaigns, the industry has been very effective in getting politicians to vote in their favor at the expense of the individual. Simply put, money talks, especially in politics.
As you fight the insurance company, trying to get them to pay for your injuries, you may have medical bills piling up. The insurance of the other person who injured you in your accident is usually under no obligation to pay your medical bills as they are incurred. This can cause severe financial hardship for many accident victims. This is one reason why it is important in serious accident cases to discuss your claim with an attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can evaluate your claim to determine if someone else was legally at fault, find out if there is insurance available to help pay for your injuries, and discover if there are any legal deadlines that must be met in order to avoid losing your ability to file suit on your claim.