If you were injured in a car accident in Houston, you’re far from alone. In 2021, more than 1,600 people were seriously injured, and 331 lost their lives in accidents on Houston roads. Many of these accidents involved multiple vehicles, and it’s easy to see why, given the bumper-to-bumper traffic in our city.
One of the first things you should do following a multi-vehicle accident is call a Houston car accident attorney. Your lawyer can tell you what to do (and not do) to help maximize your insurance settlement.
Understand How Multi-Vehicle Accidents Differ From Regular Crashes
Multi-vehicle crashes are quite different from accidents involving only two cars. The main reason is that you’ll have to contend with multiple insurance companies. Who is at fault for causing the accident? Whose insurance company should you file a claim with? In a multi-car accident, these questions can be hard to answer.
Multi-car accidents are also subject to the Texas modified comparative fault rule. According to this rule, you can’t seek compensation if you’re more than 50% responsible for an accident. Often, determining how much fault each driver has for the crash is a complicated process.
You’ll also need to understand the “One Satisfaction” rule. Under this rule, you can collect the full value of your claim only once. That means you can’t collect the full value of a claim from one party and seek compensation from other involved parties later.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
After a multi-car accident, it’s a good idea to collect as much evidence as you can from the scene. Your Houston car accident attorney will rely on this evidence to build your case.
Take pictures of damage to your car and all other vehicles involved in the wreck. You should also get a few shots of road conditions, tire skid marks, hidden road signs, broken traffic lights, and anything else that looks important.
If you can find witnesses, ask them what they saw and write down their phone numbers. Your attorney may want to speak with them later. Ask all involved drivers for their insurance information as well.
See a Doctor
Seeing a doctor is critical after a multi-vehicle accident. You may not be bleeding or have any broken bones, but you never really know how bad your car accident injuries are without having a doctor examine you.
Your treatment records will also come in handy for your insurance claim.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company
Speaking of the insurance company, don’t divulge any information when they call. Insurance adjusters often pull shady tricks to lower your settlement, such as trying to pin the blame for the accident on you.
Even a question as mundane as “How are you?” can hurt your car accident settlement. If you respond with a polite, “I’m doing well,” the adjuster could use that against you. They might say, “If you’re doing well, you don’t really need this settlement after all.”
When the insurance company contacts you, tell the adjuster to talk to your lawyer.
Hire a Houston Car Accident Lawyer
After a multi-vehicle accident, call a Houston car accident attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys at McLaurin Law can assist car accident victims with filing a claim, appealing claim denials, and negotiating with the insurance company. We can also help you determine who is at fault for the accident.
To speak with a lawyer, call McLaurin Law at (713) 528-8012.