Truck Jumps onto Car, Crushes Passenger’s Seat
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
A fatal car accident forced the closure of westbound State Highway 114 at Belt Line Road/635, causing hundreds of commuters to halt immediately and eventually divert to alternate routes.
These drivers, as well as others involved in similar accidents, often find out that being involved in the accident, being injured, trying to get their property damages to their vehicles repaired, or getting their cars replaced is just the beginning of the nightmare. It is important to realize that the insurance company has a different goal than you do in these situations. The insurance company is not concerned with whether or not you get paid in full. The insurance company simply wants to reduce its exposure to lawsuits and to paying claims.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved In a Crash?
If you are involved in an accident like this one, you need to get legal advice as soon as possible. In the case of a multi-car crash, it is essentially a race to get your claim paid. In these cases, the person at fault has a limit of insurance coverage. Once those funds have been paid, even if you have a valid claim, you are likely to find that there is no insurance coverage remaining to pay your claim and that the person who caused your wreck does not have enough personal assets to pay your damages.
In 1994, the Texas Supreme Court in the case of Texas Farmers Ins. Co. v. Soriano et al, 881 S.W.2d 312 (Tex. 1994) addressed the responsibilities of a liability insurance company when it is faced with a settlement demand arising out of multiple claims and inadequate proceeds, an insurer may enter into a reasonable settlement with one of the several claimants even though such settlement exhausts or diminishes the proceeds available to satisfy other claims.
It is essentially a first come, first serve rule. The first person to present a valid and reasonable demand is entitled to get paid even if other valid claims are known to exist. Depending upon the unique facts of the case, there are a number of specific requirements that have to be included in the demand to make it a valid demand. If the demand does not include these specific requirements, technically speaking, it is not a valid demand and the insurance company may be forced to pay other people’s claims before paying you. It may even exhaust the policy limits and have no additional funds to pay your claim if you delay or fail to present a valid demand. As a result, if you are involved in one of these multi-car crashes, you should run, not walk, to a lawyer to get immediate legal advice. Do not let yourself end up in a situation where you are victimized twice.
In addition, you need to make sure you report the accident to the police and notify your insurance company of the wreck promptly. You may have coverages under your policy – such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments (Med Pay), and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM) coverages – that will pay for your damages, whether or not the person who is at fault is uninsured or underinsured (they do not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for your damages).
Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.
Attorneys: Rachel Montes and Tom Herald
1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75063
Telephone: (214) 522-9401