When it comes to car accidents, misinformation is everywhere. From untruths about insurance to confusion over personal injury lawsuits, it’s easy to find yourself believing things that aren’t 100 percent accurate.
In this post, our Dallas car accident lawyers take on a few of the myths you may have heard and explain why you shouldn’t believe them. There are many more myths out there, and perhaps we’ll tackle those in a future post.
Myth 1: If You Weren’t at Fault, You Are Guaranteed Some Compensation
This simply isn’t the case here in Texas. The question is whether you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This insurance normally kicks in to cover things like medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, no matter who was at fault.
In Texas, however, PIP is not mandatory. In fact, you may have waived PIP coverage when you signed up for insurance. People frequently decline PIP coverage because the payouts are capped, and usually capped at an amount that doesn’t cover all damages after a car wreck.
If you don’t have PIP coverage, a lawsuit may be necessary to hold the at-fault driver and their insurance company liable for the damages. You could recover a much greater amount of compensation this way, but you’ll need to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer.
Myth 2: The Rear Driver Is Always at Fault for a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end crashes seem cut and dried: the driver who rear-ended you must be 100 percent at fault, right? Not so fast. There are several factors outside the rear driver’s control that could have contributed to the collision.
Examples of things that reduce the fault of the rear driver include:
- The actions of a third-party driver, such as merging dangerously, swerving, or braking erratically
- The driver ahead may not have had properly functioning brake lights
- The brakes in the rear car may have been defective
If you were hit in a rear-end collision, you may have to be ready to fight for full compensation, because the at-fault driver may have a partial defense that their insurance company will use to try to reduce the amount you receive.
Myth 3: The Police Report Will Prove Fault
If the police showed up at the accident scene to document what they saw and gather input from drivers and witnesses, that’s excellent. But the police report by itself may not be enough to prove fault.
Police reports are most useful when an experienced personal injury lawyer is able to incorporate the report into a larger context as part of a case. At a trial, the lawyer can tell the jury the story of the accident, using the facts in the police report to paint the picture.
Myth 4: You Don’t Need to Seek Medical Attention for Minor Injuries
The truth is, some injuries may not be apparent right away, but then progressively get worse over time. Whiplash and related neck and back issues are one example. The adrenaline going through your body immediately after the wreck might mask the symptoms of this kind of injury. It’s always important to see a doctor after a car accident because doing so starts building a medical record, which will be needed if you do end up filing a lawsuit.
Contact a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The Fell Law Firm has deep experience in personal injury claims stemming from Texas car accidents. Our Dallas attorneys can meet you, assess your options and advise you accordingly. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.