Insurance disputes are an enormous headache for car accident victims and may lead to litigation when they cannot be settled. Unfortunately, this happens often when the insurer tries to apportion fault for the accident to you, such as when they claim you were driving recklessly.
When you are injured in a wreck that was caused by someone else, you will generally file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If they find that was to blame – at least in part – for the accident, they will either deny your claim or drastically reduce your settlement check.
Texas follows a rule referred to as “proportionate responsibility” or the “51 percent bar rule.” This rule essentially states that you can still recover in an accident, so long as you were 50 percent or less at fault. Your settlement will be reduced by your degree of blame.
Reckless driving most likely will mean that you are found partially to blame for the accident. If the insurance company says that you are 25 percent at fault for the crash because you were driving recklessly, for instance, you will only receive 75 percent of the value of your damages. However, the insurer cannot (legally) make unsubstantiated claims; they will have to prove that you were at fault. If they wrongly deny your claim, you can take them to court.
The question is: were you driving recklessly? Reckless driving is defined as the “operation of an automobile in a dangerous manner under the circumstances.” If you were issued a citation after the accident for reckless driving, for example, driving too fast for the conditions (rain, curvy roads) they will most definitely use that as evidence against you.
The insurer will have a hard time deflecting liability as citations, witnesses, and videos are the main ways to prove liability.
Regardless of whether or not you think you were driving recklessly, you’re in the midst of an insurance dispute and you are having a difficult time getting the compensation you deserve after an accident, you will want to contact an injury lawyer. Especially when your claim is substantial, it’s imperative to protect your rights and access to compensation. An attorney can help.
Your lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim and try to negotiate with the insurer. If a fair agreement cannot be reached, your lawyer can take your case to the next level and prepare for court.
If you were not at fault for the accident, you deserve to be compensated accordingly. For an accident lawyer in Texas, you can call the Law Office of Julie Johnson at 214-290-8001 for a free consultation.