Duty to Pursue Liability Insurance in Texas

Attorney Doug Goyen, a Dallas auto accident attorney, has represented residents of Dallas, Texas who have suffered personal injuries as a result of car accidents since 1997. The Law Office of Doug Goyen provides experienced, aggressive, and powerful representation for our clients. We have proven results, we get top compensation for our client’s personal injury claims. Our office believes that a person injured or damaged by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing not only has a right to pursue their claim when possible but as a member of the community, has a duty to pursue liability insurance belonging to the negligent actor or wrongdoer.

You cannot control what other drivers do. You can, however, reclaim control of your life after a car accident. The first step on the road to recovery is to contact a car accident attorney who will protect your rights, seek the compensation you deserve, and ultimately help guide you through your case with the experience, expertise, and desire for justice that your case deserves.

DUTY TO PURSUE LIABILITY INSURANCE 

Insurance companies try to persuade people that filing an auto accident insurance claim is a terrible idea. Insurance rates will rise, people will try to get something for nothing, there will be fraud, frivolous claims and lawsuits, and other such arguments designed to make people “afraid” of filing claims or supporting others who need to file claims. They have attempted to create an atmosphere in our country that portrays the injured person as a villain for daring to file a claim.

People used to understand what pursuing a negligence claim meant if they were in a car accident. It is about putting the burden of wrongdoing on those who caused the car accident. It is preferable for the wrongdoer to pay for the damage caused by their wrongful act than for the innocent victim, who did not cause the damage and is also unable to pay for the damage caused by the injury suffered. The wrongdoer’s insurance premiums should go up, not the innocent victim’s insurance.

Forcing the wrongdoer to pay for the damage they cause has a deterrent effect on that person’s future behavior. If the community feels that the act requires additional punishment for deterrence, it could do so through the criminal court system. These laws forcing people to pay for the damage they cause were enacted to protect the community’s self-interest. Protection from those who do not take care to avoid accidents, or maybe even believe that laws and safety rules should not apply to them because they are too inconvenient for them to follow. Interestingly, those who believe safety rules should not apply to them are the ones who cry the loudest when they are injured by someone else violating a safety rule or law.

The insurance industry has turned this logic on its head in the last 20-30 years. They have attempted to persuade people that pursuing a claim against a wrongdoer after a car accident is bad behavior, causing insurance rates to rise for everyone, causing unnecessary litigation, and causing community expense.

These arguments cannot be dismissed as completely false because they contain some truth; otherwise, they would not resonate. But close inspection of each of these arguments shows the flaws in those arguments. Insurance rates rise higher for bad drivers . . . as long as you hold them responsible!! Otherwise, if they are not held responsible, everyone’s rates must be raised, and instead of the bad driver having higher rates, the cost is split among safe drivers. Most litigation is caused by disputes between people trying to avoid responsibility by making spurious defenses regarding “phantom drivers” who cut them off or otherwise caused their bad driving, or by claiming that treatment needed to treat an injury was not actually needed (typical insurance company voodoo – where they can roll bones and decipher that treatment was or was not needed).

What rings even louder is the fact that our laws are designed to protect those who do the right thing. And to hold responsible, or even punish those who commit wrongdoing. They are intended to make wrongdoers pay for the harm, damage, and loss they cause. How can we be sure this is correct? Your instincts for survival tell you so. If you allow people to break safety laws without consequences, who will be the next victim of the wrongdoer – your child, parent, neighbor, or friend? We owe it to our community to protect it from those who would harm it. Forcing those who wrongfully cause injury and harm to others to pay for their actions is part of protecting our community. Pursuing a negligence claim assists the law in doing what it is supposed to do – protecting the community from the wrongful act that caused the injury.

If the wrongdoer’s insurance premiums go up due to their bad driving, that is a good thing. Their rates should go up. In the case of a habitual bad driver, they SHOULD reach the point where their insurance rates are too expensive for them to drive any longer. It is common sense. If the courts, the state, or the community does not hold them responsible, you reward bad behavior, and you put the entire community at higher risk, including yourself, your neighbors, and your family. The courts, community, and even individuals have a duty to pursue liability insurance against a wrongdoer. This helps protect the community, deter wrongdoing, and place the costs of bad behavior on the bad actor.

1) Pursuing a Negligence Claim Leads Better Behavior:

Many people appear to believe that there is an overabundance of people out there faking an injury in order to collect on the avalanche of dollars that insurance companies are dumping all over fraudulent claims. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Insurers are so difficult to deal with these days that I can’t think of any job that would be more difficult or require more effort than faking an injury to make money.

In reality, pursuing your injury claim after a car accident helps to reinforce “good behavior.”

If the community (or a jury) decides to hold people accountable for their “choices” and illegal behavior, the community will become a safer place. For example, if a driver is held liable for an injury he caused in a car accident and his insurance company, his business, or he himself is forced to pay, his insurance rates will rightfully rise, and the burden of the harms, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage, will rightfully be placed on the wrongdoer’s shoulders.

This causes at least some of these people to reconsider engaging in similar behavior in the future. The imposition of this burden on the wrongdoer will alter the behavior of at least some of those held accountable. This can and does save the lives and health of innocent families and victims who have been injured or killed as a result of the actions of these people. This is accomplished by having a deterrent effect on that individual from repeating the same unsafe, dangerous, or criminal activity in the future.

If the community (or a jury) decides to give the wrongdoer a pass by allowing the negligent, dangerous, or even criminal activity to go on without paying for what was caused by the behavior or to go unpunished when punishment is appropriate under the law, the community sends the message that this person’s behavior is acceptable. That wrongdoer will continue to act in the same manner as before because they will feel vindicated. The message sent is that their behavior is not only “just an accident,” but that a court and jury have actually endorsed their behavior. As a result, more people are put at risk to be killed, injured, or suffer other harm by the lack of deterrence.

Who pays for the medical bills, lost earning capacity, and health destruction if the person who caused the injury and death is not held accountable and forced to pay for their actions?

The injured person will have two options:

a) If they have health insurance: Copays, deductibles, and uncovered costs that they will have to pay, as well as lost income and productivity that they will be forced to forego under their health insurance plan. These costs are frequently unpaid because they are too high for the person or their family to bear while attempting to cover bills while their loved one is recovering and unable to work or contribute to the family.

b) If they do not have health insurance: The bill then goes unpaid because an injured person who cannot afford health insurance is typically unable to pay for hospitalization. Additionally, since they are injured, they are unable to work for a period of time while recovering from their injury – meaning they have less money than even normal, leaving most people in this situation with debt that may never leave their credit record. This causes them to fall behind on their other bills and puts them in a position where they have no way of paying the outstanding medical bills.

2) Pursuing an injury case creates a safer, more financially secure community. 

The duty to pursue liability insurance against wrongdoers creates a safer and more financially secure community. If the wrongdoer does not pay these outstanding bills, and if the injured person is unable to do so, who will? The people in the community end up paying, that is who pays. The community pays in the form of higher taxes to cover unpaid injuries and tax breaks given to medical facilities and hospitals as a result of unpaid bills. The community pays in the form of higher medical bill rates and hospital rates; they must cover their losses in some way.

As a result of those wrongdoers who cause the injury refusing to pay for the harms and losses they caused (and their liability insurers who refuse to pay as well), those people who CAN afford to pay medical bills are forced to pay higher amounts for medical bills. The community suffers by paying higher medical bills and taxes.

When courts, legislators, and communities refuse to hold negligent, dangerous, or criminal behavior accountable then it is everyone else who pays for what the wrongdoer or their insurance policy should pay. The community, in general, has their insurance rates rise to make up for the wrongdoer’s insurance rates NOT going up as they would have, had they been held responsible. Additionally, the community suffers because negligent, dangerous, and criminal behavior is allowed to occur with no deterrence. This encourages more of it, resulting in more accidents that lead to more injuries and more deaths from those accidents.

These are the common-sense and even ancient reasons why countries all over the western world for hundreds of years have held that the laws should hold wrongdoers accountable. Recent arguments created by economists who are in liability insurers’ pockets have created a perverse argument against logic, and against ancient wisdom.

The law rightly requires people to take responsibility for their actions and pay for the harm they caused if they are negligent, or commit a crime, or disobey a regulation or rule, or engage in a dangerous activity and then cause damage, harm, or injury to another.

These are also the reasons why, if you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else who chooses to act negligently, break the law, disobey a regulation, or engage in dangerous behavior, the community, and people within the community, have a duty to pursue justice and force wrongdoers and their insurers to accept responsibility. The message should always be clear that negligent, reckless, and criminal behavior is unacceptable. This deters many people from engaging in negligent, reckless, criminal, or other dangerous behavior. In the process, lives are saved and injuries avoided. The fault system plays a role in shifting the burden of bad behavior to those who deserve it: the person or people who caused the death or injury, rather than placing the burden on the community or on the innocent victim.

FREE CASE REVIEWS

If you are looking for a Dallas personal injury attorney, call (972) 599 4100. We offer free phone consultations. We also provide a free strategy session. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, legal issues involved, and legal issues we identify as being critical to maximizing the compensation owed.

THERE IS NO FEE IF WE DO NOT WIN

You owe us nothing if we are unable to recover. We charge a contingency fee structured to take a percentage of what we recover. As a performance-based contract, the better we do for you, the better we do for ourselves. This aligns our interests in the case with our client’s interests.

DIRECTIONS TO OUR OFFICE

15851 Dallas Pkwy #605
Addison, Texas 75001
(972) 599 4100 phone
(972) 398 2629 fax

Directions to our office: We are on the southbound side of the service road to the Tollway. Stay on the Dallas North Tollway until you come to the Keller Springs exit. Take the Keller Spring exit. Stay on the service road on the southbound side and go just past Keller Springs. Our office is the 2nd building south of Keller Springs, located on the service road to the North Dallas Tollway in the Madison Business Center on the 6th floor.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@goyenlaw.com

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
You want a great lawyer who keeps you informed on whats going on speaks with you personally and gets the job done call Doug Goyen. He is excellent & very professional you wont go wrong choosing him!! Thanks again for all your help Mr. Goyen! Socorro V.
★★★★★
Very efficient staff. I am VERY pleased with this firm. Gina W.
★★★★★
Very professional job handling my accident claim. I had some ER bills, and some visits to my ortho after (and various other bills that kept coming in). I was afraid I was going to get stuck owing money, but Doug Goyen took care of the case and had everything paid, including compensating me for the injury. Great lawyer IMO. I felt like my case was taken care of very well. Thx!! Bernard M.
★★★★★
Doug is a great attorney. He took care of my auto accident claim promptly, and answered any questions I had. I also had one of my hospital bills go into collections for non-payment. I was able to contact Doug a year after the accident, and received a copy of the check the hospital claimed they didn’t receive. I highly recommend this guy. David J.
★★★★★
The Law Office of Doug Goyen helped me recovery every bit I was owed on my claim. Very happy I used them. They knew what they were doing, and kept me informed. I felt taken care of the whole way. You wont go wrong using them. Arthur H.
★★★★★
Mr. Goyen helped me take on my own insurance company, the great and mighty Allstate. My prior firm basically dumped me, with a permanent injury because the case didn’t meet their financial guidelines for a settlement. I was a bicycle rider hit by a car driver at an intersection, and Allstate was the company on BOTH SIDES OF THE CLAIM. My own insurance company tried to throw me under the bus to limit their payout! Without Mr. Goyen’s help, I would have been left with NOTHING! I had thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills, unable to receive treatment to correct the issue. He was unafraid and helped me get the best settlement I could … I am tremendously thankful! Pamala M.