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Insurance Law/Small Claims Court for Vehicle Accident


I had asked you a question about the accident below back in February, and your answer was most helpful.  The other insurance company has not been, however.  I'm in the midst of prepping for the Small Claims case since it appears the other driver's insurance company has a policy of not paying until a judge tells them to.

In December 2012, my son was rear-ended by another driver while turning into a gas station parking lot.  The police report was less than helpful since it attributed cause to both drivers.  The officer's opinion was that my son made an "evasive lane change" and failed to travel 100 feet before changing lanes after exiting the interstate.  However, Texas statute does not require you to travel 100 feet before a lane change-you have to signal for 100 feet before making a right or left turn, which he did.  The other driver had a yield sign but stated he didn't see my son until he hit him.  I did have a local attorney do the free consult and they said the case was good, but it wouldn't be worth me paying them since there was no personal injury.  Since I did not have collision coverage, my insurance company cannot subrogate.

After the papers were served to the defendant, I began getting inundated with requests for discovery, disclosure and interrogatories.  I also got a phone message requesting contact with my son for them to take a deposition.  The was I read the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP), discovery is normally limited in Small Claims court to whatever the Judge believes is reasonable.  However, I call the Court Clerk and they suggest I call an attorney if I have questions about how I should respond to the discovery requests.  My opinion is that the defense attorney is abusing the discovery process in order to intimidate me hoping that I'll just go away.  The other driver's insurance company is one of the "non-standard" issuers and is well known as being "difficult" to deal with-never settle, always litigate, etc.  They also requested a jury trial-not sure if they think that will help or if they just want to make life complicated and it only cost them $5.

Can you provide any clarification on responsibilities to respond to discovery requests in small claims court in absence of guidance from the Judge?  I am working on at least a partial reply to show good faith, but will be citing TRCP Rule 192.4(a), in that much of what defense counsel requests in discovery is duplicative to information provided to the insurance company (his client), who should have already provided the basic of claim, etc.

Also have a question about filing of documents.  The defense counsel letter to me also stated a copy was being filed with the Court.  However, in TRCP Rule 191.4(a), I read that discovery directed only at parties to the suit should not be filed unless directed by the court IAW Rule 191.4(c).  Not sure if I'm missing something here.

A day or two after receiving the documents, I did go ahead and send my own set of discovery requests loosely following the documents received and sent a copy to the court.  We'll see how that goes.

Thanks for any additional help!


Sorry to hear about the mess that has developed.

Failing to respond to the discovery requests can cause the case to get thrown out so go ahead and compile your responses. You are right in that they are trying to just make you go away.

Depending on what city you are in, you may have access to a legal aid clinic at a local law school that could help you understand the ins-&-outs of discovery and small claims court. Since I am not a practicing attorney and it has been 21 years since I graduated law school, I don't remember the particulars involved.

(I obtained the law degree since I was involved in politics in the late 80's and early 90's. After getting death threats when I ran for the Houston City Council in 94, I decided that politics pretty much sucked and got out of all of it!)

Best of luck.

Kevin Hromas

Insurance Law

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Kevin Hromas


I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.


After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Claims Magazine ( and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.),,

JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

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Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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