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Car accidents have become very prevalent in our society as the number of vehicles on the road continues to rise each year. The human population in the United States alone has grown exponentially throughout the last several decades and this has brought a large increase in the number of cars seen on the highways and roads. Due to the natural congestion and higher speeds that vehicles can sustain on roads, there has also been an increase in the number of car accidents seen throughout the country. Luckily, cars have become safer with new inventions and innovations that prevent the occupants from getting injured in the even of an accident. Even with the advent of such safety measures, there are thousands of people who are involved in car accidents every year and there is still a large number of fatalities. While the overall trend shows that there are less fatal car accidents, there are still hundreds of thousands of car accidents every year that cause personal injury or property damage.
Minor Motor Vehicle Accidents
This is where car accident attorneys become very important for people who have been involved in a crash. After you have had a car accident, a lawyer or attorney will be able to help fight for your rights to claim all of the benefits that you are entitled to. If you are the driver at fault, a car accident attorney will also be able to defend you properly to make sure that your rights are not taken advantage of. For many less serious fender benders, it may not be necessary for personal injury lawyers to become involved. Generally, the two drivers can work out an agreement with the help of the responding police officers and their insurance companies so that the damage will be fixed and everyone can continue on their way. The cars may only have slight damage and the occupants will be in good health, without any serious problems caused by the accident. While it may not be a pleasant experience for either parties, minor auto accidents can often be resolved quickly and without the need for a car accident attorney.
Severe Car Accidents Require Legal Advice
However, more serious vehicular accidents often require the input of a trained car accident lawyer. Car accidents have been proven to be the number one cause of unnecessary death in the United States, which means that a large number of people will end up suing the other parties involved and bringing their case to court. In the event that you are involved in a serious car accident that either disables or kills any occupants, it is possible to bring your case to court using a car accident attorney. They will be able to review your case and details of your accident to help prove that the car accident was not your fault and that you deserve monetary compensation. Without the aid of a trained legal adviser, such as a car accident lawyer, it will be difficult to prove your case to a jury and win a verdict. Accident attorneys have the skills needed to help win your case or at least get it settled out of court, making a painful car accident much easier. Monetary compensation will never bring back your loved one that was killed in the car crash, but an attorney will be able to make your life easier to move on with your life.
Of course, if you happen to be the cause of a serious accident that caused another driver, passenger, or bystander to become injured or killed, you will also need legal advice from a vehicle accident attorney. You can be certain that the other parties involved will want to press charges in order to get all of the justice they feel they deserve. Car accident lawyers will be able to represent you fairly and help show a jury or judge why you should not be held responsible for the full set of actions that happened. Many times, a good car crash attorney will be able to reduce the sentence or fines to only a fraction of what the prosecution demanded. Even if you are not entirely at fault, the other people involved may try to take advantage of you, making it important to be properly represented with a lawyer.
Occasionally, it is difficult to immediately tell whose fault it was that caused the car accident and this is when lawyer becomes especially important. In a small vehicle accident, the policemen responding to the accident will be able to use their basic deductive skills and knowledge of the traffic laws to determine who is at fault. This will get recorded and relayed to the proper insurance companies of the responsible parties so that the damages can be covered. If the accident is much more serious, such as involving a death or serious injury, a deeper investigation is needed to determine exactly the cause of the accident. The police officers will have to take pictures of the scene, take measurements of where the cars came to rest, and collect as much evidence as possible. The case will then be escalated to the proper legal authorities who will fully investigate the case and determine the cause of the accident and who is at fault.
How it Works
Every party involved in the car accident will need to hire an attorney and they will be responsible for representing their client in the court of law. Generally, there will be a prosecuting side and a defense side, with the prosecutors pressing charges against the other parties. It is the job of the prosecuting accident attorneys to build a case against the other people to concretely prove that they caused the accident and should be held responsible, either through fines or jail time. On the other hand, the defense lawyers serve to defend their clients that are being accused of causing the car accident and prove they they did not cause the problem. There have been cases where the prosecutor has actually been at fault and the defense has proven that their client did not do anything wrong. Even if the defendant is guilty, car accident lawyers can help to reduce the sentence and make their fines more manageable.
Accident lawyers will often hire expert witnesses to analyze the crash and testify in court about who caused the vehicle accident. Expert witnesses are often professional engineers who have years of experience analyzing accident scenes and determining the cause of the collision. They can look at tire marks, surveillance cameras, traffic light timing, and the angle of the cars after they have come to rest to determine how fast they were traveling and where they were coming from. Forensic engineers can be extremely helpful to car accident attorneys because they can prove or disprove a theory using scientific facts. Often times, the evidence presented by these expert witnesses is able to either convict or free the defendants.
Once both sides have analyzed the data and evidence, they will present their findings in a preliminary hearing to determine if the case is suitable for a full civil or criminal court case. The prosecuting attorneys will present evidence trying to prove that the defendant caused the car accident and they they should either pay a certain amount of money or be sentenced to jail or some other form of punishment. The defending car accident lawyers will then present evidence showing that their client is not at fault and that they should not be held accountable. The judge will then decide if the case will be thrown out or taken to a higher level, but more serious cases that involve death or serious injury will usually be escalated to the next level.
As an alternative, some cases are settled before they go to court. Settling means that the attorneys from both sides discuss their evidence and agree to certain terms on behalf of their clients without the need to go through extensive court hearings. Going to trial is often a long and arduous event that is also very expensive. If one side concedes that the accident was their fault, or the evidence is overwhelming and there would be no way to get out of it, the two parties may settle out of court. This generally ends with the defendant giving the prosecutors a certain amount of money to pay for the damages from the car accident, but this allows them to avoid the hassle of going through full court proceedings.
Where to Find Car Accident Lawyers
When you are looking for a car accident attorney, you will want to find one that is in your area and is easily accessible. Lawyers and attorneys are generally quite expensive, but can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost lawsuits and can drastically affect the outcome of any civil or criminal suit. It is recommended that everyone find an accident attorney after they have been in a serious car accident in order to protect their assets and family. And, if you have been severely injured in an accident, personal injury lawyers can help to get you the justice that you deserve.
Some attorneys work on a wide variety of legal cases and are able to represent you in any case that you need, whether it is a foreclosure, divorce, or car accident. These lawyers are generally easier to find and there may be several in your area that will be able to help you. While these attorneys will be able to help navigate through the legal tape, it is usually better to find a lawyer that specializes just in car accident cases. These car accident attorneys work on car crash cases regularly and know all of the details involved with winning a case. They may also have special knowledge of accidents and have extra resources to call on if the case is especially difficult.
When hiring a lawyer, it is best to look online or use the Yellow Pages in your local area to find a car accident lawyer that will properly represent you. If there are several law offices in your area, feel free to shop around to find the attorney that best fits with your personality. It is important to find someone that you can work closely with for an extended period of time at a reasonable price.
An Accident Attorney explains how soon after an accident you should see a doctor. Also explained is why knowing this information is so important for your case.
When it comes to accidents, most of us just want to put them behind us, and move on. If we think we’re okay, medically speaking, we prefer to assume the best and get on with things. In an accident case that can be a mistake and this is why.
You Might Have a Claim
An accident attorney sees all sorts of injuries after accidents but all of the injuries are not always obvious. Sometimes people walk away from accidents looking fine. Much later they realize that they’ve sustained internal injuries. In some cases they might be physically fine but unknowingly suffer from a psychological after effects such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
All of these things might entitle you to compensation – for both the actual costs of medical treatment and other compensation for your pain and suffering.
So When Should You See a Doctor?
Ideally, if you have been in an accident – ANY accident – you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the event occurs.
The doctor will be able to assess any immediate trauma, such as obvious injuries, but will also be able to ascertain whether there may be any hidden injuries involved. They can also refer you to other specialists – for instance therapists – who can assess other long term effects you may experience.
Why Is It Important?
When it comes to early assessment of actual injuries, long term residual medical problems and other effects of accidents, it’s important to see a doctor right away because it can affect the amount of damages you can claim. Very often, the damages awarded in personal injury cases cover not only the medical costs you have already paid, but also future medical costs.
That means, for instance, that if you have a physical or psychological condition that occurs as a result of your accident, and you will need life long treatment for it, you can be awarded an amount to cover those costs. This needs to be determined by a doctor and documented by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
Let’s look at an example of personal injury costs.
A woman is in a car accident that was not her fault. Her legs are fractured and her foot is crushed in the accident and she is taken to a hospital. During her stay, both of her broken legs are reset, and her foot is reconstructed.
The obvious costs or damages in this case would be the hospital stay, the medical bills associated with it and her pain and suffering.
However, when the woman leaves the hospital, she consults a personal injury attorney, who refers her to another doctor for a second opinion. During the examination, the doctor discovers that one of her legs is now half an inch shorter than the other.
Suddenly, the costs involved in living with the results of the accident spiral. The woman will face a lifetime of built up shoes, limping, and in all likelihood, pain from her leg. All of this was caused by the initial accident.
In short, what was a simple case has become a much larger one, where much more money is at stake. Through the work of a knowledgeable attorney and doctor the woman should get full financial compensation for all of her injuries.
Lawyer or Doctor First?
If you have been in an accident, the decision whether to visit a doctor or a lawyer first is may be made for you at the accident scene.
If you are seriously injured, chances are you will receive immediate medical attention without question. As soon as possible after that, however, you should visit an attorney who specializes in personal injury, for instance an accident attorney.
The attorney will assess your case, and refer you to a doctor or doctors. These doctors are specially trained to diagnosis and treat all aspects of injuries received in accidents.
Always bear in mind, however, that an attorney, such as our accident attorneys are not going to cost you out of pocket money. Most accident and personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that they take a percentage of your settlement award. You do not have to pay hourly or other attorney fees. Everything is paid out of your settlement at the end of your case.
An Attorney Will Prevent the Violations of Time Limits you Don’t Know About
As with every area of the law, there is a statute of limitations on personal injury cases that limits the time in which you can put in a claim. These time limits are different for different types of accident injury cases. It is best to check with an accident attorney to find out which time limits apply to your particular type of personal injury case.
Even if you seem fine after an accident, or are trying to convince yourself you are, you may still have medical problems from the accident at a later date. In spite of this, you have to make any claims before time legal time limits expire or you might lose out on compensation that is due to you.
When you’re in an accident, you deserve compensation for all of the pain and trauma you suffer, and an accident attorney can help you get it.
If you have a case you would like to discuss, please feel free to call our office. There is no charge to talk about your case or to answer your questions about your case.
Personal Injury Settlement Primer
Injuries from motor vehicle accident can change your life. It is easy to understand how a fast settlement with the insurance company may seem like the quickest way to getting back what you had before the injury.
Be careful. Settling your case by yourself or at the wrong time may hurt you more in the end. At our Legal Group, we have the knowledge and experience needed to properly evaluate the value of serious motor vehicle injury cases. We know the law and we know the insurance companies’ tactics. We know the difference between a settlement offer that leaves you unprotected and one that brings you a fair value for the injuries you have suffered and the changes a serious accident can cause in your life.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTLING A MOTOR VEHICLE INJURY CLAIM?
Statute of Limitations
The first thing you should understand about your injury claim is that states have a set period of time in which to make your claim. This set period of time is known as the statute of limitations. There are many factors that can affect your statute of limitations including your age at the time of the accident, the type of claim or claims you are making, and the person or company against which you are claiming. Determining which statutes apply to your claim is imperative. If you fail to file your claim within the appropriate period, you may be forever barred from bringing your claim. The fact that you were negotiating with one or more of the potential defendants in your case at the time your statute of limitations ran will not save your claim. When you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is always the best course to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are preserved.
Liability is the second issue. When we speak of liability we are really talking about who is going to take responsibility for the accident that injured you. Before discussing settlement with any of the parties, you need to identify all of the parties that might bear some responsibility for your injury. You many think you know who caused your accident. However, you may only know part of the story.
You could have a claim against a manufacturer for products liability if there was a defect in one of the vehicles in the accident. If the driver at fault was intoxicated, you could have a claim against the establishment that served him or her. If the road was in poor condition or without appropriate signage, you might have a claim against the State. Without a thorough investigation of your claim, you might not identify all of the parties at fault.
It is important to identify and include all the responsible parties still in existence because settling with just one defendant may operate to release all of the other possible defendants. An attorney experienced in handling motor vehicle accidents can help you identify the parties responsible for your injuries.
Once you have identified all the parties who bear some responsibility for your injury, you need to determine what is the appropriate amount of compensation or damages for your injury. This is not as simple as adding up your medical bills and time lost from work. Texas has specifically identified damages that are allowed in cases of personal injury. Generally, these damages can include past and future medical and nursing bills, past and future wage loss, past and future pain and suffering, past and future emotional distress and embarrassment, past and future loss of consortium, as well as past and future expenses associated with the injury such as having to hire work done that you can no longer do due to your injury. Some of these damages require proof from an expert.
For example, usually you will need a doctor to say that you are likely to incur future medical expenses. The doctor will also need to outline the nature and frequency of those expenses. Similarly, with respect to wage loss, you may need to have a doctor say that you are permanently disabled and an economist to demonstrate what you lost in wages as well as benefits such as pension contributions.
An attorney experienced in handling injury claims can assist you in determining all of the damages arising out of your injury. Where necessary, your attorney can secure testimony or other proof from medical providers and economists to demonstrate the extent of your loss. As a general rule, the settlement you make is considered a full, final and complete settlement of all aspects of your claim. Courts are reluctant to undo a settlement you have made, absent a showing of fraud. If your injury is very extensive or your injury is such that full extent of your injury is not yet ascertainable you may be asked to consider a structured settlement, a partial settlement with a reservation of rights, or both. You will need the help of an experienced attorney to determine whether such offers are appropriate for your situation.
As noted above, the items of damages for which you may claim compensation include medical expenses and lost wages. Perhaps you are wondering whether you really need to be concerned about those items since your medical bills are paid by your insurance company or employer and your lost wages were paid by your employer through workers’ compensation. The answer is yes, and the reason is, in a word, subrogation. In essence, subrogation means that if an insurance company or your employer has paid for a portion of your damages, then the insurance company or employer is entitled to receive that money back when you settle. The idea is that it is unfair for you to get money to pay medical bills that have already been paid by someone else, namely your insurance company. You will need an experienced attorney to determine whether there are any potential subrogation claims in your case, what notices need to be sent to those holding subrogation interests, and how to best settle your case given the subrogation interests in your case.
Settling your injury claim is more complicated than it might appear at first glance. The persons and companies you are seeking compensation from will likely have experienced attorneys helping them during the negotiations. Because your settlement will likely be a full, final and complete settlement of your claim, you need to ensure that the settlement you make is appropriate. Enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney is the best way to make sure that the settlement you receive provides just compensation for the injuries you have suffered. At our Legal Group we know the law and we have the experience to make sure the settlement you achieve protects your rights.
Texas Car Accidents Attorney
Car Accidents – An Overview
Accidents involving motor vehicles happen nearly every minute of every day. Many result in injuries. Some of these injuries are catastrophic, some are deadly. When you or someone you love is involved in a serious accident your first thought may not be to hire a lawyer, but perhaps it should be.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
When you have been wronged your impulse is to want justice now, or you may simply want the ordeal to end. Perhaps you considered accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. A quick and early settlement might be swift, but most likely it won’t be fair and it won’t provide justice. For justice to prevail, your case needs to be analyzed and prepared by an experienced attorney, who will, if necessary, present it in a court of law. A clear and strong presentation requires the involvement of a law firm capable of a diligent investigation, that has experience in dealing with the issues in your case, and expertise handling cases involving serious injury, disability and/or death.
Accidents involving motor vehicles, car accidents frequently result in injuries, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of income, property damage and other inconveniences and expenses. There are many interrelated laws governing such accidents in Texas. In theory, it may seem that it would be easy to figure out who is at fault. In reality, the issue of fault – who should pay damages and how much – is complex. For example, when more than one party is potentially responsible for your injury you may inadvertently release all parties by settling with just one. Additionally, if you receive a damage award from the responsible party, you may be expected to reimburse your insurers for the payments they made to you. This is called subrogation and it is intended to ensure that you do not receive a double recovery. Our Legal Group understands the intricacies of the law and can help you to avoid potential pitfalls on your way to recovery.
Whether your accident involves a car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, moped, snowmobile, plane, boat, wave runner, water craft, train or pedestrian the issues involved in a motor vehicle accident fall into two broad basic categories: liability or fault and damages.
Liability: Whose Fault Was It?
The idea of fault in a motor vehicle case generally revolves around the issue of negligence. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable due care to avoid a foreseeable harm to a person, place, or thing. The care due is based upon the particular situation you are in. In short, you are expected to behave with the care that a reasonable person would exercise in that situation. A reasonable person generally would not drive their car in such a way that they would be likely to injure someone. A person who behaves in an unreasonable or negligent way is responsible for the injuries and/or damages that result.
It sounds simple. But, what if the weather was particularly bad the night of the accident? What if your vehicle malfunctioned due to design flaw? What if the other driver’s vehicle malfunctioned due to an error by the repair shop? What if the road was in poor condition or the signs were confusing or misleading? What if more than two vehicles are involved in the accident? What if there is only one vehicle involved? What if one of the drivers had been drinking all night at a bar before the accident? What if they had been drinking at someone’s house? What if that drunk driver was not the one who caused the accident? What if you or your loved one were partly to blame?
The questions and answers in an accident seldom follow textbook examples. Accidents are often the result of a number of factors. A motor vehicle accident may involve negligence on the part of one or more drivers, a repair shop, a vehicle manufacturer, or even the State of Texas. The accident may also involve issues of product liability, liquor liability and/or intentional or reckless conduct. Because the issues surrounding liability in an accident can be complicated, when you or a loved one are in an accident it is imperative that you take immediate action to preserve your rights. That is why you need an experienced lawyer with the resources to examine all of the issues surrounding your accident. The attorneys at our Legal Group have the experience and resources to preserve evidence related to your claim, thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, and ensure that you have access to physicians and other expert witnesses who will thoroughly evaluate your injuries and provide you with the most appropriate care so that you can concentrate on your recovery.
Damages: How Much Will I Receive?
Although an accident can occur in minutes, the financial, legal and emotional toll can last a lifetime. When you or a loved one are involved in a serious accident there will likely be days when you think that no amount of money will compensate you for the losses you have suffered. And there may be days when you are tempted to take what ever money an insurance adjuster offers you just so you can get some of your bills paid. An experienced attorney can not only help you to sort through the liability issues surrounding your claim but also help you to better understand the types of damages you are entitled to.
Contrary to what you might think, there is no chart that predetermines the damages you are entitled to in a motor vehicle accident. Rather, damages are awarded to injured parties based upon Texas law. Under the law when you are injured by another you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries. Such compensatory damages include pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of income, the cost of replacement services, loss of consortium, and damage to property. Some of these damages may have been paid by your medical insurance, disability insurance, and the insurance on your vehicle. Nevertheless, the party responsible for your injuries is still liable for the damages.
At our Legal Group it is our policy to help our clients recover physically as much as possible before initiating their claim. We believe that it is crucial to have a good understanding of the permanent medical issues, disability, pain, and suffering our clients will face in the future. While you concentrate on getting better we use our experience, expertise, and knowledge of medical, rehabilitative, and economic experts to ensure that all areas of liability and damages are thoroughly examined so that you receive the maximum monetary recovery for your injuries.
Will my Case Go to Trial?
Contrary to what you see on television, it is unlikely that you can walk into a lawyer’s office one day and expect to be in trial the next day. Even if you could, such expediency would not be desirable. Careful preparation is the key to success in a lawsuit. And, you may be surprised to find that generally when a case is well prepared for trial it is more likely to settle. Our firm provides a team to investigate and prepare your case so that we can obtain the best possible outcome for you. As a general rule, once we feel that you have reached maximum medical improvement and we have fully investigated your claim, we will initiate settlement discussions with the appropriate parties. If the defendant fails to make a settlement offer we feel is appropriate to recommend to you, we will recommend commencing a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is commenced there will still be several additional opportunities to discuss settlement before trial. If the settlement discussions do not prove fruitful, our experience in trying motor vehicle cases will ensure that you get the best possible representation.
When you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need an experienced legal team on your side. At our Legal Group we take the time to ensure that our clients receive the care they need to obtain the maximum physical and financial recovery for their injuries.
Texas Catastrophic Injury Attorney
When a serious or catastrophic injury occurs, as with all our injury cases, we take responsibility for effective, aggressive investigation and representation. We work with numerous physicians and have the network and resources necessary to allow our injured clients to attend to health, family and economic issues, while we pursue the legal remedies that result in the highest possible financial recovery. We have helped clients receive the best possible results for all types of severe injuries of all types, including:
Brain Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries
Burns and Amputations
Serious Burns and Skin Damage
We can assist with guidance regarding brain injuries as well as any other severe or catastrophic personal injury. Please contact us today so we can discuss how we can help.
The car accidents attorneys at our Law Office focus their law practice on representing injured people were hurt in car accidents and all sorts of motor vehicle accidents. “Motor vehicle accidents” is a broad term which includes many different kinds of personal injury case. It includes car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and even cases where a car or truck strikes a pedestrian who is merely crossing the street. This car accident law firm handles all of these kinds of cases.
Car accidents attorneys can handle all the details of an injury client so that you don’t have to. If your loved one was involved in a car accident with injuries, you should be focused on those injuries and recovering from them and getting necessary medical care. Car accidents attorneys can make your life easier and handle all aspects of your claim so that you don’t have to and you can focus on your health.
Car accidents attorneys will ask whether any witnesses saw your car crash. They will order the police report and assemble necessary evidence. Your job will be to keep your attorney informed as to how your medical treatment is going. If you seek a new medical treatment for your personal injuries from a different medical provider, you must contact your car accidents attorneys to let them know where you have been for treatment.
If you are wondering whether you can afford the services of a car accident law firm, do not worry. Your car accidents attorneys work on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement means that your car accident lawyer will work on your case and will not charge you by the hour, and you do not have to pay a retainer to the lawyer. The lawyer only gets paid if he wins your case, and then is paid out of the settlement. This way, you can afford great legal representation and you only pay the lawyer if he wins your case.
Car Accidents Attorneys
There is no obligation and no charge to speak with our car accident attorneys to get your questions answered. There is no reason for you to delay. You can call or meet car accidents attorneys to discuss the details of your case and get all of your questions answered. You will regain your peace of mind and will understand the personal and injury case and claim process much better. You will sleep better at night knowing that you are represented by a car accidents lawyer who is familiar with this type of case and how to handle it. Car accidents attorneys work for you to maximize your settlement.
Please do not hesitate to get your questions answered. Call today!