When you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may wonder whether you need an Austin car accident attorney before you speak to the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are normally very quick to call and ask you for a verbal or written statement after an accident. While it may be in your best interest to cooperate with your insurance company, you are under no legal obligation to give a statement to the insurance company for the other driver. Generally, it is better to hire a personal injury lawyer before you give a statement to any insurance representative. It is highly recommended you contact us immediately after an auto accident. Skid marks, scuff marks, and other physical evidence are often gone within days, if not hours, of an accident. Once an insurance adjuster evaluates your car at the tow lot, it could be moved to a garage or scrapped, increasing the likelihood of losing critical evidence such as paint transfers, broken lights, or other critical evidence. The more physical evidence we can preserve, the more evidence we have to compel an insurance adjuster or jury to give you the compensation that you deserve.
Getting Medical Treatment After an Accident
Car accident injuries create some unique challenges for many people. For instance, did you know that some health insurance plans will not cover your car accident injuries? If your health insurance does cover your injuries, they will very likely put a lien on any settlement or verdict you receive to recoup any money they have paid. We sometimes work with doctors and health care providers to treat our clients while the case is pending. Some doctors are willing to treat patients under an agreement where they get a lien for the treatment provided until the case is resolved.
Investigate and Champion For You
Our Austin personal injury attorneys have years of experience in helping people navigate through the settlement process. We will collect the evidence showing how the accident happened, document your injuries with your doctors and treatment providers, and gather the records necessary to show your lost wages and other economic harms you’ve suffered. Our team of professional staff are experts at helping you understand every step of the process. Police officers work diligently to make sure their reports are accurate. Sometimes, however, our clients tell us the police report is wrong. In these cases, we will investigate the accident, interview witnesses, and talk to the police for you in order to try to get an accurate supplemental report. Insurance companies rely on police reports in determining fault, so it’s critical the report is accurate. Each department has its own standards for when they will file a supplemental report, and there is often a high standard to prove the inaccuracy in a report.
How Do Austin Car Accident Lawyers Get Paid?
Like most Austin car accident lawyers, we typically work on a contingency basis. That means we will spend the money upfront to work your case, and invest our time and expertise on your case with no upfront charge to you. We then get a percentage of the fee when and if we collect money for you. The money we pay for expenses in the case is usually not collected until we get money for you through settlement or trial.
Preparation is the key to dealing with the unexpected. The cliche isn’t wrong, by the way. You should expect the unexpected, and that’s why it is so important to consult with a qualified and experienced Austin car accident lawyer long before you find yourself in need of legal counsel. You might wonder what could possibly happen at the scene of a car accident that could make things any worse than your damaged vehicle, potential injuries, and financial liabilities.
The truth is there are far too many things to consider for the average person, and any one of them could doom your ability to recover damages, take advantage of your insurance coverage or get your car back on the road. Here are some things good preparation will help address.
Your Legal Options
Knowing you have legal counsel in advance can make things much easier for you at the accident scene. For one thing, you have someone to call right away. You can get advice and counsel immediately, which can not only protect you legally and financially but can also relieve a great deal of stress. While at the scene, you can review the steps you have taken so far, put together an immediate plan for dealing with other drivers, insurance companies, the police, repair facilities, tow trucks, and so forth. You can be one step ahead of the game before it even starts. Since you have anticipated contingencies, you will also be in a position where you can’t be surprised by the unexpected. If someone throws you a legal curveball, all that practice will make it more likely you’ll just launch it into the left-field seats.
Your Insurance Options
As a sophisticated driver, you already know your insurance company expects to be the first notified in the event of an accident. As a represented driver, you also know getting into a freewheeling discussion of fault, circumstance, and detail at 2:00 a.m. on the side of the road is an express train to a denied claim. Since you planned ahead and took the time to sit down and map out your strategy for dealing with the potential of an accident, your Austin car wreck attorney will have advised you to let them do the talking when it comes to insurance adjusters and the companies representing any other drivers in the accident.
The reasons for this are numerous. One of the most important is that your auto accident attorney studied your state’s insurance code and knows how to read a policy. As your legal advisor, they are bound to represent your interests first, which is something your insurance company has no legal obligation to do, aside from the specific language in your policy, which you can be sure was pored over for months by armies of attorneys to make sure your insurer can avoid liability wherever possible. Your car accident injury attorney in Austin, TX will be more than happy to advise you of the facts. Insurance companies don’t become billion-dollar behemoths by writing checks.
Your Litigation Options
Occasionally a vehicle accident case will find its way to court. If it does, you’ll want to be sure yours is the side with the evidence, the strategy, and the focus and determination to reach a successful outcome. Who you don’t want to be is the guy who did no planning or preparation who shows up to court with a pencil, a parking stub, and a bubblegum-stuck piece of notebook paper. If you spent time with a personal injury attorney in Austin, TX prior to getting into an accident, you probably discussed some important tactics. Among the recommendations was likely the suggestion you speak to nobody about the details at the scene.
There is nothing to be gained by litigating a traffic collision in a roadside venue. All you can accomplish is to give your future defendant or plaintiff evidence they can use against you. This is especially true in an era where everyone is carrying a satellite-connected portable television station around with them 24 hours a day. You were also likely advised to get photographs of everything that matters. The reasons for this are obvious, but the most important justification is you need hard evidence if you plan to prevail at trial.
Your Austin car crash attorney would very much like to have a big sheaf of papers and photographs to wave in the air while they argue your case. Since you will be in an advantageous position to get that information, you’ll be advised to keep that in mind at the scene. It’s a lot better than arguing with the other drivers and the police about who was going in what direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have been in a car accident and people are telling me to get an Austin car accident lawyer. I was injured and have been unable to return to work. How can I think about hiring a lawyer now? I have no income!
You are right. When you put it that way, it absolutely makes no sense to have to shell out cash when you aren’t working. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, and worrying about how to pay for an accident attorney should be the furthest thing from your mind. But things are not as you imagine them. Talk to an accident attorney. Make an appointment and explain your case. You may be surprised to discover that you will not be charged for their services until you are compensated! They will work on a contingency basis and their compensation will be based on what they can obtain for you.
So, what compensation might I expect to get from a lawsuit?
There are several different areas of compensation that may be part of your lawsuit. These could include:
- Property damage – This refers to the repair or even replacement of your vehicle. But it may also include some other damage, such as to the cargo you were transporting or another vehicle if you were towing a motorcycle or a boat.
- Medical expenses – They may include everything from ambulance transport, treatment at the emergency room, and hospitalization to prescription drugs, rehabilitation therapy, and in-home assistance. Plus, those that may accrue in the future.
- Lost wages – Your injuries may prevent you from going back to work, may force you to take a lower-paying job, may rob you of any bonuses, promotions, or commissions you may have received.
Pain and suffering – This category refers to the emotional and physical stress you may be under. It includes your loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages – Certain circumstances call for punishing a driver whose actions were significantly bad.
What if someone died?
You could file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek some of the damages explained above. Additionally, you may receive an amount that would cover funeral expenses and other damages. Your Austin car accident lawyer will explain this in more detail to you.
What if the accident happened a while ago but only now am I discovering some injuries?
Don’t wait much longer to contact an Austin car accident lawyer. The statute of limitations in Texas allows you only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you allow longer than that time to file a claim, the court will reject it.
Won’t my insurance cover all expenses related to the accident?
In an ideal world, they would. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Get the best legal help to guide you through this process. An Austin car accident lawyer has the knowledge and experience to work with you and help you get the damages you deserve.
Protect Yourself, Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in Austin, TX
Once all the dust settles and the broken glass has been swept up, there are two people on Earth who will be looking out for you. It won’t be your insurance company. It won’t be the police, and it won’t be any of the other drivers at the scene, including the tow truck guy. The two people on your side are you and your Austin personal injury lawyer.
For some, this can be comforting, because it’s better than facing the problem alone. But be well aware of the facts way ahead of time, because discovering you’re on your own when you thought you were being cared for isn’t pleasant. One thing you can be certain of is that every single person and company at that accident scene has at least one and probably more than one attorney on their side. Why should you go it alone?
Your Austin auto injury attorney is bound by professional ethics to zealously represent your interests. This is true even if you are partially or totally at fault. Just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you have to surrender. You still deserve and are entitled to a legal defense.
Spend some time with us and let us show you what we can do to protect your finances, insurance coverage, driving privilege, and personal reputation. We like to think you’ll be both surprised and relieved to learn the news isn’t all bad. In fact, you might find you have advantages you never considered. Contact our Texas car accident lawyers to get help with your auto accident claim. You can also schedule an appointment with our Austin truck accident lawyer if you are injured in a truck wreck.