Five Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident in Texas
If possible, we suggest that you take the following steps:
- Get medical attention right away – If you were not taken from the crash scene in an ambulance or have not gone to the doctor yet, do so now. Serious injuries can have delayed symptoms. Tell the doctor you were in a crash. Follow your treatment plan. Keep all of your medical bills. If you do not have health insurance, please let us know. We will work to assist you in getting medical care.
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other person’s vehicle, if possible – Photographs can be very important in telling the story of how a wreck occurred. If your car is in your possession, take pictures of it. If it has been towed, we will work with you to acquire the photos.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident – The witnesses to the accident are typically the best source to determine how the wreck occurred. If there are no witnesses, don’t worry. We will look at other evidence to use as proof in your case.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company – You might think that you should call the insurance companies (yours and the other driver’s) yourself. This is simply not true. Insurance companies are always hard at work, attempting to deny settlement payments or pay minimum amounts of money for car accidents and related injuries and losses. Additionally, insurance companies may record phone calls and use portions of what you say in attempts to deny you fair compensation. Our accident attorneys take care of all insurance company communications for our clients so their statements cannot be taken out of context and used against them. If any insurance company calls you, just tell them your lawyer will be in touch with them. We will report your wreck and deal directly with their adjusters and attorneys.
- Call Tate Law Offices, P.C., as soon as possible – Typically, the sooner we are involved with the case, the better. We will work to secure important evidence to build your case and advise you on the important steps to take in order to have a strong claim. Our consultations are always free.
What Happens in a Texas Auto Accident Claim or Lawsuit?
Most of the car accident claims that our lawyers are involved in do not result in a lawsuit because we are able to settle them before a lawsuit is filed. However, if we believe that a lawsuit would be beneficial for you, we will advise you and obtain your permission to file suit.
Generally, most Texas car accident claims include some of the following steps:
Our lawyers have experience with a wide range of car accident cases, including rear-end accidents, side-impact accidents, head-on accidents, rollover accidents and single-car crashes. We know what to look for when investigating each type of wreck.
Our attorneys will work with our investigators and experts to answer the key questions at this stage in your case:
- Why did your crash occur?
- Who was responsible?
Typically, in a car accident case, we will seek to determine if another party’s negligence caused the crash. Negligence generally means that another person acted (or failed to act) as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances. Negligence we typically discover in car accidents includes:
- Speeding – Driving faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for traffic and weather conditions or the design of the road.
- Aggressive driving – Running through a red light or stop sign at an intersection, tailgating, weaving through traffic, failing to yield or making dangerous passes.
- Drunk driving – Driving with a blood alcohol concentration beyond the legal limit of 0.08 or driving while impaired by any combination of alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs.
- Distracted driving – Driving while texting or talking on a cell phone or while engaging in any other distracting activity such as interacting with passengers or pets in the car.
- Drowsy driving – Driving despite being heavily fatigued or while falling asleep at the wheel – an issue that arises often in crashes caused by truck drivers and other drivers engaged in work activity.
However, fault is not always another driver’s error. Your attorney will also consider whether your accident or injuries were caused by:
- Faulty car repairs – A mechanic who failed to make a repair as warranted, which in turn caused your car to be unsafe.
- Design or manufacturing defect – An auto company or parts manufacturer whose tires, brakes or steering column failed due to a defect or whose safety features such as a seat belt or air bag failed to function properly.
- Dangerous road conditions – A government agency that allowed a road to fall into disrepair, which in turn, led to your crash.
Filing an Insurance Claim and/or Pursuing Litigation
After we fully investigate your case, we will collect the evidence necessary and file a detailed claim with the insurance company. In most cases, we can settle a case without the need to engage in litigation. However, if the insurance company refuses to pay fair value, we will file a lawsuit to attempt to force them to pay you what we believe a case is worth.
During the lawsuit process, we will work towards a settlement by directly negotiating with insurance company attorneys. If no settlement is reached, we can proceed to trial.
After a settlement is reached or a verdict is obtained on your behalf, we can take steps to collect the amount owed to you, resolve any claims or liens on your recovery by health care providers or others and disburse payment to you. We will not charge you any legal fee or case costs unless we are successful in recovering compensation for your losses.
Please see our Case Results section for examples of cases our law firm has handled that have resulted in substantial recoveries for our clients after all of their medical bills and legal expenses were paid.
What You Can Expect to Recover in Texas Car Accident Claim?
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we understand the serious nature of the injuries that Texas car accident victims and their families face.
The severity of these injuries depends on the weight of the vehicles involved in the collision, the speed at which the vehicles were traveling and the location of the impact. The injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Soft tissue injuries (such as whiplash or tendon tears)
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injury
Our goal is to maximize the value of each one of our clients’ cases. We will gather all of your medical records and work records and consult with experts to seek just compensation for you and your family, including:
- Car rental and car repair or replacement
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium and loss of services
- Emotional distress
- Physical Impairment
If the defendant driver in your case was either grossly negligent or engaged in willful conduct, we may also seek punitive damages in order to punish and deter such behavior.
Please see our section on wrongful death and survival damages to learn more about the damages sought if you lost a loved one in a car crash in Texas.
What Role Will Auto Insurance Play in Your Texas Car Accident Case?
Your monetary recovery may depend on the amount of insurance coverage that is available in your case. The car accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C. understand the nuances of dealing with auto insurance policies and know how to seek the maximum amount that is available.
The auto insurance policies that may come into play in your case include:
- The at-fault driver’s liability coverage – Under Texas law, drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for damages they cause. Currently, those minimum amounts are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – This is your own insurance coverage. It may be used if the other driver lacked insurance, fled the scene (a hit-and-run crash) or the other driver’s insurance fails to fully cover your losses.
- Other policies (Employer, Umbrella/Excess, PIP, Med Pay) – Many times, the at-fault driver was working for an employer and acting in the course and scope of his job when the wreck occurred. When this happens, there is often an additional employer’s policy we can file a claim against. Another option is to investigate if the at-fault driver carried an umbrella or excess policy. We can also examine your auto insurance policy to determine if other coverage is available to you such as medical payments, personal injury protection, collision coverage or comprehensive coverage.
Regardless of the type of insurance involved, you can expect insurance companies to fight to keep all of the money they can. Their goal is to not pay a claim or to pay as little as possible. Rest assured, Tate Law Offices, P.C. will be by your side to seek the maximum amount of money for your injuries.
How Can Our Texas Auto Accident Attorneys Help You?
The Texas auto accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C. can provide many services to you after a car accident, including:
- Providing a free consultation that carries no obligation to you
- Compiling the evidence needed to prove your accident case
- Consulting with our network of experts in fields such as accident reconstruction, mechanical engineering, medical care and life-care planning
- Assisting you to receive quick and effective medical treatment for your auto accident injuries
- Dealing with all insurance companies on your behalf and setting up all claims
- Helping you to get your car repaired or replaced
- Working to get you a rental car so your transportation needs are met
- Fighting for a top-dollar settlement for your injury claim
- If necessary, filing a lawsuit for the accident and going to trial
- Keeping you updated throughout your case
- Being there for you even after your case is completed.
To learn more, please see Our 10 Promises to You. We take our clients’ welfare seriously. Your case is important to you, and it is important to us, too.
Contact Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers Today
You have only a limited amount of time to bring a claim after a car accident in Texas. So, don’t wait to get the legal help you need and deserve. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston or any other area in Texas, call or reach us online today for a free consultation.
- Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures for Texas, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Automobile Insurance Made Easy, Texas Department of Insurance
- Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics, Texas Department of Transportation