Have you or a loved one been hurt in a Fort Worth car accident?
At the law offices of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings, our Fort Worth auto accident lawyers have obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements for accident victims and we do not charge any upfront fees to handle your case. Our attorneys also have more than 60 years of collective experience and our co-founder Jason Stephens, is a Past President and current Director of the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association. Jason is also a Member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
What Should I Do After Being Involved In A Crash?
After being involved in a collision, it is very important to obtain as much information from the scene as possible. Memories can fade as time passes and each piece of information that you collect can help your attorney to build a robust argument for a compensation lawsuit.
The following recommendations are useful after being involved in a Texas car accident:
- Check yourself and any of your passengers to determine if there are any significant injuries.
- If so, immediately contact 9-1-1 and request urgent medical assistance.
- While Police will often be dispatched at the same time, it's also a wise choice to report the accident to the Police and assist them with their inquiries.
- Survey and document the scene of the crash. Using a cell phone, take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can.
- Obtain the contact information of the other driver.
- Identify and obtain the contact information of any people that witnessed the crash.
- DO NOT tell anyone what type of insurance coverage you have.
- DO NOT sign any documents that authorize the release of your medical records to any insurance company that is involved with the accident.
- Try to record any correspondance that you may have with any insurance company by contacting them via email - or by following up from a phone call with an email that summarizes the conversation. You can also ask the recipient of that email to confirm receipt of the message - by asking them to reply that they received it.
- DO NOT sign any settlement agreements without having an attorney review the offer.
- Contact the lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings for further guidance after your accident.
NOTE - A recent change in the Texas Transportation Code §550.065 has now permitted individuals that have been involved in a collision to obtain a copy of the crash report. The Tarrant County Sheriff's Department website provides helpful information for crash victims that would like to obtain the report from their specific incident.
The Statute of Limitations in Texas
In the state of Texas, there is a two year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This is based on the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003 and means that as a Fort Worth injury victim, you have up to two years from the date of your car accident, to file a compensation claim.
In the state of Texas, there is a two year statute of limitations for personal injury claims...
After speaking to a lawyer for advice, you may also like to consider reporting the accident and filing an insurance claim with your insurance company. The reason for this is because many insurance agencies have specific deadlines that must be followed and as time can pass quickly, you may forget or have to file at the last minute - which may cause you to make an error on your submission.
Filing an insurance claim also creates a record of the incident, which a knowledgable lawyer can use as leverage if they are negotiating a settlement on your behalf. In the event of the insurer not offering a fair and just amount, your lawyer has the opportunity to take the case to court in an effort to obtain a higher compensation figure for your claim.
Handling Insurance Companies
Shortly after being involved in a collision, the victim will most likely be approached by the insurance company of the at-fault party (provided that the at fault driver has insurance).
Despite the assurances of the insurance agent, they are not your friend. Their primary purpose is to settle the claim for as little as possible, so that they can report a yearly profit to the shareholders of the insurance agency that they are working for.
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A representative from the insurance company may also offer a financial settlement in an effort to close the claim as quickly as possible. In many instances, the settlement amount is considerably less than the amount a lawyer may be able to negotiate on your behalf. In the event that the claim goes to court, the lawyers for the insurance company will try to argue that the defendant was NOT negligent in their actions. The reason for this is because by proving negligence, the at-fault driver can be held accountable for the accident. To help support their defense, the insurance company attorneys may also argue:
- While the insured driver caused the accident, he/she was not negligent in their actions. This is known as "new and independent cause" and is an argument that attempts to disassociate the driver with the actual incident.
- That an emergency or "unavoidable circumstance" caused - or contributed to - the accident. By approaching their defense from this perspective, the insurance company attorneys will try to prove that the collision was a result of the other driver responding to an emergency situation and therefore was not negligent in his/her actions.
- An "Act of God" was the cause of the crash. An "Act of God" event is often weather related and created without human intervention.
These are important points as if they are not proven otherwise, they can potentially affect how much compensation you may recover from your lawsuit.
The team of attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings confront insurance companies on a regular basis and understand the tactics that they often use on collision victims and their families. For example - quite often, victims will feel a sense of loyalty to an insurance company, simply because they have been with that insurer for many years. Insurance companies are aware of these emotions and can try to leverage them by offering a settlement amount that is not fair for your injuries. We can help to review the details of your claim and provide an honest assessment of any settlement offers that may have been presented. Our attorneys can help to protect your best interests and pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your accident on your behalf.
Claiming Compensation For Your Injuries
When filing a damages lawsuit, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff (the person that is filing the action) to provide sufficient proof that:
- The person you have filed the lawsuit against caused the accident (either in part or completely)
- The injuries that you sustained were directly a result of that accident
Hiring an experienced attorney is an important step in this process as he/she can help you to build a robust argument for your claim. While every case is different, at our law firm, we have successfully recovered more than $18,000,000 in compensation specifically from automotive cases that we have handled. It's also important to note that while most cases are settled out of court via negotiations with the insurance company, in some instances, taking a case to court is required to pursue a claim. Our attorneys have many years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and also presenting cases in a court of law.
Some of the areas that you may be eligible to obtain compensation from include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medication costs
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to perform work duties
- Emotional distress
- Property Damage
Projected future expenses may also be used as a consideration in many of the factors listed above.
In the event that you have a claim and you do not have health insurance - or your insurance coverage does not cover your medical expenses - our attorneys have a network of medical professionals that we can refer you to, so that your injuries can be treated without needing an up front payment from you, for that treatment. Whether it's a soft tissue injury, or perhaps you require dental work or even surgery for broken bones and more, we are here to help you through to the completion of your claim.
Common Causes of Car Crashes in Texas
Fort Worth, Texas is home to some of the busiest roads in the country. Collisions that take place in these areas can be some of the most dangerous because of the congestion, and multiple injuries or deaths can result from these collisions.
If your accident happened because another driver was being negligent, an experienced law firm will know how to collect necessary evidence, interview witnesses and construct a strong case for you and your loved ones.
Some of the most common causes of auto accidents in and around Fort Worth include:
Any of these behaviors can cause collisions that result in severe injuries or even wrongful death. If you've been the victim of a Fort Worth car accident, you deserve justice.
Contact our Fort Worth Car Accident Lawyers
With a proven track record of success and a history of fighting for the rights of the injured, at our law firm we proudly work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we settle or win your case. We are also conveniently located nearby the Fort Worth Municipal Court.
If you or someone that you love has been injured in an auto collision that was caused by another driver, you need dependable legal counsel to help fight for the justice that you deserve.
Our lawyers have received more than 50 legal industry awards and recovered more than $100,000,000 in compensation for our clients.
Contact the Fort Worth based car accident lawyers at our firm for a free evaluation of your case today. Our award winning personal injury lawyers will listen to the details of your claim and provide you with honest, straightforward legal help.