Car accident injuries create many challenges, from physical and emotional issues that can make it difficult to go to work to mounting medical expenses that victims struggle to afford. There is also the added stress of attempting to obtain fair compensation through a car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
The Weatherford car accident lawyers at our firm understand the many issues car accident victims face. We know how helpful compensation can be in covering your expenses and helping you to move on with your life. Stephens, Anderson & Cummings offers car accident victims a free, no obligation legal consultation so we can review your accident and determine if you are entitled to compensation. If we think you should be compensated, we are prepared to manage every aspect of your case as we attempt to recover fair compensation.
Our Weatherford car accident attorneys take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so we do not collect legal fees unless our clients are compensated.
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Steps to Take After a Car Accident
One thing our trusted car accident attorneys in Weatherford know from taking on many car accident claims is that the victim's actions after the crash can have a major effect on his or her ability to obtain compensation.
That is why you should take certain steps after the accident to protect your health and safety and help preserve your potential claim:
1. Move Your Car to a Safe Location
If you are able, and it is safe to do so, try to move your car to the shoulder of the road so it is out of the path of other cars. This will help reduce the risk of being involved in another accident because other drivers are not paying attention.
This is particularly important if the accident happened on an interstate highway where vehicles are traveling at high speeds. A collision with a vehicle traveling at a high speed is extremely dangerous.
If you are unable to move your car, either because there is nowhere to move it or your car is not running because of damage from the crash, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that your car is immobilized.
2. Check Yourself and Your Passengers for Injuries
The next step is to assess the physical health of yourself and anyone else who is in your car. At this point, your health and the health of any passengers in your car is the most important thing.
Check for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem. Things that may seem like minor injuries could actually be severe injuries. Your body often releases chemicals in stressful situations that tend to mask the pain and other symptoms of a severe injury.
3. Obtain Medical Treatment
If the accident was severe enough, your injuries might incapacitate you or cause you to become unconscious. In these situations, it is highly likely that the other driver or another passerby will call 9-1-1. However, if you are able to dial your phone, you should always call 9-1-1 yourself and not assume someone else will do it.
Even if your accident does not seem very severe, you could still be injured. If you or any of your passengers have any signs of an injury, no matter how minor you may think it is, it is very important to call 9-1-1 immediately.
4. Contact the Police
When you call 9-1-1 to report that you were injured in a car accident, the police will likely be dispatched to the area. If, for any reason, they are not sent to your accident, make sure to contact them to report what happened.
When the officer arrives, explain what happened. The officer will use your account of events to help him or her complete a police report on the accident. This will be an invaluable piece of evidence as you pursue compensation for damages.
However, you still need to be careful what you tell the police. Do not admit fault for the crash or blame the other driver. Stick to the basic facts and explain that you are seeking medical treatment. The officer can be an objective judge of what occurred. He or she will likely note on the police report who he or she thinks was at fault.
5. Collect Evidence from the Scene
While you are waiting for the ambulance and police to show up, try to collect as much evidence from the scene as possible. This includes:
- Pictures of your injuries, both vehicles and the rest of the accident scene
- Written description of what you remember about the crash
- Written description of the damage to both vehicles and any property damage
- Eyewitness accounts of events, if there are any witnesses
- Contact information for witnesses in case you or your Weatherford car accident lawyer needs to contact them again
- Name and contact information of the other driver
It is crucial to collect evidence right after the crash because the scene will be cleaned up and both cars will be towed away. This might be your only chance to document exactly how things looked after the accident.
If you wait to write down what happened, you might forget important details that could hurt your chances of obtaining compensation. If you leave the scene without talking to witnesses and obtaining their contact information, you might never find them. They may have seen things that can help you prove the other driver is at fault for the crash.
6. File an Insurance Claim
Insurers often have deadlines for filing claims after car accidents. It is best to contact the other driver's insurance company as soon as possible. Most car accident cases are resolved through insurance claims, and you do not want to miss your opportunity to collect the compensation you may be owed.
However, your first contact with the insurance company is all about reporting the accident and providing basic information. You do not need to get into specifics about who was at fault and how severe your injuries are.
Insurers want you to provide your opinions about the accident because they think you might unknowingly admit fault for the crash. They also want victims to discuss the severity of their injuries because car accident victims have a tendency to downplay the severity of their symptoms.
Sharing this information has the potential to undermine the success of your car accident claim. This is what insurers want because they are only concerned with undervaluing or denying your claim altogether.
7. Call an Attorney
Once you file an insurance claim, you should contact a Weatherford car accident lawyer for a free consultation. There are many ways we can help you throughout the legal process.
Contact our firm today by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in Weatherford?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions from car accident victims. They may have been in a car accident before and gone through the insurance claims process. They think they made out just fine on their own so why should they need a car accident lawyer in Weatherford.
However, there are many benefits to working with an attorney after a car accident:
Reviewing Your Claim in a Free Consultation
It costs nothing to meet with one of our reputable Weatherford car accident lawyers to discuss your accident. A Weatherford car accident attorney can inform you of all of your legal rights and advise you on how to move forward with your claim.
Managing Every Aspect of Your Case
Dealing with insurance adjusters while dealing with an injury can be stressful and difficult to handle. Our car accident attorneys in Weatherford understand this and are prepared to handle this and every aspect of your case, including the investigation, settlement negotiations, and filing of any required paperwork.
Thoroughly Investigating Your Accident
This includes collecting the police report, your medical records and evidence from the scene, such as pictures and any available video footage.
We also have access to crash experts and medical experts who can help us connect your injuries to the accident and determine the severity of your injuries.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
We have many years of experience negotiating with insurance companies in a variety of cases and know how to advocate for our clients' best interests.
Our Weatherford car accident lawyers will carefully review your claim to determine an accurate valuation and we will not settle for any unfair compensation offers.
Taking Your Case to Trial if Necessary
While many car accident cases are resolved through insurance claims, sometimes the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. That is why our Weatherford car accident lawyers are prepared to take your case to trial to recover the justice and compensation you deserve.
We know that the insurance claims process is sometimes unsuccessful, and that is why we will be preparing to file a lawsuit while attempting to negotiate with the insurance company. This is crucial because there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit because of the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a car accident lawsuit. In Texas, the deadline for personal injury lawsuits, including car accident lawsuits, is two years from the date of the accident. This means that you will be prohibited from filing a lawsuit more than two years from the date of the crash.
Our car accident lawyers in Weatherford know how to determine when the statute of limitations for your claim expires. We are committed to working to ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to find out if we can help with your claim.
Types of Car Accident Cases
The trusted car accident attorneys in Weatherford at our firm are ready to handle cases involving many different types of accidents, such as:
- Rear-End Accidents – These often occur at stoplights or stop signs when one driver is not paying attention and is unable to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of him or her. These crashes often result in whiplash, a neck injury that can cause a variety of severe symptoms, such as depression, memory problems, blurred vision and disturbances in sleep.
- Side-Impact Crashes – These often occur in intersections when one car runs a red light and hits the side of another vehicle that is going through the intersection at the same time. These crashes are particularly dangerous because the sides of cars offer less protection for occupants than the front or rear of the vehicle.
- Rollover Accidents – These usually result in severe injuries and sometimes death. These often occur when a vehicle attempts to make a sharp turn at a high speed.
- Head-On Crashes – These are often fatal, particularly when they occur on interstate highways. These are often the result of one driver driving the wrong way.
- Multi-Vehicle Collisions – These usually occur on freeways and highways and are particularly dangerous because vehicles can be subject to multiple impacts. This increases the risk of serious injury.
These and other types of accidents are often the result of another driver's negligence, including:
- Distracted driving, such as texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving
- Drowsy driving, including falling asleep at the wheel or driving on little sleep
- Failing to follow right-of-way laws
- Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Disobeying rules of the road
There are also some cases where an accident was caused by the condition of the road. For instance, maybe there were potholes or large cracks in the road that increased the risk of an accident. In these cases, the entity responsible for maintaining the road could be held liable.
There are other car accidents that were caused by defective parts on the car, such as tires, brakes, airbags and other equipment. In these situations, the manufacturer of the car or the part in question could be held liable for your injury.
No matter the cause of your accident, our experienced car accident lawyers in Weatherford will collect evidence to build a strong case as we attempt to prove that someone else was liable for your accident and injuries. We have detailed knowledge of how to prove fault in a personal injury claim.
Call our Weatherford car accident lawyers today at (877) 920-9009.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case
A car accident case is also a personal injury case, which means there are four things your attorney needs to establish to show that someone else is at fault for your injuries:
1. Duty of Care
Our Weatherford car accident lawyers must establish that the other driver or entity responsible for the crash owed you a duty of care.
A duty of care is a legal requirement for someone to behave the way a reasonable person would if he or she were in a similar situation. A reasonable person would obey traffic laws and be a safe driver to help prevent injury to others on the road.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
You need to prove that the duty of care for your situation was violated. In other words, you need to show that the other driver failed to act the way a reasonable person would have.
For example, speeding would be a breach of duty of care, as well as texting while driving. A reasonable person who was trying to keep others safe would not act in that way.
3. The Breach of Duty of Care Caused Your Injury
This can be the toughest part of proving another driver was at fault. You must show a link between the driver's actions and your injuries. In other words, you need to show that your injuries would not have occurred if not for the other driver's actions.
For example, if you were hit while traveling through an intersection because another driver ran a red light, you could argue that the crash would not have happened if not for the other driver running the red light.
Establishing a causal connection requires strong evidence, such as police reports, pictures and eye witness accounts of the crash.
You need to establish that your injuries caused damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unless there are damages, there is no basis for a car accident claim.
Our Weatherford car accident attorneys have detailed knowledge about how to prove these four elements. We will conduct a thorough investigation to collect the evidence that can help us prove another person is responsible for the accident and your injuries.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Compensation for a Car Accident Claim
There are various forms of compensation you could recover, whether you are attempting to obtain compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit:
This covers the current and future cost of medical expenses related to the treatment of your injuries from the accident. This could include any or all of the following:
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Transportation to doctors' offices
- Medical testing, including x-rays and CT scans
- Prescription drugs for pain management and other injury symptoms
Your injuries could prevent you from working for a period of time. You could also miss time from work because you are obtaining medical treatment or meeting with doctors who are monitoring your recovery.
A personal injury claim could help you recover payment for the time and wages you lost while tending to your injury.
It may also be possible to recover compensation for your injury's effect on future earning capacity. This applies if your injury is permanent and prevents you from returning to the same job or working in the same capacity as you did before.
Pain and Suffering
This covers physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injury. Emotional suffering could include depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and other mental and psychological effects of your injury.
Vehicle Replacement or Repair
If your vehicle is damaged in the crash, you may be able to recover compensation to repair the damage or replace your vehicle.
Loss of Companionship
This applies if your injury has effected your relationship with your spouse. For instance, your injury may have made it difficult to have a sexual relationship with your spouse.
The Weatherford car accident lawyers at our firm understand how to determine all of the types of compensation you may be able to pursue in your claim. Our goal is to work to ensure you receive all of the forms of compensation you deserve. We know that these different forms of compensation can go a long way in helping you with your recovery.
Contact our Weatherford car accident attorneys today for a free consultation today.
Are there Limits to the Amount of Compensation I Can Recover?
In some states, there are limits to the amount of compensation you can recover in a personal injury claim. These are also called damage caps, and they often apply to non-economic forms of compensation, such as pain and suffering.
However, the only damage cap Texas has is on non-economic compensation in medical malpractice cases. That means there is no cap on the amount of compensation you can recover in a car accident lawsuit.
Comparative Fault Law
While there are no damage caps in personal injury cases, Texas does have another law that could limit the compensation you can recover.
The modified comparative negligence law in Texas says that your compensation can be reduced if you are partially responsible for your injuries. Your award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. In other words, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault, your award will be reduced by 30 percent.
The law also states that you cannot recover any compensation if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
Our Weatherford car accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of this law and how to apply it fairly to your claim. We do not want you to be denied compensation because you are assigned a greater amount of fault than you deserve.
Call (877) 920-9009 today for a free no obligation legal consultation.
Contact a Weatherford Car Accident Lawyer About Your Claim
You should always think about contacting a lawyer after a car accident, even if you believe you are partially at fault for a car accident. You may still be entitled to compensation to help cover your medical bills, lost wages, and physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
One of the advantages of working with an experienced lawyer is that he or she can carefully review evidence to accurately value your claim. This is difficult to do on your own, as there are many factors that determine the value of an injury claim.
At Stephens, Anderson & Cummings, our Weatherford car accident attorneys work on contingency. This means there is no fee for your initial consultation and we will not assess legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to schedule your consultation.