Four Times When You Should Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Car accidents occur on Texas roadways at a staggering rate. On average, an accident occurs every 59 seconds, in other words, every single minute, there is at least one motor vehicle collision in Texas In one year alone, across the state, more than 17,000 people suffered a serious injury resulting from a car accident. Injured victims may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries when an accident was caused by another. Experienced auto accident attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the recovery they deserve.
Below we discuss some circumstances when accident victims may want to consider speaking with an attorney.
1. When You Suffer Serious Injuries
In Texas, when drivers register their vehicles, they are required to obtain a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. Typically, drivers are required to obtain liability coverage, which covers damages resulting from accidents the driver causes. The required coverage minimums include $30,000 to cover injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage.
Oftentimes, the required minimum coverage will be inadequate to fully compensate victims who suffer serious injuries. Medical bills, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, and lost time from work can create a significant financial burden for injured victims and their families. If you believe your expenses and losses are greater than $30,000, you should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney.
2. When the Insurance Company Quickly Offers a Settlement
Some car accident victims are inclined to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer because they hope to quickly alleviate their financial stress. However, insurance companies are aware that accident victims feel pressure to pay their medical bills. Insurance representatives aim to avoid paying the full amount of injured parties’ claims. They may try to take advantage of a victim’s position by offering a quick settlement that is much lower than the claim is worth.
Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, victims may require long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation. In some cases, victims may be uncertain of when they will be able to return to work. In these cases, accident-related expenses may be extensive. It is important to understand that almost every settlement offer requires the injured party to waive their right to seek additional compensation for their injuries. Before signing a settlement agreement, you should consider seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney.
When settling claims, insurance representatives’ primary goal is to limit the company’s financial exposure. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying large claims if at all possible. Quickly offering financially-burdened victims an inadequate settlement is one strategy they use to lower the financial responsibility of the insurance company.
3. When the Accident Involves a Negligent Driver
Negligence is a critical element of a personal injury lawsuit. To successfully seek compensation for your injuries, you must prove the other driver acted negligently in causing the accident. Drivers may be found negligent when their behavior is a violation of traffic laws. For example, when a driver chooses to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are acting negligently. In these cases, injured victims should always seek the guidance of a car accident attorney. Blatantly-negligent driver behavior puts everyone on Texas roadways at risk.
Negligent drivers will often attempt to assign the blame on an accident to a victim. When responsible parties relay their version of responsibility to their insurance companies, negotiations with representatives can be particularly challenging. Despite the factual evidence, insurance companies may still attempt to place some, or even all, of the blame on the injured victim.
4. When an Accident Involves Multiple Vehicles and Victims
Should an accident involve numerous cars, have multiple victims suffering serious injuries, a personal injury attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. Additionally, if the accident causes fatalities, the victim’s family should promptly contact a personal injury attorney. Of course, if you are injured, you should always seek medical attention, first. However, do not delay speaking with an attorney as soon as you are able.
Personal injury lawsuits can be extremely complicated. The sooner an injured victim obtains an attorney, the more thoroughly their accident can be investigated. An experienced car accident attorney regularly helps injured victims identify responsible parties and ensure their rights are protected.
The Importance of Timing When Consulting an Attorney
No one ever anticipates being involved in a car accident. Car accidents are almost always traumatic for everyone involved. Following an accident, even if you believe your injuries are only minor, you should always seek a medical evaluation. Some severe and life-threatening injuries may not immediately display symptoms. For instance, symptoms of head and neck injuries are, oftentimes, not evident for days or even weeks after the accident.
After an accident, victims must remember their body has suffered trauma. In traumatic circumstances, our bodies protect us from pain by producing adrenaline that can mask the symptoms of our injuries. Victims need medical attention following any type of accident.
Some of the basic steps you should follow after an accident include:
- Move to a safe position on the roadway
- Contact law enforcement
- Obtain contact information from other drivers and potential witnesses
- Photograph and document the scene of the accident
- Seek medical attention
- Contact your insurance agent
Always use caution when speaking with others involved in the accident, and their insurance companies. You should always avoid minimizing the impact caused by your injuries or claiming fault for the accident.
Addressing the Costs of Hiring an Attorney
Many car accident victims are uncertain whether they should obtain the representation of a personal injury attorney. Car accident attorneys may help injured victims understand the protections they are afforded under Texas law. When appropriate, an attorney may be able to negotiate an appropriate settlement with insurance companies on an injured victim’s behalf. Should settlement negotiations prove to be unsuccessful, if needed, a car accident attorney may represent a victim in court.
When recovering from your injuries requires you to miss time from work, it is normal to be concerned about your family’s financial circumstances. The majority of personal injury attorneys offer potential clients a free consultation to discuss the facts surrounding their accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine whether hiring a lawyer is in your best interests.
Most car accident victims have questions and need answers before they can decide the best strategy for moving forward. Contact a car accident lawyer and get your questions answered by someone who understands your legal rights and options.
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