San Antonio Auto Accident Attorney
The feelings that often follow a San Antonio auto accident involve a combination of terror, shock, numbness, pain, anger, and loss. The experience of dealing with an insurance company after a car wreck often serves to deepen the crisis for victims of auto accidents and car wrecks. The injuries suffered from auto accidents can range from death and incapacitation to spinal damage that does not manifest itself for days after the collision. The injury, pain, destruction, and devastation of a car wreck means that victims should immediately contact an aggressive and experienced car accident attorney to fight for them.
The Law Offices of George Salinas has represented many car accident victims facing recovery from a wide range of injuries. One thing that many car crash victims have in common is that they are unsure where to turn or what to do next. Please do not hesitate to call our law office to discuss how we may be able to help you.
San Antonio Car Accidents can Change Your Life in an Instant
Even if you practice safe driving behaviors, are always alert, and are defensive behind the wheel, you still cannot control the actions of other drivers to prevent a crash. One moment you may be driving along as usual and the next, your car may be mangled and you may be in shock. Many car accident victims experience such shock and as a result, may not realize the extent of their injuries or that they were injured at all. For this reason, it is always important to have an emergency medical technician evaluate your condition and do not fight it if they want to transport you in an ambulance.
If you do not require emergency transport, the scene of a car accident can be chaotic. Police officers may arrive and begin questioning parties involved and witnesses. You should always make sure the police have your side of the story to put in their report. Clean-up of the scene may begin relatively quickly - especially if the crash was blocking a road - and you should take as many pictures of the scene with your phone as you can before authorities begin clearing the vehicles.
After things begin to settle down, you may simply feel like going home and resting. However, it is wise to go to the emergency department or to your doctor as soon as possible for a medical evaluation. Many accidents victims think they are merely “sore” or “stiff” as you may expect to be after a collision when in reality, they have suffered injuries that will only worsen without proper treatment.
Medical professionals can diagnose less identifiable injuries such as concussions, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries. Other injuries may be more apparent, such as broken bones or severe traumatic brain injuries (which usually cause unconsciousness), and these injuries require immediate stabilization. In any case, it is critical that you not only receive the treatment you need but also have an accurate diagnosis of your injuries in your medical records.
Finally, after your injuries have been addressed, you will likely want to take time away from dealing with the accident. However, soon you will be watching medical bills pile up as you lose income from taking time off work to heal. These losses can cause significant financial stress and in many cases, car accident victims have the right to seek compensation for all of their losses. It is important that you call an attorney as soon as possible so that you can identify your legal rights and begin working toward your financial recovery.
Recovering for Your Car Accident Losses
The first step when you call an attorney is for them to evaluate what happened and what caused the accident. This is essential as you can only hold other parties liable for your losses if you can demonstrate that they were at fault for the accident due to negligence. In some cases, negligence may be quite obvious - such as when a driver stumbles out of their car clearly intoxicated after the crash. Other times, however, our legal team will need to investigate further into the cause of the crash to identify any possible liable parties. Some examples of negligence in car accident cases involve:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Using a smartphone or other forms of distracted driving
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Not yielding or merging properly
- Dangerous lane changes
- Departing from a lane
- Falling asleep at the wheel and fatigued driving
In Texas, you can file a claim with an at-fault party’s insurance company, seeking compensation for your losses, which can include:
- Medical expenses
- Estimated costs of medical treatment needed in the future
- Wages lost from missing work
- Future lost earning power
- Permanent disabilities caused by your injuries
- Pain and suffering
The insurance claim process can be complex and every communication with insurance adjusters can count for or against your case. Our firm will handle your entire claim, including filing the claim with the necessary supporting documents, communicating with adjusters, and reviewing any settlement offers to ensure you do not accept an inadequate amount. If an initial settlement offer is too low - as is all too common - we will make arguments and present evidence to negotiate the offer you truly deserve.
Sometimes, insurers will not agree to an adequate settlement or a policy will simply not cover the losses stemming from serious injuries. We can identify when further action needs to be taken and we can prepare and file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Car accident litigation involves many rules and requirements and we can handle every stage of your claim, always fighting for the full amount of damages in your case.
Whether you suffered a sprained wrist or a life-changing spinal cord or brain injury, our firm will be on your side and will advise you of all of your legal options and rights. We provide personalized representation and take on the stress of your legal case so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and the trauma of your car accident.
Who Bears Responsibility for Car Accident Injuries?
Every case involving a car accident presents a new set of facts from which the lawyers at the Law Offices of George Salinas aim to figure out who might be held responsible. Generally speaking, our most common car accident representations involve clients whose loved one was killed in a car accident, and clients who suffered injuries in a car accident, as a result of the wrongful actions or negligence of third parties.
For example, we may represent a client whose family member died as a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who was speeding or intoxicated. We may represent an accident victim who lost control of her car because of a defect in the car caused by the manufacturer. Or, we may represent a driver who crashed because a road department did not maintain the road surface properly.
We view it as a priority to identify all of the parties who may be responsible for our clients’ injuries and suffering. We have years of practice finding those parties and then crafting legal strategies to give our clients the best chance possible to recover the compensation, and receive the justice, they so dearly deserve.
Car Crash Statistics in San Antonio, Texas
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered After a Car Accident?
Insurance often covers some of a car accident victim’s medical costs. But other costs related to recovering from a car accident often dwarf what insurance covers. Victims of car accidents and their families may also be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages due to time off work to recover from the injury or to care for an injured family member
- Lost future earnings of a victim who died
- Long-term care and rehabilitation services
- The pain and suffering resulting from the accident and the difficulty of living with injury or the loss of a loved one
- Property damage
Punitive damages may also be available in cases where the party responsible for the accident acting in an especially reckless way. Courts award these damages when the responsible party needs to be punished and deterred from ever acting in a way that hurts others again.
When we meet with a potential client for the first time, we focus on the specific facts of a client’s case to figure out what types of damages may be available. They are no guarantees in any given case, but speaking with one of our lawyers is often the most effective way for our clients to figure out what compensation they may be due.
How Do Those Liable for Car Accident Injuries Try to Avoid Paying?
Insurance companies and parties responsible for an accident never really want to pay the full extent of damages to which a victim is entitled. Often—too often—they push back on paying their fair share, trying to “blame the victim” or to point the finger at someone else. Their resistance can pose especially difficult problems in car accident cases when victims die or are so badly injured that they cannot effectively speak for themselves.
Fortunately, car accident victims and their families can also push back by hiring an attorney experienced in car accident cases. A seasoned attorney will stand between victims and the opposing parties, ensuring that those parties do not pull tricks like getting victims or their families to sign releases or to agree to take small amounts of money as a settlement.
What Will a Lawyer Cost?
When expenses associated with a car accident begin to mount, the last thing a victim or the victim’s family wants to worry about is the cost of a lawyer. At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we offer free initial case consultations. In appropriate cases, we may also agree to represent a client on a contingency fee basis. In these arrangements, we only collect fees out of money we recover on our clients’ behalf.
Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys in San Antonio
At the Law Offices of George Salinas, PLLC, we can provide you with an auto accident attorney that has a strong background and list of credentials in the field of personal injury who will fight for you and stand with you as the journey to justice begins. We understand that you have many options following a car wreck. Many of our clients list our experience, personal communication from an attorney throughout their case, and the final result as the reasons why they would come back to us if needed or refer their friends and family, as many have done. If you would like to find out more about our services, please contact us today to speak with auto accident attorney George Salinas.
When you bring in an auto accident attorney in San Antonio, you’ll be bringing in a professional with the negotiation skills that will get results. While it might seem like a good idea to represent yourself, the truth is you simply won’t get a higher settlement amount because you’ll be bombarded with the complexities of the law. You have enough on your plate after an auto accident and should be focused on recovering. Let us handle the overwhelming amount of paperwork and legal jargon that must occur during this time.
Experienced DWI & DUI Lawyer in San Antonio
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident or have suffered an injury as the result of a drunk driving accident, we would like to help you, as we have helped many Texans in this unfortunate predicament. Choosing legal counsel in your case is an extremely important decision that should be made with care and only after ensuring that the personal injury attorney has experience in these types of cases. Contact The Law Offices of George Salinas today to speak with us about our knowledge and experience dealing with drunk driving injury cases like yours. Texas has complicated, strict guidelines when it comes to dealing with these cases and an experienced DWI/DUI attorney is a must when it's time to defend your rights and seek the justice you deserve.
Car Accident FAQ
Q: Should I call 911 if no one has any injuries?
A: Yes. You should summon the police so that they can come to the accident scene and make an accident report. You might need the report to show proof of who was at fault in the accident to your insurance company. And if injuries manifest later, or if your vehicle has more damage than you first thought, you will have documentation of the accident.
Q: Should I move my car out of the road?
A: It depends. If both drivers and passengers do not have serious injuries and both vehicles will drive, take pictures of the accident, and then, if it’s safe, move the vehicles to the side of the road.
Q: Should I take pictures of the accident?
A: Yes. The police will take pictures, but if you take pictures too, then you know that your car accident lawyer will have pictures to work from. Take photos from all angles. Be sure you capture any skid marks on the road, plus damage to guard rails, electrical poles, and road signs. If someone’s car damaged a homeowner’s yard, fence, or house, take pictures of the damage. A homeowner might try to claim that the damage is worse than it really is.
Q: Do I need to get the other driver’s contact information?
A: Yes. While this information will be in the police report, you will have it sooner if you ask for it yourself. You should get the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, and car registration information. You should give the other driver your information, too.
Q: Do I need to get witness information?
A: Yes. You just need each witness’s name and a good phone number. If your attorney needs other information from the witness, they can contact the witness directly. The witnesses’ information and their statements should also be on the police report.
Q: Should I get medical attention?
A: Definitely. Even if you think your injuries are minor, always get checked out. Tell the emergency room personnel that you were in a car accident. You may have internal injuries that you do not feel right away. Other injuries might seem minor, but could be major.
Q: Should I call my insurance company immediately?
A: Yes. Most insurance companies give you very little time to file a claim. However, only give the insurance company your name, policy number and the location of the wreck. Ask the representative to open a claim and tell them that your attorney will contact the insurance company within the next few days.
Q: My vehicle does not have a lot of damage and my injuries are minor. Should I still call a car accident attorney?
A: Yes. Once you get your vehicle checked, the auto technician might find additional damage that you cannot see until they take the vehicle apart. As for your injuries, you could have injuries that show up hours or even days later. While you can file an insurance claim on your own, an attorney will almost always negotiate a better settlement.
Q: How do I find a good car accident lawyer?
A: You should have some questions ready to ask the lawyer at the initial consultation. Ask the attorney if they will take your case to court if the insurance company does not give you a fair and reasonable settlement, how many similar cases the attorney has settled, how many cases went to litigation (court), what kind of settlements and court awards the attorney secured, and how the attorney plans to communicate with you.
Q: What other questions should I ask a car accident attorney?
A: How much does the attorney charge if they settle with the insurance company? How much does the lawyer charge if they have to take your case to court? Fees may vary depending on your case and the agreement you make with the attorney.
Also, you should ask if the attorney takes costs, such as postage, the cost for expert witnesses, depositions, mediation/arbitration, and other costs out of your settlement or if you need to pay those costs up front. In most cases, you pay those costs out of your settlement or the amount that the court awards you if you have to go to court.
Q: How much is my case worth?
A: The value of your case depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries;
- The severity of the damage to your vehicle;
- Whether you will live with permanent disfigurement;
- Whether you need physical, cognitive or psychological therapy;
- If the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional; and
- Whether your doctor expects your injuries to be long-term or permanent.
Q: How long do I have to file a claim?
A: You usually have just a few days to file a claim with your insurance company. However, in most cases, you have up to two years to file a court case if the insurance company does not offer a fair and reasonable settlement. This time frame is called the statute of limitations and is set by Texas law.
Q: What are “damages”?
A: If you are injured in an accident, you might collect three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Economic damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, funeral and burial expenses, repair or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident, and the cost of any medical aids, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and other equipment prescribed by your doctor.
- Non-economic damages are usually awarded or included in a settlement if your injuries are long-term or permanent. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, inconvenience, disfigurement, and loss of use of a body part or function.
- Punitive damages are not to make you whole again, as are economic and non-economic damages. Rather, the court orders the defendant to pay you punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional.
Q: What is grossly negligent behavior?
A: The jury determines whether the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent upon instruction from the court. Grossly negligent behavior might include driving under the influence or driving while texting or otherwise distracted.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio
An auto accident lawyer in San Antonio will be by your side through this time and has experience in understanding court costs and each aspect of the law that can help you get the best results. They know exactly when the best time is to settle, and when you deserve more and should go to court. Hiring an auto accident attorney will be a smart move if you want the best results, and we are more than happy to answer any of your questions and address your concerns during this time. Don’t wait another day to get an experienced San Antonio auto accident attorney to handle your case.
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"He helped me understand every stage of my case and fought hard for me. I was proud to have him on my side."