Some Texans are hesitant to contact a lawyer after a car accident. Most us believe the best about other people and may prefer to try to work out payment with another driver instead of involving outside authorities. Others are worried that by consulting with an attorney after a car accident, they might wind up in court or be on the hook for pricey lawyers’ fees. Perhaps you think you’re just not the type who sues other people after a mistake.
But bringing a car accident claim in Texas is different than filing a lawsuit, and many are settled long before they reach a courtroom. There might be factors you haven’t considered after a car crash, such as how much it will cost you in medical bills in the long term or how it will affect your ability to provide for your family.
There are several reasons why you should consider speaking with a Texas car accident lawyer after a crash:
- The other driver might not take responsibility: You might think you’re covered if another driver hit you and admitted it was their fault at the scene of the crash, but people can change their minds about who caused the accident when they find out how much taking responsibility will cost them in car insurance premiums or repairs. What happens next often involves changing the truth, hiring a lawyer and launching a case. If you believed another driver would step up after an accident, you may have decided against filing a police report or reporting the accident to authorities. This can leave you in a lurch if the other driver does not keep his/her word, and you may wind up having to defend yourself when his/her lawyers come after you. An auto accident attorney in Texas has the resources to uncover the truth about a crash, from hiring experts to examine or reconstruct an accident to interviewing witnesses and tracking down documents. In other cases, drivers either flee the scene of the accident or were breaking the law when they crashed into you, while either under the influence of drugs or alcohol or by flouting the rules of the road such as following the speed limit. These types of drivers are dangerous to everyone on the road in Texas, and should not be allowed to get away with bad behavior. A qualified Texas auto accident attorney may be able to help you track down a hit-and-run driver or bring a criminally negligent driver to justice.
- You could wind up paying for medical expenses for years to come: In many cases after a car crash, accident victims won’t realize the true cost of their medical expenses for some time. The effects of painful injuries such as a sprained neck from whiplash, a herniated disc or damage to the spine may not show up for several days. More serious injuries may require unforeseen surgeries, rehabilitation or hospital stays years down the line. Car accidents cause victims to face far more medical expenses than the initial trip to the emergency room or the first appointment with a physician for tests. In some instances, truly devastating medical consequences can develop, including paralysis, chronic pain or loss of limbs. An auto accident attorney in Texas knows this, and will be able to calculate the medical costs you are facing both now and in the future to make sure you are fairly compensated for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- You might lose your car or lose time at work: A damaged or totaled car can have a profound impact on your ability to get around or get to work. In many cases after a car accident, Texans face lost wages and earnings during their recovery time because of missed days at work while they seek treatment. Add this to medical costs, and you could be facing astronomical bills after a car accident. This can have a significant effect on your ability to provide for your family or to simply get from one place to another. For some victims, their lifetime ability to earn a living is jeopardized because of car accident injuries. Most insurance companies neglect to factor in how the loss of a car or injuries from a car accident will affect a victim’s ability to work in Texas. An accident lawyer in Texas has seen these types of cases before, and can negotiate with your employer and insurance company to make sure you are properly reimbursed for lost time at work – and for the cost to repair your vehicle.
- The insurance company does not have your best interests at heart: Insurance companies want to settle with you as quickly and cheaply as possible in order to increase their profits. The compensation an insurance company might offer may seem generous at first, but it does not take into account the long-term consequences a car accident can have on your finances and on your health. They do not care if you will need to pay for medical expenses in the future and they do not care if a car accident has an effect on your ability to hold down a job. The time you will lose at work or additional treatment you may need does not factor into the settlement they will offer to keep the case out of court. It can be hard to go up against an insurance company on your own, but the simple reply of “Talk to my lawyer” shows you mean business. A car accident attorney in Texas can go to bat for you against the insurance companies and make sure they pay what you deserve. A car accident attorney knows that an insurance company might try to take advantage of you after an accident – after all, an insurance company is in the business of making money, not helping victims. Preventing yourself from further victimization from an insurance company by hiring a Texas car accident lawyer can help you start to get your life back on track after an accident.
If you have been in a car accident in Texas, whether it happened in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin or Houston, take the right steps to protect yourself starting at the scene of the crash. If possible, take pictures of the other driver’s license plate and make a note of the color, make and model of the vehicle in case they attempt to flee. Exchange information and speak politely with the other driver, but don’t apologize or admit fault for the accident.
Even if it was a minor crash, call the police in order to protect other motorists on the road from getting in to the crash and also to file a report, which will be important for determining responsibility later. In addition to remembering the events of the accident accurately for police, make a note for yourself so you won’t forget. If there are witnesses, get names and contact information.
In addition, collect all of your records, from medical bills to paychecks, which may be useful for calculating the true cost of your accident. After getting medical attention if needed, contact a Texas auto accident attorney. It is a wise move for any Texan to make sure they are not taken advantage of after an accident and to find out how to recover the costs in medical bills, lost time and work and car repairs.
Don’t get stuck with bills you can’t pay for. Consult with a Texas car accident attorney to protect your health and financial future, and to rebuild your life after a car accident.