Allen Car Accident Attorney
Grossman Law Offices Wants to Help You Understand What to do after a Car Accident
If you or someone you care about has been involved in an automobile accident in or around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are things you must do in order to protect your rights. Almost everyone will be involved in at least one accident in their lifetime.
Sometimes these accidents are nothing more than a fender bender that results in minor damage. Other times, these accidents can be very devastating and have consequences to be faced for the rest of the lives of the drivers or passengers involved.
Regardless if your accident was something minor, or much more serious, you might be entitled to seek compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional injuries that were suffered as a result of the accident. The exact amount you might be entitled to and the difficulties you might face in collecting compensation depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. This article contains information on the reasons seeking legal help will often give you the best chance to get the compensation for your injuries that your case is actually worth as well as some of the instances where you will need help in protecting your rights instead of doing it on your own. Our Allen car accident lawyers will explain some of the basics involved in a Texas car accident case. If you have questions about your specific case after you have read this information, please do not hesitate to call the professionals at Grossman Law Offices toll free at 1-855-326-0000 for a free and confidential consultation today.
DO I HAVE A CLAIM?
As we mentioned, almost everyone will be involved in some type of accident at one point or another in their lives. Most of the time, an accident victim will be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries if they can prove the four elements involved in a car accident claim in court. The defendant, as the party responsible for the accident is known in legal terms, will always be presumed innocent until you can demonstrate through evidence that the defendant owes you compensation for your injuries.
The four elements, which are involved in a car accident claim, are duty, breach causation and damages. Following, we will discuss each of these elements in more detail so you will understand what you must have to prove that you are entitled to fair compensation for your injuries.
- Duty - The first element that must be proven in any successful car accident case is that the defendant owed you a duty of care to behave in a manner that would not result in your injury. The duty of care is set at levels for different types of personal injury, but regardless of the level each individual owes another individual the duty not to cause harm. You will have to prove that the defendant in your case owed you a duty of care and this is generally fairly straightforward since almost all drivers owe all other drivers the duty to drive as a reasonable person would drive in order to maintain the safety of others on the road. It is highly likely that the reasonable person standard applied to the defendant in your case.
- Breach - When you have shown evidence that the defendant in your case owed you a duty of care, you will have to provide evidence that the defendant breached that duty which you were owed. Many times this will require showing that the defendant was operating his vehicle in a way that a reasonable person would not have done. If the defendant in your case drove unreasonably, even for one second, he or she can be held responsible for the consequences that resulted from their negligent actions. To prove that the defendant breached his duty of care you will have to bring evidence to court to show exactly what the defendant did or did not do. The jury in your case will then consider the evidence you have presented, along with any other evidence of the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s actions in order to determine if the defendant’s behavior was unreasonable. Things such as speeding, driving at night with no headlights, running through red lights or stop signs, and driving under the influence of drug or alcohol are a few instances that constitute the breach of the defendant’s duty of care.
- Causation - After you have proven the defendant’s duty of care and the breach of that duty of care, you will have to demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence led to your injuries. It is not enough to show that the defendant was responsible; you have to show that it was the defendant’s negligence that caused the injuries you received in the accident. In many accident cases there can be several parties who might be responsible. These could include other drivers, pedestrians or the defendant might even try to place responsibility on the accident victim. The defendant in your case will very likely do everything in his power to escape liability by trying to convince a jury that it was you or another party that was responsible for the accident, or that your injuries were pre-existing. It is crucial that you provide evidence in your case that it was the defendant or the defendant’s conduct that caused your injuries.
- Damages - The final element that you must prove in order to win your case is how much you are entitled to for your damages. The term damages can be confusing. Damages do not refer to your actual physical injuries. Instead, the term damages refer to the monetary value of your injuries and will be the amount of money you will receive as compensation if you win your case against the defendant. To prove the amount of damages that you are entitled to you will need a firm calculation of what you are owed and then provide evidence of your injuries and losses that will support this calculation. Losses include things such as pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, medical, and repair bills, and any other loss you suffered in the accident.
You will not be alone in calculating an amount that you believe you are owed for damages. The defendant will also be working on a calculation of his or her own. The damages calculation is usually the most contested issue in a car accident case. A defendant will calculate a damages amount in the event that a jury finds the defendant liable for the accident. Defendants will often argue that they owe you a much smaller amount than what you are asking for and will argue that your calculated damages amount is in great excess to the true value of your injuries. In order to prove to a jury that the amount that you are requesting is fair and justified and that the defendants calculated damages are just one last attempt to escape liability for the defendant’s negligence, you will have to provide evidence of your losses to substantiate your damages calculation.
It is extremely important to calculate the full amount of damages because you only have one opportunity to demand the entire amount that you are entitled to receive for your injuries. Accounting for all your losses can be extremely complex if you have no experience in this type of action. Do you know how to put a price tag on an intangible loss such as pain and suffering? Do you know how to account for raises and promotions that you would have earned had you been able to continue work while calculating the loss of potential earning capacity? The Allen car accident attorneys at Grossman Law Offices know how to account for and calculate all of your damages so you can be certain to recover the full and fair compensation for your injuries that you deserve.
DEFENDANTS WHO ARE INSURED AND DEFENDANTS THAT ARE NOT INSURED
All drivers in the state of Texas are required to carry insurance on their vehicles by law. However, there are drivers that will choose to ignore the law and drive uninsured. Whether or not an insurance company is involved in the accident in your case can make a huge difference in the legal process and the outcome of your claim.
In a case where both drivers are insured and an insurance company will ultimately be responsible for any compensation you receive for your injuries there is a benefit, because it means there is at least a sum of money that is available for you to receive as compensation if you are successful in your claim. However, in some cases a driver will carry only minimum coverage on their vehicle and the accident policy will not fully reimburse you for your losses, particularly if the accident was severe. Also, just because there is money available under an insurance policy for your compensation that does not mean that the insurance company is just going to hand over compensation for your injuries. The involvement of an insurance company in a case means that very often you will be up against some extremely aggressive claims adjusters, accident recreation specialist, defense attorneys, and investigators that will be hard at work to be certain that you do not win your case.
In the instance that the other driver who was involved in your accident was uninsured and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage to covered yourself, the other driver will be partially responsible in paying any compensation for your injuries. In this case, you will have to worry whether the defendant has the means in which to make payment for your compensation. If the defendant does not have the money, otherwise known as insolvent, to compensate you for your injuries it makes little sense to pursue litigation against that defendant even if you can prove that he should be held liable for your losses. It is sad, but very often reality, that an accident victim will not be able to recover compensation because the defendant that is involved does not have the means to make compensation to an accident victim.
Sometimes a driver that is been involved in an accident will try to hide his assets so he or she can appear to be insolvent and escape responsibility. If you think this might be happening in your case, the Allen car accident attorneys at Grossman Law Offices will perform an asset check on the defendant in your case to see if he has the means to make compensation. If there is money available, we will find it and make certain that you are fairly and fully compensated for your injuries in your case.
THE NEED FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Very often it will take an Allen car accident attorney to make certain that an accident victim gets full compensation for their injuries. Sometimes it is possible for an accident victim to handle a claim on his or her own without the assistance of legal help. Following we will discuss some of the circumstances where getting full and fair compensation for your injuries is usually only possible with the help of a car accident attorney.
- When you have suffered bodily harm in an accident - If you have suffered any type of bodily harm in your accident, it is always best to have an attorney involved in your claim. Contact legal help if your injuries require one or more doctor’s visits for bodily injuries. Insurance companies are not bound by any set of guidelines when making a decision on how much compensation to make to you. It is legal for an insurance company to pay you nothing so having legal help can make a huge difference in the way that an insurance company will look at your claim. If you have suffered things such as broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, or any sort of injury in your accident, you will greatly benefit by contacting Grossman Law Offices for assistance in your case.
- When the other driver involved in your accident is difficult to deal with - It is also an excellent idea to contact a personal injury lawyer if the driver involved in your accident is being extremely difficult either at the scene of the accident or in the time following your accident. If the other driver does not want to give you contact information or insurance information, this might be an indication that he or she is going to be as difficult as they can possibly be in your efforts to recover the compensation you deserve. In this type of instance, you should seriously consider obtaining legal help.
- When an insurance company pressures you to settle - Insurance companies can be difficult as you attempt to negotiate if you are not represented by an attorney. Insurance companies are in business to make money and any compensation they pay an accident victim will reduce their profits. In order to save money, the insurance company will use claims adjusters to try to find a way to deny or greatly reduce your claim. These claims adjusters will often call you over and over, asking innocent sounding questions about your accident. While these inquiries may seem well-intentioned they are almost always an attempt to get you to say something that might be used against you in order to deny or reduce your claim. Anything you say to these claims adjusters will be recorded and can be used against you in the future.
A Grossman Law Offices we have found the best way to protect our clients when dealing with insurance claims adjusters is for our clients to have no contact with them at all. We will speak to these claims adjusters on behalf of our clients because when the adjusters does not have a chance to speak with an accident victim they have no chance to misinterpret the client’s words and then use those words against them.
There are other instances where an insurance company may be pressuring you to settle your lawsuit for less than your claim is actually worth. It can be beneficial for an accident victim to accept a fair settlement but accepting a poor settlement can do a great deal of damage to your legal rights. Accepting a settlement offer means you are waving your rights to sue the defendant for full compensation for your injuries in the future. Because a settlement is the only amount you will ever be able to collect from a defendant, is important not to accept any settlement offer that is not full and fair.
Insurance companies know very well that the accident victims very often greatly need a cash settlement for their accident because of medical and repair bills and because the victim might not have been able to return to work as a result of their injuries. Insurance companies hope that offering a small amount of quick cash will make an accident victim, who is in desperate need of money, except a small settlement and get the insurance company off the hook for the full and fair compensation an accident victim deserves in the future. Settlements that are accepted from an insurance company before an accident victim has had a chance to obtain legal representation are very rarely fair but most of the times are legally binding. It is important that you make certain that the defendant in your case makes compensation that is full and fair for your injuries. Contact our Allen accident attorneys to find out the actual worth of your case so you will know whether the defendant’s settlement offer is fair or not.
When you are unable to see a doctor or pay your medical bills - Often people in the Allen area will not have health insurance and cannot afford the treatment they need after being involved in an accident. Even in the event that an accident victim has health insurance, the treatment needed might not be covered under the victim’s plan. Regardless of whether they have insurance or not, many accident victims are reluctant to seek treatment for their injuries because they think the cost and the amount of time to be taken off of work in order to seek medical help is not a financial option
Seeking medical help and getting treatment for your injuries following an accident it is vital to your health and your case. If you cannot afford medical help or if you have medical bills that you cannot play, there is usually something that our Allen personal injury attorneys can do to help. Very often, we work with doctors and healthcare professionals and can put you in touch with someone that will take into account your situation. We can get many of our clients the medical help they need at no out-of-pocket cost. Also, we can explain how the time that you missed from work in order to get medical care might be compensated by the defendant in your case.
When you are concerned about how your claim is being handled - If you are concerned about how the insurance company is handling your case you should always trust your best instincts. Insurance companies are not in business to help accident victims. They are in business to make a profit. Anyway that they can find to deny a legitimate accident claim, the more profit they are able to make. If none of the circumstances apply in your case it is possible you might be able to handle the case on your own without legal representation. There are times that plaintiffs can be successful in protecting their rights when they have been involved in an accident that only resulted in property damage. If your vehicle was damaged but you received no injuries, insurance companies have to follow strict guidelines on what they have to pay you in compensation for the damage to your vehicle. Since these guidelines are structured, insurance companies have very little opportunity to cheat you when they reimburse you for repair bills.
After an accident were the only injury is to your vehicle, make certain that you get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Then take your damaged vehicle to a mechanic. The mechanic will then bill your insurance company directly and your insurance company will pay the mechanic and, in turn, will contact the other driver’s insurance company to be reimbursed. Often the two insurance companies might argue over which of them is responsible for the repair bills and can often settle their disagreement without any involvement from you. Other times, where the damage of your vehicle exceeds $5000, you might need to consult a lawyer to protect your interests in the event the insurance companies can’t make a decision on who is responsible for the repair bill payments.
CHOOSING THE CORRECT ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CASE
As you might expect, there are many car accident attorneys in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. Deciding which one is correct to assist you in your case can be confusing. Personal injury lawyer, Michael Grossman recommends that you interview at least two or three before making a decision on which is best to assist you in your case. It is advised that you ask each lawyer about their track record in settling and litigating car accident cases. You will need to find out what each attorney believes are the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You will also need to see if the attorney will provide you with the names of clients whose cases were similar to yours. Be certain that you hire the attorney that you believe has the most and best experience in being involved in cases such as yours and that the attorney is someone that you can trust with your case.
The Allen car accident attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been involved with car accident litigation for more than 22 years. We have won verdicts and settlements against nearly every major car insurance company in the nation. Insurance companies recognize our name and we are usually able to leverage our reputation in order to pressure them into giving our clients favorable treatment. It is our goal to be certain that our clients receive the full and fair compensation for their injuries that they deserve and to make this legal process as uncomplicated as possible for our clients.
Don’t lose your case out of the uncertainty of the need for legal representation. Call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855 - 326 - 0000 toll-free for a free and confidential consultation. We can let you know if you need a lawyer or not and the reasons for this. We can discuss your options and explain the ways in which we can help.