Signs That You'll Need a Car Accident Attorney
Contrary to what you'll read on almost every other auto accident attorney's website, legal representation is not necessary in all vehicle accident cases. There are certain situations where car wreck victims don't need the services of a lawyer, whereas other situations absolutely require a lawyer's services.
Here are some indications that you will need legal representation after you've been in a car wreck:
- If You've Suffered Moderate to Severe Personal Injuries.
Vehicle collision victims that have only sustained property damages and weren't personally injured usually don't need the assistance of an attorney for a few good reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, Texas does not have a specific set of laws that apply only to vehicle collisions. Instead, the laws governing car collision resolution in Texas include personal injury laws as outlined by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code and property laws as outlined by the Texas Property Code. As such, Texas vehicle collision cases are uniquely governed by both sets of laws, which are applied differently depending on the facts of each particular case.
Thus, if your property was damaged in an auto accident, the Texas Property Code allows you the opportunity to prove that the other driver was at fault for causing the collision and they are required to compensate you for your property damages, which is a very straightforward process that doesn't necessitate the help of an auto accident attorney. To put it simply: if you can prove that someone damaged your property, their insurance carrier is REQUIRED to compensate you for the fair market value of your property, in accordance with our state's property laws.
However, this is NOT how Texas' personal injury laws work. On the contrary, our state's injury laws do not guarantee compensation from the defendant's auto insurance company simply just because an injury occurred. Instead the burden is shifted to you, the injured party, to proactively seek compensation. In order to do so successfully, you must prove that the defendant not only caused your injuries, but that he also owed you a legal duty not to cause such injuries.
Anyone can prove that someone hurt them. Proving that the defendant caused your injury by correlating that violation to some known legal principle supported by case law is a technical feat that relies heavily on applying case law. Naturally, only a car collision lawyer with experience doing precisely that will know how to do this appropriately.
- If A Party Involved in the Collision Was Working on the Job When the Accident Occurred.
It's important to note that Texas' work injury laws are extremely confusing for most non-attorneys since Texas arguably has the most complex work injury laws in the country. Therefore, if either you or the defendant was on the job at the time of the collision, you will need a lawyer to help with your case.
Our lawyers have developed the skill and resources necessary to cut through the confusion and red tape that you'll certainly face on the road to recovering compensation for injuries (and that definitely includes injuries caused by someone on the job or while you were on the job). Our state's injury laws do not guarantee compensation from the defendant's auto insurance company simply just because an injury occurred. Instead the burden is shifted to you, the injured party, to proactively seek compensation.
- If The Vehicle that Caused Your Injuries Was Commercially Owned.
If the vehicle involved in the wreck that caused your personal injuries was commercially owned, you'll be dealing with a commercial insurance company by default. Vehicles that are commercially owned generally include 18-wheelers, DART and/or public transportation buses, school buses, pickup trucks for commercial businesses like landscaping or construction companies, and personal vehicles used for commercial purposes, such as a sedan used for delivering pizzas. Unfortunately, large corporations and their insurance companies are notorious for spending large sums of money to aggressively defend against personal injury claims asserted against them to protect their deep cash reserves and public reputation. If you've been injured in a collision caused by a negligent or reckless driver of a commercial vehicle, you should contact our lawyers at Grossman Law Offices, who have the unique combination of skill and experience needed to ensure that large corporate defendants are held responsible for the harm they've caused.
- If The Operator of the Vehicle that Caused Your Injuries Was Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs, or Another Illegal Substance.
If the operator of the vehicle that caused your injuries was driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, a different set of laws than traditional civil and property laws may apply to your case. Specifically, because driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is illegal under Texas law, the other driver's insurance company will attempt to avoid liability for your injuries by claiming that their insurance policy doesn't cover collisions caused by such conduct. Thus, in these cases, insurance companies will openly admit that their policyholder was responsible for the collision, but will attempt to avoid liability by claiming that their policy doesn't cover accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which ultimately means that you won't be compensated.
If you suspect that someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol caused the collision that resulted in your injuries and are afraid that their auto insurance company will attempt to avoid liability for your injuries as a result, you will certainly need a lawyer on your side.
- If The Driver Who Caused Your Injuries Was Operating Their Vehicle Illegally.
People injured by drivers who were operating their vehicle in violation of Texas' traffic laws often face a similar problem to those who are injured by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Specifically, insurance companies often attempt to deny claims of collision victims who have been injured in a wreck caused by someone who was driving at an outrageously high rate of speed, street racing, fleeing from the police, or doing any other illegal act in a vehicle that isn't a traditional moving violation. Again, it's not that the insurance carrier won't admit their insured caused the wreck. The problem is that they'll argue that their insured was so negligent as to delve into the realm of criminal negligence, something a car insurance policy isn't required to cover.
- If The Driver Who Caused Your Injuries Was Under the Age of 18.
Insurance companies are notorious for attempting to take advantage of a nonsensical loophole in Texas law in an attempt to avoid liability for minor drivers (under the age of 18) that have caused someone's injuries. That is, they will claim that the car is insured, but will not accept liability for the minor driver under their parent's insurance policy. Although this loophole can be closed, it's a complex endeavor that requires the attention and skill of an experienced car wreck lawyer.
- If Public Property Was Damaged.
Car wreck cases where public property is damaged, such as where someone has crashed into a light pole, add a new degree of complexity to a automobile accident case that less experienced lawyers are often unable to handle. An experienced car wreck attorney is often needed to ensure that the city of doesn't garnish your judgment or place a lien against your property at the conclusion of your lawsuit.
- If You Don't Have Health Insurance or Your Health Insurance Plan Has a High Deductible.
A frightening reality for many vehicle collision victims is that they lack the means to obtain the medical attention their injuries need because they don't have insurance or their health insurance plan has a high deductible. Medical treatment is the foundation on which an injury claim is built. If you can't afford medical attention then you will simply not have a claim that an insurance company will compensate you for. Think about it. How can you prove that you're injured without showing you've seen a doctor? If you can't get medical attention, you will definitely need an attorney to help; a firm like ours knows dozens of doctors and are able to get you in contact with a healthcare professional who will allow you to get the medical care you need and who will defer payment until the end of your case.
- If The Other Driver's Insurance Adjuster Stalls or Blows You Off.
Insurance companies stall or blow off claimants for one reason: to force them to take a reduced settlement by hoping they'll succumb to the mounting financial pressures presented by lost wages and medical bills. Moreover, a stall tactic is the proverbial writing on the wall. If they're stalling early on, you can safely assume that they will be less than fair throughout, especially when it comes time to offer a settlement. This bad sign should alert you to the fact that you need a lawyer.
- If The Person that Caused Your Injuries is Uninsured or Underinsured.
Most Texans inaccurately believe that if the responsible party doesn't have insurance or lacks insurance in any amount that adequately compensates them for their injuries, they will be able to file a claim with their own insurance carrier to make up the difference, and that since the claim is with their own carrier that they will not have to fight for compensation. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way. Texas collision victims have to take certain steps to prove that the other driver was responsible for causing their injuries, and they have to prove that they've taken those steps to recover for their injuries, particularly in cases involving under-insured drivers. Essentially, a party isn't able to successfully file a claim with their own auto insurance provider until they prove that they have successfully obtained the extent of the other driver's insurance policy. In other words, any mistake on your part that prevents you from fully exercising your rights against the other driver's policy will also prevent you from filing a claim against your own auto insurance policy.
What Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Do For You
Again, in this section, we'll deviate from other auto accident lawyer websites in a significant way. Rather than describing hyperbolically what our law firm can do for you, we'll tell you what we will literally do for you.
Namely, we probably won't have to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Contrary to popular belief, a lawsuit is only necessary as a last resort when the party who caused your injuries is being unreasonable in settlement negotiations. Our vehicle collision attorneys make every reasonable attempt to settle our clients' vehicle collision cases out of court for two reasons: (1) to ensure that our clients are quickly and fully compensated for their injuries while eliminating expensive court costs, and (2) to spare Texas taxpayers the expense associated with a formal bench or jury trial. We don't believe in burdening the court with a lawsuit that is not necessary.
If we are able to assist you recover compensation for your injuries in your car wreck case, these are the steps that we will likely take on your behalf:
- Step 1: We'll File a Claim With the Responsible Driver's Insurance Carrier.
One of the most important things you can do after you've suffered moderate to severe injuries in a vehicle collision case is to ensure that all the evidence you'll need to achieve compensation for your injuries is preserved.
In order to achieve this objective, our lawyers will send spoliation of evidence letters to the defendant and his insurance company, which are designed to ensure that all physical evidence should be made available to us in your case, and should not be destroyed or tampered with.
- Step 2: We'll Make Sure that You Get the Medical Attention You Need to Treat Your Injuries.
Regardless if our clients are uninsured or underinsured, Grossman Law Offices is committed to assisting them obtain the medical attention they need to fully recover from their injuries. If you've been injured in a car collision, it's important that you quickly get medical attention for several reasons.
- Step 3: We'll Help You Get into a Rental Car.
Although our clients usually retain our staff for representation of their personal injury claims exclusively, Grossman Law Offices can also represent our clients' property damage claims for their wrecked vehicles free of charge. We can also help you get into a rental car free of charge, and promise that any compensation we recover on your behalf for your damaged property is yours to keep.
- Step 4: We'll Calculate Your Damages and Send the Defendant's Insurance Company a Formal Demand For Your Injury Compensation.
Aside from being the most important step to achieving compensation for your damages, interacting with an auto insurance company is the step where we notice most car collision victims make devastating mistakes.
Fortunately for our clients, this is an area where our experienced vehicle accident lawyers excel. We know how to aggressively and persuasively represent our clients' needs to insurance companies, and we've developed the tools necessary to successfully complete this crucial task.
Our lawyers usually include the relevant law and the pertinent evidence that support recovery for your damages as a strategic decision to show the insurance company that we mean business. The demand packet we create is designed to show them that the law and evidence we've collected will be persuasive at trial and that their best option is to settle your case quickly and fairly.
- Step 5: If all Else Fails, We'll File a Lawsuit and Aggressively Litigate Your Case in Court.
Before selecting a lawyer to advocate your rights against a defendant and their insurance company, you should understand that your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries will be greatly multiplied by retaining the appropriate attorney. Simply put, you need an attorney that can handle all of the possible settlement roadblocks but that is also willing and able to handle the defendant in the courtroom. We can do that for you; our attorneys are committed to aggressively representing their clients to the full extent of the skill and experience we've developed over our 25 years of experience, and will fight hard to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Collisions Where an Injury Victim Doesn't Need to Retain an Lawyer
It's important to note that some types of collisions don't warrant the representation and advice of an auto accident attorney. Like we mentioned at the beginning, we generally advise potential clients that our services are unnecessary when they've only suffered property damages in an accident. For example, if you were in a fender-bender that didn't result in your personal injuries or were not in your car when the accident occurred, your vehicle accident case probably doesn't warrant the representation or advice of our auto accident lawyers.
Contact Us if You've Suffered Moderate to Severe Injuries in an Auto Collision
Before you begin making important decisions regarding your injuries that will likely affect the rest of your life, you should call a car accident lawyer at (855) 326-0000 for a free consultation regarding your case.
Related Articles For Further Reading:
- What Do I Do If the Police Report Is Wrong?
- Why All Possible Claims Need to Investigated After a Fatal Car Accident
- Everything You Need to Know About Car Insurance