Any car accident, especially one where someone gets injured, results in a multitude of questions about the cause of the incident, police reports, car and health insurance, medical bills, etc., and these thoughts and apprehensions can become overwhelming. Here at Grossman Law, we understand your concerns and build our website with the hope and intention that you'll find some answers, and some relief from these anxieties.
This page includes many of the frequently asked questions concerning car accidents, and though most of these questions come from residents of Texas, they are relevant to most states. If you are from a different state and have any specific questions, just contact us by sending a message or giving us a phone call. We are happy to ask any additional questions you may have, and to assist you in any way we can.
- What steps should I take immediately following an accident?
There are a few steps that are very important in order keep yourself out of a compromised situation. The first thing you should always do, if you're able to, is to call the police. You should never assume that the other party or parties will call the police first. This is an important step toward making sure everything is clearly documented.
Second, try to get as much documentation as possible. Talk to the other driver to find out what their side of the story is, speak with witnesses to see what they saw, and take pictures of everything you can: license plates, vehicle conditions, injuries, the car accident scene, etc.
Third, when police and emergency vehicles arrive, you should be honest about how you think the accident happened (even if it's just that you don't know) and about your injuries. Never diminish the severity of your injuries, and if you don't feel injured after you leave the scene, it's always still a good idea to see a doctor ASAP, because adrenaline often masks injuries until a later point in time. In addition, if the emergency responders recommend that you should go to the hospital immediately, don't refuse. They are able to recognize that your injuries are severe enough to need immediate attention.
Finally, do some research to find out whether or not you need an attorney. If you're reading this, you're on the right track. We're a knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with car accident cases, but there are other good law firms out there like ours, who also want to help you find answers to your questions. If you don't find what you need on the web, give us or another experienced law firm a call.
- Who pays my medical bills if the other vehicle is at fault?This depends on the state where the car accident happens and the insurance policies of those involved. For example, some states have a "no fault" policy, which means that auto insurance will pay a certain amount of your medical bills no matter who was at fault in the accident. Texas, however, is not a "no fault" state, so if you get in an accident in Texas, you'd most likely be responsible for paying your own bills. Sometimes there's an exception to this rule. If the other party involved has an insurance policy that has "med pay" your bills may be covered up to a certain amount, which is usually around $10,000. Having a policy with "med pay" is not required by the state, so it may not be very likely that the vehicle at fault for the car accident has this policy.
- How do I know when or if I should sue?The short answer to this is that if you don't live in a "no fault" state, and you can prove that the other driver is liable for the car accident, it would be a good idea to contact an attorney to discuss your case. Since Texas is not a "no fault" state, the next step to look at is the liability of the other driver in the accident. Proving liability is the most challenging and important step. In order to prove liability, you must first show that the other driver was negligent. (See proving negligence below.) After you've done this, you must prove that you've suffered damages as a result of your injuries from the car accident (extent of your physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, etc.) Once both of these things are met, you will file the suit, and take it to trial if necessary. An attorney can help you with many of these things, if you're unsure where to start. Our page on "signs you need an attorney" gives more details about this.
- How do I prove the other driver was negligent?There are four elements that must be proven in order to show negligence: the driver had a certain duty to a standard of care, the driver breached that duty, that breach of duty caused an accident which resulted in injuries, and that as a result of the injuries, the victim (you) suffered physical, emotional, or economic damages. If all of these elements, are met, and you are able to prove those elements through evidence, then you have a good case for suing the driver and/or his or her insurance. The insurance companies are required to fight you and to defend the insured, which is why it is so important to be able to prove all of the elements of your case. If they think your case is strong enough and will have to pay you even more through court, they will usually come to a settlement with you out of court.To read more about proving negligence in car accident cases,click here.
- What if the car accident wasn't my fault or the other driver's fault?Sometimes, neither party in the car accident is completely at fault. In this case, there may be a third party at fault. What this means is that even though one driver may be responsible for the accident, there might be a third party that played a major role in the cause of the car accident. A third party may be a parent to a child under 18, an alcohol provider (if the driver was overserved), a manufacturer (if the vehicle had a faulty part), etc. In this case, both the driver and the third party may be liable if negligence is proved in both cases. Often, the victim of a car accident will not find out about the guilty third parties unless an investigation is launched by an attorney. Many law offices, like ours, don't charge any fees unless you win your case, so if an attorney thinks you might have a good case against a third party, they will launch the investigation to find out, free of charge to you. Read our page on third party claims to find out more.
- If I decide to sue, what actions should I take?If you've already found information about the police reports, the other party's insurance, and feel you are able to prove their negligence, even if you think it might be possible to prove, contact an attorney. He or she will be able to answer some of your questions and concerns, and will have extensive legal advice about your situation. Offices like Grossman Law specialize in personal injury, so they may be more experienced in dealing with insurance companies, car accident scenes, police reports, etc. Our office also has policy in place so that you don't have to pay us unless you win your case. We are able to help you investigate, find the evidence you need to prove the other driver's negligence, and even help you find medical services, all at no additional cost to you. If you think you have a claim or if your questions weren't answered on this page, give us a call at (855)-326-0000.