Car accidents are unfortunately a daily occurrence in Texas, and the outcomes can be costly, damaging, and sometimes tragic. For 2018 alone, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 249,241 people suffered injuries from motor vehicle collisions across the state, and 3,639 people died.
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a collision, you may not immediately think about contacting a car accident lawyer. Or you may be wondering how an attorney can possibly help you. There are compelling reasons to reach out for legal advice and support after a car accident. What are some of the beneficial services that attorneys offer?
1) Providing Compassionate and Clear-Eyed Guidance During a Difficult Time
After any car accident, it’s typical to suffer from high levels of stress and feel overwhelmed. You may be struggling to cope with the pain and trauma of injuries or the horrific loss of a loved one. You may also be facing the steep financial costs of medical issues, car repairs, job loss, and other damages.
As you’re experiencing all of this stress, you’re simultaneously trying to fight for fair compensation, a process that can be distressing and confusing. Without legal guidance, the steps you need to take may remain unclear, and there’s a strong chance you’ll end up making costly mistakes.
When you’re struggling in the aftermath of a collision, you need trustworthy guidance that serves your best interests. Your attorney will help you understand every possible option for covering the costs of the accident. You won’t have to make critical decisions about your case on your own. You’ll have an experienced advocate at your side when dealing with insurance companies and in the event that you file a lawsuit.
You’ll also have the comfort of knowing that you can turn to your attorney with any concerns that come up. A compassionate attorney will respond with promptness to your questions, attend closely to your needs, and act swiftly and effectively on your behalf.
2) Thoroughly Investigating Your Case
After a car accident, it’s important to understand exactly what happened and how it happened. The answers aren’t always straightforward, and sometimes there are factors that complicate a case.
For example, the question of fault may not be clear, and it’s possible that the fault for the accident is shared by more than one party. If you’re considered at least partly to blame, this perception will affect how insurance companies respond to your claims. Determinations of fault also affect court trial outcomes. Texas holds by a modified comparative fault rule, where the amount of compensation you receive goes down as your share of the fault goes up. If the court decides that you’re more than 50 percent responsible for the collision, you get nothing at all.
The complexities in your case may include a lack of witnesses, witnesses who give inconsistent statements, or another driver who has left the scene without providing contact information. Your attorney will know which questions to ask, what evidence to look for, and how to deal with complications. Even if your case seems relatively straightforward, it helps to consult with an attorney to make sure you aren’t overlooking anything.
By developing a clear picture of what happened during the accident, your car accident attorney can help you strengthen your case in every possible way. You’ll be more likely to receive fair treatment, including acceptable assessments from insurance companies and favorable judgments in court.
3) Documenting and Interpreting the Evidence
In the stressful aftermath of a car accident, it can be difficult to carefully collect and keep track of all the evidence you need to support your case. Your car accident lawyer will provide you with invaluable assistance in gathering, organizing, and making sense of each piece of evidence.
What are some examples of the evidence you need after a crash?
The names and phone numbers of witnesses are vital pieces of information following a crash. Your attorney can reach out to them and speak to them on your behalf about what happened.
Your attorney will also know how to assess the quality of each witness statement. For example, is a witness making a statement that’s confused or undermined by inaccuracies? Was the witness really able to see the events during the crash or before and after it occurred?
It’s also possible that witnesses took photos of the scene on their phone or can provide other forms of evidence beyond their statements. Your car accident attorney will check that you’ve obtained all the relevant information from each witness.
A well-regarded car accident lawyer will have connections with specialists who can strengthen your case. These specialists may be trained in medicine, accident reconstruction, or other relevant areas.
After a car crash, it’s crucial to take photos of the scene from different angles. The photos should include damage to any vehicles involved, the position of the vehicles, and any injuries suffered. It’s also important to take photos of the road itself and other details in the surroundings, such as stop signs, traffic lights, and crosswalks.
What happens if you weren’t able to take photos after the accident? For example, you may have been unconscious or experiencing terrible pain or lack of mobility from an injury. Your car accident lawyer will help you obtain whatever photographic evidence is available. Photos taken by passengers, bystanders, or the police are all possible sources to consider.
There may be footage of the crash captured on people’s phones or recorded on other devices, including security cameras on nearby businesses or homes. When possible, your attorney will help you collect video evidence of what occurred during the crash.
If you or your loved ones sustained injuries during the crash, it’s crucial to maintain accurate and detailed medical records. Along with any initial assessments and treatments you receive for acute injuries, it’s important to document long-term effects, including new problems that crop up and the progress of recovery. Your attorney can help you assemble, organize, and maintain your records.
Proof of Various Expenses and Financial Losses
With an attorney’s guidance, you’ll be more likely to compile all of the relevant bills, receipts, and other proofs of accident-related expenses. Your attorney will also make sure you’re recording other types of financial hardship, such as the number of days of missed work.
How Are You Interpreting the Evidence?
Collecting evidence isn’t enough. You also need to understand it and how it affects your case. Your attorney will know how all the pieces of evidence fit together. A given piece may contribute to the strength of your case or act as a potential weakness that needs to be addressed. Using all the available evidence, your attorney will help you develop a powerful strategy that suits your needs and goals.
4) Calculating Damages
For some losses, the financial costs are fairly clear. You can produce a bill for a hospital stay or show how much you needed to pay for damage to your vehicle.
Other losses can be much more difficult to quantify. For example, if you suffered the death of a loved one, how do you begin to determine the cost of the devastation and the loss of companionship and support? If your quality of life has significantly diminished due to an injury or post-traumatic stress, how do you figure out the financial impact?
A reputable attorney who has extensive experience with accident cases will be able to help you. You’ll receive sound advice about different kinds of damages and what’s reasonable to ask for. You’ll also be in a much better position to identify unfair settlement offers.
5) Correctly Completing All Paperwork
You don’t want to undermine your case by making errors on your insurance claims or missing the statute of limitations when filing a lawsuit.
Along with keeping you on track for certain deadlines, your car accident lawyer will help you by writing up and submitting paperwork. An attorney’s invaluable assistance includes reviewing the accuracy of claims, choosing wording and phrases that will strengthen your case, developing well-reasoned and convincing arguments, and checking that no documents are missing from your paperwork.
6) Preparing You for Every Part of Your Case
Depending on what occurred during the accident, an insurance company may request an independent medical examination to further evaluate the extent of your injuries. If your case goes to court, you’ll need to prepare to testify.
Preparing for questions and examinations is often a critical part of an accident case. Your statements will be scrutinized for inconsistencies, and you may be asked tricky questions that are meant to confuse you and trip you up. Whenever you provide information, it needs to be accurate, complete, and relevant to the case. Your attorney will help you avoid sharing unnecessary information that may wind up being turned against you.
Furthermore, your attorney can speak for you whenever possible. One example is how you can ask your attorney to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. The assistance of an experienced advocate increases your chances of receiving the outcome you want for your case.
7) Protecting Your Interests
The best lawyers consistently look out for the interests and well-being of their clients. Your attorney can appeal rejected insurance claims, poke holes in evidence brought against you, and fight for you to receive fair, just outcomes. You’ll be much less likely to become a victim of underhanded tactics or aggressive attempts to undermine your case. You won’t be quick to settle for inadequate amounts of money or put up with shoddy treatment from insurance companies or the court system. Your attorney’s legal training, knowledge, and experience will be invaluable assets.
Contact Car Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
Located in Humble, Texas, the PM Law Firm can be reached at 281-968-9529 or through our website. Because we’re dedicated to fighting for our clients, you can count on us for consistent support and personal attention throughout your case. Working with us will give you greater confidence and higher chances of success.