Tag Archives: Insurance

San Antonio Auto Accident Lawyer: Don’t be a Victim Twice

Determining who is at fault in an auto accident is not always as clear-cut as one might think. People’s memory can get foggy and proper evidence and documentation could be lacking. Sometimes people believe that they will remember details only to be surprised a few months later that they don’t remember everything as clearly as they ought.

This why it is important to be detailed in your documentation of your accident—whether you feel you are at fault or not. Take notes and pictures. Gather information from all parties present. Make it official—call the police. Notify your insurance carrier. Not only will you protect your own interest but you will also protecting the other party acontact a San Antonio auto accident lawyer if in a traffic accidents well.

Don’t be in a rush—at the time of a car accident. You may be tempted to rush things, because it is a stressful time. By taking your time you will be able to get all the information that you need in order to see redress. When you rush, you are guaranteed to miss important information or evidence that is germane to your case.

If you’ve watched any legal show, winning is in the details. So be detail orientated. Get first and last names, license, registration, and insurance information from the other parties involved. Write a brief summary of the accident in a note pad. Ask others who were passengers in your car to do the same.

Pay special attention to the activities of others involved in the accident. Make note of whether anyone involved was using hand held devices, ran the red light or stop sign, or made an illegal turn. Write down as much as you can recall at the earliest opportunity since your memory of the accident is fresh. Continue to document additional information as you remember it.

Because accidents are unnerving you may be tempted to get it over with quickly. You may want to make a deal, take responsibility, or sign documents. Do not!

Do not admit to anything. Don’t sign any documents. Don’t accept or offer any cash to address the issue. Don’t leave the scene. Be sure to call the police—even if the other party does not want you to do so.

Safeguard your interests. Handling things correctly takes time. Once you have gotten all the pertinent information you are ready to get legal counsel.

Call a San Antonio auto accident lawyer. He or she will help you to navigate through the process from filing to settlement. It is your San Antonio auto accident lawyer’s job to make sure you’re not a victim twice.

San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer

You’ve been injured and you feel you deserve to be compensated for the damages you have sustained. You have thousands of dollars in  medical expenses, and you feel you might need some rehabilitation treatment in the future. You now have an important choice to make. Should you handle your claim yourself or hire a San Antonio personal injury lawyer?

When you suffer an injury as the result of an auto accident, a medical or surgical mistake or a dog bite, you have the legal right to recover damages from the party who caused your injury. You might be able to settle the issue yourself with the other party’s insurance company. In fact, there are cases where this might be your best choice. If it’s a clear-cut case, meaning that it’s obvious the other party was at fault, and if the insurance company offers a fair settlement, it might be best to accept that offer.

It can get complicated and a San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help

Unfortunately, things are often not so simple. There may be a question as to who was really responsible for your injury–officially known as fault. For you to collect the maximum compensation, you must prove the other party was totally or at least mostly at fault. In a complicated accident or injury caused by a product defect, you really need a San Antonio personal injury lawyer to sort out the issue of fault and prove that the accident was totally A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help get justicecaused by the other party.

Major injuries

You also need to get a Texas personal injury attorney if you have sustained major injuries. A really serious injury such as a broken neck or broken back may require weeks or months of medical treatment and can change your entire life. Your medical expenses will probably be huge. They may include not only the cost of your hospitalization but office visits, inpatient care, rehabilitation, a special bed or crutches. It takes a skilled personal injury lawyer to determine both your current and future medical expenses.

Conscious pain and suffering and emotional distress

If you have been injured, you probably know that you can collect damages for your out-of-pocket and medical expenses and, in the case of a car accident, the cost of having your vehicle repaired or replaced.

But did you know you could also be compensated for what is called conscious pain and suffering and emotional distress? It is very difficult to prove these damages to an insurance company or a jury. However, a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you put a dollar figure on your pain and distress in light of what he or she has seen in similar cases and the laws that currently govern this issue.

In some cases it might be best for you to settle with the insurance company yourself. But these cases are mostly in the minority. Liability laws are complex and insurance companies always try to settle for the least amount of money. This means that in most cases you will get a better supplement if you have a San Antonio personal injury lawyer.

San Antonio Car Wreck Lawyer

Did you know that there are lawyers who specialize just as there are doctors who do? For example, there are lawyers who specialize in what are called medical malpractice cases. There are others who specialize in product liability claims, workers compensation claims or industrial diseases. There are even lawyers who will tell you that they are “generalists” and can handle any sort of personal injury case. However, if you are involved in an auto accident and decide you need an attorney, you might want to make sure to hire a specialist – a San Antonio car wreck lawyer.

Why a specialist?

You need a San Antonio car wreck lawyer for the same reason you need an orthopedic surgeon for a hip replacement. No one doctor knows everything about the human body and as a rule; no one lawyer knows all of the law related to every different kind of injury.

Auto accidents can be particularly complex. For example, suppose you made a left turn on a yellow signal and were struck by an oncoming car. Who would be at fault? It could be the other driver or it could be a case of “contributory negligence” – a fancy way of saying that you both were at fault to some degree.San Antonio car wreck lawyer gets you justice

Since the State of Texas recognizes a legal concept called degree of fault, it’s important to have a car crash lawyer who can help prove that the other driver was either completely or at least mostly at fault. This is because if you were both at fault to some degree, your settlement will be prorated. As an example of this, it was determined that you were 30% at fault, then you would receive only 70% of the total settlement.

Be aware that it will take time

If you are in a car wreck and settle the case yourself with the insurance company, you will probably get a quick payout. But you can also expect to get less money. The insurance company’s sole objective is to pay you as little as possible. A San Antonio car wreck attorney can do a better job of negotiating with the insurance company than you because he or she will have years of experience dealing with these companies.

Be prepared that this will take more time. And if it turns out that your attorney and the insurance company cannot reach a fair settlement and your case has to go to trial, it will take even longer.

The good news

In the overwhelming majority of cases, your San Antonio lawyer will be able to successfully negotiate a good settlement for you – so you can expect to see a check in a matter of weeks and not months or years.

What is your San Antonio car wreck case worth?

Another area where a car crash lawyer can be valuable is in assessing the value of your case or claim. You can expect to be compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses–such as having your car repaired or replaced–and your medical expenses. You can also be compensated for lost earnings. You can even be compensated for your pain, suffering and mental distress. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to put a price tag on pain. But a lawyer will have years of experience in assessing those intangibles to help you get the total compensation you deserve.

If you would go to an orthopedic surgeon to have a knee replaced, you should go to an auto accident specialist – a San Antonio car wreck lawyer, when you are involved in a truck or car wreck.

San Antonio Auto Accident Lawyer

An auto accident can be a terrible thing. It can total your car – leaving you without transportation – and do dreadful things to your body. Ask anyone who has been involved in a serious auto accident and he or she will probably tell you it was just about the worst thing that ever happened to them.

If you are involved in a serious auto accident, there are some very good reasons to hire a San Antonio auto accident lawyer.

Why an auto accident can be so horrific

Whether your car was struck from behind, head-on or T-boned, you can experience stresses, G forces and collisions with hard or sharp objects that your body was just not designed to withstand. It’s kind of like a rabbit being tossed around in a clothes dryer.

If you’re lucky, you might escape with some bruises and contusions. If you’re not so lucky, you could experience broken bones, a concussion, a skull fracture, broken neck or even a broken back.

Why you need a San Antonio auto accident lawyerSan Antonio auto accident lawyer can help with you're in a car accident

If you were injured and suffered only minor injuries, you may not need an attorney. However, if you suffered major injuries or if it was a complicated accident, you will need an auto accident lawyer to help you get all the compensation that is due you.

A car accident attorney will know how to build your case, how to negotiate with an insurance company to help you get the maximum amount of compensation and, if necessary, how to try the case in a court of law.

Different types of lawyers for different types of cases

Just as there are doctors who specialize in areas such as orthopedics or dermatology, there are attorneys who specialize in different areas of law. When you are the victim of an auto accident, you should make sure you get a San Antonio auto accident lawyer and not one who specializes in something like medical malpractice.

Insurance companies want to settle claims quickly and cheaply

If you are injured and the other party had insurance, you will be dealing not with the individual but with his or her insurance company. It is important to understand that insurance companies’ #1 objective is to settle your claim as quickly and as economically as possible. While this might be good for the company, it’s usually not good for you. Since you are probably not skilled at negotiating with an insurance company, it’s best to hire a San Antonio auto accident lawyer to represent you.

It doesn’t cost but it pays

Most auto accident lawyers work on what’s called a contingent fee basis or contingency and don’t charge a fee for an initial consultation. This means they take a percentage of whatever settlement they can win for you but you personally don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket. So they start working on your case and do not make a dime until you win your case.

How much does a auto accident lawyer charge?

If your case is very complex or if you have suffered serious injuries, you will end up paying a higher percentage of your settlement. Lawyers’ contingency fees usually run 1/3rd of your settlement if your case can be settled without a trial and 40% if it goes to a trial. Some lawyers may charge a certain percentage fee even if the case does not go to court.

When you hire a San Antonio auto accident lawyer, make sure you understand how he or she charges or you may be seriously disappointed when you receive a settlement check that’s dramatically less than you had expected.

Can You Afford To Hire A San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney?

You may have heard stories of lawyers charging $200, $400 or even $500 an hour. These stories would certainly make you wonder if you can afford to hire a San Antonio personal injury lawyer if you suffer an injury.

Fortunately, the answer to the question “can you afford to hire a San Antonio personal injury attorney” is a very simple “yes.”

How you can afford a good San Antonio personal injury attorney

If attorneys are charging $200 or more an hour, it’s because they are working on an hourly fee basis. When an individual or company hires one of these attorneys to represent him or her in, say, a criminal case or some kind of white-collar case, the attorney will bill by the hour and, as you can imagine, the total costs can become astronomical. For example, if you were to hire an attorney because you are accused of embezzling from your employer, it might cost you $2000 or $3000 a week.

In comparison, a personal injury attorney almost always works on a contingency fee basis. He will consult with you initially free to assess your case. If he agrees that you have a case worth pursuing, your personal injury attorney will take a percentage of the settlement–that is, how much money he can win for you. In the State of Texas, contingency fees can range from 25% to 40%. If all your attorney has to do is negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, he may take only the 25%. However, if the case ends up going to trial, your fee could be as high as that 40%.San Antonio personal injury attorney can help with medical bills

 Why so much?

Personal injury attorneys feel, and most people agree, that if they need to try a case, there will most likely be much higher out-of-pocket expenses. For example, your attorney may have to pay expert witnesses to help prove that the other party was at fault or to verify your medical expenses. A personal injury attorney will pay these, and then count on being reimbursed when the case is settled. As you might imagine, this represents a gamble on your lawyer’s part. If he was to spend $10,000 or $12,000 on expert witnesses and then lose their case in court, they would be out that money but here’s the good news … you would not.

Personal injury cases can be very complicated

Personal injury cases can be so complicated that you really can’t afford to not hire a San Antonio personal injury attorney.

Take an automobile accident as an example. You could be driving along, minding your own business, when another driver broadsides you. On the face of it, it might seem that the other driver was 100% at fault. However, that driver’s insurance company will do its best to prove that you contributed to the accident, which is called contributory negligence. If the insurance company can prove that you were 20%, 30%, or 40% negligent, this would dramatically affect your settlement. In fact, if the insurance company could prove that you were 40% at fault, you would might collect only 60% of the total settlement.

However, an experienced and skilled San Antonio personal injury attorney could help build a case that would show the other party was 100% at fault to get you the settlement you deserve.

So the question is not how can you afford to hire a personal injury attorney, it’s how can you afford not to?

San Antonio Injury Lawyer

Being injured can be one of the worst things that can happen to you. And a personal injury can take many forms. You can be injured at work, by a product, by a doctor or dentist or while shopping. You can suffer a personal injury as the result of an assault, because you slipped on a patch of ice or due to your working conditions. Of course, the most prevalent personal injury is one that happens as the result of a car accident.

A San Antonio Injury Lawyer Can Help

There are many ways that you can be injured. In some cases the fault will be your and you won’t be entitled to any monetary damages. However, in many of these cases another party caused the injury and you may be entitled to compensation. These cases can be complicated, complex and confusing, which is why you need a San Antonio injury lawyer to help you understand whether or not you have a case against some other individual or party and if so, how much you can expect to receive in compensation.

The importance of consulting a San Antonio Injury Lawyer

Auto accidents are not only the most common type of personal injury; they can be the most complicated. Texas law makes these accidents even more complex as it recognizes something called “degree of fault.” So, even though you think the other driver was totally responsible for your accident, it’s possible that you could be found to be 15% or 20% responsible. And this will definitely affect the amount of monetary damages you can expect to receive. And you may not receive any money at all unless you have a San Antonio injury lawyer.

A wrecked car in Durham, North Carolina.

Image via Wikipedia

If you were involved in a road traffic accident, did the other driver actually run a red light? Had he or she been drinking? Was he or she served too many drinks? Did the other car’s brakes fail? Did the other driver have a vision problem? Was he or she speeding or driving on the wrong side of the median?

A San Antonio injury lawyer can help you find answers to these questions and prove the other driver was negligent. Your injury lawyer will be able to hire expert witnesses if necessary to help prove that the other driver was 100% at fault. This can include experts in auto accident re-creations who use high-speed cameras, video cams and computers to re-create the accident and show that the fault was not yours. Your auto accident lawyer can also hire expert medical witnesses to testify about the extent of your injuries and the treatment you required.

 What to expect

When you first consult with a San Antonio injury lawyer, he or she will be fact gathering. He or she will discuss the injury with you from your point of view–what you believe happened, why you feel the other party was responsible and what sort of medical treatment you have received. He or she will answer whatever questions you might have regarding the other person’s (or company’s) negligence, how the case will precede and what you might expect to get in compensation.

Settlement discussions

The attorney may hire someone to do a preliminary investigation and to gather evidence that can be used when he or she discusses the case with the other person’s or company’s insurer. In most cases, the other insurer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with you and your lawyer because this costs the company much less then if they have to try the case in court.

Your lawyer will talk to you about this settlement discussion and will advise you as to whether or not you should settle, depending on what the other insurance company has offered. There may actually be several settlement discussions, depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexity of the accident. At some point, you may agree to a settlement or conversely, you and your lawyer may determine that you just cannot reach a satisfactory settlement.

If this is the case, the next step for your attorney will be to file suit against the other person or company whom an insurance company will actually defend. Sometimes the mere act of filing suit will force the insurance company’s attorney to come to you with a better settlement offer.

Trying your case

If your attorney and the defendant’s attorney are still unable to reach a satisfactory settlement, you will have to go to trial. There will be a judge and jury, your attorney, the insurance company’s attorney and quite possibly a number of expert witnesses. Your attorney may hire these types of experts to testify on your behalf as well as medical experts to testify about the severity of your injuries.

The opposing attorney will also have his or her expert witnesses to counter the testimony of your witnesses. As you can imagine, hiring all these experts can get very expensive. However, your attorney will probably have taken your case on what’s called a contingency fee basis. This means that he or her takes a percentage of the settlement. This is usually done on a sliding scale. The more work the attorney had to do, the higher the percentage. The highest is if he or she has to try the case in court.

Your compensation

How much money you can expect to receive in compensation for your personal injury will depend on a number of factors. This typically includes your out-of-pocket and medical expenses. The out-of-pocket expenses can include such things as crutches, a wheelchair and physical therapy. Medical expenses include the cost of emergency room care, hospital costs, in-patient treatment, office visits, chiropractic care and any other medical care required as a result of your injury. You can also be compensated for lost wages and what is called “conscious pain and suffering.”

Naturally, the more serious your accident was and the more medical attention you required, the bigger your settlement will be. In other words, if you were rear ended and suffered what is called a “whiplash” injury, you can expect to receive a smaller amount of money then if you are suffering from a disease caused by your working conditions such as mesothelioma.

As you can see, personal injuries can be very. It is really impossible for you to successfully take on an insurance company all by yourself and expect to get the settlement you really deserve. You need to find a San Antonio injury lawyer who has experience in handling personal injury cases and who has had experience dealing with insurance companies – to make sure you get a settlement that is fair and just.