Car accidents can have far-reaching consequences, from physical injuries and emotional distress to financial burdens resulting from medical bills and property damage. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Texas, maximizing your settlement compensation becomes paramount: a fair settlement can alleviate some of the stress and help you rebuild your life afterward.
In this blog, the dedicated team at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, will explore proven strategies to maximize your car accident settlement compensation in Texas. From thoroughly documenting the accident and injuries to hiring a personal injury lawyer and calculating damages, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Document the Accident Scene
Although the immediate aftermath of a crash can be confusing and chaotic, gathering evidence at the scene is crucial to support your claim and maximize your settlement. Here are some essential steps to take:
- Exchange Information: Obtain contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance carrier details from the at-fault driver or drivers. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
- Take Photos: Use your smartphone or a camera to capture photographs of the accident scene from various angles. Include pictures of vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signals, skid marks, and any contributing factors to the accident.
- Preserve Evidence: If possible, avoid moving the vehicles until the police arrive. This preserves the accident scene and can aid in accident reconstruction and determining liability.
- Call the Police: Law enforcement will come and make a police report that you can use in a future personal injury lawsuit.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, seeking immediate medical attention is essential for your well-being as well as your car accident injury claim. Some potentially severe injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and prompt medical evaluation can detect them before they do irreparable damage. Here’s what to do:
- Call for Medical Assistance: If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 for emergency medical attention immediately. Even if any accident injuries seem minor, consider contacting the non-emergency line to request an ambulance for a medical evaluation.
- Visit a Healthcare Provider: If you don’t need to be transported by ambulance, visit your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room for a thorough medical evaluation. Explain the details of the accident and any symptoms you are experiencing. Early documentation of injuries can be crucial for your claim.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend medical appointments as directed. Not only does this promote proper healing, but you can demonstrate to the other side that you took appropriate steps to recover and prevent your injuries from worsening.
Review and Document Your Car Accident Damages and Losses
You’ll want to review and thoroughly document all damages and financial losses you’ve incurred. Properly assessing the impact of the accident on both your physical and emotional well-being is essential in maximizing your car accident compensation.
Calculating economic damages is the first step toward building a strong car accident claim. To ensure you don’t miss any crucial expenses, keep detailed records of costs like the following:
- Medical Costs: This includes medical bills, hospital expenses, doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy sessions, and any other medical equipment, treatments, or services you required due to the accident.
- Lost Wages: Document any loss of income resulting from the motor vehicle collision. This includes wages from missed workdays, reduced working hours, or any other income loss you experienced.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Examples include transportation costs to medical appointments, housekeeping and personal care assistance, and more.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle or any personal property was damaged in the accident, keep records of repair estimates or the cost of replacement.
Despite their significant impact on your life, non-economic damages can be difficult to quantify. They include:
- Pain and Suffering: Reflect on the physical pain and emotional distress you experienced as a result of the accident. This can include chronic pain, discomfort, and the overall impact on your daily life.
- Emotional Distress: Consider any psychological trauma, anxiety, fear, or post-traumatic stress resulting from the accident. These emotional damages deserve financial compensation too.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Evaluate how the accident has affected your ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed. This can include hobbies, social interactions, and other aspects that contribute to your overall quality of life.
Long-Term Injuries and Disabilities
Car accidents can lead to long-term injuries or disabilities that may have a lasting impact on your life and future income. When evaluating your claim, consider the long-term implications and future costs:
- Ongoing Medical Treatments: If your injuries require long-term medical care or therapy, ensure you account for these future expenses in your claim.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries result in a diminished ability to work or a change in career path, assess the potential impact on your future earning capacity.
- Permanent Impairment: If the accident caused permanent disabilities or impairments, consider the emotional, physical, and financial consequences associated with these lasting changes.
By organizing detailed records of economic and non-economic damages, as well as considering the long-term impact of your injuries, you can present a compelling case that reflects the full extent of your losses. This thorough approach sets the stage for fair negotiations and helps ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Hire a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
When it comes to maximizing your claim in Texas, a car accident lawyer can be indispensable. Their experience, negotiation skills, and understanding of the legal system can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
Here are some of the many reasons why you should consider hiring legal counsel:
- Knowledge of Texas Car Accident Laws: Car accident lawyers are well-versed in Texas traffic laws, insurance regulations, and personal injury statutes. They understand how these laws apply to your case and can use this knowledge to build a strong legal strategy.
- Through Evaluation of Damages: An experienced lawyer will thoroughly assess the extent of your damages, including economic and non-economic losses. They can accurately calculate the value of your claim, taking into account medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
- Gathering and Preserving Evidence: A knowledgeable lawyer knows what evidence is critical to support your personal injury claim. They will gather and preserve crucial evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, photographs, income statements, and expert witness testimonies, to build a compelling case on your behalf.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance providers often try to minimize auto accident settlements to protect their profits. They will offer you a lowball settlement instead of the amount your claim deserves. An experienced accident attorney will handle all communications and settlement negotiations with the claims adjuster on your behalf. They have the skills to push for a fair outcome that fully compensates you for your losses.
- Minimizing Comparative Negligence Claims: If the other party alleges that you were partially at fault for the accident, a lawyer can help minimize the impact of the Texas comparative negligence rule on your claim. This rule states that your settlement will be reduced by your degree of fault, and if you are over 50% responsible, you can’t pursue a claim at all. Your lawyer will gather evidence to counter these claims and protect your right to compensation.
- Handling Legal Procedures and Deadlines: Navigating the legal system can be complex and time-sensitive. Your personal injury attorney will ensure all necessary legal procedures are followed correctly and that your claim is filed within the Texas statute of limitations, which is generally two years from the date of the accident.
- Access to a Network of Experts: Experienced car accident lawyers often have a network of experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists and medical professionals, who can provide valuable insights and testimony to strengthen your case.
- Courtroom Representation: If your case proceeds to court, a skilled car accident lawyer will provide strong representation on your behalf. They will present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue for fair compensation before a judge and jury.
Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they secure a settlement or verdict in your favor. This arrangement ensures that your lawyer is motivated to pursue the maximum settlement compensation possible for you.
Only Discuss Your Case With Your Car Accident Attorney
Discussing your case with others, especially the at-fault party’s insurance adjusters or legal team, could inadvertently harm your rights and weaken your position. They may use your statements against you during negotiations or in court.
Communications between you and your attorney, on the other hand, are protected by attorney-client privilege. This means that anything you discuss with your personal injury lawyer remains confidential and cannot be compelled as evidence in court. This privilege allows for open and honest discussions without fear of disclosure.
Keeping your car accident case discussions limited to your legal counsel is essential for protecting your legal rights, preserving confidentiality, and maximizing the value of your claim. By entrusting your case to a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, you can navigate the legal process with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that your interests are being well-protected.
Questions? Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer in Texas Today!
Maximizing your car accident compensation requires a proactive and strategic approach. By understanding your rights, gathering strong evidence, and hiring experienced attorneys like those at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, you can work towards obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.
Remember: being informed and proactive empowers you to protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome for your car accident claim. For more information or to schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced car accident attorney, call (210) 800-0000 or contact us online today.
Alex has tried over 50 trials to verdict and tried or settled over five hundred million dollars in cases. Alexander Begum is a founding shareholder of the Villareal & Begum Law Firm. Born and raised in Texas.