What Does a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Do?
If you’ve been injured in a crash and are fighting with the insurance company, seeking legal representation might be a good idea. Call a Houston car accident lawyer at McDonald Worley to see if we can help!
Accidents on the road are very common in Houston, and odds are that you could find yourself in such a situation where you’ve been hurt seriously due to someone’s negligence. Since Texas employs the at-fault statute, meaning that the negligent party has to bear the financial responsibility of an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Injuries in car accidents can cost you much more than just pain and emotional distress; financial losses can be a huge burden in such cases. This is unless the victims get fair compensation for their losses, and a Houston car accident lawyer might be able to help you do just that.
At the McDonald Worley Law Firm, our legal team is always dedicated to recovering fair compensation for our clients, we are:
- Highly experienced in personal injury law
- Understand the needs of our clients
- Determined to be aggressively engaged in negotiations for our clients
- Always ready to move to the next step with a trial for financial compensation
- Committed to honest communication with our clients
Feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation today. We will engage with you immediately and start our consultation session during which we’ll go through the details of your case. If we’re able to take on your case, we’ll do all we can to make your claim stronger. We will fight to get you compensated fairly for your losses.
How Can a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Help?
If you plan on handling an accident claim yourself, know that it is possible, and that’s exactly what insurance companies want you to do. Insurance companies typically try to pay out as little as they can to the injured party, and may even deny your claim completely. Accident reports can be unclear sometimes, and the other party can use this ambiguity in the police reports to pressure you into accepting a smaller sum. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you get fairly compensated for your losses, i.e., physical therapy costs, non-economic damages, property damages, and so on, because they know how to stand up to insurance companies.
A Houston car accident attorney will make sure that you get compensated according to the damages suffered as a result of the accident. Your actions at the accident scene will also affect your position against negligent drivers. The insurance adjuster will use anything, even the slightest sign of weakness, to lower the payout. This is nothing personal, it’s all business. While your property damage and other losses deserve maximum compensation, the insurance company does not see it that way, they want to minimize their own losses.
Thus, your recovery settlement for expenses (such as medical treatment, non-economic losses, etc.) can sometimes be difficult to obtain if you handle things on your own. Letting an attorney handle your personal injury claim, on the other hand, gives you a fair chance at securing a settlement against the liable party.
An experienced car accident lawyer will go through all the details of your case and even guide you on how to respond to any questions or engagements when negotiating with the adjuster, as per the insurance policy. Usually, things don’t go as far as accident lawsuits, instead, victims can get a fair accident settlement after a successful negotiation. The amount will depend on the losses caused by the at-fault party, i.e., the extent of your monetary losses, physical pain (which will be more severe in a head-on collision than rear-ending).
Because most personal injury lawyers take a percentage of the total settlement as payment, they will fight to get you maximum compensation because they only get paid if your claim is successful.
What Could an Auto Accident Lawyer Do For You?
An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney will go through all the details of your case during the initial consultation phase and then help you in the following ways:
- A complete investigation of the car crash (the nature of the accident, i.e., rollover accidents are very serious)
- Identifying all the liable parties for insurance claims
- Figuring out which insurance policies will be applicable in your case
- Determining the extent of your losses (did you suffer from severe injuries)
- Analyzing the medical records and the reports of the police officer (who reported to the scene)
- Calculating the complete extent of the financial losses, including the future costs
- Factoring in the investigation findings of the police department
- Filing insurance claims against the liable parties, i.e., distracted drivers, drunk driver, etc.
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster for a fair settlement based on your losses (the compensation for broken bones must be higher than that for minor fractures)
- Initiating the legal process for a lawsuit if needed
- Pursing a trial, if all other options fade away
An accident law firm should be dedicated to helping you secure your fair compensation, based on your percentage of fault if you were partly at fault. Even if you were in part responsible for the crash, you should not back down from demanding your rightful reimbursement.
Can a Lawyer Get You Compensated Even if You Were Partly At Fault?
But even if you do get financial reimbursement for your losses, in such a case, your compensation sum will be slashed as per your share in the fault of causing the accident. This means if you were 25% at fault for causing the accident, you will only get 75% of what you would have received in compensation for your injuries and losses had you not been at fault at all.
So, it all depends on your share in the fault. The major responsibility always falls with the liable party, if you were at fault in part, but the accident was primarily caused by the other party, you’d still be eligible for compensation. That is unless your share in the fault exceeds 50% in which case you won’t have any right to compensation. This is because Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule.
Also, another complication in shared fault is determining the share of the responsibility.
The insurance adjuster will do all they can to inflate your role in causing the accident. For this, they will try to reach out to you as early on as possible and try to get a statement from you. You need to avoid this. Unless you address their questions in a very specific manner, you risk leaving enough gaps and blanks in there for the adjuster to fill in with their own narrative. This way, they’ll be able to assert that your share in the fault was much greater than it actually was. Once that happens, a lawyer won’t be able to do anything for you.
What Should You Do At The Accident Scene?
The first and foremost factor that determines your position in this whole affair is what happens at the accident scene. Unless the accident was especially severe, you’ll have to gather yourself and gather some notes at the crash site. This will help your lawyer immensely in their pursuits. Note that even if you fail to address the said concerns, your attorney will be able to fill in the gaps as much as possible via a private investigation.
However, it would be greatly to your advantage to be proactive at this stage.
You need to follow these steps:
- Photograph the accident scene, your injuries, both vehicles, and especially the number plate of the other car
- Once again, not the car license plate number
- Make videos of the accident scene, detailing the positions of the vehicles and the damage taken
- Exchange contact information with the liable party, but don’t discuss fault at this stage
- Call 911 to report the incident to the police
- Wait for the police officer to arrive at the scene and then share your narrative with them
- Don’t leave the accident scene before you’ve spoken to the police
- Reach out to any eyewitnesses and request them to share their contact information
- Also, note if there are any surveillance cameras nearby because this may help you later on
- Seek immediate medical care for your injuries because a delay here can be used to assert that your injuries were not as severe as you initially claimed
- Keep track of all your economic losses, the crash report, notes of the medical professional, and so on
- Contact a lawyer to further the claims process
During this whole time, you may be reached out by the insurance adjuster from the other side for compensation. This may appear to be a sign of responsibility but is in reality an effort to minimize the payout on part of the insurance company. If you accept a sum from the insurer there and then, that will be it, you won’t be able to demand anything more than that. All traffic accidents take some time to be resolved, even in the case of rear-end accidents; just keep track of common car accident injuries and other losses to help your lawyer sum up the process.
This will take some time but the payout will be worth it!
What Will The Accident Compensation Cover?
Next, you need to understand how the compensation works. If you choose to work with a personal injury lawyer, they will discuss details of the crash during the initial consultation, such as the type of injures sustained, whether you had to face head injuries, whether the other party was engaged in aggressive driving if there were multiple responsible parties, and so on.
All these details will help your lawyer pin responsibility on the other party for accident injury liability.
What does that mean?
This means that they’ll be responsible for covering both your economic and non-economic damage.
The economic damages in a car accident are as follows:
- Hospitalization costs & medical bills
- Cost for rehabilitation
- Money spent on prescription drugs
- Cost of prosthetics
- The bills for surgery and other medical procedures
- Lost wages and loss of income
- Property damage (damage to vehicles)
- Partial or complete disability (leading to loss of earning potential)
- Funeral expense and burial costs in the case of wrongful death
In contrast, some losses of drunk driving accidents or regular crashes can’t be covered by monetary losses, these non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death
An experienced car accident attorney can help you seek your rightful compensation for all your losses in the car crash. Bodily injury liability, i.e., compensation for the physical pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, and so on, is possible even in cases of shared liability or comparative fault. Even if the other party is not an insurance carrier, your lawyer will find a way to get you compensated.
Injuries Sustained By Car Accident Victims
Insurance coverage for losses in a car accident usually covers the damages sustained by the victim, and it is usually the other party that has to pay up since Texas follows the at-fault statute. For a crash victim, dealing with the injuries sustained in a car crash will be a top priority. The injuries sustained by the victim will be a direct statement of how severe the crash was and will force the insurance adjuster to pay up for the losses accordingly.
Usually, moderate crashes can result in:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
And the list goes on…
You should seek immediate medical care for all these injuries as doing otherwise will indicate that the severity of the accident was not as intense as you claim. Your lawyer will also recommend the same. Plus, seeking medical help will allow you to document the losses; the doctor will conduct tests and write down the results, you can use the same to indicate that you suffered from certain losses.
On top of this, you can journal your experience with the physical pain and emotional trauma to give the insurance adjuster an idea of how miserable you were. This will also solidify your lawyer’s efforts to get you compensated fairly for your losses.
Just know that hiring a Houston car accident lawyer does not have to come from your pocket. Even if you can’t afford the attorney fees, you can seek legal help on a contingency fee basis. The wait and patience will be worth it since you’ll be compensated fairly for your losses.
How Can a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Maximize Your Compensation Payout?
If you go ahead and settle matters with the insurance adjuster on your own, the compensation will be quicker than otherwise. So, why hire a lawyer? The delay in your compensation payout will be worth it considering the value of the compensation. For a minor car accident, it would be better to wind up things soon, but if you’ve sustained serious injuries such as fractured bones, internal organ damage, and so on, it would be best to wait a bit to get compensated fairly.
Sometimes, there are gaps in the firsthand evidence or it is unclear if you were partly at fault or not; the insurance adjuster will use all such issues to their advantage. Insurance providers seek to minimize their own losses which comes at the expense of the victim who wishes to get compensated. Your Houston car accident lawyer will make sure that they strengthen your position in the case as much as possible and secure for you the full extent of compensatory damages and additional damages.
For this, lawyers can call in accident reconstruction experts, seek the services of private investigators, gather evidence from other sources, and so on. The basic idea is to make your position as clear as possible in this whole scenario. This will leave no room for doubt and thus force the insurance adjuster to pay a bigger sum than otherwise possible.
The time spent preparing for your case will be well with it!
A Houston Car Accident Lawyer at McDonald Worley May Be Able to Help
Texas is an at-fault state, as explained earlier on, this means that competent legal representation from our firm can help you claim your rightful compensation. The legal team at McDonald Worley has years of combined experience. Not only do we offer complete representation throughout the legal action process for car accident victims but also guide our clients regarding the best steps to take in their case. You should not hesitate to call us, even if you can’t pay the legal fees upfront, because we work on a contingency fee basis meaning that we’ll only get paid after you’ve been fairly compensated.
Contact us today to see if a Houston car accident attorney is able to assist with your claim.