What Car Accident Lawyers Do
Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2023 at 9:00 am
If you were injured in a car crash in Beaumont, Texas, through no fault of your own, a car accident lawyer can protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Serious injuries can change the course of your life. You may not have the funds to pay for medical expenses and could face the future with no income. In short, you could pay physically and financially for someone else’s careless behavior. This is when you should call a Beaumont car accident lawyer.
Deciding If You Need a Lawyer
Deciding whether you need a lawyer can be challenging if you have never been in this situation before. You’re more likely to obtain a better settlement or award if you have a lawyer. Consider these factors:
- Injuries: Serious injuries can lead to high medical bills and long-term consequences. An experienced lawyer can help you seek compensation for current and future medical care.
- Multiple Parties: Your car accident case can be complex if it involves multiple parties. It may mean dealing with several insurance companies and evaluating liability. A lawyer will have the resources and experience to help you navigate “comparative fault.” This Texas law allows you to collect compensation from the at-fault party if you are more than 50 percent responsible. For example, even if you are 40 percent responsible for an accident, you can collect 60 percent of your compensable losses.
- Arguments About Liability: The at-fault party often will not accept responsibility for their actions. Your attorney can gather evidence that helps prove liability and refute their arguments.
- Medical Care After a Car Accident: It is critical to be evaluated by a physician and treated as soon as possible. However, if you lack medical insurance, you may be unable to afford this care out-of-pocket. Sometimes, a doctor or hospital will provide their services with a promise you will pay when you settle your case. Your attorney can help you negotiate this kind of arrangement.
- Insurance Company Issues: Any insurance company wants to pay as little as possible for a car accident claim. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf or file a lawsuit in court.
Why Do Insurance Companies Make Lowball Offers?
This common practice of offering you a lower payout than you need to cover your damages is one way for the insurance company to save money. The insurer knows an accident causes financial hurdles and relies on the likelihood that you’ll be worried about money.
Once you accept their offer, they are no longer responsible to cover additional costs, even if you need surgery or long-term care. An experienced attorney will caution you against accepting any offer that doesn’t include money for all your losses.
Uninsured Drivers in a Car Accident
There are more than 2.6 million uninsured drivers in Texas. Insurance companies must offer Texas residents uninsured/underinsured driver insurance. This add-on covers your injuries and vehicle damage as well as pain and suffering. Uninsured/underinsured insurance also pays if you are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver.
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, optional collision insurance might pay for auto repairs. Personal injury protection add-on coverage can pay for medical bills and lost wages. The problem is that the amount the auto insurance pays might be less than you need to cover high medical expenses and other costs. In such cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
Steps in a Car Accident Lawsuit
After a car accident, it is customary to take the following steps to pursue compensation for your injuries.
- Initial Consultation: This is the initial meeting with an attorney to review your case, answer your questions, and discuss your options to recover compensation. The consultation is generally free of charge.
- Accident Investigation: Your lawyer will investigate the car crash. They will also interview witnesses and review police reports. Investigators will obtain any available video footage from traffic lights, businesses, and dash cameras. A car accident reconstruction expert’s report could show how the car crash happened and who was responsible.
- Medical Records: The law firm will obtain your medical records that describe your injuries and treatment.
- Demand letter: The demand letter and attachments contain information about the accident, including evidence of liability and injuries. It will also include the injured party’s restitution request for all accident-related losses.
- Negotiations: In this phase, your attorney and the insurance company will attempt to reach a fair settlement. When the parties agree to a fair resolution, your lawyer will prepare a settlement agreement.
- Lawsuit: Your lawyer can file a lawsuit with the appropriate court if negotiations are unsuccessful.
Compensation in a Car Accident
The financial losses caused by a car crash can be catastrophic. You could be entitled to money for the following losses:
- Wage Loss: The wage loss you suffer due to your injuries is recoverable. If your injuries cause permanent disability, you can ask for the wages you would receive until retirement.
- Medical Care: All expenses for any medical care required to treat your injuries should be included in your compensation. That includes in-hospital and at-home care, rehabilitation services, home construction to accommodate disabilities, and assistive device coverage.
- Future Medical Care: When the injury requires ongoing care, future medical costs are obtainable.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: You can seek compensation for the diminished quality of your life if you can no longer engage in the hobbies, sports, or other endeavors you love.
- Pain and Suffering: You can obtain compensation for the psychological, physical, and emotional suffering you endured.
- Loss of consortium: Your spouse can request money for the love, intimacy, and support they lost because of your injury.
- Wrongful Death: The deceased’s loved ones can file a lawsuit to recover medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages.
What Car Accident Lawyers Charge
Car accident lawyers usually work on a contingency basis. They do not charge you upfront but receive payment if you get compensation. After your case concludes successfully, your lawyer will take an agreed-upon percentage as their fee. If you don’t get paid, neither do they.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Beaumont, Texas