Frequently Asked Questions – Car and Truck Accident Claims
The first thing you should do if you have been injured in any motor vehicle accident is get medical attention. Sometimes the shock and confusion of being in an accident can make it hard to know whether you’ve been injured, or how badly, so at the first sign of any significant injury, seek medical care. This is especially important when there has been a great deal of property damage; oftentimes the most serious pain doesn’t come until later and medical care obtained before the pain gets unbearable can prevent the pain from becoming unbearable. Prompt treatment is important to minimize your recovery time and to document how badly you were hurt in the accident. Insurance adjusters and their attorneys love to point out any delays in getting medical care arguing that your injuries couldn’t be serious because you waited for medical care.
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If you are able, obtain any and all information from all the other drivers who were involved in the accident and from any witnesses who were at the accident. Get their names, contact information and insurance information. Note details about the other vehicle(s) involved, such as license plate number, make and model. Take many photographs of the accident scene and get pictures of all the vehicles especially showing the damages to the cars.
Lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane provide a winning combination of resources, experience, patience and determination for people who have sustained injuries in car accidents.
As soon as you’re able, document everything that you can remember about the accident. Document how the accident happened and what happened afterward as well as statements made by anyone and a description of what they look like and their names. Documenting details such as the time of day, the location, the weather, where the witnesses and other persons were located when the accident occurred, will help your lawyer pursue justice for you.
It’s best to document as much as you can as soon as you can, because waiting just leads to forgetting and mistaken memories. If you suffered injuries that can be seen like cuts, abrasions or bruises, take photographs to document your injuries.
North Texas and Dallas Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyers – The Law Offices of Adrian Crane – Assisting, Advising and Helping Injured Texans Since 1991
It is very important that you refuse to sign any documents especially any releases put in front of you by any insurance companies. Speak to an experienced car accident attorney first. Also, hire an attorney before you give a recorded statement. It’s definitely in your best interests!
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
Even if you are in part responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries. The law in this area is somewhat complicated, so please contact one of our experienced lawyers to have your questions answered and advise you about course of action to take in your particular situation.
The insurance adjuster wants me to provide my recorded statement. What should I do?
Under no circumstances should you provide your recorded statement before hiring an attorney. Not only that, but you should also not give a written statement to anyone or sign any documents related to the accident of any kind especially those submitted to you by the insurance company, until after you have received competent advice and counseling by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Should I hire an attorney even though the insurance company has told me not to?
Unfortunately, many victims who have been injured in a car or truck accident want to avoid headaches with lawyers and medical providers. They often times think that a sore neck or some dizziness or some other pains incurred after an accident will soon go away. What many of them find out is that the pains they have early one don’t go away or worse yet, are just harbingers of future physical problems that only get worse. Insurance companies know this – they may quote fake statistics to you about all kinds of things to persuade you to take a quick settlement check; the liable parties insurance company almost always does not owe you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. The law assumes you know their interests are usually the opposite of yours. They want to pay you as little as possible and you want them to pay you as much as possible. Don’t fall for the trick of thinking they are your friend simply because they are polite or for any other reason.
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Also, remember that such fast settlement offers almost always fail to compensate you for the restitution you deserve. You should consult with an attorney so that you can be sure you are not making a mistake or that the insurance company is telling you the truth about whatever they are claiming.
Remember, once you sign a release and cash the settlement check, you will not be able to come back later and make an additional claim for compensation.
How can an attorney help me get a settlement that I deserve?
For example, in an 18 wheeler case and many serious car accident cases, the process of investigation and discovery process is critical. Many employers of drivers like Fed Ex and commercial trucking firms keep extensive and copious records; the faster the attorney is contacted and retained, the quicker such evidence can be obtained so as to bolster your claim. For example, you are best off when a rapid request is submitted for copies of maintenance records, cargo manifest, hours of regulation driving and service logs, cargo manifests, standard loading procedures, personnel files, and other documentation to bolster a finding of irresponsibility on the part of the party that caused the accident. Without an experienced attorney, you’re unlikely to ask for these early on in the claims process; the longer the time goes by without asking for these documents, the more likely it is that they’re going to get lost.
How much will it cost me to hire a lawyer on my personal injury claim after my car or truck accident?
Almost all car and truck accident personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee contract means that the attorney will get paid when and only if the attorney gets a recovery for you on your claim or lawsuit. Most often, the amount of the fee will be a percentage of your recovery. The percentage and the way expenses and the out of pocket handling of costs will be set out in a written fee agreement when you hire the attorney. With our firm, if you don’t win you won’t owe anything to us.
How do I find and hire the right lawyer?
Finding a good attorney after you have been injured in any Texas auto or truck wreck can be a challenging task. To do justice to your case so you can get what you are owed, you need to hire an attorney that has a great deal of experience in handling personal injury claims, hopefully one who focuses on auto and truck accident claims. While new or fresh law school graduates are energetic and anxious to take on great responsibilities, experience brings with it many lessons that cannot be learned in books and in classrooms. Finding a lawyer who has seen the tricks of the other side and who has a wealth of experiences “in the trenches” will take you a long way in getting your the most money for your claim.
How do I hire an attorney with The Law Offices of Adrian Crane?
All our clients need to do is call us. We can meet at your office, your home or any place that is convenient for you. We always offer a no-obligation, free consultation. We would be glad to answer all your questions. If you decide to hire us, we will discuss our contingent fee contract with you. Both parties sign the agreement and we make copies for you of all your documentation. We’ll investigate all potentially liable parties and their actions. Then letters of representation will go out to all parties we believe are liable for your damages.
Who could a claim be made against for the damages in my Dallas car or truck accident?
The car or truck driver themselves who caused the accident or were negligent in the operation of their vehicle resulting in the accident could be held liable, so a claim can be made against them. Their insurance company for the liable party could be held financially responsible. The agency that did not properly train a truck driver, or the firm who hired a driver with a history of alcohol or drug abuse could be held liable. The operating company that was responsible for managing the truck might be liable, as could any maintenance organization that failed to conduct necessary replacements or repairs.
A governmental or private business working on behalf of a road repair crew that failed in its duty to institute proper road safety measures might be responsible. A bar that served alcohol to a driver who was already intoxicated or who became drunk in their establishment could be held liable. These are called “Dram Shop Cases”. Liability is a complicated thing to determine; that is one reason why you need an experienced and qualified attorney to properly review all options.
What amount of compensation could I be entitled to?
The amount of compensation or settlement you are or could be entitled to depends on the case and the medical bills and your other special damages. This can also vary according to things like lost income vehicle repair fees (a severely damaged car can be viewed as evidence of serious physical injuries, and emotional and physical pain). Plus, if you’ve lost a loved one, you may deserve restitution for their potential wages as well as the pain inflicted by their loss.
Throughout this website, examples of monetary recoveries are often given to give you an idea of some of the recoveries that have made by not just this firm but also others.
After a car or truck accident, who can make a claim or sue for injuries that they suffered?
To make a claim for personal injuries after a car or truck accident (or any time of accident for that matter) a claimant must have been hurt in the accident because of another person’s negligent acts or omissions. Examples of who the other person or entity claimed against or sued could be another driver involved in the accident, or it could be the manufacturer of the automobile or one of its components if a defect in the car caused the accident. Regardless of whether or not a claim has been formally presented to liable parties, a lawsuit needs to be filed against all the liable parties, generally within two years of any accident. In other words, just because a claim has been filed and the insurance company is aware of the claim, does not mean you can neglect to file a lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction to preserve your rights.
If I make a claim or file a personal injury lawsuit after a car or truck accident, what must be proved in order to win?
A claimant (called a “plaintiff” when suit is filed) in a personal injury claim or action based on a car or truck (motor vehicle) accident when claiming that they were injured by the negligence of another driver or against some other negligent person was negligent must show:
1) that the other person (called a defendant when suit is filed) owed a legal duty of care (such as a duty not to speed, or drive recklessly, etc.) to the plaintiff;
2) the other person breached that duty (for example they did something recklessly, negligently, carelessly or knowingly); and
3) that the breach caused the plaintiff to be injured.
What kinds of compensation can I recover if I win an automobile or truck accident claim?
Victims of serious car and truck accidents in Texas, along with their families, may be entitled to recover damages including but not limited to:
Pain, suffering and mental anguish (past and future)
Medical costs (past and future)
Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
How long does someone have to file a lawsuit after being in a motor vehicle accident before being unable to do so?
The time you have to make a claim in Texas, in most cases is two years after the accident happened. Don’t wait though, just because you have two years. Promptly bringing a claim is in your best interests, so much so that some lawyers might hesitate to take your case for the sole reason that you are contacting them so late in the game. An injury claim has the best chance of being successful if you bring your claim to an attorney right after the accident as time is the enemy of evidence as it can be lost, misplaced or destroyed. Also, in time, memories fade.
The other driver doesn’t have any liability insurance. Am I out of luck?
If you or the car you were in was covered by an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM / UIM coverage) you should still be able to make a financial recovery for your auto or truck accident case. UM / UIM coverage pays benefits when you’ve been in an accident when the other person doesn’t have insurance or not enough coverage to provide you with compensation. Additionally, the liable party may have assets that can be used to pay your damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer at our firm can review the insurance coverage available and advise you about your rights.
Start with a Free Consultation from a Car Accident Lawyer at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane in Dallas Today
Contact a car and truck accident personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane to have your legal questions answered as they pertain to your motor vehicle case. We’re helpful and friendly! We can be reached by calling 972-325-0044 or by contacting us through this website on our case evaluation form.
Don’t Hire Just Any Dallas Texas Car Accident Law Firm – Hire a Lawyer from The Law Offices of Adrian Crane – We’ve been Focused on Personal Injury Since 1991
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We’ve been Focused on Personal Injury Since 1991; The Law Offices of Adrian Crane – Helping Texans in North Texas including Dallas, Plano, Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Mesquite and Carrollton
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