What Are My Legal Rights Following a Texas Car Crash?
If you were involved in a crash in Texas, you have the right to pursue financial recovery for your damages, including mental anguish, pain and suffering, earning capacity, or lost wages, impairment, scarring, loss of consortium, loss of value in a relationship and the adverse driver has a duty to make you whole.
What Injury Are Most Often Associated with Car Crashes?
Roughly 2.44 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. That averages to about 6,693 injured people every day. These injuries range from minor to sever, and some injured persons may be left with long-term disability. However, no matter the severity of your injury, our attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure your rights as an injured victim are upheld.
Among the injuries we see most often in our auto accident clients are:
What Damages Can I Seek After Being Injured in a Car Crash?
If you have been injured in a car crash, you have a right to pursue compensation for all damages you suffered as a result of your accident and injuries. This can include:
Medical expenses such as bills for doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and emergency transportation.
Lost wages such as basic wage loss for time away from work, loss of commissions on sales, loss of fringe benefits, and loss of earning capacity.
Pain and suffering that you sustained as a result of your accident and injuries.
Mental anguish for the fright, terror, anxiety, humiliation, or grief you carry as a result of your accident and injuries.
Loss of consortium resulting from deprivation of affection, comfort, society, or sexual relations that was previously provided by your spouse to you or vice versa following your accident.
How Can I Protect My Rights Following a Car Crash?
There are important steps you can take following an automobile accident that can help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones and protect your legal rights as an accident victim.
Steps to take after a car crash include:
Stop immediately after the crash – Even if a collision is minor, it is important to remain at the scene. Never flee from the scene of an accident as it is illegal and will only make matters worse.
Assess the situation – Car crashes can be disorientating. It is important that you take a moment to assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Determine if it is safe to exit your vehicle and see what routes are available for a safe exit. Refrain from moving anyone who has suffered a back, neck, or spinal injury if at all possible.
Make the accident visible – Accidents are an unexpected disruption to traffic flow, and numerous accidents occur by drivers crashing into the site of a previous collision. You can prevent further accidents and hazards by turning on your vehicle’s warning lights, setting out reflectors, or activating road flares. It is also smart to keep a flashlight in your car – should an accident occur at night, you can carry the flashlight after exiting your vehicle to make yourself more visible.
Notify the police – If there is an emergency, contact 911. Otherwise, contact your local police department – even if there are no serious injuries. A detailed police report will go a long way when you file a claim with your insurance company. If there is an injury, be sure that paramedics are called to the scene as well. If there is any confusion whether or not an injury has occurred, err on the side of caution and have an ambulance respond to the scene.
Record the facts – Speak with the responding officers and be as accurate and forth coming as possible. Do not feel like you have to have all the answers. Do not speculate at the facts of the accident or whether you sustained an injury. If you are unsure how the accident occurred or unsure if you have sustained an injury, it is okay to respond with “I don’t know.”
Take pictures – A major benefit that has come with the popularity of cell phones is that the vast majority of people have a camera with them at all times. Take photos of your vehicle, any visible damage, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that you or a passenger may have suffered.
Gather and exchange information – More often than not, the responding officer will obtain insurance information from all drivers involved. If this does not occur, gather the name, phone number, and addresses of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers and witnesses. You should also obtain the insurance information of all driver involved by requesting to see each vehicle’s insurance card.
Seek medical attention – Pain and injuries may not be immediately evident following an accident. In fact, much of the pain will occur a day or two following the crash. Again, if there is any uncertainty whether you have sustained an injury, err on the side of caution. There is no harm in getting a check-up at your local emergency room or in making an appointment with your primary physician. Let them have the final say, even if only for peace of mind.
Report the accident to your insurance – Contact your insurance company as soon as you can following a crash – most policies actually require immediate reporting of an accident. This will also let you discuss your medical benefits as well as get your claim under way. As your claim is process, keep a detailed log of any medical bills, updates, changes in health, and crash related expenses such as rentals.
Contact an experienced car crash attorney – If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced auto accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve. Our team of injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.