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Who Is Going to Pay for My Medical Expenses Following My Texas Car Accident?

When you are involved in an auto accident caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another, you want the adverse driver to pay for your medical expenses. However, you may also consider going through your own insurance for immediate medical needs pending the resolution of your claim.

What If I Can’t Afford My Immediate Medical Expenses?

When dealing with injuries that were caused by a Texas auto accident, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers in your community to provide your immediate healthcare needs based on the future of your case. What this means is that healthcare providers and even specialists will provide treatment and provide the bills for those procedures to you so you can apply those bills towards your claim.

Also, if you are working with an attorney on your case, do not be afraid to address any financial concerns you may have when speaking about your case. Your attorney is there to help you on you physical recovery in addition to your financial recover.

May attorneys work closely with medical providers and may even be able to refer you to a doctor or specialist who is both familiar with your injuries and is also willing to provide the medical attention you need based on the future of your case.

What Kinds of Medical Bills Can I Seek in My Texas Car Accident Claim?

Any and all medical expenses associated with the diagnoses and treatment of your injuries can be sought in you Texas car accident claim. You can also seek expenses related to your long-term recovery, such as physical therapy.

Typical examples of expenses sought in a Texas auto accident claim are:

  • Hospital bills
  • Laboratory fees
  • Surgery costs
  • Therapy and rehabilitation expenses
  • Costs of prescription medicines
  • Pain and suffering management

It is essential that you attend all medical appointments and therapy sessions as failure to attend these appointments may result in the defense challenging the validity of your injuries, possible lowering the damages awarded.

How Can I Prove My Medical Expenses?

Medical bills are complicated and proving your expenses will often require the help of medical experts and legal professionals. This is why it is so important that you seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Your attorney will make sure you injuries and medical expenses are thoroughly documented and that your damages are calculated and account for all future problems before submitting a request for compensation.

Your attorney will also consult with expert witnesses, both in the medical field and investigative field, to prove that your injuries are in fact the result of your accident.

Among the experts who may be hired for your personal injury case are:

  • Medical Doctors and Physicians
  • Biomechanical Engineers
  • Forensic Experts
  • Accident re-constructionists
  • Health care administrators
  • Wound care specialists
  • Reconstructive surgeons

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact our offices immediately – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

The Driver of the Truck that Hit Me Had No Insurance. What Are My Options?

If you have been injured in an car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, it may seem like you have no way to seek financial compensation. This is not true! You are entitled to fair compensation, and a lack of responsibility and preparation on the adverse driver’s part does not preempt you from that right.

What Are Some Options I Have After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

If you are involved in an accident and find out that the adverse driver does not have insurance, you can report him to the Financial Responsibility Division for the State of Texas. This division monitors uninsured drivers who are illegally operating vehicles on Texas roadways.

Once this is done, the state can take action against the driver to help ensure that your damages may be paid, such as withholding the driver’s license or requiring the driver qualify for a specialized license pending part of your damages being paid.

Another option is to work through your own insurance company provided you have underinsured motorist coverage. Typically, underinsured driver will carry a much lower deductible than your standard collision coverage and will allow you to start processing your medical and repair expenses.

What if the Uninsured Driver was Operating a Commercial or Company Vehicle?

If the uninsured motorist was operating a commercial vehicle or company vehicle, there may be other types of claims and ways to pursue action against the entity that did not secure the insurance.

This can be complex, but it is possible provided you have an attorney that understands the complexities of commercial vehicle regulations. In such situations, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so they can begin investigating your case and processing your claim.

What Should I Do After an Auto Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver?

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. 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. The authorities will also be able notate that an uninsured driver was involved in the accident.
  • 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.
  • Contact an experienced car crash attorney
    • The role of your attorney is not simply to file a lawsuit. An attorney is responsible for protecting your rights and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. A good attorney will help you obtain and protect valuable evidence, provide legal advice before you provide a statement to the insurers, ensure you receive the medical attention you need, and press insurers to process your claim in a timely and fair manner. Should your rights be infringed upon, the best attorneys are those who are willing and ready to go to trial.

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.

Should I Release My Medical Records to Another Driver’s Insurance?

You should never release your medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster as the records may contain confidential information.  Often times, the information contained in you medical records will be utilized improperly by the insurance company, and you need to make sure that when medical information is provided, it is conveyed in the right way and in a legal way.

Why Is the Insurance Adjuster Requesting My Medical Records?

When the request for your medical records is first made, it may seem entirely reasonable. After all, you are seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained in the accident, and the adjuster says the medical records will help “verify” what injuries occurred.

What the adjuster is leaving out is the fact that by allowing this medical release, you may be granting the insurance company access to your entire medical history. Unless a medical release is precisely worded, the insurance company will be permitted to review all of your medical records, not just those linked to your accident, for ways to dispute your claim to compensation.

The company hopes your records will include information regarding a pre-existing medical condition or a prior accident that your newly sustained injuries can be blamed on. The insurance company may even argue that your current injuries are not related to the accident in question at all!

If the adjuster wants access to your medical records, contact an attorney familiar with personal injury law. An experienced attorney will work with you to ensure that only the facts pertinent to your claim are released and that any details that you would not like publicly revealed remain confidential.

What if the Adjuster Asks Me to Complete an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

Despite the name, most independent medical examinations (IMEs) are not very independent. The IME is generally conducted by a physician hired by the insurance company, and this physician is inclined to return an opinion that is favorable to the insurance company because the insurance company refers numerous patients to them.

There is no reason you should submit to an IME before speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. If you are asked to complete an IME, call Thomas J. Henry immediately.

Do You Feel the Other Driver’s Insurance Company is Working Against Your Interest?

If you ever have any doubt whether or not an insurance company is working for your best interest, contact Thomas J. Henry. Thomas J. Henry has spent the last 25 years advocating for injured victims and is familiar with all the tricks, pitfalls, and scare tactics employed by insurance adjusters. 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.

If I Don’t Have Insurance, Can I Still Sue for a Texas Car Crash?

In Texas, if you are involved in an accident caused by the negligent or reckless driving of another, you are allowed to file a lawsuit even if you do not have insurance.

Some uninsured driver may be afraid to come forward or feel pressured into working out a deal directly with the driver at fault for fear that they may face legal consequences due to their driving without insurance. Do not fall for it – you are still entitled to your legal rights and fair compensation.

How Does Insurance Work in a Typical Car Accident?

When dealing with a typical auto accident, whose insurance pays for the damages is dependent on who is at fault for the collision.

  • Liability Coverage Under the Other Driver’s Insurance – If the other person’s insurance company accepts that their driver was responsible for your accident, they will normally pay a standard amount for you to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, most insurance companies aren’t known for their timeliness. This means you could be left without a car for days or even weeks as the insurance company determines fault, damages, and how much they are willing to pay. Beyond that, the insurer may try to low-ball your payout.
  • Collision Coverage Under Your Insurance – In situations in which the adverse driver is uninsured or underinsured, you will likely have to file your claim through your own insurance. In such situations, your deductible will likely be lowered or even waived provided you have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. A major benefit of dealing with your own insurer is that they are much more likely to want to help than the adverse driver’s insurer and will be faster at getting your claim resolved.

Note that their is not prerequisite saying you are barred from seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance if you do not have insurance of your own. They only requirement is that that driver is determined to be at fault for your accident and your injuries.

How Is Fault Proven in a Texas Car Crash?

In Texas, the legal standard for you to win your Texas auto accident case is by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you only need to prove that your version of the facts, damages, and fault is more likely correct than the defendants.

With that, your attorney will focus on establishing these five elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care – As a driver, the defendant owed a duty of care not only to other drivers, but to all other road users. This duty of care means that they were required to act with a reasonable standard of care and practice the same watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person would practice under similar circumstances.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care – The defendant breached the duty of care they owed you by action or inaction. This can include reckless driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence, failure to maintain proper attention, failure to observe to traffic signs, or failure to maintain safe following distance.
  • Cause in fact – The defendant’s actions were the actual cause of the your injuries. This can normally shown through the “but-for” test. For example, if a bus driver ran a red light and hit a pickup and the driver of the pickup suffered back injuries, the “but-for” test would state “But for the bus driver running the red light, the pickup driver would not have sustained his back injuries.”
  • Proximate cause – Your injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s behavior. For example, a drunk driver hitting and killing a pedestrian is a foreseeable consequence of the driver choosing to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. However, if a drunk driver were to collide with an 18-wheeler carrying volatile chemicals which exploded on impact and caused a poorly maintained utility pole a half-mile away to fall over and injure a pedestrian on a late night walk, it is unlikely the drunk driver would be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries as the collapse of the utility pole is a highly unforeseeable consequence of the defendant’s drunk driving.
  • Damages – You have suffered hardship that the civil justice system can compensate you for. This may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, or mental anguish.

What Should I Do After a Texas Auto Accident?

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. 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.
  • Contact an experienced car crash attorney
    • The role of your attorney is not simply to file a lawsuit. An attorney is responsible for protecting your rights and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. A good attorney will help you obtain and protect valuable evidence, provide legal advice before you provide a statement to the insurers, ensure you receive the medical attention you need, and press insurers to process your claim in a timely and fair manner. Should your rights be infringed upon, the best attorneys are those who are willing and ready to go to trial.

My Motorcycle Was Totaled in an Accident. Will My Insurance Replace My Bike?

Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may have the ability to get your motorcycle replaced after it is totaled in an accident. However, if your accident was someone else’s fault, Texas law allows you to pursue the fair market value of your bike from that individual’s or company’s insurance.

How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2015. This marked an 8% increase from the number of fatalities recorded in 2014.

Additionally, 88,000 people sustained injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2015, marking a slight decrease from the 92,000 injuries reported in 2014.

While motorcycles only account for 3% of all registered vehicles on the road, motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities. This is due to the limited protection offered by a motorcycle in the event of a collision.

Texas reported the third highest motorcyclist fatalities of any state in 2014 with 443 deaths. Texas fell behind Florida with 616 deaths and California with 462 deaths.

What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

  • Speeding
    • Speeding motorists can mistake how fast a motorcycle is traveling, resulting in a rear end accident.
  • Objects/items in the roadway
    • Hazards that pose a minimal risk to automobiles can be major threats for motorcyclists. Potholes, uneven pavement, debris or objects in the road (like tire treads, things fallen from trucks, branches, or rocks) can quickly cause an accident.
    • When commercial motor vehicles, such as semi-trucks, fail to properly secure their load, objects can fall onto the roadways. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to items in the road when traveling at high speeds.
  • Motorists not seeing the motorcycle
    • Because motorcycles are smaller and more easily hidden by objects on or off the road, other vehicles are less likely to see them.
    • Many automobile drivers claim they “never saw” the motorcycle before a collision.
  • Mechanical issues
    • A defect in a motorcycle’s design or manufacturing can easily cause an accident; this could be the basis for a product liability case.

What Are Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcyclists do not benefit from the protection and safety features enclosed passenger vehicles provide – so, when a crash does occur, the results are often catastrophic. The resulting injuries can lead to permanent damage and disability, astronomical medical bills, loss of wages, and a lower quality of life.

Among the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists involved in a crash are:

When these injuries and damages are the result of someone else’s negligence, motorcyclists can file a personal injury lawsuit. By hiring an attorney, you are ensuring that you stand the best chance of receiving the compensation and justice you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of motorcycle injury victims and work to make sure that the person responsible pays for the pain he/she caused.

Because we understand that being injured in a motorcycle accident causes lifetime pain and suffering, we put constant pressure on the insurance company and driver involved to ensure you receive the maximum monetary compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends and we represent clients/victims all over the country.

 

What is the Purpose of Obtaining Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Although every driver is required to be covered by auto liability insurance — insurance that covers for another driver’s expenses if you cause an automobile accident — some drivers either have no coverage, coverage that has lapsed, or coverage that will not sufficiently cover damages in the event that they cause an accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight drivers were uninsured in the United States in 2012.

If an uninsured or underinsured driver crashes into your vehicle and you are injured, you may be stuck with thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.

In these cases, it is vital to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, sometimes referred to as UM/UIM coverage. In some states, it is required to have UM/UIM auto coverage. In other states, like Texas, by law you are afforded the opportunity to purchase UM/UIM coverage with your auto insurance policy. It is crucial to purchase this optional coverage to protect you, your passengers, and your finances.

What is Covered by Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Purchasing UM/UIM coverage can protect you from having to pay out of pocket for a variety of expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses for you and your passengers
  • Funeral expenses
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Rental car
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Permanent disability

In addition, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run auto accident or if you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, UM/UIM coverage can help you get the compensation you need for the damages that you incurred.

Have you been involved in a hit-and-run crash? Learn more about your legal options in our blog post: What can I recover for a Texas hit-and-run injury?

How does Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

In the event of an accident caused by another driver, you may discover that the adverse driver’s liability coverage limits are not sufficient enough to cover your damages. If, for example, your damages total $50,000 but the adverse driver’s liability coverage only covers $25,000, if you have an underinsured motorist coverage policy (with a limit such as $50,000), your insurance company will pick up the remaining difference of $25,000.

Without UM/UIM coverage in this scenario, you will likely have to sue the adverse driver to recover the difference. In many cases, uninsured or underinsured drivers will not have the assets to pay for the remaining damages, which means that you will have to foot the bill for the remaining costs.

If you’re unsure if you have UM/UIM coverage, contact your auto insurance provider. Purchasing this coverage can save your and your family from unexpected and expensive costs in the event of an accident.

Injured in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

If you have been the victim of an accident involving a driver without a sufficient amount of liability coverage to compensate you for your injuries, contact Thomas J. Henry. Call our law offices today for a free case review — available 24/7, nights and weekends.

There are often important procedures and processes involved in receiving compensation in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claims. Our experienced accident attorneys can help you get the full amount of compensation that you are owed and ensure that the insurance companies are looking after your best interests.

How Do I Get My Car Repaired After an Accident?

If you’ve ever been involved in an auto accident, chances are you know the feeling of upheaval and confusion that follows. As such, getting your car repaired becomes more than just fixing damaged property; it becomes a symbol of progress – a sign that you are on your way to getting your life back on track.

Whose Insurance Pays for My Cars Damages?

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you will be able to recover losses from the following sources.

  • Liability Coverage Under the Other Driver’s Insurance – If the other person’s insurance company accepts that their driver was responsible for your accident, they will normally pay a standard amount for you to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, most insurance companies aren’t known for their timeliness. This means you could be left without a car for days or even weeks as the insurance company determines fault, damages, and how much they are willing to pay. Beyond that, the insurer may try to low-ball your payout.
  • Collision Coverage Under Your Insurance – In situations in which the adverse driver is uninsured or underinsured, you will likely have to file your claim through your own insurance. In such situations, your deductible will likely be lowered or even waived provided you have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. A major benefit of dealing with your own insurer is that they are much more likely to want to help than the adverse driver’s insurer and will be faster at getting your claim resolved.

Whether filing through your own insurance or through the insurance of another driver, it in your best interest to consult with an attorney. This is because the adverse driver or their insurer may try to contest liability after the accident has occurred. Having an attorney on your side can help ensure that the events leading up to your accident are factually represented.

What Are the Steps to Getting My Car Repaired?

The steps you take will vary slightly depending on whether or not your car is drivable. However, the process will typically go as follows:

  1. Call your insurance company. They will either send an adjuster to look at your car or ask that you take the car to a specified auto repair shop. They will provide you with an estimate and a list of “pre-approved” body shops. You are not obligated to use their recommended body shops.
  2. Get a second opinion. Take your car to a mechanic you trust. If the body shop fells the repairs to your car cannot be made based on the estimate provided by the insurance company, as the manager of the body shop to contact the insurance company on your behalf.
  3. Discuss Payment. Talk to your adjuster and find out how the repairs will be paid for. If you are liable for any charges, get solid figures on the amount you will be expected to pay prior to having repairs made.
  4. Choose your body shop and mechanic. Again, you are under no obligation to use the insurance company’s recommended shops. You have the right to choose who works on your vehicle. Once the body shop and insurance company has worked out the details, have your car repaired.
  5. Follow up on newly discovered damage. If your mechanic finds additional damage during the repair process, ask the shop to contact your insurance adjuster and inform them.

What If My Car is “Totaled”?

If the insurance company determine the cost of repairing your car is greater than the amount the car could have sold for at fair market value, they may designate your car a total loss. In such a situation, you have two options.

  1. Accept the total loss value of your car minus any salvage value and keep the car.
  2. Accept the total loss salvage value and sign the car over to the insurance company.

When turning over your car to an insurance company, you may be asked to sign a power of attorney to allow the insurance company to dispose of the vehicle.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident 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.

 

 

 

Do I Need an Attorney if the Insurance Company is Cooperating?

Generally, it is best to speak to an attorney following an auto accident which results in injury, death, or contested liability, even if it seems like your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver are cooperating.

This is simply due to the fact that insurance companies are in the business of making money. As such, it is in their best interest to low-ball injured victims on settlement offers, limit liability wherever possible, or look for opportunities to deny injury claims outright.

What Do I Risk By Not Contacting an Attorney?

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident resulting in injury or death cannot be overstated –you are risking your entire claim to recovery.

Insurance adjusters are familiar with claim procedures and motorist liability. When an insurance adjuster calls you with questions concerning your crash, they are looking for information that limits the liability of their driver and information that can be used to downplay the extent of your injuries.

Further, adjusters will often ask that you provide a recorded statement concerning the crash. While they may say that the sole purpose of the recorded statement is to gather information needed to move your claim forward, the statement can actually used to erode your case and right to recovery.

Providing a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

  • Unintentional inconsistencies – Crashes are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following a collision. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions– Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured”, you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of any injuries suffered in a car accident may not be evident until several days after an accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

Are There Risks Associated with Hiring an Attorney?

A reputable personal injury attorney will work on a contingency fee basis. This means they will not collect any attorney’s fees or litigation expenses unless they win your case. At Thomas J. Henry, we call this the “No Fee Guarantee.”

“The No Fee Guarantee helps ensure my clients have faith in me as their attorney because I take on all the risk,” Thomas J. Henry stated. “I only take cases I believe I can win. I spend the money needed to develop the case and take it to trial.  My clients can have faith in me because I have their back.”

Additionally, Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. This means an attorney will look at the facts of your case, free of charge and with no obligation, and recommend a favorable course of action.

Taking all this into consideration, there is really no risk associated with contacting a personal injury attorney following your crash.

What Should I Consider Before Hiring a Texas Auto Accident Attorney?

There are multiple factors to consider when deciding whether or not you need legal representation following an auto accident. While every auto accident is unique, there are several situations in which you should definitely consider contacting an experienced auto accident attorney.

  1. Did a serious injury or death occur? If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in an accident, contact an attorney immediately. Hiring an attorney in a timely manner can help protect your rights and ensure that essential evidence is preserved. Serious injuries include broken bones, soft tissue damage, head and face injuries, neck and back injuries, or any other injury requiring hospitalization.
  2. Did the crash result in loss of wages? If an accident has cost you time away from work and resulted in lost income, you may be able to recover those lost wages from the responsible party.
  3. Was a commercial vehicle is involved? If you were involved in an accident that involved a commercial truck, such as a delivery truck or an 18-wheeler, it is better to err on the side of caution. Accidents involving company vehicles can become complicated very quickly as company vehicles are subject to additional laws and regulations. You need an attorney who has the experience and resources to navigate these complex cases.
  4. Is there contested liability? If there is any dispute about who caused the accident, an attorney can help you make sure that any fault determinations are correct. In Texas, civil litigation is decided on preponderance of evidence. This means that a party found to be 51% liable or more is unable to recover damages. Additionally, insurance companies will often dispute liability and assert their policyholder was not entirely responsible for a crash to mitigate payouts.
  5. Will the insurance company offer a fair settlement? If it appears an insurance company is not going to offer a fair settlement, it is time to contact an attorney. Insurance companies are in the business of making money – as such, they will attempt to payout as little as possible. If you believe you deserve more than what an insurance company is offering, do not be afraid to seek legal representation.
  6. Is the insurance company ignoring you? Some insurance companies will drag their feet and ignore your phone calls as a tactic. The hope is that you will be so fed up with the process by the time they make an offer that you will accept a settlement that is less than what you deserve. If you feel that an insurance company is ignoring you or attempting to delay the closure of your claim, contact an attorney to apply pressure.
  7. Was your claim denied? Occasionally, and insurer will attempt to deny a justified claim outright. If you feel that your claim should be covered under a policy, contact an attorney.
  8. How well do you know your rights as an accident victim? If you are ever unsure about your rights following an accident or have questions about how you should proceed, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free consultation. One of our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your case and help you determine if legal representation is right for you. Our attorneys are available to assist you 24/7, nights and weekends.

 

Do I Need to Contact My Insurance Company About My Texas Car Crash?

If you have been involved in a car crash in Texas, it is very important that you notify your insurance company to inform them about the accident. However, you may wish to contact an attorney prior to providing a recorded statement.

Why Is Notification Important?

There is a common misconception that you do not have to notify your insurance company of an accident if you are not at fault. This is false. If you plan on seeking any damages, whether they be to your vehicle or to your body, notifying your insurance company is necessary.

Insurance companies provide a number of services, which you are already paying for! These include towing coverage, medical expense coverage, and collision coverage. In order to take advantages of any of these coverages on your policy, you are required to report the accident to your insurer. Failure to do so in a timely manner may result in coverage being denied.

Another reason it is essential to notify your insurance company is that the other driver may try to say you are at fault and pursue a claim against you. In such a situation, your insurance company is required to provide a defense to you free of charge.

What Precautions Should I Take When Calling My Insurer?

While you are required to notify your insurer of an accident, you should not be pressured into providing a recorded statement until the full extent of your injuries are known. As such, it is recommended that you keep your notification as simple as possible. Try to limit your call to:

  1. The fact that you were involved in a crash
  2. General background information concerning the crash
  3. Date of the accident
  4. Time of the accident
  5. Location of the accident
  6. Names and addresses for all parties involved

Why Should I Refrain From Providing a Recorded Statement?

Recorded statements are admissible in court and tend to carry significant weight even though the statements are not made under oath. Making a recorded statement before understanding the extent of your injuries or truly understanding how a crash occurred can result in confusion, inconsistencies, and may weaken you claim to compensation.

It may seem like your insurer is on your side at first, but that can quickly change if you found to be even partially responsible for your accident. Statements made to your insurance company can then be used against you to limit your insurance company’s financial liability.

An experienced auto accident attorney can help you prepare a recorded statement that accurately reflects your accident and your injuries. Your attorney can also help you identify potentially leading questions that could damage your credibility or limit your insurance company’s financial liability.

Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi,  San Antonio, and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide.

Our attorneys are available to respond to auto accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices- we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

 

Do I Have to Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company After a Car Crash?

If you have been involved in an auto accident that was not your fault, you will likely get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance requesting a recorded statement. While the insurance representative may try to convince you that providing a recorded statement is in your best interest, this is simply not true.

Like any for profit business, insurance companies are run with the goal of making money. One way of securing profits is to limit payouts to injured victims. A recorded statement is the first move of many that an insurance company will take to erode your claim and limit their driver’s liability.

Why Do Insurance Companies Request a Recorded Statement?

Under Texas law, a recorded statement submitted to an insurance company is admissible in court. So, even though the claims you made in your recorded statement were not made under oath, they still carry considerable weight when brought before a judge or jury.

Here what all of this means for you:

  • Potential for unintentional inconsistencies – Car crashes can be confusing and disorienting. Further, as time goes on, your recollection of the accident may fade. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions – The representative on the other end may ask leading questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of any injuries suffered in a car accident may not be evident until several days after an accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • You are providing fuel for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

How Will an Attorney Help Me Provide a More Accurate Recorded Statement?

Personal injury attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by insurance adjusted to dismantle the credibility of injured victims. An experienced attorney will help you outline a statement that accurately details the facts of an accident.

The attorney will also help identify questions that are meant to erode you claim and coach you on how to provide your statement in a concise way that leaves no room for interpretation.

Your attorney may also recommend that you:

  • Request the statement not be recorded
  • Avoid volunteering information
  • Avoid personal information
  • Avoid long explanations
  • Provide a firm “I don’t know” when you don’t know something, as opposed “maybe” or “I guess that’s possible”
  • Not answer questions unless you are absolutely sure what is being asked
  • Avoid admitting fault
  • Do not respond to any potentially leading statements or questions, even if they seem polite or innocent on the surface (i.e. How are you feeling?, I hope your back is feeling at least a little better, or Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured).
  • Provide a statement that preempts contributory negligence (i.e. I was traveling within the posted speed limit free of distraction and had the right-of-way when the crash occurred).

Finally, if your attorney determines that providing a recorded statement is not in you best interest, they may advise that you forgo submitting a statement all together.

What Kind of Injuries Should I Report?

Do not limit yourself to only reporting confirmed, diagnosed injuries. When asked about injuries, report any pain and discomfort as it may be a symptom of a more significant injury. Common injuries associated with auto accidents include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Strained ligaments
  • Back muscle sprains
  • Scrapes and Cuts
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chest injuries
    • Bruising
    • Contusions
    • Broken ribs
    • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Jaw injuries
  • Loss of teeth
  • Neck injuries
    • Crushed larynx
    • Crushed trachea
    • Broken neck
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Penetration injuries

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured in a Car Crash?

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.

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