FAQS – Answers to Questions About Personal Injury Claims in Texas
Hopefully, you never get into a car or truck accident or suffer an injury at work, or if you do, such events are few and far between. If that’s the case for you, then you probably have a lot of questions about how to file a claim and what to expect from the process. Below are answers to frequently asked questions surrounding Texas personal injury claims. If you have other questions, or if you’ve been hurt in an accident in Hardin County or surrounding areas, call The Butler Law Firm in Kountze for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and get started right away helping you get the compensation you need and deserve from the negligent party that caused you harm.
What Do I Do After an Auto Accident to Protect My Rights to File a Claim?
It’s important to call the police after any auto accident that results in injury. While waiting for the police to arrive, document the scene by taking pictures of the vehicles and the road. If any witnesses come forward to talk to you, be sure and get their contact information in case they leave before the police get there. You are required to exchange information with the other driver, including your insurance company name and policy number. However, don’t discuss matters such as policy limits with them or make statements such as, “I have good insurance,” which could imply you think your insurance will be the one obligated to pay. It’s best not to talk about the accident with the other driver or get into discussions about who was at fault. While you might be required to notify the insurance company in a timely manner, you are not prohibited from contacting an attorney first. Doing so will help prepare you for calling the insurance company, which always tries to make you give a recorded statement. Your lawyer might even make this call for you.
How Long Will My Case Take to Complete?
Generally speaking, the more severe the injuries and the longer the recovery time, then the longer it will take to settle your case. Your attorney will not want to settle your claim until after you have received medical treatment for a time, and your doctor knows what the future will likely hold for you. A relatively minor case can often be settled in a few months, but if the injuries are severe, or if the insurance company disputes issues such as liability or damages, it can take a year or more as your case may have to go through the court system. Your lawyer should be able to estimate the duration of your case early on. If you are concerned about affording medical care, your lawyer will likely know a doctor who will treat you on a lien basis and only take a fee after your settlement is reached.
How Do I Know How Much My Claim is Worth?
Factors that influence the value of a personal injury claim include the severity of the injury, the nature of the accident, any permanent disability, any comparative fault on the part of the victim, the amount of available insurance coverage, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to give you a rough estimate of what you can expect after learning about your case.
What if the Insurance Company Says the Accident Was My Fault?
This is a common tactic of insurance company adjusters, and for good reason. Every percentage of fault they can pin on you equals a percentage reduction in the amount they have to pay you. If they can paint you as the one more at fault than the other party, then you can be barred from obtaining any compensation at all. However, the insurance company doesn’t have the final say on who was negligent or who was more at fault. Be sure to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney who can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case and let you know where you stand.
What if the Accident Was Fatal?
The surviving spouse, children or parents of the deceased or the estate’s representative can bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party and recover damages such as final medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, lost earnings and benefits, and mental and emotional anguish. These same parties can also file a survival action to recover additional damages that were personal to the victim. Together, wrongful death and survival claims can help bereaved family members cope with the additional expenses and challenges inflicted on them and help them to start putting their life back together after a needless, preventable tragedy.
Do I Need a Lawyer if the Insurance Company is Offering to Settle My Claim?
Don’t be surprised if the insurance company is quick to offer you a check after your accident. They don’t want you to get a lawyer, and they’ll try to make you think they are fully compensating you for your damages. The fact is that people who don’t have legal representation receive far less than people who have an attorney preparing their case and negotiating for them. The more you try to deal with the insurance company on your own, the more likely you are to make the wrong moves that hurt your case. Make a call to an experienced personal injury lawyer be one of the first things you do after an accident.
Why Hire the Butler Law Firm?
Experience and personal service. We are the go-to personal injury law firm in Hardin County. We have decades of experience helping people get care and compensation after being harmed by the negligence of another. Just as important, we treat our clients like people, not cases or file numbers. You’ll have direct access to your attorney and can always stay well-informed and updated about your case. Getting results should be your goal (and ours), but no less important is knowing you are being well-treated and taken care of as you get there.