Calculating Lost Wages From a Car Accident

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A car accident resulting in injury tends to have a snowball effect; hospital stay, recovery time, surgery if necessary and extensive bills for all of the above are just a few of the problems with which you might have to contend. Another is lost wages from missed work. This can have lasting damage on your finances if not fully compensated, but your options to do so are not limited; one can be to sue the responsible party.

How Can I Calculate My Lost Wages?

This can largely depend on what type of job you have and how you are paid. If you work in a full-time salaried position, this calculation is rather simple. If you work on an hourly basis or your salary is largely dependent upon commission, it’s more difficult to calculate an exact figure.

Lost Wages From a Car AccidentIf you have kept the same job and the same earnings, you could show your previous year’s tax return for an accurate estimate on how much you’re owed. If you have been working consistently before the accident, copies of recent pay stubs would also suffice. But if you have the type of job where earnings change from week to week depending on contracts, commission or the general scope of your work, you’ll need to show what you missed while you were away.

This is especially true if you are self-employed or work on a freelance basis. Showing proof of assignments and work you missed, the contract agreement for said work and/or what you had earned on similar projects in the past will all be important.

Wage loss doesn’t just include what you did miss, but also what you might have missed; future earning capacity and lost opportunities (such as a raise or promotion) can very well be included in your claim if you can verify them. Accurate calculation of lost wages depends on proper documentation; you’ll need:

  • Physician’s letter, describing the extent of your injuries, medications prescribed, suggested recovery and the total length of time you must miss work.
  • Employer’s letter, stating that you are in fact an employee there, and that you did indeed miss all of that time from work.
  • A copy of the police report.

The aforementioned paperwork, such as tax returns and previous pay stubs, will also be crucial for documenting your wages.

Wage Loss Insurance

It’s not a guarantee that your car insurance plan covers lost wages due to missed work. This usually happens if you choose the option with the lower deductible. Typical liability, uninsured motorist and personal injury protection plans will cover for lost wages, but as always, read the fine print to be certain.

Liability and uninsured motorist plans will cover 100 percent of lost wages. Personal injury protection can be very important, because even though it will only cover 80 percent of lost wages, it does this regardless of whether or not you were at fault.

In the event of a car accident, missing work can seriously hinder your ability to pay your medical expenses. Filing a lawsuit or claim for compensation against the responsible party can help you recoup what you had lost.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:04 pm

Determining Liability for a Car Accident in Texas

Saturday, April 23, 2022

If you get into a car accident in Texas, you will hear the term liability when going through the insurance process or a personal injury lawsuit. In legalese, liability means legal and financial responsibility for an accident and related injuries. Holding someone liable for your car accident means that person or party will have to pay for your medical bills and other losses.

Insurance Company Investigation

The first phase in determining liability for a car accident in Texas is filing a car insurance claim. Filing a claim will initiate the insurance company’s investigation of the crash. The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner it can investigate the crash and preserve key evidence. If you do not report your collision within a reasonable amount of time, your insurer may have grounds to deny coverage.

The insurance company will investigate the car accident by analyzing evidence such as:
Car Accident Liability

  • Photographs and videos
  • Surveillance footage
  • A copy of the police report
  • Signed witness statements
  • A driver’s cell phone records
  • Crash reconstruction diagrams
  • Medical records
  • Testimony from experts

The insurance company will hire someone known as an insurance claims adjuster to handle claim evaluation. The claims adjuster may call you soon after your crash to ask what happened. It is important to tell the truth during conversations with the claims adjuster. However, it is also imperative to keep your answers short and do not offer any information unless requested. Do not admit fault for the car accident and do not accept a settlement until you have spoken to an attorney.

Application of the State’s Fault Law

At the end of a car accident investigation, the insurance company will implement the state’s fault law to determine liability for crash-related damages. Texas is part of the majority as a fault-based car insurance state. Under this law, the person or party at fault for causing the collision will be legally responsible for economic damages.

In Texas, the driver who caused the crash will have to pay for victims’ medical bills and property repairs using his or her insurance coverage. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, all injured parties will file claims with their own insurance providers, regardless of who caused the car accident. In this way, the insurance law in the state where the car accident took place will determine liability for related losses.

4 Elements of Proof

Before you can receive financial compensation for a car accident from another driver’s insurance company in Texas, you or your car accident lawyer has to prove fault. This is how Texas’s fault-based insurance system works. As the injured victim, it is your responsibility to prove that the other driver carelessly or recklessly caused your crash.

Proving liability requires clear and convincing evidence that four main elements are more than 50 percent likely to be true:

  1. The defendant owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care.
  2. The defendant breached his or her duty of care to you (the defendant was negligent).
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty is what caused the car accident.
  4. You suffered compensable losses in the car accident.

In general, it is enough to achieve a car accident settlement by proving these four elements to an insurance company. In some cases, however, an attorney has to present evidence and witnesses at court before a judge and jury for a judgment award that adequately reimburses a victim for his or her losses.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you were recently injured in a car accident in San Antonio, do not hesitate to contact a plaintiff’s attorney for a free consultation about your rights. An attorney can help you with each phase of the recovery process, including determining and proving liability for your car accident. At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., we can use our experience, resources and personnel to investigate your collision and help you determine liability. Contact us today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:32 am

What are Common Problems Survivors of Catastrophic Accidents Experience?

Friday, April 22, 2022

Negligence is a common factor that contributes to catastrophic accidents – whether a person drove while using a cell phone, drank on the job, or failed to maintain his or her property. When this happens, the party who caused the damage can be taken to court and sued for outstanding expenses. However, Texas law also accounts for extenuating circumstances, such as loss of companionship or the inability to continue pursuing a career.

The following is a brief overview of the common problems survivors of catastrophic accidents face. If you have more questions or concerns about an injury you have received, contact an experienced legal professional in your area for more information.

  • Long-term physical damage. Catastrophic accidents often lead to paralysis, loss of limbs, severe brain damage, and other complications. For example, internal injuries may require special equipment to keep a person alive or functioning.
  • Long-term recovery. Coupled with physical damage, these victims often must relearn motor skills, such as walking, balancing, or speaking. Additional equipment, such as walking apparatuses or speech assistance devices, is often required.
  • Ongoing medical bills. The initial emergency room bill and related surgeries are likely the steepest charges victims ever face. Sadly, that is just the beginning. Continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapists, and live-in care commonly follow catastrophic accidents – and these are not one-time payments.
  • Loss of consortium. The physical consequences of these actions are apparent, but they affect more than just the victim. A settlement should account for losing the intimate relationship you enjoyed with a spouse or the ability to interact with your child.
  • The inability to return to work. Devastating accidents often keep a person from returning to his or her line of work or pursuing a career goal. Athletes, for example, may never play sports professionally again. Courts account for these types of long-term damages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure these areas are considered.
  • Home modifications. Hand controls, bathroom modifications, ramps, machines to facilitate access to a bed, and vehicle modifications may be required to return at least some independence to these victims’ lives.
  • Emotional and psychological consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a frequent result of a debilitating accident. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental and emotional consequences may accompany a catastrophe.

The Common Causes of Catastrophic Accidents

A person may encounter a variety of accidents, but most will not warrant a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you or a loved one is hurt in one of the following types of accidents, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule a consultation with a local law firm.

  • Trucking accidents. The trucking industry is tightly regulated, but thousands of fatal accidents still occur on our highways every year. Teamsters and the companies that employ them must diligently track their working hours, truck maintenance, miles traveled, and more. Overlooking or ignoring these details can lead to major damages.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is markedly dangerous. If you are involved with a drunk-driver collision, seek physical and legal help as soon as possible.
  • Workplace accidents. Many workers’ compensation claims are for minor aches and pains, but professional accidents can also be fatal. This is especially true for those in the construction, oil, and logging industries. If you’ve been injured it’s important to consult with a lawyer to see the potential of a fort worth construction injury lawsuit.

Partner with the Right Attorney in Texas to Protect Your Long-Term Care

Catastrophic cases are legally complex by their nature. Several negligent parties may be responsible, from a shift manager to his or her employer, a product manufacturer, or the distributer. This is further complicated when several insurers enter the mix. Victims of major accidents are routinely offered settlements, but failing to scrutinize the terms of these agreements can leave victims with expensive bills that accrue over their lifetime – which the person or organization responsible for the damages does not pay.

Work with a San Antonio, Texas, attorney specializing in personal injury law for more information. The team at Aaron Herbert is ready to represent your claim, so contact us for a consultation. We get to the bottom of who is at fault for harming our clients, and we tirelessly explore the full extent of how catastrophic accidents affect these victims over the course of their lives.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:50 pm

San Antonino Crosswalk Accident Lawyer

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

While crosswalks aren’t taken seriously in a lot of cities, in San Antonino area we do take them seriously – but in the wrong way.

Many of the crosswalks in San Antonino are nearly invisible to drivers and pedestrians, whether due to design or due to lack of maintenance. The brown/gray brick patterns on black asphalt just doesn’t cut it for pedestrian safety. And even when a more visible pattern is used, many cities in North Texas do not spend the resources to re-paint the crosswalk patterns until the paint is severely faded. In the end, a lot of money is spent on the design and upkeep of our crosswalks in San Antonino and surrounding cities, yet no significant changes in design have been made in the last twenty years to make intersection crossings more visible.

While many people complain that San Antonino is not pedestrian walkable because of sprawl and suburban style urban design with little sidewalk connection between areas, this is only part of the problem. The cities in north Texas need to start valuing neighborhoods which are already walkable by supporting pedestrian comfort and safe with better crosswalk design.

A better design currently exists for crosswalks that has been proven a safer alternative to designs used in San Antonino. San Antonino should install install continental crosswalks throughout the city.  The “continental” uses two-foot-widestripes which are more visible to approaching drivers. Paired with a limit (stop) line set back five feet from the crosswalk, continental markings better delineate pedestrian space and discourage vehicles entering the crosswalk.

Additionally, cities in North Texas have slowly started replacing signal lights at crosswalks with “countdown” lights for pedestrians. These signal lights show a countdown timer while the pedestrian “walk” figure is displayed so that that pedestrians crossing the street know exactly when they must be out of the roadway.

Types of Injuries in accidents involving pedestrians

Pedestrians have no protection from injury in a collision with a motor vehicle, and the injuries they suffer are often serious, catastrophic or even fatal. Common injuries include:

In the unfortunate event of an San Antonino crosswalk accident between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, pedestrians will suffer severe bodily injury or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in San Antonino or other Texas city,  Board Certified Attorney Aaron A. Herbert can help. The personal injury San Antonino crosswalk accident lawyers at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert have helped injured pedestrians or surviving family members hold negligent parties accountable for recklessness or wrongdoing. Please do not wait to contact us if you or someone you care about has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Texas. There is a specific amount of time in which you can take legal action and you do not want to forfeit your rights by waiting too long to speak with a lawyer. Contact Us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 7:30 pm

How to Deal With Head Injuries After a Car Accident

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

One of the most common types of injuries suffered in auto accidents in San Antonio is a head injury. Head injuries, such as skull fractures or contusions, can lead to brain trauma. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can cause significant symptoms that impact the victim for life. It is critical to know how to correctly deal with a head injury after a car accident in San Antonio for your own physical wellbeing, as well as to strengthen a legal claim to damages.

See a Doctor Immediately

Brain injuries are incredibly serious and require immediate medical care. There is no such thing as a minor head injury. Any bump, jolt or blow to the head deserves professional medical attention right away. It is especially important to go to a hospital after a car accident in San Antonio if you experience any of the following symptoms, which could point to a traumatic brain injury:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Issues with memory or recollection
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Any loss of consciousness

With these symptoms, you could have a brain injury from your car accident. Common types of brain injuries include concussion, diffuse axonal brain injury, hematoma, edema and hemorrhage. These are all serious traumatic brain injuries that can occur in an auto accident and inflict life-changing symptoms. Prompt medical care can help you relieve the symptoms associated with a brain injury, and may save your life.

Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Recommendations

If you are diagnosed with head trauma or a brain injury after a car accident, a doctor will give you a personalized treatment plan. Your treatment plan may involve bed rest and avoiding potentially dangerous activities that could give you a second head injury, such as sports. A second brain injury too close to the first can lead to a more serious injury and related symptoms.

Other head trauma treatments may include medications, physical therapy and rehabilitation. The most serious brain injuries can also require neurosurgery to repair parts of the brain or prevent further brain damage from swelling. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan exactly for the best prognosis for recovery.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments

Do not miss any follow-up appointments with your doctor or a brain injury specialist. These appointments can be critical for your recovery. Skipping appointments can show an insurance company that you are not doing your part to mitigate your losses connected to the head injury. This can result in the rejection of your insurance claim or a reduction of case value.

Document Your Medical Care

Document all of your medical care in the aftermath of a car accident. Careful and accurate documentation and recordkeeping can help you build a stronger car accident injury claim. Ask for copies of your relevant medical records and bills after receiving treatment for a head injury. If your brain injury made you miss work, document your lost wages, as well.

Keep an Injury Journal

It is also important to document the personal side of your brain injury case. Head trauma and brain damage are catastrophic because they can alter a victim’s quality of life. They can cause behavioral, cognitive and emotional changes, as well as mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Keep a record of everything you are feeling and experiencing as you heal from your head injury. An injury journal can help you demonstrate how the injury impacted your life to a judge or jury.

File a Car Accident Lawsuit With Help From an Attorney

If you believe someone else is responsible for causing your car accident in San Antonio, contact a car accident attorney to help you file a lawsuit. Filing a claim against a careless driver or another party could result in financial compensation for the losses associated with your head injury, including medical bills and lost wages. Learn more about your legal rights and filing a car accident lawsuit by consulting with an attorney today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:23 pm

How Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents

Monday, April 4, 2022

After you get into a car accident in San Antonio and file an insurance claim, you will need to go through the insurance company’s investigation process before you can obtain a financial settlement. Certain things about how insurance companies investigate car accidents are important to know as a claimant, as they can prevent the insurance carrier from taking advantage of you.

The Company Assigns an Insurance Claims Adjuster to Your Case

First, the insurance company will assign a professional known as an insurance claims adjuster to your case. Most insurance companies also hire insurance investigators to evaluate a claim for signs of fraud. The insurance claims adjuster is the person in charge of reviewing your claim, investigating the car accident and making a recommendation to the insurance company.

The Adjuster Calls You for Details

An insurance adjuster will investigate a car accident case in many different ways. First, he or she will obtain a brief summary of the accident from those involved. Expect a phone call from an insurance adjuster as soon as the day of the accident, or in the days following. The insurance adjuster will ask you questions about your accident, such as:

  • Your police report number
  • The time and date of the crash
  • The exact location of the collision
  • How many other vehicles and drivers were involved
  • The other driver’s contact and insurance information
  • A description of your property damage
  • A description of your injuries
  • Why you believe the accident occurred

You do not have to have answers to all of these questions. Remain honest and do not speculate about anything. If you don’t have an answer or don’t understand a question, say so. Be aware that the claims adjuster does not want what is best for you; his or her main goal is to save the insurance company money. Do not admit fault to a claims adjuster and do not agree to provide a recorded statement. This is a tactic often used to twist your own words against you.

The Adjuster Investigates the Car Accident

After calling you and others involved in the auto accident, the insurance adjuster will conduct a full investigation of the crash. The insurance adjuster, along with the investigator, will look for evidence or information to piece together how the car accident occurred. Evidence may include:

  • Information from those involved
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Images or photographs of the damaged vehicles and accident scene
  • Information from a police report
  • Medical bills
  • Physical evidence, such as damaged property
  • Cell phone records

Preparing all of the information and evidence you have about your car accident ahead of time can help an insurance company investigate your case in a timely manner. Insurance companies in Texas have no more than 15 days to investigate a claim, although this can extend to 45 days with a valid reason.

The Insurance Company Looks for Ways to Save Money

Throughout your car accident claim, an insurance company may try several tactics to save money by reducing or denying a payout. The insurer may deny its policyholder’s fault for your car accident, for example, or try to blame your medical bills on a pre-existing condition.

Be careful during conversations with a claims adjuster or insurance investigator. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to an adjuster yourself, you have the right to hire an attorney to negotiate for you. An attorney can help you detect insurance bad-faith and protect your claim.

A Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help With the Next Steps

Upon concluding the investigation of your San Antonio car accident, an insurance claims adjuster will make a recommendation to the insurance carrier to either accept or reject benefits. At this stage, if a car accident attorney is representing you, your attorney can negotiate the settlement offered for an amount that is adequate for your injuries and losses. If a settlement is not possible, your attorney can help you go to trial instead.

Learn more about the insurance investigation process, and protect your rights as a claimant, by hiring a car accident lawyer in San Antonio from the beginning of your case.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 5:26 pm