What to Do After a Rear-End Accident in San Antonio

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A rear-end accident can cause an injury that interferes with the rest of your life, such as whiplash or a concussion. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end car accident, the driver that hit you may be financially responsible for your injuries and losses. Take the following steps to increase the chances of collecting the compensation the law entitles you to in San Antonio, Texas.

Pull Over and Check for Injuries

Rear-End Car Accident Attorney in San AntonioTexas’ hit-and-run law requires all drivers involved in auto collisions, minor or major, to stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible. You must pull over and check yourself and others for injuries. If someone is injured, you have a legal responsibility to render aid, meaning to call the police or drive the victim to the nearest hospital.

Report the Rear-End Collision to the Authorities

Texas law also requires you to report any car accident to the police that causes physical injuries, fatalities or more than $1,000 in property damage. You may also wish to call 911 from the scene of a more minor accident to receive an official report that documents the rear-end accident. Having the police at the scene of the accident can benefit you in many ways. For example, the other driver may receive a ticket for reckless behavior such as speeding, tailgating, driving drunk or driving while distracted.

Do Not Admit Fault

It is important not to admit fault for a rear-end collision. Even if you are the rear driver and will most likely take responsibility for the collision, do not admit fault to the other driver or the police. Claiming fault right away will eliminate the need for a crash investigation. If you do not admit fault, on the other hand, an investigation may find proof of other liable parties, such as the other driver’s shared fault.

Take Pictures

If you can, take photographs while at the scene of your rear-end car accident in San Antonio. Capture pictures of the damaged vehicles, your injuries and some wide-lens shots of the entire crash scene. Photographs can paint a picture of how the collision occurred and who is liable, such as by capturing brake marks in the road or a hidden stop sign.

Exchange Information

Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information with the other driver. Since Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, you will need to bring your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Ask for the name of the driver’s auto insurance company while still at the scene. You can also reference the police report for this information later.

Go to a Hospital in San Antonio

Get medical care immediately after a rear-end car accident. Common injuries suffered in these collisions are whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, back injuries, herniated discs, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and knee injuries. Prompt medical care can show an insurance company that you did your part to mitigate your physical damages.

Call the Insurance Company

Call the other driver’s insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Most insurance carriers have deadlines on filing. Be careful when discussing the accident with the insurance company, however, as the carrier will want to minimize your financial recovery. Do not admit fault or allow the claims adjuster to record a statement Also, do not sign anything sent to you or agree to a settlement offer without an attorney’s approval.

Consult With a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio

Your next step should be to contact a car accident lawyer in San Antonio to schedule a free legal consultation. You have nothing to lose in arranging a consultation and potentially a lot to gain. A lawyer can review your case to help you understand and protect your rights.

If the other driver is to blame for your rear-end collision, that driver’s insurance company will be financially responsible for your losses. An attorney can help you prove fault and negotiate for maximum financial compensation so you can move forward after a rear-end accident in San Antonio.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:37 pm

How to Claim Lost Wages and Income From a Car Accident

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A car accident can interrupt your life in many ways, leading to both financial and nonfinancial losses. One of the most common types of losses associated with car accidents in Texas is lost wages. Lost wages can refer to both the income lost while you are undergoing medical treatments as well as any future lost capacity to earn due to a long-term disability.

How to Seek Lost Income in a Car Accident Case

The first phase of a car accident lawsuit in Texas is filing an insurance claim with the carrier of the at-party. The driver at fault for causing your car accident will be financially responsible for losses since Texas is a fault-based state.

Driving Safety TipsWhen you file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s provider, you will list all of the financial losses you suffered in the car accident. You also have the right to seek financial compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Before you can receive insurance benefits for these losses, however, you will have to prove that a) the defendant caused your car accident through an act of negligence and b) the car accident gave you compensable damages. A car accident lawyer can help you with this burden of proof.

Collect Proof of Your Lost Wages

To receive financial compensation for lost wages, you must present evidence of this type of loss. An insurance company, judge or jury will need to see enough evidence that proves you suffered a loss in income, and that this loss was directly connected to the auto accident. Common types of evidence used to prove lost wages are:

  • Most recent pay stubs before the injury
  • Payslips for special projects
  • Proof of tips or commission
  • Letter from your employer
  • Proof of employment benefits
  • Customer invoices
  • Tax return documents or W2s from previous years
  • Medical records proving the longevity of your injury
  • Letter from a physician proving you cannot return to work
  • Testimony from an economic expert

A car accident attorney in San Antonio can help you gather evidence of your lost wages connected to the car accident. An attorney will take over negotiations with an insurance company on your behalf to prevent the carrier from taking advantage of you or offering less than your losses are worth. An attorney will also help you project the value of your future lost capacity to earn if you suffered an incapacitating injury.

Calculate Lost Future Capacity to Earn

With a long-term or permanent disability, you could be eligible for lost future capacity to earn in a car accident case. This is an amount of compensation that represents what you reasonably would have earned from your job in the future had the accident not occurred.

If the accident gave you an injury that will temporarily or permanently take you out of work, a lawyer can help you calculate this type of economic loss based on what you used to earn, what you can earn now (if anything) and how long you will foreseeably have your incapacitating injury.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

The value of your claim will depend on several factors unique to your case, including your average income pre-injury and the severity of the auto accident. An attorney can guide you through the steps necessary to accurately calculate your lost income, including the correct calculation method depending on whether you earn an hourly wage or salary.

The best way to accurately estimate the value of your case is by consulting with an attorney. An attorney will work hard to maximize the financial relief you receive from a car insurance claim or injury lawsuit, including an amount in lost wages. Hiring an attorney can be critical if a car accident in San Antonio took you out of work for any amount of time.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 8:04 am

What to Do After a Car Accident While Driving a Rental?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A car accident can be stressful enough on its own without the added complication of driving a rental car. You may have heard different things about whether or not your own auto insurance provider will cover property damage done to a rental vehicle. Find out exactly what to do after a car accident while driving a rental in San Antonio for the best odds of obtaining coverage.

Check for Injuries

Pull the rental car over in a safe place and check for injuries. Take a moment to see if you notice any pain, bleeding or swelling. Then, check the conditions of the passengers in your vehicle and – if it is safe to exit your car – the conditions of those in the other vehicle. If anyone is injured, you have a legal obligation to render aid.

Call the Police

Car Accident LiabilityDocumenting your car accident is critical for a successful rental car insurance claim. The first question an auto insurance company typically asks is for the police report number. If you do not report the crash to the police, this can hurt your claim and make it more difficult to recover financial compensation.

In Texas, it is a requirement to call the police immediately to report any auto accident that causes injuries, deaths or at least $1,000 in property damage. It can help your claim, however, to contact the police after any rental car accident, including minor collisions.

Gather Evidence

If you are physically able to do so, gather evidence while still at the scene of the rental car accident. Write down the other driver’s name, contact information, a description of his or her vehicle, and his or her license plate numbers. Use your cell phone or a camera to take photographs and videos of the scene of the crash. Write down your police report number so you can request a copy later.

Go to a Hospital in San Antonio

Obtain professional medical care for your injuries as soon as possible. Waiting too long to see a doctor after a rental car accident could give the insurance company a reason to deny coverage. Delaying medical care could also have a negative impact on your physical health. Explain to the doctor that you were just in a car accident. Request copies of your medical records before you leave.

Call the Rental Car Company

When you are able, contact the rental car company and report that you were in an accident. You must file an official car accident report with the rental company. Do not admit fault for the collision. Wait for an official investigation to determine who or what caused the crash rather than accepting liability from the onset.

Ask the rental company what you should do with the vehicle. You are responsible for the car until you return it. The company may ask you to tow it to a specific auto shop or one of its nearby rental offices. Do not take the rental car to an auto shop without consulting with the company and getting its approval first.

Call Your Insurance Company

Call your own auto insurance company to initiate the claims process. If you did not cause the crash, reporting it to your insurer will not increase your premiums. Your own car insurance provider may contact the rental car company to work out an agreement. If you paid for rental car insurance, for example, your own insurance company can seek reimbursement through the rental policy.

If you used a credit card to rent the car, call your credit card company to report the accident as well. Many major credit card companies offer rental car insurance coverage for property repairs. This is often only the case, however, if you did not cause the accident.

Contact an Attorney

Finally, contact a car accident attorney in San Antonio for assistance with the legal process. An attorney will know exactly what steps you should take for a successful case after a car accident in a rental car.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:37 am

What Happens If a Drunk Driver Hits You in San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Driving while intoxicated is a dangerous and reckless driver behavior that causes thousands of injuries and deaths in Texas every year. In 2018 alone, 961 people in Texas lost their lives due to drunk drivers. This represented 26% of all car accident deaths in 2018. If you get into an accident with a drunk driver in San Antonio, Texas, find out what happens next to prepare for the process ahead.

The Drunk Driver Could Face Criminal Charges

First, the drunk driver could face criminal charges for breaking Texas’ driving while intoxicated (DWI) law. It is illegal in Texas to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08%. A driver could also be guilty of DWI with a lesser blood alcohol content level if he or she is too impaired to drive.

The driver may get arrested for drunk driving at the scene of your car accident. Call the police right away if you suspect the driver who hit you is drunk. If the driver is found guilty of DWI, your DWI accident attorney in San Antonio or a drunk driving attorney in fort worth can use the conviction as evidence during your civil case against the driver. However, there does not need to be an arrest for you to make a civil claim in San Antonio.

You Have the Right to File a Civil Suit Against the Drunk Driver

A civil lawsuit can reimburse you and your family for the economic and noneconomic damages connected to a drunk driving accident. A civil lawsuit is different from a criminal case against the defendant. A civil case can make you whole again by providing financial compensation for past and future losses, while a criminal case punishes the defendant.

A successful civil lawsuit against a DWI driver could lead to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disability
  • Lost wages and capacity to earn
  • Vehicle repairs or totaled car replacement
  • Lost enjoyment of life

In Texas, the driver at fault for causing a car accident is financially responsible for damages. It is up to the victim, however, to prove the defendant was negligent or reckless and caused the collision. You or your attorney must demonstrate using evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and that this caused the crash to recover compensation.

You May Be Entitled to Punitive Damages

Compensatory damages are available to help you pay the bills, recover and move forward after an accident. Another category of damages, punitive damages, is meant to punish a defendant for gross negligence or egregious wrongdoing.

You may be eligible for punitive damages after a drunk driving car accident due to the nature of the defendant’s error. Even if the driver is not convicted of a DWI, you could receive punitive damages for the driver’s reckless decision to drink and drive.

You Could Also Hold a Negligent Bar or Restaurant Accountable

Texas has a dram shop law (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Chapter 2) that may entitle you to hold a bar or restaurant accountable for your drunk driving accident in addition to the intoxicated driver. This law places liability with establishments that overserve their patrons if those patrons proceed to injure others.

If an establishment knowingly served a visibly intoxicated person or minor alcohol, and that person went on to cause a drunk driving accident, the dram shop may be held financially responsible for resulting injuries and property damage. The dram shop could be liable for contributing to the DWI accident by overserving the culprit.

Learn Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident in San Antonio, Texas

If a drunk driver hits you in San Antonio, Texas, you have legal rights as an injured accident victim. Consult with a car accident attorney in San Antonio for more information about your rights and legal options. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver and/or other parties, such as the dram shop.

A lawyer can explain your rights, provide legal advice, and represent you during a car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Contact a car accident lawyer in Texas as soon as possible after a DWI crash for assistance.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 5:54 pm

What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do That You Can’t?

Monday, May 9, 2022

It is not a requirement to retain a personal injury attorney in Texas to represent you in Texas. You’re welcome to represent yourself during insurance settlement negotiations and even in a trial, but there’s a reason the overwhelming majority of plaintiffs opt for professional help. There are many things lawyers can do that the typical person can’t – including, in most cases, getting the most compensation for your claim. If you’re on the fence about retaining a lawyer for your case, find out what you’d be missing should you self-represent.

Negotiate a Fair Insurance Settlement

Marissa Maggio - Associate Attorney in TexasOne of the most daunting aspects of any personal injury claim is your first discussion with an insurance claims adjuster. The claims adjuster is the person in charge of analyzing your insurance claim and deciding how much to offer in a settlement. The adjuster is not on your team and will typically offer much less than your case could be worth. The best way to have an advantage over the adjuster, and to secure a fair and just settlement, is through an attorney.

An attorney protects your best interests. He or she will take over settlement negotiations and often spare you the time and money it would take to go to trial. In the majority of claims, a lawyer can achieve an out-of-court settlement that gives you the money your injuries demand. A lawyer can deal with the other party, its insurance company, and its lawyers, so you can focus on yourself instead of complex legal processes. The settlement process is much simpler and more rewarding with professional representation.

Bring Elements of Proof

There is much more to a lawsuit than just proving you were hurt. Most personal injury cases require the plaintiff to show four main elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. It can be difficult to show these four elements depending on the circumstances of the case. You will need to provide evidence such as medical records, official documents, police reports, expert testimony, eyewitness statements, and more for a successful claim. There are rules you must obey during the evidence gathering and discovery phases – all of which a lawyer can help you navigate.

Preserve Important Evidence

Speaking of evidence, another reason to hire a lawyer is the preservation of vital information relating to your case. Certain pieces of critical evidence, such as the data from a large truck’s black box after a crash or another driver’s cell phone records, can get destroyed, erased, or tampered with after an accident. Fast action to preserve this evidence can be imperative to the claim. A lawyer can submit an evidence preservation letter or file a temporary restraining order to prevent the destruction of evidence – safeguarding information that could make your case.

File Within the Deadlines

The world of civil law abides by many important deadlines. Missing a deadline, or a statute of limitations can mean losing the right to ever pursue compensation for your accident. Deadlines change according to the type of claim you’re filing, as well as on a state-by-state basis. In Texas, you have two years from the date of injury to file your lawsuit. The timeline for claims against the government is much shorter, often only giving you 60 to 90 days to file an initial notice. A lawyer knows all of the deadlines specific to your case and can make sure the right documents are in front of the right people at the right time.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 9:24 am

What Steps Should I Take After I Was the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?

Monday, May 2, 2022

Being in a car accident is bad enough, but being the victim of a hit and run is even worse. Who will pay for your injuries and vehicle’s damages? Each state has a different set of laws addressing hit and run accidents. The following will help you understand the rules in Texas, what to expect, and when to consult a personal injury attorney for further assistance.

Moments After the Accident

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the first thing you should be worried about is your safety. Pull over to the side of the road and look for injuries. It may be tempting to engage in a chase with the runner, but this is unwise. Catching the perpetrator is a job for law enforcement personnel. Your job is to tend to your injuries and call the police and emergency medical services, as necessary. Take a couple of deep calming breaths while waiting for them to arrive.

Car Accident LawyerCalling the police to file a report is essential. Your insurance company generally handles hit and run claims, and it may deny your claim without a report. Alert the authorities, even if you don’t have the license plate information or other identifying information – just give them as much as you can.

In some precincts, police won’t respond to the scene of an accident unless there are injuries. If this is the case in your area, you’ll have to go down to the station and request a report. Do this as soon as possible after the accident.

Gather Evidence

If you’ve tended to injuries and filed a report, all you can do now is gather evidence for your insurance company. Take pictures of all angles of your vehicle’s damage, as well as any property damage (to light posts, road signs, etc.). Claims adjustors from your insurance company may also want to take their own pictures of the damage and scene.

Write down everything you can remember. Ask for email address or phone numbers of eyewitnesses while you are at the scene. If you’re lucky, one of them may have seen the license plate number of the person who hit you – making it possible for your insurance company to pursue the other insurance company for damages.

Know Who Pays for Damages

In the state of Texas, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional, though insurance companies are, by law, required to give you the option to purchase it. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will likely pay for the damage to your vehicle – though you’ll be stuck with the deductibles. If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorists’ coverage, and the police don’t catch the person who hit you, you’ll be paying for any damages out of pocket. For this reason, it’s wise to purchase uninsured motorist coverage when you insure your vehicle.

When to Call a Personal Injury Attorney

Ideally, your insurance company (or the insurance company of the perpetrator, if caught) will pay for your medical bills and compensate you for lost wages if you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you’re struggling to pay your medical bills and make ends meet because of a hit and run accident, you may need a personal injury attorney. Luckily, most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, which help them determine if you would qualify for a settlement.

Being in a hit and run accident may seem like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. With a level head and a proactive approach, you will be back on the road in no time.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 7:04 am