Even if you bear some responsibility for an auto accident, you will most likely still be able to recover for your losses under Texas’ modified comparative fault rule.
Car accident claims are rarely straightforward. In many situations, the underlying causes of a collision are surprisingly complex. Perhaps you failed to signal a turn, but the other driver was distracted because he was texting and driving. The other driver was more at fault than you were, but you still were negligent. Can you still recover compensation for your losses if you were partially at fault?
In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to deny your claim, arguing that you were responsible for the accident because you failed to signal. Yet as an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer can explain, Texas law allows drivers who are partially at fault to recover for their losses, as long as they were 50% or less at fault under Texas’ “modified comparative fault” rule.
Don’t Take the Insurance Company at Its Word
Most people are fortunate enough to only be involved in a car accident once every few years at most. However, this put them at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. Insurance companies have teams of adjusters and on-staff attorneys who’s sole job is to fight your claims. Their role is to minimize the amount of money that they pay out on every claim — so they often attempt to deny valid claims or give low-ball offers to settle claims early on in the process (before you know the full extent of your damages).
This is frequently the case when it comes to car accidents where both drivers share some fault. The insurance company may try to convince you that because you were also to blame for the accident, they do not have to pay you for your losses — but this is not true in Texas. Remember that insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is to make a profit by tasking in more in premiums than they pay out in claims.
Rather than taking the insurance company at its word, it’s important that you call a personal injury attorney in your area for a free consultation. An attorney can explain your rights and fight for what you truly deserve. Depending on the facts of your case, you should be able to recover for your losses — even if your total damages award is reduced based on your own degree of comparative fault.
Texas’ Modified Comparative Fault Rule
In civil law, there is a concept known as “comparative fault” which means that a percentage of fault can be assigned to each party. A person’s recovery in a lawsuit will then be reduced by the amount that they are considered “at fault” for an accident. For example, if you were deemed 30% at fault for a car crash and were awarded $100,000 by a jury, the award will be reduced by 30% to a total of $70,000.
Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule. If a party is 51% or more responsible for an accident, then he or she is barred from recovering monetary damages in a case. Under this rule, you could be awarded anywhere from 100% of your damages (if you are found 0% at fault) to 0% of your damages (if you are found 51% or greater at fault).
In car accident cases, there are a number of factors that a jury may consider when determining who is at fault. Typically, a jury will look at dangerous or negligent driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving the wrong way, texting while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or ignoring traffic signs.
Based on evidence presented at trial, such as the police report, cell phone records and accident reconstruction, the jury will assign a percentage of fault to each driver. This percentage of fault is then used to determine how damages are awarded. For example, consider a case where you are driving to work, going slightly over the speed limit (5 to 10 miles per hour) in the left lane of traffic. Suddenly, a driver attempts to make a left turn from the right lane. You can’t stop in time, and you collide. The jury may decide that you are 10% at fault, because if you hadn’t been speeding, you could have stopped in time. The other driver is 90% at fault for making an illegal turn and cutting you off. If your award is for $50,000, you will receive $45,000. The other driver will not be entitled to damages because he or she was more than 51% at fault.
The Value of Hiring an Attorney
Car accident cases can be complex, and recovering money damages often requires knowledge of complicated legal concepts and relevant case law. It’s important to speak to an attorney who understands how to challenge the insurance company’s underhanded tactics, and who has experience handling personal injury cases in your state.
Insurance companies don’t want to to hire an attorney for obvious reasons. They handle claims like your on a daily basis, and are well aware that statistically, victims are likely to recover substantially more money when represented by an attorney.
If you have been involved in a car crash, you might need to hire a car accident lawyer. An experienced accident lawyer can help you recover losses caused by a motor vehicle accident and/or lessen the hefty quantity of paperwork, “red tape,” and hassle often related to car accident insurance claims. Knowing if you need professional legal assistance can make the difference between a justly solved case and due or losing big monetary damages.
Below is important information you need to know about hiring a car accident attorney.
What is the extent of your property damage and bodily injuries?
Another important aspect to consider is the degree of your property damage and/or bodily harms.
In certain crashes like minor “fender benders” that leave you with very minor injuries or no injuries at all, the amount that would recuperate from the at-fault driver may not compare favorably with what it would cost to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.
In this instance it may be in your best interest to simply work with the insurance provider to resolve your claim.
On the flip side, in case you have suffered extensive medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, much more will be at stake for both you and the insurance company. Your dealings with the insurance company could turn out to be highly controversial.
So, if that is true, your best interests could be served by choosing an experienced car incident lawyer and functioning with that attorney to file a lawsuit to seek a recovery of everything you are due.
Regrettably, car accidents are everyday occurrences. Most personal injury claims from the USA are due to an accident involving a car, truck, or another car. A number of these accidents cause minor vehicle damage in the form of a “fender bender,” and may generally be managed alone through direct contact with an insurance provider. However, car accidents that involve bodily injury, fatality, or other significant damage may warrant the legal representation of an experienced counselor.
An experienced lawyer can help you to get compensation to pay for any losses incurred due to this accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and automobile repairs.
In general, selecting an attorney to represent you provides your case with credibility. Our teams of lawyers are well versed in the law, and will be able to identify whether or not you have a strong case. Some cases are more complex than others, and legal representation will help determine exactly what aspects of your circumstance can strengthen your case.
In addition to the law, experienced attorneys understand how to socialize with insurance companies to be sure that you are fairly paid for any bills, repair costs or wage loss following an event. They understand how to interact with insurance adjusters to ensure that your requirements are covered.
An experienced lawyer will also provide advice on the legal process, such as what you should expect as your legal situation starts. Too often cases are settled out of court, leaving the plaintiff unfairly paid.
A locally based automobile collision lawyer can help you navigate through a complicated legal system, and function to be certain insurance companies do not take you for a ride. If you believe you have a case, and are seeking legal counsel, contact us now.
Car accident attorneys cover a variety of issues stemming from personal injury, wrongful death, property destruction, and liability determinations. When looking for a lawyer, you should focus on their experience, ability level, dedication, location, and fee structure.
By way of instance, your attorney should be well versed in national and state transportation laws, know how to take care of insurance and health care businesses, and understand how to effectively prepare and settle a case. Also, it’s crucial that you inspect the attorney’s background, references, and track record.
Last, a good attorney will typically take your case on a contingency or “no win-no fee” basis if the attorney feels your case has any merit, so it’s important to confirm the lawyer’s standard fee structure.
When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Automobile accidents are common now and bad driving skills of yours or others may make trouble for you either in the shape of a damaged automobile or other serious injuries. If your vehicle is struck by somebody else’s car, it normally results in claiming your damages and engaging with your attorneys and insurance agents.
Mostly, folks choose to assert on their own. But technically, it isn’t simple for a newcomer to do all of the formalities of the insurance company and get the very best possible amount from the firm. There are various circumstances where it will really be a tricky task that you maintain the amount, so you call for a car accident attorney.
Following are a few of the situations when you will favorably require a car crash advocate to file and maintain your damages.
You’re a Novice
During an auto collision, there are many points you will need to understand, so as to file the claim against the insurance company. However, if you are not anyhow aware how to submit the claim and what are the barriers that you might encounter, it will develop into a long way barrier. It may even result in a claim rejection. So instead of testing your knowledge, it is better to get in contact with a car accident lawyer. They are always available to help you in case of fiscal issues developed by the vehicle crash.
Long Term / Permanent Disability Injuries
An insurer judges the depth of harm on the basis of three variables i.e. type of accident, the time it’ll take to recover along with the medical bills paid till now for the treatment. For a normal person, it truly becomes warfare to prove you are long-term or permanent disability caused on account of the car crash.
Automobile incident lawyer knows all the legislation and probations of an accident and insurance claim. He can help you in proving your disability by reaching your medical professionals and also make your case strong.
Many instances are seen while the insurance carrier builds a question about the liability of the proprietor. As a newbie in this field, you cannot figure the problem for why the company has questioned your insurance coverage. Typically, by this, the company says that you aren’t in the fault or you aren’t liable to acquire the guaranteed sum. And, thus the company is not liable for any payment against the crash.
To eliminate such complicated issues, car accident lawyer is the best person to consult. Being a professional with an immense understanding of the area, they defend your case and make you get the best-insured quantity.
Refuse to Pay Fair Amount
If you are submitting the form by yourself, there might be numerous things you may not be conscious of and consequently that will lead to the refusal to the payment. The cancellation isn’t bounded into the contested liability only. Instead, there are many reasons that may cause the refusal. An expert car accident attorney is the individual who understands the loophole and receives the problem rectified.
Adjuster Already Made an Offer
People generally choose to stay away from the hurdle of reaching the insurance company and filing the claim. In return, they left the settlement with the adjuster on a little amount. But if you’ve faced big injuries, the sum you will be provided won’t be adequate for you. So, you’re always be preferred to get to the accident attorney and consult with the finest possible step to be taken.
A car crash can be avoided by driving properly. You should always take care to yourself and the street where you are driving. Each of the security accessories has to be embraced (seat belts, airbags, etc) which can allow you to overcome acute injuries in the case of an accident.
Before your initial consultation, you will want to make a few notes about things you’d love to discuss with the car accident lawyer and questions you would like to ask.
You should outline the particulars of your car accident because the lawyer needs that information to estimate your case. Make written notes, so you don’t forget any important details throughout the meeting.
It’s also advisable to produce a list of queries which you’d like to ask the lawyer. These queries are intended to assist you find out more about the automobile incident lawyer and choose whether to hire them to manage your case. Ask questions that will allow you to make that decision.
Background & Expertise
Start the meeting by inquiring about the lawyer’s education and professional expertise. Suggested questions include:
- Does your practice consist solely of representing car accident victims, or can you do other kinds of legal work too?
- Generally, how many automobile accident victims do you reflect each year?
- How many car accident injury suits do you settle each year? How many cases do you take to trial each year?
- Have you handled cases similar to mine?
- Which law school did you attend, and when did you graduate?
- Do you have some special experience representing victims of the car accident who have spinal injuries, neck injuries, or other accidents that might cause lifelong medical issues?
Evaluation of Your instance
Take a while to describe your automobile accident and related harms, then ask the attorney for his or her view of your case. Relevant questions to ask include:
- What is your evaluation of my case?
- What type of financial settlement or judgment could I realistically expect to receive?
- What variables can work against us
- Is it likely that we’ll have to go to trial?
- Is arbitration or mediation an Alternative?
- How long can you expect it would take to finish my case?
Go over the automobile crash lawyer’s strategy and style when it comes to practicing law.
- How can you describe your philosophy or way of practicing law?
- What’s your method of handling auto incident injury cases?
- What is your style when dealing with customers? Are you going to ask me to make conclusions or will you to tell me what I need to do?
Questions to ask about how a car crash injury lawsuit will be handled include:
- Can you manage my situation, or will another lawyer manage it?
- Will you manage discussions and court appearances?
- Are you going to be my daily contact?
- Will other attorneys in your company or specialists work in my situation? What job will they perform?
- Will you supply progress reports? How often? What will be contained in these reports?
- What is the best method to reach you? How fast do you normally respond?
Legal Fees: Overview
Most automobile crash cases are handled on a contingency or”no win-no pay” basis. This implies that if the attorney doesn’t win or settle the case on your behalf, he or she does not collect a commission. On the flip side, if the attorney wins the case, they will find a proportion of their personal injury award. The lawyer’s percentage varies from case to case, but might equal approximately one-third to 40 percent of the total award, with various limits imposed in state to state. It’s important to be aware that attorney fees are not the same as costs, and you might be accountable for certain out-of-pocket expenses associated with your case.
Finishing Your Meeting
Before the meeting ends, ask the car incident attorney if there’s anything important you didn’t talk. Is there anything you ought to be aware of before deciding which attorney to hire? It is also possible to ask the lawyer for references from previous customers.
After the meeting is full but before too much time elapses, take a while to make some notes and record your opinions about the attorney. What did you like and dislike? Can the lawyer tell you anything particularly memorable? How much did the lawyer quote you could acquire and just how much of this would you get to keep?
Ready to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you are interested in knowing more about your claim, you can do so at no charge. A fantastic first step in locating the proper lawyer and following your claim is to contact a lawyer who’s experienced in auto incident law to get a free claim evaluation. This way, you will know more about the potency of your case and be better prepared to create crucial decisions going forward.