Car Accident Lawyer San Antonio TX
As a car accident lawyer San Antonio, TX victims recommend from the Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC knows, you will have a long road ahead in the wake of a car accident. If you have been injured, it can take time to recover. In turn, you could be facing severe losses that give cause to take legal action. Our team is committed to helping you by keeping your interests at the forefront of your case. We will work tirelessly to build your case, manage the insurance companies by taking the lead in negotiations. Without a lawyer, you put yourself at considerable risk of either walking away empty-handed or settling your case for far less than you deserve. Let our team protect and support you in the way that you deserve following your accident.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists are at risk of an accident when they navigate the city of San Antonio. In 2019, there were 43,668 car accidents and at least 177 fatalities within the city limits alone. Anyone who has ever been involved in a vehicle collision will know how frightening and confusing the experience can be. Questions might arise and it is important to know you have access to a car accident lawyer in San Antonio, TX who can answer them. If you don’t know what to do, or need help, call our firm today.
Steps To Take After a Car Crash
The following are important steps to take after a car accident in San Antonio. These may help to keep you safe and protect your rights. They should also assist you in filing a claim against any negligent or liable parties.
Remain At the Scene, Find a Safe Place
You cannot legally leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. Please remain at the scene. Use reasoning to determine what would be safest for you. Either you drive your car to a place which is out of the way of traffic, or if you cannot drive the vehicle, exit it, along with any passengers, and find a safe place to wait on foot. You should only do this when it is safe and you are well enough to do so. If your injuries are severe and you feel that you cannot move, you should remain where you are – unless that will expose you to further injuries.
Get Medical Attention
If you feel injured in the aftermath of the collision, you should call 911 and seek medical care. If the accident was minor, and you don’t feel injured, an ambulance might not be necessary. That said, you should see your doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible.
Keep a journal of your injuries, pain, and anything else that may be relevant. This should be done regardless of how small they might seem.
Take Photos and Videos
As long as it is safe to do so, take photos or videos of the scene, the surroundings, and your injuries. If you cannot do so, you might consider asking a witness to help you. Focus on the position of the car, the visible damage, the buildings or sidewalks, and obstacles, lamp posts, skid marks, and anything else that you feel is important.
File a Police Report
Whenever a person or domestic animal has been injured or killed, or damage has been done to a car and you cannot find the owner, you should remain at the scene and call the police. You generally don’t have to call the police if minor damage was done to a car, and there were no injuries. It may still help to file a police report. This is an important document that is often needed to file a claim. Some insurance companies will not accept a claim without a police report.
Get the Contact Information From Anyone Involved and Witnesses
If you can do so, and you feel it is safe, you should get the contact details, insurance, and license details, and details of the car from anyone involved, as well as anyone who witnessed what happened. The other driver might not want to provide you with it, which is when it can be useful to have the police come to the scene.
Report the Accident
You have a legal duty to report what happened to your own insurance company. You should do this as soon as possible. You don’t have to talk with any insurance company but your own, and you should not. Furthermore, your car accident lawyer in San Antonio, TX can maintain all communication between you and any party involved.
Call a Respected San Antonio, TX Car Accident Lawyer
There are many benefits to having a lawyer on your side. You should take advantage of a legal advocate. The sooner you do so, the better. Call our firm today for a case review and consultation.
The Aftermath of a Car Accident
We are well aware that car accidents can be quite traumatizing. No one can ever be completely prepared for the physical and emotional toll that the aftermath of a car accident causes. The recovery process can only happen after the incident has been reported, investigated, and medical attention has been sought. Other important documents such as police reports, medical documentation, and missing wages from work must be gathered. Once evidence is collected, your lawyer can continue to advocate for your behalf and rightfully due compensation.
Too many people underestimate the adverse impacts that a serious car accident can have on a person’s mental health. Not all injuries are obvious moments after the collision. Sadly, symptoms of stress, PTSD, depression, and anxiety are often overlooked by the victims and his or her doctor. We tend to focus on the physical injuries that can be caused by a car crash, and forget how heavy mental anguish can feel too. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of emotional distress, we urge you to let your doctor know and give us this information during your initial consultation:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight fluctuations
- Episodes of crying without reason
- Lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Sexual dysfunction
- Nightmares or panic episodes
- New fears about driving or being in a car
Two of the most serious physical injuries that are often associated with car accidents is head/brain trauma and neck injuries. Conditions such as whiplash, disk damage, spinal sprains, and neck strains are due to the neck being jolted forward and backward rapidly past its normal range of extension. Physical injuries can result in short-term or permanent disabilities. Damage to soft tissues, muscles, tendons, and organs can be very painful and may require surgery or other invasive procedures in order to treat the area.
The insurance company handling your car accident claim may attempt to offer you a settlement amount for the treatment of these injuries. Not only do they want to get you to accept an amount that is way less than what your case is worth, but they want you to do so quickly before you realize you have other options. The representative from the insurance agency may also call you and ask questions about how you are feeling and facts about the accident. They may seem like compassionate people who are interested in your health, but in reality, they may just be an insurance adjuster who is trying to minimize the value of your claim. Please contact us immediately so we can begin protecting your best interest from the start.
We Want to Help You
If you have been injured in a car accident and believe the other driver was at fault, it’s crucial that you not hesitate to take action as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years, which is why the time to act is now. The last thing you want is to let the opportunity to seek damages pass you by. By meeting with our San Antonio, TX car accident lawyer, you can have a clear direction for how best to move forward. We will look to confirm that the following elements were present:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty of Care
When the elements to a personal injury case are present, we will be able to assist in strategizing the most appropriate way to move forward. We want to help you by:
Managing Insurance Companies
Typically, before moving towards litigation, accident victims should file a claim with the insurance company. Be aware that the insurance company will probably want to speak with you regarding your case. However, this is not in your best interest as they will be looking to minimize your damages or assign fault to you. This could result in a settlement offer that is far less than you deserve. A lawyer can play an essential role in supporting you by managing the insurance companies so that you don’t have to.
One of the most stressful components of a car accident case is engaging in back and forth negotiations with the insurance company. The process can be incredibly stressful. Most of the time, the first settlement offer from the insurance company will be incredibly low. Insurance companies do this in hopes that you will settle for a lesser amount than your case is worth. For many, it may be tempting to settle for fear that they will not be able to retain more. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance companies while also advising you on when to continue negotiations or accept a settlement.
The Risks of Moving Forward Without a Lawyer
While you may be tempted to represent yourself, it’s not always recommended. Pro se is the Latin term meaning “on behalf of themselves.” While even the most straightforward of cases may seem manageable, things can quickly take a turn. Most victims have little to no experience managing personal injury claims, and because of this, the legalities may become incredibly confusing to navigate. Before moving forward on your own, it may be a good idea to consider your case carefully and how this might put you at a disadvantage.
Comparative Fault in Texas
Do not hesitate to schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced San Antonio, TX car accident lawyer team at The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC simply because you’re concerned that you may have been partially at-fault for your crash. First of all, it is very important to avoid making assumptions about the potential strength or weakness of your case until your situation has been reviewed by a reputable attorney. It is rarely easy to determine causation and fault for accidents at a glance. Once our team has evaluated the circumstances leading to your wreck in detail, we’ll be able to provide you with an objective analysis of whether you were partially or totally at-fault… or whether you were not at fault at all.
Second, Texas embraces a comparative fault model, which means that you may be entitled to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit even if you were partially to blame for the circumstances that led to your harm. As long as you weren’t more than 50% responsible for the harm that was caused, you may still have grounds for a strong cause of action.
What if My Crash Was Work-Related?
If your motor vehicle accident occurred while you were engaged in work-related activities, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, a personal injury settlement, or both kinds of compensation. This is true whether you drive for a living (by operating a large commercial truck, delivering goods, transporting passengers, etc.) or you were simply “doing work” at the time of your crash. This standard gets a little tricky to navigate if you aren’t a professional driver who was “on the clock” at the time of the crash. However, there are many nuanced scenarios in which those who are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits may claim them due to a work-related crash that resulted in injury. For example, if you were running an errand for your boss or you were driving to a work-mandated function, these circumstances may make you eligible for such benefits.
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (as most people who are classified as full-time or part-time employees are), you may sue any other party responsible for your injuries other than your employer. Employers of workers who are eligible for workers’ comp benefits enjoy limited legal liability for any role they may have played in the causation of the injuries in question. If you aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you can file a personal injury claim against anyone else who may be held liable for your harm – including the company that you provide services for. If you are unsure of which of these opportunities may apply to your situation, the experienced San Antonio, TX car accident lawyer team at The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC can provide clarity.
Why Negotiating Without a Lawyer is a Bad Idea
After a car accident, it is easy to believe that things will work out in your favor. Especially if the other person is admitting to fault or apologizing, you may be completely unconcerned about getting compensation for a personal injury settlement. When the other party’s insurance calls you and offers you a low amount or says that you were partially to blame for the accident, you may think that what they are offering is either fair or that it is time to negotiate for a better offer. However, doing so on your own, without the help of a lawyer, will likely not get you very far. Call our office to schedule a consultation regarding your car accident to see how we can help you.
Shouldn’t insurance companies be on my side?
Insurance companies will pay a great deal of money for marketing that wants you to believe they are there for you when you get into an accident. Whether it is through “forgiveness” of an accident or ensuring you are okay, an insurance company works harder to make it seem like they care than actually putting forth the effort to care. The truth is, insurance companies care most about their bottom line and many insurance agents know that if you are not working with a lawyer after your car accident, they will likely get you to accept an offer that saves them tens of thousands of dollars.
Why else should I work with a car accident lawyer in San Antonio, Texas?
It is understandable that you still may be wondering if it is worth working with a lawyer for your car accident claim. Often, when one party brings a car accident claim forward, the other party will see this and lawyer up quickly. This can make things even more difficult for you if you were not planning to get a lawyer. The other driver will also likely tell their insurance company it was not their fault for the accident and present their own side of the story. When you work with a lawyer, they will understand how to:
- Negotiate with an insurance company
- Spot an unfair offer from insurance and negotiate for a better settlement
- Gather evidence to support your claim and possibly refute the other party’s claim
- Go up against another lawyer
Would I truly get more of a settlement with a lawyer?
While there is no exact answer for this, people who work with car accident attorneys after they were victims of a car accident will, on average, receive a higher settlement than those who file a claim themselves. You have bills to pay, whether it is medical bills relating to your accident, your mortgage, or car repair bills. You may also be unable to return to work following the accident which can make paying these bills even harder. If you need help from a San Antonio car accident lawyer, call our office now.
Call Our Law Office Today For Help
We are ready to review your case, listen to your needs, and serve as an advocate to you every step. The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC, is prepared to support you fiercely, so learn more about the services we provide by contacting our San Antonio car accident lawyer in Texas today.