Austin Car Accident Lawyer
On busy Texas highways, auto accidents are a common sight, but you shouldn’t have to bear the cost of a wreck on your own. Ask a car crash lawyer in Austin for help recovering fair compensation.
Even a minor car accident can have serious consequences, causing extensive damage to your car, whiplash, and weeks or months of recovery time. When you have a high-speed accident, the resulting injuries can be, and often are, fatal.
If you have been involved in a severe crash, you will likely need help getting back on your feet. When you’re facing serious injuries, dishonest insurance companies, and growing medical expenses, it can be difficult and frustrating to try to win full compensation on your own. That’s why you might need to call an Austin car accident lawyer from the Colley Firm, PC.
No matter how severe your collision was, we’re here to help you through this difficult time. We know how challenging dealing with insurance companies can be, but we’ll fight to make sure you get the proper care and compensation you deserve. We’re ready to seek justice for your injuries.
Serious Injuries in Car Accidents
A high-speed car accident can leave you struggling with devastating injuries. Even with functioning seat belts and airbags, you could be stuck in the hospital for weeks or even months. Even after you’re released, you could be looking at long-term physical and occupational therapy, which can severely impact your day-to-day life.
When you’re in a serious auto accident, you need someone on your side who takes your injuries seriously, especially because many auto injuries can have a permanent impact on your life. Without a proper settlement, you could be paying for many injuries out-of-pocket long after your accident. These injuries include one or more of the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – When a vehicle comes to a sudden, violent halt, your body, including your internal organs, moves with the force of the stop and impact. When this happens, the trauma to the brain can cause devastating injuries that could leave you permanently disabled or struggling to maintain the quality of life you once had.
- Spinal Injury – Although the spinal cord is protected by bone, an impact can damage or sever the essential nerves here. As a result, you could be permanently paralyzed from the point of the damage downward. Recovering any functionality after this injury is often nearly impossible.
- Broken Bones – Although a broken bone is not necessarily life-threatening, it can be intensely painful. Serious fractures might even require surgery. At best, a broken bone in the arm or leg can make it impossible to work for some time.
- Internal Bleeding – In the same way the brain is injured in a collision, the internal organs might experience trauma or continued motion during the accident. Although the seat belt and airbags can prevent some of the damage, you might be left with internal bleeding, which can be fatal if not treated quickly enough.
- Crushing Injuries Leading to Amputations – In some especially devastating auto wrecks, you could see crushing damage from the impact. If it’s serious enough, an amputation might be necessary. This can leave you with not only mobility issues, but also severe emotional trauma.
Determining Fault in Motor Vehicle Collisions
When you’re first preparing for a claim or settlement, determining who’s responsible will be key to getting your compensation. Because Texas is a fault state, the at-fault party will also be financially responsible for the damages they caused.
In most car crash claims, this means you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company, who will pursue coverage from the other insurer. Or, you’ll file a third-party claim with the other driver’s company. In either case, they should cover you when the other driver is at fault.
What happens if the crash isn’t so simple, however? In some cases, the accident might have been caused by an on-the-clock driver, such as a mail delivery driver, which means their employer is likely responsible.
Even some single-vehicle crashes might not be your fault. You and your lawyer should review the crash, as it could have been caused by a parts malfunction. When this happens, you might need to take action against the parts manufacturer.
In other wrecks, road hazards such as potholes or street design defects can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash. This falls on the Texas Department of Transportation, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of public roads.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After Your Crash
Unfortunately, no matter how serious your injuries are, you might see trouble from the insurance companies. Insurance providers are known to use all available tactics to protect their profits, meaning they’ll work hard to minimize or even eliminate any compensation owed to you.
At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses, and they need to make a profit. Because they have investors to keep happy, insurers don’t want to dole out a large settlement. They’ll use various dishonest tactics to keep from paying out your settlement, including one or more of the following:
If you are expecting a large settlement, you will almost certainly have trouble getting what you’re owed. These tactics are meant to make you desperate. The longer you have to wait without a settlement, the more likely you’ll be to accept whatever amount the insurer offers.
Insurance companies will also attempt to place fault on you. If they can pin even half of the blame on you, you could have your claim dismissed, which means you’ll be on your own to cover any damages related to the accident.
Be sure you know what your claim is worth and make sure you’re ready to go to court for your compensation. For many car wreck victims, this is the best way to get the funds necessary to return to normal life.
Compensation After an Auto Crash in Austin
Knowing what your claim is worth is critical to your case’s success and getting the fair compensation you deserve. Having a car accident lawyer help calculate your damages, both economic and non-economic, can help you get your life back on track faster.
Calculating non-economic damages can be complicated. After all, something that doesn’t have a clear cost is difficult to quantify, and pain is especially subjective. Your attorney, however, will be able to calculate this for you, giving you a fair estimate based on the effect your suffering has had on your quality of life.
Be sure to remember your auto accident claim should not just cover the damages that immediately occurred. For example, a severe injury can leave you disabled for the rest of your life, unable to work or provide for yourself. You might also have future medical expenses stemming from your injuries—be sure to consider the lasting effects of your accident before you file.
Keep all kinds of losses in mind, from your vehicle’s damage to the emotional trauma or suffering you will experience as a result of this terrifying event. Although monetary compensation can’t undo all of the damage, it can provide the financial peace of mind your family needs during such a painful time.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Although you might have included damages for all of the suffering you’ve been through, you might also believe that the other driver meant to harm you. Some drivers are aggressive behind the wheel, which is often referred to as road rage. If they get especially angry, they might try to take drastic measures, such as trying to force you off the road.
When the other driver is intentionally negligent with your safety, you’ll need to gather additional evidence to fight for punitive damages. Unlike other losses, these damages are awarded as a way to punish the dangerous driver rather than compensate you. These damages are intended to deter actions that could harm others, in the hopes of preventing more accidents like yours.
Unfortunately, these damages can be difficult to pursue, but if awarded, they can significantly increase your overall settlement amount. An attorney can help you assess your likelihood of being awarded punitive damages.
Texas Law Will Affect Your Claim
Once you know what your case is worth, you’ll need to focus on the car accident laws that could affect your claim. Although you know the other person is at fault, what about your liability in the accident? This and other questions could cause you to lose your compensation completely if not answered sufficiently.
First, you’ll need to make sure you’re acting in time to get your compensation. There are certain deadlines involving personal injury claims, and if you’re not paying attention, it can put your compensation at risk. In Texas, you’ll have two years from the accident or injury diagnosis to file a claim. If you don’t, you’ll be barred from recovery.
Texas also follows modified comparative negligence laws. This means that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you’re found responsible for.
For example, you might have been found 35 percent at fault for the accident. This means that you’ll be left with only 65 percent of the compensation you should have received. If you’re found more than 51 percent at fault, you’ll lose your right to compensation completely. A highly qualified motor vehicle collision attorney can help dispute accusations of fault.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Austin
Sometimes, getting the compensation you deserve is no easy task. From managing your injuries and expenses to fighting the insurance company for your rightful compensation, you could spend too much time in court and buried in paperwork, and not enough time for healing after the crash.
Our firm can take some of the burden of an auto wreck claim off your shoulders. We understand that recovering fair compensation is difficult, and when you need help, we’re here to fight for you. Your claim is a chance to get what you need to heal, and we want to protect that. Acting quickly will be key to securing the funds you need, and an experienced Austin car accident lawyer can help.
At the Colley Firm, PC, we know what you can expect from a car crash case. From calculating what your claim is really worth to fighting for your compensation in court, we’re prepared to be by your side every step of the way.
If you are interested or would like more information, give us a call. We will consult with you, free of charge or commitment, before you ever decide to work with us. We want you to know that we’re the right law firm for you before you sign a thing. For your free consultation, call 1-877-411-2001 or fill out our online contact form below.