Dripping Springs Accident Lawyer
In the past few decades, the number of drivers on the roads in Texas has skyrocketed, with millions of drivers taking to the roads every single year. Unfortunately, with this increase in the number of drivers on the road, there has been an increase in the number of serious accidents that occur every year.
When drivers act in a reckless or negligent manner, they have the potential to cause catastrophic accidents that can result in the victims suffering serious injuries, even fatalities. For the victims, this can lead to medical costs that quickly add up, time off work, and repair bills. As a victim of an accident, you shouldn’t be left responsible for these damages, and you deserve to pursue compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental trauma you have been subjected to.
The best pathway to doing this is to get in touch with a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer that handles car accident cases on a regular basis.
Here at Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we handle cases involving both car and truck accidents. When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, we have a lot of experience and a long history of success to draw upon, and this gives us an advantage when it comes to tailoring a strategy for your specific case. We can assign a dedicated Dripping Springs car accident lawyer to your case who will take over all of the hard work, giving you space and time to recover from your trauma.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Dripping Springs, TX Car Accident Injury Claim
In the weeks and months that follow car accidents, victims may have to deal with a whole range of different damages. A car wreck may leave a victim with serious injuries that leave them in a lot of pain and with a lot of mental trauma.
One of the most important parts of a car accident injury claim is the recovery of these damages. One of the most important jobs your Dripping Springs car accident lawyer will handle for you is the calculation of what your damages are worth. The more experience they have in past cases similar to yours, the better, as they will have the experience to draw upon.
Your damages are split up into two different types, your economic and your non-economic damages, and these will form the foundation of your settlement offer. They will use this foundation to negotiate with the other party, and the more accurately they have calculated your damages, the better the chances are that they can negotiate a settlement offer outside of court that you are happy with.
Your economic damages refer to any compensation you are seeking for a loss of verifiable, monetary damages. These include things like your medical expenses and your property damage that have a physical price tag attached to them.
These damages are usually easy to back up and support with invoices, receipts and proof that you have suffered a monetary loss.
Your non-economic damages, on the other hand, are much more difficult to calculate as they are subjective. These include non-monetary losses such as the pain and suffering you have been through, loss of companionship, and any changes to your life that have resulted in a loss of enjoyment.
Here are some of the non-economic and economic damages you should make yourself aware of:
Claiming for Medical Bills in Dripping Springs, TX
Even if you are lucky enough to have a high level of premium insurance coverage, you may be surprised at how quickly the medical expenses for a serious injury can exceed your coverage.
When your coverage is exceeded, you are left in a precarious situation. You either pay for the treatment yourself, or you decide against it.
Thankfully, if you have suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence in the state of Texas, you are entitled to seek the recovery of all of your medical expenses. This includes all past expenses and all expenses you may have to pay in the future.
Medical expenses are normally relatively straightforward to calculate. You should keep hold of all your receipts and invoices. This will make it a lot easier for your car accident lawyer to work out what your past expenses have cost you.
If you are going to require treatment in the future, for example, a long period of physical therapy, your car accident lawyer may seek the help of a medical expert to help them accurately calculate what this long period of treatment may cost. They will then seek this from the other party.
Claiming for Income Lost Due to Your Dripping Springs, TX Car Accident
Accident victims with serious injuries will usually have to take time off work for their treatment and recovery, and this can lead to a loss of income and wages. Rising medical costs can lead to a lot of anxiety and worry for the victim, especially if their income is the main household income and there is a family to support.
Your Dripping Springs car accident lawyer will calculate what your lost income looks like. They will evidence the income you have lost so far, and they will also look at how much time you may have to take off in the future. If you have been injured to the degree where you will not be able to work in the same capacity again, your lawyer might look to pursue a lifetime of lost wages. For this, they may seek the help of a financial expert to validate their calculations.
Claiming for Pain and Suffering in Dripping Springs, TX
Pain and suffering damages compensate the victim for the physical pain they have suffered or will suffer, any loss of enjoyment of life, and any mental trauma.
Loss of enjoyment of life can be claimed if you can no longer do things you used to enjoy. If you were a keen kayaker and your injuries mean you can no longer paddle, you should be compensated for the loss of enjoyment.
Claiming for Property Damage
In a car accident, if you were in your own vehicle at the time, there will usually be property damage. These cover you for the repair or the replacement of your damaged vehicle and any personal items that were in the car and were damaged during the accident.
Claiming for Losing a Loved One in Texas
Wrongful death cases are complex and will require the attention of a skilled Dripping Springs car accident lawyer. In a car accident, there is no worse outcome than the wrongful death of a loved one, especially when the accident happened due to the negligence of the other party.
In these situations, you may be entitled to seek compensation via a wrongful death case. While no monetary compensation will help you with your grief, it can provide financial security during a period where you need it most.
What To Do After A Car Accident In The Dripping Springs Area
Insurance companies in Texas have become a lot more aggressive in response to the volume of high-value claims in the state over the last decade. This means they now employ the strongest legal teams possible. Their sole job is to reduce their liability and lower their payouts.
Everything you do from the moment the accident happens is important. Victims sometimes make the mistake of apologizing or admitting some level of fault in the heat of the moment. The other party’s insurance company will use this against you, and it may cost you your claim.
Here are the steps you should follow if you are at the scene of an accident.
Check Injuries and Move To Safety if Possible
First and foremost, the most important thing following any accident is your own safety. This means that before you think about anything else, collecting evidence, speaking to witnesses, etc., you need to do everything you can to make sure you are safe.
Check yourself for injuries, and if you can feel any pain in the neck, shoulders, back, or head, remain still and await the paramedics. Do not let anyone move you as you may aggravate your injuries, leading to serious damage. If someone does try to move you, tell them that you should not be moved and that they should call an ambulance immediately if they have not already done so.
Call An Ambulance
If there are any injuries, the best decision is always to call for an ambulance, regardless of how serious the injuries may seem to you. Shock and adrenaline can mask the symptoms of injuries, such as internal bleeding and head trauma. If these go untreated, it could lead to serious complications, even fatality.
Calling for an ambulance will ensure that everyone is seen to by a medical professional. Besides the health and safety of those involved, this will also be the first documented medical attention you receive, which is good for proving causation, or that the accident directly caused your injuries.
Finally, any emergency services that attend the scene will fill out an accident report that can be used as unbiased evidence by your car accident lawyer.
Call The Police
With traffic accidents, the police should be called to ensure that the road is made safe for other users. They will also deal with drunken drivers. If your accident was caused by a drunken driver, it becomes even more important that you call for the police, as they will administer a BAC blood alcohol test. This is crucial evidence. Driving under the influence is negligent behavior, which means your case will be a strong one against any driver who was drunk at the time of the accident as long as you can prove they were drunk.
The police are also helpful when individuals are acting in an aggressive manner towards you or other victims. Sometimes individuals will act aggressively in an attempt to intimidate other parties when they know they were in the wrong.
Once the ambulance and police have been called, it is a great time to collect evidence if your injuries will allow you to do so. Evidence fresh from the scene is always useful to your car accident lawyer. We recommend that you take pictures and a video. A voice statement in your own words detailing what happened is another strong piece of evidence.
Exchange Information and Witness Statements
If there are any eye-witnesses on the scene that want to cooperate, collect their statement and contact details. Taking a voice statement from them at this point is a great way to ensure they remain reliable later on down the line, as your lawyer will be able to ask them to simply confirm they gave the statement and that it is accurate.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always have a medical examination in some form or another following an accident. If you did not receive a check-over from the ambulance team on the scene, you should go to your chosen hospital and ask for a check-over.
Receiving medical attention close to the accident will help your case. If you develop injuries later on down the line, it is harder to prove causation if you did not seek medical attention.
Call Your Insurance Company
Most insurance policies will require you to inform your insurance company that you have been in an accident within a set period of time. However, you should always remember that insurance companies care more about profits than their customers. Do not say anything to them that could be seen as an admission of guilt or tell them that you feel okay, as they may use this against you. Tell them you want them to talk to your car accident lawyer going forwards.
Hire A Dripping Springs Car Accident Lawyer
It is always beneficial to your case to get your Dripping Springs car accident lawyer involved at the earliest possible moment. The sooner they know, the sooner they can begin investigating and advising you. They will be able to advise you on the things you should and should not say and do.
The 4 Elements to Prove
There are four separate elements that you will need to prove with the help of your Dripping Springs car accident lawyer in order for your case to be valid. If your case moves to the courtroom, your lawyer will need to show the court that they have proof for all four.
Duty of Care
The first element is the duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner to protect the well-being of others. For someone’s behavior to be negligent, they must owe a duty of care to another person at the time.
There are a lot of different reasons you might have a duty of care to another person. If you own private property, you have a duty of care to those on your property. This duty means you should warn others of hazards. Every person who gets behind the wheel of a car in the United States owes a duty of care to the other users of the road.
Breach of the Duty of Care
The next element you will need to prove is that the other party acted in a way that breached their duty of care to you. To do this, they must act in a way that is not reasonable. Reasonable behavior is how any “reasonable” individual would act if they assumed the same duty of care.
An example of how a duty of care may be breached would be a doctor deviating from the standard medical practices they have been taught to follow or a store owner failing to warn others of a wet floor in their store.
We talked about causation earlier. Causation in a car accident case refers to whether or not the accident and the negligent behavior directly caused the injuries of the victim. This is why it is important to receive medical attention in a timely manner, as it proves that your injuries were the result of the accident you were just in.
Finally, you will need to prove that the injuries you have suffered have caused you economic and/or non-economic damages that you wish to recover.
Dripping Springs Car Accident Injury Lawyer FAQs
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Claim?
Your best option will always be to have your case evaluated by a personal injury lawyer in dripping springs who deals with car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and all other forms of auto accidents on a regular basis.
If I am Offered a Quick Settlement, What Should I Do?
Quick settlement offers are almost always a tactic used to get you to settle for less than the insurance company knows they are going to be liable for if you pursue the claim with a skilled lawyer.
After you have accepted a settlement, you forgo the chance to pursue further compensation later on down the line. If your injuries become worse, you will not be able to seek further compensation to cover the costs of treatment, so ensure you discuss an offer with your Dripping Springs car accident lawyer before you accept it.
What are Punitive Damages, and How do I Claim Them?
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the judge believes the at-fault party acted with vicious intent or gross negligence. They are a form of punishment designed to make an example of someone.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take To Settle?
There are a lot of factors that can influence the length of time your case takes to settle. If your case is complicated, your case may drag on for several years.
Complications include things like multiple victims, serious injuries and unclear liability.
If your case is relatively simple and the liability is clear, it could take less time.
What if I Was in a Car Accident With an Uninsured Motorist?
The first thing you should check if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver is your own insurance policy. A number of policies now come with uninsured motorist insurance, and this will be the best way to recover your damages.
If you do not have this cover, you should speak to a Dripping Springs car accident lawyer to discuss what options are available to you.
Do Car Accident Claims go to Court?
Neither party benefits from a drawn-out court case with added court costs, and for this reason, most cases do settle outside of court. This does not, however, guarantee that your case will escape the courtroom.
If the liability is unclear or the case may result in a large payout, the other party may opt for a court battle if they deem the risk with it.
This is why it is important to find a Dripping Springs car accident lawyer who is equally skilled in the courtroom as they are in the negotiation stage.
What Should I Say If The Other Party’s Insurance Company Calls Me?
You should inform all parties that try to speak with you that you want them to speak to your car accident lawyer. This is one of the benefits of obtaining representation.
The other insurance company should not be trusted, and you should always take care when speaking to them as they may try to employ underhanded tactics to get you to admit some form of fault and reduce their liability.
Secure Legal Services From Chris Morrow Today
Due to the fact that you will be fighting against a skilled legal team that works on behalf of the insurance company, your best chances of leveling the playing field lie with obtaining representation yourself.
We are passionate about fighting on behalf of our clients. We take the time to build a strong attorney-client relationship, keeping you informed and educated throughout the process. As your advocates, we will fight without rest on your behalf.
We offer a free consultation and case evaluation for a reason, so give us a call, and one of our skilled car accident lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on your next moves.