When you have been the victim of an auto accident, you likely have a lot of questions about what to do next. So much can be happening all at once, and it can be tough to stay calm and collected. In the blink of an eye, your life could be turned upside down. You could suffer from personal injuries, property damage, and even the death of a loved one. It could take months or years to recover from such an event. You might not be able to work, which means you could have a lot of financial stress and burden on your shoulders.
The responsible party may or may not have sufficient insurance coverage to support you. Even if they do, the insurance company is likely to try to minimize their payout. You may need to file a lawsuit to get the full and fair compensation that you deserve. Doing so on your own is generally not advisable. You will be up against big insurance companies with experienced attorneys. You may need someone in your corner who knows how to level the playing field and fight for what you are owed. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer comes in. Visit a website to learn more about how an attorney can help you with a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are some ways in which a personal injury lawyer can help you strengthen your case so you can get the compensation you deserve.
- Reporting the accident:
You must report an accident to the authorities if it resulted in injury, death, or property damage. The other driver may not want to do this, but you should insist on it. Get the police involved so they can file a report. This will document what happened and who was involved. It could also help establish fault.
The report is completed by an officer who was not involved in the accident. It will contain important information that can be used later in your case. The report should include the names and contact information of all parties involved, as well as any witnesses. The officer will also document what they saw at the scene of the accident. This could help prove how the accident happened and who was at fault.
In Texas, the Form CR-2, also known as “The Blue Form”, is the standard accident report. It must be completed within ten days of the accident. The report will be filed with the Texas Department of Transportation.
A failure to report an accident is a violation of the law. You could be fined or even lose your license. It is in your best interest to report the accident as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you do this and make sure it is done correctly.
- Collecting witness statements:
If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is important to get their contact information. They may have seen what happened and could provide valuable evidence for your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to interview witnesses and collect their statements. A legal professional will know how to build trust, ask the right questions and reassure any potential witnesses that they are not in any trouble.
- Knowledge of Texas law:
There are different laws in each state. It is important to have an attorney who knows the laws of the state where the accident occurred. They will know how to navigate the legal system and give you the best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.
Texas is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for the damages. In some cases, both parties may be found at fault. For example, if one person ran a red light, but the other person was speeding, they may both be found at fault.
There is also a two-year statute of limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you do not, you will likely be barred from doing so and will not be able to get any compensation.
- Dealing with the Insurance Company:
The insurance company will likely try to contact you after the accident. They may even offer you a settlement. It is important that you do not sign anything or agree to anything without first consulting with an attorney. The insurance company will likely lowball you and try to get you to accept a settlement that is much less than you deserve. A personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company and get you the best possible settlement.
- Determining liability:
Once you have reported the accident and collected evidence, it is time to determine who is at fault. This can be tricky, but a legal professional will know how to do this. They will review the evidence and build a strong case for why the other driver is at fault.
The other driver may attempt to place blame on you. They may even try to say that the accident was entirely your fault. It is important not to admit fault, even if you think you may have been partially at fault. If you do, it could jeopardize your case and prevent you from getting the maximum compensation you deserve.
An attorney will assess your level of liability, if any, and present evidence to support your claim that the other driver is at fault. Your attorney may also use the evidence to secure a better settlement deal from the insurance company.