Being involved in a car accident in any capacity is an extremely stressful event. Adrenaline and emotions are running high, and we don’t always exercise our best judgment. When you add physical and emotional trauma, damages, and insurance into the mix, things can get very confusing – but we’re here to help. No matter what your involvement in the situation or how severe your injuries are, engaging a Dallas car accident lawyer should be your first course of action. The team at Angel Reyes & Associates knows the specific laws surrounding auto accidents in Texas inside out, and has a proven track record of achieving the most favorable outcomes for victims.
In this article, we will outline some common questions, fears, and misconceptions about hiring legal help after a car accident in Dallas.
What to do after a car accident in Dallas
There are two simple but crucial steps to undertake immediately after a car accident. Here’s what you need to do.
1.) Call Angel Reyes – We’ll help you through all the necessary steps at the accident and help you gather the evidence and information you’ll need to have a successful case with our firm.
2.) Hire Angel Reyes – Before you hang up that phone, hire the best attorney in all of Texas for car and truck accident injury cases.
Do I need a Dallas car accident lawyer?
When it comes down to it, the only way to make sure that you receive adequate compensation after a car accident is to hire a lawyer. Navigating the complexities of the Dallas legal system by yourself is tough and can lead to lots of frustration and dead ends. The team at Angel Reyes & Associates knows exactly what to do from a legal standpoint in the event of a car accident because we boast some of the best personal injury lawyers in Dallas. We waste no time gathering evidence, speaking to the appropriate parties, and building the strongest case possible to make sure victims receive everything they are entitled to.
Different types of car accidents and their legal processes
How do you define what is legally classified as a car accident in Dallas? We’ve provided some instances of common road accidents and what they mean.
Unfortunately, about 30% of us will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in our lives. Drunk driving accidents can lead to complex legal proceedings regarding liability, proof of intoxication, evidence, and witnesses. Contacting the police is the crucial first step to protecting yourself legally in the event that you are the victim of a drunk-driving incident. We have also collated some further information on what to do in a DWI case.
Of all types of car accidents, rear-end collisions are one of the most common. Even when they happen at low speeds, these kinds of car accidents can cause painful and debilitating injuries – so it is important to seek medical attention and an assessment as soon as possible.
In a rear-end car accident in Texas, a jury can find either driver, both, or neither at fault for the crash.
Texas is what is known as a comparative negligence state. ‘Negligence’ means “the failure to act as a person of reasonable prudence would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.” Comparative negligence simply means that a jury will decide which party was negligent. Based on evidence, either party could be at fault: the car that was rear-ended or the opposing driver.
Reckless, distracted, or aggressive driving accidents
While drunk driving and texting are two very common causes of catastrophic car accidents, there are many other common behaviors that can be classified as distracted or reckless driving. Exceeding the speed limit, failing to obey traffic signals and signs, and driving while fatigued are just a few examples. The dangers of driving too fast for weather or road conditions also are often overlooked.
Hit and run accidents
A hit and run occurs when the driver of a vehicle collides with another vehicle (stationary or moving) and leaves the scene of the wreck without giving proper information or notice to the owner of the vehicle. According to the Texas Transportation Code Chapter 550, fleeing the scene is a serious offence and can lead to a felony if the other driver is significantly or fatally injured.
When it comes to Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare accidents, having a good lawyer is crucial. These cases can be extremely complex due to laws surrounding passenger protection and the lengths that rideshare companies will go to in order to avoid liability or paying damages. Our expert rideshare accident lawyers are skilled at navigating these murky waters.
A multi-vehicle accident occurs when two or more vehicles are involved in any type of traffic accident. One of the most common multi-vehicle accidents that occur in Dallas is a classic car pile-up. This happens when a car fails to brake and rear-ends the car in front of them and then immediately gets rear-ended themselves.
These types of crashes can be especially devastating because more hits generally means more damage. It’s the reason that multi-vehicle accidents are one of the deadliest car accidents possible.
Other road accidents
Even in ideal conditions, a motorcyclist is no match for the errant or distracted driver of an automobile or truck – as well as road hazards that may be found on the Dallas area streets and highways. Motorcycle accidents, therefore, most often result in serious injuries or the death of the motorcycle driver. When a person is involved in a motorcycle wreck, the property, physical, and financial damages can be extreme and the road to recovery can be long.
A trucking accident falls under a completely separate banner from a car accident. Truck accidents do not usually involve two trucks crashing, although this does happen. These incidents most likely occur when large commercial trucks collide with other vehicles of much smaller proportions, or pedestrians. Due to the strength and profits of trucking companies, taking on a trucking accident case is another process entirely different from car accidents. You can read more about truck accidents and how to define them.
While it is rare, sometimes buses get into car accidents. When it comes to passengers sustaining injuries, unfortunately the lack of restraints or safety devices on buses can lead to serious damage. Complex traffic laws combined with commercial insurance policies can make bus accidents very tricky to navigate, but we’ve broken down the basic facts about bus crashes in Dallas.
In the case of a car vs. bicycle accident, the car will win every single time. Losing this battle only brings with it a mass amount of injuries and medical bills to go along with them. If the opposing party is liable for your injuries while riding a bicycle, their insurance company will do anything they can to either pay out a small amount quickly, or to pay as little as possible to make your case go away.
Hiring professional representation to hold an insurance company to account for their client’s bicycle accident liability is crucial. It could mean the difference between being solely responsible for your medical bills, pain, and suffering or having the insurance rightfully pay out all that you deserve for those injuries their client caused.
What damages can I seek in my car accident lawsuit?
The more serious your injuries are in a car accident, the more financial help you will need to reach any semblance of a new normal. While the legal system cannot go back in time and prevent accidents, it does provide recourse for victims to attain fair and substantial financial compensation. Here are some common types of car accident compensation for which you may be eligible:
Medical expenses – both past and future: This may include transportation via ambulance, hospital stays, surgeries or procedures, doctors’ visits, prescription medications, assistive devices, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and in-home care.
Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity: Lost wages are relatively easy to calculate – you look back to see how much time at work you were forced to miss due to your injuries. Loss of future earning capacity is a little more complex. Some car accident victims may never be able to return to the workforce. Others may be able to return, albeit in a limited or reduced capacity.
For example, you may have been working as a school principal at the time of the crash and earning $100,000 per year. However, due to physical and psychological injuries sustained in the accident, you may lose your job because you are unable to perform the same role anymore. If you are relegated to clerical work where your income drops down to $40,000 per year, then loss of future earning capacity can help you make up that $60,000 difference.
Property damage, which includes all vehicle repair or replacement costs: In addition to repairing or replacing your vehicle, you may also recover damages for any valuables that were destroyed in the crash, such as electronics or jewelry.
Pain and suffering: It can be challenging to put an exact numerical value on the pain and suffering you have incurred, but our legal system is equipped to estimate this value and compensate you for it nonetheless.
Loss of affection: This could be between two spouses, a parent, and child, or any other relative.
Wrongful death: In tragic crashes where the victim passes away, their surviving loved ones may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Car accident settlements
It’s time to talk about compensation – so what exactly is a car accident settlement? In the instance of a road-based incident, it refers to a case that settles on an agreed amount of money paid out for the injuries caused by a negligent motorist. Settlements happen out of court. When a settlement can’t be reached, the case of a car accident will go to trial in court. Settlements are the quicker and easier outcome, which is why experienced car accident lawyers in Dallas like Angel Reyes & Associates use their expertise to avoid bringing a case before a judge and jury.
There are typically four stages to the settlement process.
Initial information collection: This stage is where lawyers gather facts and investigate the case on your behalf. If you are injured, a good car accident lawyer will help you find proper treatment that fits within your schedule and gets you the proper care you need.
Treatment phase: This is the only phase that requires you to do your part in the case – focusing on your recovery. While you get better, your lawyer will continue to action your claim and handle any important paperwork that comes about.
Bills and records collection: Many people ask the question “do medical bills come out of a settlement?” The answer is yes. Following your treatment, lawyers reach out to the clinics, hospitals, and other services you may have needed during your treatment process. During this time, you may feel like your case is not progressing – but it’s one of the busiest times for your lawyer. It requires constant, hands-on work coupled with persistence and knowledge – something that the personal injury lawyers at Angel Reyes & Associates know all about.
Negotiations: After your lawyer collects all your bills and records from the injuries you sustained following the accident, they will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to recover the maximum amount you deserve to cover all your costs. Our expert car accident lawyers know exactly what your case is worth and will never negotiate for anything less than what you deserve.
Cases that go to settlement are typically much faster because the evidence in favor of the individual who was wrongfully injured is substantial, obvious, and well preserved. An insurance company will not waste their time and money attempting to go to court when their client is clearly in the wrong.
Car accident lawyer FAQs
How do I know when to call a lawyer after a car accident?
If yourself or your vehicle have sustained any form of damage, no matter how minor, it’s time to call a lawyer. Car accidents may be common in Dallas but there is still no streamlined way to proceed after the accident, especially if you have suffered injuries and need to seek medical attention. Your best option is to hire a lawyer who specializes in car accidents.
Immediately hiring a Dallas car accident lawyer will ensure that your case has the best chance of success. Costly mistakes can happen in the early stages of an investigation if you don’t have a legal expert helping you out, not to mention that the other party’s insurance company will be trying from day one to refute your claims. Hiring a car accident attorney will level the playing field and help you to get what you rightfully deserve.
Do I need a lawyer for a car accident?
The short answer is yes. If you want to receive the maximum possible monetary compensation possible in the wake of your car accident, an experienced Dallas car accident attorney is the only way. Lawyers are trained in the intricacies of legal practice and dialogue that are designed to confuse ordinary citizens. They can weave through the tricky language and processes with ease, and they are well equipped to deal with the high-level psychological games that the guilty party’s defense counsel may use.
What does a car accident lawyer do?
When it comes down to it, a car accident lawyer is your own personal champion. Going through the trauma of a road accident is difficult enough as it is, especially when it comes to building a legal case to receive the compensation that you deserve. A car accident lawyer takes care of the nitty-gritty and important tasks that ensure your case is strong enough for either settlement or trial. Your lawyer will gather information from the accident, give you up-to-date legal advice, negotiate with insurance companies, and help you pursue fair compensation for your losses.
How is fault determined in a car accident in Texas?
After a car accident in Texas, fault can be determined two ways – by a formal trier of fact like a judge or jury or by an informal trier of fact like an insurance adjuster. In both instances, the verdict is based on evidence like police reports, witness statements, and sometimes even expert reports. Because there are so many streams of evidence involved, it is crucial that you do not discuss your accident with anyone but your lawyer. The other party in the accident will be working from day dot to trip you up – even something as innocuous as a polite or reflexive apology can be used against you later.
Exhibits and testimony are the two main points of evidence in a personal injury case. One quick win is to request the police report after your car accident. Other helpful pieces of evidence to bolster your case include:
- Photographs from the accident
- Names and contact information of witnesses
- Notes about what happened, written at the time of the accident
In serious road accidents, the insurance company or external parties may hire expert witnesses to prove fault. An accident reconstructionist may create a report explaining what likely occurred. City engineers may be called upon to verify traffic light patterns. A mechanic might need to explain whether a vehicle was functioning correctly. If it all sounds a bit much, don’t worry – in these cases, your lawyer will determine whether specialists are required to explain issues affecting liability.
What happens in a car accident if the person responsible is uninsured?
In Texas, 15% of drivers on the road are getting around without any insurance – and an even larger number of people have insurance policies below the minimum liability standard required by the state. Should you be involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Your best line of defense is to have your own policy protecting yourself from insurance dodgers. Hire a lawyer who knows how to navigate that jurisdiction and will use their experience on your behalf to reach a maximum recovery for you.
How to find a good car accident lawyer
When it comes to finding a good Dallas car accident attorney, not all are created equal. If you are going to trust someone to fight for you, you need to make sure that they are skilled, reputable, and passionate. The team at Angel Reyes & Associates has a proven track record in securing the best possible outcomes for victims of car accidents. Through 30 years of industry experience, we have crafted a family of litigators who know Texas laws inside out – and the results speak for themselves. With a 98% success rate and nearly $1 billion recovered in settlements for our clients, it’s safe to say that we know how to fight for justice while still playing by the rules.
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident and requires legal help, contact Angel Reyes & Associates today for a free consultation and expert advice.