Getting into a car accident can put your life on hold. From significant pain and suffering to paying out of pocket for medical bills, an auto accident can put you through a lot. At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C, we help people with injuries from auto accidents in Plano, Texas. Our local attorneys fight relentlessly for the rights of those with damages from others’ negligence and recklessness. Start your new beginning with a free consultation with our Collin County personal injury attorneys. Call (214) 200-4878 today.
Why Choose Us?
- Our lead attorney, Aaron A. Herbert, knows car accident laws and how to fight for maximum compensation on behalf of his clients.
- Our lawyers can take care of every aspect of your claim on your behalf, including crash investigations and negotiations with insurance claims adjusters.
- Our lead attorney has resolved over 1,000 personal injury lawsuits and tried more than 50 cases before juries. We have what it takes to handle your case.
- Our Plano car accident lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, with $0 in initial fees and $0 total if we do not win.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Taking care of your car accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit alone could expose you to making major mistakes. One wrong move on your part could lead to the total loss of any ability to recover compensation for your damages. Missing the deadline to file, for example, could force the courts to dismiss your case even if you have evidence of the other party’s negligence. Hiring an attorney gives you the ability to fulfill the requirements of bringing a successful claim. Your lawyer can ease your worries with proven legal strategies while you focus on healing.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Many people do not realize that what they do immediately after a car accident can affect them far into the future. Knowing what to say and what not to say to the other driver and insurance companies, for example, can change your recovery options. The following are general steps that you should take, if possible, after a car accident in Plano:
- Pull over. Never leave the scene of a car accident without stopping, exchanging information and rendering aid. Pull over in a safe location close to the accident site.
- Check for injuries. First, check yourself for injuries, then check your passengers and anyone else involved in the crash. Render aid to anyone injured, if you can.
- Call the police. Always report a car accident, major or minor, to the police. Obtaining a police report is important for an insurance claim.
- Do not admit fault. Do not say that you’re sorry to the other driver or anything else that could be construed as admitting fault.
- Exchange information. Get information from the other driver involved in your accident, including his or her name, vehicle details and insurance policy number.
- Take pictures. If you can, document the crash before you leave by taking photographs. Eyewitness information is another source of evidence that you should collect.
- Go to a hospital immediately. Professional medical care is something that a car insurance company will look to see if you received after a car accident.
- Start your insurance claim. Contact the other driver’s insurance carrier to file your claim. Do not accept a settlement until consulting with a lawyer.
These are general steps that can put you in a better position to recover fair financial compensation for your medical bills and property damage through a car insurance claim. If you cannot complete all of these steps before contacting a lawyer, don’t worry. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C, we can take over your car accident case at any stage.
A Note About Car Insurance Claims Adjusters
The person who is assigned to your case after you file a claim with a car insurance company is called the claims adjuster. The most important thing to know about a claims adjuster is that he or she is not on your side. The adjuster has been hired to review your claim and save the insurance company as much money as possible. This is why it is important to be careful what you say to the insurance claims adjuster, and to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement.
When speaking to the insurance claims adjuster, do not admit fault for the accident and do not agree to give a recorded statement. Although it may be tempting, do not rush to accept a fast settlement, either. The first offer will most likely be low, as the adjuster expects you to negotiate for a higher amount. If you do not wish to speak to the adjuster yourself, an attorney can handle negotiations with a claims adjuster for you, so that you do not settle for less than you deserve.
Car Accident Facts and Figures
Car accidents are a leading cause of death in Texas. These preventable events took over 3,600 lives in the state in 2018 alone, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Texas had zero deathless days in 2018. In addition, 14,908 people suffered serious injuries in auto accidents in 2018. Most serious and fatal accidents occurred in rural areas. Collin County, Texas reported 40 fatal crashes, 45 deaths and 337 serious injuries in 2018. The City of Plano had 8 deaths and 87 suspected serious injuries in 2018.
The most common cause of car accidents in Texas is driver error. Over 900 people in the state lost their lives (26% of all traffic accident deaths) due to a driver under the influence of alcohol in 2018. Furthermore, distracted driving killed close to 400 victims. Drivers who text, talk, eat, drink, groom themselves or take part in other distractions behind the wheel put everyone at risk. Other errors such as speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, ignoring red lights, tailgating, and aggressive driving are also common causes of collisions. Non-driver related crash causes include bad roads, poor weather and vehicle defects.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
A car accident is one of the most harmful types of accidents in Texas. The human body often cannot withstand the forces that are created by a vehicle collision. This leads to serious, life-threatening injuries in many car accidents. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C, we have the resources and experience to help clients with all types of injuries from automobile accidents, including:
- Broken bones
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Ligament damage
- Back and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Permanent injuries/disabilities
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Some car accident injuries will stay with a victim for life or require years of medical care, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation. These types of injuries, referred to in personal injury law as catastrophic injuries, make it even more important to hire a car accident lawyer, as an insurance company may be reluctant to offer the amount that the victim deserves.
Who Is Liable for a Plano Car Accident?
The liable party is the person or entity financially responsible for your losses after an auto accident. In Texas, the at-fault party will have to pay victims’ bills under the state’s fault-based accident laws. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, fault is not relevant. All drivers involved in the crash would seek financial reimbursement from their own insurance companies, regardless of who caused the crash, in a no-fault state.
Identifying the at-fault party is not always easy. The other driver might have caused your accident, but the liable party could also be an employer, company, property owner or product manufacturer. Your case could involve multiple defendants. An investigation of your crash by an attorney can help you determine the identity of the defendant in your case.
What if the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
If the other driver is at fault for your car accident but you discover that he or she does not have car insurance, contact an attorney. This is a complication that can make it difficult to recover fair financial compensation. First, you can seek coverage from your own auto insurance provider. If you have uninsured motorist insurance, underinsured motorist insurance, medical payment insurance, comprehensive insurance or collision coverage, your own insurer may pay for the accident.
If you do not have the right type of insurance on your own policy, another option might be filing a personal injury claim. While a claim against the other driver often is not an option, as drivers who don’t have insurance generally cannot pay settlements, you may be able to file a lawsuit against a third party, such as a defective auto part manufacturer or the government for a road defect. An attorney can help you explore any available options for making a financial recovery after a car accident with an uninsured driver.
What if You Contributed to the Car Accident?
You should still seek a financial recovery even if you believe that you contributed to the car accident that injured you. Texas has a law, known as the modified comparative negligence law, that protects a victim’s right to recover financial compensation, even if he or she contributed to the crash. This right is capped at 50 percent, however; if you are 50 percent or more at fault, you will lose the right to recover any financial compensation at all.
If you are less than 50 percent at fault, but some fault is still allocated to you, the courts will reduce your financial recovery by an equivalent dollar amount. If you are found to be 10 percent at fault for the crash, for example, the courts would reduce your compensation by 10 percent. This is why it is important to hire an attorney if you think you are partially responsible for a crash. An attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that the other driver is more at fault for the accident than you.
What Compensation Is Available for a Car Accident?
A car accident can be expensive for a victim. Motor vehicle accidents often result in medical bills and vehicle damage, as well as lost income if the victim has to take time off of work. Filing a car accident claim could result in an insurance settlement or court order that reimburses you for all of the money you lost and spent because of the car accident, as well as future foreseeable expenses. As a plaintiff in a car accident case, you could recover financial compensation for the following:
- All necessary medical care, including future bills.
- The price to repair your car (or replace it, if it was totaled).
- All income and employment opportunities that you lost while recovering from the car accident.
- Lost capacity to earn wages in the future.
- Physical pain, suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Lost quality of life or loss of consortium.
It is important to understand the value of your car accident case before you enter into negotiations with an insurance company. While an insurance claims adjuster may try to convince you to accept a low settlement, a car accident lawyer will share your goal of maximizing your financial recovery. Discuss the value of your case with our lawyers for more information.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
It is important not to delay in taking legal action after a car accident in Texas. All 50 states have laws known as statutes of limitations that place time limits on the ability to file civil claims. Statutes of limitations are strictly enforced, with the courts refusing to accept or process claims that are filed late, in most cases.
If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit in Texas, state law gives you no more than two years from the date of the crash to do so. If you did not discover your injuries until after the crash, you have two years from the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered them. Note that if your case involves an injured minor, government negligence or wrongful death, your time limit may differ. Protect your right to file by contacting an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident in Plano.
Contact Us Today
Do not wait to contact an attorney about your Plano car accident case. Prompt legal action while evidence is still available can build a stronger case and ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. Talk to an attorney about your recent car accident today at (214) 200-4878. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. also responds quickly to online contact requests.