Austin Car Accident Attorneys

Consult A Skilled Austin Car Accident Lawyer Today

The Austin car accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have a history of success in representing victims of car accidents. We are here to provide you with the help you need during this difficult time.

How An Austin Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Injury Claim

The Austin car accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have a history of success in representing victims of car accidents. We are here to provide you with the help you need during this difficult time.

Auto accidents are often caused by the negligence of other drivers. Because your physical and financial recovery likely hinges on your ability to obtain just compensation, you need an experienced auto accident lawyer in your corner.

Car accidents are as common as they are dangerous. The fact is that there are a lot of dangerously negligent drivers out there, and they put us all at increased risk. If a motorist’s negligence or reckless driving causes you to be injured in a car accident, turn to an experienced Austin car accident lawyer. Their experience with similar claims, legal knowledge, and professional guidance will get you through complex court processes.

Table of Contents

The Elements of a Car Accident Claim

The Patel Firm Car Crash LawyerThe four elements that must be present in order to bring a successful car accident claim include:

  • Duty of Care – The element of duty of care is generally not difficult to establish because every motorist on the road accepts a significant responsibility for the safety of everyone else on the road when he or she gets behind the wheel.
  • Breach of Duty of Care – You must be able to demonstrate that the other driver breached the duty of care that he or she owed you. Generally, this means that he or she engaged in some kind of negligent driving practice, such as distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, or being drowsy behind the wheel.
  • Cause of Your Injuries – The fact of the other driver’s negligence isn’t enough to bring a car accident claim. You must be able to demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence directly caused you to be injured.  Examples of means to prove your cause of injuries include testimonies from witnesses and photo documentation of the wreck.
  • Damages – Finally, the injuries you suffered as a result of the other driver’s negligence must amount to legal damages (or losses).  Damages suffered as a result of collisions include property damage, medical care expenses, and lost wages.

If these four elements are present in your car accident claim, you can move forward in your efforts to obtain just compensation.

The Damages You’ve Suffered

An important component of your car accident claim is accurately representing your damages in their entirety. In addition to property damage to your vehicle, these damages generally fall into several categories.

The Cost of Your Medical Care

One of the primary financial losses you face likely relates to the medical care you need. A serious accident can lead to extensive medical costs, but even a relatively mild accident can leave you facing considerable medical expenses.  In the worst cases, these accidents could even result in fatalities, leaving victims’ families bereft and potentially without a breadwinner.

An important point to make about your medical costs is that serious injuries can evolve into serious secondary medical concerns and ongoing medical costs. Establishing the probable overall cost of your healthcare journey is a critical step to your recovery and is a job that’s best handled by an experienced car accident lawyer. Common medical expenses associated with serious car accidents include:

  • Emergency treatment and transportation
  • Surgical care and aftercare
  • Medical tests, procedures, and treatments from doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
  • Pain management
  • Physical and/or occupational therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Adaptive physical devices
  • Adaptations to home, office, and/or vehicle
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Home health care

Your Lost Earnings

Another financial loss that is commonly associated with car accidents is lost earnings due to time lost on the job. While you recover from your physical injuries, it will likely translate to lost earnings.

If your ability to do your job is affected, it can lead to even more serious financial challenges that can include an emotional component. Many of us infuse our careers with considerable meaning, and losses of this nature can be especially difficult for car crash victims to overcome.

Your Pain and Suffering

Car accidents tend to be violent, terrifying events. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, it can lead to stress, debilitating pain, and emotional suffering.

The psychological effects of the pain and suffering you endure can include all the following:

  • Terrifying accident flashbacks
  • Fear of getting back behind the wheel
  • Emotional liability
  • Severe mood swings
  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulty focusing and/or concentrating
  • Increased anxiety and panic attacks
  • Bouts of depression
  • A tendency to self-isolate and/or to push others away
  • Sleep disturbances, such as nightmares
  • Nerve damage
  • Feelings of hopelessness

While it can be difficult to accurately assess the damages you’ve suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, doing so is critical to your ability to fully recover. This is a time-consuming, painstaking job that a skilled car accident lawyer can take on instead, so you can focus on recovering from a car wreck.

Your Car Accident Claim

You have been injured by another driver’s negligence, and this means that you will file your car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider. While the insurance company is responsible for covering your damages fairly, this responsibility is often offset by the company’s focus on profitability. As such, you’ll need to bring your strongest claim and negotiate skillfully.

By doing so, you’ll have a stronger chance of obtaining rightful compensation. However, this can prove daunting as it requires very detailed documents and knowledge of relevant laws. These are burdens that your dedicated car accident lawyer can handle for you.

Austin Car Accidents

You can count on the insurance company to be good at what it does, which is keeping settlements like yours as low as possible, and toward this end, it has many tools at its disposal.

Claims Denial

One bold move some insurance companies try is simply denying valid car accident claims out of hand. The hope here is that you are simply too overwhelmed and vulnerable to rally the resources to fight back.

Early Settlement Offer

You are injured, facing immense medical expenses in the face of lost income, and are – in essence – about as vulnerable as you can be. The insurance company is well aware of your predicament and may swoop in with an early settlement offer that is woefully low but that you may be desperate enough to accept.

Once you sign off on a settlement, your legal options disappear, and you are locked into that negotiation – regardless of any financial deficit that may be involved. It is a good rule of thumb not to accept a car accident settlement offer before reviewing it with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer who is well acquainted with your claim.

Blame Shift

The insurance company may attempt to shift the fault shouldered by its policyholder toward you. In their vulnerability, many accident victims are quick to accept the insurance company’s authority and simply give up. The truth of the matter is that the insurance company is not the final authority on the matter, and your car accident lawyer will weigh all the evidence and will ensure that it succinctly establishes the other motorist’s negligence in the matter.

A good thing to remember is that, in the State of Texas, you are not barred from seeking compensation after an accident in which you share fault. As long as you aren’t more than 50 percent responsible, you can file a claim for compensation for the percentage of damages that other parties are responsible for.

Artificially Complicated Claims Process

Another common delaying tactic used by insurance companies is artificially prolonging and/or complicating the accident process. There are actually laws in place to help bar this practice, but by the time you fight back, it can leave you and your family in an even more difficult position. The defendant’s insurance company is banking on you succumbing to the financial pressure, hoping you’ll simply give up or settle for far less than the amount to which you are entitled.

Diminished Damages

It is not unusual for insurance companies to call the severity of claimants’ damages into question. Your focused personal injury lawyer will skillfully compile evidence in support of the damages outlined in your claim to help derail the insurance company’s efforts. However, there are other steps you can take from the outset to help protect your claim from such attempts.

Protecting Your Claim

Austin Car Accident Law Firm

The fact is that once you file an accident claim with the insurance company, it is going to do what it can to mitigate the financial implications involved. This means the insurance company is going to do some digging in search of anything that may bolster its position that your damages are less extensive than you claim.

The kind of evidence that an insurer is on the hunt for may not seem like much to you, but once they put their unique spin on it, it could prove damaging to your claim. As such, there are several practices that you should keep in mind as you move forward with the claims process.

Don’t Comment at the Scene of the Accident

It is human nature to say you’re sorry after being involved in an accident – not because you believe you are at fault but because you are obviously sorry that the accident happened. The insurance company can take such a comment and turn it into a full-on admission of guilt. You’re far better off suppressing your urge to apologize.

Additionally, you may feel compelled to discuss the accident at the scene. After all, it was a remarkably frightening and dangerous experience that may have left you in a state of shock, and some people find it cathartic to talk about such incidents.

It is a good policy, however, to keep your comments to yourself as much as possible after a car accident. The less raw material you provide the insurance company with, the better. If you think this is being overly cautious, you may be unpleasantly surprised at an insurance company’s willingness to dig up even the most trivial statement to deny your claim.

That said, if an attending officer asks you questions at the scene, you should respond as truthfully and succinctly as possible.

Give Social Media A Pass

Social media is a great way to share information about big events in your life, and while a car accident is just such a type of event, posting about it is not likely to do your car accident claim any favors.

When you post a comment, you put your thoughts down in black and white. The meaning behind them may be clear to you, but you can count on the insurance company taking a different, more creative view that shines a less-than-flattering light on your claim.

Refrain from Making a Statement

After being injured by another driver’s negligence, you’ll soon hear from someone who represents the other driver’s insurance company. This person is going to want you to make a formal statement about the accident.

To complicate the matter further, you could be facing an unscrupulous representative who’s dead-set on eliciting unflattering statements and twisting your words. This can chip away at your claim through absolutely no fault of your own.

The best practice is to bypass this situation altogether. The fact is that you are not required to make a formal statement, and you can deny the insurance company’s request for one.

Your experienced car accident lawyer can handle any communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, freeing you from these worries. For this reason, it’s highly advisable to retain a lawyer from an experienced law firm before even starting the claims process. This single action of becoming a client makes a big difference in the car accident cases we see.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions Carefully

If you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, one of the biggest tasks you are charged with is recovering your health and well-being, which is likely to be a difficult journey. Carefully following your medical team’s instructions and advice is one of the most important things you can do to aid you on the path toward recovery, but it is also one of the most important things you can do to help protect your car accident claim.

The car insurance company may look for a reason to cast doubt on the severity of your damages, but your commitment to following your doctor’s instructions can go a long way toward bolstering your account of the damages you’ve suffered.

Common Injuries

Some of the serious injuries that are most common to car accidents include:

  • Severe cuts and burns that are prone to serious infection and that can be permanently disfiguring
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that, because they affect the brain,  are both extremely dangerous and extremely unpredictable
  • Spinal cord injuries that, even when relatively mild, can lead to chronic pain and a serious decrease in range of motion
  • Broken bones that are as painful as they are slow to heal (in addition to being highly susceptible to secondary health complications)

Statistics

Here are 5 Austin, Texas car accident statistics from 2018.

  1. There were 6,590 car accidents, and 21% were hit and runs.
  2. 2,812 people were injured in car accidents with 3% tragically losing their lives.
  3. 78 people were killed in car accidents in Austin, and 36% were not wearing a seatbelt.
  4. Austin had 1,310 DUI related car accidents with 4% resulting in a fatality.
  5. In 2018, there were 31 fatal DUI-related car accidents in Austin.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a car accident claim, you may have questions about what to do or what typically causes car crashes. The answers to some of the most frequently asked questions may help you address your own concerns.

What are the most common forms of driver negligence?

Car accidents are often caused by one form of driver negligence or another, and the most common varieties include:

  • Distraction – A motorist who is not focused on driving safely is a dangerous motorist who shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
  • Impairment – Drunk drivers are just as dangerous as you imagine they are. In fact, drunk drivers often play a starring role in fatal car accident statistics.
  • Excess Speed – Excess speed works something like an accelerant in a fire (by increasing the risk that an accident will happen and by increasing the odds that the accident will be deadly).
  • Exhaustion – When you’re tired, it makes getting the job done more difficult. When the job involved is driving safely, exhaustion can significantly increase the risk that accidents will happen.

Have you been injured in a car crash?

Austin Car Accident Lawyer

Contact our Austin car accident lawyers at The Patel Firm today at (361) 400-2036. You have a story to tell, and we want to hear it. There are no upfront costs, and all consultations are free. If we feel that we are a good fit and decide to pursue your case, we’ll begin right away on working to recover the compensation you deserve.

Ready to Get Help? Let’s talk.

Can I afford an experienced car accident lawyer?

Yes. In most cases, you can afford an experienced car lawyer. While your situation will be utterly unique to the circumstances involved, you have two things on your side: contingency payment and the need for legal representation to prove the maximum settlement you’re entitled to.

Most reputable car accident lawyers are paid on contingency, which means that their payment is contingent upon their client’s compensation. In other words, if your claim settles or receives a court award, your car accident lawyer will receive a pre-arranged percentage. If it doesn’t, you won’t owe anything.

If you’re concerned about the cost of legal representation, keep in mind that experienced lawyers are more likely than self-representing plaintiffs to win such cases and get a larger settlement.

What should I do at the scene of the accident?

Each collision has a unique set of circumstances that change what’s best to do at the time. However, these are generally good steps that you may take at the scene of the accident:

  • Pull as far off the road and out of the path of traffic as you can
  • Call 911
  • Render whatever aid you can to anyone at the scene who needs it
  • Accept medical attention at the scene of the accident, and if it isn’t offered, seek the medical attention that you need as soon after the car accident as you can
  • Gather evidence in the form of pictures and/or videos that capture the accident from every angle. This includes detailed closeups and photos of any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the accident, such as a poorly maintained road or the effects of bad weather.
  • Collect eyewitness testimony and contact information.
  • Jot down your memories in as much detail as possible as soon after the accident as you can. These fresh recollections can help bolster your claim immensely.
  • Seek legal counsel. Whatever you were able to gather from the steps listed above should be provided to a personal injury attorney who is ready to take action on behalf of your case

Minesh Patel Car Accident LawyerDon’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Austin Car Accident Lawyer

The trusted Austin car accident trial attorneys at The Patel Firm dedicate their impressive practice to getting optimal case outcomes and supporting clients’ rights and recovery. We’re here for you and we understand the importance of swift legal action, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us for a consultation today.

To schedule your free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in Austin, call our law office today at (361) 400-2036.

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