How A San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
The San Antonio car accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have successfully aided many people injured in car accidents due to others’ mistakes. These dedicated lawyers consistently strive to secure the deserved compensation for these individuals’ injuries.
Have you been hurt in a car accident in San Antonio?
Connect with our San Antonio car accident lawyers at The Patel Firm today at 210-325-9990. We’re here to listen to your story. We don’t charge any money upfront, and our initial consultation is free. If we believe we can assist you and decide to handle your case, we’ll promptly start working to secure the compensation you deserve.Need Help? Let’s Chat.
Table of Contents
- San Antonio Car Accident Lawyers
- What to Do After a Car Accident in San Antonio
- How Can a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
- Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case
- Damages in a Car Accident Case
- How a Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help
- Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Today
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that San Antonio had 38,461 total motor vehicle crashes in 2021, and this total included 171 fatal crashes causing 182 fatalities, 539 suspected serious injury crashes causing 626 suspected serious injuries, 4,307 suspected minor crashes causing 5,555 suspected minor injuries, 6,263 possible injury crashes causing 10,311 possibly injuries, and 2,601 unknown severity crashes involving 11,563 unknown injuries. San Antonio Police Department Sergeant Anthony Dimmick told KSAT-TV that the 205 deadly crashes the department responded to in 2021 was the highest number recorded.
There is little doubt that car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury claims in Texas, and people need to be aware that it can be especially difficult for the average person to recover a respectable settlement on their own. A person will want to be sure they are working with an experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer because legal representation can make a world of difference in the potential outcomes to these cases.
Following any kind of car crash in Texas, a person should try to do all of the following:
- Seek medical attention — No matter whether a person thinks they were hurt, any person involved in a motor vehicle accident must be certain they visit a hospital as soon as possible. You not only want to ensure your own health is taken care of, but you will also want to create a medical record immediately after an accident so there can be a clear indication that treatment was provided for all injuries.
- Call the police — Texas Transportation Code § 550.026 establishes that the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of another person or damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven must immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident to the local police department when an accident occurs in a municipality, the local police department or sheriff’s office if the accident occurred not more than 100 feet outside the limits of a municipality, or the sheriff’s office or nearest office of TxDOT if the accident is not required to be reported under Texas Transportation Code § 550.026(1) or Texas Transportation Code § 550.026(2). When a section of road is within 100 feet of the limits of more than one municipality, the municipalities may agree regarding the maintenance of reports made under Texas Transportation Code § 550.026(a)(2).
- Collect driver information — Get the name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number of the other driver. When there are witnesses to an accident, also get their contact information.
- Preserve evidence — You will want to photograph or take video of all vehicles involved in a crash as well as close-ups of damage. Also be sure to photograph any injuries resulting from the accident while they are at their worst.
- Call a lawyer — It is important for all people involved in car accidents to quickly seek legal counsel. You will want to make sure you speak to an attorney before you talk to any insurance company. Let a lawyer handle all conversations with insurers on your behalf.
Following many car accidents, insurance companies will be quick to contact people and try to offer them lump-sum settlements to resolve their cases. Know that whatever you are being offered will probably be a lowball figure that is substantially less than what you are actually entitled to, so do not hesitate to reject such an offer.
When you hire a San Antonio car accident attorney, they can step in and negotiate with an insurance company for a much more fair and full settlement. A lawyer is going to be able to commence their own independent investigation into the car crash so they can determine the actual cause of the wreck and also secure every important piece of evidence in your case.
Many people who are dealing with serious injuries after a car accident can have difficult obtaining continuing care for their injuries when they fall behind on their medical bills, and a lawyer can also assist in these cases. An attorney can negotiate a medical lien with a hospital or other medical services provider that allows a person to pay all of their medical bills out of their settlement or jury award so they are able to continue receiving care throughout their case.
Most car accident cases are going to be based on negligence claims, meaning a person will be arguing that another driver did not do what they were supposed to do or did something that put other people in jeopardy. The requirements involved in proving negligence in court are as follows:
- Duty of care — Another party had a legal duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care in performing any acts that might harm other people.
- Breach of duty — The party breached their duty of care by taking an inappropriate action.
- Causation — The party’s action caused a car accident.
- Damages — The car accident is causing financial problems for the victim.
Texas handles fault through a 51 percent modified comparative negligence law. This means a person can seek compensation as long as they were less than 51 percent at fault for their accident.
People can prove fault when police reports note that other drivers committed traffic law violations. Distracted driving is another common cause of motor vehicle accidents, and it can be difficult to prove another driver was distracted by a cell phone even when people witnessed the behavior.
An attorney may be able to subpoena another driver’s phone records to prove that they were using their phone at the time of a crash. No matter what the cause of an accident is, a lawyer is going to be your best bet in getting help to prove somebody else was at fault.
People who are involved in car accidents in Texas can be entitled to many different kinds of damages, and economic damages and noneconomic damages are typically the two most common kinds of awards. Economic damages are a person’s actual losses while noneconomic damages are intangible types of losses that are much more subjective.
Economic damages can include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Emergency room bills
- Lost wages
- Urgent care bills
- Property damage
- Physical therapy
- Follow-up doctor visits
- X-ray costs
- Diagnostic tests
- Physical therapy aids
- Blood tests
- Occupational therapy
- Mobility aids like crutches, braces, and wheelchairs
- Prescription costs
- Travel costs to medical appointments
Noneconomic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship, care, and guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A third less common kind of damages is punitive damages or exemplary damages. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001(5) defines exemplary damages as any damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.008(b) establishes that exemplary damages cannot exceed an amount equal to the greater of two times the amount of economic damages plus an amount equal to any noneconomic damages, up to $750,000, or $200,000. The law does not apply to exemplary damages based on conduct described as a felony in the sections of the Texas Penal Code when conduct was committed knowingly or intentionally and involved murder, capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, forgery, commercial bribery, misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution, fraudulent securing of document execution, fraudulent destruction, removal, or concealment of writing, theft, continuous sexual abuse of young child or disabled individual, or trafficking of persons.
There are many people who are going to believe that their car accidents were clearly the fault of another party and they will not need to spend any money on a lawyer because they can handle a settlement on their own. The truth is that a person will have a much better chance of obtaining more compensation by retaining a lawyer.
A One Insurance Research Council (IRC) study entitled “Paying for Auto Injuries: A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims” found that victims who hired attorneys received 40 percent more in settlements with insurance companies than those who represented themselves. You do not want to be trying to negotiate your own settlement with an insurance company because agents for insurers know how to trick people into saying very damaging things that harm their injury claims and cause their cases to be worth less money.
When you hire a lawyer, they are going to be able to communicate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf, obtain all of the necessary evidence with respect to fault for the accident, and help you organize your medical records and bills. They can also communicate with health care providers to obtain missing records, work with doctors to make sure they provide the medical information necessary so a person can prove damages in court, and organize and present all of the evidence to prove liability and damages.
In certain cases, an attorney can also assist in negotiating with lien holders on any claim to possibly reduce the amount of the liens. The biggest benefit of hiring a lawyer will be their ability to effectively negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Most automobile accident cases never make it all the way to trial because insurance companies often conclude that settling cases will be cheaper than taking the risk of a possible judgment against them. Settlements can take time to arrive at, but a lawyer will be able to continuously work to try and close a deal.
Attorneys will not only use any pictures you took of your accident scene, but they will also investigate the vehicles involved themselves to possibly locate additional evidence. A lawyer can also speak to a police officer who handled an accident report to get their comments and thoughts on the crash.
You will likely want an attorney for assistance in obtaining key medical records in your case because it can be very difficult for the average person to get the types of medical documents that they are seeking. A lawyer will know who to speak to and how to obtain all of the necessary paperwork in your case.
A car accident lawyer can help conduct an investigation, review police reports and medical records, and gather witness testimonies. They will know how to demonstrate circumstances surrounding a crash and events leading up to an accident, knowing how to prove who was at fault and building a case based on the details of your accident.
An attorney will know how to create a solid strategy for you to seek compensation and then communicate with the relevant insurance companies, lawyers, or other involved parties. Most importantly, a lawyer will be able to represent you in court should your case go all the way to trial.
When you hire a San Antonio car accident attorney, they will take the time to explain all of your rights to you. You will get the best possible legal advice when you are working with a lawyer.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a car accident in the greater San Antonio area? You will want to be sure you are working with The Patel Firm because we have assisted clients all over Texas with these kinds of claims and we have helped people recover millions of dollars in these types of cases.
Our firm knows how confusing and stressful a car crash can be for most people, but we will work closely with you and make sure you are on the road to recovery while we are handling your case. Call (210)-325-9990 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with our San Antonio car accident attorney.
The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
4883 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78229
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