The question of whether or not to hire an accident attorney for a recent accident is difficult to answer simply because there’s no such thing as a “worthless” case. If you were injured because of someone else’s actions, you have a case and it matters. Whether or not you want to pursue a case is an entirely different question.
Although you might have a case, some individuals choose to not do anything about it for a few reasons. First, it might seem like the case isn’t “big” enough. Second, it may seem like you have no chance because you were involved in a hit and run accident or because you didn’t have insurance at the time. And finally, some folks just don’t want to deal with the hassle of opening a claim. We understand! We make things as easy as possible for you so that you don’t have to worry about the details.
A personal injury case requires three things:
There’s a good chance that if the above factors are met, that you can find an accident attorney to represent you. If you have any doubts about whether or not your accident qualifies for legal representation, most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. They’ll discuss the merits of what happened and let you know whether you have a case, if they can sign you up, or if your case may be a better fit for a different firm.
It’s important to note that you might still have a case, even if there isn’t insurance. Under the law, you can pursue an action against any individual. If someone hurts you, you can sue them regardless of whether or not they have car insurance. Many attorneys may not take the case if there isn’t insurance because pursuing action against an individual may not yield any monetary results. Many defendants are “judgment proof,” meaning they do not have assets that can be accessed with a jury verdict. Simply put, even though a jury says you’re owed money, you may not actually recover anything financially from the at-fault party. For this reason, most attorneys require that insurance is involved before accepting a case.
Although you might think that you’re injured, an insurance company requires proof of your injury to evaluate your claim. They require medical records from a doctor or hospital to verify your physical condition, when the symptoms started, and – occasionally – the cause of your injuries. If you haven’t been to a doctor yet, the most important question to answer is: how are you feeling? Do you think you need to go to the doctor? Have your symptoms worsened since the accident? Are the over-the-counter medications no longer helping your pain? If so, you should seek medical care. If your pain is resolved after a day or two or without medical treatment or you don’t feel as if you need or want medical treatment, that is your prerogative! We’re not here to force you to seek treatment if you don’t need it. We simply want to advise you of your options.
If it’s been a few weeks and you feel like you need to get checked out, but you’re worried about how much time has passed since the accident, you should call an attorney. Many gaps in treatment can be argued or explained to the insurance companies during settlement negotiations.
Nobody knows your body as you do. If you feel that something isn’t right, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. If you have any questions about whether or not your injuries are sufficient to have a personal injury case, call a car accident lawyer and get a free consultation.
To have a personal injury case, you must not have been responsible for the wreck. Even if the other driver has insurance, their insurance company will investigate the accident and determine liability. This will happen even when the facts are clear as to who was at fault. They will also check to make sure that the driver was listed on the policy and that the policy hasn’t lapsed in payment.
If it’s determined that the accident was partially your fault and partially the fault of their driver, the insurance company will issue payment for the property damage and injuries based on their evaluation. For example, if they determine that their driver was 80% at fault but you were 20% at fault for not stopping in time, they’ll pay you 80% of the property damage and injury claim. Most car accident attorneys fight these types of liability decisions on a regular basis.
Sometimes the insurance company will deny liability. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of options. An attorney can try to fight the liability determination or ultimately file a lawsuit if needed. If you have any questions about liability, call an accident attorney for a free consultation.
Under Texas law, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should be the primary source of recovery. This is the first place that we would look to get your treatment and property damage paid for. Unfortunately, not all drivers carry insurance even though it’s the law. If that happens, we fight with your insurance company to make sure they can prove that your policy was inactive. If they cannot, then we may be able to force them to pay for your damages anyway!
There are multiple ways to try and recover for your injuries from a car accident. Your insurance company is just one of the avenues. If you didn’t have active insurance at the time of the accident, call an attorney for a free consultation to discuss other options.
If you were injured because of someone else’s actions and they have insurance, then your case is not too small! You may be worried that you only went to a single doctor’s visit, so it isn’t worth your time to involve a lawyer. According to Texas law, you’re entitled to recover even just for that one visit. What you may not realize is that you’re also owed money for pain and suffering, lost wages, the loss of use for your vehicle, and more.
When you meet all three of the elements for a personal injury case, call an attorney, even if you think your case is too small. Many car accident attorneys offer free consultations. Based in Austin, the accident attorneys at McKinney Vos serve clients throughout Central Texas. Contact us today to discuss the merits of your case.