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Houston Car Accident Lawyer Guide

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If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, you likely have significant medical bills and expensive repairs to your car. You should be focused on healing, not on fighting the insurance company for the compensation you’re rightfully owed. At Milano Law Group, we know how important it is for you to get just compensation, and we want to advocate zealously on your behalf.

Types of Accidents We Handle

Our legal team is experienced in handling many different types of accident claims. While you focus on resting and recovering, our injury attorneys will deal with the insurance company to get you a top-dollar settlement. We’ve handled many types of cases, including:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-bone and side-impact collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Single-vehicle accidents
  • Multi-vehicle accidents
  • Commercial car accidents

Common Causes of Car Accidents

We never mean for accidents to happen, but they do. There are a few common behaviors that lead to car accidents:

  • Distracted driving – Distracted driving is the top cause of car accidents. Most often, people think of texting and driving when distracted driving is brought up. Texting and driving is a major cause of distracted driving accidents, but there are other ways that a driver can become distracted, such as eating, talking to passengers, or changing the radio.
  • Speeding – Many people drive over the speed limit, but doing so drastically increases your odds of being in an accident. By speeding, you cut down the time you have to react, which means you’re more likely to get in an accident.
  • Driving under the influence – Operating a vehicle when you are under the influence of any drugs or alcohol may cause impaired judgment and slower reaction times, which can lead to accidents.
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road – Accidents are often caused by drivers who don’t follow posted road signs or traffic lights. Always be alert to the signs around you and make sure to always stop, yield, and go the right way in traffic, especially at busy intersections.
  • Tailgating – When you fail to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, you run the risk of getting in a rear-end collision.

Common Injuries From Car Accidents

Unfortunately, car accidents often lead to serious injuries. These injuries may involve hospital visits, surgeries, and multiple follow-up doctor visits, all of which can be expensive. Some of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents are:

  • Brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries, also called TBI, occur when the brain is damaged by an impact to the head. Car accidents are the leading cause of these types of injuries.
  • Spinal injuries – The impact from a car accident can cause injuries to your spine. Unfortunately, spinal injuries can be incredibly severe and can lead to paralysis, either partial or total.
  • Neck injuries – Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from car accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can happen at speeds as low as 15 mph, which is part of the reason it is so common.
  • Internal injuries – Internal injuries, like internal bleeding, can be caused by car accidents and frequently need emergency treatment.
  • Burns – Vehicles contain gas, oil, and hot surfaces. After accidents, it is common for the victims to suffer severe burns, some of which may require surgeries or skin grafts.
  • Breaks and fractures – From collar bones to ribs to legs, breaks are all too common in car accidents. Some breaks or fractures may simply require a cast, while others require surgery and have lengthy recovery times.
  • PTSD – PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can also occur from severe car accidents. Accident victims may require mental health treatment after the accident to help with PTSD.

No matter what your injury is, you deserve compensation. Let us help you get top-dollar compensation to cover all of the medical expenses associated with your injury.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, there are a few things you can do to ensure your safety and make sure you have the evidence you may need to get compensation for your injury.

Step 1 – Seek Medical Attention

Remember, your health and safety are both number one. Make sure you seek appropriate medical attention. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. Many injuries, like whiplash, take time to show symptoms.

Step 2 – Call 9-1-1.

Let the dispatcher know you’ve been in an accident and stay at the scene until the officer arrives. Even if the accident is minor, you should still call the police and get an accident report. You may not know the full extent of your injuries or the damage to your vehicle on the scene, and an accident report will be critical if you need to pursue legal action.

Step 3 – Exchange Information

If you’re able, get the information of anyone involved in the accident. From the other driver(s), you’ll want to get their name, license plate number, contact information, and insurance information. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information as well. Your attorney may need to speak with them about what they saw.

Step 4 – Collect Evidence

Make sure to take photos of the damage to your car, the other cars, and any visible injuries. If you can, leave the vehicles where they are until the police arrive. If it is unsafe to leave the vehicles, try to snap a few photos before you move them, so there is photographic evidence of the scene. You should also write down everything as you remember it. Your memory will fade over time, and you want to have the most accurate details written down.

Step 5 – Don’t Talk About The Accident

Accidents are traumatizing experiences. You may be frustrated at the other driver or upset about your injuries. That’s understandable, but try to avoid talking about the accident. Don’t make posts on social media, avoid arguing with the other driver, and don’t discuss the accident with the insurance company.

Step 6 – Talk To An Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Most car accident lawyers offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Take advantage of that. Before you make any decisions surrounding a settlement or lawsuit, you need to have a good idea of the legal options available to you.

Compensation for a Car Accident

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, it’s important that you get compensated fairly. There is no set amount of compensation, as the compensation you are eligible for will vary depending on the specifics of your case. However, there are a few general factors to use when determining what compensation is fair:

  • Property damage – Your vehicle likely sustained damage during the accident. The costs to repair that will be part of the compensation you are owed.
  • Medical expenses – You should also be compensated for your medical expenses, not just the medical expenses you have incurred but any medical expenses you are likely to incur in the future due to your injuries. Make sure to keep all medical records and any receipts you have for treatments or medications so you can provide evidence of the medical expenses you have incurred.
  • Lost wages – If your injury causes you to miss time from work, make sure to keep track of that. If you are unable to work, even very temporarily, you can be eligible for compensation for those lost wages.
  • Loss of earning capacity – There is a possibility that your injury may cause permanent damage, which leaves you unable to return to your previous employment. If you have sustained permanent damage, you may be entitled to compensation for the fact that you have lost some or all of your earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering – Your injuries may not be solely physical. Many accident victims suffer from PTSD, anxiety, or depression, especially when injuries are severe and life-changing.

Compensation If You Are Partially At Fault

In many cases, an accident is not just one driver’s fault. The other driver may have run a red light or inappropriately switched lanes, but maybe you were speeding or shooting a text message. The good news is that Texas is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, the compensation you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you are assigned.

It is important to note that this rule only goes so far. If you are assigned 50 percent or more of the fault, you cannot recover any damages from the other driver.

Timeframe for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

Like most states, Texas puts a time frame on when you can file a lawsuit for your car accident injuries, something called a statute of limitations for filing your claim. The Texas statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. Once this time frame passes, you will be unable to file a lawsuit for your injuries.

Even if you don’t intend to file a lawsuit, it is important to keep this timeframe in mind. Insurance companies will be more likely to engage in settlement negotiations because they know you can take legal action if you don’t get the compensation you want. Once your time runs out to file suit, you lose a lot of leverage, and many end up getting no compensation at all.

Fault State

Many people may know that Texas is considered a fault state, but you may not know exactly what that means or how it affects your accident claim. The fact that Texas is a fault state means that it matters who is responsible for the accident. Unlike no-fault states, you don’t look to your own insurance company in the event of injury from an accident. You will turn to the insurance company of the driver who is at fault.

If that driver does not have insurance, you’ll have to turn to your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist insurance. You may also have to turn to your own insurance company if your damages far exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. In this case, you’d be relying on any underinsured motorist coverage. You have to make up the difference between your actual damages and what the at-fault driver’s insurance company can pay.

A Strong Car Accident Injury Claim

One question people often ask is if they have a strong claim. Each claim is unique, and the best way to know if you have a strong claim is to go over the facts with an experienced car accident attorney. However, there are a few factors you can use to evaluate your claim:

  • Medical treatment – If you received medical treatment immediately after the accident, that is a clear sign to insurance companies that you sustained an injury from the accident. Waiting to seek treatment may seem more convenient, but it opens you up to questions about the severity of the injury or if there was a cause other than the accident. It’s also critical that you follow through with any recommended medical treatment. Skipping doctor appointments or failing to follow treatment plans indicates that your injuries are not serious.
  • Significant injury or damage – Unfortunately, the more significant your injury or the damage to your vehicle, the more likely the insurance company will take your claim seriously.
  • Clear liability – Since Texas is a comparative negligence fault state, you’ll need to show that the other driver was at-fault for the accident. The clearer it is that the other driver was at fault, the stronger your case is.
  • Your evidence – At the end of the day, it all comes down to evidence. You can know for sure that the other driver was 100 percent at-fault, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t show it. Make sure to keep records of everything that happened. Save all your receipts, repair quotes, doctor reports, etc. You never know what you’ll need.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

When you’ve been in a car accident, you need to focus on resting and recovering. When that’s your focus, it’s challenging also to find the time to take on a big insurance company. The goal of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible, and they’ll have a team of attorneys to help them do just that.

You should also have a team of attorneys in your corner. Our car accident attorneys will be by your side, drastically improving your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.

Our attorneys will help you:

  • Gather evidence to support your claim, be it medical records, eyewitness testimony, surveillance videos, or a police report. We’ll also organize everything and present it in a way that is clear and convincing.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies can be tough to deal with, but we understand how the process works. We know the best way to approach them to get good results.
  • Evaluate any settlement offers. Oftentimes, the insurance company will present you with a settlement offer. It may not always be in your best interest to accept that offer. And, if you do decide to accept the offer, you should be aware of how that may impact future compensation and future legal claims.
  • Bring a lawsuit if needed. If you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to take your case to court. Your attorney will handle all of the court procedures, deadlines, and forms to make sure that your case proceeds smoothly. In addition, your attorney will aggressively advocate for you and present your claim in the best light.
  • Retain any specialists. As your case proceeds, you may find that you need professionals, like an accident reconstruction specialist or an investigator, to help determine what really happened. Your attorney will know all the right people for the job and will ensure whatever you need is handled.

Cost of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

People hesitate to call a car accident attorney because they are concerned about the cost. We’re here to help you, not to charge you outrageous hourly fees. In fact, we handle car accident claims on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay us unless you get paid!

We’ll communicate with you upfront and let you know how our contingency system works, and we’ll determine a percentage of the settlement that will be our compensation. Our payment will come 100 percent from your settlement; you won’t have to pay our fees out of your own pocket.

In addition, a consultation with us to evaluate your case and learn how we can work together is also free and with no obligation.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

At Milano Law Group, our experienced team of attorneys has years of experience fighting for the rights of car accident victims. We’ll bring our experience to your case to help you get a top-dollar settlement. To get started, call us at (713) 489-4270 to set up a free consultation.

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