Motor vehicle accidents remain an ever-present danger worldwide. The loss of human life is the highest cost of automobile accidents. But society also suffers the financial burden of these mishaps..
Despite the auto industry’s consistent advancements in vehicle safety over the past several decades, car crashes still happen frequently. You will know this if you live in Texas.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports one car crash occurred every minute and 7 seconds in 2020. More than 14,000 people sustained serious injuries, and 3,896 died that year due to car accidents.
Plano is one of the largest cities in the state of Texas, with a significant number of vehicles. Its proximity to Dallas means a higher chance of traffic accidents happening daily.
The TxDOT crash reports and records show that 3,756 car accidents occurred in Plano in 2020.
These crashes resulted in 19 fatalities and 79 serious injuries. While other injuries were minor and non-incapacitating, they may have still caused physical and emotional distress to the victims.
There’s no single cause for Plano auto accidents. But unsafe and attentive driving contributes significantly to most Texas motor vehicle crashes, accounting for tens of thousands each. If you get involved in a car crash near Plano, there’s a good chance you’re not at fault.
Getting a free consultation from a personal injury lawyer will help lessen the impact of auto accident injuries. But there are some key factors that you need to consider when hiring a Plano car accident lawyer.
The Personal Injury Center is the best place to start your search if you or any family members get involved in a Texas accident. We have resources to help you find the best lawyer for your car accident case.
This article will walk you through the top considerations when looking for a Plano car accident attorney.
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What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
It’s often difficult to think clearly after being involved in a car crash or motorcycle accident. But staying mindful and acting quickly is crucial for any auto accident case. How you respond to the situation can affect the outcome of your car accident claim and injury compensation.
Ensuring your safety and others should be your priority after a car accident. If you’re able, move your vehicle to a safe location on the road and check for injuries. Getting medical attention right away is essential, especially if you or any of your passengers sustained injuries.
It’s also necessary to report the crash to the police department under Texas law. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment or a fine of up to $5000.
Section 550.021 of the Texas Transportation Code states that a motorist who is involved in an auto accident that results in injuries or wrongful death must immediately do the following:
- Stop the car at the crash scene or as close to it as possible.
- Determine whether a person involved in an auto accident needs aid.
- Stay at the accident scene until the vehicle’s operator complies with the duty to give information and render aid under Section 550.023.
Equipping yourself with these measures can help protect your legal rights. But despite being prepared, the aftermath of car crashes can be extremely perplexing and stressful for everyone involved.
That’s why having a personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents is valuable as you concentrate on healing and returning to your normal life.
Regardless of fault, you may wonder what a car accident lawyer can do for you in this difficult time. Specifically, a Plano car accident attorney with years of experience can extend the following assistance.
Offer objective legal advice
After being involved in a car wreck, victims likely have a wide range of questions. Are they eligible for compensation for their injuries and property damage? How much damages can they recover? What are the steps in filing a personal injury claim?
You may receive a lot of conflicting advice. You may see an article online suggesting one thing and another suggesting the opposite. You may also approach a friend, family member, or relative to advise you.
It can soon become confusing, leaving you unsure of the best strategy to use in your particular situation. Reaching out to a car accident injury attorney is often the best course of action. Car crash attorneys know what you need to do after a car collision.
Lawyers have years of formal education and practical experience handling auto accident cases. They can evaluate the specifics of your personal injury case objectively. Besides helping you understand the legal procedures, car accident lawyers can give legal advice on the following:
- Strengths and weaknesses of your accident case
- Potential outcomes and costs of your case
- Different courses of legal action you can pursue
- Tricks and traps insurance adjusters
- Activities that could impact your compensation
- Tips to avoid admitting liability for the crash
Educate you on your rights
Exercising your legal rights can help crash victims steer clear of a difficult financial situation. Unfortunately, most individuals aren’t well-versed with laws and their legal entitlements after being in a car accident. As a result, many must cover expensive accident-related medical expenses on their own.
Knowing your rights and all relevant laws applicable to your personal injury case can be confusing. Hiring a car accident attorney is the easiest way to understand your rights under the law. They know how to protect you legally and the available defense options for your case.
Suppose you or a family member suffers an injury due to another driver’s negligence. In that case, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden alone. You should not have to pay damages if the crash was not your fault.
Each state has unique laws regarding car accident injuries. Texas law recognizes car accident victims’ rights to pursue recovery of damages for their losses resulting from the crash. But insurance companies are skilled at making arguments for rejecting your claim.
You have a better chance of asserting your rights with the help of a lawyer. Besides your right to seek compensation, an experienced Plano car accident attorney ensures you understand and exercise the following rights:
- Right to obtain information: You have the right to ask for personal and insurance information of all drivers involved in the crash. Inform the police if one of them refuses.
- Right to medical attention: Injured victims have the right to reasonable assistance, such as transportation to the medical facility.
- Right to the police report: You can also obtain a copy of the complete incident report from the police detailing the auto accident.
- Right to refuse to talk with insurers: Insurance adjusters will likely contact you after the crash. But you can decline and have a lawyer talk on your behalf.
Investigate your injury case thoroughly
Identifying who is at fault in a car wreck is crucial in ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. In some cases, such as rear-end collisions, the nature of the crash makes determining fault easy. But other situations are significantly more complicated.
In at-fault states like Texas, insurance companies investigate who is responsible for the collision. It’s essential to report the crash within a reasonable timeframe. Else, the insurance company may have grounds to reject your claim.
After the car accident investigation, the insurer will determine liability based on the state’s fault law. In Texas, the at-fault driver must pay for the injured victims’ medical expenses and property repairs using their insurance coverage.
But under Section 33.01 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code (Code), the court may assign a degree of fault for each responsible party. As the plaintiff, you can still receive compensation if you’re found to be 50% or less at fault. However, the court will reduce the amount you can recover by your percentage of fault.
How much fault you had in the incident directly affects your ability to recover damages, making establishing liability more important.
With the resources and years of experience necessary to conduct a thorough investigation, a personal injury lawyer will help prove that you’re not more than 50% accountable for the accident. They can gather evidence showing that other parties are negligent and responsible for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses.
To understand the circumstances of your case and prove liability, a lawyer may help you compile these sources of evidence.
- Police report
- Testimony of expert witnesses
- Signed eyewitness statements
- Medical treatment records
- Videos and photos of the crash scene
- Dash-cam or other surveillance footage of the crash
- Documentation about the driver, vehicle, or incident
Hiring a car accident lawyer is the most crucial step you can take to improve your chances of getting fair compensation. Besides increasing the likelihood of a fair settlement, lawyers can also help maximize your personal injury payouts.
Every insurance adjuster’s goal is to compensate you as little as possible. Without an experienced lawyer, you may feel pressured to settle for much less than you deserve.
A car accident attorney puts a lot of work into establishing a compelling case on your behalf and defending your right. They also have specialized negotiating skills when dealing with insurance companies. They know how to pressure insurers to respect victims’ rights and make a just settlement offer.
Personal injury attorneys seldom accept the first offer from insurers. Since they can use the information as leverage with the insurance company, they can push for the maximum amount possible.
A highly skilled car accident lawyer can specifically assist you with the following to secure a higher settlement.
- Prove who is liable for the accident
Lawyers can help determine who is accountable for your traffic accident through an investigation. They can prove who is at fault for the accident and show the other party is financially liable. They will review the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to determine how much money you can get and for what.
- Carefully estimate the value of your claim
Knowing how much your injuries are worth is crucial when negotiating a settlement. An experienced lawyer understands the potential value of your claim. They can prepare a list of your expenses due to the accident, including any future financial and medical care needs.
- Obtain your medical records
Medical records are a critical component of a successful personal injury claim. Unfortunately, securing copies of these records on time can take time and effort. But attorneys know what to do to ensure you get the necessary documents promptly.
Represent you in court
The majority of automobile accident claims are settled out of court. But there are cases where the parties cannot agree on a settlement. It usually happens when car accident victims take unnecessary risks representing themselves. This is why working with a lawyer is invaluable.
When your case winds up in court, a car accident attorney will be there to represent you. Experienced lawyers are fully conversant with court procedures. They know how to put up a fierce fight to protect your right to restitution.
Additionally, attorneys with experience are not intimidated by insurance companies or their strategies. They will ensure that your case goes before the court with substantial proof and testimony in your favor. Whatever the insurer puts to the table, they will be ready for it.
Most injury claims in Texas have a statute of limitations. Section 16.03 of the Code gives you two years to file a lawsuit for auto accidents.
Other sections in the Code stipulate the exceptions to the rule. The trick is knowing what rule applies to your care. A personal injury law firm with experienced car accident lawyers can successfully help you get justice on time.
Things To Look for in a Car Accident Lawyer in Plano
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a car crash? Besides seeking prompt medical attention, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best first step. But we understand how challenging it can be to find the best legal representation.
After being hurt in a serious car wreck, it’s natural to worry about your health, vehicle condition, and medical expenses. The right legal representation will help protect your legal rights and best interests. This will give you peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery.
The variety of choices in Plano can be overwhelming. Many advertisements promote legal services on bus stop benches and billboards. But don’t settle for the first personal injury attorney you find.
You can narrow down your options by asking the appropriate questions and looking for the right qualifications.
Successful track record
Numerous personal injury lawyers specialize in certain types of cases. Some deal with car accidents, while other lawyers handle workers’ compensation cases or class actions against manufacturers.
You want to work with a personal injury attorney with a lot of expertise in handling auto accidents. They should have a successful track record in obtaining just settlements from insurance companies.
There might be instances where a case doesn’t settle before trial. Therefore, you want a lawyer with experience handling court cases and obtaining favorable judgments.
Here are relevant questions when determining a lawyer’s track record and success rate.
- How long have they been practicing personal injury law?
- What’s your usual method for winning or representing a case?
- Do you prefer to settle or go to court?
- How many similar cases have you successfully represented in court?
You want to choose a car accident attorney who will always be transparent and provide you with the latest updates. Regular communication is a vital factor when deciding on which lawyer to hire. It will help you stay informed about the progress of your case.
Throughout the process, several questions will arise, especially when understanding your rights. Ensure you find a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable and answer any questions.
Some lawyers may use legal jargon. Although they may sound impressive, they may confuse you. Look for a lawyer who can clearly and effectively explain legal terms to you in a way you understand.
An attorney’s reputation is also crucial in car crash cases. You want to research what type of person you’re getting into business with before signing any agreement.
Relatives and friends can give the best reviews about potential injury lawyers if they have personal experience with one. Online reviews are also good supporting evidence.
It’s also a good idea to take the time to find out what other lawyers have to say about a particular attorney. A professional referral is powerful because the referrer is willing to risk their reputation by recommending a specific lawyer.
You can also visit the State Bar of Texas to know whether the lawyer has ever faced disciplinary action. Additionally, checking online for client testimonials about the attorney will help you make better-informed decisions and avoid disappointments.
Readiness to give references
Your accident case may be more complicated than you realize. You may need more than a thorough knowledge of how to proceed legally. Having an attorney who can approach your suit claim with the right mindset is essential.
A reputable car accident attorney will be willing to provide a list of references. While you can certainly choose to use those references, you might not have to. Such references may attest to the reputation of the lawyer. The mere fact that the lawyer gave them is already a good sign.
As much as possible, avoid hiring a lawyer who refuses to provide references or lacks them.
An engaged listener
A competent attorney should be fully engaged with every aspect of your case. Disengaged lawyers will merely exert the bare minimum effort. As a result, you might end up with a lower settlement than you otherwise would have.
How do you know if the lawyer is fully interested in your accident case? The first sign is when they pay close attention to everything you say during your initial consultation.
They’re eager to investigate your circumstances and ask specific questions about what happened in great detail. They will also want to find out your legal objectives and what a successful outcome will look like to you.
An engaged lawyer knows how to listen and will spend meaningful time understanding your emotional state and current needs. As the case progresses, your goals may change, or you may want to explore other strategies.
The last thing you want is to work with a lawyer who is too focused on their own ego. When looking for an attorney, consider someone who genuinely listens to your needs, thoughts, and values.
Client-oriented law firm
It’s crucial to hire a lawyer who can fight for your rights and won’t back down from a trial if necessary. To succeed in this, find a client-focused law firm with car accident attorneys and a legal team dedicated to meeting your needs.
Below are some factors to consider when searching for a client-oriented law office and lawyer.
- Provides easy-to-understand client intake forms
- Answers your questions proactively
- Utilizes top-of-the-line technology
- Uses more than one communication method
- Has flexible payment options
- Offers a free case review
Get the Compensation You Deserve with The Personal Injury Center
The consequences of negligent car accident injuries can be devastating, particularly because it is not your fault. Besides the physical and emotional effects, vehicular accidents may lead to a loss of employment, strained family ties, and hefty medical bills. In severe cases, injuries of crash victims may permanently impair their quality of life. The at-fault party must pay.
However, the first step is determining and proving who was at fault for the car wreck. That requires competent legal help from a Plano car accident attorney. They could hold the negligent parties accountable by creating compelling arguments for careless or reckless behavior. Most importantly, they can help you get fair compensation for your injuries.
The Personal Injury Center is here to assist accident victims. We can help put you in touch with a trustworthy law firm with personal injury attorneys specializing in your case.
Get in touch with us immediately to work with a Plano car accident lawyer in your area.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Plano
Hiring a lawyer for a car accident is not always necessary, but it is advisable. However, if you are partially or wholly responsible for the accident, you really should.
You could face significant legal challenges for a crash that was your fault, even if you were not negligent. However, avoid apologizing or making statements indicating you were at fault. Instead, hire an experienced lawyer to explore your legal options.
Most Plano car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement. The client will only pay the lawyer a percentage of the overall settlement or verdict. Typically, attorneys charge around 33% of the amount awarded to the client.
Under Texas Law, car accident victims in Plano generally have a two-year limit to submit a personal injury claim. There may be some exceptions to the rule, but they may not apply to your case. Consult a lawyer to confirm what part of the law applies to you.