It can happen in a matter of seconds—one moment, you are driving down the road, and the next, you are dealing with a wrecked car, multiple injuries, or both. Suddenly, you are faced with several questions and concerns, including how to handle the insurance claim and whether you need a car accident lawyer. It’s completely natural to feel stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work that must be done to ensure your safety and financial security after a car accident. However, you are not alone.
There are hundreds of car accidents every day in the state of Texas, and a skilled car accident lawyer can remove this layer of stress by managing your insurance and legal obligations. If you or someone you love recently experienced a car accident, it is important to contact a skilled Bryan, Texas car accident lawyer like Brian C. Gutierrez as soon as possible.
Expert attorney Brian C. Gutierrez understands that car accidents can be a traumatic experience. That is what drives him to provide the best possible representation for victims of car accidents in the state of Texas. Attorney Gutierrez is well versed in auto accident law, which means that our team can quickly evaluate your case and provide you with the best course of action to move forward with your recovery.
Our main objective is to help you receive compensation for each of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. Attorney Gutierrez will work directly with you to help you get your life back on track after a car accident in Bryan, Texas, as well as College Station, Caldwell, Rockdale, Navasota, Brenham, Hempstead, Huntsville, Madisonville, Buffalo, Cameron, and the surrounding areas.
Every car accident and every case is unique. Many car accident victims find themselves wondering if an attorney is necessary after a minor crash, or wondering “Should I get a lawyer if I was rear-ended?” However, there is always value in hiring a car accident attorney. Here are a few general ways you will benefit from securing an attorney to represent you in your car accident case:
These reasons alone are more than enough to warrant hiring a car accident lawyer in Bryan, Texas. Your most important documents—and your financial recovery—will be handled by an experienced professional like Attorney Brian Gutierrez, who truly has your best interest at heart.
Choosing the right car accident lawyer can be a difficult decision, especially when you consider that there are hundreds of attorneys to choose from in Bryan, College Station, and the surrounding areas. However, there are several primary characteristics of a skilled car accident attorney you should consider, including:
If you can find an attorney who meets these criteria, then you have secured the best chance of success in your car accident claim. Prioritizing these qualities will help you ensure you are represented by an attorney who is truly looking out for your best interests.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be a very stressful and upsetting experience, especially if you’ve sustained serious injuries. Your life has been suddenly disrupted and you’re likely to feel somewhat dazed and overwhelmed by it all. The last thing you want is the additional hassle of a complex insurance claim and potential personal injury lawsuit.
But if you plan to seek financial compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, it’s important to act quickly. In these difficult moments, the help and guidance of a good car accident attorney can be invaluable for the following ten reasons.
Many car accident victims are intimidated by the prospect of filing a claim and dealing with an insurance company. The insurance adjusters that investigate accidents and handle claims usually aren’t on your side. Rather than helping claimants, they seek to minimize payouts by disputing the validity of your claim and the monetary value of any damages you’ve suffered.
Handling recalcitrant insurers while trying to navigate the unfamiliar legal process is no walk in the park. When you hire an attorney from the get-go, they can file your claim with the insurer and take that weight off your shoulders.
Experienced car accident lawyers understand the law and know how to deal with insurers to gain fair compensation for their clients.
Tactics Insurers Use To Hinder Your Claim
Car accident attorneys also know the various strategies that insurance companies use against claimants. Insurers may misrepresent the terms of their plans, for example, leading you to believe you have less coverage than you actually do.
After investigating an accident, they’re also likely to withhold any information uncovered that might strengthen your claim. With more complex car accidents and cases, they may seek to drag out the proceedings. This can exhaust and demoralize victims, wearing you down until you accept a less-than-optimal settlement.
An experienced auto accident lawyer knows how to deal with such strategies. Your car accident attorney can explain your legal rights, analyze the insurance coverage, investigate the accident independently, and keep the case moving forward toward resolution.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer at the very start of your case is to avoid making costly mistakes: mistakes the insurance company is hoping you’ll make.
When you communicate with the insurance adjuster alone, for instance, they’ll often try to have you make an official statement. During this process, they’ll encourage you to speak as much as you like while asking you leading questions.
They hope you’ll admit to some degree of fault for the accident. And if you do, the value of your claim will be greatly diminished if not destroyed altogether.
Failing To Seek Immediate Medical Care
There are many more common mistakes to avoid following motor vehicle accidents. One is failing to immediately get proper medical attention after the accident happened.
Following a seemingly minor car accident, you might feel fine. But symptoms of injuries sometimes only develop hours, days, or even weeks later.
This can even happen in the case of serious injuries like neck injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Without proof that you sought medical care directly after the accident, it is much harder to claim damages for the later costs of your medical expenses and other damages.
More Pitfalls Uninformed Claimants Stumble Into
Sharing too much information about your car accident, injuries, and personal injury claim online is another common mistake that can hurt your claim, as is failing to gather evidence such as police reports and eyewitness reports promptly, misrepresenting the true extent of injuries, and letting too much time pass before filing a claim.
Perhaps the biggest mistake of all is accepting a car accident settlement offer too early. An attorney can make sure that you only act in ways that strengthen the value of your car accident claim and never settle for less than full and fair compensation.
Without legal counsel, many auto accident victims fail to realize the full value of their personal injury claims.
In most car accident cases, it’s not only medical bills you can seek compensation for but also future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional pain, property damage, loss of enjoyment in life, and many more types of damages.
Your car accident lawyer can explain all the damages that apply to your case. With their experience and legal know-how, they can calculate the full value of those damages and then set out to prove them and win you a fair settlement from the at-fault party.
According to the Insurance Research Council, victims who hire a car accident lawyer win three and a half times more money in compensation, on average, than victims who decide to handle their claims alone.
With a good car accident injury lawyer by your side, you’re far more likely to win a full and fair settlement.
When Hiring Car Accident Lawyers, Sooner Is Better Than Later
It’s usually best to hire a lawyer at the very start of your case. This is because gathering evidence and eyewitness accounts becomes harder the longer you leave it. Also, the insurance company will often try to rush you into accepting a low payout. At the same time, they may also discourage you from hiring an attorney.
For many inexperienced claimants, this initial offer may seem reasonable. You’re already facing financial pressure from medical bills and lost wages, so any kind of settlement offer can appear tempting. An auto accident attorney can help you think the decision through and stop you from leaving a great deal of money on the table.
Examples of Shared Fault in Car Accidents
If your car was stopped at a traffic light when you were rear-ended, then the other driver’s liability is clear. But if you were turning and failed to signal when you were hit, then you probably bear some degree of fault for the crash.
Likewise, if a drunk driver was tailgating you and failed to notice the lights ahead turning red, the resulting accident can easily be argued to be entirely their fault. But if the car in front braked too suddenly and aggressively, or the driver was distracted by their phone, then they might also share some of the blame.
Texas Has a Modified Comparative Negligence Standard
In comparative negligence states, a claimant’s damages are reduced by the percentage of blame they are deemed to hold for the accident. So if you’re judged to be 30% responsible for the accident, you’ll only receive 70% of the total damages.
Texas has a modified comparative negligence standard known as a 51% bar. This means that if you share more than 50% of the blame for the crash, you can’t receive any damages at all.
Your Car Accident Lawyer Investigates To Build Your Case
You can be certain that the insurance company will seek to prove that you share blame to some degree. To counter this and build a strong case of your own, you’ll usually need a car accident lawyer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Your lawyer can get ahold of the police report if you haven’t already done so, speak to eyewitnesses, access CCTV footage, inspect the vehicles, and gather any other evidence to strengthen your claim. If you hire a lawyer immediately, they can even hire private investigators to examine the accident scene and collect police reports on the same day.
A Mountain of Evidence Is Sometimes Required
Your attorney’s primary task is to prove the at-fault driver’s liability beyond a reasonable doubt. With many car accidents, the other party is found to be guilty of aggressive driving, drunk driving, distracted driving, or some other form of negligent driving.
Sometimes police reports will be enough to prove this negligence and liability. But with many car accidents, proving the above circumstances requires a considerable amount of evidence, requiring the help of personal injury attorneys.
Proving the Value of Your Damages
Even when liability isn’t disputed, to collect compensation, you must prove that your damages resulted from the crash. You must also prove that the damages are worth the monetary value you’re claiming.
Your car accident attorney can collect medical records and medical bills and also retain medical, financial, and vocational expert witnesses to prove the future costs of ongoing medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages. All this can be hard to arrange without an experienced attorney by your side.
Various expert witnesses can be retained to prove different aspects of your claim. Most personal injury attorneys have a database of experts to call upon. Without a car accident lawyer by your side, it can be difficult to find the right expert witness or even know when and how to use one.
A common type of expert for car accidents is an accident reconstruction expert, who can recreate the event with a report or 3D model to prove the other party’s liability. And various other experts might testify before a jury to explain the complexities of a case and the value of your damages.
About 95% of car accident claims are settled out of court with an insurance company payout, but you’ll sometimes need to file a lawsuit and take your case to be decided by a judge and jury. For this, you’ll certainly want an experienced car accident lawyer representing you.
Many personal injury attorneys don’t try cases in court, so be sure to ask potential lawyers if they have this kind of experience. Personal injury law firms can often provide an entire legal team to handle your case, which includes court-ready car crash attorneys.
Show the Opposition You Mean Business
When you hire an attorney with a reputation for trying and winning cases involving auto accidents in court, the insurance company will take note. This can often help you to negotiate a better settlement offer before a lawsuit is necessary, as your opposition won’t want the expense of a court case that they’re likely to lose.
Whenever you seek compensation in a car accident case, there’s always a great deal of paperwork to deal with. In fact, sometimes insurance companies deliberately produce more paperwork than necessary in an effort to overwhelm you.
If the prospect of pouring over reams and reams of insurance plan small print and other legal documents makes your eyes glaze over, you’re not alone. It’s best to let a car accident lawyer handle it all for you.
Car accidents leave the injured victims in a difficult bind. Just at the moment when you need to focus on rest and recovery, you find yourself engaging in a stressful personal injury case to recover compensation.
One of the greatest values that personal injury lawyers provide is taking this burden off your shoulders. You can rest in the hospital or at home, secure in the knowledge that an experienced attorney is fighting for your rights and progressing your case.
Car accident victims occasionally put off contacting a car accident lawyer because they fear facing high legal fees. But almost all car accident lawyers and law firms work on a contingency fee basis.
This means they only take a payment out of the final settlement figure recovered. And if you’re unfortunate enough to lose the case, you won’t have any legal fees to pay at all.
Many distinct types of car accidents can occur, but some are more common than others. The most common car accident types in the Bryan and College Station, Texas areas include:
It is important to note that not all accidents are caused by inexperienced drivers. In fact, many accidents are caused by experienced drivers who have made reckless choices while driving, including:
Car accident victims can experience multiple types of injuries depending on the circumstances of the crash. However, the most common injuries associated with car accidents are:
These are just a few of the many injuries that car accidents can cause. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Then, you should speak with a Bryan or College Station car wreck attorney to learn more about your legal options.
The legal process after a car accident can be lengthy and complicated, which is why it is important to contact a Bryan car accident lawyer as soon as possible. In many cases, the other party’s insurance company will contact you shortly after the accident to offer a settlement. It is important to remember that you are not required to accept this settlement, and you should never agree to a settlement without first talking to an experienced personal injury and car accident attorney.
It is important to note that you may be able to recover more money by filing a personal injury claim than by accepting the insurance company’s offer. Your attorney should help you weigh the risks and benefits of each and decide which is in your best interest. If your personal injury attorney believes the insurance company’s offer is in your best interest, they will work to finalize the settlement. If you do not accept the offer, your attorney will begin preparing to file a claim in Texas personal injury court. This process can take several months.
Once you are in civil court, your car accident lawyer will present the circumstances of the accident. They will argue on your behalf to demonstrate fault in the incident and present the damages you experienced. After arguments have concluded, the insurance company may offer you a better settlement, or the court may offer you compensation for your damages. At this point, your personal injury lawyer will work to finalize the settlement.
As mentioned, Texas is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents, meaning that the driver that caused your accident is liable for compensating you for your damages. However, since Texas is also a modified comparative fault state, your car wreck attorney must demonstrate that the other driver was more than 50% responsible for the crash for you to claim compensatory damages. Establishing fault in Texas court requires the following four pillars of fault:
Once these four elements are in place, you have a compelling case against the at-fault driver. It can be difficult to handle these steps in a car accident claim on your own, so it is important to speak with a Bryan or College Station car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the process and recover the compensation that you deserve.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Bryan, Texas, or the surrounding area and are considering filing a claim, it is important to know the types of compensation you stand to receive. This can vary depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident. However, there are some general compensation types that apply to most car accident claims in Texas. These include:
You can also usually have a free consultation and free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer before you agree to work together. It’s wise to arrange a few of these consultations to find the best car accident lawyer for your case.
During this selection process, you’ll gain the expert opinions of many experienced car accident attorneys. This can give you a much better understanding of the strengths, challenges, and overall value of your case.
Contact Brian C. Gutierrez today at 979-271-5338 for a free consultation. After an auto accident, you need a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney in your corner. Brian C. Gutierrez will take your case seriously and fight hard for the best outcome possible.
If you have been injured in a car accident in College Station, Bryan, Madisonville, Huntsville, Buffalo, Caldwell, Navasota, Buffalo, Rockdale, Hempstead, or Brenham, it is important to speak with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the claims process. At the Law Office of Brian C. Gutierrez, Attorney Brian Gutierrez is committed to providing personalized legal services for victims of car accidents. When you work with our firm, you are working directly with Attorney Gutierrez. Our clients are like family—contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.
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