Seeking Help After a Car Accident in Houston
Have you recently been in a car accident in Houston and find yourself unsure of what to do next? We understand the challenges you may be facing, and we are here to help. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, we offer easy car accident case evaluations in the Houston area. Our dedicated legal team is ready to meet with you for a free case evaluation, with no pressure or obligation. During this evaluation, we will assess your situation and determine how we can assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with insurance claims can be a complex and daunting task, even when you believe your case is clear-cut and the other driver is entirely at fault. Insurance companies are known for their predatory practices, and they will go to great lengths to minimize the amount of money they owe you. This is where the expertise of an experienced attorney can make a significant difference in your personal injury claim in Houston, TX.
Our Houston car accident lawyer, Attorney Caruthers, goes beyond securing funds to cover your property damage and medical treatment. She provides comprehensive legal representation to help you address future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, mental health care, and other related aspects.
Rather than allowing your medical bills to pile up, it is crucial to take action promptly. Contact us today to schedule your easy car accident case evaluation in the Houston area.
While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your car accident case, in general a lawyer can:
- communicate with the other driver’s insurer
- obtain the necessary evidence with respect to fault for the accident
- organize your medical records and bills
- communicate with your health care providers to obtain missing records
- work with your doctors to make sure they provide the medical information you need so that you can prove damages in your claim
- organize and present the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
- negotiate with lien holders on your claim (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of those liens, and
- negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney.
Let’s look at a couple of these things in-depth.
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurer
In any personal injury case, your lawyer will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved. The adjuster has the pocketbook, and so it is critical for a plaintiff’s lawyer to have good communications and a good relationship with the adjuster.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Liability
A good lawyer can help obtain all of the evidence that you will need to prove liability in a car accident claim. Although you may have already taken photographs of the accident scene, your lawyer will probably go back to the scene him/herself to see what it looks like. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, actually seeing the scene can be worth a thousand pictures.
The lawyer will make sure to get all of the accident or police reports in the case and will often speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses. A good lawyer will leave no stone unturned when it comes to obtaining evidence of liability. Learn more about proving fault for a car accident.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Damages
This is where a good lawyer can be essential to your case, especially when you’ve suffered significant car accident injuries.
It is critical to obtain all documentation related to your injuries, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on those records and bills from health care providers. Although the records are technically yours, and you have an absolute right to them, sending medical records to patients and lawyers is just not a health care provider’s first priority.
Small doctors’ offices may not have the staffing or the time to respond to medical record requests on a timely basis. Large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed in order to respond to medical record requests. If you don’t follow their procedures (which they often don’t publicize very well), they simply won’t respond to your request.
Then, when the health care provider does respond to the request, the records may be incomplete. Any lawyer’s secretary or paralegal will tell you that they often have to request the same records more than once and that they have to follow up endlessly with the provider’s office.
Finally, it may turn out that the doctor did not use the “magic words” as to causation, prognosis, and disability in his or her notes. In order to successfully prosecute any type of personal injury claim, you must be able to prove, through medical evidence:
- exactly what your injury, disability, or physical limitation is, and
- that it was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Doctors often don’t mention causation and the extent of a patient’s injury or disability in their medical records. If this happens in your case, your lawyer will write the doctor and ask for a special letter in which the doctor gives his/her opinion that:
- the accident caused your injury or disability and
- as a result of the accident, you will be hindered or disabled for a specific period of time.
Negotiating With Lien Holders
If you received benefits from a health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurer, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien means that the lien holder gets paid before you do, out of any settlement or judgment you receive.
A good lawyer will work with the lien holder to try to get the lien holder to reduce its lien. This is important work. Every dollar less that the lien holder takes is one more dollar that goes into your pocket. Learn more about health care provider liens on personal injury settlements.
Negotiating With Insurers/Defendants
Negotiation is a very specific skill (some might even call it an art). A personal injury lawyer is always going to be far better at settling a car accident case than a layperson would be. A good lawyer knows how much the case is worth and knows how to work the case and conduct the negotiations in order to arrive at the best outcome for the client.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident
Understanding how fault is determined in a car accident can be essential for your claim. Several factors come into play when determining fault, and it is important to be aware of them. Here are some key considerations:
- Police Reports: Police reports generated at the accident scene provide valuable information. These reports may include details such as citations issued or the officer’s opinion on who is at fault. Insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers often place great weight on these reports. It is essential for individuals involved in an accident to review the police reports and request corrections if any inaccurate information is present.
- Traffic Laws: State and local traffic laws play a crucial role in determining fault. These laws provide guidelines on speed limits, merging rules, and other relevant factors that can be applied to your specific case.
- Rear-End Collisions: In general, if a vehicle is rear-ended, the driver who struck the rear of the vehicle is considered at fault. Traffic rules require maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, and hitting the vehicle in front is seen as a failure to do so, regardless of sudden braking by the front driver.
- Left-Hand Turn Accidents: When a driver making a left turn collides with a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, the driver making the turn is usually considered at fault. The driver turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. However, there may be other circumstances to consider, such as speeding or running a red light by the oncoming driver, which can affect fault attribution.
- Breaking Traffic Laws: If one of the drivers involved in the accident receives a citation for violating a traffic law, it can be used as evidence of their responsibility for causing the accident.
- Other Evidence: Insurance adjusters often consider photographs of the accident scene. The location of the damage on the vehicles can help determine fault. Witness statements may also be reviewed to gather additional information.
- Admitting Fault: Some individuals may admit fault at the accident scene, either because it genuinely was their fault or because they perceive it to be their fault based on limited information. However, insurance adjusters may attempt to assign complete blame to a party who apologizes or makes statements like “I didn’t see you.” Personal injury lawyers generally advise against admitting fault at the accident scene due to potential legal ramifications.
Spanish-Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Language barriers can pose challenges for Spanish-speaking individuals seeking justice in personal injury cases. These barriers can prevent them from taking action against those responsible for their financial and physical hardships. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, we refuse to let a language barrier hinder your right to justice and compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and requires Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here to assist you.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered injuries, loss of income, or the inability to work due to the accident, the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case can be invaluable. Whether you missed work due to an injury or because you were unable to access a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers is here to help you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve.
Don’t face the aftermath of a car accident alone. Contact us today for dedicated legal representation and support in your personal injury case.