Every year there are over 6 million car accidents in the United States. In 2017, over 250,000 of those accidents happened in Texas. Unfortunately for those who suffer serious injuries, insurance companies will always make a case that the defendant is not at fault for the collision. Insurance companies know how difficult it can be to accurately depict how an accident occurred and they use this paired with predatory tactics to help build a case against victims of car accidents. These injured partied who are not at fault too often are blamed for being the cause or, end up sharing equal fault. When both parties in a car accident are found at fault, it is called “comparative negligence” and may result in no monetary awards.
When you work with the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, you will get justice in your case! Attorney Caruthers fights hard for justice and will not let those who are at fault walk away, leaving you with the blame! Hire the best Houston Texas car accident lawyer who knows how to best present your claims of injury. Attorney Caruthers has a track record of helping car accident victims get awarded the full compensation for injuries that they deserve. Below, is a list of tips to help you get a car accident settlement with a qualified Houston car accident attorney:
Your Phone Is An Excellent Tool: Following a car accident, you will want to make sure you and everyone else involved is out of harms way and stabilized the best they can be while waiting for medical attention. At this point, once you feel confident no one is in harms way, you will want to record as much information as possible. Your phone is an excellent tool as you can take photos, record witness statements, collect personal information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. Additionally, you will want to collect the name and badge number for any police that are present at the scene of your accident. All of this information will need to be given to your Houston car accident attorney in order to get the best results in your personal injury case.
Track Other Driver’s Speed: Was the other driver in your accident speeding at the time of the collision? If so you will want to tell any responding officer at the scene that you want the “black box” examined in the other driver’s vehicle.
What is a black box?
According to Hyperlube.com:
The black box. You have probably heard of it in reference to airplanes usually, unfortunately, after the plane has crashed. Perhaps you are wondering if there is such a thing as a land vehicle black box — specifically, do cars have black boxes? Here’s what you need to know.
The event data recorder (EDR), colloquially known as the “black box,” is a recording device made from an extremely durable and crash-resistant material. The point of the device is to record the moments leading up to an accident to help investigators determine the cause so that they can avoid similar events in the future. It has long been a vital part of airplane equipment and, yes, it is now found in cars as well.
DOES MY CAR HAVE A BLACK BOX? HOW WOULD I KNOW? WHERE IS IT?
If your car is a model from this century, there’s a fair chance you do indeed, have a black box fitted somewhere within it. Black boxes have been in some of the major American car brands, like Buick, Chevy, and Cadillac, since all the way back to 1994. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been using them to collect car accident data since early in the 2000s. If your car is from 2013 or later, you are almost guaranteed to have a black box. Less than 5 percent of new cars came without one in 2013, and they are mandated in all new vehicles since 2014.
If your car is from before 2014 and you’re not sure whether or not you have a Black Box, check out this list. If your car is not on it and is not a 2014 or later model, you can assume you do not have a black box.
So, if you do have one, where is it? It is probably located behind your steering wheel and dashboard, but this will not really help you. It is not designed to be easily accessed, and there is no way to turn it off. The only person who will interact with it is whoever plugs into the connections to read the data.
WHAT DOES THE BLACK BOX RECORD?
Who is it that will be plugging into your vehicle’s black box? That depends. The stated purpose of the Black Box in your car is to prevent future crashes, just like with airplanes. The Black Box depicts data such as how fast your car was going, the position of the throttle, brake application, airbag deployment, seatbelt use, steering angles, and a range of other factors as they were about 20 seconds before, during, and 20 seconds after the crash. Collecting this information can help the vehicle manufacturer know if the crash was caused by a preventable human error or a mechanical failure in their system.
WHY DOES MY CAR HAVE A BLACK BOX? WHO HAS LEGAL ACCESS TO BLACK BOX INFORMATION?
The issue some car owners struggle with is the idea that others could use this information in ways that may not necessarily benefit the owner, such as the police when investigating the accident or the insurance company when adjusting your claim. Isn’t the data on the Black Box personal and private information that only you or those you authorize have access to?
This is an issue that is in question. It’s not possible for just anyone to access your Black Box data. You need a crash data retrieval system that can cost as much as $20,000, and you need to plug it into the onboard diagnostic port under your dashboard. Your car’s manufacturer has access to this equipment as does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement. But can they legally get access to this data at any time?
There’s no clear answer to this question. There are only fifteen states that have specific laws about who and when entities can pull crash data recorder information from your car. In these states, for anyone to access this data without your permission, they must obtain a court order. Insurance companies are not allowed to use the data to set your rates unless you give them your consent.
You might do this and get what is called telematic insurance if you are in a particularly high-risk group, and it could result in a lower rate. In the states where there are no clear laws on the books, you may have to put up a fight to keep your data private.
If someone does come with a court order, there is little you can do. You cannot delete the recording, disable or turn off the box. You could put a lock on the diagnostic port, but with a legal court order, law enforcement could force you to remove it.
Keep in mind that for the most part, the black box is there for your benefit and your protection. If you get into an accident that is no fault of your own, the data could potentially help you prove your lack of liability. It could also provide valuable information about your car that could help prevent similar accidents in the future.
Do Not Talk to Insurance Adjusters: Do not make the mistake of talking to insurance adjusters while your emotions are still high after you car accident. You are only required to provide insurance adjusters with basic information, such as your name, address, phone number and the contact info of your Houston Car Accident Lawyer. You should never try to give your account for what happened to an insurance adjuster because they will work to poke holes in your version of events and make you seem unreliable. Your Houston Car Accident Attorney, Beverly Caruthers, will work to present your case with objectivity by carefully making statements for you.
Don’t Be Active on Social Media: A mistake made by those who have been injured in car accident cases is continuing to use social media. By posting pictures of you at a family cookout, or on a trip, insurance companies can pull this as evidence that you are not actually as injured as you are claiming to be. Obviously, injuries can occur and be serious while you still participate in normal activities, however, avoid posting this online until after your case has been completely settled. This will help you to get a fair insurance claim in Houston.
Work With Your Attorney To Select A Settlement Amount: You and your Houston car accident attorney can work together to determine how much your settlement should amount to. Together you will make a personal injury settlement letter, this will include the range of what you have determined your claim is worth. You should have a minimum amount in mind that you are willing to settle at, this is for you and your attorney to know, never share the minimum settlement you would accept with an insurance adjuster. Be prepared for the information presented by the adjuster to impact the amount your claim is worth. Working with an experienced Houston car accident attorney like Beverly R. Caruthers helps you to be prepared for anything insurance adjusters can throw at you.
No matter what the circumstances surrounding your car accident case may be, speaking with an experienced car accident attorney in Houston, such as Beverly R. Caruthers can help you to ensure you are covering all of your bases. Our legal team works with you to find a fair insurance settlement in your car accident case. Whether you were in a minor fender bender, or a serious collision, we provide no-obligation case evaluations at no cost to our clients. The best way to protect yourself is to be armed with knowledge and a legal team that is looking out for your best interest every step of the way. Insurance companies are known for taking advantage of individuals who are in a vulnerable state after suffering injuries, in order to minimize their claims to injury. Your insurance provider might minimize the fair value of the damages you have suffered or downplay the coverage allowed to help you recover from the injuries you sustained during the car accident. Protect yourself with the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers.
Abogada de accidentes automovilísticos en Houston
At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, we fight for justice in your case! Our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to getting a fair insurance settlement in Houston. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you. We make it simple for those who have been injured in car accidents to navigate the legal system in order to get the results they need to continue on in their lives. Schedule your no-obligation car accident consultation with Attorney Caruthers today. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your needs are being met and that you are getting the treatment you deserve in your car accident case. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you call the more we can do to help your case!
Best Car Accident Attorney in Houston TX
If you have been injured, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work because of a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you! Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball. Our legal team is bilingual and offers Spanish-speaking legal counsel for all of our clients. If you need legal representation following an incident don’t hesitate to contact Beverly R. Caruthers Law Office!