Car Accident FAQ

It is true that not all car accident cases require the expertise of an attorney. If your accident resulted in only cosmetic damage to your vehicle or a few minor bruises, you probably don’t need an attorney to handle your car accident claim. However, it is in your best interests to hire an attorney if any of the following apply:

  • You or a passenger was seriously injured
  • Someone was killed in the collision
  • You were forced to miss work due to your injuries
  • You are being blamed for the accident
  • The insurance company is disputing your claim
  • Your accident has caused you severe pain and suffering
  • You do not feel comfortable handling your own claim

You can expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company within a few days of your collision. It is wise to talk to use before you speak to the other driver’s insurance company. If the other driver’s insurer contacts you after you have contacted us, you can tell the insurance adjuster that we will be handling all communications regarding insurance.

When you speak with your own insurance company, be very careful what you say. You might assume that your own insurance company is on your side, but their sole purpose of speaking with you is to find ways to minimize or deny your compensation. When you report your crash to your insurance company, stick to the facts and do not speculate about or exaggerate what may have happened. Avoid providing details of your injuries other than that you have been injured and that you have consulted with a health care provider to determine your medical treatment. Take notes of your conversation, and most importantly, do not accept any settlement offers or consent to any recorded statements. An attorney at our firm can help you craft a statement that protects your right to compensation, and we can help you collect all the necessary information you may need to provide.

Yes. Almost all auto insurance policies require insureds to promptly report a car accident so the company can get the information they need to open a claim. If you do not report your crash to your insurance company, you could end up with a loss of coverage.

Yes. One of the biggest mistakes people make is failing to receive timely medical care after a car accident. Get medical help as soon as possible. There is a chance you may have suffered internal injuries and do not even realize it. If you do not get examined and treated, you could suffer serious medical complications. Additionally, seeing a doctor soon after a crash can help to strengthen your injury claim and establish a record of your injuries.

Not necessarily. While tickets may sometimes be taken into consideration when assessing fault for a collision, they are not the only piece of evidence that may be relevant to your case. It is entirely possible that an investigation of your crash may reveal new evidence proving the other party’s role in causing the collision. Signing your ticket is not an admission of fault, but merely an acknowledgment that you have received a notice to appear in court.

Not necessarily. The vast majority of auto accident claims are settled through out-of-court negotiations, but if your attorney believes that the insurance company is not offering you what you deserve, a trial may be necessary to secure full compensation on your behalf. While nobody wants to go to court, pursuing a trial may sometimes be a far better option than agreeing to an insufficient settlement that does not cover the full value of your losses.

Just as every car accident case has a different value, every claim will have a different timeline that can be difficult to predict. Some car accident claims can be resolved in a few months while others may take several months or even years from start to finish. With that being said, the length of your claim will be heavily influenced by the following factors:

  • The extent of your injuries and the length of time needed for your medical treatment
  • The cooperation of the involved insurance companies
  • Whether or not your case needs to go to trial

Claims involving minor injuries such as whiplash are often resolved more quickly than those involving catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or paralysis. It is best to speak with an attorney to get a more accurate expectation of your case’s timeline.

Possibly. It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without insurance in the state of Texas. If you are involved in an accident and do not have insurance, the police will likely give you a ticket and you may be required to pay a fine. If you were at fault for the collision, you may face a personal injury lawsuit for any damages you cause as well as potential criminal penalties depending on the unique circumstances. If the other driver caused the collision, there is a chance you may still recover compensation for some damages but you can expect the opposition to argue that you acted negligently and without regard to your legal responsibilities, reducing your eligible payout. These situations are highly complex and almost always require the expertise of a trained attorney.

Unfortunately, sometimes the driver who causes an accident never stops and simply drives away. In many cases, this happens because the driver wasn’t supposed to be driving in the first place. Sometimes, the police are able to identify the driver. This will give you the ability to seek damages against the driver through either an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, if the driver is never identified, you may still be able to seek compensation under your own UM/UIM coverage.

If the driver that hit you does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages, you may still be able to recover compensation through your own insurance if you elected to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Under this coverage, your insurance company will help pay for your damages up to the limits of your policy.

If you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver in pursuit of compensation. Unfortunately, the chances are high that if they do not have insurance, they likely also have little in terms of income and personal assets, making it difficult to actually collect on any civil judgment you may receive. This is why it is extremely important for all drivers to purchase UM/UIM coverage ahead of time to protect themselves from this type of scenario.

Generally speaking, yes, you can still recover some damages after a car accident even if you are found to be partially at fault. The amount will be determined according to your percentage of blame for the accident. For example, if you suffer $10,000 worth of losses due to a car accident but are found to be 20% to blame for the crash, you may still be able to recover $8,000 worth of damages (or $10,000 less 20%). However, if you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you will not be able to recover any money.

Every car accident claim is different, therefore it is impossible to determine how much your car accident claim is worth without consulting with a skilled attorney. With that being said, the value of your claim will be highly based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the amount of time you are required to miss work during your recovery, the amount of evidence supporting your claim, and the skill of your legal representation. Claims involving more severe injuries such as brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones tend to yield higher payouts than those involving whiplash or other soft tissue injuries.

Catastrophic Injury FAQ

No — not before you speak with a personal injury attorney at our firm. Insurance companies are notorious for offering “lowball” settlements that come nowhere close to covering the full cost of a serious injury. The offer might look appealing at first, but you should always consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. You may be entitled to significantly more than the amount offered by the insurance company. A personal injury attorney at our firm can help you seek the maximum compensation available for your specific case.

Catastrophic injuries typically require expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and victims and their families may be entitled to significant financial compensation for injuries. Insurance companies know that, and insurance companies have their own legal teams whose job is to minimize or deny compensation for catastrophic injuries. It is only fair that you also have a strong legal team on your side, fighting to help you get the financial compensation you need and deserve.

The answer to this question is different for every person and depends on the facts of each case. When calculating how much financial compensation an injury victim should receive, multiple factors must be considered. Those factors include:

  • The nature and extent of the injury
  • How long the injury is expected to last
  • How the injury affects the victim’s life, including the victim’s ability to work
  • How the injury affects the lives of the victim’s family
  • The cost of any medical care and physical therapy that may be necessary as a result of the injury

For a clearer idea of the value of your case, we encourage you to contact our office in Amarillo today.

Depending on the facts of the case, a catastrophic injury claim can seek damages for a variety of costs. Those costs include:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation and patient monitoring
  • Lost income due to inability to work
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Any in-home accommodations that may be necessary due to the injury

A catastrophic injury claim may also seek compensation for lost financial support that the victim might have provided for the family if not for the injury.

Truck Accident FAQ

You can be sure that the trucking company and insurance company will have their own legal teams. Their job is to minimize or deny financial compensation to injury victims. It is only fair that you have a skilled legal team on your side to fight for the maximum available compensation for your injuries. If you have questions about your specific situation, we encourage you to contact our truck accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our attorneys have extensive experience in truck accident cases. The sooner we can get involved in your case, the sooner we can start fighting for you.

No — not before you speak with a personal injury attorney at our firm. Trucking companies and their insurers are notorious for presenting “lowball” settlement offers to injury victims. A lowball offer is not likely to cover the full cost of a serious injury, and you should always consult with a personal injury lawyer before accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. An attorney at our firm can help you pursue the maximum available compensation for what you have endured.

Depending on the facts of the case and the needs of the victim, a successful truck accident claim can lead to financial compensation for a variety of costs. Those costs include:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Ongoing medical care and rehabilitation
  • Lost income due to the truck accident and its aftermath
  • Lost earning capacity (if you are unable to do the job you did before the accident)
  • The financial impact on your family
  • Any in-home or vehicle accommodations that may be necessary after a serious injury
  • Property damage

Multiple parties may be liable for a truck accident. Those parties include the truck driver, the trucking company, the party responsible for maintaining the truck, the manufacturer of any defective truck parts, and the party responsible for loading the truck. Our attorneys have extensive experience in truck accident investigations, and we know where to look to determine liability.

Compared to other types of crashes, truck accidents tend to be more complicated for several reasons:

  • The trucking industry is heavily regulated, so additional federal regulations need to be considered when determining liability in a trucking accident.
  • Due to their size and weight, trucks tend to cause much more damage than smaller vehicles like cars and pickup trucks.
  • Most trucking companies carry high-value insurance policies, so there is much at stake for the trucking company and the insurance company when a truck accident happens. That means there is a greater likelihood of dispute over who is responsible for the crash.

Wrongful Death FAQ

After losing a family member, your life will never be the same. No amount of money can ever make up for your losses, but a judge may award you a settlement to help compensate for the material and emotional hardship you’ve faced.

You may be able to recover:

  • Medical bills incurred before the death of your loved one
  • Costs associated with the funeral
  • Recompense for expected future income or inheritance
  • Emotional damages that recognize the hardship you have faced, and that will persevere

We want to help you in any way possible during this difficult time. Our team is here to answer your questions about seeking legal remedies in cases of wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims in Texas are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that eligible parties generally have until the second anniversary of their loved one’s death to file a lawsuit in civil court. If this filing deadline expires, you will lose your ability to pursue compensation.

The statute of limitations period for wrongful death may only be extended under limited clearly-defined circumstances. Since adhering to this deadline can have such a profound effect on your case, it is important you speak to an experienced Amarillo wrongful death attorney.

To bring a lawsuit forward, you must have substantial evidence to back up your claim. In wrongful death cases, there are certain critical elements involved that can help you prove the validity of your claim.

This includes:

  • The responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care
  • This duty of care was breached
  • The breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death

In criminal cases, an element of intent will likely need to be proven or demonstrated in order to secure a conviction. This may require eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, and a thorough investigation of applicable case law.

The surviving spouse, children, and parents have priority and may choose to file individually or together as a group. If none of these parties have filed a claim within three months of the deceased person’s death, the personal representative or executor of the deceased may then file a claim unless a surviving family member opposes.

Adoptive parents in Texas may file a wrongful death claim in the event of the untimely death of their adopted child, as well as vice versa. However, surviving siblings are not permitted to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister, regardless of whether they are biological or adopted.