We hear it all the time – many of our clients’ car wreck stories follow a similar path:
“I was rear-ended. I was heading to work in heavy traffic and stopped at a light – out of nowhere, another car slammed into me. It didn’t seem so bad at first; the cops came and I went to the hospital for my neck and back. I did not have the chance to speak to the other driver or to anyone who saw the collision. When they sent me home from the hospital I was still in pain, and it never really went away. It hurts all the time; the medical bills keep piling up but I am not getting any better. To make things even worse, I missed a few days of work and I’m not sure when my car will be repaired or replaced.
What Happens After a Car Accident?
One collision can often have domino effects with devastating consequences:
- You get in a wreck and are injured.
- You end up with medical bills and perhaps even need long-term medical care.
- The insurance company does not respond in time or offers you a settlement that doesn’t come close to covering your expenses.
- You’re stuck in limbo – and in pain – without transportation, and at the mercy of some claims adjuster who cares more about his bottom line than about your well-being.
After a wreck, your life will completely and abruptly change, which is particularly painful when you are not at fault for the collision in the first place. And the wreck itself is just the beginning. You’re then left to deal with treatment and deal with an insurance company (i.e. the classic David and Goliath scenario). That’s why it’s so important to get medical treatment, then contact an experienced, trustworthy personal injury lawyer.
What are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Fort Worth?
To find an answer to this question, we analyzed every reported accident over the last 5 years. With that data, we created an interactive Accident Map & compiled the 10 most dangerous intersections in the city. We included a photo of our map here, but click on it to access the interactive version, which allows you to zoom in & out and filter accidents by year.
What to do After a Car Wreck in Texas
Get Medical Treatment
A handful of Ibuprofen with your morning coffee likely won’t do it. You should seek out medical help from providers who understand the particular type of trauma you experienced in a car crash (contact us if you need help; we have a list of expert medical providers).
Did you know that 62% of people who sustained whiplash-like injuries experienced major residual effects for 10-15 years? Read more on our car accident injury statistics page.
Prompt medical attention keeps any injury you have from getting worse, helps to treat your pain and fully documents your injury if a claim or lawsuit is later necessary. You can say “my neck hurt” but it simply does not have the same impact as a physician or medical record pointing out the specific injuries you’ve sustained and detailing what it will take for you to recover.
Don’t skip medical treatment because of the cost – once you are represented by an attorney, you can generally find providers who will work with you. A “letter of protection” means the doctors providing you with care will be paid out of the final settlement, not up front, so you won’t be racking up huge medical bills. This can be critical to getting you the medical treatment you require.
Get Legal Representation
With literally millions of dollars and thousands of lawyers on their side, an insurance company is a daunting opponent, and if you try to go it alone, you’ll probably end up with a much smaller settlement than you deserve. Or worse, no settlement at all. The insurance company has one goal in mind, and it is not your improved health or financial state. They are in business to make money, and the more they pay you, the less they have left over for themselves and their Super Bowl ads.
An attorney helps to level the playing field.
What to Expect from the Legal Process After an Accident in Texas
You’ve been hit by someone else, so the first group you’re going to have to file a claim against is that driver’s insurance company. You may not have had the chance to get his information on the scene, but it will be in the police report. Texas requires all drivers to have car insurance – but about 20% of them don’t bother. If the person who hit you is uninsured, you’ll skip this step.
If the driver who hit you does have insurance, then we will negotiate with that insurance company to determine how much they need to pay you (which will likely be capped at their client’s insurance policy). They could also try to weasel out entirely and claim that you are responsible for the wreck itself or that you exaggerated your injuries. Once the other party’s insurer has paid, it’s time to move on – to your own insurance company.
You pay them each month, but that doesn’t mean they are “on your side” or going to behave “like a good neighbor”. The opposite is usually true – your insurance company needs money for the Super Bowl just like the other guy’s insurance company.
The conversation will sound about the same, with the insurer trying to get out of paying, or trying to pay a minimal amount. There are two bright spots though:
- As your insurer, the company is obligated to evaluate your claim in good faith; and
- Your insurer is obligated to help you if you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM) – something that is within your control and we recommend you contacting your agent about before a problem arises.
Learn How We Can Help
If you retain an attorney right away to represent you, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly. The best possible thing you can do is get professional medical and legal help after your crash. The right legal team can prevent, or at least minimize, a crash from having a lasting, devastating impact on your life.
Find a legal team that you can trust, that will work hard for you, that will be responsive to you, and that will only ask to be paid if they win for you. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, we can help. Our goal is to ensure you are treated fairly and to get your life back on track.