There's a lot to think about after an accident. Even if it's a minor collision, everything from injuries to insurance claims can disrupt your life. A settlement won't remove all the pain and frustration, but it will help you cover health care costs, car repairs, and other expenses. But how can you guarantee the insurance company's offer is fair? Will you get more money for your settlement with a car accident lawyer?
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Can you get compensation without hiring a car accident attorney? Sure, it's possible, and no laws in Texas require you to hire a counselor after a collision. However, your compensation offer will likely be significantly lower than it would be if you have a lawyer on your side.
Collecting a settlement is more complex than you think. If this is your first accident or third-party auto insurance claim, you probably need to familiarize yourself with the process or what to expect. Representing yourself could lead to complications, so seeking expert advice is best. An attorney will know how to handle all of the common legal issues that come up in car accident cases, like:
- Proving liability or negligence.
- Negotiating low-ball offers.
- Identifying bad faith insurance tactics.
- Managing potential pushback claims.
What Services Can a Car Accident Attorney Provide?
After a fender bender, you want to rest and recover from your injuries, not chase down evidence for the claims adjuster. Lawyers in Houston can undertake these legal burdens on your behalf while protecting your rights. Causing an accident constitutes negligence, and an attorney can ensure the at-fault driver is held liable for careless behavior. A car accident lawyer will fight for the compensation you're entitled to by providing services that support your case, like:
- Obtaining police reports.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Requesting medical records.
- Determining damages allowable by law.
- Assessing facts that impact your unique situation.
- Collecting evidence to build your case.
- Negotiating a fair settlement with insurers.
What Are Common Recoverable Losses Following a Car Accident?
When you sustain injuries in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages — but only if you're not at fault. You must support these accident-related expenses with documentation, like receipts. Your settlement may also include payment for the emotional and physical stress the accident caused. Judges generally award punitive damages in cases of obscene carelessness. However, these penalties punish the at-fault party, especially if they're in the process of committing a crime when they caused the accident, like fleeing the police.
Your law firm will manage every step of your case, from filing your claim to drafting necessary court proceedings, so you focus solely on recovering from your injuries. They'll collect all the evidence to support your position, assess the situation, and provide an estimated payout covering your losses. The amount of the settlement depends on the specific circumstances of your accident. However, you can expect to recover some — or all — of the following damages, depending on the specifics of your collisions, such as:
- Medical bills.
- Lost income, including reduced earnings capacity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Reduced quality of life.
- Dismemberment or disfigurement.
- Wrongful death.
What Factors Impact Settlement Amounts?
Calculating a settlement in a car accident varies by state laws and circumstances. A particular injury, like a broken arm, doesn't automatically equate to an exact dollar figure. Many factors determine your compensation, and every case has a different outcome. However, a judge will consider specific variables like:
- Length of your hospital stay.
- Recovery time.
- Rehabilitative therapy.
- Permanent physical or cognitive impairments.
- Long-term emotional impact.
Can I Afford Lawyers in Houston?
If you're concerned that you can't afford legal representation, don't be. You can find lawyers in Houston that take their fees directly from your settlement. While that percentage varies, you can count on 33% or more, depending on the complexity of your case. You may not have to pay any upfront costs, and some firms won't charge you a dime unless they favorably settle your case.
You'll likely get a larger settlement with a car accident lawyer than if you choose to represent yourself in court. Seek your payout before the bills pile up. Contact us to schedule a consultation. Then decide whether taking legal steps after a collision is in your best interest.
Joe Danna is a Chiropractor specialist practicing in Houston, TX. Where he has lived his whole life.