If you or a family member have been injured and it was not your fault, there are some important things to know about protecting your rights. There may be reasons to pursue a legal course of action to have the other party or their insurance pay your medical bills, lost wages, physical impairment and other damages as a result of your injuries.
Springer & Lyle LLP has developed a series of tips that should help preserve evidence and avoid actions that could be damaging to your case.
- Always cooperate with law enforcement if the incident was investigated. Just make sure you don’t admit fault if you didn’t do anything wrong. Whatever is told to investigating officers can end up in the police report. And, if the incident was not investigated, take a picture of the driver’s license and insurance information of the other driver.
- Take pictures of the evidence and injuries. It’s always good to photograph and videotape the accident scene and damage to vehicles, including license plates and identification data on the doors of commercial trucks. Severe cuts, bruises and abrasions will heal with time so take pictures while the injuries are still visible.
- Identify witnesses and others who have knowledge of material facts. Get their names and contact information. It’s difficult to track down witnesses later if they were not interviewed by investigating officers.
- Get the medical help you need. Lawyers are not doctors, so follow the advice of your physicians and other health care providers. Let those professionals be your guide for future care.
- Provide your health insurance information to all health care providers. Some providers may indicate they won’t accept it if you were involved in an automobile wreck but, except for limited circumstances, the providers are supposed to bill your health insurance company under Texas law.
- Cooperate with your own automobile insurance company. Under the contract you have with your own carrier, there is a duty to cooperate and you want to honor that. If you have any concerns about it, you should consult with an attorney. Also, check with your own company about any coverages that may be available to you even if the wreck was not your fault. In Texas, personal injury protection benefits and uninsured motorist benefits are automatically available under your policy unless these coverages were rejected in writing when you bought or renewed the policy.
- Do not communicate with the at fault party’s insurer if you are contemplating getting a lawyer involved with your case. These conversations are usually recorded and, anything you say can be used against you. This is especially true in the case of some injuries that do not show up immediately after the wreck.
- Keep all records and bills related to the occurrence. In a civil case involving personal injuries, the burden of proof belongs to the injured victim. It is extremely important that all information documenting liability and damages is preserved for the claim.
- Avoid posting case related materials and other items on social media. Anything posted is a public statement and can be used as a defensive tool in your case. Do not post any content or photographs that present you in a negative light or which comment on any aspect of your case.
- If you were seriously injured, get an experienced legal opinion before deciding how to proceed. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your case, explain the law and provide advice so that you can make informed decisions about how to move forward. Make sure to consult with someone skilled in handling the type of case you have and who has the financial resources to fight the fight for your family. If litigation becomes necessary, the process is expensive and you want someone on your side who can hire the experts needed and develop your case in a way that maximizes your net recovery.
Springer & Lyle are Denton County based personal injury attorneys with over 60 years of experience helping those who have been injured as a result of car or truck accidents, product defects and other negligent events resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death. Springer & Lyle provides free consultations to help you evaluate your case and there are no attorneys’ fees unless there is a settlement or recovery from the court. If you need to speak to Frank Lyle or Jeff Springer, call 940-387-0404 to schedule an appointment. If your injuries prevent you from travelling, please let us know so we can come to you. To learn more about Springer & Lyle go to www.springer-lyle.com. Or, look at our 5 star Google Reviews & AVVO Reviews to see what our clients say about working with us.