The Texas State Department of Transportation receives approximately 600,000 vehicle crash reports from law enforcement agencies every year. Thousands of people are injured in those car accidents, some so severely their lives will never be the same. Our attorneys at Springer & Lyle are also aware that most personal injury lawsuits settle before going to court.
What to Expect from the Insurance Company
Warning: An insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver is not on your side of the case. Adjusters can be very nice, but they work for the insurance company, not you. Their job is to settle claims and save as much money as possible while doing it.
The adjuster will call and ask you to give a statement. Anything you say can later be used against you. Depending on the nature and seriousness of your injury, it would be a good idea to have your attorney with you when you answer the adjuster’s questions. We strongly recommend not providing a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company while you are thinking about hiring an attorney. Get your legal opinion first.
If you have been out of work and need money, it is common for an adjuster to make a low settlement offer shortly after the wreck. The adjuster may think you are desperate for funds and will take the money. If you accept the offer, you will be required to sign a release document. This will prevent you from making a larger settlement later, no matter how high your medical bills get.
You need to be aware of the damages to which you are entitled and not settle for less. Adjusters usually have more authority for the claim than what is offered early on. And remember, your case cannot be properly evaluated early. It is important to know what your long-term medical diagnosis, prognosis and expenses will be as well as any future medical care and costs which will be needed.
Damages to Which You Are Legally Entitled
Texas law allows you to collect damages for:
- Lost wages. This includes your current lost wages and those you will lose in the future due to your injury if you are unable to go back to your regular occupation.
- Cost of retraining if you are unable to return to your regular occupation but are able to embark on a new path.
- Medical expenses. All the ones you have now plus ones you are expected to incur in the future. In Texas, you can recover “paid and incurred” medical expenses. This means bills paid by you or your health insurance company as well as balances still owed to health care providers.
- Cost of physical rehabilitation.
- Long-term care if needed due to injuries suffered in the accident.
- Pain and suffering, scarring and physical impairment which may include the loss of enjoyment of life.
- And sometimes, other family members will have damage claims based on the injury to their spouse, parent or child.
When all of these damages are documented and your loss presented to the insurance company for the driver who was at fault, it is much more likely the case will settle without going to court. If the company is not willing to settle for a reasonable amount however, we will prepare the case for trial.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.