Austin Car Accident Lawyer
Following a car accident, you may have some serious questions for your car accident lawyer about what’s going to happen in the coming months.
Our experienced attorneys know the questions that most concern our car accident clients. We are ready to give you answers and get you the compensation you deserve after an accident to help put some of your worries to rest. Those questions include:
- What kind of medical bills will you have to pay?
- Will you lose income from time off because of injuries?
- Will you need to file a lawsuit to get the funds you need to make ends meet?
You need someone who is knowledgeable of the legal process. You need to learn what to expect. Call a top car accident lawyer in Austin today at (512) 732-2727 to determine whether you have a case.
WHY HIRE OUR AUSTIN CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS?
We are proud to offer competent, efficient representation by attorney Chip Evans, a board-certified trial attorney. With a proven track record of success from Austin to the Rio Grande, our clients appreciate the respect and courtesy they receive from everyone at The Evans Law Firm. See what our clients have to say about how we helped them. See our client testimonials.
A Texas injury lawyer at the Evans Law Firm can offer experience handling cases in all major cities of Texas, including Austin, and in all areas of personal injury and vehicle accident law.
CHIP EVANS IS A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER WITH A PROVEN RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND WINNING
Chip is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Chip is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and the Austin Bar Association. He is licensed in all the Texas State Courts and the Western District of Texas Federal Court. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
SO… WHY HIRE OUR CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS? SIMPLE:
We are dedicated. We know this is a difficult time for you. With the injuries you’ve received and the financial stress you may be under, you’re probably in no mood to deal with legal issues. That’s why we’re dedicated to making the process as painless as possible.
We are experienced. No matter your situation, you can be sure that we’ve faced a case similar to it in the past and have seen it to a successful conclusion. Every case is different, but at the Evans Law Firm, we have the experience to know how to handle yours.
We are compassionate. Car accidents are life-altering and potentially traumatic events. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family. Rest assured, we know you’re a human being and will never see you as just a customer or just another case.
We can get started at no cost to you. When you hire the Evans Law Firm, you don’t pay for anything unless we win or settle your case. Starting from the free consultation and moving on from there, there’s no need for you to worry about your ability to pay.
CAR ACCIDENT CLIENT REVIEW
If you’ve been wronged in an accident in Austin, look no further than hiring Chip Evans and his amazing staff. After my car accident, I had no idea where I could turn or who I could trust. He has great reviews on AVVO, I reached out, and within 24 hours, his office was in contact with me to set up a consultation – other law firms took much longer to get in touch with me. Chip and his staff were extremely personable and answered every question I had; I felt very comfortable calling and asking questions as they came up – no one pushed me aside or made me feel like I was being ridiculous. Being seen as a human being in this situation is important because when you come in during the lowest point of your life, a nice group of people that truly know what they’re doing is essential for moving forward. I never felt like I had to worry about anything. As another reviewer mentioned, he went to great lengths to get all of my medical bills together AND had them taken care of – this alone was worth hiring him. Long story short, it was finished in an awesome time frame, and I can move on with my life. A better job couldn’t have been done by anyone else.” – Abby R., The Evans Law firm
CAR ACCIDENTS CHANGE LIVES. WHAT CAN AN ATTORNEY DO TO HELP?
COSTS OF CAR ACCIDENTS
When you’re injured in a car accident, you might need surgery, require hospitalization, and need long-term rehabilitation care. You may also lose income if you have to take time off work. Those financial losses can easily exceed the limits of a car insurance policy, especially if other family members were injured along with you.
In 2013, the average cost for a visit to an emergency room was more than the average cost of a month’s rent. But that figure – $1,233 – was for common, relatively minor health problems, like a sprained ankle or upper respiratory infection. A few shockingly high figures were reported – such as $73,002 to treat a urinary tract infection.
An inexpensive procedure at one hospital may be unaffordable at another because hospitals set their rates. There may be providers within a hospital that bill patients independently, so people may receive multiple bills over time. Even when you have insurance, your policy might not cover your total costs.
DAMAGES IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES
Car accidents fall under the broader description of a personal injury case. In Texas personal injury cases, you can recover three major types of damages in a lawsuit: medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Often, a serious car accident results in the need for compensation for all three. Our car accident lawyers in Austin know how to fight aggressively on your behalf. We negotiate with insurers, and, when needed, we put our strong litigation skills to work for you in court.
- Medical Expenses. Medical damages should cover the costs of any medical procedures you have had to undergo because of your injury. This also includes the expected costs of treating your injury in the future, in the case of more severe injuries.
- Lost Wages. Even a minor injury may force you to take a few days off work. A severe injury may render you permanently unable to work. Damages for lost wages are meant to compensate you for any lost earning ability you may experience, both past and future.
- Property Damage. In a car accident, this usually means the expenses involved in repairing or replacing your vehicle.
WHAT’S MY CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT WORTH?
Texas insurance law requires drivers to be insured for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person – up to $60,000 per accident – and $25,000 of property damage per accident. But in a serious crash, that coverage may not be enough.
As you might expect, every car accident has its unique aspects. Accordingly, each settlement offer or lawsuit will be focused on and beyond the event. However, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Austin can help you understand what might be reasonable, depending upon your injuries and the aftermath.
For instance, if you were in a “fender bender” vehicle accident and suffered only minor bruising, you might be entitled to a small settlement. On the other hand, if you or another family member suffered significant problems, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, your lawsuit could rise into the realm of five, six, or seven figures.
The most important point to keep in mind is not how much you can get from a car accident, but how to get something to help pay for your damages, as well as pain and suffering. According to information from the Texas Department of Transportation, vehicle crashes in 2016 and 2017 cost individuals roughly $38.4 trillion each year.
HOW OUR AUSTIN CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN HELP AFTER A VEHICLE ACCIDENT
At the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm, our Austin car accident attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of helping clients with personal injury cases. Even if you are hesitant to file a claim, we encourage you to sit down with us for a no-obligation conversation about your car crash. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how you want to proceed.
Remember that personal injury lawsuits are meant to assist you and your family financially. Why struggle to pay your bills after a devastating car accident injury? You may be entitled to a lump-sum settlement that can allow you to offset those unexpected expenses, not to mention your pain and suffering.
YOU AND YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM: WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I HAVE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
If you experienced a vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault, you might want to file a claim. On the other hand, if you were found at fault for a car crash, you will be unlikely to recoup any settlement dollars.
Of course, you may assume that it is not “worth it” to pursue a car accident lawsuit. While this is understandable, it can also be shortsighted. Even if people around you recommend not “bothering,” consider consulting an Austin car accident lawyer. Plan to bring any documentation with you to your initial free consultation. An experienced car accident attorney can then give you a better sense of whether you should pursue a claim.
Remember that if you do nothing, you may be giving up money that could help pay for vehicle repairs, lost wages, and medical bills. Even a minor accident can set the stage for months of physical therapy or other health problems. Usually, you’re better off talking to a legal professional than assuming you will never get a settlement.
IF I HIRE A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY, WILL I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
A car accident attorney’s role should begin as soon as possible after the wreck and may not — and, in fact, in most cases will not — involve filing a lawsuit or setting foot in a courtroom at all. If you’ve been injured in an accident and someone else is at fault, it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney right away. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely contact you with an offer; if you accept it, you may be selling yourself short to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Insurance companies do not care about you or whether you’re fairly compensated. They care about their own bottom line. They have teams of adjusters and high-priced lawyers working behind the scenes on their behalf. And they hope that an accident victim will accept the initial insurance offer with no pushback, no questions asked.
Of course, sometimes negotiations break down, and the insurance company and you, the accident victim, are just not able to come to an agreement. If this happens, the next step is for your car accident lawyer to help you file a lawsuit.
But if you are reading this page, you know better than to take on Big Insurance without representation. A good personal injury lawyer is skilled at evaluating how much in damages you should receive, considering the past, present, and future costs. The attorney will know how to negotiate with the insurer to receive a fair settlement. In most situations, this will be the desired outcome for both parties, as it avoids the higher fees and unpredictability of a court case — not to mention the fact that a trial can drag on for years, during which time the plaintiff will not receive any compensation as their bills pile up.
Whether negotiating for a settlement or fighting it out in the courtroom, our top priority is making sure you receive the full compensation your losses warrant. If you’ve been in a car wreck, call (512) 732-2727 or get in touch with us online.
EXAMPLE OF OUR SUCCESSFUL AUSTIN ACCIDENT REPRESENTATION
- A pregnant Fort Worth woman and her 4-year-old daughter were injured when a negligent driver struck their car head-on
- Three family members who were severely injured when a drunk driver crashed into their car in Austin
- A husband and wife who sustained major injuries in a Williamson County crash
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
It is important that you do not delay getting help after a car accident. Waiting to call for help is only going to slow down the process.
- At the scene, do everything you can to stay calm. Call the authorities, and check to see whether you or your passengers have been hurt. If you are not seriously injured, you may be questioned by the police. Answer everything as plainly and honestly as possible. If you are injured in a car accident in Austin, you may be taken to the nearest medical center for immediate treatment. Identify what happened to cause the accident, witnesses to the scene, and who might be at fault.
- If you are able, document the scene. You’ll need as much information as possible to submit to the insurance company later on. In your head, piece together what happened — who was coming from where, and how the crash occurred. Take photos of the area and all involved vehicles from different angles, being sure to capture all damage. Don’t forget to take a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate. Write down the names and contact information of the other driver and any passengers. If there were witnesses not directly involved in the crash, record their information as well. Ask responding police officers for their names and badge numbers.
- Following any treatment or care, document changes in your mental or physical state. For instance, if you discover bruising across your ribs or feel anxious about driving, note your issues. Talk to your family physician or mental health provider as needed. Don’t assume that you can’t have problems weeks later. Sometimes, symptoms arise days or weeks after an accident. Without documentation, you might have difficulty connecting your health issue with the car crash if you haven’t maintained good records.
- If you need to take time off of work, be sure to talk with your human resources representative. In cases of short- and long-term leave or leave without pay, you may be entitled to recoup your lost wages if you pursue a legal case against the at-fault driver. When you are ready, contact a legal advisor about filing a claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer will help you understand your rights, as well as give you guidance about your options. Initial appointments are free, so take advantage of the opportunity to get free, unbiased information from a professional personal injury attorney.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re going to be facing serious financial and medical concerns. If you think you have a case, get in touch with the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm to set up a consultation today.
DAMAGES AND NEGLIGENCE: WHAT ARE THEY?
UNDERSTANDING DAMAGES IN A CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT
In car accident and other personal injury claims, the term “damages” refers to the amount of compensation the court determines the plaintiff is entitled to receive. There are two primary categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are more easily calculable, as they tend to be losses that already have a dollar figure attached.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital bills and expenses
- Therapy costs
- Medical accessories, like crutches
- In-home services
- Future projected medical expenses
- Lost earnings due to being unable to work
- Compensation for lost earning potential, in the case of permanent disability
- Cost of vehicle repairs
- Repair or replacement costs for personal items damaged in the accident: phone, computer, etc.
Non-economic damages are the less quantifiable — but very real — losses a person may suffer due to a car accident. Examples include:
- Emotional distress
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished quality of life.
UNDERSTANDING ‘NEGLIGENCE’ IN CAR CRASH LAWSUITS
Negligence is a legal term that may describe action or inaction likely to cause harm. For example, a driver who causes a crash and flees the scene could be found negligent due to inaction.
In some instances, those experiencing a personal injury in a crash may be partially at fault. That’s known as contributory negligence. Texas state law applies the standard of modified comparative negligence when determining whether a driver is entitled to damages – if found to be less than 50 percent responsible for a crash, the driver may collect damages proportionate to his share of the blame.
A single-car crash might not seem like the type of crash that would warrant a claim. Yet, in some instances, it could be the reason for a car accident lawsuit.
For example, a single-car accident caused by negligent road care or something that fell from another vehicle onto the highway might not be deemed the driver’s fault. Or a driver may be able to prove that the wreck was due to a defective vehicle part or equipment failure.
This is especially true if the driver was operating his or her vehicle within accepted speed limits, was not under the influence of alcohol or other substances and obeyed all rules of the road. Fatal truck crashes accounted for 12.6 percent of all such deaths in the country – a significantly larger proportion than any of the other states. Most of those accident fatalities were not the truck drivers but the occupants of other vehicles.
Texas drivers should be cautious when approaching or passing large trucks and be aware of large trucks in oncoming lanes. Most fatal large truck crashes occur in rural areas, according to the NHTSA. But cities can be dangerous for drivers, too.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas crashes involving trucks over 10,000 pounds accounted for 10.6 percent of Texas traffic fatalities in 2013.
Dallas, Austin, and Houston received poor marks in Allstate Insurance’s America’s Best Drivers Report, ranked as 174, 159, and 158, respectively, out of 200 cities. But there’s some good news if you live in Brownsville: Allstate ranks your city as the second safest in the United States.
COMMON CAUSES OF VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Although vehicle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, the majority are caused by one of the following issues:
- Vehicles hit one another head-on because the at-fault operator drifts into the other operator’s lane.
- One vehicle smacks into the side of another vehicle, causing a “t-bone” or side crash.
- A vehicle hits the rear end of another vehicle. When damage is minimal, this can be referred to as a “fender bender.” When damage is more severe, significant injuries and fatalities can result.
- A vehicle crashes into an object, thus causing a “single-car crash.” This may be because of driver fault, but weather and poor road conditions may also be contributing factors. For example, a large object that fell off a truck may have contributed to the accident.
- A vehicle on a highway drifts to the left or right, hitting the side of another vehicle going in the same direction.
- A vehicle pulls out into busy traffic without correctly negotiating the speed of other vehicles.
- One vehicle is speeding and crashes into others, which may end up causing a chain reaction.
Emergency management personnel and police are trained to determine who is at fault in each incident. Sometimes this will be obvious; at other times, it will take some investigation on their part. Generally speaking, at-fault drivers will have trouble filing a lawsuit or claim unless there are extenuating circumstances.
COMMON TYPES OF CAR CRASH INJURIES
Car crashes can result in a variety of injuries, including some that are regularly seen and treated by medical personnel.
- Bruises and contusions. Although the human body is surprisingly durable, it cannot handle the physics of being in motion and suddenly stopping. Consequently, many people who have been in car accidents wind up with bruising.
- Broken bones. Along with bruising, broken bones are frequently reported by car crash victims. The bones could be anywhere in the body, from arms to legs to ribs.
- Whiplash. Whiplash, or damage to the neck, happens when the head is forced forwards, backwards, sideways, etc. Whiplash may be mild or severe and can even lead to loss of work for people who can no longer perform physical labor.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions. The brain isn’t immune to the forces of a crash and can swell and bruise. For this reason, many people experience TBIs and concussions, which can lead to long-term issues like brain damage, memory loss, and personality changes.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. Broken backs are one of the top car accident injuries treated by hospitals and medical centers. The result can be a lifelong struggle with chronic discomfort or even difficulty ambulating.
- Internal bleeding. When a car accident is violent enough, the driver and any passengers can experience bleeding, both externally and internally. Internal bleeding demands immediate surgical intervention to reduce the chances of death.
Of course, even if your injuries are very subtle, you should always document any medical changes. Having a record will assist you if you decide to pursue a settlement for your bills, damages, and pain and suffering.
GETTING MEDICAL TREATMENT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
You’ve certainly seen ambulances along Texas highways after car accidents. After all, it’s a protocol for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene. However, not all crashes end with drivers or passengers going to the hospital.
Even if you are not taken for immediate treatment, you may wind up with short-term or chronic issues directly related to your accident. Traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and concussions aren’t always apparent at first. For this reason, carefully monitor your health and the health of anyone who was in your vehicle. If you see any changes in your own or others’ behavior or functioning, seek immediate medical attention.
A visit to an Austin car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and options when it comes to filing a lawsuit. Be sure to bring all your medical records to your initial free consultation with the attorney to promote a robust, comprehensive discussion about your potential case. This will enable your attorney to give the best possible evaluation of the merits of your case.
CAR ACCIDENT RESOURCES
Are you looking for more information on car accidents in Texas and throughout the country? Be sure to head to any of these links prior to your upcoming visit with one of our personal injury lawyers.
- The Texas Department of Transportation – latest crash statistics
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – motor vehicle fatalities
- Association for Safe International Road Travel – accident statistics and information
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute – state-by-state general statistics
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – vehicle crash resources