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When Should I Hire A Lawyer After A Car Accident?

You can contact a lawyer immediately if you suffered an injury or sustained property damage in a car accident in Mesquite, Texas. Whether you need legal representation depends on the specific circumstances of your accident. However, learning more about your legal options and what an attorney could do to improve your chances of recovering your losses will cost you nothing.

Specifics That Warrant Calling a Car Accident Lawyer

Texas is an at-fault auto accident state, meaning the party responsible for the accident is also liable for the damages. Victims can hold the negligent party accountable by filing a claim with their insurer or a lawsuit through their local civil court. When do you need an attorney to guide you through those steps? Consider some common scenarios where a lawyer can help:

  • You or someone else suffered severe injuries directly resulting from the accident.
  • The police report does not accurately depict what happened.
  • You cannot establish fault for your claim.
  • You face a combative or elusive insurance company.
  • The negligent driver is underinsured or uninsured.

Where the accident occurs can also impact your case. For example, if the collision happened in a school or work zone or at a construction site, there are additional factors to consider. A car accident case can become more complex with the involvement of other parties. For example, was a pedestrian or cyclist also injured at the collision site?

The Burden of Proof

As the person filing a claim in the at-fault system, you are responsible for providing evidence to prove the three components of negligence. First, you must show that the other driver owed you a duty of care. This is simple in a car accident case because every driver is responsible for ensuring their actions are safe for others on the road. Next, you must show that the driver violated their duty of care, meaning you should prove they violated traffic laws.

Finally, you must show that the negligent driver’s actions directly caused the collision and your damages. The burden of proof in civil court is lower than in criminal court. You must only show that the at-fault party was more likely than not responsible for the losses you suffered. When anything complicates your ability to prove negligence, a car accident attorney can help.

Types of Cases a Car Accident Lawyer Handles

Car crash lawyers practice tort law and handle various collision cases regularly. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Single-vehicle crashes. Even single-vehicle collisions can occur because of another party’s negligence. For example, fallen debris from a construction site is a dangerous hazard that could result in a severe accident.
  • Commercial truck accidentsSome of the most severe auto accidents involve semis or other commercial vehicles. Their size alone makes them a danger to other drivers, and the potential for multiple liable parties makes building a claim for negligence more complex.
  • Motorcycle accidentsCollisions involving motorcyclists are often among the most deadly crashes. If you lost someone you loved or suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might need the help of a car accident lawyer to ensure you receive adequate compensation.
  • Multi-vehicle crashes. Accidents involving two or more vehicles can drastically range in complexity from a simple fender bender to totaled cars and severe injuries. More vehicles can result in more complex cases.
  • Pedestrian or bicyclist accidentsPedestrians and cyclists are more vulnerable than drivers, but they can also be responsible for an auto accident by violating road laws. 

This is not a comprehensive list of potential car crash scenarios. Car accident lawyers see unique circumstances every day. For example, recovering damages from a crash involving an on-duty rideshare driver can be more challenging because you may need to file your claim with the rideshare company’s insurer rather than the driver’s insurer. Cases like these often warrant a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Steps To Take in the Aftermath of a Car Accident

What you do in the immediate fallout of a car accident could impact your claim positively or negatively. For this reason, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better. For example, a lawyer will advise you to seek a medical examination as soon as possible, even if you feel it is unnecessary. Even a minor collision can result in injuries with lasting effects. Doctors specializing in emergency care are familiar with documenting auto accident injuries thoroughly.

In addition to seeking medical attention, consider other ways you can help strengthen your claim:

  • Report the accident to the police. They will investigate the claim and document their findings in a report your attorney may use to support your claim.
  • Avoid talking about the accident. Do not speak with anyone on the scene other than to request insurance and contact information from those involved and to give your statement to the police. You could unintentionally say something to place blame on yourself.
  • Document everything. If you can, take photographs of the vehicles and your injuries at the scene. Then, write down what happened in detail or record a video at the site and explain the events that led to the crash and what happened after.
  • Gather information. Ask the other driver or drivers involved for their name, contact information, and proof of insurance. You will need the insurance information to file your claim.

Most importantly, contact a car accident lawyer. Unless you have experience in personal injury law and how it applies to auto accident cases, you will likely have questions about your rights. Contacting an attorney before filing an insurance claim is often in the victim’s best interest.

What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for Your Case

Every car accident case is different. What an attorney can do for you depends on the specifics of your case. However, personal injury lawyers generally advise you of your rights, protect others from violating those rights and help you recover sufficient compensation to cover your damages.

They do this by investigating the accident, sometimes with the help of accident reconstruction experts, to find evidence of negligence and identify recoverable losses. Your chances of receiving a better settlement are often higher when you have representation because your lawyer may identify damages you did not know you could recover. For example, civil law recognizes non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life and loss of consortium.

Your attorney can also help you adequately value your damages, which is often a more complex process with non-economic losses. If you suffered severe injuries, having someone you can trust to handle conversations with the insurance company and build your case is invaluable. Additionally, most car accident attorneys work on contingency, meaning you only pay legal fees if they secure a settlement or award for your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Mesquite, Texas

Your initial consultation is the first opportunity to ask a car accident lawyer all the questions you have about your right to compensation. At Fielding Law, we help the victims of negligent drivers recover their losses and restore their lives. Even if your claim does not require legal representation, we can offer you peace of mind and information to guide you through the next steps in your case. Contact Fielding Law at (877) 880-4090 to schedule your free consultation today.