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Dallas Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents can have devastating consequences. Reach out to a qualified car accident attorney in Dallas for help holding the at-fault party accountable for their negligence so that you can get compensated for your injuries and property damage.

When other people are responsible for your car accident losses, it’s your right to seek financial compensation through an insurance or personal injury claim. A Dallas car accident lawyer from Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. will help you maximize your settlement and get compensated for everything you’ve suffered. We’ll handle the legal hurdles so that you can recover from the accident in peace.

Filing a Car Accident Claim: How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., our Dallas car accident lawyers understand the ways an accident can change your life. That’s why our legal consultants offer our clients robust legal representation for their car accident claims in Dallas, Texas:

  • Investigating Your Motor Vehicle Accident – Our experienced personal injury attorney will handle and closely investigate your case to the fullest extent to ensure that each responsible party is served with a lawsuit for their negligence and your damage and losses.

  • Writing Demand Letters and Dealing with Insurance – Insurance companies are tough to deal with. Our lawyers have the legal knowledge and experience to handle the paperwork, demand letters, and negotiations—so you can focus on recovery.

  • Fighting for a Top-Value Settlement or Jury Award – Whether in court or while negotiating with the insurance company, our car accident attorneys will fight to ensure you’re getting the maximum compensation possible for every damage you experience resulting from the accident.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Texas

An accident can happen in the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of action in the aftermath of your collision. If you’re able to do any of the following, it will help facilitate the process of filing your personal injury or accident claim later.

  • Seek Medical Treatment After the Accident –  Even if you’re unsure whether your injuries are serious, seeking out the opinion of a trusted doctor will document your accident injuries, and make sure they are incorporated into medical records.
  • Get Photo Evidence – Taking some pictures of the scene of the accident and of your car will help you build the practical evidence you need to file a successful claim.
  • File an Accident Report – Filing an accident report with the Dallas Police Department will lend credibility to your car accident claim by incorporating details that the insurance adjusters may consider when responding to a demand letter.
  • Know the Value of Your Damage Claim The insurance companies will always try to provide the lowest amount possible for your car accident claim. That’s why most car accident plaintiffs refuse to accept an initial settlement offer before a car accident attorney has the chance to look it over first.

Reporting Your Dallas Car Accident

When you’re hurt in a Dallas car accident, one of the first steps you may need to take is to file a car accident report. This is a report of the events of the accident, including who was involved, what happened, and what damages were reported by the involved parties.

This document contains useful information about your case, which can be useful. But what about the accident report makes it such a needed piece of evidence? Here’s what you need to know.

Do I Have to File a Report?

Following a Dallas car accident, you may be debating the merits of filing a police report. Maybe the damages don’t seem too serious, and no one is seriously injured. You may also be sure you’re not responsible. However, filing a police report may still be necessary.

Legally, certain requirements must be met if the accident is severe enough. If someone is injured or killed, the accident must be reported. Likewise, you’ll need to file a police report if the damages exceed $1,000 in value.

Keep in mind that $1,000 in damages is an easy threshold to cross. Even a fender-bender can get expensive quickly. Because of this, you may need to contact the police even if you’re not sure you’ve crossed this threshold. Acting now and gathering the evidence you need, as well as avoiding any penalties, can help you recover.

Failure to file a report is, after all, a punishable offense. If you fail to report an accident that should have been reported, you may even face criminal offense charges. When you’re recovering from a car accident that’s devastating, so reach out instead of aid and guidance.

How an Accident Report Can Help You

Filing an accident report can feel like too many extra steps, but it can be a vital piece of evidence when you’re in court for your car accident. In some cases, a report can be the key to getting compensated.

That’s because a report is effectively a witness statement from the police. When the police arrive on the scene to report the accident, they may write up their version of events. If that version lines up with your retelling of events, the police can act as expert witnesses with a lot of authority in the courtroom. If there are doubts about your version of events, the accident report can help clarify your story.

It can also be a useful tool to keep the details of the accident recorded. Filing a lawsuit may take place months or even years after the initial accident. In that time, memories can fade, and you may struggle to remember the details of your car accident. Luckily, your Dallas car accident report remembers it for you with an authority your testimony may not have.

How to File and Get a Copy of an Accident Report

When you’re hurt in a car accident, you’ll need to file a car accident report within a few days of the accident. Often, Texas residents do this by contacting the police and getting them on the scene to review the case. Otherwise, they may need to file theirs with the police department nearest to the accident site.

Once the police report is filed, it becomes available to purchase. Generally, you can buy your copy online, one of the easiest options. If you’re unsure how to use the web browser or print the results, your Dallas car accident attorneys can handle this step for you.

In other cases, you can also mail in a request for your funds, and your report will be mailed to you. This is one of the slower options. You can also simply go to the police department with your request.
Unsure where to begin or how to get your accident report? Your lawyer is here to help every step of the way.

Texas Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

When you’re hurt in a car accident in Dallas, the clock starts ticking on your claim right away. Following the accident, your time is limited, and it can be difficult to get compensated if you don’t follow these time limits.

In Texas, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim before your claim is dismissed. If you fail to file a claim within those time limits, you may have difficulty getting compensated fairly for your suffering and losses.

This statute of limitations can help you get the answers you need and make the most of your claim. That’s because evidence degrades over time, becoming less clear or even becoming lost. For example, skid marks may wear away over time, and road or car damage may be repaired. Acting as soon as possible means fresher evidence and an accident that’s fresher on the minds of all involved. That makes a big difference when you’re preparing to sue.

Contributing Factors in Dallas Car Accidents

The city of Dallas saw 36,862 total crashes in 2019. Of those, it’s estimated that more than 12,000 were motor vehicle accidents that contributed to some sort of injury for the occupants. Although only a percentage of those accident-related injuries would be considered serious, car accidents still accounted for 185 fatalities during the same year. And that doesn’t even touch on the rest of Texas.

A car accident can be caused by a variety of different influences. Sometimes, external factors, such as inclement weather, are the real culprits. In other instances, however, human factors, such as negligence, are decisive in the cause of the accident.

Accidents caused by distracted truck drivers are just one example. In recent years, the rise of app technology has made it easier than ever for drivers to become distracted behind the wheel, leading them to cause an accident. Some other factors and examples of negligence that lead to accidents include the following:

  • Drunk Drivers – When people make the fateful decision to get behind the wheel after having consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol, the consequences can be devastating for other Dallas drivers sharing the roads with them.

  • Speeding Drivers – When motorists drive above the legal speed limits, they put other people and drivers at risk. Speed is cited as a contributing factor in many Dallas accidents.

  • Driver Inexperience – Younger drivers suffer from a lack of experience behind the wheel, and a predisposition to take greater risks while driving. Occasionally, other drivers can suffer the consequences of younger drivers’ inexperience.

  • Poorly Maintained Roads – When a Dallas or Texas governmental agency allows roads to fall into a dangerous state of disrepair, it can sometimes be held liable for paying civil remedies to impacted drivers.

  • Defective Auto Parts – When a mechanical component fails on the road, it can cause accidents. Filing a claim against the responsible parties can help you recover compensation for the damage and injuries resulting from the accident.

What Damages Are Available in Car Accident Cases?

A car, truck, or motorcycle accident can cause you damages in numerous ways, which is why most car accident plaintiffs will benefit from the help of experienced accident lawyers, who can help them understand the full value of their accident damages.

One of the most commonly represented damages in car accident settlements are medical expenses. From the cost of emergency treatment to out-patient therapy, a fair accident settlement should take into account the full range of expenses you’ve incurred related to your car accident.

Frequently, other damages that can be compensated in car accident settlements include the following:

  • Lost income and wages

  • Lost earning capacity

  • Emotional trauma

  • Pain and suffering

  • Property damages

  • Rental car expense

  • Every other accident-related expense

Unsure about the specifics you may be due for your accident? Here’s what you may be able to expect.

Economic Damages

When you’re injured in a car accident, one of the first losses you may be aware of are the financial costs you’ll face during your recovery. Your economic losses can vary, depending on the severity of the car accident and the length of your recovery.

For example, your medical expenses is one of the biggest parts of your recovery. The costs of your medical recovery, however, can be costly. You may need long-term care, expensive treatment such as surgeries, and frequent visits to specialists to recover from your injuries. All these add up, and they should be included in your damages.

Your economic damages should also include damage to your property. Your vehicle may be severely damaged or even totaled in an accident, and that should be a part of your expenses. Your lawyer can help you accurately determine your vehicle’s worth.

You’ll also need to account for any other expenses related to your accident. For example, if you’re unable to work, your lost wages should be included. Any costs for household accommodations or care, if you’re unable to navigate or clean your house without pain, may be counted, too.

Keep in mind for all these expenses that your economic damages should include both current and future losses. For example, you may need an expensive surgery in the future that hasn’t happened, but is planned for. You and your lawyer must account for expenses like these to ensure you get the fair compensation you’re due.

Non-Economic Damages

When you’re hurt in a Dallas car accident, your focus may be on the financial costs of your accident, but the non-financial losses you suffer may be just as severe. The trauma of a serious accident can impact a person’s daily life for years following that accident.

These intangible costs are called non-economic damages. While they may not have a dollar value like your economic damages, your lawyer can help you determine their value and include them in your compensation. That calculation is based on the severity and impact of your injuries.

Let’s say you were injured in a car accident, and months later, you find it impossible to sit behind the wheel of a car. You may have flashbacks to the accident, and nightmares may prevent you from sleeping at night. A doctor may dianose you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that impacts your quality of life in severe ways.

This type of pain and suffering may be more severe than, for example, someone who has minor aches and pains following a car accident.

Keep in mind, too, that these damages can impact your financial quality of life as well. For example, an athlete who’s suffered a broken leg in a car accident may face more emotional distress than an office work who could return to work in a cast.

Unsure how severely your injuries have impacted your quality of life? Reach out to a trusted car accident lawyer for the guidance you need.

Common Car Crashes and How to Avoid Them

Car crashes are traumatic experiences that can leave you vulnerable, disoriented, and overwhelmed, not to mention how emotionally taxing they can be. There are several types of collisions happening on a regular basis, which is why it’s so important to understand how they’re different from each other.

Having a clear picture about the events that transpired is also necessary to protect your legal rights and be properly compensated. Knowing the type of accident can also help you determine who’s at fault for your injuries.

We’ve compiled a list of the most common car accidents and how to avoid them, so that you can make sure you’re not damaged by someone else’s negligence or taken advantage of by ill-intentioned insurance providers.

Rear-End Collision

This collision involves the front of one car crashing into the back of another vehicle. It’s usually caused by drivers who are following too closely while not paying attention to the road. This is usually referred to as tailgating, and can result in severe injuries with debilitating consequences. In this instance, the driver who hits the rear-end of another vehicle is almost always considered liable.

There are several steps you can take to prevent this unpleasant occurrence:

  • Keep a Safe Following Distance – You don’t want to find yourself with not enough time to react or slow down before irreversible damage is caused. Following the 3 seconds rule (leaving the equivalent of three seconds of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you) is the best option when you’re stuck in traffic. Keep in mind that this rule will be influenced by weather conditions and the size of your vehicle.

  • Stay Focused on the Road – This rule should be applied every time you’re behind the wheel, whether you’re on a busy road or a highway. Being aware of what’s happening in front of you will protect you from potential hazards, as well as unwanted crashes. It’s wise to stop utilizing your smartphone or engaging in other activities like eating that can distract you and occupy your hands. Always stop your vehicle in a safe spot if you need to do anything that doesn’t involve driving.

  • Anticipate Sudden Stops – Be prepared to stop at all times, even if there’s no reason for the vehicle in front of you to do so. Experienced drivers keep their foot on the brake pedal or make sure to hover over it while making sure they’re not stopping in a way that results in a loss of control. Slamming the brakes is never the answer to unexpected situations.

  • Signal to Other Drivers – No one has the ability to predict someone else’s actions, especially when everything happens in a matter of seconds. Remember to always help other drivers understand your intentions by using your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns. It’s the only way they have to anticipate your movements.

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone accidents typically happen at intersections when one driver fails to stop at the signal or sign. This results in one car striking the other car in the side. These accidents can be devastating because they strike the driver or passenger in a vulnerable place. While side airbags are becoming more common, these impacts can lead to severe injuries.

Typically, drivers and their car accident attorneys can determine who’s at fault for a T-bone accident based on the signal and who had the right-of-way. Eyewitnesses may have noticed one of the cars speeding through the intersection to avoid a red light, for example, striking a car that was moving with the green light. Talk to your lawyer about gathering evidence about these accidents.

Sometimes, a car accident isn’t between two individauls. One mistake can lead to a chain reaction of events that lead to severe injuries and even deaths. Multi-vehicle accident scenes can turn deadly fast, and they can be difficult to untangle because so many parties are involved. Likewise, they happen for many reasons, meaning there’s no single chain of events.

Because of this, you may need a mixture of evidence such as eyewitness testimony and expert testimony reconstructing the scene of the accident. Gathering evidence to determine how the accident happened can give you the insight needed to file a lawsuit and get compensated.

SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENTS

Even a single-car crash may not be your fault. Many accidents happen for weather-related reasons, for example, such as standing water that causes your car to hydroplane after a heavy rain. In other cases, your brakes may have failed suddenly, and you were unable to stop the car. In both of these cases, you may not have done something wrong, but someone else may have.

While weather-related road conditions cannot be sued about, a failure to address standing water is. Potholes and other road defects make it more difficult to drive safely. If the government doesn’t address these issues despite knowing about them, and those issues cause a wreck, it may leave them open for legal action.

Likewise, your brakes may have failed, leaving you unable to control your vehicle. If the manufacturer failed to check the brakes for any defects during the time it was being manufactured, they may be liable for your injuries. Talk to your lawyer about determining the specific cause and fault for your Dallas car accident.

DEALING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

After a serious car accident, your first instinct may be to reach out to your insurance company. You’ve been paying for your insurance policy for years, and it should cover the costs of your injuries, right?

Unfortunately, getting the funds you’re due from an insurance company can be difficult and frustrating. You may find yourself surprised by the difficulty of communicating with the insurance company and getting compensated.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. Our personal injury attorney is prepared to stand with you and pursue compensation even when the insurance companies don’t want to pay.

THEY’RE NOT ON YOUR SIDE

When we sign up for an insurance policy, we assume that policy will help us. You may be shocked to find, sadly, that the policy doesn’t prevent you from facing down expensive damages without the financial support you may have expected.

That’s because insurance companies aren’t on your side. These large companies are focused on profits only, and they’ll do whatever it takes to protect that property. That includes reducing the value of your claim, saying you failed to take certain steps, or even outright acting in bad faith to avoid payment.

Bad faith actions by an insurance company can itself be grounds for a lawsuit. This happens when an insurance company fails to provide the services you’ve paid for. For example, your claim may have been denied unfairly. In other cases, they may lowball your settlement, leaving you feeling as though you have no choice but to take a lower settlement than you deserve.

Your car accident lawyer in Dallas is ready to ensure no one has to settle for less. If you’ve been told by the insurance company that your settlement isn’t worth much, reach out to a experienced personal injury lawyer first before you accept anything.

ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU

Unfortunately, you’ll still need to contact your insurance company, especially to let them know that the accident happened. When you do contact them, they may be friendly, sympathetic, and interested in the details of your accident. In these cases, it’s best to say only what you have to.
That’s because those calls are recorded, and anything said on those calls can be used against you in court.

For example, you may have said at some point that the accident was your fault, only to later realize it was the other driver’s. The insurance company will still use that as an admission of guilt and a reason to avoid paying for your damages.

The solution is to instead avoid saying anything you don’t have to volunteer. Talk to your lawyer about navigating these interactions and ensuring you’re saying only what you need to say.

NEGOTIATE WITH A LAWYER’S HELP

Texas is a fault state, meaning the insurance company of the at-fault party is obligated to pay the costs of the accident. Unfortunately, the insurance company may be unwilling to admit that their client was the one who caused the accident. Because of this, you may need a lawyer’s help to negotiate a fair settlement of insurance claims or take your claim to court.

One of the difficulties many Dallas car accident victims have is that the insurance companies have lawyers, resources, and tools they don’t. They may struggle to refute their evidence and make their voices heard. With a car accident attorney on your side, you can expect guidance that meets your needs and pursues the full compensation you’re due, whether that’s through negotiation or through court.

SUING A THIRD PARTY FOR A DALLAS CAR ACCIDENT

When you think about filing a lawsuit for a car accident, you may be unsure who to sue. Typically, the person responsible for your injuries is the other driver, making it easier to file a claim. But that’s not always the case. You may have been alone when the accident happened, or the at-fault party is the responsibility of another group. When this happens, you may need to file a claim against that third party.

Suing a third party can be intimidating because they weren’t present at the accident. You may be worried about the difficulties of correctly placing the blame on this party. Your lawyer, however, understands that even those not present at the accident can still be liable by law.

For example, let’s say you were hit by a delivery driver who was drunk driving or under the influence. While the driver made the decision to endanger the lives of others, the delivery company chose to hire this driver. Because of this, they accept a level of responsibility for their actions.

Unsure who’s liable for your injuries? Reach out for help from a car accident lawyer. They have the tools to determine who’s at fault and what you can do about it.

What Can I Expect in the Courtroom?

Once you’ve filed your claim, you’ll then need to complete your time in court, assuming the at-fault party refuses to settle for a reasonable amount. But what can you expect in the courtroom? Here are some basic parts of the process you’ll need to know.

EVIDENCE AND DISCOVERY

When you’re facing a trial for your Dallas car accident claim, you’ll need plenty of evidence to back it up. You and your lawyer should come to court with evidence that proves you weren’t at fault and that you’re due compensation in hand.

In the courtroom, your lawyer can present that evidence to the judge in a way that’s logical, clear, and useful. Your lawyer can also take this time to observe any evidence presented by the at-fault party and can make any notes needed about this evidence.

REPRESENTING YOU IN COURT

One of the most important functions of a lawyer is to represent you in the courtroom. Representing yourself is difficult enough due to your injuries and your mental anguish. Additionally, you don’t have the tools, experience, or resources to make informed decisions that help you overcome the suffering you’ve experienced.

Because of this, your lawyer is a key part of your time in the courtroom. Your lawyer will present your evidence, argue in your favor, and push back against any claims made by the insurance company.

JUDGMENT ON YOUR COMPENSATION

Following the presentation of evidence and arguments, the court proceedings will finally come to a close. This happens when the judge has reviewed the evidence provided and made a decision about whether to approve or deny your claim. The judge also has the power to decide whether to reduce the compensation you’re due or to award other compensation, such as funds for punitive damages.

In the best-case scenario, you and your lawyer are able to get the full compensation you’re due, which will make a big difference in your quality of life. Those funds can help you maintain your quality of life without worrying about how you’ll pay for your home, bills, or loved one’s needs. Your lawyer is there with you through it all.

WHY GO WITH DALLAS CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS WITH EXPERIENCE

The complexity of dealing with insurance companies and other difficulties compel many Dallas accident victims who’ve been injured to seek the counsel of a Dallas car accident lawyer before accepting a settlement offer for their accident or personal injury claim.

Chris Lewis, founding attorney at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., has earned a reputation for excellence, experience, and knowledge. From his college days as a four-year football letterman to his extensive legal experience as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and civil litigator, Chris approaches everything with a level of dedication that sets him apart from what other accident lawyers provide.

At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., our professional motivation is helping injured plaintiffs secure the highest compensation available to them—and we can help you file your claim, too. Our clients always benefit from having our accident lawyers handle their case.

FIGHT BACK WITH A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN DALLAS 

A car accident can throw your life off balance. Do you need cash compensation after a motor vehicle accident? The Dallas car accident lawyers at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. won’t rest until you get justice for the injuries and damage you’ve suffered through the negligence of other people. 

Call our legal consultants at 214-984-3113 or fill out the form below for more information on how you can get compensated. If you need to file an insurance or injury claim for your car accident, our lawyers are here to help you protect your rights.

Our Dallas Law Office

Dallas Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

The moments after an automobile accident can be deeply troubling. You need information to correctly navigate the legal minefield. Fortunately, your car accident lawyer with Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. can help you plan for any contingency—and fight for the compensation you deserve.  Our consultations are free of charge. Our accident lawyers aim to provide you with the information you need to put your fears to rest following the collision. Here are a few of the most common questions that our clients have for us after a car accident to help you get started. 

Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?

Although you’re allowed to file a claim without the assistance of a car accident lawyer, lawyers with experience can help you defend your rights and secure maximum compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning it costs nothing to engage our legal services, and we only get paid after you get compensated by recovering a settlement for your injuries and property damage. 

How much should I settle for in an automobile accident claim?

The amount of personal injury compensation you can recover in a car accident settlement depends on the total of the economic and non-economic damages you suffered. The lawyers from our firm can help you identify what fair compensation looks like in your case and help you take your case to court, if needed, to provide the full compensation you deserve.

How do insurance companies determine settlement amounts?

Insurance adjusters consider factors such as medical damages, lost income and wages, and other factors and information. However, the insurance company is not on your side—they will always try to pay the least amount possible to motor vehicle accident victims. Only by engaging an attorney can you know for sure that the settlement amount you’re being offered is actually fair. 

What do you do after an accident that wasn’t your fault?

If someone else causes an accident, the important thing is seeking urgent medical care. At the scene of an accident, you may consider calling the police to file a crash report. Finally, reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer before accepting a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company. You don't want to risk losing your rights and getting compensated for less than what you're rightfully owed.

Can I still be compensated if I'm considered partially responsible for an accident?

Understanding who’s the at-fault party and assigning liability is one of the most complicated processes of a car accident claim, especially when both parties can be considered responsible for what happened. Fortunately, being considered partially at fault won’t stop you from receiving the money you deserve, as Dallas and the rest of Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that as long as you’re not found to be more than 50 percent responsible for a car accident, you’ll retain your right to compensation. Keep in mind that your settlement amount will be reduced according to your percentage of fault, that’s why insurance companies are quick to blame you. Our lawyers can protect you from lowball offers and an unjustly denied claim.

What happens if I don’t sue within Texas’ time limits?

Texas’ statute of limitations enforces a two-year limitation on car accident claims. That means you’ll need to act within that time frame for the compensation you’re due. If you don’t act within those limits, your claim may be dismissed, leaving you with no compensation. If you’re worried that you’re running out of time, reach out for help. Your lawyer is here to guide you.

What if my loved one died in a car accident?

Losing a loved one in a car accident is a devastating experience, one that can haunt you for years to come. Worse, you may have been left paying for the costs of someone else’s fatal mistake. When this happens, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you get answers about your claim, including determining who’s liable for the wrongful death claim and calculating what your claim is worth.

Can I receive punitive damages?

When you’re hurt in a serious car accident, you may be due punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages, or economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages don’t compensate you for a loss, but instead punish the wrongdoer for their actions. Keep in mind, however, that these damages are rare. Worse, they’re difficult to get, so talk to your attorney if you believe you’re due these damages.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The good news is that your Dallas car accident attorney works on a contingency basis, making representation affordable. That means your lawyer will only be paid a percentage of the compensation you receive for your claim. That prevents you from paying out of pocket for your lawyer fees. Even better, you don’t have to pay if your claim is not a success. That prevents you from facing mounting legal fees on top of other costs your claim won’t pay.

CONTACT US IF YOU NEED CHRIS LEWIS + ASSOCIATES IN YOUR CORNER.

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