The average American relies on their car to get around. Public transportation cuts down on this need in many larger cities, but everyone else needs a vehicle to get to where they need to go. The problem is that, for every minute you spend on the road, there’s a chance you may be involved in a serious or even deadly car accident.
Our lawyers at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. understand that car accidents are a nightmare to go through, no matter how common of an occurrence they may be. Car accidents are often traumatic and incredibly expensive.
With years of education and experience navigating the legal system, your Plano car accident lawyer is ready to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your accident.
Regardless of the severity of your accident, certain steps can help make your recovery easier and ease the suffering you’re experiencing. If you’re struggling to make sense of this terrible situation, check out the steps below and talk with your Plano attorney to learn more.
Whether you were in a five-car pileup on the highway or a minor fender-bender, the first thing you should do after getting into a motor vehicle accident is to seek medical attention.
In the case of more severe accidents, emergency medical services and police may already be called to the scene. Make sure not to minimize your injuries and allow them to check you over.
If your accident was less severe and no one arrives at the scene to offer medical services, be sure to get to the hospital for a checkup as soon as possible. You may feel fine, but your body has ways of hiding your injuries even from you when it experiences a traumatic event.
If you feel okay, don’t just go home. Certain injuries may not be painful or evident until later when they’ve worsened. Without medical intervention as quickly as possible, that can turn deadly for you.
Make sure to keep any documentation and paperwork relating to your checkup. It’s wise to assemble a folder and keep it neat and accessible so you can review the information with your attorney. Include any receipts for prescribed medication from your pharmacy.
If you are able to take photos at the scene without worsening your injuries, or if you have an unharmed passenger that is able and willing to do so, start documenting things immediately, and document everything. You never know what might end up being valuable for your case. The more thorough you can be, the better.
Take photos of the other vehicle from as many angles as possible. Get pictures of the accident scene as a whole if it is safe to do so. Take a few photos of your car as well, but focus on other parts of the accident, as you will have access to your vehicle once the scene is cleared. You likely won’t be able to photograph the other driver’s car once you leave the scene.
Only focus on taking photos if you are physically capable of doing so. Getting visual evidence is helpful in supporting your telling of the events by illustrating the layout of the scene but don’t injure yourself further.
You’re only legally obligated to report a car accident to the police in Texas if there is an injury, a death, or property damage of over $1,000. If the Plano police are called to the scene, the drivers involved don’t need to worry about filing a report because the police will handle it once they arrive.
Regardless of your legal obligation, submitting a crash report or getting a copy of the police report can help you. This document can support your case because it works as a witness statement from an expert, which increases your credibility. It can also help by including any details from your perspective that the police might have forgotten to account for in their report.
Including additional details can also work to prove the details of your Plano car accident to the insurance company.
Remember: your insurance company is not your friend. Even though you pay them every month to keep you financially secure in the event of an incident such as a Plano car accident, they will always try to give you the smallest sum of money. The quicker they offer a settlement, the more suspicious you should be.
Always consult an attorney before accepting an insurance settlement. With the help of a lawyer and extensive documentation of your case, you will be more likely to receive an acceptable sum for your claim.
Every year, Texas sees over 50,000 car accidents occur on its roads. These accidents range from minor damage with no injuries to devastating crashes that take multiple lives.
Car accidents are caused by many things, but most are related to human error. Sometimes, inclement weather such as floods or hurricanes can cause accidents outside of human control. Unfortunately, though, accidents are mostly caused by negligence and human error.
Under Texas law, someone is considered negligent if they did the following:
Duty of care is the concept that every person is obligated to behave with a certain level of care and responsibility towards others. For example, a responsible individual adhering to the expected duty of care would follow the rules of the road, such as the speed limit. Breach of that duty of care would be, in this example, accelerating over the speed limit.
Causation comes into play when someone is harmed by the breach of duty of care. If the driver accelerating over the speed limit subsequently rear-ends the vehicle in front of them that is obeying the speed limit, they have directly caused this other vehicle and its driver harm.
This results in damages. In this example, let’s assume the damages caused by the speeding driver are moderate damage to the other driver’s vehicle and a mild concussion.
Negligence comes in different forms. Gross negligence, comparative negligence, and vicarious liability are all subcategories of overall negligence and can impact your case in different ways, so it is wise to consult an attorney to determine what you’re working with.
When you’re hurt in a Plano car accident, you may be shocked and confused by the situation. How did this happen? Determining what caused your Plano car accident can be tough, but our car accident lawyer can help you pinpoint the cause of your accident, identify the party behind it, and take your claim to court.
Distracted drivers are unfortunately common in Plano and elsewhere. Even before smartphones, drivers were distracted trying to navigate with paper maps, talking to passengers, and eating behind the wheel.
While smartphones make navigation easier, they are still often a distraction to drivers who forget to silence their text message notifications or phone calls.
Many accidents are caused by drunk drivers, who choose to take to Plano’s streets and endanger others. Unfortunately, deciding to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks on a fun night out can have disastrous, sometimes fatal consequences that can haunt a person for the rest of their life.
In Texas, a person is considered intoxicated once their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level reaches 0.08 percent. Every person processes alcohol differently, so there is no streamlined number of drinks that can cause someone to reach 0.08 percent. If you have had anything to drink, it’s often best to just get a taxi.
Even if you haven’t hit 0.08 percent and get behind the wheel, you are breaking the law as soon as the substances in your system affect your ability to operate your car responsibly.
Speeding is brushed off by many drivers as no big deal, or even an expected thing to do, especially in the far left lane on the highway. However, speeding significantly increases the probability of a car accident occurring. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a major contributing factor to many fatal accidents.
Student drivers are also more vulnerable to potential accidents. With less experience than the other drivers on the road, young drivers are more likely to make mistakes that can result in accidents. Sometimes this can be due to incomplete or incorrect driving education.
Student drivers can help minimize the risk of getting into an accident by putting a “student driver” sticker on their car’s bumper, so other drivers on the road can be made aware of their inexperience.
Poorly maintained public infrastructure is another contributing factor to car accidents. Potholes, uneven roads, faded lines, or damaged signage have all been known to cause or contribute to car accidents.
If a road hazard was never reported to the department of transportation, they may not take responsibility for the accident. However, many departments may fail to fix a known problem for some time, and unfortunately, you may have been the one to suffer because of that.
Defective vehicle parts or improperly installed parts can also contribute to accidents. This can be traced back to the vehicle’s designers, manufacturers, distributors, or any mechanics who have recently serviced it.
When a part fails to work properly, it can have devastating effects. Many Plano residents have discovered too late that their brakes have failed, leading to a serious car accident, for example. Talk to your lawyer if you’ve been injured this way.
You may experience physical, mental, and emotional damages in addition to any damages your property suffered in a Plano car accident. However, not all of your damages will have a direct price tag attached, and therefore you will likely need an attorney’s help to get the compensation you deserve for the damages you’ve suffered.
Your compensatory damages can be economic or non-economic. Depending on the situation, non-compensatory damages called punitive damages may come into play. Here’s what you need to know.
Economic damages have an obvious price tag attached. Medical expenses and automotive repair expenses are examples of economic damages. With receipts, invoices, and other data analysis, experts can determine a precise monetary value that you are eligible to recover.
Common economic damages in car accident claims include the following:
Non-economic damages are more difficult to attach a price tag. Concepts such as emotional trauma and pain and suffering deserve acknowledgment in court, but it’s more difficult to determine how much monetary compensation they deserve. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney on your side who has experience handling non-economic damages.
If you have experienced losses that may fall into the non-economic damages category, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. It’s incredibly difficult to accurately calculate non-economic damages accurately without years of experience and knowledge of precedents. Let a reliable Plano car accident attorney assist you.
It can feel daunting to admit that you may need to hire an attorney in Plano to help handle your case. However, it’s difficult to represent yourself in America’s legal system without getting taken advantage of.
With years of higher education, experience with the system, and numerous resources, a car accident attorney in Plano may be your best bet to getting the compensation you’re owed.
Car accident attorneys can help with the investigation, making sure that any evidence that supports your claim is not overlooked. They can help you access police reports, and have professional relationships with various experts that can help you interpret the information properly. This can help with assigning fault and getting the full extent of your damages recorded.
Insurance companies aren’t your friend, and lawyers know this better than anyone. With years of know-how, an attorney can cut through the nonsense and ensure that negotiations with your insurance company go as smoothly and fairly as possible.
Without experience and legal education, it’s can be impossible to factor in all the various elements that can impact the value of your claim. Make sure to contact a Plano attorney you trust so you don’t miss out on the financial compensation you are owed.
If you or someone you care about has experienced a car accident in Plano that has caused you to suffer physical, emotional, mental, or financial injury, know that you don’t have to handle it all by yourself.
Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. has years of experience, education, and a long record of wins for their clients. Set apart by its stellar reputation, Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. is motivated by professionalism and compassion to help car accident victims secure the financial compensation they deserve.
When you’re ready to speak with an experienced Plano car accident lawyer from our team, reach out for a free consultation. Contact Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. today by filling out our convenient online form or calling 214-984-3113.