There were 12,107 serious injury crashes in Texas in the year of 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It’s no secret car accidents result in fatal consequences and that a car accident lawyer is needed. But when is the best time to hire a car accident attorney? There are a few key items to determine if you need an attorney for your car accident. Read below to find out if you need to hire an expert car accident lawyer in Houston, TX today.
What Caused the Accident?
One of the key questions needed to determine if you need a lawyer or not is who or what was the cause of the car accident? If the accident were due to a single-vehicle incident, assigning blame would prove to be more difficult since fault relies only on the motorist operating the vehicle. Essentially, it’s hard to admit fault if the only one to blame is the driver who caused the accident.
However, if the collision is due to negligence brought forth by a second party, or it’s caused by external factors, a lawyer will be vital for your case. If the accident involves two vehicles or more, assigning blame on a driver outside of the first vehicle will grant you a more successful chance of getting compensated for your damages.
How Severe Are Your Damages?
No matter what kind of damages you have, whether it be vehicle, property damage, or personal injury, the severity of your damages can significantly affect whether or not you need a car accident lawyer. If the collision didn’t result in any external or internal injuries, it is less likely you need to contact a lawyer for your accident. However, if your collision resulted in any injuries or casualties, a lawyer will be required to assess your damages and give you the maximum compensation deserved.
There are two kinds of damages a victim can be compensated for: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are physical, calculated from losses based on bills or records. This ranges from present-day losses to expected losses in the future, such as lost wages. Economic damages are concrete, so it is rare to limit how much a victim can recover financially.
Common economic damages include:
- Medical fees
- Property repair fees
- Future economic losses
Noneconomic damages cover those damages that do not have a physical dollar amount, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. These damages are a little more difficult to calculate since these damages can’t be quantified physically.
Additional common noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional pain or Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
How Involved Were the Police?
After every major or minor collision, police will arrive on the scene to assess the situation. Once there, the officer will draft a police report on the accident and get a recorded statement of what occurred. If the officer claims collision damages exceed $1,000, a lawyer will be needed.
Police reports are great pieces of evidence. If you offer a statement, it’s imperative that it is as factual as it can be. If you aren’t careful of what you say to the police officer or if you vaguely speculate, it will hurt you later down the line if your case goes to trial.
The Claims Process
Just as you should file a police report as soon as possible, you should also inform your insurance company of the accident by filing a claim. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations, or the time in which you can file a lawsuit for your car accident case, is two years, and it begins the day your accident occurs. If you wait after two years or you don’t report your car accident, your claim could be denied, which won’t give you access to file a lawsuit for your case.
It’s important to note insurance adjusters are not on your side unlike your trusted accident lawyer. Adjusters will try and get you to admit to being at fault even if you aren’t, or they will convince you to accept a lowball settlement you don’t deserve. The best car accident lawyer will review everything the adjuster sends your way and they will navigate your claim so you can be protected.
Hire a Houston Car Accident Lawyer at Sutliff & Stout Today
If you were involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Lawyers have the legal experience and knowledge to make sure you’re rightly compensated for your damages. Call 713-987-7111 for a Sutliff & Stout attorney to handle your car accident case today.