San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer
Following a San Antonio motor vehicle accident, your life may be turned upside down. Texas insurance company representatives may be calling, or trying to force you into a cheap settlement, and you may have questions about your injuries that nobody has been able to answer for you.
In these situations, it is important to have a trusted local San Antonio car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the ins-and-outs of your automobile injury claim, provide you with direction, and answer the many questions and concerns you have about your injuries.
Table of Contents
Texas Car Crash Statistics
Types of Car Accidents
What To Immediately After Getting in a Car Crash
Should You Handle Your Own Car Accident Case?
What If The Other Driver Was At Fault?
Auto Accidents in the San Antonio News
Texas Car Crash Statistics
Texas is consistently near the top in terms of total car crashes annually. Unfortunately, over the many years you have spent in Texas, you may have grown desensitized to that fact. Let’s take this opportunity to put Texas’ car accident statistics into perspective.
First, did you know that more than 500,000 crashes occurred in the Lone Star State in 2021? More specifically, the Texas Department of Transportation officially recorded 552,224 crashes that year. Even if you are used to high car crash numbers for Texas, that statistic may still catch you by surprise. Unfortunately, the numbers do not get any better the deeper you look.
The Department of Transportation also tallied 15,764 serious crashes that caused injuries in 2021. Furthermore, 19,447 people received injuries as a result of those crashes. Recently, we have also seen a troubling trend related to fatalities stemming from car accidents. After the number of fatalities stemming from car crashes steadily decreased from 2017 to 2019, it suddenly shot back up in 2020. The 3,896 deaths recorded in 2020 represented an increase of 7.54% from the previous year.
In 2021, 4,489 people died due to their involvement in car accidents. That represents a year-over-year increase of 15.22%. The latest trends hint that Texas roads are becoming more dangerous. So make sure you take proper precautions whenever you head out. Get the number of an experienced San Antonio auto accident lawyer as well, so you know who to call if something bad happens.
What Are The Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in San Antonio?
According to crash reports there were 46,383 car crashes recorded in Bexar County in 2021. Many of those accidents occurred on notorious roads, including Interstate 10, Loop 410, and Loop 1604. Those roadways are known for being routinely crowded. So learning that they are accident-prone areas probably does not surprise long-time Bexar County residents.
Intersections such as the I-10 and Loop 1604, Loop 410 and Marbach Road, and Braun Road and Loop 1604 are also notorious for being accident-plagued areas. So always stay on guard when you are driving those parts of Bexar County.
What Types of Car Accident Cases Does Barrus Injury Law Handle?
Some of the types of cases our law firm handles include:
- Fatal car accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rear end accidents
- Texting and driving
- Parking lot accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Distracted driver accidents
- Highway accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Wrong way accidents
- Rollover accidents
What Do I Do if I Have Been Injured in a Texas Auto Accident?
Every Texan knows that long road trips are a deep Texas tradition. But being on the road and driving for extended periods of time also opens yourself to accidents. And whether it’s your fault or not, accidents of any kind on the road can be incredibly stressful. Knowing what to do in the event of these incidents is half the battle.
- Call the Police Right Away: The first thing you should after checking yourself and other passengers for injuries is to call 911 right away. Even if you didn’t sustain any injuries or property damages, you need to contact the San Antonio police department and report the accident to them so they can put together a report as part of Texas Transportation Code §550.062.
- Be Cool and Polite: It’s normal for accidents to be emotionally charged situations. The kneejerk reaction is to blame the other driver right away, but doing so can cause the reporting police offer to be biased against you, and may give insurance companies reason to give you problems when filing your claim for compensation.
- Get Contact Information From Everyone Involved in the Accident: Be sure to get all contact details from other drivers involved in the accident. Include their full name, address, phone number, email address, and insurance company’s name and contact numbers. It’s also a good idea to get the same information from witnesses.
- Document the Accident: Take photos of your car and the other driver’s car. If one or both cars were totaled and you don’t have a camera with you, ask where the cars will be towed so you can take pictures there.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, some injuries like concussions can show up hours later. A doctor’s report will also give you an official record of your injuries, which will be critical evidence when filing your claim.
- Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer: You can also contact a legal representative, who can help arrange your claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Do I Need a Lawyer For My Car Accident?
One of the questions that car accident victims ask us most frequently is “Do I need an attorney for my car accident, or can I handle my own car accident claim.” Of course, the answer to that is that it depends on many factors. Sometimes it makes sense to handle your own car accident case without a San Antonio personal injury lawyer, but there are times when hiring one is the smart thing to do. Here’s what you need to know:
When Should You Handle Your Own Car Accident Case?
I’m going to tell you something that most auto accident attorneys in San Antonio won’t tell you — you may not even need a attorney for your case. In fact, we tell potential clients this quite often. In certain circumstances, you would be better off handling your car accident case by yourself, without legal representation.
The following are common examples of when you would likely not need a car wreck lawyer, and could probably handle your car accident case on your own:
- You were not injured, but your car was damaged.
- You suffered only minor injuries that did not require an immediate ER visit.
- You suffered only strains or sprains that were easily treated with a few chiropractor or physical therapy visits.
- You did not use your health insurance to pay for any of your treatment.
- You did not use Medicaid or Medicare to pay for any of your treatment.
- You didn’t break any bones, or herniate any discs in your back, neck, or thoracic spine.
- You didn’t sustain any cuts that required stitches.
- You have no injuries that will bother you in the future.
- The insurance company offers you a fair settlement that covers all of your medical bills and property damage (this doesn’t happen very often in Texas because Texas laws are stacked in favor of insurance companies, and stacked against you, the injured person).
12 Situations When It Makes More Sense to Hire an Attorney
Of course, there are times when an injured person would be crazy to try to handle their own car accident case, and other times when it just makes sense to have a good car accident attorney in San Antonio fighting for you (it usually doesn’t cost anything up front to hire an attorney).
In Texas, the laws are are stacked in favor of insurance companies, and stacked against injured people. Because of these laws, insurance companies tend to be difficult to deal with, which often times requires the assistance of an experienced legal expert to get fair compensation. Here are some of the situations for which you should have experienced legal representation on your side:
- Your injuries were serious, such as broken bones, cuts, herniated discs in neck or back.
- You required surgery because of the collision.
- You had to seek immediate medical attention, or were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
- There were more than two people injured in the crash, or more than two vehicles involved (if this is the case, you need to contact a car crash attorney quickly because of Texas law).
- You missed more than 3-4 days of work because of the accident.
- The insurance company is giving you the run around (download a free guide that exposes their sneaky tricks here).
- The insurance company has denied your claim.
- The insurance company claims you were at fault, but the evidence puts the other driver at fault.
- You used your own health insurance to pay for some of your medical care (you may be obligated to pay them back, a car accident lawyer in San Antonio can help defend against this).
- You used Medicaid or Medicare to pay for some of your medical care (again, you may be obligated to pay them back, your legal representative can help with this).
- The insurance company is trying to rush you into a quick settlement (this is a huge red flag).
- The police report is inaccurate, doesn’t truly describe the way the accident happened, or puts you at fault when you weren’t.
If you have a situation where you aren’t sure whether or not you need a attorney for your case, just give us a call at (210) 791-7485. We offer a FREE 5-Point Case Analysis, which can help you understand the important factors affecting your case, and guide your decision. If you don’t need an auto accident attorney in San Antonio, we will tell it to you straight – no games.
Understanding Types of Compensation You Can Receive After a Car Wreck in Texas
Assuming that the accident was not your fault, and that you’re filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, the following are the types of compensation available in for an accident that occurred in Texas (discussed more thoroughly below):
Property Damage Compensation
After a car wreck, your car will have damage, and you’ll need to get it repaired. If the other driver was at fault, their insurance company should pay for these repairs, as well as the cost of putting you in a rental car (see our article about who pays for rental cars here).
One thing to consider is getting your car repaired at a collision center that offers a lifetime warranty on repairs. In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will have preferred shops that offer a lifetime warranty on the work they do. Always ask around, and find a shop that warranties their work, and get the warranty in writing.
Past Medical Expenses
Past medical expenses are what most injured people refer to as simply “medical expenses.” Technically, it’s the cost of the medical care you’ve received already at the time you settle your claim. Past medical is calculated by looking at the amount was paid by you or your insurance company, and the amounts that you still owe. Note that if your health insurance paid any of your medical expenses, it is entitled to be reimbursement for what they paid.
If this is the case, you may want to consult with a car crash injury attorney to help negotiate this, or you could end up owing your health insurance company money.
WARNING: You should not settle your claim if you are uncertain whether or not you will need medical care in the future as a result of the accident. If you think you might need future care, you are almost always better off getting a fatal car accident attorney because insurance companies will not want to pay future medical – a legal representative can level the playing field, and insure that your future interests are taken into consideration in whatever settlement you reach.
Future Medical Expenses
Future medical expenses are simply an estimate of medical expenses you’ll need in the future. Insurance companies hate paying future medical because the expenses are estimated, and are not certain. They will rarely pay a person future medical expenses unless that person is represented by a lawyer. An experienced car wreck attorney in San Antonio knows what evidence is required, and how to present a claim for future medical expenses in a way that they can be considered in a settlement agreement.
Keep in mind, once you settle your case you don’t get to come back later and get more money. That is why you MUST include a claim for future medical before you settle your case.
Pain & Suffering
Pain & suffering damages are very subjective and difficult to measure, which is why insurance companies hate paying them. However, if the nature of your injury caused you more than a minimal amount of pain, and you suffered from such pain, you are technically entitled to compensation under Texas law. The level of compensation depends on the amount of pain that would be expected for the type of injuries you sustained.
The greater the injuries, the more willing the insurance company will be to consider pain & suffering damages in their settlement. Pain and suffering, like medical expenses, is measured for both past pain & suffering, as well as pain and suffering that a person will likely endure in the future (if any).
While mental anguish damages are technically available in Texas, they are difficult to be under current Texas law. Getting a jury to award mental anguish damages in Texas is also difficult, which is why insurance adjusters don’t usually offer anything to compensate injured persons for mental anguish. Generally, the anguish you suffer needs to be so intense that it is more than mere disappointment, embarrassment, or anger, or difficulty.
Things like grief, public humiliation, deep despair, intense shame, or indignation are closer to what the courts and juries would look for to consider mental anguish damages. These damages are also measured for both past and into the future.
Disfigurement & Impairment
If your injuries were severe enough to cause scarring, loss of limb, etc., then you would likely have a valid claim for disfigurement damages. The amount of damages would depend upon how bad the scarring and disfigurement is. The more noticeable a scar, and the more likely it is that others see it, the greater the damages.
For example, a young lady with a scar on her face will likely be entitled to greater damages than a older man with a small scar on the small of his back.
Impairment damages considers whether or not there are things you can no longer do, or whether you have limitations because of the accident that you didn’t have before the accident. For example, if you had to have knee surgery, and can no longer jog or run (and you could before), you have been impaired by your injuries, and are likely entitled to compensation.
Another cost commonly associated with accidents is the wages a person loses when they have to miss work. If you missed work because of the accident, you have the right to be compensated. You’ll need evidence, such as employment records, to prove your claim. This can be difficult for people who are self-employed, but a trusted San Antonio injury attorney can help you in this regard.
Lost wages can also be measured in terms of future lost wages. For example, if you were a company vehicle driver making $80,000 per year, but can no longer drive that vehicle because of your injuries, and you only qualify for a $50,000 per year job, you have likely lost $30,000 per year for every year you live into the future. Future lost wages can be difficult to calculate, and require specific evidence. A personal injury attorney can help you with this.
Lost Earning Capacity
Loss of earning capacity is similar to lost wages in the future, but measures your capacity to earn in the future. If your injuries make it so you’ll not be able to be promoted because you can no longer do the things you once could.
Loss of Consortium and Household Services
If an injury causes you to be unable to be intimate with your spouse, you may be able to recover (and your spouse may as well) for loss of consortium. Additionally, if you have to pay someone to do things around the house (such as mow the lawn) because your injuries prevent you from doing these things, you may also have a claim to loss of household services.
Do I still Need a Lawyer Even if the Other Driver was Clearly At Fault?
If you’re injured in a car accident perhaps while visiting San Antonio and the other driver was found driving drunk, texting while driving, or engaging in some kind of reckless behavior, you may be wondering what use a San Antonio car accident law firm will be, when the case looks like it would obviously be in your favor.
However, when it comes to accident injury claims in Texas, proving negligence can be a much more complex process than you may believe, and the insurance companies know this. That is why they will often deny, or grossly undervalue claims where liability seems fairly clear.
Making things more complicated is how the insurance adjuster for the other driver will likely do everything possible to give you as low a settlement offer as possible.
Some adjusters will even try to pin a portion of liability on you, or trick you into providing a recorded statement and then twisting your statements to make it appear that you were partially at fault for the accident, and are therefore ineligible for compensation. Sometimes, even cases that seem like a slam-dunk won’t necessarily end in your favor, especially if you don’t have a car accident attorney in San Antonio working for you.
When Do I Call an Attorney?
Anyone recovering from a car accident caused by another party can benefit from legal assistance. Even in cases that seem to have an outcome clearly in your favor, an auto accident lawyer in San Antonio can help ensure your rights are protected and that you get a favorable resolution to your claim. They can also help ensure the negligent driver is held responsible for the accident, allowing you to proceed with confidence during negotiations with the adjuster.
Auto Accident Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, know your rights and get the compensation you deserve by calling our law firm. Contact us at (210) 593-8709 for a FREE case analysis.
Additional Resources For San Antonio Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
Is Brake Checking Legal in Texas?
If a Car Wreck is Caused by Bad Weather, Who Is Responsible?
Getting Compensation For Medical Bills After an Auto Accident
What is Gap Insurance?
Tips For Dealing With Car Accident Injuries
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