The short answer to this question is “as soon as possible after the car accident.” The quicker you hire an Austin car accident lawyer, the sooner you have someone protecting your right to fair compensation for your damages. You’ll have a legal team with the skills and resources to investigate and pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf to get you the best result.
Insurance Companies Do Not Treat Accident Victims Fairly
Texas requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of automobile insurance. Liability car insurance compensates accident victims for damages when an insured causes a car crash.
The insurance company could be liable for the victim’s lost wages, medical bills, and other economic damages. Additionally, the victim could be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims. Once you prove that the other driver caused the car crash, the insurance company should pay the claim. However, insurance claims are rarely that simple.
The insurance company may dispute liability for the claim. The adjuster might allege that you were partially to blame for the cause of the crash, so you should not receive full compensation for your damages under the state’s modified comparative fault laws. The company could allege that you breached your duty to mitigate damages.
Insurance companies use many tactics to reduce the value of car accident claims. If possible, they’ll deny the claim in full to avoid paying any money to the accident victim.
Therefore, you need an Austin car accident lawyer to help negotiate with the insurance company.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Austin Help You With a Car Accident Claim?
A personal injury lawyer understands how insurance companies process claims. They know the tactics and bad-faith insurance practices some insurance providers use to avoid paying claims. Ways that a lawyer can help you with an injury claim include:
Gather Evidence Proving Liability
You have the burden of proving that the other party caused the collision. Therefore, you need evidence proving causation and fault to establish liability for damages.
The fault for some car crashes is obvious. For example, one driver ran a red light, causing a car crash. A traffic camera clearly shows the at-fault driver running the red light.
However, very few car accidents are that straightforward. Multiple-vehicle accidents, commercial truck accidents, and other factors could make it difficult to determine liability.
An attorney has the resources to hire accident reconstructionists and other experts to assist with the accident investigation. Experts use the available evidence to identify the factors that contributed to the cause of the crash and assign blame for those factors to the parties involved.
You must prove that you sustained damages in addition to proving that the other driver caused the car accident. A lawyer will help you document your damages to determine the correct value of your car accident claim.
Your attorney understands the types of damages you can seek. The insurance company will use all available means to downplay your injuries and decrease the value of your insurance claim.
If you sustain permanent impairments, you could recover future damages for diminished earning capacity, ongoing medical treatment, and long-term personal and/or nursing care. Your lawyer might hire financial professionals and medical experts to calculate these damages based on their expert opinion.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement Amount
An Austin car accident lawyer will file your insurance claim and handle all aspects of the claim, including negotiating a fair settlement amount. The negotiation process typically begins with a settlement offer. Your lawyer will write a settlement demand letter outlining the facts of the case, including the value of your damages.
Typically, insurance companies counteroffer with a lower settlement amount. The counteroffer begins a back-and-forth process of proposing settlements until both sides agree to a reasonable amount.
File a Car Accident Lawsuit If Necessary
Most car accident cases are resolved through out-of-court settlement negotiations. However, if the insurance company denies liability or refuses to pay a fair amount for damages, you might need to file a lawsuit. A car accident lawyer will represent you in court to advocate for your legal rights.
Throughout the lawsuit, your lawyer will keep you informed of the progress. Sometimes, the parties to a car accident lawsuit settle the case before trial. If not, your lawyer will guide you throughout the litigation process.
Your attorney will present a compelling argument that the defendant caused your injuries and is responsible for your damages. The outcome depends on the strength of your evidence and the jurors’ interpretation of the evidence. The attorney’s skills, knowledge, and trial experience could also impact the outcome.
When Should I Contact an Austin Car Accident Lawyer?
The Texas statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing car accident claims. It is best to seek legal advice soon after the car crash. Also, seeking prompt legal advice will help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of winning a car accident case.
A personal injury attorney in Austin can help you get fair compensation after a collision. While your lawyer focuses on your case, you can focus on recovering from your car accident injuries.