The Law Offices of CHARLIE WATERS 

Representing the Seriously Injured & Victims of Wrongful Death Since 1981

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2909 Cole Avenue | Suite 118 | Dallas, Texas 75204 | E| charlie@charliewaterslaw.com | P| 214-742-2223

Copyright © 2019 Charlie Waters. Dallas Personal Injury Attorney. All rights reserved.

Information contained herein is intended to be informative only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you feel you need legal counsel or guidance.

Car Accidents Q & A

Q:  If I Have Been in a Car Accident, Do I Need a Lawyer?


A:  Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t.  If you did not suffer any injuries in the accident, you may settle your insurance claim without need for legal help.  However, if you or someone you know were injured in the accident, you will most likely need a lawyer or should at least talk with one.  We are very good listeners and would welcome all questions you may have.  As the injured victim, you have the right to seek compensation from the parties at fault for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other losses.  Insurance companies have high-paid lawyers and experts who will fight against you to make sure you get as little money as possible.  We strongly recommend you contact us if you have been injured and want to receive the compensation you are owed. If you’re not sure if you need a lawyer, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Q:  How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer For a Car Accident?


A:  We operate on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only charge a fee if we win your case. In other words, our getting paid is “contingent” upon our success. The fee is a percentage of the total amount of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you.  The percentage is usually 33.33% but commonly goes to 40% if a lawsuit is needed.  We pay all upfront costs so that you never have to pay anything out of your own pocket.  If for some reason we don’t get a recovery for you, you owe us nothing.
By charging a contingency fee instead of an hourly rate (which is usually many hundreds of dollars an hour) it allows anyone who has a legitimate injury to have access to legal representation regardless of their income. Otherwise, only the wealthiest among us could afford to hire an attorney.  You can meet with us as many times as you like at no cost or obligation before you decide which lawyer to hire.  We want you to know your rights and be completely comfortable with your decision.


Q:  What Types of Things Can I Be Compensated for After a Car Accident?


A:  In addition to medical bills (past and future), lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and damage to your vehicle, you may get reimbursed for:

 

  • Mental anguish;

  • Pain and suffering;

  • Physical impairment (not being able to do things you use to enjoy such as taking long walks, playing with children or grandchildren, traveling, sports, hobbies, etc.); Disfigurement;

  • Loss of property in your vehicle or on your person at the time of the accident; and Depending on the nature and decree of injury, your spouse and even your children may be entitled to seek damages.


Q:  What Should I Do Right After a Car Accident?

A:  We suggest you:

  • Remain calm and remain in your vehicle (unless it’s too dangerous to do so);

  • Turn on your hazard lights;

  • Seek medical attention for any injured drivers or passengers;

  • Unless necessary, do not move the vehicles until the police arrive;

  • Never leave the scene of the accident;

  • Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved, including any witnesses;

  • Make sure you write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers that are investigating the accident;

  • Photograph the vehicles and any injuries sustained by you or your passengers

  • Do not admit fault; and

  • Immediately notify your own insurance company of the accident.
     

Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police or your own insurance agent or representative; you are not required to give a statement to anyone but the police and your insurance company.

Q:  What Should I Do in the Days Following My Car Accident?


A:  Here are the steps you should take:

 

  • Obtain a copy of the accident report prepared by the police;

  • Obtain a property damage valuation from your insurance company;

  • Write down all visits with doctors and other healthcare providers and keep a journal of any symptoms or pain you experience. Also, get copies of all test results, medications, treatments, and any other relevant medical information

  • Keep a detailed list of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur;

  • Record days of missed work or other activities in which you were unable to participate; and

  • Never accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier unless you have consulted with a lawyer.
     

Q:  Can I Sue the Driver of a Car I was a Passenger In?


A:  Yes, this happens quite often.  If the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault for the accident you are entitled under the law to pursue a claim and file a lawsuit if necessary, against that driver.  If the driver happens to be a friend or family member you can still bring a claim or lawsuit and limit your claim to only the amount of available insurance coverage.

Q:  Can I Sue a Relative If They Were Driving and Caused My Injuries?


A:  Yes, this happens quite often.  Relatives who injure other relatives when driving a car are not protected under the law.  They can be sued just like everyone else.  But, you can limit your claim if you want to just the amount of your relative’s insurance coverage so they don’t have to pay out of pocket for your injuries and damages.

Q:  Can I Sue My Husband if He Was Driving and Caused My Injuries?


A:  Yes, you can and this happens quite often.  Just like any other at-fault driver, you can bring a claim or file a lawsuit against your husband if he was driving and his negligence caused your injuries.  And, you can limit your claim to just the amount of the insurance coverage so he does not have to pay out of pocket for your injuries and damages.

Q:  Can I Sue My Wife if She Was Driving and Caused My Injuries?


A:  Yes, you can and this happens quite often.  Just like any other at-fault driver, you can bring a claim or file a lawsuit against your wife if she was driving and her negligence caused your injuries.  And, you can limit your claim to just the amount of the insurance coverage so she does not have to pay out of pocket for your injuries and damages.

Q:  Can I Still Bring a Claim If I Did Not Have My Seatbelt On?


A:  Yes.  You can still bring a claim or file a lawsuit if you were not wearing a seatbelt, but under certain situations and depending on your injuries, an insurance company for the other driver will try to say the failure to wear your seatbelt contributed to your injuries or caused your injuries.

Q:  What Should I Do If The Driver Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance?


A:  Unfortunately, this happens all too often and can be very upsetting.  You still have a claim, though, and you may still be able to get compensation for your injuries.  In these situations, we will meet with you at no cost or obligation and review all your options.  There may be someone else at fault for the accident has insurance we could look to for compensation.  Also, you may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) through your own vehicle or on the vehicle that you were riding in that could also be used to compensate you.  We always look at all available options to find insurance coverage to help compensate you for your injuries, lost wages, and medical bills.