Tag: auto accident lawyer

Facts About Concussions Following An Auto Accident In Corpus Christi

A Concussion Following A Car Accident: What You Need To Know

Do you know all the causes of a concussion? There are often media reports of football causing concussions, but the sport is not the only common cause of this serious head injury. Car accidents are another common cause of concussions. Having an understanding of concussions is important if you or a loved one have been in an accident.

Most people know what causes a concussion, or at least have a basic understanding of this, but there is a lot more to fully understand the injury. A fall or a blow to the head are a couple causes of a concussion, which is actually a traumatic brain injury. Any injury that actually shakes the brain, even with no visible signs, is considered a concussion. The symptoms of a concussion can vary greatly. Some people who experience them have no symptoms right away, others pass out, and some people even forget what occurred right before the brain injury.

Following a concussion, there are certain things to be made aware of. A large majority of those who suffer from a concussion experience a full recovery. The recovery process, however, can vary in the time it takes. Some people experience symptoms for a few hours after the injury while others take several weeks to fully recover. After a concussion, the jarred brain remains sensitive to damage and that means that it is important for the person who experienced the injury to take special precautions to try and avoid a future injury. On the flip side, some concussions can result in major problems, such as learning issues, difficulty moving or speaking, and trouble with cognitive thinking. Unfortunately, this can result in a permanent disability after one concussion.

After a car accident, it is crucial to visit a doctor and obtain a thorough medical evaluation. It is easy to assume that there is nothing wrong because you aren’t experiencing any symptoms or have any visible injuries. However, a concussion is not visible and can lead to major problems. For this reason, you need to visit a medical professional to learn about any injuries you may have sustained in the accident.

Another very important thing to do after an automobile accident, especially one that caused injuries is to consult a Corpus Christi auto accident attorney. It’s easy to brush off a concussion as nothing serious, but the best option is to make sure you have proper legal representation. For the best protection, working with an attorney that is experienced with brain injury is important. Following your car accident, make sure that you contact a personal injury attorney right away and schedule a free consultation. The legal team can gather evidence to determine if you have a valid case. Don’t hesitate and contact a trust-worthy attorney today.

How To Treat Your Auto Accident Injury

Treating Back Injuries When You’ve Been In An Auto Accident Or Suffered A Fall

Have you been in an auto accident or a fall and now have pain in your back or neck? The most common type of injury experienced as a result of a fall or an auto accident is a bulging or herniated disc in the spine. This can cause pain in both the back and the neck. If you are injured and are suffering pain in your back or neck, it is very important to get the injuries diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. If not treated correctly and promptly, neck and back injuries can result in chronic pain and disability. If the injuries occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence, call the best car accident lawyer in Corpus Christi to discuss your options.

Diagnosing A Bulging Or Herniated Disc

The spine is one of the body’s most vulnerable areas. It is easy to injure the spine and end up with a bulging or herniated disc. The spine consists of vertebrae which are small, individual bones that make up the spine. There is a cartilage cushion between each vertebra. This is the disc and it consists of two parts – the outer fibrous ring and the jelly-like interior.

When your spine is subjected to force such as a fall or an auto accident, these discs can be damaged or moved when the spine shifts unexpectedly and violently. When the spine is suddenly jolted, the soft material inside the disc can suddenly push through the fibrous outer ring. When this happens, the vertebrae and disc are pushed out of proper alignment and can begin to press against the nerves that run through the center of the spine and which also branch into the vertebrae.

When these nerves become inflamed or sore, they can cause great pain in the back and neck. When a disc is damaged and the interior material is released, these nerves will send off intense pain signals.

Symptoms Of A Bulging Or Herniated Disc

There are several symptoms associated with a bulging or herniated disc. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed below, call the offices of the best car accident lawyer in Corpus Christi. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the arm or leg
  • Severe pain in the back or neck
  • Sciatica pain
  • Tingling, burning or numbness in the legs or arms
  • Bladder or bowel problems
  • Pain that feels like an electric shock

Most herniated discs occur in the lumbar or lower back, but it is possible to experience a herniated disc anywhere along the spine. This includes the cervical and neck region. Symptoms of a herniated or bulging disc can vary from intermittent and fairly mild to constant and severe. At its worse, this pain can become debilitating.

What To Do If You Think You May Have A Bulging Or Herniated Disc

When you are in a car accident or experience a fall, you may not experience symptoms of an injury right away. It may be several days or several weeks before you experience any symptoms and it may come on all of a sudden. You may feel fine one day and begin experiencing a crippling pain the next.

Following any car accident or a fall, you should seek treatment immediately. Only a doctor can correctly diagnose this type of injury and prescribe the right treatment. Even if you think you are fine, you may have suffered an injury and should consult with a healthcare professional as quickly as possible. Your first stop may be an emergency room or your primary care physician and if they believe you have a bulging or herniated disc, they may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.

Treating A Bulging Or Herniated Disc

When you meet with your doctor, they will discuss the extent of your injuries and provide you a treatment plan. This treatment plan will be tailored to your situation and will factor in your age, the type of injury, your level of activity and your symptoms. Most physicians will treat a bulging or herniated disc conservatively to start. If there is no improvement in your level of pain, other treatment options including surgery may be considered. Your initial treatment plan may include:

  • Bed rest
  • Modified activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Oral steroid medication
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Pain relievers
  • Epidural steroid injections

If this conservative treatment plan doesn’t improve your level of pain or if your symptoms worsen, the physician may determine if they need to pursue more aggressive treatment. They may consider surgical treatments to help relieve your pain. Surgical options can range from minimally invasive microscopic surgery to more advanced surgery where the injured disc is removed and the vertebrae in the area fused together.

Finding The Right Legal Team

When you’ve been injured in an auto accident or a fall, call or contact the best auto accident lawyer in Corpus Christi. The staff at the Law Offices of Jerry J. Trevino are experienced in working with accident victims. We will help you receive a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses.

What Happens When You’ve Been Injured In A Corpus Christi Auto Accident

What To Expect From Your Corpus Christi Auto Accident

If you are in an auto accident, your life can be changed forever. Following a vehicle accident, you may not be able to deal with the situation. If you are injured, you may be in the hospital and not capable of making decisions right away. Even if you aren’t injured, the stress of being in a car accident can make it difficult for you to think clearly. Hiring an auto accident attorney in Corpus Christi is a smart decision. This professional knows what information you should provide and what documentation you should get from the other party. They can be especially helpful if you need to later file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.

Immediately following a vehicle accident, you may be sent to the hospital or at a minimum, treated by an EMT. You may be worried about medical expenses and the cost of getting your vehicle repaired. Insurance adjusters may also try to communicate with you and get you to settle as quickly as possible. A good auto accident attorney can help you deal with all of these issues.

What Happens After A Car Accident?

If you are injured during a vehicle accident, your recovery will probably take time. How well and how quickly you recover will depend on your situation. Everyone is different. Some people recover completely, while others may be permanently disabled. While your recovery will be unique to you, there are certain phases you can expect to experience. You may go through these stages of recovery in a different order than someone else, but you will usually go through each stage.

Medical Evaluation And Treatment

If you are injured in a vehicle accident, you must prioritize your health. It is important to see a medical provider as quickly as possible after the accident. There are many types of injuries which aren’t immediately apparent. You could have a concussion and not realize it. If you don’t receive prompt medical treatment, you could suffer irreparable damage.

Another benefit of getting immediate medical attention following a car accident is documentation for a possible lawsuit. Your medical doctor’s notes could end up as part of the case documentation which is why it important to seek medical treatment and get it documented.

Accident Investigation

After a car accident, law enforcement officers will investigate the accident. They will create a detailed report and may determine who was at fault. The insurance companies for both drivers will use this report as they determine who is liable. They may also use their own investigators to determine the cause and who was at fault.

Law enforcement at the scene will usually take photos which then become part of the claim. It is a good idea to also take photos of your own and give them to your attorney. This will help ensure that all information concerning the claim is accurate and complete.

These photos should show how the vehicles are positioned and any damage. Also, take pictures of any skid marks and accident debris. Ask for contact information for everyone involved in the accident and for any witnesses who saw what happened. Make a detailed memo describing what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Working With Insurance Adjusters

Following a car accident, you will be contacted by the insurance adjustor from your auto insurance company. You may also be contacted by the adjustor from the other driver’s insurance company. Do not talk to these people on your own. It is the insurance company’s goal to minimize what they pay you in damages. This is why it is best to have attorney representation before you meet with any insurance company adjustor.

Under Texas law, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance. This means if the other driver is at fault, their insurance should cover the costs of any injuries you received as a result of the accident. The insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you as little money as possible and get you to settle and agree not to sue.

The insurance adjustor will typically ask you to provide an oral and then a written narrative about what happened. They are attempting to determine if you caused your own injuries because this can reduce how much compensation you could receive.

Never provide an insurance adjustor any type of statement, either oral or written without the presence of your attorney. Never accept an offer from an insurance company without the advice of your auto accident attorney in Corpus Christi. The insurance companies will almost always try to settle out of court. This tends to be less expensive for them, especially if they can get you to accept a low offer. Hiring an experienced Corpus Christi auto accident attorney provides you your own expert during negotiations to help ensure you get a fair settlement.

If Negotiation Doesn’t Work

If you and your attorney can’t reach a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, you may decide to file a lawsuit for damages. In Texas, you have two years to file a lawsuit following your accident. Be aware, however, that your lawsuit can take several months or longer to be resolved.

Your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf. Once the lawsuit is submitted to the court, the discovery phase begins. During this phase, each side exchanges information with the other such as witness lists and medical documentation. Even after the lawsuit is filed, the goal is often to arrive at a settlement before the case goes to trial.

If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, the case will be heard before the court. This could be a judge or a jury trial. If the verdict favors you, as the injury victim, you will be awarded some type of monetary judgment. Even if you win, the other side has the right to appeal the verdict before you will receive the money.

The Law Offices of Jerry J. Trevino are the best auto accident attorneys in Corpus Christi. Give us a call or contact us today to discuss your case.

The Effects Strict Speed Enforcement Could Have On Auto Accident Amounts

Could Speed Enforcement Increase The Likelihood Of Your Being Involved In An Auto Accident?

Although speed limits are established and enforced as a means of protecting drivers and to prevent accidents from occurring, enforcing speed zones has been determined to play a part in causing drivers to have a higher likelihood of having an accident. One recent study determined that when drivers frequently check their speedometers to ensure that they remain within the posted speed limit, they actually increase their chances that distracted driving could lead to an accident occurring.

ABC aired an investigative report that details the impact of distracted driving citing research completed in Australia that indicates that strict enforcement of speeding laws causes drivers to pay more attention to their speedometer readings, thereby distracting them from any potential hazards on the road. Consider the frequency that you glance down at the instrument panel. Your attention may only be diverted for a split-second, but in many cases that split-second is all it takes to increase the likelihood of a life-threatening accident occurring.

Distracted Driving Defined

Any activity that acts as a diversion of your attention when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, constitutes distracted driving, according to the definition provided by the CDC. Some of the most common examples of these types of activities include texting and calling with cellphones while driving. However, there are many additional, though less obvious, activities that also divert a driver’s attention, such as eating or drinking while driving, turning the volume up on the radio, or speaking with passengers in the car.

There are three ways in which activities such as these distract a driver from the task of driving: visually, manually, and cognitively. Visual distractions are any of those activities that cause a driver’s attention to focus somewhere other than the road, while manual distractions cause a driver to remove his hands from the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions include a wide range of activities, any of which could cause a driver’s thoughts to divert from the act of operating a motor vehicle.

Distracted driving is the number 1 cause of accidents and injuries on American highways, according to the CDC. In fact, 20% of all accidents involving a motor vehicle is directly traceable to distracted driving, resulting in nearly 1,100 injuries daily.

Distracted Driving Accidents in Corpus Christi

The Department of Transportation has provided crash statistics that indicate that driver distraction is a factor in more than 100,000 accidents that happen every year in Texas, including 6,000 that occur in Corpus Christi alone. A percentage of these accidents may be attributable to the fact that Corpus Christi has no ban statewide ban on the use of cellphones while driving, unlike other cities in the state. However, some recent research has suggested that even performing basic driving functions, like glancing at your instrument panel while traveling through speed enforcement zones, could put drivers at risk.

If you, or someone close to you, has suffered an injury as the result of a speed-related or distracted driving accident, you need to contact or call an experienced car accident attorney in Corpus Christi. The Law Offices of Jerry J Trevino are experienced in providing the legal representation necessary to hold at-fault drivers accountable, and assisting you in receiving fair compensation for your injury.

Taking The Heat Off Your Motorcycle Accident

6 Of The Best Ways To Avoid Motorcycle Accidents During Summer

The warm temperature, the blue skies, the fresh air, these are elements that call to passionate motorcyclists. But even in the best of weather, they are a minority on the road, which makes them harder to spot for other vehicles. A split second can lead to serious injuries, seeing as the rider doesn’t have protection from the elements. According to the Insurance Information Institute, bikers are at much higher risk of dying in a collision than motorists.

Always paying attention when you’re on the road is probably the best place to start, but that’s not enough. There are more things you can do to help you ride safely during this summer. And if it does happen that you get into a situation, just approach a good motorcycle accident lawyer to help determine if you are at fault and if you have a case.

How To Avoid Accidents

Make Sure Other Drivers Can See You

Even though it should be expected of other drivers to notice you, it’s not always that easy. But you can make it easier by wearing special clothing and keeping the headlights on. You can even use equipment to make fellow drivers take notice, as long as you get their attention. This will greatly diminish the probability of an accident.

Take Some Classes

There are professional classes you can take, which will teach you how to handle the bike in dangerous conditions. And while learning to master your bike, you learn to react better and improve your awareness skills.

Respect The Speed Limit

Even though you know you’re a very capable driver, there’s no point in taking any risks. Also, you’re not just risking your own life when other drivers are involved in a speeding accident.

Stay Inside The Lane

One thing riders like to do is drive in between cars as they slow down at a red light. The last thing the cars up front are expecting is a motorcycle going by, which makes it a naturally dangerous situation. Stay in the middle of your lane and behind other traffic.

Stay Out Of Blind Spots

While driving alongside a big semi or transportation truck, make sure you stay out of their blind spots. Instead, you want to be able to see their mirrors and stay in their way. With such a big vehicle there are some spots that are incredibly hard to see, so make it as easy as you can.

Avoid Substance Abuse

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it can’t be said enough. Getting drunk before starting the bike is a bad idea, and the same goes for substance abuse. You are in no condition to react to the situation, and odds are you’ll be the reason the accident happens. Don’t risk it.

In the end, there is no telling what’s going to happen on the open road, but it does help to take some precautions. And in the event of an accident during this summer, don’t hesitate in calling a motorcycle accident lawyer. In fact, why don’t you give us a call right now and get a free consultation scheduled?

A Guide On How To Conduct Your Truck Accident In Texas

The Specifics and Details of a Texas Truck Accident Investigation

As we have mentioned, the scene of the incident itself contains important clues in the investigation. This is why the major insurance providers will dispatch a team of experts to the location of the accident within only hours of the incident has been reported. And it is essential that your team is there as well. Figuring out what the best route to take when in a commercial truck accident can be a tough one, here is our short guide on what to look for and what you can expect before, during and after an investigation.

At the scene, there will be evidence in the damage to vehicles, tire marks on the road and debris. Most of this will be removed quickly so that roadways can resume normal functionality. This is why getting to the scene is essential to building a proper case. It becomes much easier to determine who is at fault.

Interviewing Eyewitness Statements

In an ideal situation, your Corpus Christi truck accident lawyer will arrive on scene in time to interview some of the eyewitnesses to the incident and collect their important contact information. If not, the team will still have to collect as many witness’s statements as possible as quickly as possible.

Witnesses are an important source of information about what happened. But details of the sights, sounds and even smells they can recollect will quickly vanish from their memory if not interviewed in time.
The information provided by a witness can help determine the merit of a case and in the future these witnesses can deliver their story in written form as an affidavit or as an oral report called a deposition.

Full Inspection of All Vehicles Involved

A full inspection of all the vehicles involved in the accident will reveal much about the point of impact and what really occurred. It is important that this inspection is completed shortly after the accident happens.

Photographic records should be taken of each side of all vehicles involved in the accident. The cab of the truck may contain receptacles for alcoholic beverages, as well as illegal or prescription substances that can impair the driving capacity of the truck driver including DVD players, GPS devices, iPads, TVs and other devices. These items will be removed quickly after the accident and the evidence lost from the case.

Electronic Data Recorder (“Black Box”) Data

Trucks are commonly fitted with an electronic data recorder that contains key information pertaining to the accident and the reconstruction your legal team is trying to perform. The data can show the speed at which the truck was travelling and whether or not the driver applied the brakes and how long before the moment of impact they were applied.

If the truck were to be operated before this data is examined, it may be overwritten or deleted. The attempt to access this black box and the critical data kept within must be made quickly after the accident

Cell Phone Records of Texas Truck Driver

A request can be placed to review the cell phone records of the cell phone driver and the trucking company they work for. Most often this request must be made in the form of an official subpoena made to the service provider.

These records will be able to indicate if the truck driver was talking on the phone at the moment of the accident. Furthermore, it can show indicate if the trucking company is aware of their truckers using cell phones while on the road, for example, one of the numbers could belong to a supervisor

Texas Truck Driver Toxicology Test Results

Immediately after the accident occurs, the truck driver will need to submit to a drug and alcohol test. The officers arriving on scene will administer these tests and the test results can be provided to the legal team very early in the investigation.

According to Texas Law the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration for the operator of a commercial vehicle is 0.004, anything higher than this is in excess of the legal limit. Nevertheless, any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse can serve as evidence that the driver was simply to impaired to operate their 18-wheeler.

Logbooks and Other Company Records for Texas Driver

This is crucial evidence and along with the next few types of evidence can be kept secret by the trucking company. This is why a notification must be sent from the lawyer to the trucking company soon after the investigation begins. This notification will warn the trucking company against attempting to destroy any evidence can be grounds for a “spoilage of evidence” claim.

Logbooks are very important to the case. These can indicate the hours of service the trucker was on the road and whether or not they were in violation of any state or federal regulations for the number of operating hours the vehicle can be on the road. The log books can also raise the red flag about attempts to adjust information or tamper with this crucial evidence.

Another important tidbit of information that can be provided by a look into these logbooks is the repair and service history of the truck itself.

Cargo Records

There are also records that tell when the cargo was loaded and unloaded and what the cargo was, this can also have an important role in the outcome of the investigation. These cargo records are called “bills of lading”.

For example, if the cargo was picked up in a very distant location, this could be evidence that the driver was on the road for too long.

The Driver’s Background

The trucking company should also keep a record of the driver’s professional history. This will show whether or not the driver has been involved in other similar accident or if there are incidents of criminal activity. This will tell if the driver had the physical and mental capacity to be operating this vehicle.

The Trucking Company’s Rules Compliance History

This information can be accessed by anyone from the state and federal transportation officials. Trucking companies with a history of violating safety rules this could be indicative of negligent conduct. Your Corpus Christi truck accident lawyer will know how to apply this important data in building your case.

Finding the right firm to represent you in your commercial truck accident case can be hard. However, allow The Law Offices of Jerry J. Trevino help you each step of the way by contacting us or calling us at
361-882-5605 now for your FREE case consultation!

How Do I Know If I’m At Fault for My Auto Accident?

Determining Fault In Auto Accidents

The determination of fault in an automobile accident largely rests on identifying the party responsible for “negligence” or carelessness. This factor is easy to assess in many cases where the question of which party was being careless is immediately clear. The negligent party ends up being the one responsible for injuries, property damage, and the other negative effects of the accident.

Police Procedure For Determining Fault

Once the police become aware of a car accident, their main responsibility is preparing a police report which accurately describes the incident. Police officers will gather information by interviewing all of the drivers involved as well as any witnesses. A series of formalized questions is used to ensure that the information gathered is complete and correct.

After the information is gathered and compiled in a report, the officer responsible for it will submit it to his or her department. In some cases, this document will include a statement assigning fault for the accident based on both the statements collected and the professional judgment of the reporting officer.

A determination of fault is not a necessity for a police report, and many auto accident reports do not include them. Additionally, you should know that a determination of fault in a police report is not binding, and a lawsuit may end up assigning legal responsibility (i.e liability) to a different party.

In the course of investigating an auto accident, a police officer might issue traffic citations. Citations are basically law enforcement notices which assert that a driver has violated a traffic law. Examples would include making an unlawful turn or driving faster than the speed limit. Many citations include penalties for the driver such as fines or points deductions. Note that a police office may issue multiple traffic citations for a single car accident.

Drivers who receive traffic citations may be obliged to appear in traffic court or take other action. Traffic citations are not binding when used as evidence in an auto accident lawsuit, but they can serve as strong evidence to establish driver negligence.

Fault Determination For Insurance Companies

Following a car accident, one or more insurance companies typically receive claims. Each claim is assigned to an adjuster who takes responsibility for investigating the accident and settling the claim. It is entirely normal for multiple adjusters to be active in one accident, as each insurance company involved will typically assign its own adjuster.

Adjusters learn more about an accident by gathering information from multiple sources. They will speak with witnesses, examine vehicles, review medical records, and examine the insurance policies of the drivers involved in the accident. Adjusters will sometimes divide up fault in an accident, assigning a separate percentage to individual drivers. The total cost of the accident and the indemnities assigned to different drivers will be portioned out according to this percentage (and to the relevant terms in the drivers’ insurance policies).

The highest rule applied by insurance companies and their adjusters is usually the state’s definition of negligence. Negligence generally consists of failing to use the same level of caution as a reasonable driver in the same circumstances. The simplest example would be a driver who drove past a red light and hit a car being driven through an intersection on a green light. Because the law supports the behavior of the driver with the green light and proceeding past a red light is not a reasonable action, the driver of that car would be considered negligent and at fault for the accident.

In Texas courts, a rule called modified comparative negligence may affect lawsuits related to car accidents. A driver’s ability to file a claim with other party’s insurance companies is limited by the determination of fault. Only drivers who are found to be less than 51 percent at fault may recoup their losses in this way.

How Fault Is Determined In Court

If you get into an auto accident and subsequently file a lawsuit in order to recoup the costs of injuries and/or damage, the question of fault will be determined by the court. The key question here will be whether the defendant in the suit was behaving in a negligent manner as discussed above. A failure to act with reasonable caution in the circumstances is the key definition of negligence in these cases.

Courts will weigh their decisions based on both the arguments presented by each party’s lawyers and any evidence they present. Potential forms of evidence include drivers’ testimony, witnesses’ testimony, police officers’ testimony, and testimony from relevant experts like doctors or accident reconstruction professionals.

Auto accident cases will be decided by either a judge or a jury. Regardless of who is responsible, the determination of fault and negligence will be made based on the evidence presented. A defendant found to be negligent will be required to pay you in order to compensate for your injuries and losses if your suit is successful.

You must always bear in mind that neither police reports nor insurance company determinations dictate the way an accident lawsuit plays out. Certain pieces of evidence may end up being excluded from consideration. Police reports, for example, are often considered hearsay. Determination of responsibility and fault can be affected by many factors, including legal precedents in the jurisdiction in which your case is heard.

Traffic citations and other pieces of evidence can prove to be very persuasive when a court is weighing fault in an auto accident case. Your case may end up getting a big boost if the driver responsible for your injuries received a citation.

Getting Help In An Auto Accident

Car accidents are inevitably traumatic. You have a huge roster of concerns to address, including your medical issues, potential damage to your vehicle, and dealing with the police and insurance companies. If you feel that a lawsuit may be required, it’s a good idea to seek out the best car accident lawyer Corpus Christi has to offer you. Besides explaining your options and advising you on the best steps to take, an attorney specializing in auto accidents will also be a strong advocate for your interests and ensure that you are treated fairly.

Please contact us or call us now at 361-882-5605 for your FREE case consultation! The Law Offices of Jerry J. Trevino or waiting to assist you and answer any questions that you may have!

What You Should Know About Your Auto Accident

All You Need To Know About Car Accidents With Property Damage Exclusively (No Injuries)

In the majority of cases, automobile accidents do not result in physical injury but rather property damage. This being the situation, it is questionable whether or not you would require the services of an attorney when no person was injured in the accident. The answer is that, surprisingly, you probably won’t need a lawyer.

If you are reading the information on this website, it is likely that you are searching for a professional to assist with the red tape involved after experience an automobile accident. In truth, unless you have suffered from a personal injury the chances are likely that you will not need to hire an attorney at all. This article will provide information on how to go about effectively managing an automobile accident without any injuries.

Filing The Claim

While personal injury law firms such as ours can assist people in filing property damage claims, it is also possible that the claim will involve issues of personal injury. A claims process is relatively straight-forward regarding property damage meaning there is little leeway when dealing with the claim for property damage of an automobile. Unlike a personal injury claim where insurance companies use various methods to contest the value of the claim, the property damage claim has a fixed approach to the case.

The claims process starts with the filing of the claim and, unlike a personal injury claim; the monetary value of vehicle repairs is typically a fixed amount. It is for this specific reason that the property damage claim is speedier to file than a personal injury claim. The average time frame for a property damage claim is a few days and it only takes a few phone calls to finalize the details, unless the liability of the claim is being contested.

The Actions To Complete At The Accident

There are various actions to perform when you are the scene of the accident to ensure that the claim will be expedited in a timely fashion. Below is a discussion of some of the most significant actions to complete.

Firstly, it is important that you notify the police of the situation. Filing a police report may seem tiresome, but it can be highly beneficial in the long-term. In some cities, however, police officers will only respond to accidents involving personal injury caused by dangerous conditions or traffic disturbances. Regardless of the situation, it is highly recommended that you contact and inform the police officers in the area.

Another factor to consider when at the scene of the accident is to make note of additional information that could be useful when filing a claim for property damage. Some items that may be beneficial can include the contact details of the other driver, the insurance details of the other driver, and any admissions made by the other driver.

Photographs can be advantageous for filing a property damage claim; therefore, it is recommended that you take pictures with your camera or cell phone. When at the scene it is advised that photographs be taken of all damage to the car including the vehicle’s body, tread marks, the vehicle position and any other pertinent information that could assist with an assessment of damage liability.

Finally, it is beneficial to make a list of any personal items that may have been damaged in the accident. This, as with the photographs, will help with assessments of damage liability.

What To Do After The Car Accident

Once the accident has been experienced, it is vital that you document all the contributing factors. For example, did the weather conditions play a role in the accident or was the driver distracted by road construction? If you feel you feel you have suffered a personal injury, it is recommended that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. This will help when filing a claim with attorneys Corpus Christi for personal injury damages; as well as obtaining treatment for physical ailments.

What You Need To Know About Your Insurance Coverage

Tips For Understanding Insurance Coverage

What is an Insurance Claim?

Insured lawyers are usually required to report any malpractice claims to their insurance carrier when they become aware of them to bind coverage. That is why it is very important to know what is considered to be a claim according to what the policy states. If you don’t understand how a claim is defined by the insurer it can create a serious problem if it was something that wasn’t reported to the insurance carrier promptly.

Professional liability insurance policies might define a claim in a broader way than a basic lawsuit where the policyholder is named as a defendant. For instance, a claim might be defined as “a communication or demand to the insured for professional services or damages,” or “an omission, error or act by any insured which did not result in a demand for damages but that the insured knows, or should know reasonably, would support this demand.”

Occurrence Policies vs. Claims-Made

One of the biggest differences between a general liability policy and professional liability policy is that almost always professional liability policies are written on the claims-made basis in contrast to an occurrence basis. It is also the policy in force when the claim gets presented that pays for a loss. For instance, an error that was made in 2010 by a policyholder but was discovered in 2014 by the policyholder should be reported to the insurance carrier providing coverage when the claim is discovered.

An error by an attorney might be presented in several different ways, which includes being notified by a lawyer of the error who might be recently appointed by a client, or once you are notified directly by the client of the error.

The policyholder must meet important conditions to establish coverage for a claims-made policy. First of all, a policy has to be in place when the claim is made. Also, the policyholder’s “prior acts date” or “retroactive date” must be date as far back at least when the services were provide that gave rise to the claim. Finally, notice must be provided in a timely way to the insure of the claim, and in accordance to the claim-reporting requirements that the professional liability policy defines.

The insured attorney’s “retroactive” or “prior acts” date is established when the policy gets created and is clearly defined always in the professional liability policy’s declarations page. For an attorney seeking coverage when she or he first was licensed to practice law and then had continuous, successive years of uninterrupted professional liability coverage, typically their prior acts date goes back to the the first day on the first insurance policy that the lawyer had.

Policy Renewal and Claim Reporting

At times lawyers worry that reporting a claim will trigger an increase automatically on their annual policy premiums. However, usually professional liability insurer do not debit policy premiums just because a claim is reported by a policyholder. If this was done it would discourage policyholders form reporting claim matters early. However, reporting multiple claims over an extended period of time that are a similar type can indicate that there might be a systemic problem in how a personal injury law firm organizes its client issues, and that can trigger in increase in the insurance policy premium at renewal time.

At the time policyholders are renewing their professional liability insurance they will asked whether or not they are aware of circumstances or facts that could lead to a malpractice claim. That question helps to identify the right claims-made policy to provide insurance coverage.

Lawyers who know about a claim matter but do not report it to their insurance carrier are are risk of losing their coverage if they end up reporting it later on a subsequent insurance policy. That happens sometimes when a lawyer ignores constant pleas from a frustrated or angry client, and assumes the issue will just go away, and then later realizes that the problem has gotten out of control and at that point the policy is in desperate need of assistance from the insurance carrier after the fact.

Pricing

Attorneys, especially new ones, frequently don’t have a good understanding of how much professional liability insurance costs. It would seem that more inexperienced lawyers would have the highest risk and therefore be subject to more expensive premiums, but that is not true.

Risk exposure for malpractice claims dramatically increases for attorney during that five to ten year period after they start to practice law. Lawyers who have been in practice practice for a period of five years or less in general report about 3.5 percent malpractice claims. Attorneys who have practice law for 11 to 20 years have a 37 percent malpractice claims. Why is that? New lawyers simply don’t have a “tail” – which means they just haven’t been practicing long enough for some mistakes to be discovered and also reported. Also,more experienced attorneys who have been practicing for ten years or more have a tendency to handle more matters, and matters that are more complicated. They are also more likely to be responsible for overseeing issues that other lawyers from their firm are handling.

In addition, lawyer who spend a significant amount of time in their practice on areas that have a high number of claims like real estate or plaintiffs’ personal injury, are much more likely to have to pay higher annual premiums. Lawyers in practice areas where the legal matters are very severe and that can be very expensive to resolve – like securities, entertainment and patent/trademark law, can also expect to pay higher premiums.

New attorneys who are getting a firm established and who don’t have any clients yet might sometimes wait for people finding a personal injury attorney before they bind coverage on their first insurance policy. However, any chance for providing legal advice is an opportunity as well for people to rely on faulty information. That is why it is critical for new lawyers to seek professional liability coverage as soon as they get their first license for practicing law.

For help with understanding how your policy can either hurt or help your case, we encourage you to contact us or call us at 361-882-5605 for your FREE case consultation today!