Automobile Accidents with Injuries
Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100 to discuss how we can help you with your case or claim.
Automobile Accidents :: Dealing with the Insurance Company:
You were injured in an accident and have questions about what happens next, and what you are supposed to do. The following links cover topics that people often have questions about when involved in an accident involving injuries:
Topics of Interest:
Attorney's Fee in injury cases
Settling Injury Claims
Adjuster is Delaying Payment and "Investigating" Claim
Medical Care After an Accident
Notice of Hospital Lien Against Case
Should I Use My Health Insurance After an Accident?
Multiple Car Accidents and Injuries
What You Can Recover in Injury Cases
If there was an injury, the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself medically. From the perspective of a lawyer, I would always suggest going to a medical provider or doctor for evaluation as soon as possible if you were injured in a car wreck or any other motor vehicle accident. This way there is actual medical documentation of what injury you have, and when it was confirmed that you had these symptoms for your injury.
Reason to See Doctor Immediately: Seeing a doctor immediately after an accident protects you in case the injury never goes away. Often people think the pain will subside and that they don't need medical treatment. Sometimes they are right, sometimes not. If a couple weeks go by, or longer - such as a month or two, and your pain never goes away, you will finally decide to get it checked out by a medical professional. You find out that the injury is actually something that requires actual medical treatment to fix. Maybe it requires some kind of therapy or even surgery, or else the injury won't correct itself.
This gap of several weeks, or months, has given the automobile liability insurance company an excuse to not pay your claim. They will say,
"How do we know this injury you have is related to our accident? Its been several weeks, for all we know, you were injured in some other way and are trying to blame it on our accident to get us to pay for something we don't owe".
It upsets you when you think of this argument. Its upsetting because it makes sense. You can see what they mean, yet you know this injury was due to the accident because you weren't hurting from it until immediately after the collision. But now you see that you have unwittingly given the insurance company an argument and a reason to try and avoid paying your bills.
So my advice as a lawyer (so that you have proof) is that if you are hurt, don't wait, get seen by a doctor or medical professional immediately, to document the fact that you had these complaints and symptoms immediately after the accident.
Typically insurance companies will try to lull you into a false sense of security, and then lower the boom on you weeks or even months later when they tell you that they will not cover your loss. Do not be a victim twice. The person they insured caused the accident (your first time as a victim), don’t let their insurance company victimize you again by trying to convince you that you don’t need an attorney when you have been injured in an auto accident.
Insurance companies make millions of dollars each year by convincing people that they will take care of all their needs. What happens next is when you try to get your claim settled, and receive payment for your injury medical bills, your lost income from your injury, your towing bills for your car, your rental car bills, your total loss on your automobile, and your pain and suffering, the insurance company denies responsibility, and tells you that they never actually guaranteed any type of payment. This is usually true, they craft their words in such a way as to try to gain your confidence (ie. “We will take care of you”, “Your claim is in good hands”, “You have no need to worry, we have everything under control”, etc.), but not make any guarantee that they will pay you a dime . . . listen to their words carefully, usually these adjusters have been trained by a lawyer to craft their words in this way. Ask them if they will guarantee they will pay your injury claim and all your medical bills and ask them to put that in writing, see what their response is. You will not be impressed by their response.
You have suffered injury in your automobile accident, what do you need to do next? Besides the obvious of calling an attorney / lawyer, you need to do the following:
Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the witnesses as soon as possible, and SAVE THEM.
People like to justify their behavior after the fact. They think “I’m a good person, surely I didn’t run that red light”, and then that becomes their story to their insurance company, that they didn’t run the red light . . . the other person must have run it. They may have admitted everything to you at the scene, but later on, when they have had the time to think of justifications for their actions, they will make up excuses, or will totally make up a new way the accident happened.
Usually, its pretty easy to see who is lying. The liar will usually just go through his/her own auto insurance to get their car fixed, and will typically not even bother to try getting their car / truck / automobile fixed through the other person’s insurance, because they KNOW what the truth is. They know the other insurance company won’t pay them, because they know what the other person has already told the insurance company about what really happened.
Additionally, if you are involved in an auto accident with a commercial automobile (someone who drives for a living), they will ALWAYS deny responsibility, regardless of how obvious it is that they are responsible. They will lose their job if they have too many auto accidents charged against them, therefor there is a built-in reason to lie . . . to save his/her job.
Gather your witnesses, and keep their information safe and current.
Take photographs of all of the car / truck / automobile (s) involved.
Take photographs at the scene of the auto accident if you can (use your cell-phone camera if necessary). A picture speaks a thousand words, as the old saying goes. A day later or more, the debris will be cleaned up, skid marks will fade, the automobiles will no longer be in the same resting position. The person who caused the auto accident may have their car / truck fixed the very next day, and you lose valuable evidence of what the damage to their car / truck looked like. You may need these photos to prove how the auto accident happened, or to prove how severe the auto accident was.
If you can’t take pictures at the scene, see if someone else can. If not, then take pictures of your car as soon as possible at the auto body shop, or at your home, or where ever it is located.
Take pictures that actually SHOW the damage to your car / truck / automobile. Believe it or not, the insurance company will take pictures to try to show that there is minor or no damage. They will take pictures in lighting or angles where the damage is obscured by the angle of the photo, or by shadows.
Why would they do that? Because insurance companies know that if they can show a jury that your car / truck / automobile had little or no damage, that they can convince a jury that the impact was so minor that nobody should have been hurt in that auto accident (they make this argument whether its true or not).
You say, “I’m not suing anyone, I just want to make a claim to get my car fixed and get my medical bills for my injury paid”. Well, I’m not suggesting you need to sue on every single auto injury claim either. But insurance companies put a value on their auto injury claims based on what juries are doing, and what they think they could convince a jury of. So the picture that they take, showing little or no damage, causes the value of your injury claim to shrink. You have to take pictures of your automobile that actually show the damage, and how severe it is, and where. Do not make the mistake of thinking the insurance company will do this for you. They will do just the opposite. It is quite common today for insurance companies to offer people LESS than their medical bills when they think they can make an argument that the damage to the automobile is so minor the person should not have suffered injury. So protect yourself against insurers.
Take photographs of any bruising, cuts, injury.
If you have any bruising, cuts, or injury that is visible, take pictures of the injury. It is hard to argue someone did not suffer injury with a picture of a huge black and blue bruise, and/or cuts. Bruises and cuts go away, and if you don’t take a picture, the insurance company won’t believe you when you tell them you had cuts and bruises (or they will pretend they don’t believe you).
Get your own estimate of your car / truck / automobile.
Several Dallas area auto body-shops will give you a free estimate. Have your own auto estimate done. Insurance companies will often write an auto estimate for less than half what the damage really will cost to repair your car. To protect yourself, get your own auto estimate. Let the insurance company do their estimate to your car as well, but be armed with your own in case they try to short-change you. I have often seen insurance companies write estimates for $600.00 when the damage to the car was in reality over $3000.00. Protect yourself against these types of insurers.
If you have suffered injury or feeling pain/discomfort in any way, see a doctor immediately. If you cannot afford a doctor, we can find one in the Dallas / Fort Worth area that will treat you and defer payment until your claim with the insurance company is complete. After an auto accident, people often feel discomfort and pain, but the injury is not severe enough to go to the emergency room. Many times it will go away in a day or two. Many times this type injury won’t.
If you are having any pain or discomfort, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Why? Because if you don’t, you are giving the insurance company ammunition to use against you later. If it does turn out that you have an injury that starts out slowly, but gets worse over time, you will be at a huge disadvantage if you don’t seek medical treatment in a reasonably short time.
The insurance company will argue 1) that if you really had an injury, you would have sought treatment for that injury right away, and/or 2) if you wait a couple weeks to seek treatment (waiting on the pain to go away, but it never does), they will argue that “something else” must have happened, and now you are trying to blame it on the automobile accident, and/or 3) sometimes they will lead you to believe that they will provide you with a doctor to see for your injury, but never do. Then you push them on the issue, and they deny they ever led you to believe that (thus causing you to wait 2-4 weeks to see a doctor because you thought they were going to provide you with information on one to see). Then they use the arguments in 1 and 2 above (that you didn't really suffer an injury or else you would have seen a doctor or “something else” must have happened and you are trying to blame it on the accident).
Save all documents showing what you are out of pocket.
Save all towing bills on your car / truck / automobile, auto rental bills, storage fees, prescription fees, doctor bills for your injury, everything. If you want a full recovery, you have to provide a full record. Save everything.
Call the police to the scene, order a police report. Dallas police will come out if there is an injury, if the accident is severe enough, or if there is a dispute at the scene of the auto accident.
In some cities, police won’t come to an auto accident scene unless someone has an injury. If you are feeling any discomfort or pain, you have an injury. You might not need to go to the emergency room, but you have an injury if you are in pain or discomfort after an auto accident. Advise the dispatcher that there is an injury in these circumstances. You need a report taken, and a record of what happened.
Often times people change their story after you leave the scene of the automobile accident. If there is no police report, and no witnesses, then you have no proof that you are the one telling the truth. It turns into a swearing match, which makes recovery from the insurance company much more difficult. If a police officer comes to the scene, usually the person will admit fault because he/she is in shock from the accident, and hasn’t had time to think up a lie about how it happened. The officer will write into the report that the person admitted fault, and that is admissible at trial. So protect yourself, and insist on a police officer to make an auto accident report if at all possible. Then order the police report and verify that it is correct.
Sometimes officers transpose numbers or directions when writing the auto accident report (they usually write them later in the day from the notes they took at the scene). If you don’t check the report soon after the auto accident, you won’t be able to get the officer to correct it, because he will forget what happened after a period of time and may possibly lose his handwritten notes. Check the report as soon as possible after the automobile accident, and get any corrections done as soon as possible by contacting the officer and advising of any problems with the report.
If you live in the Dallas area, contact a Dallas car accident attorney as soon as possible.
If you do not work as a Dallas car accident attorney, or for an Dallas attorney, or as a Dallas claims adjuster, you do not know how to handle an insurance claim in the Dallas area. There are thousands of possibilities of what you will need to do and how you will need to handle different situations. You need to hire someone with experience handling Dallas / Fort Worth area automobile accident injury claims. Someone who will not mess up your auto accident injury claim, or your auto accident claim for your car, and someone who will maximize the benefits you are entitled to receive. Call and speak to a lawyer in our office immediately for a free consultation.
Our firm assigns a Dallas automobile accident Attorney to clients who have suffered personal injury or property damage in automobile / car, motorcycle or truck accidents in the Dallas / Fort Worth and North Texas area. We are a full service firm with experienced personnel who have worked for and against the insurance companies. We will assign a lawyer to your case who knows how to maximize your recovery from the insurance company you are dealing with.
The lawyer assigned to your auto claim will get your money for you and your car as fast as possible. We know how financially devastating an automobile accident can be. You need reimbursement and need it fast to pay your bills. An attorney from our office will obtain your money for you as quickly as possible.
Our Dallas automobile accident attorney represents clients who have suffered personal injury or property damage in automobile / car, motorcycle or truck accidents in the Dallas / North Texas area. Such auto accidents include those involving drunk or hit and run drivers, uninsured or underinsured drivers, as well as car accidents occurring from motor vehicle, SUV and semi-tractor trailer collisions and rollovers accidents.
Damages Often Recoverable in Personal Injury Cases Include the Following:
Past and future medical bills, past and future lost earning capacity, past and future lost income, past and future physical impairment, past and future disfigurement, past and future mental anguish, past and future pain and suffering, property damage, loss of use of your property - such as rental car bills, storage, total loss of property, diminished value of property, loss of body member (arm, leg, . . .), loss of body capacity (hearing, eyesight, . . . ), loss of consortium (spouse, parental, child/filial), loss of services, emotional/mental trauma (bystander injury), prenatal injury, exemplary damages, prejudgment interest, attorney's fees, and court costs.
You will receive personal assistance directly from your Dallas automobile accident attorney. An actual Dallas lawyer handles the case to help represent those injured in car accidents, collisions or crashes.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident or car crash, CONTACT US ONLINE or call to speak to an Attorney (972) 599 4100 to set up a free consultation with a lawyer today.
Personal Injury Areas We Help With Are:
Auto Accident and Injury Cases, Personal Injury Cases, 18 Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Injury Accident Cases, Motorcycle Accident and Injury Cases, Wrongful Death Cases, Pedestrian Injured by Automobile Cases, Slip and Fall & Premises Cases, Workplace & Constructions Injury Cases, Dog Bite Injury Cases, Bicyclers Hit by Automobile Cases .
Types of Coverage in Automobile Injury Cases:
By Doug Goyen, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Steps to Take After You are Injured in an Automobile Accident
- Medical Care After an Accident or Personal Injury
- Hospital Liens in Automobile Injury Cases or Claims
- What To Do After an Accident
- Why Do People Deny It's Their Fault?
- Did Not Wear Seatbelt
- Multiple Car Accidents with Injuries - What to Expect
- Choices That Cause Injury Often Are Not
- Causes of Accidents
- What Personal Injury Lawyers Do
- Fixing Your Vehicle
- Health Insurance use in Automobile Injury Cases