Anytime anyone is in an accident, they feel shaken up and exhausted, but yet thankful to be alive and ready to move on and put the accident behind them. Unfortunately, the feelings of gratitude quickly fade as they begin to feel the full extent of their injuries forcing them to seek unexpected medical treatment. Amongst all of this, they begin to get calls from insurance adjusters asking questions and asking for a recorded statement. It can all be overwhelming. Even the most minor accidents can result in weeks of rehab, emotional stress, and financial difficulty. When this happens, victims have the right to seek compensation from the person who caused the accident.
Critical Information Victims of Car Accidents Need to Know
The Deadline to Seek Compensation
First and foremost, victims of car accidents need to know that they have a limited period of time to file a lawsuit after their accident. In Texas and Oklahoma, that deadline, called the statute of limitations, is 2 years from the date of the accident.
It's best practice to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a crash. This is because vital evidence such as witnesses, road and weather conditions, surveillance tapes, the vehicles involved, and the debris at the scene usually start to disappear after a few hours, and it's important to gather and preserve this evidence as it could assist you in proving your case and obtaining a settlement. At Steven Booker Law we work hard on building your case and handling all of the red tape for you while allowing you the time you need to focus on healing. We do not collect any payment whatsoever until and unless we win your case.
After you've been in an accident, the insurance adjusters are going to be calling you and asking you to give a recorded statement about the accident and the events leading up to the accident. They will also be asking you about what types of injuries you have and what type of medical treatment you have been seeking following the accident.
Here are the rules when dealing with them:
- If it’s your own insurance company, you should cooperate with them. In fact, no matter whose fault the accident was, you should call your insurance company and let them know about the accident.
- If it's the other person’s insurance company, you are not required to give them anything. They will hound you for a recorded statement and make threats that they will not pay you anything unless you give them that recorded statement and that is just not true. Any information you give them can and will be used against you, so it is important to keep that in mind.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For Your Car Accident?
Drivers are not the only people who may be held liabile for the costs associated with your wreck. Sometimes, third parties may be held liable in addition to the driver who caused the accident, including:
- City and state governments. Each municpality has a duty to maintain its roadways, including fixing potholes, installing the right traffic control devices, and posting signs to warn drivers of certain conditions. If a governmental agency could be held liable, you usually have to give written notice to the mayor within 90 days of the occurrence of the accident. Although these cases tend to be more complicated because you are dealing with a governemtnal entity, our attorney has experience handling these types of claims.
- Governmental contractors. A lot of cities and states will outsource the maintenance duties of the roads and highways. This extends the liability to construction companies, engineers, architects, and groundskeepers. We have the ability to determine whether a contractor was negligent and failed to take the appropriate safety measures.
- Bars and Restaurants. If you are injured by a drunk driver, you can seek compensation not only from the driver but also from the bar or restaurant that over-served that driver. This is called dram shop law.
- Auto manufacturers. If your accident was the result of a defect in the vehicle such as flaws in the design, faulty parts or systems, defective tires, or some other form of negligence, you may have a products' liability case. This could also extend to things such as faulty or defective airbags, tired, brakes, or steering systems.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help?
Steven Booker Law handles all types of motorvehicle accidents, whether it was a multi-vehicle pileup, a hit-and-run, a drunk driver, a side-impact, a rear-end, or a head-on crash and we do this on a contingency fee basis, allowing victims to get the help they need without having to worry about how to pay for it. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, call our office today or fill out the contact form below to set up a free consultation.