San Antonio Auto Accident Lawyer Helping Car Accident Victims Recover Compensation for Injuries
Auto accidents happen for a variety of reasons, from momentary lapses of attention to recklessness and intoxication. If you have been injured in an auto accident, and you believe the other driver might be at fault, you have the right to receive legal advice from a Personal Injury Attorney in San Antonio, and you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and related expenses such as lost wages and more.
The Law Office of Matthew S. Norris helps auto accident victims in the San Antonio area fight for their compensation and receive fair treatment from the insurance companies. Being hurt in a car accident is traumatic enough, so the last thing you want to be dealing with is an insurance company that’s uncooperative. San Antonio auto accident attorney Matthew S. Norris will guide you through every step of the personal injury process.
If Your Auto is Damaged but You Have Not Been Injured
If you have been involved in an auto accident, but you were not injured, it is usually easier and much more expedient to handle a property damage claim on your own. You won’t need an attorney’s help unless the other driver’s auto insurance company is operating in bad faith. Auto insurance companies typically settle property damage claims quickly, especially property damage claims below $10,000.
Property damage in an auto accident is usually more than the damage to the vehicles that are involved. Other vehicles, buildings, mailboxes, and fences are frequently damaged in auto collisions. Items that you bring with you in a vehicle – from golf clubs to computers – are also often damaged or destroyed in auto accidents.
Texas compels at-fault drivers to pay for the property damage that they cause. Texas is an “at-fault” auto insurance state, so if your automobile is damaged by a negligent driver, you should submit a property damage claim to that negligent driver’s auto insurance company.
When Should You Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer?
You can always replace a vehicle and other damaged property, but if you sustain a personal injury in a car crash, you can’t take any chances. Contact the law offices of San Antonio auto accident attorney Matthew S. Norris at once. When an accident results in serious injuries and extensive medical bills, you will probably be fighting an auto insurance company for a fair settlement, as the goal of any company is cutting costs and making profits.
When you work with a Texas personal injury attorney after you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, your attorney will explain and protect your rights, gather the evidence, question the witnesses, and – if you have sufficient legal grounds to pursue a personal injury claim – your attorney will fight aggressively for the compensation that you are entitled to by law for your medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and more.
How Much Compensation is an Auto Accident Victim Entitled to Recover?
The amount that you may be able to recover in a settlement or a jury verdict will depend on the severity of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Every personal injury claim is unique, so you will need the personalized advice of a Texas auto accident attorney. Your attorney can determine if you qualify to file an injury claim, explain what the legal process entails, and give you a rough estimate regarding the amount of compensation you may be able to recover.
Your attorney’s first step will be to conduct private, out-of-court negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company. Most personal injury cases in Texas are settled privately, so most injured victims of negligence do not even have to appear in court. However, if no reasonable settlement offer is made by the insurance company during these negotiations, attorney Matthew S. Norris will take your case to trial and fight for your compensation in a court of law.
If your auto accident case goes to trial, your attorney will explain to the judge and jury exactly how the other driver was negligent, how you were injured, and why you should be awarded compensation. The jury will consider the type of injury you suffered, the length and type of medical treatment you require, whether you suffered a loss of income because you were unable to work, and the extent of your personal pain and suffering.
Can You Be Compensated if You Were Partially At Fault for Your Accident?
Another factor that will be considered is whether you had any of the blame for the accident. Texas is a “modified comparative fault” state. If you had any share of the fault for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by that percentage. If an injured accident victim bears more than fifty percent of the fault for the accident, that victim is barred from recovering any compensation in the State of Texas.
Here’s an example: Let’s say that you are speeding, but you’re only going six or seven miles per hour over the posted speed limit. As you move through a green light, an intoxicated reckless driver collides with you while exceeding the speed limit by thirty miles per hour, and you are seriously injured.
A jury might conclude that you had no fault for the accident and award you the full amount of compensation that you are seeking. On the other hand, because you were speeding, jurors might determine that you had ten percent of the responsibility for the accident. In such a case, you might prevail with your personal injury claim, but if you were seeking $100,000 in damages, that amount would be reduced by ten percent to $90,000.
Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering After a Texas Auto Accident?
“Pain and suffering” is a term commonly used in personal injury cases. When you’ve been injured in an auto accident because the other driver was negligent, distracted, reckless, or intoxicated, you have the right to additional compensation beyond the medical bills and lost wages that you can prove with copies of your bills, pay stubs, and receipts.
As you can imagine, it is difficult to determine the financial value of pain, suffering, and emotional distress. However, you are entitled to “non-economic” damages for personal pain and suffering including emotional and psychological distress, loss of consortium, or the inability to continue enjoying life because of an accident-related injury. You will need an auto accident attorney’s help to place a reasonable dollar amount on your noneconomic damages.
The jurors making these decisions also have the discretion to use any method and to arrive at any figure they deem to be appropriate. While it is difficult to place a dollar figure on pain and suffering, an experienced attorney will seek what is right for you.
Can I Still Seek Compensation if My Injuries Didn’t Show Up Right Away?
If you’ve been involved in any automobile accident, it is absolutely imperative to be examined by a medical professional right away – even if you feel great and you do not think that you have been injured. The adrenaline of the moment may actually mask a significant hidden or latent injury that may not fully emerge for days after the accident.
Whiplash, for example, may not manifest itself immediately. You may not start feeling pain in your neck until days or even weeks after the accident. When a hidden or latent injury isn’t apparent for days or weeks, the other driver’s auto insurance company is likely to claim that you were injured later and in some other way – but not in the accident with their policyholder.
Obtaining a medical examination immediately after a car accident protects you from those kinds of allegations by an insurance company, creates the medical documentation you will need when you pursue compensation, and ensures that you won’t be walking around – for days or weeks – with an injury that you don’t know about.
How Will a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Help You?
When you’ve been injured because another motorist was negligent, you need an aggressive, effective personal injury lawyer who has considerable experience representing injured auto accident victims. For nearly a decade, personal injury attorney Matthew S. Norris has been advising and representing the victims of negligence and fighting for their rights.
At the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris, your case is a priority, and your claim will be handled with the utmost professionalism and personal attention. There is no charge for a consultation, and if we do not recover compensation for you, you will not have to pay any attorney’s fee. Attorney Matthew S. Norris will negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company – and if necessary, take that company to court – so that you can focus entirely on regaining your health and returning to your daily routine.
How Much Time Do You Have to Take Legal Action?
In the State of Texas, you have only two years from the date you are injured to file a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney to immediately start working on your case is beneficial to getting a fair recovery. Evidence deteriorates over time – or disappears – and the memories of witnesses fade, so the sooner you file your personal injury claim, the more likely it is that your claim will prevail.
If you have any questions about filing an auto accident claim in Texas, or if you want to begin the personal injury process and seek compensation for your damages, call the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at 210-549-7633 to schedule a free consultation. If you are still in the hospital or cannot travel for some other reason, we will come to you, and we will help you fight for the compensation you need.