Harlingen Car Accident Lawyer
As one of the major cities and transport hubs in South Texas and occupying an area with a favorable winter climate in the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen sees its fair share of traffic all year round.
Unfortunately, it also sees its fair share of car accidents.
As well as cars, large trucks, and trailers, most other types of traffic race up and down the highways surrounding Harlingen, meaning that serious car accidents are relatively frequent.
If you or a family member have been the victim of a car accident in Harlingen where another party was at-fault, speak to DeHoyos Law as soon as possible.
We can provide the support and legal guidance at this difficult time and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for the physical, emotional and financial pain and suffering caused by your accident.
Steps to take if you are the victim of an automobile accident
After a car accident, it is worth pointing out a couple of steps that you should not take.
Firstly, do not answer questions from a third-party insurance company. There may be awkward questions that implicate you as an at-fault party in the accident.
Secondly, do not repair your vehicle until it has been inspected by all the relevant parties.
Contact your Harlingen car accident lawyer before you take either of these steps. Your lawyer will handle all necessary interactions with the insurance company once the facts of the case have been gathered.
You are likely to be disoriented after an accident and the facts may not be clear to you immediately, even if you are not injured.
Your lawyer can help you piece together events and gather evidence from the accident scene if you make contact early enough.
If possible, in the aftermath of your accident, follow these steps:
- Gather the contact information/insurance/license information from other drivers when it is safe to do so
- Gather the contact details of any witnesses, if you are in a position to do so
- Note the weather and road conditions if they are a factor
- Take photos or videos at the accident scene, if possible
- Preserve any evidence that will support your claim
- Seek medical attention – even if you do not feel injured or your injuries are only minor
- Follow medical advice closely – you may have internal injuries that are not immediately apparent
- Retain copies of reports by the medical team and follow-up as per their instructions
- Retain all receipts from medical bills
- Get copies of police reports
- Record the events of the accident in writing when you can
- If your quality of life is greatly affected by the accident, keep a journal of your experiences
What damages can I recover after an auto accident in Texas?
Typically, a car accident in Harlingen where another party was at least 50 percent at-fault will lead to a claim for the following types of damages:
- Medical costs – if you had to go to hospital, there might be ambulance fees, in-patient service fees, surgical fees, costs of medication, etc.
- Lost earnings – if your accident results in extensive medical treatment, your ability to earn an income may be impacted
- Pain and suffering – if the accident has impaired your quality of life, you can claim for the pain and suffering experienced
In the most serious types of accidents, you may additionally be able to claim for:
- Permanent disability – if a life-altering injury, such as loss of a limb, traumatic brain injury or paralysis results from the accident, significant compensation should be sought
- Loss of affection or companionship – if your injuries directly cause the loss of ability to give and receive affection or companionship, this is a significant loss that should be compensated
- Death – if you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to sue for losses
- Punitive damages – if the actions of the at-fault party warrant it, you may claim punitive damages that go beyond the losses that you have suffered
Not all such damages apply in all cases. It depends on the nature of your automobile accident.
Bear in mind that the process of making a claim for losses after a car accident is rarely straightforward.
Insurance companies protect their own interests and may offer a lower-than-acceptable payout. This may apply even in cases where their customer was clearly at fault.
The experience of a seasoned car accident lawyer is irreplaceable as you pursue adequate compensation. Your lawyer will know approximately what your claim should be worth and will not settle for anything less than you deserve.
Do I need to report a car accident in Texas?
If you are involved in a car accident in Texas, you must file a crash report with the police as soon as possible (within ten days) if:
- The accident is not investigated by a police officer; and
- It results in injury or death; or
- It results in property damage greater than $1000
This is laid out in Chapter 550 of the Texas Transportation Code.
You must also exchange person, vehicle, and insurance details with the other parties involved in the accident.
Texas car insurance laws
Because Texas is a “fault” state when it comes to car insurance, you are able to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver or drivers involved in your accident.
The following approximate minimums apply to most liability insurance policies:
- $30,000 for each injured person;
- $60,000 total for injuries per incident;
- $25,000 for property damage
However, you can sue a driver for more than these amounts if you can show that they were at fault.
When you make a claim, the insurance company must accept or reject your claim within 15 days of receiving all the necessary information from you.
What is the comparative negligence law in Texas?
Texas law follows this “comparative negligence” system, whereby you can claim damages for an accident even if you are found to be partly at fault yourself.
Parties involved in an accident can be held proportionally at fault. So, if there is an accident involving your vehicle and another, it is possible that you are deemed to be 25 percent at-fault and you can still sue the driver of the other vehicle.
However, the damages awarded will reflect the 75 percent proportion of fault for the other driver.
Also, note that the other driver cannot sue you because only parties deemed to be 50 percent or more responsible for the accident are liable for the losses incurred.
Claim for a car accident injury in Harlingen
It is best to take action on a claim as soon as possible after gathering the necessary evidence from the accident.
The first step is for us to carefully examine the facts of your case. Arrange a free consultation today to start the process.
Remember, we only get paid if you do.