Car Accident Lawyer Dallas
Car accidents are a huge problem all across America, and sadly, Dallas is no different. The consequences of a car accident can be mild or serious, but either way they can end up causing problems for the people involved in them. On the milder end, you have minor fender benders that are relatively easy to repair but are still inconvenient for all involved. On the more serious side, you have huge wrecks that cause serious injuries to everyone and heavy damage to their vehicles.
The more serious consequences of a car accident can lead to high expenses because of medical bills, repair bills, and lost wages, plus there is the emotional and psychological toll of the accident as well. Fortunately, victims of car accidents that were caused by another party are eligible to receive compensation to cover those expenses, but they will need the help of an attorney to do so.
Craig Watkins, Attorney at Law is the Dallas car accident lawyer who can help car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. He has over a decade of legal experience that he will use to help all car accident victims. Get in touch with car accident attorney Craig Watkins to get the help and support you need after you have been the victim of a car accident.
What You Need To Do After a Car Accident
While Craig Watkins will offer the legal help any car accident victim needs, there are steps that they can take to help themselves in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
Call The Authorities – Even if the accident was minor, you should contact the police and paramedics so that they can create an official record of the accident and treat the accident victims respectively. A police report of the accident could be useful when it is time to present proof of who was at fault for the accident.
Record the Accident Scene – Photographs and/or videos of the accident scene and the damage done to each vehicle can help to establish who was at fault for the accident. If possible it is best to do so at the scene of the accident since that can prove that the damage occurred during the car accident and not some time afterward.
Get Medical Attention – You should get medical attention even if you do not feel like you have been injured. The reason is that the adrenaline rush of the accident may end up masking the pain from an injury. Also, some injuries may take some time before they fully manifest and a medical check can catch them before they get worse.
Watch What You Say – You should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver after a car accident, but otherwise, you should limit your interactions with them. In particular, you should avoid any apologetic statements since that could be construed by the insurance company as an admission of guilt. That could cause them to reduce or deny your settlement claim. You should avoid making such statements to the police as well for the same reasons.
Filing a Settlement Claim
After you have taken care of things after the accident, you should contact an attorney so that they can help you to file a personal injury claim against the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. The first thing your attorney will do is to start an investigation into your case which involves collecting evidence proving that the other driver caused the accident. They will also collect the various medical and repair bills to find out how much compensation you need.
Negotiating With The Insurance Company
Your attorney will then send a demand letter to the insurance company that details all the proof they have collected as well as the settlement amount that you need. The insurance company will examine the letter and decide if they will accept the settlement claim, reject it, or renegotiate it. If they accept the settlement claim or renegotiate a reasonable amount, then this is where the case ends. However, if they reject the claim or offer an amount that is too low, then you will need to file a lawsuit against the driver to get the compensation that you need. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a car accident in Texas is two years from the time the accident took place.
Discovery and Mediation
If you file a lawsuit, then the case proceeds to the discovery stage where your attorney and the attorney of the at-fault driver— aka the defendant— exchange the evidence they have collected so far so that they can provide a strong defense for their clients. Once the discovery stage is completed, you will proceed to mediation. This is where a neutral third party attempts to get both parties to reach a resolution, however, they cannot order a settlement since they are not a judge. If mediation fails, then the next step is arbitration, but only if a judge orders it or both attorneys agree to it.
Arbitration is similar to mediation, but the main difference is that the mediator is a retired judge or attorney who has the authority to order a settlement if both parties agree to it. Arbitration functions like a less formal trial since witnesses and evidence can be presented. Both mediation and arbitration are preferable to a trial because a trial can be very expensive and can take a long time to come to a conclusion. That is why resolving the case via mediation or arbitration is better for both parties. It should be noted that arbitration orders are not easily repealed so you should make sure that you are fully satisfied with the decision before accepting it.
If a resolution cannot be reached in any of the prior stages, then it is time to proceed to a trial where a judge and jury will determine the outcome of the case. As stated earlier, this is an undesirable outcome because of the cost, time, and unpredictability of a trial. Fortunately, a trial is a rare outcome in personal injury cases because they tend to be resolved well before a trial becomes necessary.
Contact Us If You Have Been in a Car Accident
A car accident can throw a person’s life into turmoil, but that does not have to be the case if the accident victim gets a car accident attorney to help them. Craig Watkins is a Dallas car accident attorney who has been helping car accident victims for over a decade. He can help you to gather evidence, file a personal injury claim, and negotiate with the insurance company. And in the unlikely event that a trial becomes necessary, he will represent you in court to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. So contact Craig Watkins, Attorney at Law if you were the victim of a car accident in Dallas.