Car accidents can be terrifying and disorienting events. You may be confused about your legal rights following a collision and where to turn for help. The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson can help you during this trying time. Our law firm has over 25 years of experience helping car accident victims, as well as other personal injury incident victims, in Plano, Dallas, and North Texas recover the compensation they deserve after they were injured due to the negligence of others. Contact us or call today at (214) 617-3223 for a free case consultation.
Plano Car Accident Quick Links
- Signs You Need a Plano Car Accident Attorney
- Steps to Take After a Plano Car Accident
- Possible Compensation You Can Recover After a Car Accident
- Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Other Common Causes of Car Accidents
- What Types of Injuries can Lead to a Lawsuit
- What to Expect from a Car Insurance Company
- How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Plano?
- How an Attorney Can Help with a Car Accident Claim
- Contact a Plano Car Accident Attorney
Signs You Need a Plano Car Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a minor fender bender where you only have a few hundred dollars worth of property damage and were not injured, you could probably handle the case on your own. However, if any of the following scenarios apply:
You Were Injured
If you were injured in a Plano auto accident, you will likely require the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer. You could be facing thousands of dollars in medical bills, followed by a long recovery period. Once you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, you will not be able to go back and try to recover more compensation, even if your injuries were more severe or you have damages that are more extensive than you first thought. An experienced Plano personal injury attorney can help determine the full value of your claim and factor in anticipated expenses you may incur in the future.
You Lost Time from Work
If you lost time away from work due to your injuries, a Plano car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence from your employer to establish the amount of your lost wages. If the injury caused you a permanent disability or prevents you from returning to your normal line of work, you may be able to recover compensation for your reduced earning capacity.
Your Claim Was Denied
It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit businesses that stay afloat by raking in more money from premiums than they dish out in claims. They are inherently interested in minimizing or denying as many claims as possible. If your claim was denied by an insurance company, reach out to an experienced Plano car accident attorney for help. Our law firm can also help if you believe that the insurance company did not offer a fair settlement and you have rejected or not responded to the offer.
Liability Is in Dispute
One of the ways that insurance companies try to avoid paying out on valid claims is by questioning liability. They may try to argue their insured was not responsible for the auto accident. Even if they accept some responsibility, they may try to blame another driver or you for part of it. Texas’ comparative fault law reduces the value of your claim by your own degree of negligence, so if it is determined you were partially at fault for the car accident, the insurance company will likely reduce the value of your claim. A lawyer can help protect your right to recover fair compensation for your claim.
A Frisco car accident lawyer can also help in situations where more than one other driver may have contributed to the accident or the crash was a hit-and-run.
Steps to Take After a Plano Car Accident
After a car accident, it’s essential to take certain steps, including:
Check for Injuries
The first step after a car accident is to check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911 immediately.
Move Out of Harm’s Way
If the accident is minor and no one is seriously injured, move your vehicle out of harm’s way. This will help prevent further accidents and will give you space to assess the situation. If your car is disabled, turn on your hazard lights or use flares to warn other drivers.
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes contact information, insurance details, and the make and model of their vehicle. If there are any witnesses, collect their contact information as well. It is important to remain calm during this process and avoid placing blame or admitting fault.
Document the Accident
Documenting the accident is crucial. Take photos of the damage to your car, the location of the accident, and any injuries you or your passengers may have sustained. Keep a written record of the events leading up to the accident, including the time, date, and weather conditions. This information will be useful when filing an insurance claim.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, it is important to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. They can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.
Possible Compensation You Can Recover After a Car Accident
Texas personal injury law allows accident victims to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses they suffer as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Past, current, and future anticipated medical expenses
- Lost wages for the time you missed from work
- Lost employment benefits you used while you were recovering from your injuries or seeking medical treatment for them
- Reduced or lost earning capacity if the injury left you permanently disabled or unable to return to the same line of work
- Pain, suffering, anguish, grief, and distress
If you lost a loved one in a Plano auto accident, you may be able to pursue accountability and justice through a wrongful death claim in which you can seek compensation for medical bills, burial expenses, lost inheritance, grief, and other damages.
An experienced Plano car accident lawyer can review the circumstances of your case and explain what your claim might be worth.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
In 2021, 52 people were killed and 412 people were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Collin County. Another 68 people were killed and 349 people were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Denton County in 2021. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, some of the most common causes of car accidents throughout the state in 2021 include:
Drug or Alcohol Impairment
1,077 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Texas where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This means that 24% of all traffic-related fatalities for the year involved alcohol. Another 350 fatal crashes occurred because of drug impairment.
Speeding is a particularly dangerous driving activity because it makes it more likely that:
- A driver will lose control of their vehicle
- The driver will not be able to stop in time to avoid a hazard once they spot it
- Serious injuries will result in the event of an accident
- Safety equipment will fail or not be as effective
Statewide, 320 fatal crashes occurred in Texas in 2021 due to speeding over the limit. Drivers not only have the duty to follow speed limits; they must also adjust their speed for road and weather conditions, such as slowing down:
- In rain, sleet, fog, or snow
- During nighttime hours
- In heavy congestion
A distraction is any activity that takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving, their eyes off the road, or their hands off the steering wheel. The Texas Department of Transportation specifically noted the following types of distracted driving activities that resulted in accidents in 2021:
- Talking on a phone
- Distractions in vehicle
Not Following the Rules of the Road
The following traffic violations resulted in thousands of motor vehicle crashes in 2021:
- Failing to field the right-of-way
- Backing up without safety
- Changing lanes unsafely
- Disregarding stop signs or lights
- Making unsafe turns at an intersection
- Failing to drive in a single lane
- Failing to maintain speed
- Failing to heed the warning sign
- Failing to signal
- Following too closely
- Turning improperly
- Failing to pass safely
Other Common Causes of Car Accidents
The Texas Department of Transportation also notes that vehicle or mechanical defects contribute to a significant number of car accidents each year, including problems associated with:
- Steering mechanisms
- Turn signals
Other notable causes of car accidents throughout Texas include:
- Fatigued driving
- Road rage
- Unsecured loads
- Fleeing or evading police
What Type of Injuries Can Lead to a Lawsuit?
The following are some of the most common types of injuries that occur after car accidents that lead to personal injury claims:
- Severe Injuries: Severe injuries such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations can result in a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation. These types of injuries can result in a significant financial burden, and if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover the cost for medical bills and lost wages.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones are a common injury in car accidents. Although they may seem minor, they can result in long-term pain and suffering.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is thrown back and forth suddenly. It is a common injury in rear-end car accidents. Although it is not as serious as some other injuries, it can result in significant pain and discomfort.
- Psychological Injuries: Car accidents can also leave people with mental injuries like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
- Death: If a loved one died in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover costs for funeral costs, hospital bills, and missed income.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Plano?
Each state has a timeline to take certain legal action. This is known as the statute of limitations. Texas’ statute of limitations generally gives you two years to file a personal injury claim based on negligence. This means that you generally have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in court following a car accident. However, there are times when this deadline may be shorter or longer. Also, a motor vehicle accident lawyer will need to begin an investigation immediately to preserve crucial evidence in your case and will need time to build a case. Therefore, it is usually in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an auto accident to protect your rights and ensure your claim is timely filed.
What to Expect from a Car Insurance Company
Car accidents can be traumatic experiences for everyone involved. Unfortunately, dealing with an insurance company after an accident can make the experience even more difficult. Here’s what you can expect:
They Will Act Like Your Friend
Car insurance companies will act like your friend. They will be polite, and reassuring, and act like they want to help you. However, it’s important to remember that their primary goal is to pay out as little money as possible. Make sure you don’t say more than necessary, as anything you say they will often try to use against you.
They Will Make Low Offers
Insurance companies will make low offers, hoping that you’ll be eager to settle and won’t realize that you’re entitled to more compensation. You have the right to refuse any settlement offer that you feel is too low. In fact, it’s often better to consult with a personal injury attorney first to ensure that you’re getting a fair offer.
They Will Be More Helpful If You Have a Lawyer
This is because attorneys know the law and will typically fight hard for their client’s rights in ways that lay people don’t know how to do. By having an attorney on your side, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the insurance process and secure a fair settlement for your damages.
How a Plano Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with an Accident Claim
If you are injured in a car accident, your main priority should be on your recovery. The last thing you need to be worrying about after sustaining a serious injury is dealing with the insurance company. The personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson can handle all aspects of your claim, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the accident and preserving valuable evidence in your case
- Identifying all potentially liable parties and sources of compensation
- Reviewing relevant insurance policies and coverage details
- Gathering available evidence to help you establish liability in the case, including surveillance camera footage, dash cam footage, traffic camera footage, photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and the accident report
- Working with your medical providers to determine your treatment needs, the long-term effects of your injuries, and ways to reduce the costs of your medical bills
- Negotiating with the insurance company for fair compensation
While most personal injury cases are able to be resolved through an insurance settlement, having an attorney is critical if your case goes to trial. Edward W. Sampson has more than 25 years of legal experience and is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, so he has the resources and skills necessary to capably handle your case.
Contact Our Experienced Plano Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident in Plano, reach out to The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson for help. Our founding attorney is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, a distinction that less than 10 percent of active lawyers in Texas possess. We provide legal support for individuals and families who have suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one in car accidents or other personal injury incidents. Contact us today at (214) 220-8863 for a free consultation.