Criminal Defense FAQs
Who cares if they think you are guilty. You need to protect yourself. Also, realize that the police handle these cases every day and they will not be surprised that you invoked your rights. They may even think that you are smart. Don’t fall for their stories about how they just want to help you.
Car Wreck FAQs
After an auto wreck, victims are often surprised at how quickly the insurance company offers a settlement. Before accepting this offer, be aware that this is often a tactic to get you to settle for less than your claim is worth. If you accept the settlement, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation later. Be aware that you are under no obligation to accept a settlement offer, especially if you feel that it is not enough to compensate you for your injuries and damages.
Always consult with an experienced car crash lawyer before accepting any settlement offer. Your personal injury lawyer can help you determine a reasonable amount based on the facts of your case. Because each case is complex, it takes a skilled auto accident lawyer to determine whether a settlement offer is fair. Your attorney can also continue the negotiations for you, potentially reaching a higher settlement offer than you would be able to achieve alone.
Those involved in a vehicle accident will often try to settle out of court. Because the facts of each case are unique, there is no way to determine the amount of the settlement offer before it is made. The dollar figure varies in each case depending on the injuries and other variables. Often, the settlement offer is based on what the other side thinks the outcome would be if the case went to trial.
A fair settlement offer includes the costs for medical treatment and to repair damaged property, and may include costs for pain and suffering, time out of work due to injuries, and other variables. In most cases, the settlement offer is roughly twice your medical bills, though this can vary greatly depending on the facts of your case. There is no set formula to determine what you can recover through a settlement offer. By working with an experienced automobile wreck lawyer, you can increase your chances of a fair settlement offer.
When a claim is made against the person responsible for your auto accident, their insurance company is responsible for paying for all the damages that resulting from the accident. When recovering damages for an automobile accident, knowing the insurance business, the complexities of the law and the rights of the victims is critical to getting the maximum compensation. Compensation for your injuries caused by someone who was negligent could include:
- All medical expenses, Cost for property damage and loss,
- Lost wages, and Pain and suffering.
In many cases, yes, you can still be awarded compensation for your injuries, even if the injuries stem from an accident for which you were partially at fault. Under the Texas legal rules of proportionate responsibility, your blame or fault in the car accident can be weighed against the responsibility of other involved parties. It is possible that your compensation will be less than if you shared no fault for the accident, but you should still get a fair payment. A car accident lawyer will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you are seriously injured, it is worth your time to consult with an auto accident lawyer following an accident even if you believe you may be partially to blame. Insurance companies want to close cases quickly, and the adjusters are looking out for the company’s bottom line – they may not offer you a fair compensation.
The car accident attorney at Don E. McClure, Jr., PLLC is well versed in the personal injury laws of Texas. We know the laws and we know your rights. We can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights. If you choose to pursue a legal claim, we will fight for you to receive as much compensation as possible for your injuries and resulting expenses.
The better question may be: Should you talk to the responsible party’s insurance company?
If you have been injured in a car wreck, you need to be aware of the great lengths that insurance companies and their insurance agents will go through just to get you to give up your rights and not make a claim or not sue a responsible party. They will also low-ball you and talk you into accepting much less than you deserve for your injuries. You do not know the true value of your case because you do not handle these types of cases daily. The insurance companies and their agent do. And they will act like your friend, like they are doing you a favor, while getting you to accept less than what you deserve.
You do not have to talk to them. They will record your statement and then try to use it against you later. Even if you are telling the truth, little things that you may say could be twisted and could be used against you. Remember, the goal of the insurance company is to get you to accept a quick settlement for less money. Sometimes, even before you have had a chance to consult with a doctor. Again, they do this every single day. Who do you think has the advantage?
Juries have already been tainted by the insurance companies to believe that a large portion of injured people are either not hurt or are exaggerating their injuries. They tell the jury that people claiming injuries are just looking for the “jackpot lottery”. For this reason, and because of lower verdicts, the insurance adjusters in Texas will often offer minimum money for your injuries, even with significant injuries. This practice is unfair to those who suffered very real injuries.
It is our belief that you must call them on their unfair offers of settlement. You must be willing to call their bluff and file suit when necessary. One of the benefits of having a Texas car wreck attorney is to make sure that the insurance companies play fair. And when they don’t, to have an advocate who is willing to stand up and make them play fair. You need someone who is invested, both mentally and financially, in the success of your case.
You want a lawyer who will pursue a fair settlement, but also someone who is willing to take on the risks of a trial. You also want an attorney who is willing to guide you through the process. We believe that one of our main jobs is to educate you about this complex process so that you can make the best decisions possible. We do not hide anything when it comes to providing you knowledge through educational materials and through our well-trained staff. We are different than most law firms in that we actually encourage you to be knowledgeable about your case and we hold back no “secrets”.
There is something called the “statute of limitations” that you need to know about. In Texas, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your wreck or you may be denied from making any claim at all. For example, if you were involved in a car wreck on November 15, 2014, you would need to file your lawsuit by November 15, 2016. Both property damage and personal injuries follow the two-year deadline. Personally, I would never want to come even close to that deadline. That sounds like a lot of time, but when you add in the investigation that is required, the medical treatment that can take months, and the negotiations that can go on for even more months, you can be facing the two-year cutoff before you know it. Also, please note that you are only required to file the lawsuit by that date. You do not have to have the case tried or resolved by that date.
There are some limited occasions where there may be more time to file a lawsuit. For example, some injuries take a while to develop or to be discovered. In those type of cases, you may be entitled to two years from the date that you should have reasonably discovered such injury. Another example would be in the situation where the responsible party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. In that case, you may be able to make a claim against your own insurance company if you carry uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage. If you cannot settle with your own insurance company, you can sue them for breach of contract, which is a four-year (from date of wreck) statute of limitations. There may be other time requirements, so be sure to check with an experienced Texas attorney.
Another exception in the statute of limitations time requirement would be where minor children are involved in a wreck. As to minor children, the clock starts ticking when the child becomes 18 years of age. Two years from age 18 is 20, so a minor child would have a statute of limitations of 20 years of age.
Therefore, we try to evaluate every case as to filing suit at the one year mark, if not earlier. We want to make sure that we have the correct Defendants and that we have time to serve the responsible parties. Occasionally, we will wait another six months, but we ideally like to file suit no later than the one year mark.
The whole idea of ‘statute of limitations” is to make sure a potential party does not have to look over its shoulder for years and years to come. The purpose of this rule is to encourage people to go ahead and make a claim or file a lawsuit as soon as needed and not to wait. This may be important not only to keeping all the evidence, but is also equally important for any witnesses to correctly remember the facts.
Make sure to contact an experienced Texas car wreck lawyer before taking any action (or omission) that could result in the loss of your rights.
In many cases, victims of a car accident do not feel pain until several days after the collision. As soon as you feel pain, consult your medical provider, no matter how minor you believe the injuries to be. Whenever you have symptoms that may be related to this injury, see your doctor, even if it is months after the accident. Continue treatment until your doctor releases you. Records of these visits verify the nature and duration of your injuries, which can be important for proving a car accident injury claim.
Even if you did not complain of injuries or receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Consult with a Houston car accident attorney to begin putting together your claim.
It depends. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the insurance company of the person responsible for the wreck knows where to find your vehicle. They may want to remove the car from the storage lot to their own storage lot to save the fees. This is normal, but you should have a lawyer check the paperwork to make sure that you are not accidentally releasing any property damage claim.
If the car is fixable, and if you gave the insurance company notice of the location of your car right away, then you are entitled to a rental car from the date of the wreck through the time that the repairs should have been completed. If your body shop or mechanic does not finish the car repairs on a timely basis as determined by the insurance company, you could end up paying for those additional days. Also, please note that you should try to get the lowest costing rental car as the insurance companies have very strict guidelines as to what they will pay. Keep in mind that you have the right to get a car like what you were driving at the time of the wreck. However, in reality, the insurance company will still only pay for a low-cost rental car. If you were driving a truck and you used the truck for work at the time of the wreck, you may be able to get a similar vehicle as the insurance company wants to avoid a lost wage claim if possible.
You have the right to pick your repair shop. This could be a dealership or it may be a small shop. Even though the insurance adjuster will sometimes try to get you to one of their “approved” shops, you can go anywhere that you want to get the repairs completed. Also note that you should have your own independent evaluation of the car damages and not just rely on the estimate provided by the opposing car insurance company. Most body shops and mechanics will do this free of charge. Just keep in mind that most insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart.
Further, you are entitled to be paid the costs to fix your vehicle if repairable. As mentioned above, the insurance company will perform their own estimate. If your body shop/mechanic feels like the estimate is to low, they will contact the insurance company to explain their position. Further, if additional damage is found, the insurance company will do a supplemental estimate of such damage and should pay for such repairs. Supplemental damage is very normal.
Do NOT give the body shop/mechanic the check for the repairs until the work has been completed to your satisfaction. This is critical as this may be the only way you can ensure that your car is fixed properly. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before you pay for such repairs.
If the car is not fixable, then your car is a “total loss”. This is the definition for “total loss” if you are pursuing damages against the responsible party’s insurance. In this case, you will only be paid for the actual value of the car prior to the wreck. If you decide to keep the vehicle, they will subtract out the salvage value of the car. The most important issue that you need to realize is that “technically”, the insurance company is not responsible for your car rental when there has been a total loss. Many times, we still get them to pay for the rental car up to the date that they make the decision that the vehicle is, in fact, a total loss.
Back child support can be requested, but receiving it will depend on the Judge of the Court that your case lands in. It is not guaranteed. Usually, such back child support is limited to 4 years.