Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many Texans who unfortunately find themselves involved in personal injury accidents. Accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. No one is safe from accidents. According to the 2014 Travis County Injury Assessment Report, accidents are the third leading cause of premature death in Texas after heart disease and malignant neoplasms. In 2011 in Travis County, fatalities due to accidents broke down as follows:
- There were 91 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents;
- There were 31 deaths due to assault, resulting in homicide; and
- There were 339 fatalities are due to unspecified accidents and adverse effects, such as slip and fall accidents, burns, and electrocution.
While often times, we have little to no control over when we are involved in an accident, we do have some control over whether we can obtain financial compensation after the accident has happened. When you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the fault, wrongful conduct, or negligence of another, you need to speak with an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer.
When You Are Injured: What To Do
When you are involved in a personal injury accident, one of the first things you need to do is look after yourself. You need to get the medical treatment necessary to help you get yourself on the road to recovery from your injuries as soon as possible. Once you are able to after receiving medical treatment, you should waste no time in contacting a personal injury lawyer, like the professionals at Buford & Gonzalez.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t speak with an insurance company or their adjusters without speaking to us first. What you say could jeopardize your case and chances of higher compensation. If you may speak about property with an adjuster, but make sure not to solicit extra information they do not ask for. Remember to also contact us before signing any papers.
- Don’t lie to doctors about your injuries.
- Do not use social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace) to post pictures or discuss elements of your accident.
- Do not discuss the details of your case with friends or family. Their testimony can adversely affect your case if they are called upon.
Things to Remember After and Accident:
- Call Buford and Gonzalez immediately after the accident. Waiting to consider legal action after an accidental injury could end up costing you.
- If there was damage in the accident, document all of it with photos.
- Collect and save estimates of your vehicle’s damage from your body shop. It is also prudent to save all medical bills, records, prescription bottles, and any other medical items.
- If you miss work due to injuries, record how many days / how much missed time you must take, as all of this can be reimbursed.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Not seeing a doctor to assess your injuries after an accident
- Not listening to your medical provider’s instructions for recovery
- Not keeping your scheduled doctor’s appointments
- Not disclosing injuries sustained in an accident to your doctor
Medical Payments Before Your Case Is Settled
We try to handle medical expenses while pursuing your personal injury settlement. We receive these funds from one of the following places: 1) your health insurance provider, 2) your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provisions of your automobile insurance policy, or 3) your worker’s compensation insurance. Any out-of-pocket medical expenses will be reimbursed after the settlement. If you are involved in an accidents and do not have adequate health insurance to pay for your medical bills, the physician may issue a “hospital lien” which you can pay after you receive compensation.
Insurance Photographs and Background Checks
Following an accident, insurance investigators may videotape and or photograph you for their records if the personal injuries sustained were substantial enough. They will also look for evidence that you are following doctor’s orders and are taking medicines they prescribe. Depending on the value of the case, insurance adjusters may also look into your past record where they search for felony convictions and other civil records you may have accumulated.
The Value of Your Case
There are many factors which determine the value of your case, which usually include vehicle damage, pre-existing medical issues, weather conditions, police reports, the defendant’s driving history, your driving history, your medical history, alcohol involvement, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and your final impairment rating or prognosis. All of these factors and many more can contribute to the overall value of your claim.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company is being unfair or unreasonable with their settlement offer, we may advise you to file lawsuit against them.
We have specified the following outline to show the process of a lawsuit and the general time frames. Bear in mind that this changes slightly from case to case, but this outline will give you a general feeling about what to expect and when.
- Research, Prepare, and File [2 weeks to 1 month]: We file the original lawsuit with the County District Court.
- Wait for a Response [20 days]: The defendant(s) are allowed 20 days after being served with a citation to answer the suit.
- Send a Written Discovery [6 months to 1.5 years]: Once we receive the defendants’ answer, we will send them written discovery questions to the Defendants, which include the following
- Request For Disclosure – to learn the names of expert witnesses of the other party(s); the dollar amount, if any, the other party has been damaged; and the basis for the other party(s)’ claim or defenses;
- Request For Production – to obtain copies of evidence and documents that will assist your attorneys in protecting you and in pursuing litigation against the other party;
- Interrogatories – to obtain answers to questions as to the position and knowledge of the other party;
- Request For Admissions – to obtain admissions as to liability issues;
- Depositions – to allow the other party to question you about the incident.
- Mediation: We must mediate a case before we can proceed to trial. The parties meet with an independent third party, usually an experienced lawyer or retired judge, who attempts to arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement. The results are not binding. Many of our filed cases reach their conclusion here.
- Compromise and Settlement Agreement, Release, Agreed Judgment, Motion to Dismiss – This happens if mediation was successful.
- Trial [1 to 2 weeks]: This happens if mediation was unsuccessful.
Make sure that your personal injury case is handled with care and experience. By coming to our law firm of Buford and Gonzalez, you are putting your claim into good hands. We will make sure you get the best possible settlement for your injuries and pain and suffering. We don’t allow corrupt insurance companies take advantage of you or what your case is really worth. Call us today at (512) 476-4444.
Contact An Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When you need a personal injury lawyer, trust the professionals at Buford & Gonzalez. We have helped many clients in and around Austin, Texas with seeking the financial compensation that they deserve for their injuries. We are ready and available to help you too. Please reach out to us today.