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Houston Car Accident Lawyer

Houston Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a car accident we can help you. Our experienced car accident lawyers at Jim Adler & Associates have been helping Texans that have been hurt in car wrecks obtain compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

Jim Adler and his team of car accident attorneys have been fighting for Texans for over 50 years and have recovered over $1 billion in settlements for people who have been injured in car accidents. We fight the big insurance companies so you don’t have to.

We have four convenient offices throughout Texas to serve you: Houston, Channelview, Dallas, and San Antonio. To get your FREE consultation, you can message us or call us at 1-800-505-1414 today.

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How A Houston Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

A skilled car accident lawyer’s goal is to relieve you of the stress and handle the accident claim’s process entirely on your behalf. This ensures you are getting the best result possible under the circumstances.

Here are some more ways a qualified car accident lawyer can help you after a car wreck:

  • Gather evidence that shows who was at fault for the auto accident
  • Identify every liable party involved in the car accident
  • Handle communications with the negligent driver’s insurance company
  • Keep track of your medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Estimate future medical bills and accident-related losses
  • Communicate with your medical professional to obtain complete records
  • Recover lost wages from losing your job
  • Represent you at depositions, hearings, and in court
  • Deal with lien holders and debt collectors on your behalf
  • Lower your medical bills (physical therapy and surgeries are expensive)
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When Should I Talk to A Houston Car Accident Lawyer?

talking to a car accident lawyer

The best time to consult with a Houston car accident lawyer is immediately after your car accident.

If you need medical treatment due to a car accident, it is completely normal to take care of your health first. For many people, hiring a car accident lawyer to start the legal process sounds stressful. But keep in mind, time is of the essence. Also know that, when you hire our Houston car accident attorneys on a contingency fee basis, you aren’t being billed by the hour, and won’t pay a dime in legal fees unless we recover money for you.

You might be surprised at how long it takes to deal with the various aspects of a car accident claim—even a seemingly straightforward claim involving minor injuries and minimal property damage. If your injuries are severe, your time is best spent focusing on making a full recovery, as fast as possible. Not only that, but any misstep along the way could reduce your chances of recovering maximum compensation.

Remember: insurance companies are some of the largest and most profitable companies on earth. And their insurance adjusters are trained to DELAY, UNDERPAY, and DENY your claim.

It’s absolutely worth talking to an experienced car accident lawyer about your situation. Our injury law firm will also review your case for free.

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Should I Hire a Houston Car Accident Lawyer If I Wasn't Hurt?

hiring a car accident lawyer

While a car accident injury may not appear to be serious at first, appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to certain types of bodily injuries and even trauma to the brain. And just because you feel fine after an accident, that doesn’t mean you’re not injured. Later, you may start to notice symptoms of a potential injury. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to seek medical treatment and then consult with an experienced attorney after a car accident.

Not consulting with a Houston car accident lawyer could be a bigger mistake on your part and that can play into the hands of the insurance companies. Watch the video below to learn more.

Even if you had a low-speed accident, there is a significant body of research showing that low-speed accidents can cause chronic injuries, including whiplash and concussions.

For example, a 2021 scientific article published by the National Institutes of Health found that the use of the “biomechanical approach” (the defense tactic used by insurance companies) vastly underestimates the actual risk of real-world, low-speed impacts.

Emerging evidence also shows that there’s no such thing as a “mild” concussion. Some people develop headaches, fatigue, brain fog, memory problems, and other symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms can last for months or even years. Similar symptoms, which can also be long-term, may result from whiplash. Both whiplash and concussions can happen in relatively low-speed collisions.

The problem with assuming your accident is “minor” is that the insurance companies might pressure you to settle your claim right away so that they don’t have to cover you or even all of your property damages. But don’t fall for this. For help dealing with the insurance company and your accident, contact our car accident lawyers right away.

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Can A Lawyer Still Help Me If the Car Accident Was My Fault?

Texas personal injury law book

Texas personal injury law allows you to recover compensation for a car accident as long as you are not more than 50 percent responsible. What that means is, if you are 50% or less at fault, you can still recover compensation to pay for losses like medical bills and property damage.

If you are ever involved in an accident, we advise that you say as little as possible to any parties until you’re able to speak with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer. You may have to exchange insurance information and provide police with a statement but when you do, stick to the facts. Even a simple statement like, “I didn’t see the other driver” could be taken as an admission of guilt. If you aren’t sure of what to do or say, it is your right to speak to an attorney at any point. Watch this quick video below.

Your insurer will work with the other driver’s insurer to determine fault, based on the facts. Again, your statements on who caused the car accident could come back to hurt you. You may be convinced you’re at fault, but additional details could come to light that show another driver was actually at fault, either in whole or in part. And most of all, do not make a statement to the insurance company—yours or anyone else’s.

You may have to report the accident to your insurance company within a certain amount of time, but don’t rush. New information may emerge that can help your case. And you may ultimately be at fault for the accident but still have significant injuries. In this case, your insurance will have to pay out for this.

Keep in mind that no matter what they promise, the insurance company is NOT your friend. So before you speak with them, you should always talk to your attorney first.

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What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents?

There are several different types of car accidents. Here are some of the most common:

Head-on Car Accident
These can be devastating car accidents that can result in major injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, or even death.

Rear-end Car Accident
These are the most common type of roadway accidents that most often occur in congested traffic or in the context of distracted driving.

Rollover Car Accident
These types of accidents are often seen with SUVs and other tall vehicles. They usually occur when there’s too much speed and a loss of contact with the pavement.

Fatal Car Accidents
These types of accidents can happen in almost any situation and occur due to a variety of reasons such as not wearing a seatbelt and high speed impacts.

Hit-and-Run Car Accident
Hit-and-Runs typically involve two or more parties and one (or more) drivers leaving the scene of the accident.

18-Wheeler-Car Accidents
Accidents with large commercial vehicles and 18-wheelers can cause catastrophic damages. These accidents can require the assistance of a qualified car accident lawyer because they can raise complex legal and insurance issues.

Uber/Lyft/Rideshare Car Accident
Rideshare drivers are typically employed as “contractors.” Insurance coverage from Uber/ Lyft may be available, but proving fault in a rideshare accident may require a personal injury attorney.

Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes are among the most devastating forms of vehicular accidents.

Drunk Driving Accidents
Every year in Texas, hundreds of people are killed, and thousands are injured by drunk drivers.

Work Zone Car Accident
Increased congestion, slow-moving heavy equipment, temporary barriers, and vehicles making frequent and sudden stops make Texas work zones an accident waiting to happen.

Texting and Driving Accidents
Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors, contributing to thousands of auto accident fatalities and injuries every year.

Drugged Driving & DUI Car Accident
Drugged driving includes illegal substances like marijuana and cocaine, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. Driving under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Speeding Accidents
Texas leads the nation in speeding-related deaths. Higher speeds mean larger changes in velocity, which means more severe injuries. Even death.

Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Accidents
State law requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of auto insurance. Nonetheless, there are millions of drivers on Texas roads that fail to purchase insurance.

Intersection Car Accidents
Intersection car accidents caused nearly 5,000 fatal crashes and 34,000 serious injury crashes in Texas over a recent six-year period.

Severe Weather Car Accidents
Texas generally enjoys good weather year-round, but thunderstorms, fog, tornadoes, wind, hurricanes, hail, and even snow storms, when they do occur, increase the risk of a severe weather car accident.

Vehicle Defect Accidents
While the vast majority of car accident cases are attributed to human error, some result from mechanical defects, such as problems with tires/wheels, brakes, steering, and suspension.

Dangerous Roadway Accidents
Degraded road surfaces, potholes, water that doesn’t drain properly, poor lane markings, and lack of signs, signals, and lighting can increase the likelihood of an auto accident and lead to a claim against a government agency, maintenance company, or other party.

Wildlife and Livestock Accidents
There are tens of thousands of animal-related crashes annually in Texas. Drivers injured by wildlife or livestock may be able to file a claim against the animal’s owner or their own insurer.

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What Types of Injuries Can Happen in An Auto Accident?

A variety of serious injuries and medical problems can occur from vehicle crashes. Some common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Cuts, lacerations, and bruises
  • Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, and contusions)
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries/TBI (concussions)
  • Serious Burns
  • Exsanguination (severe blood loss)

Some injuries can even be considered “hidden” injuries and are more common than you may think. Watch the video below to learn more.

If you or a family member sustained any of these types of injuries in your accident, consult with one of our experienced Houston car accident lawyers right away.

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What's The Difference Between a Bodily Injury Claim and a Personal Injury Claim?

Let’s breakdown the primary differences between making a bodily injury claim versus a personal injury claim.

Bodily Injury

  • Specifically refers to the physical harm or damage done to a person’s body.
  • Examples: Broken bones, lacerations, burns, internal injuries, head trauma.
  • Typically included in liability auto insurance policies.

Personal Injury

  • This is a broader legal term that includes bodily injury and other types of damages resulting from someone else’s negligence or intentional actions.
  • Examples include: bodily injury, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of income and/or earning capacity, loss of companionship or consortium.

All bodily injury claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims but not all personal injury claims involve solely bodily injury. A personal injury claim may focus on emotional damages or loss of income without significant physical harm.

Bodily injury liability coverage comes standard in most auto insurance policies. It helps pay for the medical expenses and other parties’ losses if you cause an accident. But in order to obtain compensation for the broader range of damages included in a personal injury claim, you would typically need to file a lawsuit. This is when you’d typically consult with an attorney.

So, in a car accident, the injured party may file a:

  • Bodily Injury Claim: Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance for medical expenses related to a broken leg.
  • Personal Injury Claim: Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover costs for the broken leg and compensation for emotional trauma, inability to work, and other related losses.
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How Does the Car Accident Settlement Process Work?

You’ve been in an auto accident. You aren’t at fault. You’re injured and need medical treatment. You make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Here’s a best case scenario of how the insurance claim process could play out:

  • The other driver’s insurer investigates the claim.
  • During the investigation, an insurance adjuster contacts you to gather evidence about the accident.
  • You are asked to give your side of the story about what happened. You are also asked to provide photos of the accident scene and your injuries, medical care records, proof of medical costs, and proof of lost wages.
  • The insurance company determines that the their insured is at fault for the accident.
  • Once you have completed all medical treatments for your injuries, insurance offers you a settlement amount based on the total cost of your losses (the amount of your medical bills and lost wages), up to the policy limit.

This may sound simple. And it is—in theory, at least. But in reality, the claims process is rarely this straightforward. A lot could go wrong, such as:

  • The insurance company denies that their driver caused the accident, either in whole or in part, instead claiming that you are partially or totally at fault for the crash.
  • There is a disagreement about the extent of your injuries and/or the amount of your insurance claim.
  • The insurance company alleges that your accident-related injuries are preexisting and not caused by the crash.
  • Insurance delays paying you the BI claim settlement and ignores your attempts to contact them.

You have the right to speak to a Houston car accident lawyer at any point in the injury claims process. Ideally, you contacted a car accident lawyer before you filed your claim. Hiring a lawyer can make the claims process much easier, especially if you are seriously injured. An attorney can provide help with documentation and negotiating a bodily injury claim settlement. They can handle all communications with the insurance company and speak to them on your behalf.

However, if you do not have a car accident lawyer and your negotiations break down, at this point, you should strongly consider hiring legal representation and filing a personal injury lawsuit.

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How Much Time Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

Under Texas law, you have no more than two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injury.

This two-year deadline might be pushed back if you only find out later that you have injuries, but this could raise insurance claim questions about why the injury wasn’t discovered earlier. This is why seeking prompt medical attention is so important after a car wreck.

You should also never wait until the last minute to report a car accident to the insurance company. In Texas, insurers have 35 business days to settle a claim after it is filed. They also have specific time frames in which they must acknowledge car accident claims and decide whether to accept it before paying a settlement.

If you are unhappy with a settlement offer, and the insurer won’t offer more, you may have no option other than filing a lawsuit. But if you wait more than two years to file, the statute of limitations may already be expired.

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Common Car Accident Questions

What should I do if I had to get medical treatment after my car accident?
If you or a loved one had to seek medical treatment for your car accident injuries, then we recommend speaking with us as soon as possible. If you were not at fault for the accident and do not have the money to pay for medical care, a qualified accident lawyer can help you recover maximum compensation.

What should I do if my vehicle was damaged?
If a car accident damages your vehicle or completely totals it, we urge you to speak with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible. Purchasing another vehicle is expensive and vehicle repairs cost money.

An experienced car accident attorney can help you receive the full amount of property damage owed to you so that you can afford to replace what you’ve lost from the car accident.

What records do I need to prove the other person is at fault for the car accident?
After your accident, you should gather and hold onto the following documents to help prove your case:
1. Police Report
2. Pictures of the entire scene (your car, their car, damages, etc.)
3. 911 call records
4. Surveillance videos
5. Phone records
6. Medical records
7. Any additional/miscellaneous records

What documents do I need to prove my damages?
You should keep all financial records on hand. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Medical and billing records
2. Insurance records
3. Prior medical records
4. Payroll records from your job
5. Pictures (see above)

How much insurance coverage should I have?
Texas has minimum insurance coverage requirements. As of 2023, Texas requires at least:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident

However, if you are ever involved in a car accident and are NOT at fault, we recommend having the following coverages on your insurance plan for the best possible outcome:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP):

  • Purpose: Covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other non-medical costs regardless of fault. Useful for immediate expenses while waiting for the at-fault party’s insurance to settle.
  • Texas Minimum Requirement (2022): $2,500 (opt-out available in writing)
  • Recommendation: Retain this coverage and consider a higher limit, such as $10,000 or more, especially if without health insurance or with a high-deductible health plan.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM/UIM BI):

  • Purpose: Protection if hit by a driver without insurance or with insufficient insurance.
  • Recommendation: Consider limits at least equal to desired Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage to ensure coverage of medical expenses and potential lost wages.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UM/UIM PD):

  • Purpose: Covers vehicle damage from an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Recommendation: Match this with your vehicle’s value, ensuring enough coverage for repairs or replacement.

Collision Coverage:

  • Purpose: Pays for vehicle damage from collisions, regardless of fault.
  • Recommendation: Essential for vehicles with a loan or lease. For older, low-value cars, consider opting out; for newer or valuable cars, it’s recommended.

Medical Payments (MedPay):

  • Purpose: Covers medical expenses for passengers, regardless of fault.
  • Recommendation: Optional with PIP but can offer added protection. Consider based on health insurance circumstances.

Comprehensive Coverage:

  • Purpose: Covers damage from non-collision events like theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
  • Recommendation: Required for some loans or leases. Consider based on car value and local risks.

Remember, while the above recommendations focus on protecting you when you’re NOT at fault, it’s always a good idea to consult with an insurance agent or attorney to tailor the coverage to your personal circumstances and potential risks.

What if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage or no insurance at all?
In Texas, every driver is REQUIRED to have a certain amount of insurance coverage. The minimum is $30,000 for each person hurt, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for damage to property in each accident.

If you’re involved in a car accident and the other driver either doesn’t have enough insurance or none at all, we can assist you in taking legal action against them to get the compensation you need.

Sometimes, taking legal action is the only way to ensure you get the funds to cover your medical bills and other losses/damages.

If you’ve got insurance, it might include coverage for accidents with drivers who are uninsured or don’t have enough insurance (uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage). This means your insurance could help pay for the damages you incur.

Dealing with accidents involving uninsured/underinsured drivers can be tricky. Our team of car accident lawyers in Houston is here to guide you through it and make sure you get what you’re owed.

Is Texas an at-fault state?
In the State of Texas, liability for car accidents is determined based on the “at-fault” system. This means that the individual deemed responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for any resulting damages and injuries. Consequently, drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover potential claims. The minimum liability insurance limits in Texas are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person;
  • $60,000 total for bodily injury per incident; and
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Upon filing a claim, insurance providers have a 15-day window to either approve or deny the claim. If denied, they must provide a clear reason for the decision. If any portion of your claim is approved, the insurer is obligated to disburse the payment within five business days.

Additionally, Texas adheres to the modified comparative fault rule. In situations where both drivers are found to be at fault, a claimant can still recover damages, provided they are deemed 50% or less at fault. However, the compensation awarded will be reduced by a percentage equivalent to the claimant’s degree of fault, as determined by the courts after thorough investigation.

What if someone wrecks my vehicle and they aren’t on my insurance?
If you permit another individual to operate your vehicle, and they are not listed on your insurance policy, it may still be possible to submit a claim with your insurance provider. This is because insurance coverage is often linked to the vehicle, rather than the specific driver. Therefore, with your consent, the individual operating your vehicle is typically covered in the event of an accident.

In the event of an accident, the driver deemed “at fault” is primarily responsible for addressing any resulting damages or injuries. If the individual you permitted to drive your vehicle was not at fault, there shouldn’t be any issues. On the other hand, if they were found to be responsible for the accident, they might bear liability.

It’s worth noting that while some insurance policies cover any driver operating the insured vehicle, others may only cover designated drivers. To find out the specifics of your coverage, you should consult with your insurance provider.

What if I don’t have medical insurance?
If you get hurt in a car wreck and don’t have health insurance, it’s important to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

You might need to file a personal injury claim to get money to pay for your medical care. Medical bills can add up quickly, and some people even go bankrupt trying to pay them. A car accident lawyer in Houston can guide you through this tough time.

What injuries are considered serious in car accidents?
A severe car accident can result in injuries ranging from bone fractures and internal bleeding to spinal damages and burns. While these injuries are frequently observed, others, such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and even amputations, might also occur. Tragically, in the gravest of situations, fatalities can happen.

What if someone dies in a car accident?
There are legal implications in Texas for car accidents that result in a fatality.

Please see this page for more information on car accidents that involve a death: Fatal Car Accidents

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How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

talking to a car accident lawyer

Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay anything unless they recover money for you.

Most attorneys will cover all of the upfront costs of handling a car accident claim. If your attorney obtains a recovery on your behalf, they will deduct their fees from your payout. The standard rate for contingency fees is usually between 35% and 40%, depending on whether the case settles or ends up going to court.

Keep in mind, however, that most cases are settled outside of court. Most attorneys will also never file a lawsuit if they do not have the client’s permission to do so.

Here’s an example of how it works: if your attorney negotiated a $20,000 settlement on your behalf, 35% of that ($7,000) would be paid in attorney fees.  You will then receive the remaining $13,000.  From that $13,000, your medical bills and any other outstanding debts will then need to be paid (by law) and the remaining amount goes back into your pocket. If no settlement is reached, then there would be no cost to you.

Settlement offers are almost always paid out in one lump sum by the insurance companies as they don’t typically like to split the amount into smaller payments.

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How Much Will I Get from My Car Accident Case?

how much will I get from my car accident claim

Every personal injury case is unique as there are multiple factors that can determine how much you’ll receive from your settlement. It all depends on how the accident occurred, the extent of your injuries, and other factors specific to your claim.

This is why it’s critical to document everything and hold on to all records detailing your car accident case.

Factors that could affect the payment amount of your settlement are:

  • Medical expenses related to any personal injury
  • The cost of future medical care due to your car accident
  • Disabilities, impairments, or disfiguration that resulted from the car accident
  • Whether you require physical therapy
  • Lost wages and future lost income due to your accident
  • Any suffering that you experienced due to your car wreck
  • The skill of your car accident attorneys
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How Long Will My Car Accident Case Take to Settle?

how long will my car accident case take

Car accident claims go through several different stages. Every car accident case is unique and will be different in duration and outcome. Most settle fairly quickly (2-12 months), but some can take years!

Remember: every car accident case is unique and will be different in duration and outcome.

A serious crash that causes major injuries usually takes longer to resolve because there will be questions about the victim’s future, such as whether they will be able to work again and the cost of their ongoing medical bills. Answering these questions requires working with experts, performing complex calculations, and sometimes-lengthy negotiations. And if the case ends up going to trial, the litigation process will have to play out in court, which will add to the case’s timeframe.

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The Texas Hammer® Is the Name to Trust!

Jim Adler and Bill Adler - Personal Injury Lawyers

For the last 50 years, Jim Adler has been hammering the insurance companies to get his clients the compensation they need and deserve.

We’ve built a team of over 30 top-performing attorneys and over 300 professional legal support staff dedicated to helping accident victims get justice.

Our law firm has personally recovered over a BILLION dollars in restitution for injured Texans involved in vehicle accidents.

We handle every case on a contingency fee basis which means you won’t pay a dime unless we win. Consultations with our attorneys are FREE so call us or send us a message today.

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