| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Car accidents happen suddenly and may leave you stressed and confused. You may consider filing a claim or even a personal injury lawsuit. But you might be wondering, Should I hire a lawyer for a car accident? In many cases, yes, hiring an attorney is the best decision. However, in other situations, you may not need the help of a lawyer.  When you do need a skilled personal injury attorney on your side, The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help get you on the road to recovery. When You Don’t Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident The option to hire an attorney is always available, but in certain instances, you may not need one. Every accident is different, and the need to hire a lawyer depends on the situation. You Did Not Suffer Significant Injuries While accidents can be scary and unexpected, they do not always result in serious injuries. Some accidents do end in damage to your vehicle or personal property but leave you relatively unscathed. If you suffer little to no injury after a car accident, you may be able to handle your claim directly with the insurance company. Under these circumstances, you are unlikely to need a lawyer’s help. You Do Not Need Compensation In the most fortunate cases, you may not need compensation after an accident. You might find yourself involved in a small fender bender and not want to make a “fuss” by involving insurance companies and attorneys. If damages are not serious, you can move along without an attorney. You Are at Fault for the Accident If you are the cause of the accident and you have car insurance, you will not need a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies have attorneys they work with who will handle your claim for you. When To Get an Attorney for a Car Accident There are a variety of reasons you may need the help of an attorney after a car accident. Having a lawyer on your side can benefit you and your claim, helping to give you a more favorable outcome. You Were Not at Fault for the Accident If you were the victim of a car accident, an attorney can help protect your rights. You may be entitled to compensation, and a lawyer can help you build a strong case to help win the financial recovery you need. Your Accident Resulted in Injuries If you suffered significant injuries after your car accident, a personal injury attorney can provide much help. Your lawyer will fight for your rights and work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve. The Insurance Company Gave You a Low Settlement Offer In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will try to resolve the claim as quickly as possible. This often entails providing an extremely low or unfair settlement offer. Many individuals often accept these offers, not knowing better or fully understanding how much they’re entitled to. An attorney can negotiate to help get you a better settlement. Frequently Asked Questions What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident? Accidents usually catch you off guard, but it is important to keep certain steps in mind. What you do after an accident can have an impact on your case and likelihood of recovering for your injuries. Call 911 Call 911 and request police assistance. If you or anyone else involved is injured, be sure to request medical aid as well. Seek Medical Attention Injuries resulting from car accidents can be tricky. Even if you do not physically see or feel any injuries right after your accident, this does not mean you have not sustained any injuries at all. Unfortunately, some injuries take hours or even days to surface. Visiting an emergency room or your primary care physician for an examination may bring your injuries to light. Your doctor will also keep a detailed record, which can greatly help your case. Gather Evidence If possible, begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. Helpful evidence can include: Photos and videos; The other driver’s information; and Witness information.  Eventually, as they become available, other pieces of information can be used to strengthen your case, including police reports and medical records.  Avoid Speaking to Insurance Companies You can almost surely expect to receive a phone call from the other party’s insurer asking for details and a statement. It is important you do not speak to anyone about your accident. More often than not, insurance companies use your words against you to avoid paying you what you are owed. Speaking to an insurance company may have a negative impact on your claim. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney The sooner you discuss your case with a lawyer, the better. Your attorney will gather details and answer any questions you may have. If pursuing a personal injury claim is the best way to go, your lawyer will represent you every step of the way, working to get you just compensation. What Damages Am I Entitled to After an Accident? The amount of damages you are entitled to after a car accident is completely dependent on the details of your accident. Damages can be economic and non-economic. Economic damages serve to compensate you for the damages incurred after your accident. These include: Medical expenses, Property damage, and Lost wages. Non-economic damages are also directly related to your accident but are slightly more challenging to calculate. They include: Pain and suffering, Mental and emotional distress, and Loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages may also be available in some cases. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant if their actions were intentional or grossly negligent.  A personal injury attorney will review the details of your case to be able to successfully calculate the appropriate amount of compensation available to you. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim? If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit, you do not have forever to do so. Statutes of limitations are laws that exist...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Accident Reports

How to Get Your Killeen, TX Car Accident Report

Accidents happen every single day. Whether it be a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, police are almost always dispatched to the scene. Once at the scene, officers will survey the area, speak to parties involved, and gather details and information. All information collected will then be turned into an accident report. If you’ve been involved in an accident, The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., is ready to help you. What Is a Crash Report? After experiencing a car accident in Killeen, TX, you will need to call the police. Police officers will arrive at the scene of the accident and begin collecting relevant information that will later be turned into a police report. Crash reports comprise many details of the accident, including: Driver information, including names, ages, and driver license information; Vehicle information, including make, model, VIN number, license plate, and insurance; Exact date, time, and place of the accident; Factors contributing to the accident; and A diagram of the crash. Police reports are very detailed and contain plenty of valuable information. Attorneys typically use accident reports to build a case, as these reports play a significant role in your claim. Different Ways to Obtain Your Killeen Accident Report Some time after your accident—typically about 7 days—your police report should be available. It is important to note police reports are available only to those parties involved and their authorized representatives. If you would like to obtain a Killeen police report, you may do so in person or online. Get Your Killeen Police Report in Person You can request your crash report in person at the Killeen Police Department Headquarters, located at 3304 Community Blvd. Killeen, TX 76542. If you wish to call ahead, their phone number is 254-501-8830. Keep in mind that you cannot request police reports over the phone. Some fees for police report requests may apply. Get Your Crash Report Online The Killeen Police Department uses LexisNexis BuyCrash to retrieve crash reports. You can access your report for 30 days after purchasing it. After the 30 days, you will need to repurchase your report if you wish to access it again.  Let a Qualified Attorney Help You Crash reports are exceptional pieces of evidence used to help strengthen your personal injury claim. If you have a skilled personal injury attorney working with you, they will handle every aspect of your case, including accessing your Killeen police department records. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact a Texas personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity to file a claim. The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., founded in 1962, has had the pleasure of representing thousands of clients throughout the years. We strive to provide clients with the patience, care, and understanding they need during a challenging time. We’re committed to each one of our clients, from the beginning of your case to the end. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Accident Reports

How to Get Your San Antonio, TX Car Accident Report

If you’ve ever experienced a car accident, you understand that police officers play a large part after the crash. Whether you’re in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, officers will almost always arrive at the scene to do their jobs and collect information. Your SAPD police report is an essential and necessary part of your claim. What Is a Crash Report? When you are involved in a car accident, one party typically calls the police. The police then report to the scene of the accident and gather information that is eventually turned into a car accident report. This report contains the relevant and important information regarding your car crash, including:  Driver information, including names, ages, and driver license; Vehicle information, including make, model, VIN number, license plate, and insurance; Date, time, and location of the accident; Details and contributing factors of the crash; and Any injuries sustained. Police officers try to be as thorough as possible when collecting information for an accident report. These reports can later play a significant role in your claim. There Are Multiple Ways to Get Your San Antonio Crash Report In San Antonio, TX, there are multiple ways to get a car accident report. You can typically do so in person, online, or by mail. After an accident, it can take up to seven business days for your report to become available, as this gives the officer some time to enter the information into the system and generate your report. Get Your SAPD Police Report in Person You can visit the San Antonio Police Department Headquarters in person, located at 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78207. The Records office is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. To reach them by phone, their number is 210-207-7598.  It is important to note accident report requests cannot be made over the phone. Get Your Accident Report Online The SAPD has an open records requests online portal, which you can use to request your car accident report. Once you’ve created an account, you will have to answer various questions before you submit your request. Once you’ve submitted it, you can log back into the portal to check the status of your request. Get Your San Antonio Accident Report by Mail To request your accident report by mail, you’ll need to download and fill out a crash report request form. You can then mail your completed request form to 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78207. Along with your form, be sure to include $6 in cash, check, or money order. A San Antonio Attorney Can Help While you can request your own SAPD records, your lawyer can also take care of this for you. Your attorney will work diligently to build a strong case, and a crash report is a big part of it. Keep in mind that time is of the essence, and there are time limits on the amount of time you have to file your claim after a car accident. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., has over 85 years of combined experience helping clients in Texas. We strive to make every client feel heard and understood, while providing the best legal representation. After an accident, count on us to help you. Contact us today, and let’s begin working on your case.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Injuries

Is Texas a No-Fault State?

If you have ever sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you likely know how painful and emotional the aftermath of your accident can be. You may also have realized just how complicated and stressful it is to navigate the insurance claims process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly seven million total motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019. There is no question that motor vehicle accidents can result in significant injuries. These injuries may often lead to time away from work and monetary expenses in the aftermath of your accident. So what do you do, and to whom do you turn to help you recover?  Ultimately, your next steps will come down to whether you live in a fault state or a no-fault state. Thus, many people often wonder, Is Texas a no-fault state for auto insurance purposes? The short answer is no, Texas is not a no-fault state. Rather, it is an at-fault state. But what exactly does this mean for you?  At The Zimmerman Law Firm, our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped countless accident victims fight for their auto insurance claims rights throughout the State of Texas. If you’re looking for an attorney who will be an advocate in your corner as you navigate the Texas auto accident insurance claims process, give our team a call today.  Is Texas an At-Fault State?  Put simply, yes, Texas is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accident insurance claims. But to fully understand what this means for you, it is important to have a basic understanding of both at-fault and no-fault rules and the difference between the two.  No-Fault State Laws As a general matter, auto insurance laws are a state-level decision. Thus, it’s up to each individual state whether it will impose fault or no-fault rules. Many people often wonder, Is Texas a no-fault state for auto accidents? And while it is not, it is still a good idea to know what happens in a no-fault state. In a no-fault insurance state, drivers must carry at least the minimum insurance required by statute to cover their own injuries and property damage. And when an accident occurs, each party must file a claim with their own insurer. This is the case regardless of who actually caused the accident.  Essentially, even if another party was at-fault in causing the accident, you must still turn first to your own insurance carrier to file a claim and recover. You can typically sue an at-fault party only if your damages are a certain type or exceed a certain threshold amount. Fault State Laws Texas, on the other hand, is an at-fault state.  Fault states, like Texas, use what is called a tort liability system. This means that the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying out the claim.  Rather than turning to your own insurer no matter what, you may turn to the responsible party to cover your expenses arising out of the accident. So What Do Texas Fault Laws Mean for Me?  Texas at-fault auto insurance laws allow you to hold accountable the party that was actually responsible for causing the accident. Thus, if another party caused your accident, you don’t have to file a claim with your insurer and pay a deductible or risk higher premiums. Additionally, if the other party doesn’t have sufficient coverage to cover your expenses, you may also be able to sue the at-fault driver to recover the difference. However, it is important to note that if you are the party that caused the accident, you and your insurer will be responsible for covering the costs of any resulting damages.   Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm Today The Texas at-fault insurance claims process can be complicated and difficult to navigate. Don’t feel like you have to manage the entire process on your own.  If you have questions about Texas fault rules and how they may apply to you, we want to help. At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we have over 85 years of combined experience navigating personal injury and insurance disputes. We are confident that we have the experience and resources necessary to fight for your rights and maximize your recovery. Contact us today to see what we can do for you. FAQ How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?  The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Texas is two years. This means that if you have to bring a lawsuit to recover damages, you must do so within two years of the date of the accident.   What If I Was Partially at-Fault in Causing the Accident?  While Texas is an at-fault state, it is important to note that Texas also uses modified comparative negligence rules. Thus, if you were more than 50% at fault, you can’t recover from the other party at all. If you were partially at fault, but 50% or less, your total recovery will be reduced accordingly.  What If I Can’t Afford an Attorney?  At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we believe that money shouldn’t be a barrier to receiving competent legal representation. That’s why you don’t pay us any fees unless and until we are able to recover compensation. 

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

Determining Fault in a T-Bone Accident: What You Should Know

T-bone accidents occur all too frequently, especially in busy areas.  Dealing with the aftermath of a T-bone accident is never easy. Injuries can be severe, frequently resulting in time away from work and significant medical expenses. To make matters even more complicated, determining fault in these types of accidents can be difficult.  If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or property damage in a Texas car accident, you may be wondering what you can do. Fortunately, you may have a legal claim for relief.  The Texas car accident lawyers at The Zimmerman Law Firm have helped thousands of clients recover valuable compensation. For a law firm that will fight zealously for your rights and help you maximize your recovery, contact our team today.  What Is a T-Bone Accident?  T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle with its front end. These types of accidents are sometimes referred to as side-impact collisions.  As you can imagine, T-bone accidents are often high-velocity and heavy-impact collisions. Thus, they frequently result in severe injuries to parties involved.  To get the compensation that you are rightfully owed, you must be able to prove who actually caused the accident. Unfortunately, however, determining fault in a T-bone accident can be more difficult than you might think.  Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents A wide variety of situations can lead to a T-bone accident, which sometimes makes determining fault complicated. Car accidents occur for any number of reasons, and the same is true for T-bone accidents specifically. Some of the most common causes of T-bone car accidents include: Failure to stop at a red light, Speeding, Drunk driving, Distracted driving, and Failure to stop at a stop sign. Victims involved in T-bone accidents can suffer serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries. After involvement in a T-bone accident, contact an attorney as soon as practicable to discuss your options moving forward. What Types of Injuries Are Common in a T-Bone Accident? T-bone car accidents present especially dangerous consequences compared to other types of car accidents.  In a car accident that occurs on the front or rear of your vehicle, there are often several feet between the opposing vehicle and your body. This can provide a crucial cushion between you and the impact.  In a T-bone accident, however, the only thing separating your body from the opposing vehicle is a thin car door. When the door is hit with the full force of the front end of another vehicle, this can result in a devastating blow. The injuries that are most prevalent in T-bone accidents include: Broken bones; Concussions and traumatic brain injuries; Back and neck injuries; Pelvic, abdominal, and back injuries; Whiplash; and  Paralysis. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a T-bone accident, contact The Zimmerman Law Firm today. We provide free consultations and will discuss your case with you risk-free as you decide how you’d like to move forward.  Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident? Determining fault in a T-bone accident is crucial in pursuing the compensation you need to recover. However, doing so can be complicated.  Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take that may help you in determining who is at fault in a car accident and T-bone collision.  The accident report, eyewitness testimony, photographs of the scene, and other items are all forms of evidence that can help establish who caused the accident.  What to Do After a T-Bone Car Accident A car accident can be a traumatizing experience for occupants of the vehicles involved. Nevertheless, the moments immediately following a collision frequently provide the most valuable information.  Below are some critical actions you can and should take after your T-bone accident. Doing so might mean the difference in being able to prove fault.  Seek Medical Attention First and foremost, victims involved in a car accident should always seek medical attention.  While this may not directly be tied to proving fault, your health, safety, and well-being are the most important things to think about. Seek immediate medical care after your accident to treat any injuries and address any serious concerns.  Additionally, prompt diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional can be helpful in proving your damages later on in the process.  Contact the Authorities After a car accident, it is also important that you contact the police.  Police officers have to complete an accident report when dispatched to a car accident scene. This accident report will contain information vital to your case, including: Names of the parties involved; Insurance information for the drivers; Information about the accident and its location; and The officer’s initial observation regarding who appears to be at fault.  An accident report will never exist if you do not contact the authorities to respond to your collision. And the sooner the authorities arrive, the more evidence you will have available and the more comprehensive the report will be. Talk to Eyewitnesses One great way to determine who is at fault in a car accident or T-bone collision is to talk to eyewitnesses. While you may not have observed the series of events immediately prior to your accident, there may be others who did. Witnesses to an accident can provide valuable factual information to fill in the gaps of what you observed and experienced. Tip: Do Not Talk to Insurance Adjusters After a T-bone accident, an insurance adjuster may seek you out in an attempt to settle your case prematurely for less than you may be entitled to recover.  Always remember, however, that insurance adjusters are not on your side. Insurance companies make more money by paying out as little as possible to T-bone car accident victims. Before accepting an offer from an insurance adjuster, speak to a personal injury attorney, so you are fully aware of your rights. Need Help Determining Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident or T-Bone Collision?  If so, we want to help.  At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we have more than eight decades of combined...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Work Injury

Impairment Ratings in Texas Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you have a work-related injury, you may have heard of “impairment ratings.”  You might be wondering what impairment ratings are and why they matter.  Impairment ratings (also called “MMI ratings” in Texas) are a critical part of every workers’ compensation case. The wrong impairment rating can prevent an injured employee from getting the payout they deserve.  If you or a loved one has been injured on the job or assigned an impairment rating in Texas, take a moment to read this post. We’ll discuss what impairment ratings are, how they’re calculated, and why they matter to your case.  What Is an Impairment Rating?  Impairment ratings in Texas are ratings that reflect how much a worker has been permanently affected by their work injury. Impairment ratings decide how much compensation an injured employee should receive. It’s kind of like when people rate collectible items as “fair,” “very good,” or “mint” condition. Impairment ratings involve the same concept but apply to permanently injured workers.  How Is an Impairment Rating Made in Texas?  An injured worker receives an impairment rating in Texas only after they have reached “maximum medical improvement,” or “MMI.” Injured workers generally reach MMI when their doctor decides that their injuries are unlikely to get any better. An injured employee can also reach MMI when they’ve received temporary income benefits (TIBs) for two years.  When an injured employee reaches MMI, their doctor will conduct a special examination. During this examination, the doctor measures the workers’ physical condition by assessing things like pain levels, physical strength, and range of motion.  After the examination, the doctor assigns an impairment rating to the injured worker by referencing The Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Physicians use this book to compare their findings with defined impairment rating criteria. It’s kind of like a Texas impairment rating calculator.  Let’s use an example. Imagine you hurt your hand and back while working on the job. When you reach MMI, you still can’t bend a couple of your fingers on your injured hand. You also have lower back pain that just won’t go away. Based on this, your doctor assigns you an impairment rating of 25 for your hand and 10 for your back. This means that your hand has a permanent impairment of 25% and your back has a permanent impairment of 10%.  The higher your impairment rating, the less function you’ll have in that part of your body. Why Does My Texas Workers’ Compensation Impairment Rating Matter?  A Texas worker’ compensation impairment rating helps determine how much compensation an injured worker receives. Higher impairment ratings mean greater compensation. In other words, your impairment rating determines your payout in Texas.  How Much Compensation Can I Get?  Injured workers in Texas who have permanent work-related impairments can receive “impairment income benefits,” or “IIBS.”  State law creates a kind of Texas impairment payment rating calculator for these benefits. Each point of impairment allows an injured worker to receive three weeks of income equal to 70% of their weekly wage, provided that amount doesn’t exceed 70% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW). The SAWW varies every year and is available online.  Let’s use an example to show how this Texas impairment rating calculator works. Imagine that a worker named John has an average weekly wage of $1,000 before he injures himself at work. When John reaches MMI, his doctor assigns him an impairment rating of 30%. This means that John will receive IIBs equal to 70% of $1,000, or $700, for 90 weeks. Imagine another injured worker named Jane. Before her injury, Jane made an average weekly wage of $1,500. With the same impairment rating as John, she will receive $705 per week for 90 weeks because the 2021 SAWW is $1,006.71.  Injured workers can receive more than just IIBs. In fact, there are several other kinds of income benefits besides IIBs, including supplemental income benefits (SIBs) and lifetime income benefits (LIBs). These income benefits each have their own unique requirements. For example, injured workers can receive SIBs if they have an impairment rating of 15% or more and either: Have not returned to work; or Have returned to work, but earn less than 80% of their pre-injury weekly wage.  To sum up, your Texas workers’ compensation impairment rating may entitle you to several different kinds of benefits. That is why it is important for you to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to represent you.  What Should I Do If I Don’t Agree with My Impairment Rating?  If you don’t agree with your impairment rating, contact us right away. Although the Texas impairment rating evaluations system is supposed to produce consistent, unbiased impairment ratings, the truth is that it’s far from perfect.  For one, different doctors can have different opinions. One doctor might determine that a hand injury results in 10% impairment, while another will assign the same injury an impairment rating of 15% or 20%.  Second, workers’ compensation insurance companies often pay the medical doctors who make impairment ratings. Although doctors are supposed to be unbiased in determining impairment ratings, this financial connection often encourages them to assign lower impairment ratings to save the insurance company money. This in turn motivates the insurance company to help the doctor earn more money by sending more injured employees for evaluation.   Consequently, doctors often assign injured workers unfairly low impairment ratings. How Can The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., Help? Chances are, you now realize that an impairment rating is an important but complex issue. No one should have to navigate the complicated world of Texas workers’ compensation law alone. Our experienced Texas workers’ compensation attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Plus, we won’t charge you any legal fees unless you win your case.  Contact us for a free consultation today, and let us help you get fair compensation for your Texas workers’ compensation claim. 

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Accident Reports

How to Get Your Austin, TX Accident Report

An accident report is crucial evidence in a legal case. Accident reports establish important information that will come in handy during settlement discussions and at trial. Accident reports typically include: Names and contact information of parties involved in the accident; Injuries suffered in the accident; Whether the parties involved were wearing seatbelts; The time and date of the accident; The location of the accident; Road and weather conditions; Insurance information for the drivers; and The officer’s opinion of the cause of the accident. As you can see, information contained in the accident report can make or break your legal claim. If you suffered injuries in an automobile accident but have not obtained your accident report, some ways to do so are listed below.  Austin Police Department Accident Reports The Austin Police Department has jurisdiction over the city of Austin. The Austin Police Department completes a majority of the accident reports in Austin for collisions that occur inside city limits. APD provides multiple avenues for obtaining your accident report, which are listed below. In Person You can purchase Austin crash reports in person between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Friday, at the Austin Main Police Headquarters, located at 715 E. 8th Street. To receive a crash report in person, the Report Sales office requires a case number.  Online Austin Police Department accident reports are available for purchase online through LexisNexis BuyCrash. You must include at least two of the following, in addition to the state and jurisdiction of the accident: Last name of involved party, Date of incident, and Street address. Otherwise, you can submit the report number. Mail An Austin police accident report can be requested through the mail. Send $6 and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Austin Police Department Report Sales P.O. Box 689001 Austin, TX 78768 Accident Reports Outside Austin City Limits As the population around Austin continues to rise, the suburbs are growing as well. Several car accidents that occur near Austin may not be in the city itself. It is vital to know the agency that completed your crash report to make your request.  TxDOT Crash Report Online Purchase  Texas law requires police officers to document traffic accidents that involve an injury or property damage over $1,000 by filling out a car accident report, also known as a CR-3 form. The CR-3 must be submitted to the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident.  The Texas Department of Transportation allows certain people to request the CR-3 through an online database. A CR-3 report can be released only to parties directly connected to the accident. This typically includes: A person that was in the accident, whether as a driver or a passenger; An authorized representative of a person in the accident, such as an attorney; An employer, legal guardian, or parent of a person in the accident; Someone with financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the accident, such as an insurance policyholder; and The company that insures the vehicle. These restrictions prevent uninterested parties from obtaining any CR-3 they wish and viewing the private information included in the report.  The database requires payment of a fee prior to retrieving the Austin accident report.  CR-3 Accident Report by Mail CR-3 crash reports can also be obtained by mail. Fill out the Request for Peace Officer’s Crash Report form and mail it to the Texas Department of Transportation with the required payment. A standard copy of a CR-3 is $6, while a certified copy is $8. What If Authorities Did Not Complete a Report? Police officers are not always required to complete an accident report. This typically occurs when the accident is very minor and no one is injured in the collision. In these situations, a driver involved in the accident should complete what is called a “blue form report.”  Completing Your Own Austin Crash Report A blue form report is also referred to as a CR-2. The CR-2 must include relevant information about the accident, including: Location of the accident, Date and time of the accident, Vehicles involved, Property damage caused, Injuries sustained in the crash, Your statement about the accident, and Your signature. Like police officers, you have 10 days to submit your CR-2 to the Texas Department of Transportation. Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm Retrieving your Austin, TX accident report is just one step in bringing a personal injury claim for harm suffered in a collision. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have obtained countless accident reports in Austin for our clients. With almost 100 years of combined experience, we put our knowledge and resources to work for you. We prioritize our clients’ needs to recover the maximum compensation available to remedy the financial and emotional turmoil caused by your accident. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Accident Reports

How to Get Your Waco, TX Car Accident Report

If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Waco, Texas, you may need a copy of the police report to submit an insurance claim. The police report provides a variety of important information that you need to document your claim and prove that the other party was responsible for your damages. Depending on the details of your claim, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills and any lost income you incurred, as well as pain and suffering and other related damages. Getting copies of Waco police reports is fairly simple if you have the necessary information for contacting the Waco police department. To help you accomplish this objective, we have compiled some basic information about how to get yours. What Happens After a Car Accident in Waco? If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, get to a safe place and call 911. The police will respond to the scene, along with emergency medical technicians if necessary. Even if you don’t believe you were seriously hurt, it’s a good idea to get checked out as soon as possible. If you can do so safely, take photos of the accident scene and the involved vehicles. Exchange contact information with the other driver (or drivers), and obtain their insurance information. If any witnesses are present, get their contact information as well. Never comment on the accident or admit fault, as it’s not usually possible for you to know all the details of the crash. Once the Waco police arrive, they will ask you to provide your information and tell them your version of the events that took place. Using this information and the statements of the other involved parties, the officer will complete and file a crash report detailing the events of the accident. The officer who takes your information and statement at the crash scene should provide you with a report number. If they don’t volunteer this information, request the reporting officer’s name and badge number along with the accident report number. Obtaining a copy of your police report is important, but it’s not as important as seeking medical attention. Go to a local emergency room, or see a qualified physician as soon as possible for a thorough exam. This ensures you get any necessary medical treatment and provides critical information for documenting your insurance claim. How to Obtain a Copy of an Accident Report in Waco, Texas According to the City of Waco’s website, you can obtain a copy of a Waco, TX accident report by contacting the police department directly at their non-emergency number, 254-750-7500, or by visiting the police headquarters at 3115 Pine Ave in Waco. The Waco Police Department doesn’t have the ability to provide reports online, but they do work with two third-party providers, CarFax CrashDocs and the LexisNexis PoliceReports database. You can obtain your report from either of those sources from the comfort and safety of home. How Much Does a Waco Car Accident Report Cost? If you obtain a Waco, TX accident report directly from the Waco Police Department, the cost is $6.00. If you use CrashDocs, the cost is also $6.00, but it may take several days to obtain the report. Ordering your report from PoliceReports costs $11.00, but it takes only 24 hours to obtain. If you want to get your report online, you will need a debit or credit card to place the order. You should also be prepared to enter your name, the names of any other drivers who were involved, the date that the accident took place, and the police report number issued by the officer at the scene. Finally, you will need a current email address, as that’s how the provider will deliver your copy of the report. Once you obtain your report, make several copies and keep the documents in a safe location, along with any other information you may have regarding the accident. Can a Car Accident Lawyer Get a Crash Report in Waco? In Waco, car accident attorneys can pull your crash report for you. In fact, experienced attorneys have the resources to obtain virtually any type of evidence or information that may be necessary for documenting your case. If you choose to hire a lawyer to handle your case, you won’t have to worry about going to the police station to request the crash report or entering your credit card information online. How Else Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help? In addition to helping you get a copy of the accident report, your attorney can provide you with several clear advantages. Your attorney will help protect your legal rights and handle every aspect of your case. This includes investigating and gathering evidence, submitting a demand to the insurance company, and negotiating to get you the best possible settlement. If necessary, your lawyer can file a civil lawsuit and fight for you in court. Attorneys have the resources necessary to accomplish these objectives on your behalf. Your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company, their attorneys, and anyone else involved in your case. This lets you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track. Having an attorney can also maximize your claim’s value. Your legal team will identify all your physical, emotional, and financial damages and document them appropriately. Your attorney may call upon subject matter experts to provide opinions or testimony regarding the severity of your injuries and how they might affect your life or your ability to perform your job duties. Contact a Waco Car Accident Attorney for Help Never provide any statement to the insurance company or discuss any potential settlement until you explore your options. If you have questions about obtaining a Waco accident report or if you would like to learn more about how a car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve, the experienced Texas personal injury lawyers of The Zimmerman Law Firm can help. We offer a free case evaluation, and we...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

What Is the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement?

Texas is a big and beautiful state. With all the beautiful space comes the opportunity to jump on your motorcycle and enjoy the breeze of a good ride. But motorcyclists know that the open road can be just as treacherous as enjoyable. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 1,800 motorcyclists suffered serious injury in 2019, and 412 died. If you suffer a motorcycle accident injury in Texas and another driver is at fault, understanding how the average motorcycle accident settlement works can help you adequately resolve your case. What Should Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement Include? A motorcycle accident settlement should include all the damages you could receive at trial. A motorcycle accident can cause damage in many areas of your life, including your health, finances, and quality of life. You should carefully examine all areas of your life when determining how much you will accept in a settlement.   The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code identifies four kinds of damages you can receive after a motorcycle accident. There are economic, non-economic, future, and exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are very different from the first three categories. A good way to determine your entitlement to the first three categories of damages is to answer the following questions:  What have you already lost since the accident occured? How did the accident change your life? What will your needs be after the accident?  Motorcycle accident compensation amounts are unique to each injured rider or passenger. The average motorcycle accident settlement amount may not apply to your unique case. However, organizing and examining the details of your case using the questions above can help determine your case’s settlement value.  What Have You Lost Since the Accident? Texas law states that you can recover any actual economic loss you have suffered from a motorcycle accident. This should be the easiest part of your settlement to estimate because it is in your receipts, paystubs, and work schedules. Immediately after your accident, you should collect all documents showing everything you paid for your medical care, everything you paid for repair or replacement of property, and all wages or benefits you lost because of the accident.  Motorcycle injury costs and settlement amounts Though the circumstances of each motorcycle accident are unique, the average economic impact of an automobile accident can be a good settlement reference point. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a 2019 motor-vehicle crash with evident injury was $28,000. The economic cost of a crash with a disabling injury can be more than $98,000.   How Is Your Life Different? Before negotiating a motorcycle injury settlement, you should think of all the ways the accident changed your life. A motorcycle accident settlement should compensate you for any intangible setbacks you suffer. Texas law allows for these intangible, non-economic damages, including: Physical pain and suffering, Mental or emotional pain or anguish, Loss of consortium, Disfigurement, Physical impairment, Loss of companionship and society, Inconvenience, Loss of enjoyment of life, Injury to reputation, and All other non-pecuniary losses. While your pain and suffering may be hard to quantify with a dollar amount, take them seriously. Your non-economic damages are an important part of your motorcycle injury compensation.  What Will Your Needs Be After the Accident? Texas law also allows damages for your future economic losses. These include future loss of income, wages, earning capacity, and inheritance. Accident-related medical needs can take a significant toll on your time, future finances, and livelihood. A common medical need after a motorcycle accident is traumatic brain injury treatment.  Unfortunately, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear for months post-accident, and their effects on your life can be long term. According to the Texas Brain Injury Alliance, traumatic brain injuries cause more years of lost productivity than any other injury.  A motorcycle injury attorney can help you forecast your accident-related needs and reclaim any productivity you lose in the future.  What About Exemplary Damages? In some cases, Texas law will allow you to separately collect on an at-fault motorist’s particularly bad behavior. These damages are called exemplary damages or punitive damages. For these damages, you must prove the at-fault motorist acted with malice, committed fraud, or was grossly negligent. The standard of proof for exemplary damages is high, and you must prove more than ordinary negligence to receive them.  Can Damages Be Limited? A motorcycle accident can cause a seemingly limitless list of complications, but your access to compensation is limited. During settlement negotiations, you may face the limitations of an insurance policy, the limitations of an at-fault motorist’s finances, or recovery limitations under Texas law.  What Limits a Settlement from an Insurance Company? Texas requires drivers to have liability insurance that includes only $30,000 of coverage for each injured person with a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage. These limits can exclude the first $250 to $500 for injury and the first $250 for property damage. An at-fault motorist may not have funds to pay the difference between your losses and the policy limits. Thus, it is important to identify all individuals responsible for your motorcycle injury to maximize your settlement potential. Gathering as much information as possible immediately after your accident can be helpful in identifying all responsible parties.  What Limits Motorcycle Injury Settlements Under Texas Law? Under Texas law, you cannot recover compensatory damages in a motorcycle accident if you are more than 50% responsible. If you are 50% responsible or less, the amount of your recovery can still be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.  Texas law limits the amount of exemplary damages you can receive in a motorcycle accident. Damage caps also apply if you are suing a government entity. The Best Opportunity for a Good Recovery Accidents are painful, stressful, and complicated. You should be compensated for every lost penny and every inconvenience an at-fault motorist causes you. There are many factors that can hurt your chances at receiving your due in a motorcycle...

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accidents

What Compensation Am I Entitled to After a Car Accident?

If you sustained injuries in a car accident, you may have the right to recover compensation for your damages. Car accident compensation claims help accident victims recover their economic and non-economic damages. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help ensure you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve. The personal injury lawyers of The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., understand how frightening and confusing this situation can be. We are here to answer your questions and provide the information you need to get started with the legal process. The Most Common Causes of Texas Car Accidents In many motor vehicle collisions, driver error is to blame. Some of the most common types of driver error include the following: Impairment, Distraction, Sleepiness or fatigue, Excessive speed, Failure to yield, and Speeding. In some cases, driver error isn’t involved. Accidents can occur due to poor road conditions or insufficient signage. Roadway obstacles or debris, obstructed views, and construction activities can also cause or contribute to a collision. Even mechanical equipment failure—such as defective tires—can cause severe injury accidents. Whatever the cause of your accident might have been, you could be entitled to file a legal claim or lawsuit. Talking to a car accident lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have a viable case. If so, your attorney can help provide answers to your most pressing questions, such as, What are you entitled to in a car accident settlement? What Am I Entitled to in a Car Accident Settlement? If another party was responsible for your injury accident, that party may be liable for all damages you sustained. Depending on the details of your case, you might be entitled to recover some or all of the following: Emergency medical treatment, Medical testing and imaging, Hospital and surgery costs, Medication and medical devices, In-home or residential care, Physical therapy, Lost wages and benefits, Pain and suffering, and Emotional trauma. When pursuing compensation after a car accident, you could also be eligible to recover the estimated cost of future medical treatment or care, future lost wages and benefits, and the value of any scarring, permanent injury, or disability you sustained. You could also be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity or a reduction in the quality of your life. The best way to determine what your claim might be worth is to talk to an experienced car accident attorney from The Zimmerman Law Firm. How Long Do You Have to File a Texas Car Accident Injury Claim? Under the Texas statute of limitations, you have only two years to take legal action after a car accident. If you don’t file a lawsuit within that time, you could lose your legal right to recover compensation. If you are involved in an accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help protect your right to pursue a legal claim. The sooner you can get an attorney working on your claim, the sooner you may be able to get a settlement. In most cases, our attorneys negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If we can’t negotiate a settlement, however, we may recommend filing a lawsuit and fighting for justice in court. Can I Get Car Accident Compensation If I Was at Fault? If you caused or contributed to an accident in which you sustained injuries, you could still be entitled to recover compensation. If you had full responsibility for a crash, the type of car insurance you carry will determine whether you are entitled to damages. For example, if you carry insurance that covers medical payments, your insurance should cover some portions of your medical bills even if you were fully at fault. If you carry personal injury protection coverage, it may pay for some portion of your lost wages as well. If you have collision coverage for your vehicle, that insurance should cover the cost to repair or replace your car. If you were partially at fault for an injury accident, you may be able to pursue a settlement from the other driver as long as you were not more than 50% at fault. However, your settlement will be reduced by whatever portion of the crash was attributable to you. If you were 20% at fault for a crash, for example, your compensation award would be diminished by 20%. For help interpreting this potentially confusing determination, contact one of our helpful and compassionate Texas car accident lawyers. How Can a Texas Car Accident Attorney Help? If you were injured in a car accident, compensation through a settlement or court award will provide the resources you need. The attorneys of The Zimmerman Law Firm understand your fear and confusion, and we are here to provide the assistance you need. We have almost 100 years of combined experience. Since our firm was founded in 1962, we have never stopped fighting to get our clients the justice and financial compensation they deserve. We understand the importance of investigating and documenting your claim and of building the most persuasive case possible. We successfully negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for most of our clients. However, if we do need to take your case to court, our experienced attorneys are well prepared to do so. To schedule a free consultation or to speak to a car accident lawyer, call or contact us online now. FAQs Speaking directly with an attorney is the best way to determine how much car accident compensation you might be entitled to recover. However, we know you have many questions about the legal process and whether it makes sense to work with an attorney. Here are some of the most common questions our clients have about pursuing legal action after a motor vehicle collision. Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney? You aren’t required to have an attorney to represent you in a personal injury claim. However, having one can level the playing field, as you will be up against an insurance company (and their attorneys) who seeks...

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