| Read Time: 4 minutes | Injuries

Guide to Calculating Pain and Suffering in Texas

Pain and suffering is an important subcategory of general damages in any personal injury case. However, determining how much pain and suffering is worth in a Texas claim can be challenging. One reason is that non-economic damages are not easily quantifiable as tangible economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages. Understandably, prospective clients want to know, How much is pain and suffering worth? To accurately determine a value for your specific case, speak with a professional San Antonio personal injury attorney at the Zimmerman Law Firm today. Damages Covered Under Pain and Suffering in a Texas Personal Injury Claim Before calculating a figure, it’s crucial to understand what makes up pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. Examples of pain and suffering include: Physical pain and suffering, including chronic pain complaints; Permanent damage that results in losing an important bodily function; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological trauma; Permanent scarring, disability, or disfigurement; Loss of consortium; Emotional distress; Anxiety and depression; and Loss of enjoyment of life or diminished quality of life. Pain and suffering values will be higher for victims who have severe injuries. Cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death claims have the highest value. For example, if a plaintiff had minor injuries that resolved in two or three months they would not have the same pain and suffering as someone who has lost the use of their leg. Calculating Pain and Suffering There is no pain and suffering calculator in Texas that every adjuster or jury uses when evaluating your claim’s value. However, two popular calculation methods are often used when calculating a fair value for pain and suffering at trial. The first is the multiplier method. This method starts with calculating your total amount of economic damages. Your economic damages are quantifiable losses, such as your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc.  Then, the jury might multiply that total amount by a specific number, usually somewhere between 1.5 and five. The worse your injuries are, the higher the multiplier. For example, take a plaintiff with $20,000 in economic damages. Using a multiplier of two, pain and suffering damages would be $40,000. For someone with permanent injuries, a jury might use a multiplier of five. Then the total amount for pain and suffering would be $100,000. The second method is based on the per diem method. This calculation method assigns a specific dollar amount to every day you are healing from your injuries. A common dollar amount is what you would typically receive from your salary for that day. You would receive this amount for each day until you reach a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). If someone took 50 days to reach MMI, and they made $100 per day on average, pain and suffering might be $5,000 in this case. Juries often lean toward the per diem method for cases where the plaintiff has a recovery date. In contrast, the multiplier method may be a more common option for cases involving long-term injuries or permanent damage. How Claims Adjusters Value Pain and Suffering You might be wondering how claims adjusters calculate pain and suffering if your case doesn’t go to trial. Depending on the company, they may have claims software programs, such as Mitchell, Colossus, or Claims Outcome Advisor. These programs are popular for minor injury claims, especially soft tissue injuries. The adjuster may be prohibited from extending an offer that falls outside of the software’s suggested range unless you can bring them “new” information that changes the value. Adjusters enter injury codes, medical billing codes, and other information so the program can calculate an acceptable settlement range. Insurance companies minimize your medical expenses, and then using the software can be a way to reduce their potential payout. Most claims software programs severely undervalue general damages, which is why jury verdicts are often significantly higher. Insurance adjusters rely on the fact that you don’t handle claims for a living, so you may not realize how low their offer is. Retaining a skilled San Antonio personal injury attorney can eliminate this problem. Factors That Impact Pain and Suffering Pain and suffering is a very subjective value. You are likely to place a higher value on your own pain because you are living it, and it’s personal. A jury will look at a variety of factors when determining what method or multiplier to use. Some of these factors include: The nature of your injuries; The severity of your injuries; How your injuries impact your life now; How your injuries will impact your future; Your age, health before the accident, income level; and How your injuries affect your family life. To maximize your value for pain and suffering, it’s a good idea to keep a journal where you log your pain and detail how your injuries impact your life. It will make it easier when you’re preparing for a deposition or testimony at trial. Texas caps general damages in certain instances, such as in medical malpractice cases. Special cases involving malicious intent or gross negligence could be eligible for punitive damages. Those damages are also capped in Texas unless the injuries resulted from a felony. Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer If you need assistance resolving a personal injury claim in Texas, speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys right away. We have years of experience handling San Antonio personal injury claims. We know the tactics that insurance companies use to undervalue claims. And we know how to counter these tactics by building a strong case for pain and suffering damages. To learn more about how we can help you get the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering, contact the Zimmerman Law Firm today.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Accident Reports

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Texas?

How long do you have to file a car insurance claim in Texas after an accident? That depends on the identity of the at-fault driver.  If a driver hits you while performing government work, you have six months to notify the government of your claim. If the at-fault driver is a civilian, you have two years to sue for personal injury. Regardless of the identity of the at-fault driver, you should start a lawsuit or a claim early to protect your rights. When it comes to a car accident claim, Texas has many deadlines and timelines that close soon after your injury. An experienced car accident attorney can meet your deadlines and put you in the best position to win all you deserve in your case. You Must Report Accidents Involving Personal Injury or Significant Vehicle Damage Immediately If you are contemplating filing suit for a car accident, you likely suffered physical injury and/or serious damage to your car. If you suffered bodily injury or damage to your car that is so severe that your car is inoperable, Texas law requires you to report your accident to the police immediately. If the accident caused personal injury or damage worth at least $1,000, an officer must file a report quickly. The officer must file their written report with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident. These reports can also be helpful for any claim you make with the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own insurance. Immediately after the accident, you should exchange information with the other driver, take pictures, collect names and contact information for any witnesses, and seek medical attention. You should also make a claim on an at-fault driver’s insurance policy as soon as possible. Having this information and making a claim as soon as possible keeps the events fresh and accurate in everyone’s minds. A detailed and accurate account of the events can help you obtain a more favorable outcome in your case.  Do Not Hesitate to Pay Out of Pocket Immediately for the Medical Care or Car Repairs You Need You may not be at fault for the car accident, but you should not wait for the at-fault driver to pay your bills up front. While a lawsuit against an at-fault driver could be your best option for maximum recovery, it could take a while to recover your damages at trial. Paying for repairs and care immediately is good for the health of your body, finances, and case.  You Could Receive Payment from Your Insurance Company Within One Month For your immediate needs, you can quickly make a claim on your own insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Your Texas auto insurance policy must include PIP coverage unless you opt out of the coverage in writing. When you make a claim on your own insurance, Texas law requires your insurance company to review your claim and respond quickly.  Under the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Bill of Rights, your auto insurance company has 15 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim and to ask for additional information. Your insurance has an additional 15 days to accept or deny your claim and five days after approval to pay. Sometimes your insurance company can extend this deadline by 45 days if it notifies you with a reason. You can collect 18% annual interest and attorney fees for any other delays in payment.   Filing Your Claim Immediately Establishes a Stronger and More Accurate Reflection of Your Damages Filing your claim immediately increases the likelihood that you receive payment earlier and the likelihood that you receive adequate damages. Your damages should cover your medical care, lost wages, repair or replacement of property, and pain and suffering. I f your insurance or the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for medical care immediately, you can receive regular, monitored care early. Regular care can produce multiple reports explaining your medical needs. Reports explaining your present and future medical needs are important evidence to prove your economic damages at trial. These reports are also useful in settlement negotiations.  The longer you wait to file a claim, the higher the likelihood that you could suffer a subsequent, unrelated injury. The at-fault driver’s insurance wants to find ways to argue that your injuries are not related to your accident. Even if your symptoms stem from the accident, insurance companies use subsequent “intervening injuries” to argue that the at-fault driver didn’t cause your damages and isn’t liable. You should present to the insurance company evidence of your injuries’ connection to the accident and your treatment needs early. This makes your damages harder to deny. Making your claim and presenting evidence early might also inspire the insurance company to settle with you fairly and quickly. Contact an Attorney Immediately to Handle Your Claim How long do you have to file a car insurance claim in Texas after an accident? You should know that the answer is not long. You should call a car accident attorney immediately to make the most of your time and maximize your damages.  The attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., have 85 years of combined experience. We strive to improve the lives of Central Texans with our legal expertise, and we want to help you. Contact us online or by phone at 254-272-3296 for a consultation.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Injuries

Texas Maximum Amounts Awarded for Personal Injury Cases

You should not commence litigation without thought and a solid strategy. In weighing your decision about whether to initiate litigation in a personal injury case, one question likely comes to mind above others: What is the maximum amount you can be awarded in a personal injury case in Texas? The answer to this question is key because it can help you determine whether litigation is worthwhile, and/or whether a settlement offer from the defendant is just. Generally, the maximum amount you can be awarded depends on the facts of your case and what kind of injury is involved.  There are three kinds of damages you can receive in almost any personal injury case:  Economic damages, Non-economic damages, and  Punitive damages. Together, economic and non-economic damages create your compensatory damages, and punitive damages are a reflection of how egregiously an at-fault party behaved at the time of your injury. Each of the three types of damages mentioned above are subject to different kinds of award limits, depending on the type of personal injury case.  Maximum Awards for Economic Damages or Total Damages Your economic damages are pretty straightforward in a personal injury case. They consist of the money you paid out of pocket for medical care, the cost of property repair/replacement, lost wages, and future financial losses. In most cases, personal injury damage limitations in Texas do not limit your award of economic damages. But there are exceptions. Award Limits for Injuries Occurring on Agricultural Recreational Land If you suffer injury while on agricultural land used for recreational purposes, there is a maximum award you can receive in a suit against the private landowner, lessee, or occupant of the land. Texas law allows each person to recover up to a maximum of $500,000 for bodily injury and a maximum of $100,000 for property damage. The liability of a landowner, lessee, or occupant cannot exceed $1 million for a single occurrence. These limitations apply only if the party to be sued has applicable insurance coverage. Award Limits for Injuries Caused by State Government Employees and Agents If a state government employee or agent caused you damage or deprived you of a right while they were performing work for the government, the maximum total amount you can recover is $100,000. This limitation applies only if the government has an obligation or authorization to indemnify the employee or agent, or if the employee or agent has insurance coverage. This limitation does not apply to cases brought under federal law or the United States Constitution. Award Limits for Placing Burdens on Religious Beliefs Generally, the government may not substantially burden your free exercise of religion. If a state government actor infringes on your right to freely practice your religion, your compensatory damages cannot exceed $10,000. This kind of suit applies only to government actors who infringe upon your rights while acting in official capacities.   Award Limits for Wrongful Death and Survival Lawsuits Against Healthcare Providers If you lost a loved one due to the careless actions of a healthcare provider, money does not bring much comfort, but you should be compensated. A wrongful death or survival action can award you damages for economic losses, damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for a provider’s especially heinous behavior. The maximum award each claimant can receive is $500,000, regardless of how many providers are at fault. Though the law limits total damages in these cases, it does not limit damages for medical care, including future care.  Maximum Awards for Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Your non-economic damages are for injury-related losses that can be hard to quantify with receipts. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, damage to your reputation, disfigurement, physical impairment, and other non-pecuniary losses. In addition to laws setting maximum recoveries for total damages, Texas specifically limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Non-Economic Damage Award Limits in Cases Against Physicians and Healthcare Providers The maximum amount of non-economic damages you can recover in an action against a physician or healthcare provider is $250,000. The same limit applies even if multiple healthcare providers were at fault or your claim is based on multiple causes of action. Non-Economic Damage Award Limits in Cases Against Healthcare Institutions The maximum amount of non-economic damages you can recover in an action against a single healthcare institution is $250,000. If more than one healthcare institution is responsible for the same injury, the maximum amount of non-economic damages you can recover is $500,000.    Maximum Awards for Exemplary or Punitive Damages Exemplary/punitive damages punish a defendant who behaves particularly poorly at the time of the actionable incident. You cannot recover exemplary damages in cases involving infringement of your right to freely exercise your religion. In all other cases, you can recover punitive damages only if you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed fraud or acted with malice or gross negligence. In general, you can recover exemplary damages only up to an amount equal to twice your economic damages plus your non-economic damages, or up to $200,000, whichever is greater. Regardless of the calculation method, your exemplary damages generally cannot exceed $750,000. If your case involves methamphetamine or certain felonies, there are no limits to your exemplary damages.  There Are Minimum Awards for Personal Injury Cases Involving Methamphetamine The typical question is, What is the maximum amount you can be awarded in a personal injury case in Texas? Sometimes it is important to ask about minimum awards. If your case involves the manufacture of methamphetamine, you can recover at least $20,000 for each exposure to the substance or its byproducts.  Contact an Attorney for Maximum Recovery There are many complicated legal factors that determine how much you can recover in a personal injury case. An experienced personal injury attorney can determine your best options for recovery and negotiate the best settlement on your behalf. An experienced attorney can also bring you peace of mind by doing the heavy lifting in your personal injury claim. The Zimmerman Law...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

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

Car accidents happen suddenly and may leave you stressed and confused throughout the state of Texas. 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? Call our office today at 254-752-9688 to begin your free consultation. 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 in Texas 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 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 in Texas 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 to limit the amount of time an individual has to file their claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file your claim within the two-year period, you will give up any rights you had to compensation. It is crucial that you consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity for financial recovery. Discuss Your Accident With a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Texas The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., has been proudly helping injured clients since 1962. Call our office today at 254-752-9688 to get started with a free case review. Our firm has had the pleasure of successfully representing thousands of clients throughout the years, using...

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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 San Antonio car, truck or motorcycle accident, officers will almost always arrive at the scene to collect information. Your SAPD police report is an essential and necessary part of your claim. Send us an online message or call (254) 752-9688 today for assistance. What Is a San Antonio 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 to include in a San Antonio crash 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. Ways to Get Your San Antonio Crash Report In San Antonio, TX, there are a few ways to get a copy of your SAPD car accident report. You can typically do so in person, online, or by mail. NOTE: 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 To get your report in person, you can visit the San Antonio Police Department Headquarters, located at 315 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78207. The Records office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 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 online. 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. Contact a San Antonio Attorney For 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 our clients in Texas. We strive to make every client feel heard and understood, while providing the best legal representation. After an accident in San Antonio, count on us to help you. Contact us online or call (254) 752-9688 today for a free consultation. We can get started on your case to pursue the maximum compensation available under the law.

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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 Texas 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 at (254) 752-9688 or send us an online message.  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 by calling (254) 752-9688 or send us an online message to see what we can do for you. Texas Personal Injury FAQs 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 Car Accident: What You Should Know

T-bone car 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 t-bone 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 online or call 254-752-9688 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 the 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 car 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 experienced Texas personal injury lawyers at 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...

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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 BuyCrash 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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