| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

What Are the Most Common Rear-End Collision Injuries?

The injuries caused by a rear-end collision range anywhere from minor bruises and scrapes to debilitating brain injuries or loss of limb. Many victims usually underestimate the severity of their injuries, especially if those injuries are internal. Rear-end collisions often lead to these types of serious injuries, so it’s important to seek medical care immediately following the accident. After receiving care, our Texas personal injury attorneys can help you file a claim for the compensation you need to recover. Here are the most common rear-end collision injuries and the symptoms you should look out for. Whiplash This is by far one of the most common rear-end collision injuries. Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement snaps the head or neck forward or backward. This causes the ligaments and muscles of the neck to overstretch, often leading to a strain or tear. While whiplash is more likely to occur in high-speed collisions, it also happens in low-speed accidents.  The symptoms of whiplash from rear-end collision include muscle soreness, headache, numbness, dizziness, spasms, and stiffness. Many of these symptoms last for days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Spinal Injuries Back injuries, including damage to the spine, are some of the most serious rear-ended collision injuries. The impact from a rear-end crash not only strains muscles in the lower back, but can also lead to fractures in the vertebrae or herniated discs. This often results in life-long complications and chronic pain. Symptoms of spinal injuries include headache, lower backache, arm pain, leg pain, stiffness, difficulty walking, numbness in the extremities, bladder control issues, and paralysis. The amount of time that it takes to recover depends on the severity of the back injury. For bruises and strains, pain may last for a few weeks. However, more serious injuries such as herniated discs or facet joint damage can cause lingering pain for several years.  Head and Facial Injuries Most common car accident injuries involve some damage to the face or head. In rear-end collisions, these injuries typically occur when a driver’s head strikes their window, steering wheel, or dashboard. Injuries to the head can be life-threatening, so it is best to get checked by a medical professional immediately following the accident.  A majority of facial injuries come in the form of bruises, cuts, scrapes, broken teeth, or a broken nose. While these injuries may not seem serious, they often require long-term treatment and can cause permanent disfigurement. The most dangerous kind of head damage is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can be caused by whiplash or head trauma and usually results in a concussion. The damage from a TBI is often permanent, leading to life-long neurological issues, including the following: Memory loss; Lack of focus; Impaired movement; Loss of balance; Depression; Sleep disorders; Light or noise sensitivity; Mood swings; Slurred speech; Nausea; and Seizures. For this reason, head injuries of any kind should be taken seriously after a rear-end collision, even if they initially seem to be minor. Chest Injuries Injuries to the chest, including fractures, are very common in rear-end collisions. While seatbelts and airbags prevent many fatal injuries, they can break your ribs during more severe crashes. This is especially true in a rear-end collision since the force pushes the occupants forward.  Immediately following an accident, it may be difficult to know if you have broken ribs. While sharp pain accompanies more severe fractures, cracks or hairline fractures may be less obvious and difficult to discern. Some symptoms of broken ribs include swelling, heat in the area, bruising, stiffness, and weakness. Severe pain when breathing, coughing, laughing, or twisting your body may also be an indication that you have broken ribs. Amputations Unfortunately, amputations happen often in severe rear-end accidents. In many cases, the force of the collision causes the car to crumple, leaving the victim vulnerable to crushed limbs. When this happens, emergency responders may have no choice but to remove the limb in order to save the victim’s life.  Amputations are life-altering injuries that drastically decrease a victim’s quality of life. Victims often need years of rehabilitation and psychological therapy to recover. And after some time passes, they may experience further complications that require additional surgeries. Some complications that may arise down the road include infections, blood clots, swelling, or heart issues. Injured in a Rear-End Collision? Call The Zimmerman Law Firm Today If you sustained injuries like the ones listed above in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help. For nearly 60 years, The Zimmerman Law Firm has been representing clients throughout Texas with their personal injury claims. Our experienced personal injury attorneys know that you need a compassionate advocate to fight for you. We will tirelessly work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.  Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers. We are proud to serve clients from our offices in Waco, Austin, Round Rock, and Killeen.

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accidents

What You Need to Know About Diminished Value Claims in Texas

When you get in a car accident, sometimes you suffer a personal injury. Other times, you experience loss in the form of property damage. Typically, the property damage that you suffer is some form of damage to your car. In Texas, the person who is to blame for an accident bears the liability for the damage that the accident causes. This means they are responsible for compensating you for medical bills, lost wages, and any property damage they cause.  A diminished value claim is a way to recover property damage from a responsible party. However, many people have never heard of a diminished value claim. Because diminished value claims are critically important in recovering damages, The Zimmerman Law FIrm put together this quick guide on diminished value claims in Texas. Texas Fault Rules and Liability Insurance Texas law looks at who caused an accident to determine who is liable for the damages the accident causes. The system is known as a modified comparative fault system. The system is comparative, as the law compares each party’s share of the blame to determine liability. Each party, with limits, can recover the amount of damages they suffered minus the percentage attributed to them. Because Texas is a fault state, the law requires all drivers to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance. Then, unless a lawsuit is necessary after an accident, the responsible party’s insurance company compensates the damaged party. The system in Texas is called a modified comparative fault system instead of a pure comparative fault system. In a pure comparative fault system, regardless of percentage of fault, each party sees a reduction in compensation based on their own percentage of fault. If party A is 95% to blame for an accident and party B is 5% to blame, party A can still recover 5% of their total damages from party B.  The same result as outlined above would not happen in Texas’s modified comparative fault system. Instead, party A would not recover any damages from party B. This is because Texas’s modified comparative fault has a threshold of responsibility. If any party’s share of liability exceeds 50%, they cannot recover any damages from the other party. What Is a Diminished Value Claim? A diminished value claim is a way to recover property damages. When you are in an accident, the amount of damage to your vehicle can vary between minor scratches and other cosmetic damage on one hand, to rendering the vehicle entirely unusable on the other. In any case, the responsible party is liable for compensating you for that damage. If the car is unusable, that amount is the total value of the vehicle. If the car can be repaired, the amount is equal to whatever is necessary to restore the vehicle to its pre crash condition. There is one problem, however: even if a mechanic and body shop restore your vehicle to its pre crash condition, it is very likely that your car will lose value. That’s because car crashes often cause various underlying problems that inherently damage the vehicle but are not always visible. To rectify the situation, you can file a diminished value claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. The amount of your diminished value claim is equal to the difference between your car’s value before the accident and your car’s value after the accident. What Types of Diminished Value Are There? There are three main types of diminished value. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you will want to file one of the following claims: Inherent diminished value, Immediate diminished value, or Repair-related diminished value. Inherent diminished value refers specifically to the loss of a vehicle’s worth or market value. Inherent diminished value applies when you have made repairs to your vehicle but its value still decreases. Immediate diminished value refers to the difference in your vehicle’s resale value before the accident vs after the accident. Immediate diminished value applies only if you have not made repairs to your vehicle. FInally, repair-related diminished value refers to your vehicle’s loss in value because of faulty repairs, less reliable replacement parts, and any damage that has yet to be repaired. How to File a Diminished Value Claim You can file diminished value claims in Texas fairly easily. The process is similar to filing any other sort of insurance claim. To do so, you will need to gather evidence to demonstrate your vehicle’s diminished value. There are a couple ways to do this. Doing both will help to bolster your claim’s chances of success. First, you can look up your car’s Kelly Blue Book value before and after the accident. Second, you could go to a used car dealer for a valuation. Third, you could get a quote from an auto repair shop that accounts for all relevant damage. It always helps boolster your claim if you get more than one or two quotes on your vehicle.  Depending on the circumstances of your case, you should file one of two types of insurance claim. You will need to file either: A) a first-party insurance claim or B) a third-party insurance claim to recover diminished value damages. With a first party diminished value claim, you file the claim with your own insurance company because you were at fault for the accident. To do so, you need to have collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or any other insurance product that covers property damage when you are at fault for an accident. You will need to file a third-party diminished value claim when someone else is at fault for the accident. You will do so through their insurance provider. What If the Insurance Company Denies My Diminished Value Claim? Sometimes insurance companies are quick to deny diminished value claims. One reason for this is that many attorneys do not take on diminished value claims unless they are already representing a party. Knowing this, insurance companies deny diminished value claims in hopes that the party making the claim will drop it. If...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

7 Common Car Accident Injuries

While we do our best to avoid them, car accidents inevitably occur. No matter what precautions you take, you can’t always avoid involvement in a car accident.  People are involved in car accidents every day throughout the county. In fact, according to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury in the United States.  Car accidents can range from minor to severe. Some result in no injuries or only property damage. Other accidents, however, can result in severe injuries, hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and, in some cases, even death. Regardless of the severity, if you sustain an injury in a car accident, you may have a claim for relief. So what do you do if you’ve sustained car crash injuries in a motor vehicle accident?  Knowing what steps to take next is crucial to your physical, emotional, and financial recovery moving forward. And the first step toward your recovery is being able to recognize what types of car wreck injuries may entitle you to seek compensation.  Below are 7 common car accident injuries that you should be aware of. If you have sustained any of these car accident injuries, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Then contact a car accident injury attorney to see what your options are for recovery. 1. Cuts and Scrapes Even in a minor car accident, occupants of the vehicle can sustain minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes. These types of injuries might result from debris, broken glass, or even airbag deployment.  Depending on the severity of the cut, you may need stitches to stop the bleeding. Even if you do not require stitches, be sure to properly care for your injuries. This can help to prevent infection and other complications that may lead to more serious car accident injuries later on. 2. Broken or Fractured Bones Broken arms, legs, and hips are some of the most common types of car crash injuries.  A simple bone fracture means that a bone breaks without an open wound. A compound fracture, on the other hand, occurs when a broken bone penetrates through the skin.  Broken or fractured bones can occur when a vehicle occupant braces themselves for the impact of the accident.  Rib bones are extremely fragile and can be broken by the impact of a seatbelt. Facial bones can also break if your face strikes part of the vehicle during the crash.  If you believe you suffered a broken or fractured bone during a car accident, seek medical treatment right away. 3. Internal Bleeding Internal bleeding may not be visible to the naked eye. However, it remains one of the most serious car accident injuries someone can sustain.  In fact, the seriousness of internal bleeding is due in large part to the fact that such injuries cannot be seen. Failure to promptly address internal injuries can lead to even more severe injuries.  Thus, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention even if you do not notice any visible car accident injuries. 4. Spinal Cord Injuries With car accidents involving blunt force trauma, spinal cord injuries are a frequent result.  According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury during a car accident frequently end up partially or completely paralyzed.  The average yearly expenses for an individual with a spinal cord injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Commonly, annual expenses can range from approximately $350,000 to $1 million. However, this accounts for only the first year after the injury occurred, and expenses can increase in later years.  While a spinal cord injury can be devastating, there are ways to seek monetary compensation to help you move forward. An experienced car accident injury lawyer can help you assess your losses and expenses and determine what you may be entitled to recover.  5. Head Injuries The severity of head injuries sustained in a car crash can range from minor bumps and bruises to traumatic brain injuries.  Brain injuries can be caused when your brain forcefully makes contact with your skull. The brain is a delicate organ and can easily be injured during a high-impact car accident. However, head injuries can be difficult to detect and diagnose. Thus, it is crucial that you receive medical attention as soon as possible if you hit your head during a car accident. 6. Whiplash The Mayo Clinic defines whiplash as a neck injury that results from forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, much like the cracking of a whip.  Whiplash is incredibly common in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. If you are experiencing neck pain after a car accident, you should consult with a medical professional to receive treatment and ensure that you don’t have any more serious injuries. 7. PTSD and Other Emotional Injuries Not all injuries sustained during a car accident are physical. But that doesn’t mean you can’t receive compensation for your non-physical injuries.  Even if you do not suffer serious car accident injuries that are physical in nature, you may still sustain emotional trauma in the aftermath of the accident. Car accident victims can experience emotional distress and severe anxiety about driving or even being inside a vehicle after being in an accident.  If you are feeling heightened anxiety or depression following your accident, be sure to seek the assistance of a mental health professional that can provide you with treatment options.  Questions About How to Move Forward? Contact a Car Accident Injury Attorney Today No matter what type of car accident injuries you suffered, the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision can be a stressful, time-consuming, and emotionally draining experience.  Of course, nothing can turn back time and prevent the accident from occurring. However, there are ways for you to recover.  If you have questions about your car accident injuries and whether and to what extent you might be able to recover compensation, we want to...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

How to Get Your Dallas, TX Accident Report

Car accidents can be scary and stressful. It is typically a relief when officers get to the scene, as they provide care and attention during a challenging event. Officers are also responsible for gathering as much information as possible to include in their police reports. These accident reports can then serve as a valuable source of information while you work on your claim. If you’ve been injured in a crash, the experienced Dallas car accident lawyers from The Zimmerman Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call (254) 752-9688 today for a free consultation. What Are Dallas Police Accident Reports? If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you know police officers are always called to the scene. Officers serve a legitimate purpose, as they gather relevant information, ask questions, and make determinations regarding the accident. After they’ve collected important details, that information goes into a Dallas crash report. This kind of report typically includes: The date, time, and location of the accident; Information for those involved; Details regarding injuries sustained; Details regarding damage; Witness information; Laws violated and any citations given; Weather and traffic conditions at the time of the accident; and The officer’s opinion as to the cause of the accident and fault. Police reports can play a significant role in your car accident compensation claim. Therefore, it is important to obtain a copy as soon as it becomes available. Your Dallas auto accident attorney can use this collision report to help build a substantial case and pursue compensation you may be entitled to after an accident. There Are Multiple Ways to Obtain a Copy of Your Dallas Crash Report You or your attorney may request a copy of your crash report five to seven business days after the accident. In Dallas, there are multiple ways to get a copy of your accident report—in person, by mail, or online. Get a Copy of Your Dallas Accident Report in Person You may go to the Dallas Police Department records department in person to get a copy of your police report. The police department is located at 1400 S. Lamar Street, Dallas, TX, 75215. You must provide the name of a person involved in the accident, the location of the accident, or the date of the accident. There is a $6 fee for accident reports obtained in person. You may also call (214) 671-3345 for more information. Keep in mind, you cannot request a police report and the police department will not release information over the phone. Request a Copy of Your Dallas Car Accident Report By Mail You can seek a copy of your Dallas police report by mailing in a written request. To do so, you must submit a written request to the Dallas Police Department at 1400 S. Lamar Street, Dallas, TX, 75215. Be sure to include the $6 payment for your request. You may also call (214) 671-3345 if you have any questions regarding mail-in police report requests. Obtain a Copy of Your Dallas Crash Report Online You may also request a copy of your police report online through the Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Records Information System website. Only a person concerned with the accident or an individual having a proper interest may request a crash report online. Online crash report requests are $6 for a regular copy or $8 for a certified copy. A Dallas Car Accident Attorney Can Get One For You While you can obtain a copy of your Dallas accident report yourself using any of the methods described above, your attorney can also request one for you. Your lawyer will do everything they need to do to build your case. They are interested in getting that report because it often provides essential details and information about the crash in Dallas. This information can be extremely useful when building your case for compensation. And the sooner they can obtain the report the better. Time matters because you do not have an indefinite amount of time to file a claim for compensation after someone injures you in a car crash. In Texas, you have two years after the date of the accident to file your claim. So the sooner you consult with a car accident lawyer, the sooner they can obtain your Dallas crash report and begin working on your case. Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm For Help Since 1962, The Zimmerman Law Firm has been helping clients get the help they need after suffering injuries due to someone else’s negligence. We provide qualified expertise, compassionate service, and exceptional legal representation so our clients feel confident in their decision to work with us. Let us help you get the recovery you need. Contact us or call (254) 752-9688 today to request your free case review.

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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: 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: 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 it 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. Texas Car Accident Compensation Damages 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 any 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...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

What to Do if a Passenger Dies in a Car Accident

Losing a loved one is never easy. But losing someone in the aftermath of a car accident can make matters even more devastating.  If you have recently lost a loved one in a car accident resulting in death, you might be wondering, What happens when someone dies in a car accident?  When a loved one dies in a car accident, you may be forced to make difficult decisions in the midst of grieving. Additionally, you may be saddled with medical expenses and funeral arrangements, in addition to your regular bills and expenses.  This can all seem overwhelming and complex. However, having a car accident attorney can alleviate some of these burdens you will inevitably face. If you need help navigating the legal process regarding what happens when someone is killed in a car accident, contact a car accident attorney today.  The car accident injury attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm have been helping accident victims and their families recover for decades. We hope we can help you too. Contact us today to get the answers to your questions and start the process toward recovery.  What Happens After a Fatal Car Accident? An Overview of Texas Wrongful Death Claims Moving forward after a car accident resulting in death can feel overwhelming. Nevertheless, it is important to have a general understanding of the laws regarding what happens when someone dies in a car accident.  When Can Someone Be Held Legally Liable for a Car Accident Resulting in Death?  In Texas, surviving family members of a deceased car accident victim may have a right to bring what is called a wrongful death claim. However, such a claim can be brought only where the victim’s death resulted from the negligence or misconduct of another.  Specifically, Texas Statutes section 71.002 states that an individual is liable for a claim of wrongful death only if the victim’s death was the result of the individual’s:  Wrongful act,  Neglect,  Carelessness,  Unskillfulness, or  Default.  In theory, it might seem easy to show that a person acted wrongfully or carelessly. In practice, however, this can be quite difficult to prove.  Thus, make sure that you have an experienced wrongful death attorney in your corner who can help you prove your case.  Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action?  Texas Statutes section 71.004 specifies who can bring a wrongful death action.  While you may have many loved ones both within and outside your family, Texas law places limits on who may benefit from bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.  The law states that an action to recover damages for a wrongful death is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.  This is an exhaustive list, meaning that other family members, regardless of how close they were to the victim, may not bring a wrongful death action.  Examples of parties that may not bring such an action include the deceased’s:  Siblings,  Grandparents,  Grandchildren,  Cousins, and Close friends.  While this might be surprising to learn, it is important to know who can bring a wrongful death action. This way, you can avoid putting in the time and expense of pursuing a lawsuit only to discover that you are not legally entitled to do so.  Proving Wrongful Death Most wrongful death actions rely on the legal doctrine of negligence. To prevail on a wrongful death negligence claim, you must be able to prove four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.  Duty The first element you must prove is the existence of a legal “duty.”  Essentially, you must be able to show that the responsible party owed your loved one a duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent harm to another.  Breach The next element you must prove is that the party breached their duty of care. This means that you must show that the opposing party failed to act as a reasonably prudent person would have under the same circumstances.  Examples of a breach of duty in a wrongful death claim might include a scenario in which a driver: Speeds or violates other traffic laws; Operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or Fails to properly maintain his or her vehicle.  This is not an exhaustive list. In fact, there are many scenarios in which a driver might be found to have breached their duty of care.  If you have questions about whether a driver in your case breached a duty of care, a wrongful death attorney can help.  Causation Once you show that the opposing party owed a duty of care and later breached that duty, you must then show causation.  In short, this means you must prove that the opposing party’s breach caused the death of your loved one.  This element can be difficult to prove because there may be additional factors that caused the accident and subsequent death of your loved one. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can analyze your case and determine how best to prove causation.  Damages Finally, you must be able to prove that damages exist. Examples of recoverable damages in a wrongful death case include:  Lost income or benefits of the deceased; Lost earning capacity of the deceased; Loss of inheritance; Loss of companionship, love, and support of the deceased; and Emotional pain and suffering as a result of the loss of your loved one. If you have suffered damages in the aftermath of losing your loved one, reach out to a wrongful death attorney to work toward the compensation you need and deserve. Under the Texas statute of limitations for wrongful death, a claim must be filed within the 2-year time-limit or risk being barred from recovery. What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident? Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney for Help So what happens when someone dies in a car accident? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, and it can often be a long and arduous process moving forward.  While this can seem overwhelming, know that you are not alone in...

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accidents

Who Will Pay For My Auto Insurance Work After a Wreck in Texas?

After a car wreck, one of the first things you may be wondering about is whose insurance covers an accident. This depends in large part on who is at fault. In Texas, you have the right to seek damages from the person that caused your accident. It’s essential to understand, when filing Texas auto insurance claims, the rights you have and how to protect them. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and whose insurance pays in a car accident.  What Does Auto Insurance Cover? Every car insurance policy consists of several different components. Each of these components provides slightly different forms of protection. When you apply for car insurance, the options provided offer limits and deductibles for each component. Recommendations suggest obtaining more than the basic coverage amounts required by law. If involved in an accident, out-of-pocket expenses become very high if your coverage is basic. However, it’s important to note that your premium costs will be higher as your coverage limits increase.  Texas auto insurance laws require drivers to purchase minimum liability insurance of 30/60/25 coverage. This basic liability insurance covers injuries up to $30,000 per person and $60,000 per crash. It also provides up to $25,000 in coverage for property damage. Despite sounding like a lot of money, these coverage limits are minimal and likely will not cover all costs in a severe accident.  Bodily Injury Liability  Bodily injury liability represents the part of insurance covering medical bills if you’ve injured someone in an accident. If you don’t think you can afford to risk having to pay high medical bills out of pocket, you may want to increase your coverage limit in this component of your auto insurance policy.  Property Damage Liability Property damage liability represents insurance covering the cost of property damage you caused to another vehicle in an accident. As with bodily injury coverage, if you don’t want to risk paying additional costs out of pocket, you should consider increasing your property damage coverage limit. Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident. Insurers must offer Texas drivers at least $2,500 in PIP coverage. PIP serves as a form of no-fault coverage. In other words, you can seek coverage under your PIP policy regardless of who was at fault for the accident.  PIP covers medical costs associated with an accident in addition to lost wages due to loss of work as a result of your injuries and funeral costs. Texas law does not require the purchase of PIP coverage. Another option that might be available to you is medical payments insurance (MedPay). Insurers are not required to offer MedPay, but if they do and you elect coverage, it can help you pay for things like health insurance deductibles and copays. It does not cover lost wages. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage  Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UMI) coverage covers your expenses if you are involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver. Even if the other driver was at fault, their insurance coverage may not provide enough to compensate you for your losses adequately. When this occurs, your UM/UMI insurance may make up the difference. Although Texas law does not require underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, it’s a good idea to obtain this coverage in case you are involved in an accident with a driver who has inadequate insurance.  Collision This type of insurance covers damage to your car after an accident. You may need this coverage if you are in a solo accident, such as hitting a tree or divider or if you were at fault in an accident with another driver. Collision insurance does not cover damage caused to another’s vehicle, only your own. Comprehensive Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car that happens when you are not driving it. Comprehensive coverage involves events out of your control, such as extreme weather, fire, falling objects, riots, vandalism, and animal damage. Comprehensive coverage also protects you in the event your car is stolen and subsequently damaged.  Carefully choosing your auto insurance coverage options ensures your costs after an accident don’t cause more distress than your actual accident. Speaking with an auto insurance representative may provide clarity and recommendations on auto insurance coverage components to protect you and your property.   What Type of Auto Insurance Claim Should I File After My Accident? Filing a claim with your auto insurance aids in coverage for your losses and any damages suffered by others involved in the accident. Whose insurance pays in a car accident depends on which party was at fault.  When Your Car Is Damaged The process of filing a claim for damage to your car depends on the cause of the damage.  You’ll need a comprehensive claim to cover damage for stolen cars, vandalization, or severe weather events. If you caused an accident, you will need to file a collision claim. File a liability coverage claim with the other party’s insurance if your car suffers damage in an accident caused by another. If their insurance is insufficient, you may also need to file a claim under your UM/UIM insurance.  If the fault is not apparent, file a claim with both your insurance company and the other driver to determine whose insurance covers an accident. When You Are Injured  When injured in a car accident, file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Texas auto insurance claim rights permit you to recover from the at-fault driver. However, if the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient, you may need to file a UM/UIM claim with your own insurance.  If you have PIP or MedPay insurance, you may also file a claim under those policies. Both of these claims are no-fault, meaning that you can seek compensation under the policy no matter who was at fault for the accident. When There Is Minimal Damage and No Injuries It may be difficult to know if you truly escaped an accident without injury. Injuries do not...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

What causes a person’s blood alcohol level to increase?

When you read a media report about a drunk driving crash, it generally mentions what the negligent motorist’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was when it occurred. Stories that make it on the news are often the ones in which a motorist had a BAC two or more times Texas’ legal limit of .08%. What you may be unaware of are the many factors that can affect your BAC. A bartender generally pours five ounces of wine when they serve you. A regular bottle or can of beer is generally 12 ounces. A shot of tequila, vodka or another liquor is generally 1.5 ounces. While these are standard sizes of most products that you purchase at the store or the bar, there are exceptions to the rule. The alcohol content that different drinks have can vary as well. How much and what you drink can impact how long it takes your body to metabolize it. This may result in you not feeling the full effects of what you’ve consumed until your fully intoxicated. Mixing alcoholic beverages is a bad idea. It can leave you feeling more intoxicated than you otherwise would have felt had you only had a single type of drink instead. Individuals who mix liquor with sweet beverages such as sodas may forget the fact that they’re consuming alcohol. By the time it absorbs into their bloodstream, they may find themselves overly intoxicated. Even if individuals drink exactly the same thing, their bodies may process what they consume completely differently. Females and males tend to metabolize alcoholic beverages at two distinct speeds. A person’s weight can affect how quickly they can process drinks too. Individuals who are new to drinking may not have built up as much of a tolerance for alcohol as more seasoned drinkers have. Although Texas’ legal limit is .08 %, the American Association for the Advancement of Science argues that individuals can face significant impairments with a BAC of as little as .05 %. Motorists may have difficulty steering their vehicle, processing information and reacting quickly. This may make them more vulnerable to crashing into others. Motorists in Waco who’ve been struck by drunk drivers should consult with an attorney. They can aid them in recovering the compensation necessary to cover medical bills, lost wages or funeral costs.

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