Although they happen every day, being in a car accident is often a scary and chaotic experience.
Whether it is a minor fender bender or a major collision with severe injuries, if you are in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we are here to help.
We can help you assess the strength of your case and determine the best path to recovery. With nearly a century of combined experience, our attorneys are knowledgeable advocates that will work one-on-one with you.
We will deal with any opposing parties or insurance company to get you the most compensation possible and protect your rights.
Auto Accidents in Central Texas and Bell County
Interstate 35 is one of the country’s busiest highways and runs right through both Waco and Killeen. It stretches from Laredo in the south to Gainesville in the north and passes through major population centers like San Antonio and Austin. It is a vital way to efficiently move throughout Texas, whether the traffic is commercial or personal.
However, 35 is also one of the deadliest highways in the state. In 2019 alone, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported over 6,000 crashes in Bell county.
These accidents run the gamut from minor to deadly, with a much higher percentage of the latter. The presence of so many vehicles, including personal vehicles, motorcycles, and large commercial trucks, traveling at high speeds means that an Interstate 35 accident has a greater chance of serious injury and death.
If you are involved in one of these accidents, you may need the expertise of a Killeen auto accident attorney to help you get full compensation for your injuries.
Steps to Take Immediately After An Auto Accident
Auto accidents are stressful situations, even when the collision is minor. In the aftermath, the scene often feels a little chaotic and people may not know what to do next.
But it is important to stay calm and have a plan in mind. Then you can help keep those around you safe, while at the same time preserving important evidence for a possible personal injury claim.
Call Emergency Medical Services
If there are any injuries that seem serious, call for emergency medical help right away. Do not attempt to move a critically injured victim unless it is absolutely necessary, as they could sustain further injury.
The immediate health and safety of the drivers and passengers involved in the accident is always first priority.
Contact the Police Department or other Local Authority
Once any immediate medical emergencies are addressed, call the local authorities to come assess the accident.
This may be the local police if you are in city limits, or the sheriff’s department if you are not. One of the most important things is that whoever responds fills out an accident report. This is an important piece of evidence for proving fault for liability purposes.
Under state law, someone must file an accident report for accidents involving death, serious bodily injury, and/or significant property damage.
Gather Information From All Involved Parties.
Make sure that you get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike.
In addition, either write down the other driver’s insurance policy information or take a picture of their insurance card. If possible, get statements and contact information from any witnesses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Texas is not a no-fault insurance state, which means that they do not need to file an accident claim against their own policy before seeking compensation from the other driver.
However, you also want to call your own insurance carrier to inform them of the accident.
Many insurance carriers now have smartphone applications to help you file a claim, and can give you pointers on what information you should gather.
Seek Medical Treatment and Legal Assistance in the Days After
Finally, after the crash, you should seek out medical help and then speak with a lawyer.
This is to make sure you have no lingering health complications, and to get proper treatment if you do. Keep all records of any medical bills and costs you accrue for future compensation.
Once the police report is finalized, make sure to get a copy, or have an attorney get one for you. Your injury lawyer will assess all of the relevant information including the report, photos, witness statements, and anything else to help you build your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Car Accident Claims
Have a question about car accident claims?
Take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury lawsuits related to auto accidents in Texas.
Do I Need an Attorney For a Car Accident Claim, and When Should I Contact One?
No matter how smoothly you think the process is going, it is still a good idea to get the advice of a Killeen car accident lawyer in the days and weeks after your crash.
If you run into problems with the insurance companies or other drivers, a personal injury attorney can help defend your rights. They can put pressure on the insurance companies, and advise you if a settlement offer is fair or not.
They can also tell you if a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to get full compensation for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
The standard Texas personal injury lawsuit has a two-year statute of limitations.
This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, there are some circumstances where this time period may be extended.
To be sure, talk to a Killeen car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
What If I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Under comparative negligence, if you are found partially at fault for the accident, then your damages can be reduced.
Texas law uses an approach known as modified comparative fault. This means that a plaintiff’s ability to recover damages (and how much) is based on a certain fault percentage. Called the 51% bar, this rule says that you cannot receive compensation if you are 51% or more to blame for the crash. In other words, if you are more than 50% at fault, you are not allowed to receive monetary damages.
Because of this rule, establishing the facts of your case and having the right evidence is paramount. Having the expertise of auto accident lawyers in Killeen can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Should I Accept the Settlement Offer from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
Not every car accident case goes to court. In fact, most of them don’t.
Sometimes the insurance company’s offer is fair or, with a little negotiation and pressure from an attorney, can be bumped up to fair. The fact is that lawsuits take time and money, and can draw out your recovery, bringing you and your family extra stress.
Regardless of whether you want to go to court, though, seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney is vital. They can help you calculate what a fair settlement offer would be, negotiate with other parties on your behalf, and make sure your interests are properly represented.
Contact a Killeen Auto Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a car accident in Killeen or the surrounding areas?
Don’t let the bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need a Killeen, Texas personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, our attorneys have almost a century of combined experience and are here to help you. We will put our wealth of knowledge and resources to work for your recovery and will be there for you every step of the way.
We offer a no-cost consultation, and we never collect any fees until we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us at (254) 752-9688 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.