McAllen Car Accident Lawyers

Car Accident Injury Lawyer in McAllen, TX

McAllen and the wider Rio Grande Valley have seen their population soar over recent years. This growth shows no signs of slowing down. While this is positive news for the city we love, there is a downside — more car accidents.

 Driver error causes most accidents, but other factors contribute too, including poorly maintained roads, auto defects, and hazardous weather conditions.

But if you or someone you love has been in a car accident in McAllen or the surrounding area, you’re not alone.

Contact an experienced McAllen accident lawyer at the Patino Law Firm to discuss your legal options today. Our car accident attorney in McAllen, TX are ready to get you the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Laws in McAllen — Who Is Responsible for Damages after an Accident?

Texas is a fault car insurance state, which means that an at-fault driver can be held liable for any damages and injuries they cause in a car accident. Most people purchase liability insurance that satisfies the minimum insurance requirements, but additional policies are available. These include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

While optional, having one of these policies can be valuable if you’re ever in a car accident with an uninsured driver or your costs total more than what the other party’s insurance covers.

The minimum insurance requirements in Texas are:

  • $30,000 for each injured person
  • $60,000 total for injuries per incident
  • $25,000 for property damage.
mcallen accident lawyer

How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident in McAllen

Car insurance claims can be frustrating, but they’re pretty straightforward. You’re in an accident caused by another driver, so you file a claim with their insurer and recover your costs. But what happens if your expenses go beyond their insurance limit?

Fortunately, you have another option.

If someone’s negligence caused your accident and your resulting injuries, you might recover compensation under car accident law — even if you’re entitled to more than their insurance policy covers. The definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”

To meet the legal definition of negligence, you need to prove four elements about the at-fault person or party’s conduct:

  1. The defendant (the party who caused your accident) owed the plaintiff (you, the claimant) a duty of care.
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care.
  3. The breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  4. The plaintiff’s injuries caused “damages” (such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering) that can be compensated.

All drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists on the road. This means that if they violate traffic laws — such as driving beyond the speed limit — which causes your car accident, they are negligent according to the law, and you may be able to claim compensation.

Who Is Responsible For My McAllen Car Accident?

Many McAllen car accidents are caused by a driver’s reckless or negligent behavior. However, a car accident can also be caused by a third party, such as a driver’s employer or the vehicle manufacturer. If you believe that another party was responsible for the accident, you will need to prove that they acted negligently or intentionally and that the negligent action was the cause of your injuries.

The most common parties responsible for car accidents in McAllen are:

  • A negligent driver. If another driver acted negligently, they are likely responsible for your injuries and any damage to your property. Negligence can be as simple as violating traffic rules and regulations, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or distracted driving.
  • A negligent driver’s employer. If a negligent employee is acting in the course of their employment, their employer could be responsible for their actions. Employees involved in traffic accidents typically include delivery drivers and commercial truck drivers. It’s often worthwhile to pursue recovery from the employer as they have larger insurance policies and more liquidity than the driver themselves.
  • Vehicle manufacturer. If a vehicle manufacturer fails to assemble or test a vehicle or part appropriately, they could be responsible for any injuries that occur due to that failure. Common examples of auto defects include brake failures, tire blowouts, and airbag failures. Establishing that a vehicle failure was the reason for the crash requires extensive testing and the potential involvement of experts.
  • Local government. It’s the responsibility of the local government to maintain streets and traffic signals, including crosswalks, traffic lights, and stop signs. If the government fails in this responsibility and a road defect causes an accident, they could be liable for the resulting injuries. However, it can be difficult to secure recovery from a governmental entity. Our car accident lawyers in McAllen can work with you to determine if you can claim compensation.

The more evidence you have of the other party’s negligence, the stronger your car accident claim and the more leverage you have to secure a fair settlement.

What Damages Can You Recover after a McAllen Car Accident Claim?

Once you have established that another party may be responsible for your injuries, you will need to compile a financial-impact report of those injuries into a damages demand. Including all injuries in your damages demand is important, as this number will affect any potential jury award or settlement offer. An experienced McAllen accident lawyer can help compile this essential report. 

Common damages recovered after a car accident include:

  • Medical expenses: You may be able to recover all medical expenses associated with your injuries. These include doctor’s bills, hospital stays, prescription medicine, ambulance rides, and long-term costs like physical therapy. Be sure to include anticipated future expenses, as you can also recover these. We can arrange expert medical testimony to support your claim for future expenses based on how your injury affects you over the long term.
  • Lost wages and income: Injuries often put victims out of work, whether for a few weeks or months or the rest of their lives. Inevitably, this means you will lose income. You’re entitled to recover these losses, so make sure you keep evidence of your earnings in the form of payslips. In some cases, your injury may prevent you from doing certain activities required in your role. If your ability to perform your job duties or work full time moving forward is affected, you can also recover these future losses. An economic expert will evaluate your future earning potential and the impact of your injuries to determine how much compensation you deserve.
  • Property damage: Few cars make it out of an accident unscathed. If your vehicle, or any other property, is damaged in your McAllen car accident, be sure to include the costs of repair or replacement in your damages demand.
  • Emotional distress: A car accident can be a jarring experience. As a result, long-term emotional effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are common. While often difficult to quantify, you may be entitled to recover for these damages.
  • Loss of enjoyment: Injuries often limit a victim’s ability to participate in activities they previously enjoyed. An athlete might find themselves unable to participate in a sport, or a gardener might not be able to bend over to tend to their flowers. Our car accident lawyers can help you evaluate whether you could be entitled to additional compensation.
  • Punitive damages: Referred to in Texas as exemplary damages, these may be awarded to a victim to punish the defendant for actions that constitute malice or gross negligence. Punitive damages are awarded by a jury, so you’ll only receive this type of compensation if you take your case to trial.

While many damages can be straightforward — like doctor’s bills — others can be difficult to put a dollar amount to. Work with an experienced McAllen accident lawyer to coordinate with experts, ensure all your injuries are included and get the maximum possible award for your injuries.

Should You Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer?

It’s common for car accident lawsuits to settle out of court. This happens when the liable party’s insurance company makes an offer to end the case and prevent it from going any further. It can be tempting to accept an early settlement offer because settlements provide a quick and certain resolution to the matter — with immediate compensation.

However, you should be wary of accepting a settlement early in the process, as it will likely be much lower than what you deserve. You should consider any settlement offer based on the strength of your case and all of the evidence. Always consult your McAllen accident lawyer before accepting a settlement. A fair and comprehensive settlement takes longer to negotiate, but your attorney will fight to get you the amount you deserve.

What If My Car Accident Settlement Offer Is Too Low?

If you’re entitled to significantly more money than the insurance company is willing to offer, you may want to take your case to court. If you win your case, the judge can compel the defendant to pay a much larger sum than anything offered during negotiations. 

However, only a small percentage of cases go before a jury because trial results are difficult for either party to predict. If the jury finds in favor of the defendant, you won’t receive any compensation for your injuries.

You should only ever consider a trial if you have a strong case. If you proceed, the process can take time, as both sides need to compile evidence, file relevant court documents, complete discovery, file and respond to motions, and prepare their argument.

When Should You File a Claim after a Car Accident in McAllen?

If you’ve been in a car accident in McAllen, time is of the essence, so you shouldn’t wait to file a claim. Even car accidents that seem simple at first often involve complicated legal issues. Texas, like all states, has a time limit for filing a lawsuit, called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years from the date of the car accident. It’s vital to discuss your case with a dedicated and experienced car accident lawyer in McAllen as soon as possible after the accident.

At Patino Law Firm, we can protect your rights and guide you through the claims process. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call the Patino Law Firm at 855-LAW-NINJA or contact us online.

Common Car Accident Injuries in McAllen

A McAllen car accident can cause injuries ranging from minor bumps and scrapes to severe head trauma. Whatever your injury, a McAllen car accident lawyer can help you recover the costs of your medical treatment and compensation for any long-term impact of the injury on your life. 

Some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents in McAllen include:

  • Back and neck injuries: These range from mild neck pain to severe spinal cord injuries such as paralysis. Serious back and neck injuries can result in long-term disability.
  • Head injuries: Brain trauma also ranges from mild to severe. Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they can be devastating. They can affect a victim’s thinking, memory, sensation, balance, communication, and emotion.
  • Internal injuries: If not recognized and treated, internal bleeding can cause shock, organ failure, and death.
  • Rib and torso injuries: The rib cage protects vital organs such as the heart and lungs, so chest trauma can be life-threatening.
  • Cuts and burns: Lacerations and burns from motor vehicle accidents can be harrowing. Burn wounds are especially difficult to treat and often cause disfiguring scars, which may lead to psychological issues.
  • Fractures: These sometimes take a long time to heal and may require surgery.
  • Seat belt injuries: Seat belts save many lives, but sometimes they also contribute to injuries, such as abdominal bruising and whiplash.
  • Wrongful death: The family or heirs of someone killed in an accident might be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
broken car

How Common are McAllen Car Accidents?

Car accidents happen far too often. Across the entire country, there are more than 6.7 million car crashes each year, injuring 1.9 million individuals.

In Texas alone:

  • One person died every two hours and 15 minutes
  • One person was injured every two minutes and 34 seconds
  • One reportable crash happened every one minute and seven seconds.

Additionally, 12,107 serious injury crashes involved 14,660 individuals suffering from severe injuries. The city of McAllen reported six fatal car accidents, 34 suspected serious crashes, and 40 suspected serious injuries. There were nearly over 1,700 crashes that involved injuries and almost two thousand total crashes in the city. These numbers are higher than the majority of other cities in Texas.

The Common Causes of Car Accidents in McAllen

Newer cars have all sorts of technology, such as forward collision systems, backup cameras, and adaptive headlights designed to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, car accidents still happen. Worse still, many are preventable.

But what causes so many accidents on McAllen roads?

Car accidents happen for many reasons, including:


Speeding Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is among the riskiest driving behaviors. It causes about one-third of U.S. traffic fatalities. In 2020, speeding killed 11,258 people

At a local level, speeding was the number one cause of accidents. Some drivers speed because they’re running late or enjoy a sense of anonymity behind the wheel or simply because they’re aggressive.


Distracted Driving Car Accidents

Many of us get behind the wheel and are on autopilot, but driving demands a driver’s complete focus and concentration. A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to crash than a driver who is not.

A distracted driver is anyone who is focused on anything other than driving safely, whose hands are ƒoccupied by anything other than the wheel, or whose thoughts are on anything other than driving safely.


Driving under the Influence (DUI)

More than 25% of all traffic deaths were caused by drunk drivers, with 990 individuals dying in Texas DUI crashes in 2020.

But alcohol isn’t the only problem. Smoking marijuana, using controlled substances, or even taking prescription drugs such as Codeine and Vicodin can raise a driver’s blood alcohol concentration and cause impairment.


Aggressive Driving

You see aggressive drivers on the road all the time. They tailgate, drive too quickly, weave in and out of traffic, cut off other drivers, change lanes without signaling, and run red lights. One recent study found that eight out of ten drivers had engaged in road rage.


Failure to Yield

Failure-to-yield accidents are incredibly common in McAllen. Whether a driver making a left turn fails to yield to oncoming traffic or a flashing yellow or red light, or a driver enters a road from a private driveway, these accidents can cause devastating injuries to victims.


Fatigued Driving

Everyone is under pressure to work harder and do more in a day, so people behind the wheel are often tired. People often dismiss the risk of driving while tired, but a fatigued driver can experience a dangerous level of impairment, preventing them from reacting in time to hazards.


Auto Defects

It’s tempting to ignore car maintenance and repairs until it becomes an unavoidable issue, but by that point, it’s often too late. Drivers are obligated to maintain their vehicles to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

But sometimes, drivers may not even know their car is defective until it causes a crash. If a defective vehicle or vehicle part causes an accident, the manufacturer, retailer, or others in the distribution chain might be liable.


Hazardous Road Conditions

Drivers who fail to account for bad road conditions like rain, snow, ice, and poor visibility can lose control of their cars and crash into responsible motorists.

But inclement weather isn’t the only road defect motorists have to worry about.

Uneven pavements, potholes, obscured signs, and inadequate road design can all contribute to severe car accidents. A McAllen car accident lawyer can help you determine who’s at fault.


Construction Zones

Construction zones are inherently dangerous environments.

Narrow lanes can cause property damage, while obstructions and diversions can cause collisions when drivers fail to slow down.

Distracted driving is often a large factor in McAllen car accidents in construction zones.

What Steps Should You Take After a McAllen Car Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in McAllen, there are several things you should do. First, tend to your health and safety. Seek immediate medical attention even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Many injuries, especially internal ones, can exist without presenting symptoms until they become much more serious. Failing to receive prompt medical treatment can also limit your opportunity to recover medical costs associated with your injuries, as the responsible party’s insurer may dispute that your injuries happened during the accident.

Once you have dealt with any medical concerns, you should take these five essential steps:

  1. Get a copy of the police report. A crash report is an important evidentiary document in your case. It includes photos of the accident scene, witness information and accounts, citations issued for traffic violations, and the factors that contributed to the accident, which can be valuable in proving who’s at fault.
  2. Stay organized. Gathering all the paperwork associated with your accident and recovery can feel overwhelming, but it’s incredibly important. Paperwork like medical bills, communications from insurance companies, and other similar documents could be vital for your case. You can never have too much, and your McAllen accident lawyer can let you know what is useful for your case, so be sure to stay organized and keep copies of all paperwork.
  3. Think before you speak. Be careful when talking about the accident, especially to the media and online. The defendant or their insurance company could use any statement against you, even if it’s innocent. Imagine how the defendant could use a statement like, “I’m sorry, I just didn’t see…”. You should also be cautious about speaking with insurance adjusters after your crash. Know that you do not have to speak with them — your car accident lawyer can handle all communication on your behalf.
  4. Review before you sign. Be cautious about signing any paperwork before reviewing it thoroughly with our car accident lawyers in McAllen. Hospitals, insurance companies, and other parties to the lawsuit will likely present paperwork to you. Some documents may request that you waive certain rights or agree to specific facts. An attorney can help you review all paperwork before you sign.
  5. Don’t delay. You must bring a car accident lawsuit within two years of the injury. While this seems like a long time, significant work is required to research, prepare, and file a civil action, and the time will fly by. Be sure not to drag your feet in taking action, or you may miss your opportunity to recover the compensation you deserve.

A car accident lawyer will help you manage your paperwork, deal with difficult conversations, and help you prepare to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. Contact our expert McAllen accident lawyers at Patino Law Firm to give your case the best chance of succeeding.

Frequently Asked Questions Our McAllen Car Accident Lawyers Receive

There’s nothing legally requiring you to hire a car accident lawyer in Texas after a collision. You are required to notify the police if it causes property damage or injury to any party, but you’re well within your rights to negotiate with the responsible party and their insurance company by yourself if you so choose. That said, hiring a McAllen accident lawyer is beneficial for several reasons.

To file a claim, you must prove that the person or party responsible for your accident was negligent or reckless, and that requires a strong body of evidence.

Many McAllen residents think they will receive more compensation in the end by negotiating a settlement on their own, as they’ll avoid paying legal fees, but experienced car accident lawyers like our attorneys at Patino Law Firm can secure a much higher settlement — even after you’ve paid your fees.

A car accident lawyer can also be a valuable aid when negotiating with stubborn and tricky insurance companies that will do everything possible to minimize their client’s liability and avoid paying out a huge sum. This is especially the case if you are fighting for compensation against a major company with a team of experienced attorneys. Our car accident lawyers in McAllen know how to negotiate effectively and are not afraid to take your case to trial if you are entitled to more compensation and have a strong chance of success.

Filing a car accident claim is so much more than submitting a form, receiving an offer, and signing on the dotted line.

A successful car accident claim requires substantial evidence, from the crash report filed by law enforcement to medical records, witness statements, and testimony from experts. A car accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to gather such evidence, which may include speaking to accident reconstructionists and retired police officers.

A car accident lawyer will also arrange medical treatment, calculate your damages, identify the liable party, negotiate with insurance companies, file motions, attend court hearings, take depositions, and more. If your case goes to trial, your car accident lawyer will also conduct direct and cross-examination of witnesses, present evidence, and present your case to a jury.

When looking for a car accident lawyer in McAllen, you may feel overwhelmed by the choice. With thousands of firms at your fingertips on Google alone, you may end your search with more questions than answers.

While we’d love for you to choose Patino Law Firm to represent you after your car accident, the final decision is yours to make, and we only ever want to move ahead if you’re completely confident that we’re the right choice for you.

We’ve compiled a helpful guide, including questions you should ask a personal injury lawyer to ensure you’re completely happy with your choice of representation.

We also offer a free, no-obligation case review with our team of McAllen personal injury lawyers. This isn’t just a chance to find out if you have a claim — it’s also an opportunity for you to find out how we work and what to expect, and, ultimately, if we’re a good fit for one another.

At Patino Law Firm, we pride ourselves on putting our clients first, and while many attorneys will likely say the same, we like to let our actions speak for themselves. Our clients feel genuinely looked after and know we have their best interests at heart. We fight to get you the maximum possible compensation you’re entitled to — we’ll never encourage you to settle early for a quick win.

Most personal injury attorneys — including our car accident lawyers in McAllen — operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you’ll only ever pay attorney fees if you win your case.

This means you can get the compensation you deserve without being hit by upfront fees before your case even gets off the ground.

The average settlement percentage attorneys take is 33%, but this may be more or less based on the individual firm and the specifics of your case.

If you’ve only been in a fender bender and sustained minor injuries or you weren’t hurt at all, it can still be worth seeking legal advice from a McAllen car accident lawyer.

What you might have initially thought were minor injuries could get worse and require expensive medical treatment and time off work — damages you are legally entitled to claim from the responsible party.

It’s also worth hiring a lawyer to protect yourself from claims from the other side. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, the other party may blame you, preventing you from recovering whatever costs you’ve incurred.

You may not even realize just how much you could be entitled to. Our car accident lawyers in McAllen can assess your case and help you claim all damages you’re entitled to, from lost wages to pain and suffering, as a result of your injuries.

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