During the stressful and emotional filled aftermath of a car accident, drivers are often left stranded wondering how to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. Our San Antonio car accident lawyers assist with helping you navigate the complex legal system after a car accident.
What Is a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accident lawyers know automobile accident laws specific to your state. They apply certain defenses and claims to your case to minimize your losses and maximize your gains to cover costs associated with your injury, vehicle damage, and lost wages. Most importantly, they protect your rights as a car accident victim.
A San Antonio car accident attorney can bring experience to the following areas impacting a car accident victim:
Evidence interpretation: Interpreting necessary evidence, such as photos of the car accident scene, medical records indicating injuries sustained, medical bills, property damage receipts, and police reports. A car accident lawyer will evaluate and give meaning to each piece of evidence as part of the case.
Insurance company communication: Handling communications with insurance companies following a car accident is easily one of the most challenging case resolution aspects. However, a car accident lawyer can respond to the sometimes vicious back and forth discussions with insurance companies based on their past experiences and knowledge of how these businesses operate. Since insurance companies immediately have their teams of lawyers evaluating the case after an accident, have an experienced car accident lawyer handle these complex and often biased communications.
Legal document preparation: Drafting well-worded documents, such as a settlement demand letter or, if necessary, a complaint to initiate a trial, is key to building a strong case. A car accident lawyer can provide this service in a way that a layperson cannot.
Expert selection: Between doctors, expert witnesses, and car mechanic selection, determining whom to consult regarding your car accident case can be a daunting task. A car accident lawyer can serve as a guide for picking the right team.
Most car accident lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so you can feel confident in their desire to obtain optimum results in your case. Sometimes, it’s tempting to configure an independent agreement with the other party to cover your expenses before or as they start rolling in. Doing so, however, can result in a lack of fair compensation. You have a legal right to recover your losses. An experienced car accident lawyer can develop a comprehensive approach to make that happen.
What Can Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys Do for You?
Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys’ can interpret your evidence and apply it to each aspect of your case. Each car accident case is unique, so our firm focuses on developing a streamlined strategy relevant to your specific case details. In other words, you don’t have to settle with a one-size-fits-all approach. We want your case to get the attention it deserves so you can get the compensation you need.
Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys’ car accident lawyers can collect the evidence in your case and can effectively communicate and negotiate with insurance companies to improve your chances of settling. We know how to communicate with insurance companies and push back when necessary. We can use our experience with insurance giants to your advantage and help get you fair compensation for your injuries. If the insurance company denies your claim, we can discuss the next steps for you.
Should your case need to proceed to court, we can draft the necessary legal documents using the appropriate terminology, defenses, and claims to adequately present your case to the judge before we even step foot in the courtroom. Here at Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys, we know how to formulate the right tone and use persuasive language to support your case.
Mastering legal document writing involves understanding how your style and length are critical to written communication success. Whether and when to include references to law and case citations is also essential to legal document preparation and writing.
Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys also knows the importance of having the right experts to support your car accident case’s claims. For instance, a quality vehicle engineer or crash reconstructionist can determine if the other driver is at fault. Similarly, we can refer you to a doctor possessing unique expertise based on your car accident facts. The doctor who evaluates and diagnoses you after your car accident can also act as an expert witness should your case proceed to trial.
Our firm understands the trauma that surrounds a car accident firsthand, and we strive to provide our clients with a clear explanation of their legal rights. Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys lawyers are well-versed in personal injury and car accident laws. We believe sharing this information with our clients can provide a sense of relief and clarity.
Additionally, we help negotiate with lien holders. Sometimes, clients are recipients of health, disability, or workers’ compensation benefits. Following a case settlement or judgment, the benefits distributor may try to impose a lien. Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys can work to reduce the lien.
Each car accident case varies in severity, types of vehicles involved, and the number of parties involved, and therefore, case resolutions will vary as well.
The amount of your awardable compensation after a car accident can vary based on your case’s specific facts. Please note that other case results do not guarantee that Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys can secure similar results in your case. If you were in a car accident, contact us right away to discuss your case, and let us see what we can achieve on your behalf.
Major Landmarks, Intersections, and Roads Where Car Accidents Occur
Texas has numerous intersections and landmarks where car accidents happen at higher-than-average rates. The Sam Houston Parkway, also known as the Beltway 8, is a tollway that spans nearly 90 miles. For years, based on data obtained from the Texas Department of Transportation, people have considered the Sam Houston Parkway, the most dangerous intersection in Texas. Three roads, Bissonnet Street, Hard Road, and Westheimer Road that intersect with the Sam Houston Parkway, also rank high for car accidents. These three roads are the sites where the most crashes and injuries occur each year in Texas.
Also known as the Charles W. Anderson Loop, many consider Loop 1604 a hazardous road where car accidents are likely to happen. Loop 1604 encompasses San Antonio, Texas, at nearly 96 miles in length. A contributing factor to the danger of Loop 1604 is the reconstruction that occurred, making it a four-lane freeway from its original two-lane structure. The intersection point between Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 is considered the fourth most unpredictable travel area in Texas, followed by Loop 1604’s intersection with Braun Road.
Unlike dangerous intersections in Texas, such as Northwest Loop 410 and Interstate 35, the number of car accidents occurring in work zones is also rising. In just one recent year, the Texas Department of Transportation reported nearly 4,000 crashes with possible injuries in work zones. Approximately 600 of these crashes ended in severe or fatal injuries.
These alarming statistics indicate that major intersections alone are not always the sole cause of car accidents. Factors such as not paying attention to “Construction Work Ahead” signs and inclement weather also play significant roles in the likelihood of a car accident.
Also, major landmarks are not the only dangerous areas in Texas, where drivers should use caution. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in just one year, 51.69 percent of traffic crashes ending in a fatality happened in a rural area. Rural areas are pieces of open land that have few homes or buildings and contain low population density. Likely causes for accidents in rural areas are poorly marked or unmarked roads, the absence of traffic lights and signs, and unexpected encounters with wildlife.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
You likely need a lawyer if a car accident results in injury to yourself, you have medical bills related to the accident, or you lost wages due to time off work following the accident. Attempting to navigate the complex legal system alone can add more stress to an already stressful situation. A car accident lawyer can help you determine the next steps to take after an accident.
It’s always a good idea to consult a lawyer after a car accident, so you know your rights, especially if you have to deal with an insurance company. Many individuals who try to deal with insurance companies alone end up walking away with the insurance claim’s minimum amount. The insurance company’s and the other driver’s interests do not align with your interests, but a personal injury attorney dedicates their time to fighting for your best interests.
San Antonio Car Accident FAQs
Should I hire a San Antonio car accident lawyer?
Without question. Our San Antonio car accident lawyer can ensure you recover compensation in more complicated situations, such as:
If the facts of the accident are disputed
If there are more complex elements to the accident
If you have injuries that are unusual or significant
If the other party is not admitting liability
What can our San Antonio car accident lawyers do for you?
A lot goes into the insurance claim process that your car accident lawyer will guide you through.
Some primary responsibilities of your lawyer can include:
Gathering information and documentation. Your claim will need to be supported by records and paperwork, such as medical records, evidence of your wages at the time of the accident, insurance policy contracts, medical bills, and more. An experienced lawyer knows what documents you need to build your case and can organize everything to ensure you have evidence to accurately reflect the compensation you deserve to receive for the accident.
Investigating what happened. Your lawyer may also investigate the car accident further to build your case. This investigation would involve finding additional evidence such as security camera footage, dashcam footage, police reports, witness accounts, and medical consultations. In some cases, your lawyer may also want to reconstruct the accident to understand what occurred. An investigation is vital for better estimating the losses and damages you suffered and where liability lies. With that information, your lawyer will explain your best options moving forward, whether that is settling with the insurance company or taking your case to trial.
Negotiating with insurance companies. Insurance companies have their own motivations when negotiating with car accident victims, so having a lawyer contact insurance companies on your behalf protects you from inadvertently being led to weaken your claim and lessen the compensation you are entitled to.
Litigating in court. If settlement negotiations fail, your lawyer will file a lawsuit and represent you in court. The trial process is complex, with rules, procedures, and jargon that your lawyer will be very familiar with and can explain to you.
What can I be compensated for after a San Antonio car accident?
While not a comprehensive list, typical examples include:
Medical expenses: ambulance rides, hospitalization, X-rays, surgeries, etc.
Future medical costs: long-term disability, further surgeries
Rehab and recovery costs: physical therapy, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs
Lost wages and future lost wages: earnings you lost from missing work
Non-economic damages: pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring
When should I contact a San Antonio car accident lawyer?
As soon as possible. If a negligent driver caused you injuries in a car accident, you should contact our experienced law firm to determine your rights. You do not have to go through the stress after an accident alone. Our lawyers can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What legal action can you take?
Many car accident victims end up settling with insurance companies. Still, sometimes, the insurance company doesn’t agree to pay you the amount you are entitled to, or the accident was severe enough to warrant additional action.
Your car accident lawyer can explain the direction where your specific case might work best, but here are three claims injured parties commonly file after car accidents.
Car accident claim. A San Antonio car accident claim filed against the other driver seeks to make that driver provide compensation for losses you sustained, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and future costs like future lost wages and future medical costs. A San Antonio car accident claim can also hold the other driver responsible for non-economic damages such as emotional trauma or pain and suffering.
Wrongful death claim. Surviving family members of an individual who died can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent or reckless third-party kills that caused the car accident. The state of Texas allows surviving family members to hold the responsible party accountable and receive a monetary recovery for the wrongful death of their family member. This compensation might cover loss of inheritance, mental anguish, and funeral expenses, among others.
Product liability claim. If a car manufacturing defect caused an accident—whether in your own car or the other driver’s—then a product liability claim against the car manufacturer or the manufacturer of a defective car part can be the move to recover compensation. Defective brakes, the steering wheel, tire blowouts, fuel systems, and other car parts can all cause car accidents.
The investigation step that your car accident lawyer performs is vital for a product liability claim because of the requirements that determine whether this claim is viable:
The defective vehicle or part was “unreasonably dangerous.”
The driver was operating the vehicle as intended.
The driver did not modify the vehicle’s performance after its initial purchase.
What are the relevant laws in Texas?
Laws relevant to car accidents differ across states, which is why a San Antonio car accident lawyer who understands Texas laws and San Antonio experiences can be beneficial. Here are a couple of laws to know about in Texas.
In 2019, 25 percent of fatalities due to vehicle traffic crashes involved a driver under the influence of alcohol. This percentage is a significant portion of car accidents, and Texas does have specific laws governing drunk driving that are important to understand.
Zero Tolerance Policy. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol in a minor age driver (under 21). This zero-tolerance policy means that any detectable amount of alcohol is illegal for a driver who is under 21. The driver does not need to be at the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) or be legally impaired by alcohol to be charged with DUI.
DUI vs. DWI. People sometimes use the terms DUI (“driving under the influence”) and DWI (“driving while intoxicated”) interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing in Texas. Texas separates the two, primarily by whom the police can charge with what.
DUIs are only for minors; DWIs can be given to anyone of any age.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a more severe charge under the Texas Penal Code. According to Texas law, anyone of any age who has a BAC of 0.08 or higher is impaired by the alcohol can receive a DWI.
DUI and DWI charges can be a significant factor in your car accident case and something a lawyer can help you navigate.
Dram shop laws. Texas’s dram shop laws allow you to hold people other than the drunk driver accountable for their negligence in allowing the drunk driver to get behind the wheel drunk. For example, suppose a bartender decides to continue serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron. In that case, he or she can be charged under the dram shop laws if that person then gets into a car accident. Another example might be a driver’s friend who could stop the driver from driving but instead allowed the driver to get in the car.
There are many requirements to prove that a bartender or friend of the driver should be held responsible for the drunk driver. A lawyer can help investigate the nuances of your drunk driving accident case and determine if something like the dram shop law is worth pursuing.
Social host liability. Social host liability is similar to the Dram Shop Laws but different in a crucial way: it applies specifically to somebody who provided alcohol without payment. Instead of applying to a business that sold alcohol, this might hold a party host who served alcohol responsible for a drunk driver’s actions. Typically, a social host in Texas is not liable for the actions of adults they served alcohol to. Social host liability does come into play more commonly for DUI cases where an adult gave a minor alcohol.
Should I report my San Antonio car accident to law enforcement?
Yes. A police report will be an important document you can use when you file your insurance claim or take any further legal action. Police can also determine if the other driver was intoxicated or other notable factors that led to the accident.
If the accident caused no serious injuries or property damage, you can use your local police department’s direct number instead of calling the emergency 911 number. No matter the severity, though, you should inform the police.
What information should I get at the accident scene?
The more information you can get at the accident scene, the better.
Take pictures of the damage and collect information from the other driver:
Insurance company and policy number
License plate number
If you don’t get everything at the scene, though, that is fine. Your car accident lawyer can be a resource for gathering the necessary information.
What injuries have you helped San Antonio car accident victims with?
Car accidents can vary across a broad spectrum of circumstances and severity. Any injuries will change the details of a case, something a lawyer will help guide you through.
Some common injuries include, but are not limited to:
Back and spinal cord injuries
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Soft tissue injuries
Recovering from a car accident can be an overwhelming feat, not to mention all the external factors that come in the aftermath of a crash: insurance companies bargaining to provide the minimum compensation they can, lost wages from needing to take time off of work, and more. Having a San Antonio car accident lawyer help handle insurance claims and legal actions for you allows you to focus on yourself and your family and still seek the compensation and justice you deserve.
How often do car accidents take place in San Antonio?
Car accidents happen everywhere and more frequently than anyone would like to imagine. Texas especially is frequently ranked when it comes to crashes. In 2019, Texas had the 2nd most fatal crashes of any state in America, with 3,610 motor vehicle traffic fatalities. The same year, car accident crashes injured 256,338 people. Of those injuries, Texas reports classify 12,897 as serious injury crashes, causing serious injuries to 15,843 people.
A jarring fact that demonstrates the prevalence of car accidents in Texas is that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported zero deathless days on Texas roads in 2019. A crash killed a person every 2 hours and 26 minutes; a crash injured a person every two minutes and three seconds; a reportable crash took place every 56 seconds.
These patterns are reflected in San Antonio as well. San Antonio is a large city with a large population, contributing to the 42,786 total crashes in 2019. Of those, 144 were fatal crashes that resulted in 145 deaths that year.
Car accidents are a pertinent issue for drivers, pedestrians, and everyone in San Antonio, so knowing what to do in the case of an accident can be crucial.
Call Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys Today
Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible following a car crash. Many people are unaware that there’s a time limit to file a lawsuit after a personal injury incident occurs. If you wait too long, you forego your claim. This prescriptive period, referred to as a statute of limitations, varies from one state to the next, but Texas’s standard is two years.
If you’re suffering from pain, loss of consortium, or mental anguish due to a car accident, or you have medical or property damage expenses, do not settle your case before you understand how much compensation you deserve. Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys are ready to assist you in thoroughly evaluating and presenting your case to assure the compensation you deserve following your car accident.
Dr. Louis Patino, a former U.S. Army veteran who served as a Combat Medic during the Gulf War era and an experienced personal injury lawyer, leads the Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys. He and his team are ready and willing to help. Do not hesitate to call us today! You can reach us at 210-646-9100 or through our website’s contact page.