Fight back with a Houston car accident lawyer if you're injured in a crash
Our experienced attorneys won’t let you get pushed around
If you were injured in a Texas crash that wasn’t your fault, let our Houston car accident attorneys handle your case and fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Knowing what your rights are after a car accident and trying to figure out how much your claim is worth can be overwhelming in the aftermath of a serious crash, but you don’t need to go down this road alone. Smith & Hassler has over 30 years of experience getting results for clients in Houston and is prepared to help you maximize the value of your claim.
From a debilitating case of whiplash to a severe concussion, there are many different types of car accident injuries that you or someone you love can sustain in a crash. You may have been transported to the ER or needed an extended stay in the hospital. It could be that you had to undergo diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. For treatment, you may require physical therapy, medication, surgery and maybe even long-term care.
Expenses after a car accident can pile up quickly, but if you didn’t do anything to cause your crash, you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s reckless mistakes. Unfortunately, a lot of crash victims end up having a hard time trying to recover compensation for their damages. That’s because insurance companies are notorious for making lowball settlement offers, or worse yet, blaming the entire accident on you.
Call our law firm in Houston right away. Our attorneys know how to build strong legal cases that demand the insurance company’s attention. We know what evidence to look for to support your claim and how to handle pushy insurance adjusters. We are no-nonsense negotiators and skilled trial attorneys – and when the insurance company sees you’ve retained Smith & Hassler to handle your claim, they’ll know you’re serious about getting fair compensation for your damages.
What should I do after a car accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident, do your best to remain calm so you can assess the situation. After that, you should:
- Remain on scene and call 911. If anyone has been injured and needs emergency medical attention, ask the dispatcher to send an ambulance. Otherwise, let them know you were in an accident and wait for the investigating officer to arrive. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, which sometimes happens with uninsured drivers, do not attempt to follow or chase after the other driver. Call the police right away and give them a description of the vehicle, driver, and what direction they were heading, if you are able to.
- Exchange information with everyone involved in the crash. Get their name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. Do not talk about the car accident or argue about who’s at fault.
- Take a lot of pictures of the crash scene. Remember to include damage to every vehicle – not just yours – and don’t forget to take photos of any visible injuries.
- If anyone witnessed your accident, see if they’re willing to give you their name and contact information. Witness testimony can be a critical piece of evidence when determining fault.
- Write down the details of your crash. Before your memory fades, note the time and location of your accident, weather conditions, road hazards, construction, and any other relevant information.
- See a doctor. Within 24 hours of your crash, you should get examined by a licensed medical professional. Even if you aren’t experiencing any noticeable pain or symptoms, you may have a serious injury and not realize it. Injuries such as whiplash, a concussion or a traumatic brain injury can have delayed onset symptoms. Follow your doctor’s orders for treatment and attend all follow-up appointments. If you claim you were injured and wait too long to see a doctor or miss scheduled appointments, that can be a red flag for the insurance company.
- Notify your insurance company. Tell them you were in a car accident but do not go into too much detail. Keep your comments brief and just give them the basic facts.
- Call a car accident lawyer to review the details of your case. Explain what happened and learn what legal options are available to you. You can typically do this at no cost, as most personal injury law firms offer a free consultation.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company. If they request a recorded statement, politely decline, and refer them to your attorney. Do not get into a discussion about fault or injuries. Anything you say could be used later to challenge or deny your claim.
What if the car accident wasn’t my fault?
Texas is a “fault” car insurance state, which means if you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the driver who caused your crash is typically considered liable for paying your damages. That means in most cases, if you were injured in a car accident due to the negligence of someone else, you should be entitled to compensation.
Texas requires all drivers to carry car insurance with minimum amounts of liability coverage – giving you a few different options to recover compensation if you sustain an injury in a crash that wasn’t your fault. These options include:
- Filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
It’s important to note that under the state’s comparative negligence laws, if you’re found to be partially at-fault for your car accident, then your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault you’re assigned for the crash.
For example, let’s say you’re awarded $50,000 for your damages but found to be 10 percent at-fault for the crash and your injuries since you were speeding. In this scenario, your compensation would be reduced by 10 percent ($5,000) and your award would be $45,000. It’s important to note that to recover damages from another driver, a plaintiff’s negligence must not be greater than that of the defendant.
We also handle cases involving manufacturer defects. For example, our firm has helped people throughout the state who were harmed as a result of Toyota defects. When the negligence of manufacturers leads to reduced safety and reliability, and accident can happen that leaves people hurt. We hold negligent manufacturers accountable.
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Texas?
The amount of compensation you’ll be eligible to recover for your car accident will depend on the specific details of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the overall impact the crash has had on your life. In general, if you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Property Damage
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Replacement Services
- Pain and Suffering
If you want to get an idea of what your claim might be worth, call our law firm right away for a free consultation. Our attorneys can talk to you about your case and calculate what you might qualify for in compensation.
How do I read my Texas car accident report?
Reading your Texas car accident report and understanding what it all means can be a challenge, which is why you need an attorney to break it down page by page for you to better understand. If you need to purchase a copy of your Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3), you may do so online by visiting the Texas Department of Transportation.
- Page 1 of your Texas car accident report will show the date, time, and location of your crash, including county name, city name, street name, and whether your accident took place at an intersection or in a construction zone. This page will also have information about each driver, passenger, bystander, and vehicle involved in the crash. There will also be an “injury” code box indicating the type of injury, if any, a passenger sustained in the crash.
- Page 2 will list any charges filed against a driver, passenger, or pedestrian at the scene of the crash along with a crash narrative and pictorial diagram of the accident scene. The order of events leading up to the collision and an officer’s opinion on how the crash occurred will also be on this page. This page also contains information about where any injured victims were taken, including ambulance unit and hospital identification information. If anyone was killed at the crash scene or within 30 days after the accident, the date and time of death will be included on this page of the report.
- Page 3 of your crash report will have information about commercial vehicles involved in your accident. If a commercial vehicle (delivery truck, tractor-trailer, etc.) was involved in your crash, you will find the name, address, and contact information for the commercial carrier. You will also find additional information about the cargo on the truck, vehicle weight and additional information about the commercial truck driver.
- Page 4 of your Texas crash report explains many of the codes and terminology included in your accident report. Our Houston car accident lawyers can explain these technical items and thoroughly analyze your accident report with you in person.
Let our Houston attorneys handle every aspect of your claim
Once you’ve been injured in a crash your focus should be on your recovery – not stressing over how you’re going to pay your bills. While your case might seem straightforward, understanding how to navigate the confusing claims process and figuring out the best way to get full compensation for your damages can be overwhelming. That’s why you need someone in your corner who knows what it takes to get you real results.
Let us take control. Our car accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to deal with every detail related to your claim while you concentrate on getting better. Whether it’s through a negotiated settlement or a court verdict, we will fight to get you the largest payout possible. If you or someone you love was injured in a bus accident, bicycle accident, or another type of pedestrian accident in Houston, our lawyers can also help you recover compensation for your damages.
Best of all, there are no upfront costs and you do not pay unless we win. That’s because we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis.
Learn how our experienced attorneys can help you. Visit our car accident FAQ page to get answers to some of the most common questions we receive and then be sure to contact us for a free consultation.
"Mr. Brian Stansell was very professional and communicative. He handled everything pertaining to my car accident, ALWAYS stayed in contact, and kept me updated on any and everthing I needed to know. He made sure everything was taken care of from day one." - D