Let’s suppose you’re driving on an icy stretch of Interstate 35 when you’re involved in a 12- car pileup. You were the number six car, meaning that you were both front– and rear–ended. But who was at fault? The driver in front of you did not cause the accident nor did the driver who rear-ended you. But someone was obviously negligent. Your car was severely damaged and you were injured. So, who is going to pay to have your car fixed and reimburse you for your medical expenses?
As you can see from this example, auto accidents can be very complicated, which is why you need an Austin auto accident lawyer.
What your Austin injury lawyer will do
An Austin auto accident lawyer will not only help determine who was at fault–or negligent–in your accident but will go to work to get you all the monetary compensation you deserve. Whoever did cause your accident will most likely have an insurance company and you don’t want to go up against it – with all its experience and attorneys – without the help of an auto accident lawyer.
Fault is probably the most critical element in any auto accident injury claim. That is, the person whose negligence caused the accident–or who was at fault–must pay the damages that his or her action caused.
In the past, the law held that if you had an accident and were the slightest bit at fault, you couldn’t recover anything as a result of your injuries or losses. However, in many states such as Texas, the law now recognizes what is called “degree of fault.” This means that even if you were partially at fault, you can still recover damages for your injuries.
Were you partially to blame?
If you were partially responsible for the accident, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will have the responsibility for determining the relative degree of fault. There is no mathematical formula for determining who was responsible at what percentage. The claims adjuster will attempt to negotiate a settlement based on what he or she feels was your degree of fault. If you are not satisfied with the settlement you are offered, you definitely will need an auto accident attorney.
What an Austin auto accident lawyer can do for you
Your auto accident lawyer will first attempt to negotiate a fairer settlement for you – that is, get you more money. Failing this, he or she will file suit in your behalf and then, if necessary, try the case in court. In any event, he or she will work to get you the best possible settlement depending on the amount of damage to your car, your personal injuries and whether or not your actions contributed to the accident.
What this will cost
Almost all auto accident lawyers work on what’s called a contingency basis. This means hiring a lawyer costs you nothing unless they can get a settlement for you. He will then take a percentage of the settlement – usually one third of your settlement. Auto accident cases can become very costly because your attorney may need to hire expensive experts to testify in your behalf. But, again, this costs you nothing because your Austin auto accident lawyer will pay the upfront costs and then get reimbursed by taking a percentage of your settlement when they win your case.