When you stop and think about it, it’s almost amazing that there are not more car wrecks than there are. During rush hours in Austin on I35, 290, Mopac, Hwy 1, and 183 there are literally thousands of cars on the roads, making left turns, passing one another, cutting in and merging. There literally could be an accident almost every second.
If you are one of the unfortunate many who are involved in a car wreck, it’s important that you talk with an Austin car wreck lawyer.
There are several reasons for this. First, the state of Texas recognizes what are called “contributory negligence” and “degree of fault.”
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence recognizes that in any auto accident, both drivers may have been somewhat to blame. As an example of this, suppose you were making a left turn in a northbound lane on a yellow light and were struck in the intersection by a southbound car. In this case, both of you might be negligent–you for having made a left turn on a yellow light and the other driver for having struck you.
The concept of contributory negligence basically says that you can expect to collect from the other driver even if you are 50% responsible for the accident. However, you were found 51% responsible, you won’t be able to collect any compensation for your damage or injuries.
Degree of fault and an Austin car wreck lawyer
Along with the concept of contributory negligence, Texas recognizes degree of fault. This means that if you are partially negligent–or partially responsible for the car wreck–you will be compensated on a percentage basis. This means that if it were found that you were 20% negligent, you will receive only 80% of the final settlement. In other words, if the final settlement were $100,000, you would receive only $80,000.
An Austin car wreck lawyer will work with you to determine who’s at fault for the accident and will negotiate with the other insurance company’s adjuster or attorney to get you the best possible settlement. He or she will also work to prove that the other driver was 100% negligent and that you did not contribute to the accident in any way. Again, this is to get you the best settlement possible.
What this costs
Your car wreck attorney will hire any expert witnesses that are needed to prove that you were not at fault or to substantiate your medical expense claims. None of this will probably cost you anything because your Austin lawyer will probably take your case on a contingency fee basis–meaning that he or she will take a percentage of your settlement. This means they will only get paid if they will your case. So essentially they work for free until your case is resolved successfully in your favor.
Why it’s critical to have an Austin car wreck lawyer
As you have read, auto accident law in Texas can be very complicated. When you go up against an insurance company, it’s important to understand that it’s number one objective is to pay you as little as possible. An Austin car wreck lawyer can make sure that this doesn’t happen–that you get the settlement you really deserve. Plus, as you have read, this will cost you nothing out of pocket.