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El Paso County Personal Injury LawyerAfter a car accident in which another party was at fault, the other party’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for the damage done to your vehicle in addition to any personal injuries you may have suffered. But how do insurance companies assess a car’s value? And more importantly, how can you make sure that you are not getting shortchanged by a company trying to save a few bucks? Read on to learn more and then contact a Texas car accident injury attorney for help with your case. 

How Do Insurance Companies Assess the Value of Car Damage? 

Insurance companies use a claims adjuster to verify the basics of the accident and make an initial assessment of the cost of the damage. To do this, they need to see the car in person as soon after an accident as possible. Remember that while a claims adjuster is responsible for accurately assessing the damage done to your car, they are also looking out for the insurance company’s financial interests–meaning they might try to minimize or overlook certain damage or attribute it to a cause other than the crash. For this reason, it is always a good idea to try to be present during the adjuster’s visit.

After the initial assessment, the insurance company can consult with auto repair shops to get further information about how much it would cost to fix a damaged car. If they believe the cost of fixing the car is more than the value of the car, they may simply offer a cash settlement for a totaled car. If not, they will make an offer to compensate you to get the car fixed. 

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el paso truck accident lawyerWhen an 18-wheeler crashes, it can cause extreme harm to others involved. Smaller personal vehicles offer little protection from the forces involved in trucking accidents. You may be worried about how you can prove that the trucker or trucking company was at-fault if their insurance company resists admitting liability. You will need to know exactly what kind of negligent behavior the trucker was engaged in during the moments leading up to the crash. If the crash was cauesd by an equipment malfunction, you will need to know whether a part of the truck failed and contributed to the crash. Most importantly, you will need an aggressive attorney to fight for the settlement you deserve. There are a series of questions that your attorney will want to determine answers to during the truck accident injury claim investigation. 

Information Your Attorney May Seek Out

Investigating a trucking accident can be complicated. Because these crashes involve extreme forces, the accident scene may be quite a mess. Finding out exactly what happened can be quite an undertaking, but our lawyers are always up for the task. Some questions your lawyer will want to determine include:

  • Was the driver intoxicated? - By federal law, the truck driver will need to be drug and alcohol tested shortly after the crash if they were issued a citation. It is more common than you would hope for big rig drivers to have a few drinks before getting on the road. Stimulant use is also common. 

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el paso car crash lawyerNo parent wants to see their child injured. If you were in the car with your child when you got hit and they got hurt, you were probably much more focused on your child’s injuries than your own. If you were not present during the accident, getting the call that your child was hurt in a car crash was probably one of the most frightening moments you have experienced as a parent. 

Once the dust settles, you will likely be wondering how you can go about recovering compensation for your child. They may have extensive medical bills from the emergency room, from physical therapy, and often, from counseling if the car accident harmed them emotionally. You, as their parent or legal guardian, can file a claim on your child’s behalf. An attorney can help you ensure that you are taking all the right steps to secure funds for your injured child. 

How Can I File a Claim on Behalf of My Child?

Because minors do not have the legal standing to file a lawsuit or insurance claim on their own behalves, you will need to do it for them. There are a few special rules when it comes to settling an injured child’s claim in Texas. Like in most car accidents, your lawyer’s first attempt at resolving the claim will involve negotiating with the responsible party’s insurance company. However, a minor cannot agree to a settlement - in most cases, a court will need to approve any offered settlement. 

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TX injury lawyerTire defects can be an insidious danger. To the untrained eye - or even a trained eye - your tires might have looked fine. Your tires may have felt perfectly normal while you were driving. Then, all of a sudden, one fails and you get into a serious car crash. While tire defects can cause blowouts or separation from the vehicle at any point, a failure event is more likely to happen when you are driving at higher speeds. This is part of what makes tire defects so dangerous. When your tire fails, you are probably going to lose control of your vehicle no matter what. Without four good tires, there is little you can do to steer away from a crash or recover from a loss of control. If you were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a defective tire, you may need to speak to an attorney who has experience with tire defects. Your legal action may be based on product liability, so it may look a little different than a typical car accident claim.

Common Types of Tire Defects and the Evidence You Need to Prove Them

Defective tires can burst or fall off without warning. Some common reasons that this can happen include:

  • Negligent repair - If you recently had a tire patched when it blows, it could be because your auto shop “fixed” it using an improper technique. Your lawyer will need to investigate the shop’s techniques for patching tires and determine whether the method used was appropriate.
  • Tread separation - Tires have belts underneath the tread that hold the tires together. When they fail, the tread can separate from the tire leaving you with no grip on the road. Often, this is apparent when a trained attorney examines the pieces of the tire itself and sees that the tread is not attached to the belt.
  • Missing components - Tires are more complicated than they look. There are multiple separate components, including the tread, the belt, and the steel center. If one part is missing due to a design or manufacturing defect, it will not be found in the wreckage.
  • Wrong tire - Auto shops do sometimes sell people the wrong size or type of tire entirely. When a tire is not the right size or style, it can cause drastically uneven wear and lead to a blowout. Your lawyer will compare the tires that were fine with the tire that blew.

In most cases, the absolute most critical piece of evidence is the defective tire itself. If you suspect that a defective tire caused your accident, you must contact an attorney very quickly so that they can get to the crash site and find the tire.

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TX accident lawyerCrashes involving an 18-wheeler can be wildly destructive. These enormous vehicles can do a lot of damage very quickly. All it takes is one wrong move on the truck driver’s part or one mechanical error on the truck company’s part, and a serious accident can occur. The scene left behind after a truck crash can be very messy. It may be difficult for the police who respond to the scene to figure out exactly what went wrong. Often, a more detailed investigation is needed before you can pursue compensation. Truck drivers and the companies they work for may refuse to cooperate or even lie in an effort to cover up their negligence. Fortunately, attorneys have ways of finding the evidence they need. It is best to contact a lawyer right away after the accident before any kind of coverup can occur.

Strategies Lawyers Use to Gather Evidence in a Truck Accident Case

Trucking companies love dealing with an unrepresented party after one of its drivers causes a crash. The evidence needed to prove a claim can be difficult for a layperson to find and interpret. It is crucial that you work with a skilled attorney after a truck crash. Strategies your lawyer may use to investigate include:

  • Drug and alcohol testing - Truck companies are required by federal law to drug and alcohol test their drivers shortly after a wreck. An attorney will be able to access the results of this test, which may help show that the trucker was intoxicated when he crashed.
  • Maintenance records - Not much has to go wrong mechanically for a truck to wind up in an accident. A lawyer can look into maintenance records, which may help determine whether negligent maintenance contributed to the crash. An examination of the truck itself may also reveal mechanical issues that should have been addressed.
  • Hours of service - Federal regulations dictate how long a driver can keep going without a break, and how long these breaks must be. If your attorney finds a violation, it can be argued that the driver was fatigued and should not have been on the road.
  • Crash site evidence - Some of the most important evidence lies in the scene of the accident. The scene tells a story, and a skilled attorney will be able to interpret the evidence.

Without a skilled investigation taking place, it may be difficult to prove the cause of the accident. It is important to have an attorney investigate promptly.

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