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TX injury lawyerWhen a careless driver crashes into you, you can be thrown into a horrible situation. You might be in pain from your injuries. You could be missing work or unable to fulfill your household responsibilities. Your vehicle is probably totaled, forcing you to replace it. The one saving grace in that situation should be that the responsible driver’s insurance company is supposed to pay all your expenses so that you do not suffer any financial losses. When it turns out that the other driver does not have insurance - or his insurance is insufficient to fully compensate you - you may be wondering who will pay for your expenses and lost income due to the accident. Your best bet is to contact an attorney who can help you understand your options for making a financial recovery after a serious accident with an uninsured motorist.

Who Pays if the Other Driver’s Insurance Will Not?

You may have multiple options for recovering financial compensation after a crash caused by an uninsured motorist. The two main parties you could recover compensation from are your own insurance company, and the other driver himself. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. A lawyer can help guide your decision about which route to pursue.

Every insurance company operating in Texas must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage exists specifically to address this type of situation. Unless you specifically opted out in writing when you signed up for your insurance policy, you almost certainly have this type of coverage. Even if you only have state minimum insurance, you may be able to recover up to $30,000 in damages from your own insurance company.

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TX injury lawyerMost of the time, it is merely an annoyance when some component of a vehicle stops functioning. A tire starts to go flat, so you pull over unharmed. The battery dies and you need a jump to get it started. Other times, however, a mechanical problem on a car can be dangerous. When a vehicular malfunction leads to a car accident, untangling liability might be complicated. Proving that the accident was in fact caused by a mechanical failure is just the first step. There are a number of other considerations and a number of different parties who could be liable. You will want to work with an attorney who is experienced in handling these complex cases.

Which Vehicle Defects Are Likely to Cause Accidents?

When a breakdown happens while someone is driving, there is a distinct possibility that a car crash will happen. Some types of vehicular malfunctions that are likely to cause accidents include:

  • Tire blowouts - Tires should be well-designed and well-constructed so that they can handle a puncture without bursting suddenly. When a tire explodes rather than gradually deflates, it can cause the car to swerve out of control and hit other vehicles.
  • Steering failure - A driver who cannot steer can do little to avoid an accident, save for slamming the brakes and hoping for the best.
  • Brake failure - Suddenly finding yourself unable to stop can be terrifying for the driver as well as for everyone else on the road. Rear-end collisions are common, including chain-reaction rear-end collisions due to the force of impact. This situation can be especially dangerous when the driver with defective brakes is sent hurtling into an intersection.
  • Lights out - When driving at night, headlights and taillights, including brake lights, are more important than many people realize. If you cannot see a vehicle because its lights are out, it is very easy to collide with it.

Who Can Be Liable in These Accidents?

Liability in accidents caused by mechanical issues on a car typically depends on who ultimately caused the failure. If the manufacturer of the component made a mistake in designing or manufacturing the part, and that mistake directly caused the crash, the manufacturer may be liable under a products liability theory. If a mechanic or body shop made a mistake while repairing, replacing, or handling that part, they could be liable. The driver may be liable if they caused the failure, like by forgetting to check their lights or overinflating their tire, then the driver may well be liable.

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TX injury lawyerWhen you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, they may be legally obligated to cover your medical bills and other costs related to your accident. However, depending on the complexity of the case and how cooperative the defendant (or their insurance company) is, it may be months or years before you see a dime of compensation. In the meantime, you are hurt now and you need health care now. If you are one of the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance, getting the care you need when you need it can be a challenge. There are several ways that you can try to get your injuries treated. An attorney may be able to help guide you through the process of seeking care now.

What if I Need Emergency Care After the Accident?

It is important to know that hospitals are required to treat anyone who is having a medical emergency, whether they have insurance and are able to pay or not. You can be treated in the ER right away, and you will not be discharged until it is safe for you to go home. The bill can be addressed later.

How Can I Get Health Care Without Insurance After an Accident?

After the need for emergency care has passed, you may require continuing care, such as follow-up visits with a specialist or physical therapy. Trying to get a doctor to begin treating you when you have no health insurance can be very difficult. Strategies you and your lawyer may use to make sure you are getting the care you need in the meantime include:

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TX accident lawyerAfter a negligent driver leaves you injured, one of the first things that is going to happen is that you will get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company. They will be hoping you answer personally instead of referring them to your attorney. If this is the case, then they will most likely make you an offer right away. The offer will probably sound quite good. They may even give you a six-figure number that seems like way more than enough to cover your medical expenses in addition to fixing or replacing your vehicle.

Do not take this offer. While it may sound like a lot, accepting this offer could end up costing you quite a bit of money. Your best bet is to seek out an experienced attorney who can help you discern what your car accident claim is really worth before speaking to an insurance company.

How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Their First Offer?

Insurance companies exist to make a profit, not to help you. They will nearly always try to get away with paying out as little as possible when one of their customers causes a crash. Before making an initial offer, a claims adjuster will review the facts of the case and try to make an educated guess about what a jury might award you should the case go to trial. Then, they offer you only a small percentage of that.

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TX injury lawyerMost people who regularly drive have experienced sleepiness at the wheel. Whether due to shift work, insomnia, or other reasons, most adults do not get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. When driving, sleep deprivation can be deadly. Experts explain that sleep deprivation can cause episodes of “microsleep.” A person may fall asleep for several seconds at a time without even realizing it. Large truck drivers who are fatigued may make driving mistakes that lead to horrific accidents.

If you or a loved one were harmed in a truck accident and you suspect sleep deprivation may have been a contributing factor, it is important to understand how this may impact your claim.

Understanding Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours commercial drivers may drive in a day. For example, these “Hours of Service” rules state that commercial drivers carrying property can only drive a maximum of 11 hours consecutively. Drivers carrying passengers are limited to ten hours.

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