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The legal path for this type of accident can be complicated. You must determine if you have a case, how compensation is determined, and what the process looks like. When you contact an attorney, there are vital questions you should go over during your initial consultation.

Call The Law Giant at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers at 956.982.1800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Brownsville, Texas.

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Do You Have a Case? – Fault State Laws

Just because you were involved in a side-impact car accident does not mean you have a case. In the state of Texas, compensation can be awarded using the fault system. This fault system means that compensation is awarded according to how much at fault you were found.

For example, consider an instance where another is distracted because they are texting on their cell phone. If that driver speeds through a red light and T-bones you in an intersection, you may be found zero percent at fault (assuming you were doing nothing wrong).

In this case, you would be awarded the full settlement as determined by the insurance company or the courts.

However, if the same incident took place but you were making an illegal U-turn at the time you may be found to be 20% at fault while the other driver is 80% at fault. In this case, whatever the total settlement is you would be awarded 80% of it, virtually the full amount less whatever percentage you were found at fault.

The first step after your accident is to call the police and seek necessary medical attention. Call the Brownsville Police Department and seek out a local hospital such as Valley Regional Medical Center, Solara Hospital Brownsville, or Valley Baptist Medical Center: Brownsville.

Next, talk over the details of the case with an attorney to determine if the other individual was negligent and if you have enough evidence to substantiate that negligence. We will tell you if you have a case, and if you may (or may not) be found at fault. This way you will know what to expect in terms of a settlement. We will make it clear whether it is in your best interest to try and pursue compensation.

There were 3,578 car accidents in Brownsville in 2017.
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There were 3,578 car accidents in Brownsville in 2017.

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How is Compensation Determined?

Compensation is determined based on the severity of your case. It can be challenging to figure out how much compensation you can receive immediately following an accident. At this point, you don’t know the extent of your medical bills, the long-term financial impact that your injuries could have, or the amount of work you are going to miss. After a car accident like this, you can receive both punitive and compensatory damages, both of which have state-enforced monetary limits.

  • Punitive damages are designed to punish the person at fault and obviously the more at fault they are, the higher the punitive damages may be.
  • Compensatory damages are the most common part of any settlement. These are what you receive for legitimate financial losses, such as the cost of your medical care, any medical treatments you require in the future, lost wages, property damage to your car, and pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.

If the other driver is found to be entirely at fault, you may be entitled to all of these damages and more. If you are partially at fault, you may only be entitled to some of the damages.

If you failed to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, you might sustain injuries that will worsen because they were not treated quickly. This will work against you regarding the percentage at fault you are found in your case. We will explain what to expect based upon the intricacies of your case, and provide you with a potential range based on previous cases.

What Does the Process Look Like?

The process is going to be much the same in terms of the steps that have to be followed.

  • First, you submit your claim to the courts and/or insurance company which is in effect your way of saying your side of the story.
  • The other party or parties have an opportunity to respond within one or two months, giving their side of the story.
  • If a settlement is not reached immediately and the other party does not admit fault, the case moves forward into a discovery phase which can last anywhere from 10 months to 15 months depending on the details. It is during this part of the case that both parties will try to find evidence to support their individual claims or refute the claim to the other party. For example, let’s assume you are trying to claim that the other driver was negligent because they were texting while driving and not looking at the road. A Brownsville side-impact and T-Bone accident attorney would use this information to ascertain phone records to prove that text messages were being sent and received at the time of the impact. This would also have to be verified by evidence like security camera footage.
  • At any time during this process, the other party can choose to make an offer or settle, especially if they find evidence that severely hurts their case.
  • It is quite common for the other party to submit a motion to have the case dismissed after the discovery phase, where they asked the judge to dismiss the case. If the judge chooses not to uphold that motion and does not dismiss the case, it will move forward. Again, assuming no settlement is reached the case will go to trial. Most trials take between seven and ten days.