Car Accident FAQ’s
Do I Need A Lawyer To Handle My Auto Accident Case?
No. But without a skilled attorney, you may not get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
An attorney can help:
- Protect you from insurance company tactics
- Investigate who was responsible for your accident
- File complex legal documents on time
- Take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement
At Scott Callahan & Associates, we work hard to get car accident victims like you the money they need to cover their medical bills and lost wages. If the insurance company is unwilling to provide a fair settlement offer for your auto accident claim, we may decide to file a lawsuit to protect your rights to compensation.
You deserve help from an attorney who knows Texas car accident law. Let Scott Callahan & Associates handle your claim, so you can focus on getting better.
How Do I Start A Car Accident Lawsuit? 7 Steps.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be worried about going to court if you file a claim. With Scott Callahan & Associates on your side, you will have the help you need to get results. We will guide you through every stage of the legal process and ensure you take the steps necessary to maximize the value of your claim.
Lawsuits are not always necessary, but if the insurance company will not treat you fairly, our firm will not hesitate to take them to court.
Every case is different, but if we decide to sue on your behalf, we will walk you through the following steps in the lawsuit process:
- You / Your Attorney File a Petition – A petition—or statement of claim against the other party—is a legal document filed in the civil court system that notifies the parties involved in your claim that a lawsuit has been filed.
- Defendant Gives a Response – The other parties named in your lawsuit will have a chance to respond to the filed complaint. In most cases, their insurance companies will assign lawyers to help defend them against your claim.
- Discovery Takes Place – After responses to the complaint have been issued, the discovery phase of the case allows parties on both sides of the lawsuit to exchange information. Elements of the discovery process include:
- Interrogatories – Interrogatories are written questions that allow attorneys to gather specific information about the case from parties named in lawsuits.
- Depositions – Depositions allow your attorney to verbally question the drivers involved, passengers, and witnesses present at the accident scene. Your attorney will accompany you if a defense attorney requests a deposition where you must be present.
- Requests for documents – Attorneys can file requests to access paperwork—such as insurance policy information or photographs from the scene—to learn more about the details of a case.
- You Might Undergo a Defense Medical Examination – The defendant’s insurance company can ask the court to order you to be examined by a doctor of its choice to verify your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Your Case Goes to Mediation or Arbitration – Mediation is a meeting of attorneys from both sides of your lawsuit, including the plaintiff and defendant. The facts of the case are presented to a neutral person who serves as a mediator. Arbitration is similar to mediation, but it can be set up as a binding—or legally enforceable—agreement. In some cases, an arbitration or mediation may result in a settlement before trial.
- You Have a Trial – If your case hasn’t settled before your court date, your case will be heard in front of a judge or jury. After hearing testimonies from both sides in the case, the judge or jury will consider the evidence presented to them.
- A Judgment Is Issued – A judge or jury will make a decision in your lawsuit.
At Scott Callahan & Associates, our team is here to help you get the compensation you need to cover your injury-related expenses. We work hard to try to get our clients the money they need as quickly as possible. However, we are not afraid to take an insurance company to court when their settlement offers are unfair.
Get the aggressive Katy car accident lawyer you need today. Call us at (713) 888-9000 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.
How Long Should I Wait To File A Claim After My Accident?
Don’t wait. In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit. However, there can be other deadlines that must be met much sooner to preserve your legal claim. Preparing a strong claim can take time, and getting legal representation as soon as possible can help protect your rights.
Should I Speak With The Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are focused on protecting profit margins, not helping car accident victims. Scott Callahan & Associates knows how to deal with insurance adjusters, and we are not afraid to take on a powerful insurance company’s legal team—even if it means going to court.
Insurance companies know that car accident victims may be unable to work, which might make them more eager to accept a settlement quickly. These early settlement offers rarely reflect the true extent of the injuries and may not cover all of your out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.
You should never have to settle your case for less than it is worth. Our attorneys know how to handle the insurance companies and are not afraid to take cases to court to get the best possible outcome. We are skilled negotiators who work fast to get you the compensation you deserve.
Wait before you speak with an insurance company. Call Scott Callahan & Associates at (713) 888-9000 to discuss your accident with a Katy car accident lawyer who cares about your best interests. We serve clients throughout the Greater Houston area.
I Feel Fine. Should I See A Doctor?
Yes. It can take days or weeks for painful injuries to develop after a car accident. Seeing a doctor prevents any injuries you have from getting worse and serves as evidence that can link your injuries to the accident.
What Are Common Injuries After A Car Accident?
Serious injuries can take months of medical treatments and years of recovery. If the injuries are catastrophic, a person may be unable to work or to return to a normal way of life.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Lacerations to the head and face
- Damage to the ribs, lungs, and chest
- Soft tissue injuries
Tragically, car accidents often result in death. More than 38,000 people die every year in the U.S. in a roadway accident. If you have lost a loved one in an auto accident, our legal team is prepared to represent your family in a wrongful death case.
What Can I Receive Compensation For In A Car Accident Case?
When you file a car accident claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical Bills and Treatments – The costs of doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, and hospital stays can add up fast. A strong claim factors in these expenses and any future medical costs you may face as a result of your injuries.
- Lost Wages – Severe injuries take time to heal, and permanent injuries can keep you from doing the job you used to do. Wage loss claims may include time you’ve already missed from work and future lost earnings.
- Physical Impairment, Scarring, and Disfigurement – If your injuries keep you from engaging in or enjoying activities that you were able to do before the accident, you may be able to file an impairment claim. You may also file a claim if your accident caused injuries resulting in scarring or disfigurement.
- Pain and Suffering – Injuries are often accompanied by physical pain, depression, and enjoying your normal life activities. The law allows you to receive appropriate damages for these losses.
Every car accident claim is different. At Scott Callahan & Associates, we’ll evaluate every aspect of your case and do everything in our power to get you the justice you deserve.
What Should I Do After A Car Accident? 5 Steps.
It may be tempting to accept a quick settlement offer from the insurance company after a car accident. But quick settlement offers from insurance adjusters may not cover all of your injury-related expenses. Beware of the other driver’s insurance company and speak to a lawyer before you talk with them.
At Scott Callahan & Associates, we are here to help you get the full amount of compensation you need for your claim. That’s why we’ve outlined a few steps you can take to help us file a strong claim on your behalf.
Following these 5 steps after an auto accident can help you maximize the value of your claim:
1. See a doctor – External injuries, such as cuts and bruises, are easy to see after an auto accident. However, serious internal injuries may not show symptoms for days or weeks. A doctor can prevent any injuries you have from getting worse, and medical records from the visit can serve as evidence linking your injuries to the crash.
2. Report Accident to Your Insurance – Be sure to report the accident to your insurance company soon after it happens. Avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company, signing any documents, or making any statements about the accident, as these actions may affect your ability to file a claim for compensation.
3. Write down how the accident happened – Filing a claim takes time, and details about your accident can become unclear during your recovery. Try to write down specific information about the scene, such as:
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved
- Traffic patterns at the time of the accident
- Witness names and contact information
- Any other details that may help prove your case
4. Photograph your injuries – Photographs can help prove the severity of your injuries to insurance adjusters, defense lawyers, and juries. If your doctor didn’t photograph your injuries during treatment, make sure to photograph them yourself.
5. Talk to an experienced car accident attorney – If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you deserve a board-certified trial lawyer who can help you get the money you need to pay your bills.
With more than two decades of legal experience, Scott Callahan & Associates has the knowledge and resources to get results for you. Contact us today at (713) 888-9000 or contact us online.
What Types Of Car Accidents Does Your Firm Handle?
At Scott Callahan & Associates, we have the experience, knowledge, and resources to investigate any auto accident in Texas, explain why it happened, and help determine who is at fault.
From taking photographs of the scene to reviewing witness statements, we will do everything in our power to help you get compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
At Scott Callahan & Associates, we are familiar with a wide variety of car accident claims. We help accident victims throughout the greater Houston area who were involved in the following types of car accidents, and more:
- Rear-End Accidents – Rear-end accidents can be caused by distracted driving, speeding, or tailgating. These collisions can quickly jerk vehicle occupants back and forth, resulting in spinal disk injuries, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- T-Bone Collisions – T-bone collisions often occur when drivers fail to heed traffic signals or signs at intersections. These crashes can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries to drivers and passengers.
- Single Vehicle Accidents – Poor weather, driving under the influence, and careless driving can all cause single vehicle car crashes. Passengers injured by negligent drivers may be entitled to compensation for their damages from the insurance company.
- Head-On Collisions – When two vehicles crash head-on, the force of impact can often be destructive. Head-on crashes often involve severe or life-threatening injuries such as TBIs, amputations, disfigurement, and bone fractures.
- Sideswipe Accidents – Sideswipe accidents can be caused by speeding, reckless driving, or drivers changing lanes without yielding. These accidents may result in secondary impacts into walls, barriers, or buildings, causing serious and permanent injuries.
No matter what type of car accident caused your injuries, Scott Callahan & Associates is here to help. Let our team gather the evidence needed to build a strong claim on your behalf, so you can concentrate on getting better.
Contact our firm to speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. Call us at (713) 888-9000 or send us a message online to get started with a free consultation.
Who Is Liable In A Car Accident In Texas?
In the first moments after getting in a car accident, you might be unsure of how the accident occurred or who was responsible. It is not your responsibility to determine liability, and you should never admit fault without having your case reviewed by a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
Even if you were partially at fault, you might still be entitled to recover damages in an injury lawsuit. Texas is one of several states that follows a “modified comparative fault law.” This means that even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you may still recover damages.
However, the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced by a percentage equal to your percentage of responsibility. Under Section 33.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, you cannot receive financial recovery if your proportion of responsibility is deemed greater than 50%.