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MAS's Personal Injury FAQs

On this page MAS Law Firm has provided several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), our personal injury lawyers are asked by people injured due to the carelessness of others. These questions may be similar to your questions and concerns. If you do not find your question here, you should contact our office for answers to your specific case. Feel free to call us or write us your questions on our Contact Us page. Consultations with our office are always free.

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Flash Piece

FAQS

Q: What should I do after my accident?

A:
Here are a few suggestions of things that you should do immediately after your accident:
  1. Write down the contact information (including names, addresses, and telephone numbers) of everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses who saw what happened.
  2. After contacting the insurance company, write down the name, address, and telephone number of the insurance adjustor and the claim number assigned to your claim.
  3. Take notes of every conversation you have with the insurance adjustor (They are taking notes of every conversation they have with you!).
  4. Be VERY careful when you describe your injuries to your doctors and the adjustor. Be sure to provide both a complete list of all body parts that are in pain. It is common for complaints of pain to increase over time from minor to serious. If you did not tell your doctor of that minor pain that now requires medical attention several months later, you are giving a gift to the insurance adjustor.
  5. Follow your doctors' advice.
  6. If you need to take time off from work due to your pain, make sure that your employer documents your leave and return to work as soon as you are able to do so.

Q: What is the penalty for leaving the scene of the accident and not reporting it to the police?

A:
In Texas, all accidents involving damages of $1,000.00 or more, and/or causing death or injury to a person, including himself, must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles using a form called a CR-2. This Form is available on our website. Also, if you are involved in an accident, you must check with everyone involved to make sure they are not injured. If anyone is injured, then the police must be notified. However, even if nobody is feeling injured at the moment, it is generally a good idea to notify the police, particularly when there is serious property damage to the vehicles or there is any question about who is responsible for causing the auto accident.

If you fail to report an injury accident to the police and leave the scene, you may face criminal charges for hit-and-run and may be sentenced to jail or subject to a fine.

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Q: I was just involved in an accident and am hurt. I want to see a doctor but I'm worried about who will pay for my medical care. Does the insurance company pay the bill? If they do, when does it get paid?

A:
Ultimately, the person at fault pays for your medical bills. They are responsible, so they will pay either personally or through their insurance company. The problem is that they won't pay until the case is settled or after trial when they will pay a single lump sum to you for all your damages.

Until then, though, how do your bills get paid. First, if you have health insurance, you should send your bills to your health insurer for payment. Another option is to submit the bills to your car insurance company for payment under your medical payment benefit coverage.

If you do not have health insurance or medical payment benefits to pay for your medical care, your doctor may take a lien against the proceeds of your settlement in order to pay his bill. Under this agreement, he'll wait to get paid until your case settles.

Because there are a variety of payment options, and each can have a consequence with respect to your accident injury case, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury accident attorney for specific advice for your case. The lawyers at our firm are available to consult with you and provide clear advice regarding your serious injury.

Q: What is my accident case worth?

A:
While this question may seem very simple, the answer and calculation is actually very complicated. The bottom line is that there is no simple formula or process to predict the amount of money that an injury accident case may be worth.

However, in a nutshell, an injury accident victim is entitled to compensation to pay for all medical care (both past treatment and future treatment that is reasonably anticipated) caused by the accident, loss of past earnings, loss of future earning capacity, and general damages (typically referred to as "pain and suffering" damages).

The largest factor in determining the value of an injury accident case is the cost, extent, and length of medical treatment. Not only are the medical bills subject to reimbursement through a settlement or judgment, but they are the primary measure used by insurance companies and jurors to award general damages.

The best way to get a range of what your injury accident case may be worth is to talk to an experienced, knowledgeable attorney--one who only represents injury accident victims--at our law firm by contacting us via this website or at 972-789-1664.

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Q: Are there any mistakes I could make that would destroy my injury accident claim?

A:
Absolutely. Many clients make one or even several mistakes early on after their accident which could jeopardize their claim and give unneeded ammunition to the insurance adjustor. Unfortunately, most of these mistakes are made before hiring a lawyer--a lawyer who would advise them not to make these mistakes.

Here are a few examples of things that you should absolutely NOT do after an injury accident:
  1. Do not agree to an audio tape recording of your conversation with the insurance adjustor (No, you do not have an obligation to agree to the recording).
  2. Do not discuss anything but the basic facts of the accident with the adjustor such as the date and time that the accident occurred, where it occurred, and what happened. Adjustors will often try to engage you in informal conversation to find out details about your work history, income, schedule, and social security number. None of this information must be turned over to the insurance adjustor.
  3. Do not agree to anything.
  4. Do not sign anything, including a medical authorization to get all medical history about you--including things that are not related at all to your accident injuries.
  5. Do not answer any questions about your family. This is completely irrelevant.
  6. Do not identify any witnesses. You are not under an obligation to do so.
  7. Do not give the adjustor the name of your doctor. You are not under an obligation to do so.
Q: Do I need you to represent me after my injury accident?

A:
Not always. Generally, the more complex the injury and the more extensive your medical care is, the more an attorney will be able to add value to your claim. If your injury is minor or resolves within a day or two, and you do not seek medical treatment, you would be better off settling the case yourself. As a general rule, our law firm does not represent every injury accident victim--even if they ask.

By being selective about the cases and clients we work with, we can devote more time and energy to our clients' cases. If your claim does not meet our selection standards, you may be better off handling your claim without an attorney.

Car Accident and Personal Injury
Q: What about my car? Who should pay to get my car fixed after my car accident?

A:
Generally, the insurance company for the driver who caused the car accident will pay to fix your damaged car. However, this may drag out and the insurance company might not be as helpful as you would like. In that case, you might want to contact your own insurance company and have them work to fix your car. The downside is that you will need to pay your deductible, but your insurance company will help you recover the deductible from the other insurance company.

Q: How much is it going to cost for a consultation?

A:
Nothing, there is no charge for the consultation when the case is one of personal injury. The case will be handled on a contingency basis, with the attorney being paid from the recovery.

Q: What Should I bring with me to my appointment?

A:
Please bring the following:
  1. The police accident report and information regarding the other party and passengers involved
  2. Medical expenses and evidence of other expenses
  3. Insurance policies (including your own, regardless of whether you were driving or whether it was your own car)
Q: Are there any other costs or expenses involved with this type of case?

A:
Yes. Typically, the primary expenses associated with a personal injury case are litigation costs, fees for medical reports and records and charges made by experts. The firm pays these expenses up front and these are repaid with your recovery.

Lawyers on Your Side
Q: If you take my case, what will I have to do?

A:
If you hire us to be your lawyers, you will be a significant part of your case team. We will ask you to help us gather the information that we will use to support your case. Just as we will keep you informed about your case, you will need to keep us informed about your medical treatment and your physical limitations. After we file the lawsuit, you will have to answer written questions called interrogatories and sit for a question-and-answer period with the opposing lawyer called a "deposition." (Of course, we'll prepare you first, find a time that is convenient for you, and sit next to you during the deposition). You may have to be evaluated by other doctors. If your case does not settle, you will have to be present for the trial.

Q: How long will it take?

A:
Even though many cases settle before trial, this does not usually happen until both sides have prepared the case. Generally, lawsuits take about two years from filing to trial. This can vary significantly in either direction based on the complexity of your case, the congestion of court dockets, and other factors. Our advice to our clients? Be patient. We are always willing to tell you exactly what is happening with your case. In the meantime, you have to trust that we are working hard for you.

Q: What do insurance companies and potential defendants want?

A:
Insurers want your premiums but not your claims. Insurers want valid lawsuits against them to never be pursued and so they fill public opinion with mistruths about our legal system and "too many frivolous lawsuits." Insurers hope that you will think that you're in good hands with their insurance claims adjuster. Insurance companies want all jurors to think the plaintiff (person filing suit) is a sham, dishonest and insincere. Insurers want jury verdicts to award far less damages then what is fair, and just in case a jury awards what is fair, they want caps on damages to minimize how much justice you can get.

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