Auto Accidents and Legal Representation

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Call The Barrera Law Firm for a free consultation following a car accident.

If you’re in an auto collision and the other person involved in that car wreck does not have insurance your options are not completely exhausted. You have other options available to you. Your own policy may have provisions included in it which will allow you to recover. An insurance contract is an agreement between you and an insurance company. You pay into it every month, or every six months or every year and you are expected to get something in exchange or in return for what you gave them. They, on the other hand, will be responsible for providing you what has been promised. In this case, you will have various things in your policy that may be included such as Personal Injury Protection, Under-insured Motorist or Uninsured Motorist. These aspects protect you when you are in an auto accident. They will provide you money that can be advanced toward hospital expenses or towards other expenses that are associated with the collision.

One thing to keep in mind is that an insurance adjuster is an individual who works for the insurance company. They do not work for you. They represent an insurance company which is a business, and that business is set up to be as profitable as possible. When you are involved in a collision, that insurance adjuster is not looking at your best interests alone. They are looking at the interests of the insurance company. Seeing an attorney is absolutely imperative when you’re in a collision because an attorney will be looking at your best interests and insuring that every possible form of recovery is granted on your end. The best thing to do before making any kind of recorded statement or communicating with an insurance adjuster is call an attorney. Call an attorney to get signed up to represent you so that insurance adjuster will have to go through that attorney who is equally or better matched against that insurance adjuster and their attorneys to represent your best interests.

Very often an insurance adjuster will try and take advantage of an individual’s uninformed position in an auto collision and offer a sum of money, which seems very tempting at the time. They’ll bring you a check, you’ll sign for it, you’ll have money in the bank. However, what happens when you accept that check, well the insurance company has essentially washed their hands of any future medical expenses you may have, or complications associated with your claim or new and relevant information about your claim that may come up about your auto collision that will be more expensive for you. And in doing so, your business is concluded with that insurance company. However, if you inform your attorney and ask them to represent you in your best interest they will ensure that all possibilities are explored and that you get the best possible situation for you, not the insurance company.

18-Wheeler Accidents: What You Need to Know

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If you're in an auto accident with an 18-wheeler, call The Barrera Law Firm

As more and more goods and services are shuttled on our country’s many highways by big 18-wheeler trucks, the more chances there are for accidents to occur. While most big rig drivers operate well within safety regulations, when cars and trucks are speeding down the highway at 65 mph or more, the risk of accidents does increase, as does the danger of them causing more damage to the victims involved. If you are involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, then there are some things you need to know:

  1. Determine who was at fault in the accident. Accidents can happen so fast, and in the confusion it can be difficult to determine who was at fault. When the officer shows up at the scene of the accident to make an official report, be sure you give them the full story, including all the details you can remember. If you know that the 18 wheeler caused the accident, provide a clear reason behind your logic and make sure it gets into the official accident report, as this will be used later to determine your insurance settlement.
  2. Get your injuries assessed by a medical professional. If you have been injured, go immediately to a hospital to have your injuries assessed by a professional. If you cannot drive yourself, go with an ambulance. Make sure you are get a complete report from your doctor as to the injuries you sustained from the accident. You will need this later on when you file with the insurance company of the 18 wheeler to have your medical bills paid.
  3. Obtain a copy of the official accident report from the police department. You also need to obtain a copy of the official accident report from the police department. You can either go down to the courthouse yourself to obtain your official copy or you can allow your 18-wheeler accident lawyer do it for you. This will be used to determine who was at fault for the accident. If it was determined the 18 wheeler was at fault, you will be able to file a claim with their insurance company for your medical bills, property damage and personal injury.
  4. Get an 18 wheeler accident attorney. Using an 18-wheeler accident attorney will get your claim settled in a more timely manner. The laws regarding accidents with 18 wheelers are different than those regarding regular auto accidents. Lawyers who have special training and expertise in 18-wheeler accidents are better suited for taking on this type of claim. In order to get the full settlement you deserve, it takes a little work, and if you are feeling poorly due to your injuries fro the accident, you simply may not be up for the task. Let an 18-wheeler accident attorney do it for you, it is their job after all.

Being in an accident with an 18-wheeler is never a good time. By getting a good lawyer and getting your claims filed right away, you can get it taken care of as soon as possible so you will be free to move on with your life.

Some Sobering Facts About Driving Under the Influence

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Before going to that holiday party, remember the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving prevention month.  And that makes sense: too many out-of-control holiday merrymakers get behind the wheel, unaware that their irresponsible behavior could potentially endanger the lives of those around them.

In all states including Texas, a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is considered legally intoxicated. But it doesn’t take much—just a few drinks for some people depending on such factors as height, weight and gender—for the effects of alcohol to take hold. Consider the following blood alcohol facts:

  • At a BAC of .02, a person experience loss of judgment and has trouble doing two tasks at the same time
  • At .05, he or she will have reduced coordination, a deteriorating ability to track objects and difficulty steering
  • At .08, the individual will have trouble controlling speed and have difficulty reasoning
  • At .10, a person will have greatly slowed reaction times and difficulty keeping a car in one lane
  • At a BAC of .15, she or she will be unable to control a vehicle

The effects of drugs—both legal and illegal—on driving are similar. Like alcohol, drugs also can impair a driver’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment and lead to equally devastating consequences.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alcohol and/or drugs causes 52% of all fatal accidents on Christmas and 57% on New Year’s Day. When you are on the road this holiday season, stay aware of other drivers especially at night. However, if you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a drunk and/or drugged driver, count on the attorneys at the Barrera Law Firm to help you seek the legal and financial restitution you deserve.

Be Safe on Labor Day

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Remember, it's a holiday, so be safe, and enjoy the time off from work.
With the upcoming Labor Day weekend, The Barrera Law Firm wishes everyone a fun, but most important, a very safe holiday.

Car accidents occur often over long weekends like Labor Day, simply because more cars are on the roads, but also because there are, unfortunately, some unsafe or impaired drivers.

The National Safety Council released their annual report which cites statistics related to Labor Day traffic accidents as well as some tips that will make traveling around on Labor Day safer and more enjoyable.

Read the full article here.

The Council estimates 400 traffic fatalities will occur over the holiday weekend and another 38,800 medically consulted injuries will be sustained from motor vehicle collisions. For the past six years, the Labor Day weekend has averaged 14.6 percent more traffic fatalities than similar non-holiday periods.

The Council also estimates 142 people may survive the holiday weekend because they will have worn safety belts, while another 102 lives would have been saved if all had worn safety belts. Because Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest and deadliest times on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will enforce a National Impaired Driving Crackdown from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. During this time, law enforcement officials will focus their attention on impaired drivers.

So keep in mind is that with the increased traffic many areas are increasing police patrols and increasing citations of speeders and impaired drivers. So stay within the legal speed limit, celebrate appropriately but responsibly and keep an eye out for emergency vehicles.

4 Truths from Fiction in Auto Accident Injury Lawsuits

Car accidentWhen it comes to auto accident law, it’s sometimes very difficult to separate truth from fiction. A big part of the problem comes from the fact that we live in world oversaturated by unfiltered information.  And that can lead to a lot of confusion, especially for those individuals who really are accident victims and don’t know where to turn.

Here are some of the more prevalent of those fictions and some truths you need to know if you’ve been involved in an auto accident:

1. Auto injury laws are the same in every state.

TRUTH:  Auto injury laws vary from state to state. For example, some states including Texas require that you purchase liability insurance while others do not. And where some states have no-fault laws, others (like Texas) follow the tort system where one driver is deemed to be at fault when an accident occurs.

2. Big settlements are easy if you have severe injuries.

TRUTH: Unfortunately, auto accident attorneys see courts throw out plenty of  cases where victims who had serious, life-altering injuries received no compensation.  And because the recession caused huge losses for many insurance companies, many auto insurance defense teams are becoming more aggressive about challenging injuries. Every case is different and a good attorney will never guarantee you a specific award.

3. If you hold out long enough, your insurance company will settle for a higher amount.

TRUTH: Many factors can affect an insurance company’s reimbursement offer.

These include:

  • internal company protocol;
  • the reputation of the victim’s attorney; and
  • the track record of the assigned judge.

By discussing your unique set of circumstances with a qualified auto accident lawyer, you can get a better understanding of the viability of your case.

4. Any personal injury lawyer can handle your case.

 TRUTH: The car accident laws in each state are subject to constant change.  This makes it difficult for attorneys who are personal injury lawsuit generalists to keep up with the latest developments in auto accident law. That’s why it’s crucial to the success of your case to select a lawyer who specializes in car, truck and motorcycle accidents.

Good legal advice will help you avoid the devastating loss of your medical benefits and ability to receive the best compensation for your pain and suffering.  At the Barrera Law Firm, you’ll find attorneys with up-to-date knowledge about Texas auto accident laws who will fight for your rights in court and get you the settlement you deserve. Don’t compromise your future.  Contact us today!

Photo credit: Bill Longshaw

Why You Need a Good Auto Accident Lawyer

Unfortunately, car wrecks are all too common. And if you’re suffering from an injury that you sustained as a result of one, then you need to act quickly to safeguard your health and property. Locating effective legal representation is one of the first, most important steps you can take to help you defend your rights.

Some people believe that it’s best to represent themselves in court. However, the fact of the matter is that doing so is as stressful as it is seldom successful. This is because insurance companies and their defense teams are looking to make sure you get the lowest amount of money for your accident claim and will use whatever tactics necessary to make this happen. When you hire the right attorney, you may be able to recover as much as double or even triple the amount of money than would be possible otherwise.

And experienced auto accident lawyer will carefully review the facts of surrounding your accident to determine how best to move forward. That professional will then attempt to seek damages for all personal injury claims including:

  • brain injuries
  • burns
  • whiplash
  • amputation
  • wrongful death

Such an attorney will also seek reparation for any emotional distress and mental anguish you may have suffered–or may continue to be suffering–as a result of the accident. If you did not cause the car wreck, then you may be entitled to receive compensation for such things as medical bills, loss of earnings and property damage.

The legal professionals at the Barrera Law Firm will carefully scrutinize all aspects of your case including the nature and extent of your injuries to establish the full scope of your accident injury expenses.  Since our number one priority is protecting your rights, you can be assured that we will fight aggressively for you in the courtroom and be available to you whenever you need us.   Contact us today and let us make the law work for you!

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