5 Dont’s of Car Wreck Settlement

If you want a favorable car wreck settlement – one that compensates you adequately for your injuries, car damage, and other incurred costs – you need to be extra careful when navigating your claim. Specifically, you need to take steps to avoid these five major (but all too common) mistakes:

  1. Don’t admit fault. Never, ever, ever say “sorry,” “oops,” “my bad,” or anything else that could be interpreted as you taking the blame. If you’re implicated at all in causing the accident, it could significantly lower the car wreck settlement you can be awarded or, in some cases, it could negate it altogether. In which case, you’d end up footing the bill for a wreck you didn’t really cause!
  2. Don’t give a recorded statement. After you’ve been in an accident, you will likely be contacted by representatives of the other driver’s insurance company. They’ll want to discuss the wreck with you, get your side of the story and, often, get a recorded statement from you. Ultimately, they are looking for you to slip up. They want to catch you in a lie, making an error, or doing something else that could prove you an unreliable witness. If they’re successful, your settlement will be affected negatively.
  3. Don’t go it alone. A lawyer is crucial to getting a favorable car wreck settlement. They can gather evidence, file appropriate paperwork, and advise you on any statements to the insurance company. In fact, they can even handle all insurance communication altogether! In the end, this leads to a more successful claim and settlement.
  4. Don’t accept the first offer you get. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out. In most cases, your first settlement offer is going to be a low-ball one. It won’t be enough to cover your damages or hospital bills. Always run settlement offers by your lawyer before accepting them. They’ll be able to ensure they’re an adequate amount for your wreck.
  5. Don’t use their recommended service providers. Many insurance companies will try to force you to use their car repair shops, doctors, and other service providers. Little do you know, they have relationships with these providers, and they’ll give you inaccurate or low-ball estimates in order to save the insurance company money. Always use your own providers – ones you know and trust.


Want a favorable car wreck settlement? Avoid these 5 don’ts and call an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today!

Judging Competency of a San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney

If you want to ensure you get as much compensation as possible out of your injury claim, it’s crucial you hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and competent San Antonio personal injury attorney. However, exactly how do you do that? How do you judge an attorney’s competency in a field you’re completely unfamiliar with?


It’s easy. Just follow our tips below!

  • Narrow the field. The first step to finding a competent San Antonio personal injury attorney is to narrow the field of potential candidates. Do a quick Google search for local legal professionals, and ask your friends and family for recommendations. Narrow it down to five to 10 candidates. Make sure their offices are conveniently located, they specialize in injury law, and they’re accepting new clients.
  • Check Martindale-Hubbell.  Martindale-Hubbell is a rating system for lawyers and legal professionals. It boasts both peer ratings (from others in the legal field) and client ratings. Research your potential candidates on Martindale, and look for ones that have a peer rating of AV/preeminent. This indicates that the attorney is a well-respected member of the legal community and that they really know their stuff. Also pay attention to the client rating as well, as this can give you a glimpse at what type of service you can expect if you hire them.
  • Meet them face to face. Always meet any San Antonio personal injury attorney you’re considering face to face before you hire them. Ask them to assess your case and tell you what they think your chances of success are. You can even ask them to discuss how they would handle your case or any potential hurdles they see. If they can discuss your case on the fly like this, it can be a good indication that they are highly knowledgeable in their field.


Are you on the hunt for an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney? Then contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. We can help.

Seeking Compensation for Serious Injuries from Car Accidents

Did you or your loved one suffer serious injuries in a car accident? Then you could be due compensation, either through the at-fault driver’s insurance or through legal action. To learn more about seeking compensation for serious injuries from car accidents, read on or contact an accident attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.


What the Insurance Should Cover

Victims who suffer serious injuries from car accidents often find themselves facing a number of high costs in the wake of their wreck. There are medical bills to pay, lost wages to make up, and usually car repairs to handle. In many cases, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will cover most or all of these expenses.


Typically, they will offer these types of compensation to victims:

  • The costs of medical treatment for their injuries.
  • The costs of repairing the victim’s vehicle.
  • Rental car expenses, if one is required.


The extent to which insurance will cover these costs depends on the driver’s specific policy limits. In Texas, the law says drivers must care a minimum of $30,000 in liability for each injured person in an accident, and $60,000 total for the entire accident. Additionally, they must carry at least $25,000 in property damage coverage.


Unfortunately, just because the law stipulates this coverage minimum does not mean every driver abides. You may find yourself in a wreck with an uninsured driver, or, if your injuries are particularly severe, these minimums may not be enough to cover your expenses. In this case, you would need to take legal action to seek the compensation you deserve.


Taking Legal Action for Serious Injuries from Car Accidents

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate (or any) insurance coverage or their insurance provider just isn’t coughing up enough money to cover the costs of your injuries, you may have grounds to take legal action and seek additional compensation.


Through a legal claim, you can actually seek much more for your injuries than you could through insurance. In addition to getting your medical bills, car repairs, and rental expenses covered, you may also be able to seek compensation for:

  • Future medical costs that are expected, such as rehabilitative therapy, additional surgeries, and more.
  • Lost wages and income, if your injury has kept you from work or rendered you unable to do your job.
  • The pain, suffering, and mental anguish your injuries have forced you to endure.
  • Loss of consortium, if your injuries have affected your physical relationship with your spouse.


You may even be able to seek punitive damages in your legal claim, if the at-fault driver was particularly reckless or irresponsible in the causing the accident. These types of damages are designed to punish the defendant, discourage future similar behavior, and go above and beyond the damages you are already due. Though there is no way to determine exactly how much in punitive damages you may be due, an attorney can help provide you with a ballpark figure.


What Next?

Victims who have suffered serious injuries from car accidents should always consult an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help guide victims through the insurance claims process and field settlement offers from the appropriate insurance companies. They’ll evaluate whether these offers are adequate enough to cover the victim’s expenses. If they’re not, they can help the victim take legal action and file a claim to get the compensation they so deserve.


Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a car wreck? Then contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. We’ve helped thousands of victims, and we know how to help you get compensation for your injuries and other expenses. Call today!

Seeking Compensation for Auto Accident Injuries

After you’ve suffered auto accident injuries in a wreck that wasn’t your fault, you’re due compensation: compensation for your medical bills, any income or wages you’ve lost, the pain and suffering you’ve endured, and much, much more. However, how do you go about seeking that compensation?


Follow this helpful guide to learn how.


Call the Police

Even if the wreck is just a small fender bender, always call local police to the scene. This ensures that there is an official police record of the accident, which could include valuable information for your case. Police can also help spot witnesses at the scene and may include their testimony in the report.


Contact an Attorney

Immediately after your accident, you need to contact an attorney. An attorney will help guide you through the legal process, assist you in gathering evidence, and ensure your case is as successful as it can be. They’ll also help work with any insurance companies that are involved and review any potential settlement offers, so you don’t end up accepting less than your case is worth.


See a Doctor

If you’ve suffered auto accident injuries, even if they’re minor, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Failing to do so can make it more difficult to seek compensation for medical bills later on down the line. When you visit the doctor, ask for a full physical evaluation; this will help determine if there are any underlying conditions or injuries that may have been caused by the wreck. Then, your attorney can include these injuries – and the costs required to treat them – in your claim.


Gather Evidence

You can start gathering evidence for your case as soon as the wreck happens. Take photos with a camera or your phone at the scene of the incident; make sure to capture any damage to your vehicle and, of course, your auto accident injuries, if they’re visible. You can also jot down notes regarding the accident – how it happened, the speed you were going, the time of day, the weather, etc. All of these may be helpful in building your case. Plus, the longer you wait to record these details, the less likely you will remember them clearly.


Your attorney will also contact any witnesses from the scene of the accident and line up expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. Both of these can be extremely helpful in proving you were the victim in the wreck.


Avoid Giving a Statement

Following your accident, you’ll likely be contacted by the insurance company of the at-fault driver. They’ll want you to deliver an official statement, usually recorded, regarding the accident and the details you remember of it. Always avoid doing this. You are under no obligation to provide this statement and doing so could hurt your case. Always consult with your attorney if you’ve been contacted about a statement. They can help you formulate a truthful, comprehensive statement that will not impede or affect your claim.


Keep Receipts

In order to ensure you’re fully compensated for your auto accident injuries, car damage, and any other costs you’ve incurred, be sure to save all bills, receipts, and documents you receive after your wreck. Hand these over to your attorney, so they can make sure you’re offered funds for these items.


Accept a Settlement

Once you and your attorney have successfully gathered evidence, lined up witness testimony, and determined your claim’s worth, you’ll be offered a settlement from the defendant or their insurance company. Your attorney will assess this offer and ensure it’s an adequate amount to cover the expenses you incurred, as well as the attorney’s fees. If it is not, your attorney can help you file a legal claim, in which you may seek additional compensation, including, in some cases, punitive damages.


Did you recently suffer auto accident injuries in a wreck? Don’t delay! You could be due compensation. Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today at 210-226-8888.

What to Do after a Reckless Driving Accident

When you’re the victim of a reckless driving accident, it can often be difficult to keep a level head. It all happens so fast. You’re hurt, your car is damaged, and your brain is likely swimming with thoughts of the high costs and expenses this wreck is going to cost you. Don’t fret. We can help.


If you’re involved in a reckless driving accident, simply follow this step-by-step guide below.


At the Accident Scene

The very first thing you should do after a reckless driving accident is call the police. A police report is an integral piece of a personal injury claim, should you need to file one later one. It will provide a third-party account of the accident, and serve as important evidence against the at-fault driver, so you can receive the compensation you deserve.


Then, if you’ve been hurt in the wreck, it’s time to seek medical attention. Whether it’s calling an ambulance or having someone drive you to the doctor’s office, it’s important you do this immediately if you’re in pain or hurting. Be sure to save any receipts or itemized bills you receive while there, as these will help ensure you get compensated for them later on.


If you or a passenger is physically able to, you should also take a minute to take stock of the accident scene. Snap photos of the damage done to your car, your injuries, and the accident itself. Jot down notes regarding the wreck and store them in your pocket or purse for later. All these will help in building a claim against the at-fault driver later on, so you can get compensated.


After the Reckless Driving Accident

After the accident, you should make contact with your insurance company. Alert them of the wreck, and provide them with the other driver’s contact information. Be on the lookout for a call or letter from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, too. They’ll likely want you to provide a statement regarding the wreck. Do all you can to avoid this. Providing a statement can end up hurting you in the end; it could even implicate you in the accident and lower the amount of compensation you can receive.


Finally, contact an attorney. An attorney will help coordinate with the involved insurance companies and make sure the at-fault driver pays for the damages they have inflicted. Specifically, they will:

  • Gather evidence and witness testimony to prove the other driver’s fault.
  • Advise you on any statements you need to provide for insurance companies.
  • Determine an accurate amount of damages you should be due because of the reckless driving accident.
  • Field any settlement offers you may receive to ensure they are enough to cover your car damage, medical bills, and other expenses.


All in all, an attorney will help build your case and ensure you’re not stuck holding the blame for a wreck you didn’t cause.


Filing a Claim

In the end, if the other driver’s insurance just isn’t offering a settlement amount you’re happy with, your attorney can help you take further legal action against the driver. They’ll assist you in filing a claim, so you can get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, car damage, pain, suffering, and more. You could even be due punitive damages, which go above and behind the damages you are already due.


Were you recently the victim of a reckless driving accident? Make sure you don’t end up footing the bill for a wreck you didn’t cause. Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney to get started on your case today. Call 210-226-8888 now!

Common Types and Causes of Oil Field Accidents

Oil and gas workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 4.2 percent of all oil and gas workers are hurt on the job each year. A great many of these incidents involve an oil rig accident, suffered off-shore on the decks or in the wells of a drilling operation. To help workers become more aware of the dangers and hazards associated with their job, we’ve put together this helpful guide, noting common types and causes of oil field accidents, so these can be avoided and prevented.


Common Types of Oil Field Accident

There are a number of types and kinds of oil rig injuries that can be suffered on the job. Some are due to negligence or error on the part of employers or coworkers, while others are simply a hazard of the oil and gas industry.


Common types of oil field accident include:

  • Burns – Because of the extremely flammable nature of oil, gas, and other chemicals present at rigs, fires and explosions are not uncommon. When great pressure builds up, it can easily cause an explosion, create a spark, and inflict painful burns and scarring on workers in the area. Burns can also occur from touching toxic chemicals and substances.
  • Brain and head injuries – Oil rig workers often find themselves very high off the ground. Falls from these heights can cause head, brain, and spinal cord injuries that can lead to permanent damage and even paralysis. Workers also often suffer these injuries because falling equipment or tools strike them, or they suffer a slip or fall on slippery decks or surfaces on the rig itself.
  • Exposure to toxic fumes – Rigs are home to many toxic and volatile chemicals and substances. Prolonged exposure to the fumes of these substances can cause respiratory problems, brain damage, and other health conditions in workers.
  • Amputations – Very heavy machinery and tools are used in the oil and gas workplace. If these are used incorrectly, dropped, or crush a person, they can easily cut off legs, arms, and other body parts in the process.


While not an oil field accident per se, death is also an on-the-job risk for oil and gas workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 120 workers died in the industry in 2008 alone. Most of these fatalities occurred because of transportation accidents, contact with heavy objects or equipment, or due to on-site fires and explosions.


Common Causes of Oil Field Accidents

An oil field accident can stem from a number of on-the-job hazards and risk. Many of these are preventable and avoidable with the right safety policies and practices.


Just a few of the common causes of oil field accident include:

  • Negligent or improperly trained workers on the rig
  • Improperly stored chemicals or substances
  • Gas leaks
  • High pressure in wells
  • Falling objects, tools, or debris
  • Cable or block breaks
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Faulty and poorly maintained grating, pipe tongs, and other types of equipment
  • Improperly used tools, machinery, or equipment
  • Combustible chemicals and substances
  • Explosions
  • Careless or reckless behavior by workers
  • Delayed equipment repair or maintenance
  • Poor communication on the rig


What to Do After an Oil Field Accident?

Were you the victim of an oil field accident? Was someone you love? Then you could be due compensation through workers’ compensation or have grounds for a legal claim against your employer, coworker, or third party who caused the incident. To get started on your claim or to learn more about oil field injuries, contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney in San Antonio. Call 210-226-8888 now!

Getting the Most from your Car Wreck Settlement

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you likely have medical bills to pay, car repairs to cover, and a hundred other expenses weighing down on you. Sure, the settlement you get from the at-fault driver’s insurance company should help – a little. However, if you’re like many accident victims, it won’t cover all of it. Want to make sure you get the most out of your car wreck settlement? Then follow these simple tips.


These quick and easy pointers can help you get the most money out of your car wreck settlement, so you’re not stuck footing the bill for an accident that wasn’t your fault:

  • Don’t talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company – unless you’ve spoken to a lawyer. Never, ever talk to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to an attorney first. Especially do not give any sort of statement or recorded interview regarding the accident or your subsequent injuries. Insurance companies will use these statements against you, ultimately pinning some (or all) of the blame on you. In the end, this could lessen your car wreck settlement or make it impossible for you to collect altogether.
  • Gather evidence from the scene of the accident. Start gathering evidence from the accident scene as soon as possible. If you’re not hurt, do it as soon as you’ve called the police and obtained the other driver’s information. If you require medical attention, ask a friend or family member to do it for you. They should focus on taking pictures of the accident – the damage done to the vehicles, the surroundings of the scene, and even the injuries you suffered. All of these can help build your case and ensure the other driver is held liable for the damages they caused.
  • Accurately determine how much you should be due. If you really want to get the car wreck settlement you deserve, you first need to accurately determine how much it is you are due. Make it a point to save all receipts and bills from post-accident services – car repairs, medical treatment, prescriptions – anything at all you were charged for in regards to your wreck. You should also consider any associated costs you incurred as a result, including lost wages or income, transportation costs, and anything else. All of these should be factored into your final car wreck settlement.
  • Don’t go to the “recommended” shops. Insurance companies are notorious for insisting you go to their “recommended” auto body shops for quotes and repairs. Oftentimes, these places will significantly under-quote what it will actually cost you to get it fixed. They also typically deliver less-than-quality service; something you definitely don’t want on something as important as your vehicle. Always stick to repair shops you know and trust.
  • Don’t settle for less. Ultimately, the at-fault driver is going to offer you a car wreck settlement that’s worth much less than you deserve. Don’t settle for it. Refuse to take any settlement offers that don’t cover the costs and expenses you’ve incurred. If they won’t offer you any more, consider taking legal action against the at-fault driver to get the money you are rightfully due.
  • Get a lawyer. In the end, the best way to ensure you get the best car wreck settlement possible is to hire a qualified lawyer. They can make sure you’re not implicated in the accident, help prove the other driver’s fault and ensure you don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.


Are you looking for a workplace accident attorney? Look no further than Pat Maloney. Board certified and highly experienced, Maloney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 210-226-8888 today!

Qualifications of a Good San Antonio Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt on the job, in a car accident, or anywhere else because of another person’s mistake or negligence, you could be due compensation through a personal injury claim. While you could try to go at it on your own through the complicated legal system, if you truly want the most compensation possible, it’s crucial that you hire an injury lawyer to help. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to see what qualifications you should look for when seeking a great San Antonio injury lawyer for your personal injury case.


Qualifications of a great San Antonio injury lawyer include:

  • Licensing and involvement in professional associations – First and foremost, you should make sure your lawyer has a law degree from an accredited university, that they’ve passed the bar exam, and that they’re licensed to practice law in your state. You should also check to see if they’re involved in any professional associations – either locally or nationally. Involvement in professional groups indicates a dedication to their craft and an interest in furthering their skills and knowledge in the legal industry.
  • A great record – This one speaks for itself. If you want a San Antonio injury lawyer who is going to help you win, check to see that they’ve helped others win before, too. Many attorneys keep lists of the cases and awards they’ve won for clients on their websites. If they don’t have one there, they may offer to give you one if you simply request it. You’ll want to check it to see that 1) they have a record of winning, 2) they have a record of winning high amounts for their clients, and 3) their record includes cases similar to yours.
  • Good communication skills – Great communication is key in a successful legal claim. You need to be kept up to date and appraised of your case as it happens, and your lawyer should be the one doing it. A real test of a lawyer’s communication skills comes before you even hire them; will they do a face-to-face meeting with you first? Will they answer questions, give you a case outlook, and let you speak to them in person before requiring you to put down the cash? If so, this shows they’re committed to working not only FOR you, but WITH you on your case.
  • A great reputation – In addition to having a great record with past clients, you also need to make sure your lawyer delivers great service, too. Check online reviews and see what past customers’ experiences have been like. Ask the lawyer for names and numbers of referrals, and give them a call to see what sort of service they received as a client. You can even look into peer review sites, like Martindale-Hubbell, to see what other legal professionals think of a lawyer. These can all give you great insight into an attorney’s professional reputation in the industry.
  • Honesty – Honesty is a hugely important quality in a great San Antonio injury lawyer. You don’t just want a “yes” man, someone who is going to tell you want you want to hear. You need an attorney who’s going to be honest and up-front about your case: where they see it going, how much compensation they expect, and what the likelihood is that you’ll actually win. If they’re not honest, you could just end up wasting your time and hard-earned money.


Are you looking for a great San Antonio injury attorney to manage your case? Then look no further than Pat Maloney. He’s board certified, highly experienced, and ready to take on your case. Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney at 210-226-8888 to get started today!

What to Look for in a Workplace Accident Attorney

When you’ve been hurt on the job, you’re likely due compensation for your medical bills, the income you’ve lost, and more. This could be through workers’ compensation coverage or you may need to file an injury claim against your employer, coworker, or other third party who caused your accident. To determine the best form of action for your particular injury, it’s best to consult a workplace accident attorney. They can guide you through the workers’ comp process, or, if necessary, help you file a legal claim for compensation.


However, how do you go about finding a workplace accident attorney? And what exactly do you look for when considering candidates? Follow our handy guide below:


    • Look for experience. First off, look for a workplace accident attorney with years of experience under his or her belt. The longer they’ve been in working in on-the-job injury law, the more equipped they’ll be to handle your case. Additionally, look for attorneys who don’t just have lengthy experience, but also varied experience. You want a lawyer who has run the gamut in work injury cases; they should have tried plenty of cases involving oilfield injuries, construction site accidents, industrial incidents, and more. The more varied experience they have, the more likely they will have tried a case just like yours in the past – allowing them to know exactly what to do to build your case and see it through to success.


    • Find satisfied customers. Always look to customer reviews and testimonials when looking for a great workplace attorney. See that past customers and clients were happy with their work, the results of their case, and their overall experience with the lawyer. All in all, where you find satisfied customers, you’ll find a good attorney.


    • Be on the lookout for awards and recognition. There are thousands of lawyers you can choose from, and awards and recognition are a great way to distinguish a great attorney from the rest of the pack. Specifically, look for candidates who have been recognized for their service. Pat Maloney, for example, has been named Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer by the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, and he has been listed as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” five years running. Recognition like this lets you know you’re getting a quality lawyer who is dedicated to his or her craft and who’s known for delivering bona fide results.


    • Check for community involvement. The more involved your workplace accident attorney is, the better. Community involvement indicates that a lawyer is well educated on their local legal system – the laws and regulations you may face, the judges and attorneys you may come in contact with, and the court system you’ll be privy to. Knowing this information will allow them to build a better, more thorough, and more successful case on your behalf. To find attorneys with great community involvement, look for ones that serve on local boards or organizations. Pat Maloney, for example, has served as the president of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association and as director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Both of these positions demonstrate Maloney’s dedication to his craft and to his community at large.


  • Find board certification. Board certification indicates that a lawyer is an expert in a certain field of law. To give your case the best chance of success, seek a workplace accident attorney who is board certified in personal injury law. In order to qualify for board certification, a lawyer must have a certain number of years of experience, be dedicated to continuing education in the field, and be recommended by their peers. Only a select few lawyers are honored with this type of certification, and it indicates a true understanding of the field of injury law and a dedication to their community. Both of which can help you succeed in your case.


Are you looking for a workplace accident attorney? Look no further than Pat Maloney. Board certified and highly experienced, Maloney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 210-226-8888 today!

Employer Responsibility: Ensuring Safety on the Job

No matter what type of industry you work in, there is an inherent employer responsibility to provide you with a safe and hazard-free working environment. Your employer should establish and enforce workplace safety protocols and abide by all standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Failure to do so can result in dangerous and even life-threatening injuries and accidents to you or your fellow workers.


OSHA and Employer Responsibility

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, all employers have a responsibility to provide a “safe and healthful” workplace. In order to ensure this, OSHA has established hundreds of safety standards for employers to abide by. There are specific standards set forth for employers in the construction, maritime, agriculture, and recordkeeping industries. If an employer does not comply with OSHA standards, they can be issued a citation and, if the error is not corrected, even face fines or jail time.


When Injury Occurs

Even though there is employer responsibility to provide a safe workplace, this unfortunately does not always happen. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 alone, there were nearly 3 million workplace injuries and 4,600 job-related fatalities in the United States.


When a worker is injured on the job, they may be eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits or, if their employer does not have workers’ comp coverage, file a civil claim against the at-fault party. If a worker is killed in the line of duty, their survivors may be due the benefits of these claims instead.


Getting Help

Were you hurt on the job because your employer failed to provide a safe workplace? Then you could be due compensation through workers’ comp or a civil claim. Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today at 210-226-8888 to begin discussing your legal options.