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How to Find a Lawyer for Automobile Accidents

When you’ve been in a wreck, the first piece of advice you’ll likely be inundated with will be to hire a lawyer for automobile accidents. And that’s sound advice. But where do you start? And more importantly, how do you know you’ve found the right one?

 

  • Supply follows demand.
    This is why you’ll see pages upon pages of listings in the phone book and endless Google search results for accident lawyers. So, determine beforehand if you actually need a lawyer for the size of claim you’re filing. Was it a no-injury fender-bender, easily taken care of in small claims court? Or were significant medical bills accrued and work time lost, a situation that may require an attorney’s expertise?
  • Experience is essential.
    When searching for a lawyer for automobile accidents, concentrate on key words that apply to your case: personal injury, wrongful death, property destruction, accident liability, etc. The attorney’s physical location should also be a factor in your choice because office visits will be much more convenient, especially if you’re injured. During your free initial consultation, you can determine your candidate’s level of knowledge concerning state and national laws, how well they navigate the labyrinth of insurance company requirements, their level of education, years of experience, and their success rate.
  • Quality costs, but second-rate costs more.
    A qualified, successful lawyer for automobile accidents won’t generally cost you anything initially, not until you’ve won your case. Yes, the attorney’s fees (which should be clearly outlined from the start) will claim a portion of your court-awarded dollars. But before you’re tempted to save a few percentage points with a less-experienced lawyer, remember that if you lose your case, your lawyer may get nothing, but you’re still paying medical bills and car repairs.

 

 

Don’t settle for less than the best when you need a lawyer for automobile accidents. Contact us today

Get the Most Out of a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident settlement can be one of the toughest negotiations you’ll ever encounter. Don’t go into it without backup, in terms of evidence and representation.

 

 

Get Your Ducks in a Row

 

There’s no reason to delay the start of the negotiation process with the insurance company after you’re healed (or healed enough to devote time and energy to the process). Make sure you have all your evidence in place and organized, such as:

 

  • Police reports.
  • Medical records.
  • Photographs.
  • Witness statements.

The more detailed these records, the better — you don’t want to leave any stone unturned in getting enough in the settlement to cover your losses.

 

 

Aim a Little Higher Than Necessary

The first rule of negotiating a car accident settlement is similar to bartering: figure out a fair price, and start negotiations a minimum of 25 percent above it. The insurance company will undoubtedly come back with a lowball offer. If after several rounds of negotiation, no agreement is reached, you may be headed for court. It’s up to you to decide if the insurance company’s final offer is truly too low or if it’s close enough to your goal to not draw out the process any longer than necessary.

 

 

Don’t Lose Your Temper

The insurance representatives will resort to several tactics to get your emotions riled up, including minimizing the severity of your injuries. Don’t fall for it. Remain calm and stick to the facts to maximize your car accident settlement.

 

 

Don’t Go on Record(ing)

If an insurance adjuster requests that you make a recorded audio or video statement, don’t. Remember “anything you say can and will be used against you,” and the nervousness you experience while being recorded could trigger the tendency to talk more than you normally would.

 

 

Don’t Wonder Why

The whole process of negotiating a car accident settlement can seem convoluted and at times, make no sense. That’s why it’s a good idea to have experienced representation to stay focused on the task at hand, maximizing your settlement to cover your expenses.

3 Terrible Reckless Driving Consequences

When you’re traveling for your daily commute, reckless driving consequences are usually the last things on your mind. It’s a known fact that releasing pent-up frustration can be healthy. Crank up the music, and sing at the top of your lungs. Scream into a pillow. Work it out at the gym. But one of the worst places to vent is behind the wheel of a two-ton missile, otherwise known as your car.

 

 

Temper, emotion, busyness, even the temptation to have a little fun can have horrendous repercussions if you’re not thinking about reckless driving consequences. In Texas, reckless driving is defined as willfully operating a vehicle without regard for the damage you could do to yourself, other people, or property.

 

 

  1. Speeding

Speeding can cover more than just driving above the posted speed limit. Driving too fast for road or weather conditions is easy to do, especially if you’re in a hurry. Just ask first responders who grimace every time flash flood warnings are issued — it means they’ll probably be rescuing someone who overestimated their driving skills and underestimated the power of less than a foot of moving water.

 

At best, reckless driving consequences could include a misdemeanor charge, a fine, or maybe jail time. At worst? Innocent lives could be affected.

 

 

  1. Eluding Police

In Texas, if you fail to immediately pull over if signaled or verbally ordered to do so by a uniformed officer in a marked car, you could face a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude. Police, who have seen too many innocent victims in the aftermath of police chases, take this very seriously. You could be looking at up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. Throw alcohol into the mix, and your license could be suspended for a very long time.

 

 

  1. Drag Racing

If you’re charged with drag racing, now you’re flirting with a felony. If someone is hurt or killed as a result, the reckless driving consequences could be a couple decades behind bars.

 

 

In any case — especially yours — don’t set foot in a courtroom without skilled representation by your side. Going it alone could be the most reckless act of all.

Take Action When You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident

The worst thing about back pain after a car accident is that you may not notice it right away. By the time that dull ache morphs into take-your-breath-away agony, you might be outside the vital window to report it as a result of the wreck.

The time to take action to address back pain after a car accident is before liability is determined and the insurance companies have settled. Otherwise, you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for treatment and recovery expenses.

 

Be Aware of Symptoms

 

In the adrenaline rush, you might miss subtle symptoms that later manifest as severe back pain after a car accident.

  • Numbness and tingling in your hands, feet, arms, leg, or face.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Shooting or “zinging” sensations down your legs.

 

Pain Can Travel

 

With three distinct regions (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) and a complicated structure of vertebrae, discs, muscles, tendons, and nerves, the site of the injury may be hard to pin down, particularly if pains are shooting to other areas of your body. Some common injuries that cause back pain after a car accident include:

  • Damaged discs between the vertebrae, which can press on sensitive nerves.
  • Soft tissue damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Fractured vertebrae that may not always cause paralysis but will cause pain.
  • Torsion injuries to bones and soft tissues due to the twisting forces of an impact.

 

What Should You Do?

 

Don’t wait out minor symptoms, hoping they’ll go away. See your doctor for diagnostic tests such as:

  • CT (CAT) scan.
  • MRI.
  • X-rays.

 

The quicker you begin treatment for back pain after a car accident, the better. Hopefully, rest and anti-inflammatory medications will do the job, but if you need more intense treatment and end up missing work, the evidence you’ve gathered since day one can help an experienced attorney get the compensation you deserve to cover your expenses.

What to Do When in a Car Accident in San Antonio Today

When you get in your car to go to work or to run errands, are you ready to respond effectively to a car accident in San Antonio today? Chances are, the answer is “no.” You’re thinking about a big meeting or project or making sure you didn’t forget your shopping list.

 

If you end up being involved in a fender bender or a more serious accident, being prepared for the worst is the best way to maximize the chances of a positive outcome.

 

What are some of the ways you can be prepared for a car accident in San Antonio today, without breaking the bank or taking up too much room in your car?

 

Physical Health and Survival

 

When you’re putting together a first-aid and survival kit, periodically run an inventory and rehearse in your mind which items you’ll need and when.

 

  • Water
    Your body can last a surprisingly long time without food. Water? Not so much. Staying hydrated is your first priority if you’re stuck in a remote location.
  • Food
    Energy bars, particularly the ones designed for long shelf lives, are the best choice.
  • Warmth
    A shiny “space blanket” folds up small and reflects body heat back toward you. A wool blanket works well too, even when wet. Hypothermia isn’t unheard of even in San Antonio’s moderate climate.
  • Light
    Don’t rely solely on your cell phone. A flashlight and extra batteries are a must.

 

Accident Scene Safety and Scene Documentation

 

  • Reflective vest and traffic cones/safety triangles.
  • Flashlight, with extra batteries.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Multi-tool.
  • Disposable digital camera with flash.
  • Pre-printed accident scene checklist (available online), clipboard, and pen. With this handy diagram, form, and checklist, you can quickly write down vital details about the accident before they escape your memory in all the ensuing confusion.
  • Measuring tape to record skid mark length and size of photographed damage.

 

There’s no better time than right now to be prepared for a car accident in San Antonio today. And don’t forget to put our contact information in your kit!

Fatigued Driving: 6 Signs You Might Be Too Tired to Drive

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It’s safe to say that the vast majority of drivers would never attempt to operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking certain kinds of medication. These same drivers, however, think nothing of fatigued driving—getting behind the wheel (or hopping on their motorcycle) when they’re tired. In their minds, a yawn is not the same as a shot or a pint.

 

 

In reality, more than one-third of drivers have engaged in fatigued driving and fallen asleep at the wheel. Some of them are lucky enough to snap back awake in time to avoid a wreck. Some keep driving, seemingly functional while their conscious minds have checked out, only to blink and wonder how they missed their turn 20 miles ago. Too many cause an accident, hurting themselves and, often, someone else.

 

Don’t be a tragic statistic. The signs you shouldn’t be driving are often subtle.

 

Signs You Could Be Too Tired to Drive

 

1. You didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Combine a restless night with a long day at work, and it’s safe to say you shouldn’t embark on a long, monotonous trip, even if you think you’re stoked on caffeine.

 

2. You’re using the headrest. If you’re too weary to hold up your head, you’re not alert enough to drive any distance—short or long.

 

3. You can’t remember driving the past few miles. Muscle memory will only get you so far. If you’re well into your journey and it seems you just left, you’ve been snoozing, possibly even with your eyes open.

 

4. Your eyes are scratchy. Constantly needing to rub your eyes is a sign you’re too tired to keep going. Pull over at a rest stop and take a nap.

 

5. You keep hitting the rumble strips. This means you’re driving out of your lane, and you are fatigued driving. Get out from behind the wheel as soon as possible.

 

6. Your muscles feel twitchy. Lack of sleep can cause the release of stress hormones, which can make you achy, restless, and irritable. If you find you can’t keep from shifting in your seat, or you feel an uncontrollable need to shake out your arms and legs, you’re fatigued driving.

 

If you’ve been hurt in an accident and you suspect the other driver was fatigued driving, we can help. Call us today!

Essential Information to Tell Your Truck Accident Lawyer

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A truck accident lawyer needs information—and lots of it—to adequately present your injury case to the judge. That usually means more than just showing up with any casts, stitches, bumps, or bruises and trying to have your injuries tell the story.

 

 

 

 

In addition to discovering and preserving evidence such as the trucker’s driving record and work history, cell phone time and date stamps, truck maintenance history, and load or overload weight, a truck accident lawyer needs nothing but the truth from victims.

 

Have nothing to hide? Great. Are there a few blemishes on your own driving record? Come clean now so your lawyer won’t be handicapped by any surprises. Also tell your lawyer the following information:

  • Your health history. The trucking company’s attorneys will try to claim that your pain and suffering are a result of a pre-existing health condition, not because your half-ton car was totaled by a ten-ton truck. That broken shoulder? Oh, you had a baseball injury in high school, so tough luck. Memory loss? Remember that time you got a concussion when you flew off your ATV? No? Well, here it is in your medical records. Massive blood loss? Hmm, looks like you’re taking a medication that could cause lots of bleeding from a paper cut. Make sure your health records are in order and your truck accident lawyer has copies.
  • Past insurance claims. Have you filed insurance claims in the past, especially after previous accidents? Lawyers for the other side will be looking into your claim history—for health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance policies. Your own lawyer needs to know it before they do.
  • Your legal history. Your truck accident lawyer needs to know more than your driving record—from parking tickets to moving violations. If you’ve tangled with the legal system for any reason, no matter how far back, tell your attorney. This is true even if records involving specific incidents have been sealed or expunged. Your lawyer will, in many cases, be able to move quickly to ensure your prior record has no bearing on the current case.

 

When you need representation, we’ve got your back. Call us if you need a truck accident lawyer.

The 5 Most Destructive Types of Truck Wrecks

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Texas consistently ranks at or near the top for the number of fatal truck wrecks, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of course, the Lone Star state’s sheer size accounts for a large part of this ranking—all the more reason to stay alert when traveling along our thousands of miles of asphalt ribbon.

 

 

 

 

Whether you drive a truck or share the highway with them, awareness of all the ways a truck can run afoul of the laws of physics can go a long way to keeping you safe.

 

Consider the five most destructive types of truck wrecks you never wish to encounter:

 

1.Rear-end collisions. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop. Truck wrecks like this happen when truck drivers are distracted by cell phones, too tired to pay attention, or driving a truck with poorly maintained brakes. Even when truck drivers are doing everything right, drivers of smaller vehicles can contribute to rear-end collisions by cutting into that large, inviting space the trucker needs to safely stop.

 

2.Rollovers. A truck can easily roll over in a number of situations:

  • Entering a curve at a too-high speed
  • Drifting out of a lane and correcting too sharply
  • Swerving to avoid another vehicle
  • Loss of control due to a tire blow-out

 

3.Underride. Cars that follow a truck too closely can become lodged under the trailer if the trucker is forced to slam on the brakes.

 

4.Blind spots and wide turns. A simple rule of thumb is, if you as a car driver can’t see a truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you. It goes both ways—truckers should always assume there’s a car or motorcycle lurking in blind spots when changing lanes or making a wide, right-angle turn.

 

5.Unsecured load. Loads that aren’t properly secured, particularly on a flatbed truck, can be a deadly hazard to both truckers and other drivers when tons of weight shift to one side or spill all over the highway.

 

Involved in one of the many truck wrecks that occur in Texas each year? Let us shoulder the load while you recover. Contact us today.

Tips to Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

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Want to know the truth about finding the right car accident lawyer San Antonio residents? You’re in the driver’s seat.

Yes, presumably your lawyer has the expertise to shepherd your case through the legal system while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best.

Here are a few things you should expect from your car accident lawyer San Antonio residents. And if you aren’t getting most of them, it might be time to seek a different attorney:

  • They speak your language. We aren’t just talking English, Spanish, or other second-language skill (though that’s a plus, if multi-language fluency is a skill you need). Your lawyer should be able to translate legalese so you can easily understand what’s taking place.
  • They don’t leave you hanging. From day one, your car accident lawyer in San Antonio should extend the common courtesy of responding to your phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. Yes, your attorney has a life outside of work, but if they promise to respond within one business day, they should stick to it.
  • They live up to your expectations. Just because a lawyer passed the bar exam doesn’t mean they’re automatically good at what they do. A good car accident lawyer in San Antonio is not only ethical, they are sticklers for getting things right the first time. No one wants a lawyer who misses filing deadlines, shows up to proceedings late or unprepared, or worse, fails to recognize a conflict of interest.
  • They’re upfront about their fee structure. When your lawyer answers an email or a quick question via phone call, do they charge for their time? How much? Will you be billed monthly, or did your lawyer take your case on contingency (they’re paid only if they win the case for you)? How are costs calculated? Get everything in writing.
  • They tell you what to expect. No good car accident lawyer in San Antonio will allow you to enter a court hearing unprepared for what could and will happen.

 

Expect the best from your lawyer? Good, because we expect the best of ourselves. Contact us if you need a car accident lawyer, San Antonio based. We look forward to meeting you.

Suffering from Head Trauma? A San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

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Just because your accident didn’t result in you lying unconscious in bed for weeks or months doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t suffered a serious head injury. That’s why you need a San Antonio personal injury lawyer who is up to speed on all the latest research into the symptoms and treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

 

 

 

Outward Signs of Possible Brain Injury

A medical diagnosis of any degree of brain injury can be difficult, particularly if the patient has a pre-existing condition that might mask the symptoms of mild impairment.

 

Here are some of the signs first responders and doctors look for that indicate they could be dealing with head trauma:

 

  • Bleeding scalp wounds
  • Facial fractures, open or closed
  • Facial bruising
  • Loss of consciousness for any length of time
  • Nasal discharge, whether bloody or clear
  • Stiffness in the cervical spine

 

Timely documentation (written and images) are critical not only for diagnosis and treatment, but to provide a solid foundation on which a San Antonio personal injury lawyer can build your case.

 

Subtler Symptoms to Watch for

Some symptoms of brain injury can be deceptively mild and too easily brushed off. The symptom may depend on which of the brain’s six main regions are affected. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

 

Frontal lobe (forehead/crown)

  • Inability to perform a common, multi-step task in sequence
  • Fixation on a single thought or idea
  • Mood swings
  • Sudden onset of ADD-like behavior
  • Unable to come up with the words to complete a sentence

 

Parietal lobe (sides)

  • Difficulty reading or writing
  • Can’t tell left from right
  • Inability to solve simple math problems
  • Loss of eye/hand coordination
  • Lack of awareness of personal hygiene

 

Occipital lobe (back)

  • Visual disturbances
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to distinguish colors or recognize a written word
  • Reading/writing impairment

 

Temporal lobe (above ears)

  • Inability to recognize familiar faces
  • Memory loss
  • Constant talking
  • Unusual increase in aggressive behavior

 

Brain stem (core of brain)

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decreased breath control
  • Balance disturbance
  • Insomnia

 

Cerebellum (base of skull)

  • Decrease in fine motor skills
  • Muscle tremors
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Slurred speech

 

Because the brain can take several months to heal, the effects of a brain injury can impact almost every area of a victim’s life, from personal relationships to their ability to hold on to a job. These same symptoms can make it nearly impossible to gain adequate compensation through insurance or the court system.

 

That’s why it’s critical to contact a San Antonio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible—before you think you need one. The Law Offices of Pat Maloney offer an experienced team of personal injury lawyers ready to help. Contact us today!