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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.

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.

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.

4 Reasons a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Is Worth Your Time

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We know what many people think when they hear “car accident attorney.” Trust us. We know. Misconceptions that include the word “ambulance” and some form of the verb “chase.” But stereotypes aside, if you’re ever in a serious wreck, a San Antonio car accident attorney could literally be a lifesaver.

 

 

 

 

Here are four main reasons it’s worth your time to research a good San Antonio car accident attorney:

 

1. Your injuries are serious. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, your adrenaline is pumping. That’s why you may not realize until later that what you thought were a few bumps and bruises are actually the outward signs of more serious injuries. These injuries could impact your job, your personal relationships, even your life. So when the first responders arrive at the scene, don’t waive the option to be transported to an emergency room. Start covering all your bases from day one—even moment one.

 

2. Recovery will take longer than you anticipated. What you thought was a simple broken bone turns into a complicated mess of pins, plates, surgeries, months of physical therapy, and an eye-crossing morass of bills and insurance claims. Trying to handle it all yourself while recovering from a serious injury is a nightmare. An effective San Antonio car accident attorney can relieve you of a significant amount of that burden so you can concentrate on healing.

 

3. The insurance company uses delay tactics. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will do everything it can to avoid making a payout. It will claim you don’t have enough proof that their client caused the accident. Meanwhile, your bills are mounting.

 

4. You receive unfair settlement offers. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to rush you into accepting a lump-sum settlement that won’t make a dent in your medical bills, claiming that if you push for a fair settlement, the answer could be “no” and you’ll get nothing. Don’t fall for it. Sign nothing until you have a San Antonio car accident attorney on your side.

 

Don’t settle for less than you deserve! Give your San Antonio car accident attorney, Pat Maloney, a call today. Don’t wait!

Being Sued? A San Antonio Car Wreck Attorney Can Protect You

Many a San Antonio car wreck attorney wishes more clients would have followed a few simple steps after a car wreck. What you say—or don’t say—can come back to cause heartache and headaches after the dust has settled.

 

 

 

 

At the Accident Scene

 

• Don’t say anything incriminating. Other than asking the other driver if they are all right and exchanging contact and insurance info, don’t talk about the accident at all. Don’t say what you were doing when it happened, what you think caused it, and how the other driver was driving. Don’t even say you’re sorry for what happened. “Anything you say can and will be held against you” applies here.

• Call the police or highway patrol. Even if no one appears injured and the vehicle damage seems minor, call the authorities. In most cases, if you wind up on the wrong side of who’s at fault, the court and the insurance companies will require an official record of the accident.

• Take pictures. Your cell phone will come in handy to take quick pictures and video of the accident scene in general, along with details of injuries and damage to the vehicles. Noting malfunctioning traffic signals, poor signage and pavement markings, and weather and road conditions can all add up to evidence in your favor.

• Gather witnesses. If anyone stops to help, get their names and contact information as possible witnesses.

• Be detailed. Don’t withhold any information from the police when they arrive on the scene. Don’t admit fault, but be detailed in your account.

• Notify your insurance company. Before you leave the scene, or as soon as you can afterward, call your insurance company to let them know what happened.

 

In the Aftermath

 

Be seen by a doctor even if you don’t think you were injured.

Check with your insurance company or the police to determine if your state requires that you file a report with the department of motor vehicles.

Call a San Antonio car wreck attorney to make sure everything is being done to protect you if you are sued.

 

If you learn that the police have determined you’re at fault in an auto accident, call a San Antonio car wreck attorney today.

6 Winning Tips from a San Antonio Auto Accident Attorney

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Any good San Antonio auto accident attorney will tell you that the key to a successful personal injury claim is attention to detail. When you’re in pain or in the middle of the chaos following an accident, the last thing you may be thinking about is gathering evidence. But if you think about these six tips and understand them, when the time comes, these small details could make all the difference.

 

 

What follows are six tips from a San Antonio car accident lawyer that will help you win a personal injury claim.

 

Don’t Overlook Anything

1. If you’re able, use your phone (or keep a camera in your glove compartment) to snap pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible. The time/date stamp on the photographs will establish the time of day. The photographs themselves will establish the weather, condition of the roadway (or whatever surface the accident occurred), lighting or lack thereof, other people involved, license plate numbers, roadway markings, signals, and signage. You can also take video with your cell phone. In short, document everything, including your injuries.

 

2. While the events of the day are still fresh, write down everything you remember, including if the other party said anything that could prove useful such as apologies or admitting fault.

 

3. If you notice people nearby, ask if they witnessed the incident and if they would be willing to make an official statement. With their permission, also consider videotaping what they have to say with your phone. Get their information so they can be contacted later if needed.

 

See a Doctor

4. Whether you were transported to the ER or walked away from the scene, make an appointment with your family doctor as soon as possible. Make sure it’s an M.D. and not an alternative-medicine type of practitioner. (Not that we don’t think alternative medicine is useful, but the court may have a different view.)

 

5. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. Keep a written daily diary of symptoms, treatments, and therapies.

 

6. Ask for copies of all medical records and reports.

 

Get an Attorney

Finally—actually, sooner than finally—hire a competent San Antonio auto accident attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney are ready to guide you and your case through the system to ultimate success.

What Types of Evidence Will Your San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Need?

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San Antonio car accident lawyers agree: if you’re involved in a car crash (even if it’s just a fender bender), your best friend is your cell phone. Its ability to capture video, photographs, and voice recordings will help you gather the evidence your attorney will need to cover all the insurance and legal bases.

If you don’t have a cell phone, or don’t have one “smart” enough to do it all, keep a disposable camera, a notebook, and pen in the glove compartment for just such an emergency.

As soon as possible after the incident, start gathering the evidence your San Antonio car accident lawyer will need:

  • Circumstances leading up to the accident
    – Weather conditions
    – Time of day or night
    – Traffic signals and signs – Present? Working properly or damaged? Blocked by foliage?
    – Your lane position and approximate speed
  • Photographs
    – Position of the cars involved from as many angles as you can SAFELY manage
    – Damage to your car and other cars involved
    – Your injuries and those of others involved, if visible
    – DON’T interfere with police officers on the scene
    – If you are unable to immediately take pictures because of injury, return to the scene as soon as you are able
  • Witnesses
    Do you see any bystanders? Ask if they witnessed the accident and make sure the responding officer is aware that these people may be willing to give a statement. Again, never interfere with an officer on the scene. If possible, record their versions of the incident for future use by your San Antonio car accident lawyer in court or in an insurance claim.
  • After the accident, keep track of:
    – Medical records and doctors’ notes
    – Bills and estimates for medical treatment and car repair
    – Accident reports – you can request a copy of a report the police officer has filed.
    – Gather pay stubs and recent tax returns to establish the amount of lost wages, if necessary.
    – Copies of your insurance policy to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.

Do you need a San Antonio car accident lawyer? We can help you navigate the system. Contact us today.