No one anticipates or expects to be in an injury accident, especially one that results in serious injuries or death. As a result, injury cases occur at the most inopportune times, when you are least prepared to deal with the challenges they present.
While you are still at the hospital, a host of forces have gathered to investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury. This may include law enforcement, accident reconstruction specialists, or OSHA enforcement officers. All too often, however, this also includes insurance companies, risk management, private investigators and others, who seek to minimize or eliminate any financial responsibility or exposure they may have for your injuries.
Because you cannot rely on these individuals to give you unscripted advice, or zealously represent your interests, you should consult with an injury specialist as soon as possible, to answer your questions and provide an evaluation of your case.
1. We know how to evaluate a case. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will likely have years of experience involving 1,000’s of claims. You on the other hand have only one case, and you cannot afford to make mistakes.
2. No fee unless you recover. Our firm works on a “contingent fee” basis. This means there is no cash retainer to pay, no expenses to cover, and no monthly bill. You will only owe a fee once, or if, a recovery is made on your behalf. No recovery? No fee.
3. We know the paperwork. Police reports? We can get them. Medical and billing records? We know who bills separately (ER physicians, radiologists, anethesiologists, etc.). We can maximize your recovery and minimize your worry with details. We know how to complete forms, provide CPT codes, and all the other details that insurance companies require.
4. We will preserve the evidence. Whether it is photographing the scene, measuring skid marks, downloading black box data, or taking witness statements, our investigative team will capture and preserve evidence while it is fresh. The insurance company is already doing this… shouldn’t you?
5. Objectivity and a dispassionate assessment of your case. We are attorneys *and* counselors. This means zealous representation, but also advice based on years of experience. At a time when your nerves are frayed and emotions fly, we can help you from making mistakes, from the temptation of a “cheap” settlement, to protecting your long term financial security with a tax free structured settlement.
6. Experienced negotiators. We know how to maximize the recovery in your case, whether it is through pre-trial negotiations, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), or trial. Never show your hand to an adjuster, or say “well the least I’m willing to take is this.” Get a lawyer on your side who knows how to hold the insurance company’s feet to the fire.
7. We know them, because we’ve done this so long. It’s a big world, but a small community who works in the injury claims and trial field. We typically know the adjuster, the claims supervisor, the investigator, and the experts, because we’ve had many cases with them before. We know who is reasonable, and who isn’t. Who can be trusted, and who must be watched. Get that sort of experience in your corner.
8. We get the best settlements and verdicts. Studies have shown that injury claimants who are represented by an attorney get a significantly better recoveries than individuals who do it themselves. Why? We work not only on maximizing the offer, but also minimizing your out of pocket expenses for subrogation claims, hospital liens, ERISA liens, etc. We have one goal only: To get you the most money in the shortest time.
9. We stay up at night so you don’t have to. We know the law, we know the profession, and we know how to get the best results in a claim for injury or death. You have better things to do than paperwork and phone calls. We handle all the details to protect your interests. You can focus on recovery, wellness, and family at this difficult time.
We are only a call away. The first consultation is always free. Don’t wait. Put our team of experts to work for you.
Staying out of Trouble and Minimizing Potential Liability: What to do, if You Are Involved in an Accident.
The following is educational and informative only. Do not rely on the following as legal advice.
Your freedom, your automobile, and your money are all valuable assets. You must know what to say and what not to say because dozens, if not hundreds, of motor vehicle collisions occur in Central and South Texas daily. What should you do, if you are in an accident? Here are several suggestions to avoid common mistakes made by drivers every day that might lead to jail time and/or money damages or might limit damages you might be awarded to compensate you for your injuries.
1. Do not apologize, admit fault, or make any statements to anyone other than the police. By all means make sure that others are not injured, are safe, and are assisted as needed. But do not make any statements such as, “I didn’t see you.” “It’s my fault.” Or “Don’t worry, I have insurance.”
2. Do Document, document, document. Today, smart phones typically have cameras, and recording devices. Photograph the location of the vehicles, the debris field, the license plates, registration stickers, insurance cards and driver’s license(s) of the other driver(s). Turn on your recorder and ask them, “What do you think happened?” Often, they will give you a statement admitting liability, before the other party’s insurance company has coached them to lie.
3. Do not get angry or emotional at the scene. Yes, you may have every reason to be upset. But losing your cool in public, cursing, fighting, or making threats, can only cause problems down the road.
4. Identify Witnesses. Get the names address and phone numbers of any witnesses. Write down the name and badge number of all responding police officers and emergency personnel at the scene, including what jurisdiction or department they are with (state, county, city, police or fire). Get an incident number, or report number, from the responding officer.
5. Identify Circumstantial Evidence. Take photos of any stop signs, traffic control devices, and skid marks. If you can safely do so, pace off the length of skid marks, as this may provide important evidence concerning the speed of the vehicles. If there is evidence of alcohol use, try to document this as well, and notify the police officer.
6. Call your lawyer. The lawyers of Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. have experience with motor vehicle injury and death cases, 18 wheeler cases, defective vehicles, and drunk driver collisions. The most important time after an accident is the first 48 hours, when important evidence can be collected and preserved. Often insurance companies will dispose of the vehicles in a serious collision, in only a matter of days. Important “black box” data must be preserved and obtained.
Even if you do not think you sustained a serious injury, we can help you get a complete medical evaluation to confirm this fact. Often, serious injuries do not appear for days, or even weeks, after the collision. Call today for a free legal consultation. There is no fee unless we collect for you.
You are going to need someone to advocate for you if you need money damages to compensate you or if you need to defend, protect, and preserve the assets that you have worked hard to accumulate.