When you’re involved in an accident that results in injury in San Antonio, understanding your rights is the key first step in getting the compensation you need for your losses. Your first and most important right is to talk to a personal injury lawyer, who can then tell you more about your other rights listed below and how they apply to the specifics of your situation.
What Are Your Rights After an Injury Accident in Texas?
The Right to Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, you are entitled to seek medical care following an accident. Immediate medical assessment is essential not just for your health, but also for any potential legal claims you may wish to pursue in the future. Detailed medical records validate the connection between the accident and your injury, serving as compelling evidence in potential legal proceedings.
The Right to Stay Silent
In the aftermath of an accident, you may feel a natural inclination to discuss the incident with those around you. However, it’s important to remember your right to remain silent until you’ve consulted with legal counsel.
This is because statements you make, even innocently or just out of politeness, can be used against you in legal or insurance contexts. Therefore, it’s wise to limit your conversations about the accident and defer any detailed discussions until you’ve received legal advice.
The Right to Document the Accident
In Texas, you also have the right to document the incident. You can take photographs or videos of the scene, your injuries, and any property damage.
Additionally, collecting contact information from witnesses can be beneficial in building your case. These pieces of evidence can greatly strengthen your claim, whether it be with an insurance company or in a legal lawsuit.
The Right to Legal Representation
Arguably the most important right you have following an accident injury is the right to legal representation. Navigating the complexities of insurance claims or legal procedures can be overwhelming, especially when recovering from an injury.
With the help of a qualified attorney, you can understand and exercise all your rights more effectively. Legal professionals can assist in gathering and presenting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating for your rights in court if required.
Visiting a Law Firm for the First Time
After an injury accident, reaching out to a law firm like Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC for your first consultation should be a first step. At this meeting, we aim to understand your situation, review your case, and explain your likely options. We approach each case with honesty and strive to give you the most accurate information we can, so you know what to expect.
We understand the importance of convenience during these challenging times. We’re flexible with our meeting hours and location, based on what suits you best. If you can, bring along any existing documentation related to your case for the consultation. If not, don’t worry – the most important thing to bring to your first consultation is yourself.
The Right to File a Claim or Lawsuit
In Texas, following an accident that has resulted in injury, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a claim with your insurance company or the other party’s insurer. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. This claim or lawsuit can help you recover damages; i.e., the financial cost of your medical expenses, lost income, and other losses resulting from the accident.
Statute of Limitations
When planning to file a lawsuit, it’s vital to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of the accident, though there are exceptions and nuances, particularly if you don’t discover an injury until some time after the accident.
Failing to file within this period may result in forfeiting your right to seek legal remedy, however, so always seek both medical and legal help immediately following an accident.
Types of Damages
If your lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded damages, or financial compensation, for the losses you’ve suffered. In Texas, these damages fall into two broad categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses resulting from the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and reduced future earning capacity. Non-economic damages are less tangible and include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The Right to a Fair Settlement
Injured individuals also have the right to a fair settlement. This includes the right to negotiate the settlement offer made by an insurance company. Having legal representation can be advantageous in this process, as attorneys are experienced in assessing the full value of a claim and negotiating with insurance adjusters.
It’s important to remember that you’re not obligated to accept the first offer an insurance company makes, and you have the right to push for a settlement that adequately covers your losses.
Considering Comparative Fault
In some accidents, multiple parties may share fault. Texas follows a ‘modified comparative fault’ rule. This means you can still recover damages if you’re partly at fault for the accident, but your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you’re more than 50% at fault, you can’t recover damages at all.
The Right to Privacy
Your right to privacy continues to be important even after an accident. Other parties might request access to your medical records or personal information. However, without your consent or a court order, your private information remains protected. Make sure to consult with your lawyer before releasing any personal records related to your accident or injuries.
The Right to Full Rehabilitation and Support
While pursuing a legal claim, the primary focus is, understandably, on the legalities. However, remember that you have the right to full rehabilitation and support. This means not just medical treatment, but also therapeutic services, mental health support, and adjustments in work or living conditions if needed. The goal is to help you return, as far as is possible, to the physical, mental, and emotional condition you were in prior to the accident.
At Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC, we understand that your wellbeing goes beyond the immediate legal matters. We’re here to provide comprehensive support, whether that means finding you a doctor, securing transportation if your vehicle was damaged, or any other assistance you need to regain control of your life.
Exercise Your Rights with the Help of an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio
As a victim of an accident injury in Texas, you have numerous rights designed to protect you and help you recover. Reach out to Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC, today to discuss your case. Let us help you exercise your rights and move toward full recovery, starting with a consultation that works around your needs and ensures you receive the comprehensive support you need after an accident. Trust us to stand by your side every step of the way.