At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, our personal injury lawyers have represented car accident victims in Austin and surrounding areas for more than 50 years.
Over that span, we have observed that many myths surround auto accidents and the process of seeking compensation through an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.
Here are six of the most common myths that we have identified over the years:
MYTH #1: You do not need to pull over, exchange information or file a police report if you are involved in a minor accident.
The truth is that failing to pull over or file a police report could actually get you into a considerable amount of legal trouble. Under Texas law, you are required to pull over your vehicle at the scene of an accident - even if the accident does not result in any injuries and even if the damage appears to be minimal. Failure to do so could result in misdemeanor charges.
If you are involved in a auto accident in Austin, follow these tips from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles:
- Pull over immediately and check for injuries.
- Call the police if there are any injuries or extensive damage, one of the other drivers attempts to leave the scene or you suspect other drivers involved are intoxicated.
- Take note of the time, date, and location of the accident and any circumstances that may have caused or contributed to the accident.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
- Exchange your vehicle and insurance information with other drivers at the scene.
- Get the medical care you need and notify your insurance company within 24 hours of the accident occurring.
MYTH #2: Minor accidents do not cause serious injuries.
Medical care should always be sought after a car accident. This is because seemingly minor injuries such as soreness, bruising or swelling could be indicative of a more serious condition that threatens your overall health and possibly could result in serious financial costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical costs associated with car accident injuries can run into tens of thousands of dollars, and these costs may continue to accrue for as long as 18 months after your accident.
MYTH #3: Claiming whiplash or back injuries is simply a way of trying to get money from the insurance company.
Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury that occurs as the result of sudden, forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck.
Whiplash is common in car accidents and is nothing to take lightly as it could result in neck sprains as well as potentially serious head injuries.
Back pain and injuries are also common in the aftermath of car crashes. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), back pain may be indicative of strained muscles or problems with the disks that make up the spine.
These injuries require proper medical care, may take months to recover from and can result in lingering and even permanent disability.
MYTH #4: You cannot file a claim against another driver if you were even partly at fault for the accident.
If you have been injured in a car crash or collision, you may still be able to recover compensation even if you feel you were partly to blame for the accident.
Under Texas law, you may be entitled to obtain damages related to your injury through a car accident lawsuit as long as the other responsible parties are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
MYTH #5: The settlement offer that your insurance company makes is the maximum amount your claim is worth.
While many people think the insurance company is on their side when it comes to settling car accident claims, this is not entirely true.
Insurance companies are in the business to make money. One of the easiest ways to do this is by undervaluing or denying car accident claims. For instance, an insurance company claims representative may diminish the true value of replacing your vehicle as well as the ongoing costs that may be associated with your injuries.
MYTH #6: It will be too expensive to hire a lawyer to represent you in a car accident claim.
Thinking that you cannot afford a lawyer to represent you in a car accident lawsuit or insurance claim is possibly one of the biggest misconceptions people have.
Our Austin car accident lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. If you choose our personal injury law firm to represent you, you pay nothing for our services unless we recover money for you. In fact, our legal fees are generally calculated into the amount sought in damages.
How Can an Austin Car Accident Attorney Help After an Accident?
When you have suffered injuries as the result of a car accident, you need someone on your side, protecting your rights and looking out for your best interests.
At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we thoroughly investigate each claim. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or, if necessary, file a lawsuit and pursue your claim in court.
Our personal injury law firm has a team of investigators and legal staff who work hard on behalf of our clients, uncovering evidence, getting medical reports and witness statements, consulting with experts and taking a number of other steps that are aimed at recovering maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Contact Our Austin Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries as the result of a car accident, contact Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP today.
Our experienced Austin car accident attorneys can provide aggressive legal representation and advise you on how to seek the compensation you deserve. We serve Austin and the surrounding areas. Call or reach us online today for a free consultation.