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When To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Texas? (6-Signs)

You’ve been in a car accident, and now you’re facing a second trauma—dealing with the insurance company of the responsible party.

They’re pressuring you to accept a lowball settlement. Still, you’re unsure if it’s enough to cover all the damages, like medical bills, property expenses, and lost wages.

And what if you need future medical treatment?… who will cover those expenses?

If you’re unsure about the value of your claim or when to seek councel of an accident attorney, you risk receiving a settlement that is far less than what you deserve.

Candelario (J.R.) Trevino, Personal Injury Lawyer & Trial Attorney

So the stakes are high, and you can’t afford to blow it.

To add to the complexity…

Every state has a specific statute of limitations to bring forth an injury claim (2 years in Texas).

Several types of personal injuries can vary in severity. Personal injury (PI) cases arise from a wide range of accidents, ranging from a dog bite injury to car, truck, motorcycle, bus, and bike accidents, accidents at work, on-premises incidents, pedestrian accidents, construction site injuries, and more. Among them, the most devastating is wrongful death.

So, how do you know when is the right time to hire an attorney in Texas?

In this article, we’ll reveal the six key signs you consider hiring a personal injury attorney after sustaining a serious injury accident.

when to hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas. Time is of the essence when dealing with insurance companies in order to maximize your claim.
Delaying legal representation benefits insurers, not you.

How Accident Attorneys in Texas Can Help You and Signs You Should Use One

Here’s what attorneys do.

Personal injury attorneys provide legal assistance to clients who wish to file a personal injury lawsuit. Their expertise is representing individuals injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. They guide accident victims through the legal process and help them receive fair compensation for their losses.

Here’s how they help you.

Experienced counselors investigate accidents thoroughly. They collaborate with private investigators to collect evidence and construct compelling arguments to advocate for their clients. They also interview witnesses, consult with specialists, and analyze medical and crash reports to determine the extent of their client’s injuries and their effects on their daily lives.

Here are some of the main benefits of hiring a PI law firm.

Hiring a law firm means more than just getting legal consultation. You’re offloading the stress and frustration onto your attorneys. Your legal team can help you deal with the legal system and insurance companies. This allows you to focus on your recovery and well-being while your lawyer handles the complex legal matters.

And here’s the unfortunate truth about PI claims.

If you’re a personal injury victim, you’re not only worrying about recovering from the accident, but now you have to deal with insurance companies trying to deny or reduce your claim.

However, you level the playing field when you hire a PI attorney. Keep in mind that insurance companies have massive legal teams trained to negotiate and use shady tactics to reduce or deny your claim. It’s well known that insurance companies have a reputation for prioritizing their profits over their clients’ well-being.

The good news:

The best law firms will use various tactics of their own to protect your interests and help you get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

When you hire a firm, you can be assured that your claim’s legal and insurance aspects will be professionally managed. This gives you the peace of mind so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery.

personal injury lawyer responsibilities
The Role of a PI Attorney And How They Can Help You.

Knowing when to hire an injury lawyer, such as a car accident lawyer, is essential. Doing so will help you preserve your case, take control of the situation, increase your chances of success, and maximize your claim. Moreover, it can reduce the stress and frustration you may experience during this challenging time.

The six key signs below indicate you should hire a personal injury lawyer.

  1. You’ve sustained a serious injury.
  2. The insurance company is delaying or denying your claim.
  3. You’re not sure how to value your type of personal injury claim.
  4. Multiple parties are involved in the accident.
  5. You’re facing challenges proving liability.
  6. Delayed onset of injuries.

Unsure whether to hire a personal injury attorney? The image below visually demonstrates the six key signs you should consider getting legal representation.

when to hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas graphic by Trevino Injury Law in San Antonio, TX
Hurt in Texas? 6-Key Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

1. You’ve Sustained a Serious Injury

Suppose you’ve suffered a severe injury. Common serious injuries include but are not limited to, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, and complex bone fractures.

These types of injuries may require extensive medical treatment, long-term care, or cause permanent disability. In that case, hiring legal councel is essential.

Sustaining serious injuries can result in significant financial losses and major life changes. However, hiring an experienced attorney can help you seek compensation to cover your expenses and help you rebuild your life. Attorneys have access to valuable legal resources, negotiating skills, and experience in legal matters that can prove instrumental in winning your case.

2. The Insurance Company is Delaying or Denying Your Claim

Insurance companies often employ tactics to minimize payouts or deny valid claims altogether. These strategies are called “delay, deny, defend.” They are well covered in Jay M. Feinman’s book “Delay, Deny, Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It.”

Delay, Deny, Defend Jay M. Feinman
Why insurance companies don’t pay claims.

It’s possible that an insurance adjuster might deliberately hold off on processing your claim. They may do this with the hope that you will become frustrated and agree to a lower settlement amount. Sometimes, they may reject your claim, arguing that your injuries are not covered under your policy or aren’t as severe as you’ve stated. They may even defend their decision to delay or deny your claim in court. In such instances, it’s essential to have a legal team who can assist in countering such tactics.

3. You’re Not Sure How to Value Your Type of Personal Injury Claim

It can be challenging to determine the actual value of your case, particularly if you don’t have legal expertise. However, with the help of an attorney, you can rest assured that they will evaluate all your damages. This includes calculating future medical needs and lost earnings. They will use their knowledge and skills to negotiate a fair settlement that considers all your losses, helping you recover physically and financially.

4. Multiple Parties Are Involved

Determining fault gets harder when multiple parties are involved, which is common in car and truck accidents. This also happens with defective product claims.

PI lawyers can investigate the accident. They can identify all at-fault parties and get money from each one to pay damages like medical care expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced PI firm will navigate the intricate legal process and maximize your claim.

5. You’re Facing Challenges Proving Liability On the At-Fault Party

In some cases, proving fault can be challenging. This is especially true if there are conflicting witness statements or little clear evidence proving liability. Established firms have the resources and skills to gather strong evidence in your favor.

They will work with forensic accident reconstruction engineers to build a strong case and prove the at-fault party’s fault, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

6. Delayed Onset of Injuries

Injuries sustained in an accident may not always be immediately apparent and can take several days or weeks to develop. If you experience delayed symptoms or notice a worsening condition, seeking medical attention and consulting with a PI law firm is crucial. An attorney can guide you through the legal process and ensure you receive fair compensation for all your injuries, including those that may develop later.

Steps to Take When Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas

After you’ve decided to hire a personal injury attorney, do your due diligence. It can ensure success in the lawyer-client relationship. It can also increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Researching and Interviewing Potential Attorneys

If you need legal help, begin by researching law practices in your specific area (i.e., “personal injury lawyer South Texas“) who have experience handling similar cases. For instance, if you’re involved in an 18-wheeler accident, look for a personal injury attorney with experience dealing with 18-wheeler accidents, often called a truck accident lawyer.

It is essential to search for an accomplished firm who has a history of success and receive favorable feedback from their clients. You should also know that not all Texas personal injury lawyers have the same courtroom experience. In fact, according to the American Bar Association, fewer than 2% of all civil cases go to trial, indicating that most attorneys never appear in a courtroom.

It is worth noting that attorney Candelario (J.R.) has been practicing law as a personal injury lawyer for over two decades. During this time, he has taken on more than 75 personal injury cases in San Antonio and has earned a reputation for winning in the courtroom.

Schedule initial consultations with the law firm. Ask questions, evaluate communication and approach, and choose the best firm for your case.

Understanding Fee Structures and Contracts For Your Claim

Most accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they settle or win your case in court. When you plan to contact a PI firm, ensure you understand the fee structure and any additional costs you may be responsible for. Carefully review the retainer agreement before signing it. Ask for clarification on any parts you don’t understand.

Providing Documentation and Evidence to Support Your Claim

When you’re working with a legal office, you must gather and provide all the necessary documents and evidence you currently have.

Doing so enables your legal team to build the most robust case possible on your behalf, increasing the chances of a favorable outcome. These documents may include medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene and injuries.

Also, be honest with your counselor. Telling your attorney everything associated with your case upfront gives them a better chance to defend your claim in court.

It’s important to remember that opposing counsel or insurance companies will go to great lengths to reject or lessen the value of your claim. They will conduct their investigations, which may involve questioning witnesses, including yourself.

Therefore, it’s best to inform your attorney of all the details so there are no unexpected revelations during your personal injury lawsuit. Being truthful with your attorney gives them the best chance to create a strong case in your favor.

Communicating Effectively with Your Accident Attorney

Maintaining transparent and truthful communication with your lawyer throughout the legal process is crucial. Respond promptly to their requests for information and keep them informed about your medical treatment and recovery progress. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask.

Trust and communication are fundamental in any good relationship and are especially important when dealing with a lawsuit. Your lawyer will be your best ally throughout this legal process.

Following Legal Advice and Guidance

Trust your attorney’s expertise and follow his or her advice and guidance. Your counsel has your best interests in mind and will develop a legal strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. Avoid discussing your case with others or posting it on social media, as this could harm your claim. Let your attorney handle all talk with insurance companies and others in your case. This is especially important for a potential medical malpractice claim.

Knowing Your Responsibilities Throughout the Process

Understanding your responsibilities as a client is essential. Your lawyer should provide clear information to help you understand the legal process and how it affects your case.

They will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the potential outcomes you can expect, including the possibility of winning significant damages. You should be ready to assist your attorney by providing all necessary documents and attending any legal proceedings as required.

Understanding Insurance Adjuster Tactics

It’s essential to remember that insurance adjusters might try to offer you a quick settlement before the extent of your injuries has been fully assessed and a thorough investigation has been conducted. They could make a lowball settlement offer or pressure you to sign a release too soon to get out of paying the actual value of your claim. It’s important to never sign anything without first allowing your attorney to review it.

It is advisable to avoid giving any statements over the phone without the consent of your attorney. Most phone calls are recorded and can be used against you to reduce or deny your claim.

When you hire a personal attorney, they will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, keeping your interests in mind. Your lawyer will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to while protecting you from any sneaky tactics. As an accident victim, it’s crucial to have an attorney on your side. They will fight for your rights and make sure you get compensated for your damages.

Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Car Crash

Collecting evidence immediately after an accident or as soon as possible can significantly strengthen your case. This helps your lawyer construct a strong case for you. If your claim goes to trial, preserving evidence is crucial to obtaining the compensation you are entitled to and maximizing your claim. At the scene, be sure to:

  • Call 911: Call the police and request an ambulance if you or anyone else is seriously injured.
  • Exchange Information: Swap contact and insurance info with other drivers, including names, phone numbers, addresses, license plates, and policy numbers.
  • Document the Scene: Take photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible damages, debris, traffic control devices, obstructions, relevant road signs or conditions, and a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
  • Document the Other Driver: Take photos of the other driver (i.e., the defendant). Also, get their contact information and insurance details.
  •  Get Witness Info: Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • Keep records: Document all medical treatments, repair costs, and communications with insurance companies.

When Not To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer In Texas

While hiring a personal injury lawyer can be advantageous, it’s unnecessary for every case. Certain injuries may not require the assistance of an attorney. However, seeking legal advice to obtain a second opinion is still recommended, especially since most lawyers offer free consultations or case reviews.

Below are nine scenarios when you don’t need to hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas.

  1. Minor accidents with no injuries: If you were involved in a minor accident, such as a small fender bender, and there were no injuries, you may be able to handle the situation through your insurance company without involving a lawyer.
  2. No fault of others: If the accident was entirely your fault and no other parties were involved, a personal injury lawyer may be unable to assist you.
  3. Injuries are very minor: If your injuries are incredibly minor and do not require medical treatment, it may not be worth pursuing a legal case.
  4. The accident occurred a long time ago: If a significant amount of time has passed since the accident, it may be more challenging to gather evidence and build a strong case. Additionally, statutes of limitations restrict the time frame in which you can file a claim.
  5. Minimal to no injuries or damages: If the accident resulted in no injuries or only very minor injuries that don’t require medical treatment and little to no damage to property, the costs and time involved in hiring a lawyer may outweigh the benefits.
  6. Clear-cut cases with adequate insurance coverage: If the insurance coverage is sufficient to cover all damages and the insurance company is cooperative, you might manage the claim without legal help, especially if it’s a straightforward case.
  7. Cases involving small claims court: For minimal damages, the legal fees might exceed the potential recovery. Small claims courts are designed to be user-friendly so that individuals can represent themselves without a lawyer.
  8. When costs outweigh potential compensation: If the potential compensation is likely to be less than what you’d spend on legal fees, it might not be economically feasible to hire a lawyer.
  9. Statute of limitations expired: If the legal time limit (statute of limitations) to file a lawsuit has expired, a lawyer cannot help recover damages. It’s 2 years in Texas.
when not to hire a personal injury lawyer
When You Don’t Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Texas (9 Scenarios)

FAQs: Considerations For Seeking Legal Help Personal Injury Lawyers in South Texas

How Much Time To File an Injury Claim?

The time limit to file a claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. You must consult a lawyer within that time to file a lawsuit. In Texas, you generally have two years from the accident date to file. However, talking to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is recommended. It will ensure you meet all deadlines within a specific time frame and preserve valuable evidence.

I Need To Hire a Personal Injury Attorney. How Much Do They Charge In Texas?

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay any upfront fees. Instead of being paid hourly, the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the settlement or court award, typically ranging from 35% to 45%, depending on various factors.

The contingency basis is an arrangement that helps accident victims receive proper legal assistance. Therefore, cost should not hinder your decision to hire a lawyer.

You won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses to seek legal counsel. This arrangement simplifies the process of seeking justice for individuals who have been injured in an accident.

Will Legal Representation Guarantee a Settlement or a Trial Win?

The legal system doesn’t offer any guarantees. However, a 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that people who hired a personal injury attorney got settlements that were about 3.5 times higher than those who chose to represent themselves.

Hiring a legal team will help build a strong case for you. They will negotiate aggressively with insurance companies and fight tirelessly to protect your rights and financial compensation.

Contact Trevino Injury Law in San Antonio, TX

We discussed six key indicators that suggest when you should seek legal consultation for your injuries. The sooner you seek legal representation, the better. It can protect your rights and help you receive compensation, especially when a negligent act of another is liable for your injury.

At Trevino Injury Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys in San Antonio, TX, are dedicated to helping accident victims across South Texas navigate the legal complexities and fight for justice.

Our law firm has extensive experience handling catastrophic injury cases for over 20 years. We possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to help you navigate this challenging time and obtain the maximum compensation for your injury claim. Our legal team includes Spanish speakers to assist those more comfortable speaking in Spanish or whose first language is not English.

We have a proven history of success in the courtroom and are prepared to utilize our expertise to assist you. We comprehend the impact of a severe accident on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. We will not allow insurance companies to take advantage of you.

Free Consultation & Free Case Review With Experienced Lawyers

Talk with a personal injury attorney. Contact Trevino Injury Law today by calling (210) TREVINO for a FREE case review with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Time is of the essence, and we’re here to provide the support and representation you need every step of the way when you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. Let us fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

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6100 Bandera Rd #850, San Antonio, TX 78238

(210) 873-8466

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