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The Hart Law Firm

We Have 25 Years of Experience: Let Us Answer Your Car Accident Questions.

You must be overwhelmed with questions after your Dallas car wreck.  Why not get the answers from a Texas board-certified personal injury attorney?

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  • What is the statute of limitations in my car wreck case?

    Flipping calendar pages showing the passage of timeWhen you must file a lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused your injuries, you are right to be concerned about the statute of limitations. This is the deadline you have to sue the negligent driver for the compensation you are entitled to. The penalties for failing to sue within this time period are severe. If you do not file your lawsuit by the deadline set by Texas law, the judge would dismiss your case.

    What Is Texas’ Statute of Limitations in Car Crash Cases?

    The time period to sue in your car crash case will depend in part on whether the victim survived the crash or died. These statutes of limitations will apply to your case:

    • Personal injury. The time period to sue is two years from the date of the wreck for personal injuries where the victim survived.
    • Property damage. The time period to sue for property damage is also two years from the date of the wreck.
    • Wrongful death. If a crash victim died, you would need to file a lawsuit within two years of his date of death—not the date of the crash.

    Why You Do Not Want to Wait to Pursue Your Claim

    Even if your crash happened a few days or weeks ago, you do not want to delay hiring an experienced car crash attorney to pursue your claim. Yes, you still have plenty of time to sue under the statute of limitations. However, you could be hurting your case by not taking prompt action. Here’s how waiting could reduce the value of your claim:

    • You could lose important evidence like eyewitnesses who could move or forget what they saw or business surveillance tapes that may have recorded your crash but were taped over. You hamper your attorney’s ability to thoroughly investigate the facts of your wreck by delaying in hiring him.
    • You could make inadvertent mistakes in talking to the negligent driver’s insurance company or in making other decisions about your claim without the advice of an attorney right after your crash.
    • Your claim will appear weaker to the insurance company for the negligent driver. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver is looking for reasons to deny or reduce your claim. You give him powerful ammunition to argue your injuries were not that bad or that they were caused by something other than the crash if you wait to pursue your claim.

    If you or a loved one was hurt in a car crash, don’t delay any longer in pursuing your claim for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to represent victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Arlington, Hurst, Irving, Euless, Grapevine, North Richland and all areas in between. 

  • What factors could affect my Texas car crash settlement?

    Question mark on a pile of moneyIf you must pursue a claim against a negligent driver who caused your injuries, you want to know how much you can receive in settlement. It can be frustrating to learn that there is no set formula for determining the exact worth of your case. However, certain factors can increase—or decrease—the amount of compensation you receive.

    Important Factors That Could Influence Your Bottom Line Settlement

    Many variables will come into play in your attorney’s analysis of what your case is worth and the amount he is able to negotiate for you in a settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. However, these four factors are often important in determining the outcome of your case:

    1. Consistency in your statements. You will be telling your version of how the crash happened at various times in the claims process. This starts when you give a statement to the police officer at the crash scene. If your statements are relatively consistent about what occurred throughout, you will appear as a more credible witness and not give the insurance company ammunition to poke holes in your story—potentially increasing the amount of your settlement.
    2. Evidence of the other driver’s negligence. When the other driver’s fault is not disputed or is more clear-cut, such as in a rear-end collision or if the driver was texting, this can increase the likelihood of a higher settlement because there is less for the insurance adjuster to argue about.
    3. Doctor’s report supports your injuries. If your treating physician’s medical records and reports support your complaints regarding your injuries, this will help your case. When the report and tests do not support your claims of pain, the insurance adjuster could believe that you are exaggerating your injuries and your right to compensation.
    4. Your activities are consistent with your injuries. Consistency throughout your case is important, including that the activities you do after the wreck are consistent with the injuries you claim to have suffered. You should expect the insurance company to engage in surveillance at some points in your case. If they catch you doing activities that you should not be able to do, this could negatively impact on your attorney’s ability to obtain a favorable settlement for you.

    An experienced attorney can advise you of the factors in your case that will help—or hurt—your ability to obtain all the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

    The Hart Law Firm is proud to represent car wreck victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, Arlington, Irving, Bedford and North Richland.

  • What types of compensation can I receive from the negligent driver who caused my auto crash?

    Once you have received the immediate medical treatment you need after a car crash, the reality that you will be off work for months or longer recovering from your injuries without any income may sink in. The next burning question could be how to pay for your expensive medical treatments and how to replace the wages you have lost and will lose. Fortunately, you may be able to make the negligent driver who caused your collision pay for these losses and more.

    Types of Compensation You Could Be Entitled to in a Texas Car Wreck Case

    You need to understand the types of compensation you could recover to know what your case is worth and also to collect the documentation you will need to prove that you really are entitled to the amount you are requesting. Damages that are recoverable in these cases include:

    • Medical expenses. This includes the bills you incur for doctors, hospital stays, ambulance, chiropractors, and physical, cognitive or mental health therapists. Expenses you may not think of are travel and lodging expenses if you must travel for medical care, assistive tools like crutches, wheelchair, or shower or toilet special seats, and in-home medical and non-medical care.
    • Lost wages. Your lost wage claim includes much more than the back pay and future wages you will have lost. Be certain to include any commissions, profit sharing, benefits, vacation and sick time, and other perks of your job that you are missing out on. If you are unable to return to your former job or are permanently disabled due to your injuries, you could be entitled to damages for your lost earning capacity to compensate you for the long-term losses you will suffer.
    • Personal property damage. This includes the cost to repair your vehicle, towing costs, car rental fees, and replacement or repair costs for property in your vehicle.
    • Pain and suffering. You are entitled to compensation for the physical pain and emotional—or psychological—distress caused by your injuries. How insurance adjusters calculate these damages can be complicated, and you need an experienced car crash attorney who can help you value these more intangible but very real injuries.
    • Loss of enjoyment. These damages compensate you for the loss of enjoyment in the day-to-day activities—such as hobbies, recreational activities, interests, friends, and family—that you can no longer enjoy due to the long-term consequences of your injuries.
    • Loss of consortium. If your injuries affect your level of affection, intimacy, or sexual relationship with your spouse, you could be entitled to damages for these losses.
    • Wrongful death. If a close family member died as a result of the crash, family members could receive compensation for their losses—including loss of the enjoyment of the crash victim—through filing a wrongful death action against the negligent driver.

    Were you injured in a car wreck caused by another driver? Was a family member killed? Our experienced and compassionate legal team is here to take the burden of negotiating your settlement off your shoulders. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.488 to schedule a free case evaluation. The Hart Law Firm proudly represents injured victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, North Richland, Arlington, Irving, Grapevine and Bedford.

  • Can The Insurance Company Spy on Me After A Texas Car Crash?

    If you were injured in a Texas car crash, there's a lot to worry about, including the progress of recovery, how to pay your monthly expenses, and when you'll receive the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. You might also be concerned if you see a strange vehicle parked down the street from your house, following you to the doctor's office, or cruising along as you run errands. Could the other driver’s insurance company be spying on you? Sadly, yes.

    Why Would the Insurance Company Spy on You?

    Insurance companies for negligent drivers do not always engage in surveillance. They must hire a private investigator to do it, and this is an expensive task. If a victim suffered minor injuries and is only off work for a short period of time, the insurance adjuster usually decides not to do this. However, the insurance adjuster may feel there is probable cause for surveillance for the following reasons:

    • To learn more information about you and the true nature of your injuries
    • To poke holes in your believability by showing you doing activities you claim you are too injured to do
    • Because your damages are serious and the amount of compensation you could be entitled to—especially for pain and suffering—is a large sum
    • Because you claim to have a serious, long-term condition, but your medical records do not support this assertion

    When Will the Insurance Company Engage in Surveillance?

    The insurance company will most likely not engage in surveillance immediately after you make a claim. They do not have enough information about the wreck and the extent of your injuries to justify it. Key times that an adjuster could order surveillance include:

    • Before your deposition. An insurance company may hire a private investigator shortly before your deposition, which is when the insurance company’s attorney asks you questions that are transcribed into a written statement that can be used against you in court. The belief is that surveillance may reveal damaging information about your activities that can be used to discredit you in the deposition.
    • Before your trial. If your case does not settle, the insurance company could be worried about the amount of money it may have to pay you and could engage in surveillance as another attempt to discredit you.

    The bottom line is that the negligent driver's insurance company could spy on you at any time during the course of your case, so be prepared. As long as you are honest about what happened and how badly you were injured, surveillance should not hurt your case.

    If you or a family member was injured in a Texas car crash caused by another driver, we urge you to speak with an experienced legal team regarding your rights. The Hart Law Firm represents clients injured in car crashes throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Colleyville, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving as well as across the entire Dallas Fort Worth area. Contact us online or call us directly at 817- 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.

  • Should I purchase car insurance from the rental agent when I rent a car?

    If you are going on a business trip or vacation and are renting a car, you will certainly be asked this question: Do you want to purchase insurance to cover your car rental? If you say no or hesitate, the salesperson will probably warn you of the dire consequences of not buying it and how you could owe thousands of dollars if you got into a crash. You know you do not want to drive a rental vehicle without insurance. However, the car rental could add $15 to $30 to your daily rental fee, which can add up. Fortunately, you may already have other insurance to cover possible losses.

    Two Insurance Policies You May Already Have

    You may already have an insurance policy that will cover you if you get into a wreck in your rental car. Two sources to investigate include:

    • Your vehicle insurance policy. Your own automobile insurance policy could provide insurance coverage for your rental car. You could have the same coverage and deductible as if you were in your own vehicle. Check your policy before renting a car.
    • Your credit card. Many major credit cards, like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover provide some insurance coverage if you get in a crash in a rental car. However, there may be significant restrictions on vehicles and limitations on what damages they cover. So check this with your credit card company before you leave for your trip.

    If another driver in a rental car caused your crash, you will need to look to his automobile insurance company and credit card as well as any car rental insurance policy to compensate you for your injuries. These cases can be more complicated with the multiple parties that could be responsible. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.

  • Do I have a case against the other driver if I was partially at fault in causing my car crash?

    If you were partially at fault in causing your car crash, you could still be entitled to compensation for at least part of your lost wages, medical bills, and emotional trauma from the other driver under the comparative negligence law in Texas. Your recovery might be substantial, so don’t let your own beliefs about your level of fault stop you from pursing a claim for the money you need while you heal from your injuries.

    How Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Recovery

    Texas follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. It allows an injured victim to recover a portion of damages if he was partially at fault in causing his crash. Comparative negligence in Texas works as follows:

    • If the victim was less than 51% at fault in causing the collision, he would be entitled to compensation. However, the amount of his recovery would be reduced by the percentage of his fault in causing the crash. For example, if a victim was 25 percent at fault in causing a wreck, he could receive a recovery of 75 percent of the damages he was entitled to.
    • If the victim is 51 percent or more at fault in causing a collision, he would not be entitled to any recovery.

    Even if you were negligent in some way—for example, if a brake light wasn’t working when you were rear-ended or you turned your head for a few seconds to talk to your child—your negligence could have played a small part in what caused the crash. You need to consult with an experienced car crash attorney who can advise you on how your own actions could affect your settlement. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation where we’ll be happy to explain this to you.

     

  • Can the black box in the other driver’s car help prove he was negligent in causing my crash?

    If the other driver’s vehicle has a black box, it could help you prove that he was negligent in causing your automobile crash. It could also help you if you were a passenger in a taxicab and the driver caused a crash. A black box, also known as an event data recorder (EDR) or an electronic control module (ECM), is a device installed in a motor vehicle that records technical vehicle and occupant information for a short period of time before, during, and after a vehicle wreck.

    However not all vehicles have them yet. In 1994, manufacturers of Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac began installing black boxes in their vehicles to collect data on how their vehicles performed in crashes. Since then, many more manufacturers have begun installing them, with almost all the new vehicles sold in 2013 having one. As of September 1, 2014, every new vehicle sold must contain a black box.

    How the Other Driver’s Black Box Could Help Prove His Negligence

    While the black box only records data for seconds, this information could be critical in defeating the other driver’s claim that he was not at fault in causing the crash. A black box could record the following helpful information:

    • The vehicle’s speed
    • The depth of the accelerator pedal
    • The force of the impact
    • The steering angle
    • Whether airbags were deployed
    • Whether the brakes were applied
    • Whether seat belts were used

    The information from the black box requires a forensic download that follows manufacturer specifications to ensure no data is lost. A specialist would be needed to accurately interpret the information, but this could prove to be invaluable in showing that the other driver caused the collision.

    If you have been injured in an collision caused by another driver, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to help you obtain the black box data and any other documentation of your claim before it is lost. We represent car wreck victims throughout the Dallas Fort Worth area including Colleyville, Irving, Euless, Grapevine, North Richland and Arlington. Contact us online or call us directly at (817) 380-4888 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Why are roundabouts considered safer than intersections?

    You recently read in the local news that the city will begin construction on replacing the main downtown intersection with a roundabout starting next week. Needless to say, you’re going around in circles (pardon the pun) on whether this is a good thing not. On the one hand, the roundabout should decrease traffic backups, but on the other hand they’re extremely confusing and could be dangerous if people don’t know how to navigate.

    You know that you don’t really have a personal say in the matter since it has already been decided, but what made the city think it was aRoundabout good idea? Are they better than normal intersections? Are they safer? Why bother changing?

    Safety and Benefits of Roundabouts vs. Traditional Intersections  

    Every year, nearly 800,000 crashes occur at intersections in the United States. This means that 36% of all traffic crashes are intersection related. The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that the reason for such a high collision percentage at intersections is that drivers don’t adequately follow the criss-cross design of intersections. DOT analysis shows that “turning with an obstructed view” at an intersection is 335 times more likely to cause a critical crash than at any other location. Based on these facts, the United States has attempted to make intersections safer by slowly implementing roundabouts.

    Roundabouts are extremely popular in Europe as a way to decrease intersection congestion and collisions. Since roundabouts eliminate the need for traffic to cross one another, side impact collisions and turning collisions are greatly decreased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has even included roundabouts as one of its nine proven safety countermeasures for decreasing intersection collision risks. Roundabouts alone are estimated to lower risks by nearly 82% over traditional intersections as a result of unique design and safety benefits that normal intersections lack. 

    These benefits include:

    • Slower speeds. Since roundabouts are circles and require the driver to be in the state of a constant turn in order to properly navigate without rolling his car, he must maintain a slower speed than if he were going through a straight intersection
    • Fewer impact points. Roundabouts all but eliminate head-on and high speed right angle collisions by limiting impact sites from 28 potential collision points (normal intersection) to eight possible points (roundabout).
    • Increased crosswalk safety and visibility. Roundabout crosswalks are placed farther ahead of the entrance points than normal intersections (making it easier to see pedestrians before turning). These crosswalks are also broken up into sections, so pedestrians do not have to walk as far to get to safe ground.
    • Fewer acceleration crashes. Since the traffic flow is fluid, cars don’t have to stop and then accelerate abruptly.
    • Decreased road rage. Traffic flow is increased, while backups are decreased, lessening frustration, stress, and anger which could have potentially lead to road rage collisions in traditional intersection traffic.

    Avoiding the Run Around After a Crash

    Although roundabouts are considered to be safer than other intersections, reckless and poor driving can still put your family at risk. If you or a family member has suffered from serious injuries due to a roundabout car crash, you may be entitled to damages and injury compensation. Don’t allow your insurance company to give you the run around—let an experienced car wreck attorney help you find the most direct path to your injury settlement.

    Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 for a free consultation and review of your case. We help injured car wreck victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North  Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.

     

  • Can a broken clavicle be deadly?

    Throughout grade school it seems like you broke your collarbone every other year. You were extremely active and between falling out of trees, playing sports, and the occasional stupid dare, you found yourself in the emergency room quite often. As a result of this familiarity, when your wife told you that she had to take your daughter to the hospital for a possible broken collarbone, you weren’t as panicked as she was. Once you joined your family in the waiting room—perhaps you should have been.

    When your little girl was being treated for the fracture, her doctor decided to take the opportunity to discuss the possible long-term effects the break could cause, as well as how lucky she was that the fracture wasn’t more severe. As you listened to all of the risks, you started to get nauseous. Not only were you concerned for your daughter—to the point where you were mentally creating safety gear for her in your head—but you were also concerned about your own well-being.

    Could your childhood breaks be causing problems now? What other problems could your daughter face?

    Clavicle Injury Risks and Complications

    The American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons proclaims that a broken collarbone requires immediate emergency treatment in order to reset the bone, as well as to assess any potential muscular, nerve, or circulatory damage. The following is a list of possible risks and complications:

    • Bone infection. When your clavicle breaks, if any part of the jagged bone breaks the skin, you become susceptible to germs, bacteria, and infections. These foreign invaders can not only infect your blood stream, but can also cause bone deterioration. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent deadly infections.
    • Nerve or blood vessel injury. The jagged ends of a broken collarbone or bone chips can puncture or sever nearby nerves and blood vessels. As a result, you could wind up losing feeling in your arm and hand, suffer paralysis, or even excessive internal bleeding.
    • Surgical Complications. If your break requires surgery, you run the risk of infections, bleeding, blood clots, lung injury, and permanent hardware irritations.
    • Deformity. A severely broken collarbone may not heal completely and can even shift unexpectedly during recovery. If the bones do not heal evenly, it could cause the bone to be noticeably shorter than it was before the break, causing your entire arm to be slightly deformed. In addition, lumps and bulges can form during recovery. Much like a seam, during a bone’s healing process the place where the bone knits together becomes thicker than the rest of the bone, forming lumps and bulges if not properly monitored.
    • Osteoarthritis. As with any broken joint, your risk of arthritis drastically increases due to the fact that once a bone is broken, it is never as strong as it was before the break.

    Shouldering Your Family’s Future After a Crash

    Any type of collision injury can have unforeseen or long-term complications that your insurance company refuses to acknowledge. Don’t allow their inability or unwillingness to see the whole picture affect your family’s future. Call us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We know how confusing, complicated, and frustrating an injury claim can be—especially when you’re forced to handle it on your own. Fortunately, we can help shoulder that responsibility for you and may be able to help you get the appropriate settlement that you and your family need.

     

  • What should adult children know when talking with senior parents about their driving abilities?

    It’s a strange turn of events when you have to consider talking with your own parents about their driving abilities. It may seem like just the other day they were teaching you how to drive and talking with you about being a safe driver. But now it’s your turn to talk with your aging mother or father about driving safety.

    While this conversation might not be easy an easy one to have, it is good to find out how your parent feels about the following things as he or she is aging:

    • Physical ability to drive
    • Reaction time
    • Hearing and vision
    • Confusion

    Elderly people often suffer from declining physical abilities, slower reaction times, hearing difficulties, decreased eye sight, and feeling confused while driving or getting lost. By asking your mother or father about these things, you may find out if your aging parent is concerned with his or her ability to drive safely.

    While no senior wants to give up his or her keys to the car—and the sense of independence that comes along with driving—it is better to have this conversation in order to keep your parent safe. For example, your parent may just need a new prescription that will help him or her see better in order to avoid a car crash. However, if your elderly parent has been in a recent auto crash, there could be more to the change in his or her driving abilities.

    Do your part in helping keep your aging parent safe, as well as other motorists on Dallas roads safe by suggesting he or she should:

    • Have his or her eyes checked
    • Have hearing tested
    • Get a regular physical exam
    • Talk with a doctor about medications that could impair driving skills and health problems that could prevent safe driving
    • Find alternative transportation

    Because you probably have friends who are dealing with the same issues, we encourage you to share these tips on Facebook. You never know who this information will help.

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