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Should I sign a medical authorization release following a drunk driving accident in Grapevine?
Being injured in a drunk driving crash caused by another driver while you are on your way to Tom Thumb or to meet a friend at Winewood Grill is a frightening experience. It is overwhelming to suddenly be dealing with serious injuries and the reality that you will have no income for months or longer while you recover. When you are most vulnerable, the insurance adjuster for the drunk driver could contact you—even before you are out of the hospital—with a barrage of questions and requests. One request that you need to be wary of is to sign a medical authorization for release of information.
Why You Do Not Want to Sign an Insurance Company’s Blanket Medical Release Following a Grapevine Drunk Driving Accident
While it is true that the insurance adjuster will need your medical records regarding your injuries before settling your claim, this does not mean that you should sign the insurance company’s blanket authorization for release of medical information. You should not agree to this because doing so:
Provides too much information.
If you sign the insurance company’s release, you are most likely giving them access to all of your medical records. This can give the insurance adjuster the ability to search through your records for prior injuries or mention of an ache or pain to the same body part in the past or other information that he can try to use to deny or reduce your claim.
Invades your privacy.
By signing the authorization, you are giving the insurance adjuster access to irrelevant medical information about you that may be private and sensitive. This is an invasion of your privacy, and you are not required to disclose this irrelevant medical information to settle your claim.
Weakens your case.
You may make it harder for an experienced drunk driving attorney to settle your claim for what it is worth because you are providing the insurance company with ammunition to dispute your claim. While your attorney will have strategies to defeat some of the insurance company’s arguments against paying you, he may need to compromise on some disputes that are potential weaknesses in your case.
You should never sign a medical authorization, settlement agreement, or other document provided by the insurance company without first having it reviewed by a lawyer. This ensures that you are not waiving important legal rights and are receiving what you deserve. He can also provide the insurance company with the medical records they truly need and not irrelevant ones that invade your privacy and hurt your case. If you need to file a claim following a drunk driving crash in Grapevine, contact us online or call our office in Colleyville directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case review.
We help car accident victims throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Eules and all points between.
How does a drunk driving auto accident claim differ from other car crash cases in North Richland Hills?
Your chances of being injured in a drunk driving wreck in North Richland Hills may be greater than in other nearby communities due to the number of college students attending the University of Texas in Arlington and the University of North Texas. If you suffered injuries or a loved one was killed, you can hold the drunk driver responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. When filing your claim with the driver’s insurance company, you do not want to make the mistake of treating your claim like a traditional car accident case.
Key Differences Between North Richland Hills Auto Accident and Drunk Driving Claims
In some ways, a drunk driving crash is the same as a standard car wreck. In both incidents, one or more vehicles causes a rear-end, head-on, T-bone, or other type of collision. However, there are important differences in the settlement of these claims that is important to understand if you are the victim in a drunk driving wreck, including:
Fault may be easier to prove.
While you still have to prove that the driver’s intoxication was the cause of your wreck, this may be easier to prove than fault in other crashes due to how alcohol impairs driving.
A DWI is a criminal case.
Unlike many car crashes, the driver could face DWI criminal charges as well as face civil liability to compensate you. You may need to obtain evidence from the criminal case—such as his blood test to prove his blood alcohol concentration—to help prove his negligence. In addition, if the driver pleads guilty in his criminal case, he may be found negligent per se—which is an automatic finding of negligence—in your civil case against him.
Punitive damages may be awarded.
Punitive damages are awarded in North Richland Hills auto collision cases to punish the driver rather than compensate the victims. However, you are more likely to be awarded this type of compensation if you are hit by a drunk driver than a negligent driver who was not intoxicated.
Other parties may be liable.
You may be able to hold the bar, restaurant, store, or social host who served the drunk driver alcohol liable for compensating you under Texas’ Dram Shop and Social Host Laws.
The value of your claim may be higher.
The value of your claim could be higher because you are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death in a drunk driving wreck. The possibility of being awarded punitive damages can also make your claim worth more.
Insurance companies will sit up and listen.
Insurance companies tend to take drunk driving cases more seriously. However, you will still need the assistance of an experienced car crash attorney to obtain the settlement you deserve.
Our experienced legal team is committed to fighting hard for the compensation our clients in North Richland Hills deserve when they are the victims of a drunk driving accident. We are not afraid to take a case to trial if necessary so that our clients receive the compensation they are entitled to. Because our office is located in nearby Colleyville, we have an even greater understanding of how these crashes occur in North Richland Hills. Find out how we can assist you in obtaining justice by contacting us online or calling us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused my accident in North Richland Hills?
If you were injured in a drunk driving wreck while commuting to UTA on Northeast Loop 420, or on any other busy road in North Richland Hills, one of the most important laws to understand is the statute of limitations. This is the time period you have under Texas law to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver for compensation for your injuries. If you miss the deadline set by the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to hold the drunk driver responsible for compensating you.
Statute of Limitations for Your North Richland Hills Drunk Driving Accident
In Texas, the time period to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver is the same as in other car crash cases. Here are the important deadlines that you must comply with:
The deadline is two years from the date of your crash to sue for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any property in it that was damaged.
You also have two years from the date of your wreck to file a lawsuit for compensation for your personal injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a loved one died as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence, the statute of limitations is slightly different. You must file a wrongful death action within two years of his death, not the date of the accident.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time period, you may waive your right to sue the negligent driver and the judge could dismiss your case. However, even if you think you missed the statute of limitations, you should consult with an experienced car crash attorney because your collision may fall into a limited exception to this rule.
Why You Should Not Delay in Retaining an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If your accident in North Richland Hills occurred recently, this does not mean you should wait to retain an experienced attorney. It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your wreck. By doing so, you give him the opportunity to more thoroughly investigate how it occurred. For example, he may go to the scene of your collision to look for missed evidence and can contact witnesses who saw what happened before they disappear or their memories fade. He can also guide you through the process of filing your claim and help you avoid common mistakes that North Richland Hills crash victims inadvertently make.
Let Us Help You With Your North Richland Hills Drunk Driving Claim
At the Hart Law Firm, we have years of experience fighting for the rights of victims who work and live in North Richland Hills and are injured in drunk driving wrecks. Let us take over the burden of holding the negligent driver responsible for compensating you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation at our Colleyville office.
We also help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
Can I represent myself in my non-subscriber workplace injury case?
If you are like many employees in Texas, you may work for a non-subscriber employer who does not provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured on the job. However, you still have a right to compensation if you hurt at work, as long as you can prove that your employer was at least one percent negligent in causing your injuries. If you are in this situation and need to file a claim, you may be wondering if you should represent yourself or retain an experienced workplace injury attorney.
Times You Can Represent Yourself After Suffering a Workplace Injury
You may be surprised to learn that there are situations when you can represent yourself when settling a workplace injury claim. However, these are limited cases. If all of the following apply to you, you may be able to settle your own claim:
- You suffered a minor injury, such as a sprained wrist or ankle or one requiring stitches.
- You only took a little time or no time off work.
- Your employer agrees to liability for your injury and is paying for your medical expenses and any lost wages.
Why You Need an Attorney in Most Workplace Injury Cases
A non-subscriber workplace injury case is more complicated than a workers’ comp case and can be much more difficult to settle. Here are common issues that arise in these cases that require an attorney’s assistance:
While you only have to prove that your employer was one percent negligent to be entitled to all of your compensation, you still must prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries. This can be impossible without the help of an experienced workplace injury attorney who can investigate the incident and collect the evidence necessary to prove your employer’s negligence.
You could have disputes with the insurance adjuster for your employer about the cause of your injuries or their severity. In a non-subscriber case, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, and pain and suffering, which is not allowed in a workers’ comp cases. The insurance adjuster may raise more disputes in your case because of the higher value of your claim.
Whenever you suffer any serious injuries that require you to take off more than a few days, need surgery, or result in you becoming partially or completely disabled, this will increase the amount of settlement that you are entitled to. This can also make it more difficult to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve without aggressively fighting for it.
If you have any pre-existing injuries to the same body part, the insurance company could argue that this prior injury and not the incident at work was the cause of your current injuries. An experienced attorney will have strategies to defeat this argument.
Value of your claim.
Calculating the amount of your past and future medical expenses and lost wages can be more complex than you think, and you do not have the experience to value the pain and suffering portion of your claim. To ensure that you receive what you deserve, you need the advice of an attorney on how much you should receive in your settlement.
You may have a claim of negligence against a third party as well as your employer. Proving liability and negotiating settlements with multiple parties is not something that you can successfully accomplish on your own.
Do you work for a non-subscriber employer? Our experienced legal team can help you file your claim for compensation for your workplace injuries. Contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation. We will talk about our experience and your legal options.
We help injured workers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney in my non-subscriber workplace injury case?
If you are injured at your job in Texas, you have many worries that employees in other states do not have. This is because Texas allows employers to opt out of providing injured workers with workers’ compensation benefits. You will need to file a personal injury claim and prove your employer’s negligence in order to obtain the compensation you deserve when working for a non-subscriber employer. You may know that you need the help of an experienced non-subscriber workplace injury attorney to do this, but may worry that you cannot afford his fees.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Non-Subscriber Workplace Injury Attorney?
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you most likely can afford to retain an experienced attorney for your work injury claim. Like other personal injury attorneys, many non-subscriber workplace injury attorneys takes these cases on a contingency fee basis. Here is how this type of fee arrangement works:
- You only owe attorney fees if you win your case either through settlement or at trial.
- Your attorney is paid an agreed-upon percentage of your compensation out of your settlement proceeds, so you do not pay any attorney fees directly.
- If you lose your case, you would owe no attorney fees.
- You may owe additional costs, such as the fees for filing a lawsuit, deposition costs, and expert witness fees. You need to discuss these expenses with your attorney before hiring him and understand whether you pay these fees or he will front the cost for you.
Experience as Well as Cost Matters When Retaining an Attorney for Your Workplace Injury Case
While the cost of an attorney should be a consideration in deciding who to hire, it should not be the only consideration that you base your decision on. Retaining an experienced attorney who has a track record of success in settling and trying non-subscriber workplace injury cases—not just workers’ compensation claims—is equally important. You also want an attorney who you communicate well with and trust.
If you've been injured at your job and work for a non-subscriber employer you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Hart Law Firm, our experienced legal team has spent years fighting for the rights of our clients who work for non-subscriber employers. Contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
We help injured workers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
How can a truck’s black box can help your truck accident claim?
Most people know that an airplane’s black box could lead to important information as to the cause of an airplane crash. You may not be aware that a truck also contains a black box that can also help prove the trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence in causing your truck crash. However, you will need to act quickly to obtain this information from the trucking company before it is lost. This will not be an easy task.
Helpful Information That a Truck’s Black Box Could Contain
Black boxes have been installed in commercial trucks since the 1990s, so it is almost certain that the truck that caused your wreck contained one. These devices are also known as event data recorders (EDR) and consist of sensors and other components linked to the truck’s engine that record information regarding the trucker’s actions and the truck’s operations, including the following:
- Truck’s average and highest speed and the speed at the time of your wreck
- Time the trucker drove
- Time that the trucker drove at 65 miles per hour or faster
- Average engine RPM
- Seat belt usage by the trucker and any co-driver
- Airbag performance
- Truck’s idling time
- Hard braking and sudden stops
- Cruise control usage
- GPS coordinates and location
How Can the Truck’s EDR Information Help When Filing a Claim for Compensation?
The truck’s black box can provide factual information regarding what the truck was doing before, during, and after your collision that may be in sharp contrast to what the trucking company and trucker claim. Some of its uses include:
- The data can be used with other information by a crash reconstruction expert to recreate how the trucker caused your wreck.
- You can use the data to determine how fast the truck was travelling before and during your wreck and whether the truck driver was speeding.
- You can see if the trucker applied the brakes before or during your wreck.
- You can compare the black box data to the daily log of hours driven that the truck driver is required to complete. This can help you determine if he violated federal hours of service regulations regarding the hours he is allowed to drive and if fatigue caused your crash.
Our Experienced Legal Team Can Help to Obtain the Truck’s Black Box
EDR data is often recorded over in approximately 30 days. You need an experienced truck wreck attorney to act quickly and send the trucking company a spoliation letter advising them not to destroy this vital information. At the Hart Law Firm, our experienced legal team understands the importance of obtaining the black box data and other evidence important to your truck wreck claim before it is destroyed. To learn how we can help you, contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule a free case evaluation.
We help injured truck accident victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
Should I sign an authorization for release of medical information to the negligent truck driver’s insurance adjuster?
You will need to make many important decisions if you file a claim for compensation for injuries that you suffered in a truck wreck caused by a negligent truck driver. Some decisions will be complicated enough that you will know to seek the advice of an experienced truck wreck attorney. However, other decisions may seem like not a big deal, but in reality could have an impact on your settlement. One decision that falls in this category is a medical authorization releasing your medical records to the insurance adjuster for the negligent truck driver and trucking company.
Reasons Why Agreeing to Sign a Medical Release of Information Is a Bad Decision
While it is true that you will need to provide medical records to the insurance company in order to settle your claim with the trucker and trucking company, there is a right and wrong way to do this. Here’s why signing a medical release is not in your best interests:
It is not required.
You are not required to sign a medical authorizing allowing the insurance adjuster to request your medical records regarding your injuries. There is another safer and better way to provide this information to the insurance company—through your experienced truck accident attorney.
It leads to disputes.
If you sign the medical authorization, the insurance adjuster can request all of your medical records and very likely would do so. Many of these records have no true bearing on your claim, but they could lead to disputes when settling your case. For example, if you mentioned a pain in the same body part injured in your truck collision, but never needed treatment for it, the insurance company could argue that your current injury is a pre-existing injury not caused by the accident.
It releases private medical information.
If you allow the adjuster to obtain your medical records, you could be providing irrelevant and sensitive medical information about you that the insurance company does not need and is an invasion of your privacy.
Contact Our Experienced Legal Team for Advice on Signing a Medical Release When Making a Truck Wreck Claim
If you are filing a claim for injuries following a truck accident, the experienced truck wreck attorneys at the Hart Law Firm are here to help—including handling a request for medical records. Contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 and schedule your free consultation today.
We help injured truck crash victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
How long will it take to settle my drunk driving accident claim?
Filing a claim for compensation for your injuries after a drunk driving wreck can be a stressful time of life. You suddenly have worries about your health and how to pay the bills while you must be off work recovering. You most likely will quickly realize that the settlement process is anything but easy and will wonder how long it will be before you receive your check. This is a common concern of many drunk driving victims. Here, we try to take away some of the mystery about this burning question.
How Long Will Your Drunk Driving Case Take to Resolve?
Unfortunately, no attorney can give you a precise time period for when your claim will settle. However, he can give you a general idea of how long it will take based on his experience in settling other cases and the specific issues he sees in yours. Here are some factors that affect the length of time it can take to resolve your claim:
Maximum Medical Improvement.
Your maximum medical improvement is the point in your recovery where you have recovered as much as you will—whether or not you make a full recovery—or your doctor can give you a final prognosis. You need to wait until you reach this stage to settle your case so that you include any future medical bills and wage losses in your settlement.
Like with any car wreck claim, you have the burden of proving the other driver’s negligence and the amount of compensation you deserve. This means that you must prove that the drunk driving caused your wreck, which is not always the case. If there are disputes with the drunk driver’s insurance company as to the cause of the wreck or how serious your injuries are, this could delay settlement of your claim.
Documentation of your damages.
You must provide the insurance company with the documentation of your medical bills and your wages before settling your claim. While an experienced personal injury attorney can begin collecting this information right away, some of it cannot be obtained until after you complete your medical treatment and are ready to settle your claim. This can take time and delay the process.
Severity of your injuries.
If you suffered more long-term injuries or one that causes you to become disabled, the value of your claim will be higher. In these cases, the insurance company will spend more time investigating your case and may fight harder to deny or reduce your settlement.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies have a reputation for taking longer to settle claims. They may request more documentation or delay the process in an effort to wear you down and get you to accept a smaller settlement.
While it can be frustrating when your claim is taking longer than you would like it to, it is important to not settle too quickly for less than you are entitled to. You can increase the chances that you will receive what you deserve by retaining an experienced drunk driving wreck attorney. To discuss your situation and the approximate time period it could take to settle your claim, contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
We help injured victims of drunk drivers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
What is a third-party claim in a non-subscriber workplace injury case in Texas?
Because employers are permitted to opt out of providing workers’ compensation benefits in Texas, you may work for a non-subscriber employer. If you do and are injured on the job, you will have to prove your employer’s negligence to be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To make it more likely that you will be fully compensated, you should pursue claims for negligence against any possible third parties.
Third-Party Claims You May Have in a Non-Subscriber Workplace Injury Case
A third-party claim is a legal claim for compensation that you have against a party other than your employer based on some type of wrongdoing on their part. When you file a non-subscriber workplace injury claim, you can and should pursue any claims that you have against any other parties. Common reasons that you may have a claim against another negligent party includes:
If you must drive for your job and a negligent driver causes you to suffer injuries in a crash, you may have a separate claim against the negligent driver. Truck drivers, police officers, paramedics, and salespersons are a few of the workers who could suffer injuries when driving.
Machinery and equipment.
Many workers can be burned, electrocuted, crushed, caught between, or struck by defective equipment, like forklifts and heavy machinery, power tools, and other equipment. A victim may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer as well as a claim of negligence against his employer.
Subcontractors and non-employees.
In some workplaces, an employer could hire subcontractors or workers may be in contact with a variety of non-employees—salespersons, delivery drivers, and customers are a few. If workers suffer injuries due to the negligence of these third-parties, a claim for compensation should be filed with their insurance company.
If a worker is performing work at a private residence or other property, he could be injured due to a hazard, such as a slip and fall danger, that may give him the right to compensation from the owner.
If you must file a claim for compensation against your non-subscriber employer, you need an experienced workplace injury attorney who understands the laws governing these cases and the challenges of pursuing claims against multiple parties. To learn about our experience and your legal options, contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
We help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.
Should I give a recorded statement to the negligent truck driver’s insurance company?
After a truck wreck that was not your fault, the truck driver will report the crash to his insurance company, and an insurance adjuster will be assigned to the claim. He will investigate the cause of your crash and obtain information about your injuries. He will most likely contact you—possibly while you are still in the hospital—and may ask you to do a number of things while evaluating your claim. One request may be to give a recorded statement. Should you agree to give one?
Why You Should NOT Give a Recorded Statement to the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
A recorded statement is a question and answer session conducted by the insurance adjuster where your answers are recorded and later transcribed to create a written version of the session. Are you required to give a recorded statement in order to settle your claim with the insurance company? No, you do not have a duty to agree to this in order to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
You may not think that giving a recorded statement is a bad idea when you know that the trucker was the at-fault driver. However, many victims of tragic truck wrecks have significantly weakened their claims for compensation by giving a recorded statement. Here is how agreeing to this could hurt your case:
You will be discussing your crash with many people, such as witnesses, police, and your doctor. If you agree to give a recorded statement, the adjuster will compare your answers to others you give while you are resolving your claim to see if there are any inconsistencies in what you have said. If there are any, he will use this information to deny or reduce your claim. In addition, inconsistent statements would make you less credible as a witness—also damaging your claim.
The insurance adjuster has extensive experience taking recorded statements and knows how to ask questions—sometimes in a confusing manner—to elicit the answers he wants in an effort to weaken your claim. You may inadvertently answer a question in a way that hurts your case without even knowing that you are doing this.
Your recorded statement—like other statements you make—can be used against you in court if you file a civil lawsuit. Portions of the recorded statement could be used with motions filed to try to get your case dismissed or in cross-examination at trial to show that you are not a believable witness.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Adjuster Asks You to Give a Recorded Statement?
If you receive a call from an insurance adjuster requesting that you give a recorded statement, you should politely inform him that you plan to retain an attorney before making any decisions. Then you need to immediately retain an experienced truck wreck attorney who can advise the adjuster that you will not be agreeing to this and can handle all your communications and negotiations with him.
What happens if you already gave a recorded statement? You have not ruined your case. However, you need to hire a lawyer immediately to obtain a copy of the statement and minimize the damage that your statements may have caused to your right to compensation.
If you need assistance in negotiating a settlement of your truck accident claim, our experienced truck wreck attorneys are here to help. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule a free consultation. We help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.