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Do I need an attorney?

Yes. You do need an attorney. An attorney can explain the types of damages you can recover. These damages vary from person to person. They also depend on the nature and severity of your injury. Your attorney’s goal is to get you the help and compensation that is fair for your injury. This is not the goal of an insurance company.

It is important to have an attorney working for you. Insurance companies do not want to pay claims. Adjusters will ask you to sign a Release before you see a doctor. Adjusters will take photographs of your vehicle that do not show the full extent of the damage. Adjusters will generate invoices for the cost of repair without even starting your car or looking under the car.

Adjusters will argue that a collision was your fault, or unavoidable. Adjusters will argue that you received medical care that was not necessary. Adjusters will argue that your bills are too high. You need an attorney to respond to these arguments and be willing to file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to treat you fairly. An attorney manages your claim so you can focus on your recovery.

If an insurance company treats you unfairly, a lawsuit may be filed. If a lawsuit is filed, the insurance company will hire an attorney to defend the at-fault driver. The jury will not be told that the attorney is paid by the insurance company. In fact, in many cases, the attorney is an employee of the insurance company. A jury will not be told this. Just like the insurance company, the attorney will argue that a collision was your fault, or unavoidable. The attorney will argue that you received medical care that was not necessary. The attorney will argue that your bills are too high.

The defense attorneys make this argument in trials every day. Even rear-end collisions. Even in cases where the police report is in your favor. Even in cases where the at-fault driver admits fault. The goal of the defense attorney will be the same as with the insurance company. They do not want the insurance company to have to pay your claim. A jury will be led to believe that payment for your injuries will come from the at-fault driver. That is untrue in most cases. You need an attorney to respond to these arguments and fight the insurance companies and their attorneys.

In a study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), it was discovered that 85 percent of the money paid by insurance companies on claims went to people represented by attorneys. The same study found that the amounts paid on claims were more than 3 times higher for people represented by attorneys.

The Avant Law Firm will fight the insurance companies and their attorneys to protect you and your rights. Contact our offices by email or call 972-705-9600 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

How much will it cost to hire an attorney? Can I talk to the attorney for free?

At the Avant Law Firm, we are paid a percentage of what we recover for you. There are no costs to you upfront or out of pocket. You pay no attorney fees unless the insurance company offers what you believe is fair. Or we beat the insurance company’s attorney at trial.

Our initial consultation is always free. To schedule an appointment, contact our office by email or call 972-705-9600.

Can I hire a Texas attorney if I live in another state?

Yes. If you were injured in Texas, but live in another State, you want a Texas attorney. Lawsuits need to be filed in the State where the injury occurred. You’ll want an attorney licensed to practice in Texas. You’ll want an attorney familiar with the rules of evidence and rules of procedure in Texas. You’ll want an attorney familiar with the court system in Texas.

Some claims are resolved without filing a lawsuit. But without the threat of a lawsuit, insurance companies will not give your claim the attention it deserves. The insurance company needs to know that if your claim is not paid, you are represented by attorney able and willing to file a lawsuit to protect you and your rights.

Anjel Avant is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Fewer than 3 percent of attorneys in Texas have this qualification. She has practiced personal injury law for over 20 years. The Avant Firm fights insurance companies for those injured by the negligence of others.

Contact the Avant Law Firm today for advice on your claim. Initial consultations are always free. Email or call 972-705-9600.

What if the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts me?

Never communicate with the other driver’s insurance company before talking to an attorney. Statements can be recorded and used later — out of context — to deny your claim. Let your attorney handle all communication. If there is a question about how an accident happened, your attorney can provide the police report. If there is a question about your injuries, your attorney can provide your medical records.

If an insurance adjuster calls you on the phone or shows up at your home, provide the adjuster your attorney’s contact information. Let the attorney manage your claim so you can focus on your recovery.

Should I agree to give a recorded statement?

No. The other driver’s insurance company does not have a right to take your recorded statement. It is never a good idea to answer an insurance adjuster’s questions about the nature or extent of your injuries before you have been evaluated by a doctor. You need to know the nature and extent of your injuries.

Insurance adjusters request recorded statements within days or even hours of an accident. These requests are made before you talk to a medical doctor. Before you have an x-ray. Before you know the extent of your injury. Before you talk to an attorney. Do not give an insurance adjuster a reason to deny your claim. Call an attorney and let the attorney communicate with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery.

How much will I recover?

Every client and every case is different. Recovery will depend on various factors, such as:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • The treatment, time, and cost needed to make you well
  • How badly your injuries affect your activities of daily living, at work and at home
  • Whether you’ve fully recovered
  • Whether you lost income, a job, or the ability to work due to your injuries
  • Whether responsibility for the collision is shared
  • Whether the at-fault driver was reckless or exhibited conscious disregard for the safety of others

The amount of recovery you should expect will vary with the facts of your case. You may have soft tissue strains, fractures or tears requiring surgery, or permanent impairment preventing you from going back to work. Regardless of the amount, if you were injured because another driver violated the rules of the road, you have a claim. And more importantly, you have a legal right to be paid for the harm the other driver caused.

How long will my claim or lawsuit take?

Some law firms are paid by the hour. Those firms are paid win or lose. For those firms, the longer it takes to resolve a case, the more the law firm is paid.

The Avant Firm is not paid by the hour. The Avant Firm is only paid if you win. The Avant Firm is only paid when you recover. This way, the law firm and our clients’ interests are the same. We want to get every client the best recovery for their case, in the shortest time possible. But no case should be resolved until after you and your attorney understand your injuries, and know what treatment, time, and cost will be needed to make you well.

The time it takes to resolve your claim will vary with the nature of your injury, and the time and treatment you need to recover. The time it takes to resolve your claim also varies with the other driver’s insurance company and the adjuster’s workload. The adjuster needs time to review your medical records and bills before making a settlement offer. The time it takes to resolve your claim will also be affected by the workload and schedules of the defense attorneys, your schedule, and the workload of judges assigned to your case.

Regardless of the time it takes, we are committed to obtaining fair compensation for your injuries in the shortest amount of time possible, without sacrificing the legal representation you deserve.

Will I have to go to court?

That is up to you.

At the Avant Law Firm, we work for you. We offer you advice, backed by our years of experience. You decide to settle or go to trial.

If a lawsuit is filed, your case could settle without going to trial. Insurance adjusters for the other driver typically make very low settlement offers, which force attorneys to file a lawsuit for their clients. After a lawsuit is filed, most judges require the parties to attend a mediation, where your case could settle without a trial.

If your case does not settle at mediation, your case could still settle without going to trial. If you elect to go to trial, the insurance company probably refused to make a fair offer on your claim before a lawsuit was filed. Then refused to make a fair offer on your claim at mediation. And then refused to make a fair offer before a jury is called to hear your case.

If you have to go to court, trials rarely take more than two or three days. Your attorney will handle all the details and you would simply tell the jury what happened and the nature of your injuries. Jurors typically take their jobs very seriously and pay attention to the evidence presented in your case. Having to go to court may not be preferable. But sometimes, it is necessary to get the fair result you deserve. If you are called to trial, the Avant Law Firm will make that experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.

How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas?

In Texas, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of injury. This is called the statute of limitations.

If your injury claim is not resolved within two years of the date of injury, a lawsuit must be filed. If not, your claim will be lost and there can be no recovery.

Once a lawsuit is filed, however, your claim is preserved, and the statute of limitations is then no longer an issue.

How will I pay my medical bills if my claim is pending? What is an LOP?

If you have health insurance, that is often the best option. But sometimes high deductibles and co-payments make this impossible. Also, some medical providers refuse to treat injuries from car accidents. Some providers refuse to accept certain health insurance plans. And some providers simply do not have the means to provide physical therapy or other treatment needed for the injuries commonly seen in car accidents.

For clients who do not have health insurance, cannot afford the high deductibles, or get turned away from their primary care physician, an attorney can provide an LOP. This is a Letter of Protection. An LOP is a promise to the doctor that his bill will be paid from any settlement or trial verdict. This way, the doctor’s bill is paid by the other driver’s car insurance.

Your provider may request an LOP from your attorney. Sometimes, it is the only way to receive the necessary evaluation, care, and treatment you need after a car accident. LOPS are accepted by many therapy clinics, chiropractors, medical doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, radiologists, MRI facilities, and even pharmacies.

At Avant Law Firm, we will not take a case if we do not believe you will recover compensation for your injury. We will not provide an LOP to any medical provider who is not highly respected in his field. We will not provide an LOP for any treatment that is unrelated to the collision. We will not provide an LOP for any medical treatment that is not necessary. And we will not provide an LOP for any bill that is not reasonable.

Schedule an appointment today to learn about your legal options. Our initial consultation is always free.

What if I think I am partially at fault?

There can be more than one factor that causes a collision. Where both you and another driver cause a collision, percentages of fault are assigned to you both. If you are equally at fault, you cannot recover damages for your injuries. If the other driver was more at fault than you, you may have a claim for your injuries. Your recovery, however, will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

Regardless of the situation, it’s important to consult an attorney to determine whether you have a claim. Schedule a free consultation at the Avant Law Firm today.

Will my insurance rates go up if I file a claim?

Filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance should not make your rates go up. Filing a claim against your own insurance may or may not make your rates go up. This depends on many factors, including:

  • Whether the collision was your fault
  • How many claims you’ve filed in the past
  • Your insurance company’s own policies and procedures

Schedule a free consultation at the Avant Law Firm today. We will evaluate your case and provide honest advice on whether you should pursue legal action.

Will you take my injury case even if my property damage is low?

It is wrong to believe that if there is little damage to a car, then no one could be hurt. However, this is a common argument used by insurance adjusters defense attorneys to deny claims.

Consider this. When we buy eggs in the grocery store, we open the egg carton to check for broken eggs … even if there is little or no damage to the outside egg carton. We do this because we know that the carton can be kicked or dropped, and still appear undamaged. Yet, some or all of the eggs inside that carton can be broken. The same is true for people inside cars.

Whether a driver or passenger will be injured depends on a number of factors. These include age, gender, height, weight, body position, a person’s physical condition, previous injuries, the headrest and seatbelt, the make and model of the car, the point of impact, the speed or velocity of the car, and the ability of the bumper system to absorb the impact.

Every make and model vehicle has had crash studies. The purpose of the studies is to meet guidelines that require cars be built to absorb impacts without showing exterior damage. People are simply not “built” to absorb an impact the way cars are.

Mere photographs are no substitution for the information contained in those crash studies, calculations used by biomechanical engineers, and the fact that no two people share the same physical conditions, strengths, and weaknesses. As a result, whether or not a person was injured in a collision cannot be answered by a photograph of damage to a vehicle.

This is a question best left for the medical profession. A doctor can conduct an exam, read x-rays, discuss your history, and determine whether the collision was the cause of your injury. An attorney will provide those medical records, with those opinions, to the insurance company.

Regardless of the damage to your car, if you are hurt due to another driver’s negligence, you have a claim and a right to fair compensation. The lawyers at the Avant Law Firm are dedicated to helping you fight the insurance companies and defense lawyers for what is fair. You can schedule an appointment by email or call 972-705-9600.

I didn’t go to the hospital, do I still have a claim?

You can feel pain for the first time after you leave the scene of an accident. Sometimes you feel it driving away. Sometimes hours later. Sometimes the next morning when you wake up. Sometimes you take pain medication, or apply heat and ice, and hope the pain will go away on its own. But whenever you feel pain after a car accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. A delay in treatment can result in further damage or prolong your recovery.

If you have trouble getting the medical help you need, contact an attorney. If you don’t have health insurance, your deductible makes treatment unaffordable, or your doctor doesn’t provide the kind of treatment you need, contact an attorney. Your attorney can help you get the medical help needed. Any delay in treatment could slow your recovery and damage your claim.

If you are in pain and unsure of what to do, contact the Avant Law Firm for assistance. Our attorneys are happy to provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.