AUTO ACCIDENTS FAQ
Your medical bills are separate from your attorney fees. Although, your attorney fees are based on “No Recovery, No Fee”, your medical bills are your responsibility. If you went to the emergency room after your accident and they issued you a bill; the bill is your responsibility, and we cannot waive it because it is not our bill to waive. However, you permit your personal injury attorney to pay the medical providers back from the settlement or judgment that you receive at the end.
If you are the victim of another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim; for personal injury cases seeking damages for pain and suffering to be successful, there must be three elements present: injury, liability and coverage. Chalaki Law can help you determine whether these three elements are present and whether you should pursue your personal injury claim. Call today.
When you are involved in a collision, your car is wrecked, your body is in pain, and you are missing time from work. As personal injury attorneys, we understand the complications that arise after a car accident. Therefore, we provide you with a free initial consultation to gather all the information to evaluate your case correctly. After the evaluation, we decide if we are willing to accept your case on a contingency fee agreement (No Recovery, No Fee).
Understanding Your Insurance Policy Explained
Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to pay for the accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying auto liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays for the other person’s damages when you are at fault in an accident. The law currently requires minimum liability coverage of $30,000 per injured person, $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage (30/60/25).
The declaration page on your auto insurance policy indicates the details of your coverage. Coverage is the amount of money the insurance company will pay in case of an incident. The amount of coverage you want to purchase is different if you use your vehicle for personal use rather than commercial use. The language in your auto insurance policy may limit who can drive your vehicle. Also, it may limit the use of the vehicle for certain a purpose. In some cases, the insurance companies expressly exclude high risk drivers from the policy to write a cheaper policy. For example, if you are an Uber driver some of the insurance companies now require that you purchase a commercial auto insurance policy.
Your auto insurance policy language may limit who can drive your vehicle besides you. They may require additional information as to the people who are going to be permitted to drive your vehicle. In case of an incident the auto insurance company may deny you coverage because the individual was excluded on your policy. Some insurance companies specifically require you to provide your spouse’s information in order to issue you a auto insurance policy.
- You want to make sure the person driving your vehicle has a valid state license.
- You want to make sure you are buying a Standard Texas policy and not non-standard auto insurance policy sold by companies like ACCC, Baja, Elephant, Fred Loya, and other smaller companies.
- You may be individually held responsible for the person driving your vehicle. Always make sure they are not driving under influence of alcohol or durgs. Click Here to learn more about Negligence Entrustment.
Working with a car accident lawyer can help you receive reasonable compensation that may exceed the amount that the insurance company would offer you on your own. An automobile injury attorney will help you present every detail about your case to the insurance company or a judge. He or she might bring up information that you would have missed if you did the negotiations yourself.
Reimbursement for your car repairs and medical bills will almost always be determined by the amount that you paid. The lawyer will help you negotiate an adequate settlement for pain and suffering.
It’s the insurance company’s job to offer you the lowest acceptable amount for a settlement. That’s how the organization makes the most of their own income and profits. An insurance adjuster may try to prove that you underwent unnecessary treatment. They may attempt to say that you were able to go to work.
A lawyer will help you take the measures that are necessary to protect yourself if you’ve been injured in an auto wreck. You’ll need to document everything related to the accident. When a doctor can vouch for missed work days and the treatment that you have received, you should be able to recover the money that you’ve lost.
If you want to maximize your settlement, you’ll need to do more than submit a claim through an insurance company. An attorney will help persuade the insurance company that they should look into the matter further. A lengthy investigation may be initiated, and the personal injury lawyer will negotiate the settlement with the insurance company.
You don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get a settlement payout for whiplash or another auto injury. The insurance company and your attorney may reach a suitable agreement. If they don’t, you may need to take the matter to court. A car wreck attorney can answer your questions about suing after a car accident.
“No Recovery, No Fee” or “No Attorney Fee if No Recovery” means that you will not be responsible for your attorney fees if we lose your case, or do not settle your case with the responsible party or their insurance company. We will charge you a percentage of the settlement instead of the typical retainer and hourly fees that attorneys charge. Therefore, if we lose your case any percentage X $0.00 = $0.00 and you owe us nothing for attorney fees. This agreement allows you as a victim of a car accident to receive the proper medical attention that you need without worrying about the outrageous legal fees piling up. Also, this will give you the opportunity to handle your property damage much faster and get back to your daily lives.
- After a car accident, make sure that you seek medical treatment. Get checked out by a doctor even if you think your injuries are minor — they could be more extensive than you realize.
- Gather documentation from the doctor, as well as from the accident. If you filed a police report, get a copy. Create a file or notebook where you can keep a record of everything.
- Before long, a representative from an insurance company will contact you asking for a statement or pressure you to sign something. Before you provide a statement or sign anything, speak with a personal injury lawyer.
- Once you bring Chalaki Law Firm, into the picture, our car accident attorneys will work with you to gather additional evidence. We’ll look at what you’ve gathered, and access your medical records. We may visit the accident scene and track down witnesses, as well. In cases of severe injuries or particularly catastrophic accidents, we might even consult with an accident reconstructionist.
- Based on our research, we will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you have a claim, what your case is worth, and how to proceed.
- The next step in the process is actually filing the lawsuit. While you may be hesitant to sue the driver who is responsible, it is important to take this step to send a message to the other party’s insurance company. It will also preserve your rights if a resolution is not reached before the statute of limitation expires.
- After filing a complaint or petition with the court, the court will issue a summons that identifies when the defendant has to respond. As the case moves forward, both sides will conduct discovery — interviewing witnesses, requesting documents, answering interrogatories.
- As part of pre-trial hearings and negotiations, we may reach an agreement to settle the case. If that is in your best interest, then we can resolve the matter through settlement. But, if the case does not settle, then we will take the case to trial.
A variety of factors go into deciding the average settlement for a car accident. A judge will take into account the type of injury, treatment plan, length of therapy, loss of income and severity of the wreck. In most cases, a settlement is only offered when the medical treatment has been completed. Permanent injuries will influence the amount of compensation that you receive.
If you’re working with an insurance company after a car wreck, let them know if you’re still going through medical treatment so that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Chalaki Law Firm helps people with personal injury claims throughout Texas. Read our Car Accident Help Guide and learn what the next steps are in bringing your personal injury claim, make the right decision and talk to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer by calling 972-330-4889 or contact Chalaki Law.
The following Car Accident Help Guide will help provide insight into how the personal injury claim process works:
What to do after a car accident?
- Contact the police – Immediately following an accident call the police to file an accident report. You may think that you can resolve it yourself, but the damages to yourself and your car may be more serious than it seems. It is important to have an official record of the accident.
- Do not move your car until the police tell you to – Unless the accident is blocking traffic and must be moved, wait until the police arrive on the scene. If you do have to move your car, take pictures before you do — leaving a disposable camera in your car is a great way to be prepared should an accident occur. A cell phone camera will also work.
- Get the names of any witnesses – You never know if the accident may lead to legal action, so it is important to document everything you can. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any potential witnesses before they leave the scene.
- Collect insurance information – Write down the other party’s insurance information, including the insurance company’s name and policy number. Be sure to take down the other driver’s name. Note where the accident took place. And, take pictures of both vehicles.
- Do not admit responsibility – Only discuss the accident with the police, and even then, never admit fault —even if you think you were to blame, because you could be wrong. Admitting fault will be used against you by the insurance company.
- Seek medical attention – While you may think that you are not hurt, some injuries are not always immediately noticeable. Keep a record of everything the doctor tells you — your diagnosis, prescribed treatment and any concerns the doctor may have. Be sure to get copies of any papers the doctor has.
- Follow through with what your doctor says – If your doctor prescribes medication, take it. If he or she recommends physical therapy, make an appointment — and keep it. Do everything your doctor tells you and be sure to follow up with him or her.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your insurance or the other driver’s coverage might be responsible for compensating you for injury and damages. If you have collision coverage on your own vehicle and the crash was your fault, the insurance company will pay a certain amount to fix your car. If the cost to repair the damages is more than the value of your vehicle, the insurance company may consider your car totaled and give you a lump sum based on how much it’s worth.
When the wreck was caused by another driver’s negligence, his or her insurance company should compensate you for any losses, damages, pain and suffering. The sum that the company offers may be much lower than you expect.
It’s easy to get reimbursed for funds that you’ve paid out. It’s challenging to put a fair price on pain and suffering.
Furthermore, under a contingency contract, the personal injury attorney can choose to pay for your case expenses as well. Once we recover a settlement, we will refund those expenses back to the law firm from the settlement. Personal Injury cases are costly. Some of the costs involved in personal injury law include the money that the attorney has to spend to obtain the information needed to handle your case correctly. For example, the police department charges a fee to produce a copy of the police report, video of the collision, and the police call log. The medical providers charge per page to generate your medical records. The court charges a fee to file a lawsuit. There are additional expenses included but not limited to deposition fees, investigation fees, mediation fees, etc.
The best part about hiring Chalaki Law, P.C. is that we process most of these requests digitally to save you as much money as possible. For instance, we request most of your medical records and bills in a digital format and pay a flat fee instead of per page charge. The practice makes us our evidence gathering and analysis processes faster – which translates to savings for you.
If you get hurt in an accident, you may wonder who is going to pay for your medical treatment. An injury settlement or a verdict at trial is great, but that doesn’t help you pay your medical bills now. This article will discuss how your medical bills get paid on an ongoing basis. The simple answer is that it depends on the type of accident that you have, the state that you live in, and the type of insurance that is involved. Read on for the details.
(For information on the compensation you’re entitled to in a personal injury claim following your accident — including money for medical bills — see Damages in an Accident Injury Claim).
General Rule – The Defendant Does Not Have to Pay Your Medical Bills on an Ongoing Basis
The most important thing to know is that, if you get into an accident, you are generally responsible for the payment of your medical bills as you incur them. The only exception is car accidents in “no fault” states, discussed below. Even if the person who injured you is clearly at fault, the law does not require him or her to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. The only thing the law requires is that, if the other person is at fault, he or she must pay you damages to resolve your lawsuit — and in many cases, your medical bills are a part of those damages. But the defendant does not have to pay your medical bills as they come in.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – “No Fault” States
In a motor vehicle accident case, coverage of your medical bills depends on whether the accident happened in a “no fault” state or not. No fault insurance means that your automobile insurer will pay some or all of your medical bills if you get into a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In some “no fault” states, there is a limit to what your own automobile insurance company will pay. The limit differs from state to state, but is generally $10,000 or less.
After your medical bills exceed the state’s “no fault” limit, you are responsible for paying them. If you have health insurance, your health insurer will pay your medical bills. If you are on Medicare or a state run health insurance program through Medicaid, those entities will pay the bills. If you do not have health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, then you are responsible for working out payment arrangements with your health care providers.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – Non “No Fault” States
If you get into a car accident in a state that does not have no fault insurance, you will generally be responsible for paying your medical bills. However, some drivers in these states have medical payment insurance coverage (known as “med pay” coverage). “Med pay” coverage will pay the medical bills of drivers or passengers involved in a car accident with the insured, up to the insured’s “med pay” policy limits, which are generally less than $10,000. After your bills exceed the “med pay” policy limits, you will be responsible for paying them. “Med pay” coverage is not always required, so, if neither you, nor the person at fault, have “med pay” coverage, you are responsible for paying the bills.
Premises Liability (Slip or Trip and Fall Accidents)
In a premises liability or slip and fall case, the injured person will generally be responsible for payment of his or her medical bills, unless the premises owner’s property insurance policy has “med pay” coverage. If the premises owner has “med pay” insurance coverage, then his or her insurance company will pay the injured person’s medical bills up to the “med pay” policy limits. After that, the injured person is responsible for paying the bills.
Boating insurance policies rarely have “med pay” insurance coverage, so, if you get hurt in a boating accident, you will most likely be responsible for paying your medical bills.
If you get hurt in a work-related accident, your workers’ compensation insurer will pay all of your medical bills. In a work-related accident, you are not required to pay any money toward your medical bills. You do not have to pay any medical bills or deductibles. Further, many states require the workers’ compensation insurer to reimburse you for transportation expenses (mileage, tolls, and parking) for all of your travel to and from your medical appointments.
The Insurer That Pays Your Medical Bills Is Entitled To Reimbursement
If a health insurer, Medicare, or the state agency administering Medicaid benefits pays your medical bills related to your accident, they are entitled to be reimbursed for what they paid your health care providers.
If you’re injured in an accident, insurance coverage is not available, and it turns out that you don’t have a personal injury case — because it was your own fault, there is insufficient evidence, or another reason — then you’ll be on the hook for all your medical expenses. In this case, you have limited options, and you’ll probably have to cover the costs of medical treatment yourself. If you can’t afford the bills, you’ll need to turn to family and friends, or consider getting the debt discharged through bankruptcy.
Yes, we will handle your property damage claim at no charge unless the responsible party does not accept liability. When the at-fault party does not take responsibility, we have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. After that, we claim your property damage, bodily injuries, lost wages and all other damages together. We provide this representation under the same Contingency Fee Agreement (“No Attorney Fees if No Recovery”).
COMMERCIAL LITIGATION FAQ
No, we are a law firm that provides, among other services, assistance with the judicial recovery of commercial debts and judicial judgments. Our attorneys assist clients with all stages of commercial and judicial debt collection, from initial negotiation with debtors to enforcement of judgments entered against debtors in Texas and other states.
We primarily handle commercial debts and judicial collections for business, contractors, and subcontractors. Chalaki Law Firm does not normally handle debt collection of consumer debts against individual consumers.
The fees that Chalaki Law charges for handling a commercial debt or judicial collection case depend on many factors, such as the type and amount of the unpaid debt, the status and assets of the alleged debtor, and the complexity of the issues involved. Depending on the individual facts and the specific issues involved in each matter, we may even be able to recover the costs and fees incurred in the debt collection process. The fees that Chalaki Law Firm charges range from hourly billing payable on a monthly basis, flat-fee arrangements based on specific matters, to contingency-fee and hybrid contingency-fee engagements. Depending on the specific fee arrangement, clients may be responsible for payment of incurred court costs and other litigation expenses. When you call to discuss your potential collection case, an attorney at Chalaki Law Firm can discuss which of the various fee structures offered by the firm best fits your specific needs.
The commercial collection attorneys at Chalaki Law Firm have experience in many aspects of the commercial collection process, including restructuring debt through structured payment agreements, UCC filings, attachment of assets, and other business solutions. Although judicial process is one of the many avenues to commercial debt collection, it is not always the first step in the debt collection process, and it may not always be the best alternative. The commercial collection attorneys at Chalaki Law advise clients on the best strategy to obtain the maximum recovery on each commercial and judgment collection matter and then aggressively execute that strategy.
Debt collection services have limited ability to recover unpaid debts. Only a licensed attorney in the State of Texas can take advantage of the many judicial processes to obtain recovery for clients in Texas. Further, depending on the individual facts and circumstances of your commercial collection matter, we may even be able to recover the costs and fees incurred in the debt collection process.
DEFECTIVE PRODUCT FAQ
No. But it can help you get the best results for your claim. Manufacturers and large corporations have powerful legal teams that fight to protect their profits. A defective product lawyer can help level the playing field by fighting for a just resolution that covers all of your injury-related expenses—even if it means going to court.
In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to file a defective product claim. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to get legal help. Gathering the medical records and evidence necessary to build a successful claim takes time, and every day you delay getting legal help reduces the amount of time a Dallas defective product lawyer has to work on your case.
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, speak with the attorneys at Chalaki Law. We’re here to help you get the compensation you need for your physical injury, lost wages, and medical bills. Just call (972) 793-8500 or complete a free online form today.
Several factors affect the value of your case, such as the:
- Severity of your injuries
- Length of your treatment
- Amount of time you’ve missed from work
At the Chalaki Law Office, we know every case is different. When you contact us, an experienced Dallas defective product lawyer will review the details of your case and explain your legal options.
Product liability is an area of law that holds companies accountable for designing, manufacturing, and marketing defective products that harm consumers.
Not necessarily. Before your case goes to trial, a board-certified personal injury trial attorney from our firm will negotiate on your behalf with the companies that manufactured, designed, or sold the product that hurt you. If we obtain a fair settlement that covers the true costs of your injuries, you won’t have to go to court. But if those companies won’t offer you a fair amount, court may be your best option. As with any aspect of your case, we’ll keep you updated on every detail, discuss all your options with you, and help you make the best decision for you and your family.
TRUCK ACCIDENTS FAQ
Insurance carriers for trucking companies are in the business of offering as little as possible for claims against them. You can almost count on the fact that any settlement they offer would be pennies on the dollar for what you can get with the help of an attorney.
Most attorneys specialize in one area of law. You would not want to hire a tax attorney to help you with an 18 wheeler injury accident case. You should contact an experienced truck wreck attorney in Tyler, Texas, who understands how to deal with the intricacies of insurance carriers, trucking regulations, and medical expenses.
Insurance carriers and trucking companies have armies of attorneys, paralegals, and staffers to protect their bottom lines. An 18 wheeler accident attorney in Dallas, Texas, works for you and can offer you the best protection against these powerful forces.
At The Chalaki Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis. This means that we receive compensation only if we win your case or reach an out-of-court settlement. We also provide free consultations.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, call The Chalaki Law Firm at 972-965-2000. Our friendly staff will ask you a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who can help you with your 18 wheeler accident injury lawsuit.
You need to remember that insurance companies exist to make a profit, just like any other business. An insurance company’s “bottom line” is affected if it pays full compensation, so it will take every chance to minimize the damage and injury. An experienced 18 wheeler accident attorney in Tyler, Texas, works to protect your rights, not to protect the insurance company’s bottom line.
Absolutely not. Some unscrupulous insurance adjusters will take your statement and use it against you during the claims process. The best way to protect yourself is to refer all inquiries from your insurance provider to your 18 wheeler accident attorney.
Whenever you’ve been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, there are many potential causes that can lead to the wreck. Mechanical failure on a tractor trailer can be caused by worn tires, defective brakes, inadequate safety systems, or any number of causes that could have been prevented if the trucking company kept up proper maintenance schedules for their vehicles. These can all be grounds for an 18 wheeler injury accident lawsuit.
State and federal laws prohibit truck drivers from operating tractor trailers while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Federal regulations also require that drivers take breaks to prevent drowsy driving. If your truck wreck attorney uncovers evidence that the driver operated under these conditions, your case against the trucker and his employer becomes stronger.
You should not disclose any information to the trucking company or its insurance carrier or the trucking lawyer. Instead, you can refer them to your 18 wheeler accident attorney. A veteran attorney in Tyler, Texas, knows which questions they will ask and how best to answer them, while still protecting your rights.
You should contact an 18 wheeler accident at your earliest opportunity. The earlier you contact an attorney, the fresher the evidence will be for your case, and the better your chances are of receiving compensation for your injuries. Some of the things that must be handled immediately after a truck wreck would include accident reconstruction, data downloads from the truck “black box”, and scene investigation. If you wait to call a truck wreck attorney, some of this evidence may no longer be available.
WRONGFUL DEATH FAQ
Sean Chalaki has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for wrongful death plaintiffs in Texas. If you think you have a wrongful death claim after the tragic loss of a loved one, contact Sean Chalaki today to talk about your case.
Whether you’re in Dallas, Murphy, Carrollton, McKinney, Houston, Pasadena, Baytown, Sugar Land, Conroe, League City, or elsewhere in Texas, Sean Ckalaki can schedule a free consultation about your case. Simply call the Chalaki Law Firm office 972-793-8500, or use the firm’s online form.
An adoptive parent may bring a wrongful death claim for the death of his or her adopted child, but no claim can be asserted by stepparents or foster parents. Nor can grandparents bring a suit for the wrongful death of a grandchild.
Divorced parents can bring a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their child in Texas.
Wrongful death claims can be subject to two statutes of limitations, which define how long someone can wait before bringing a claim. There is the limitations period on the claim that the deceased person could have filed. In Texas, that period is, in most cases, two years from the date of the person’s injury. There is also the limitations period on your own claim for wrongful death, which normally is two years from the date your spouse, child or parent died.
It’s important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney without delay if you think you have a wrongful death claim, so you don’t risk losing the claim by waiting too long.
No. Under the Texas Survival Statute, a deceased person’s heir or estate representative can assert a personal injury claim that the deceased person would have been able to assert if he or she had survived a fatal accident. A wrongful death claim is a separate claim for compensation that belongs to the deceased person’s spouse, children and parents, based on the loss of their loved one.
- That you are a statutory beneficiary of the person who was killed. Statutory beneficiaries include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents.
- That the defendant’s wrongful act caused the deceased person’s death.
Unfortunately, no. Texas law does not allow siblings to bring a wrongful death claim for the loss of a brother or sister.
Any biological children of a deceased parent can bring a claim under the Texas Wrongful Death Act. An adopted child, who has been formally and legally adopted, can bring a wrongful death claim for the death of his or her adoptive parent, but not for his or her biological parent.
Adult children may sue for the wrongful death of a parent.
A person who prevails on a wrongful death claim may be able to recover what are known as actual damages and exemplary damages.
Actual damages include:
- Financial losses, such as the loss of the deceased person’s earning capacity and the value of the care, maintenance, services, support, advice and counsel he or she would have provided to family members.
- Mental anguish, which refers to your emotional pain, torment and suffering from the death of your family member.
- The loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship and society from the death of your family member.
- Loss of inheritance, referring to what the deceased person would have accumulated and left to you if he or she had lived a normal expected lifetime.
Exemplary damages are recoverable on a wrongful death claim when the person’s death is caused by the defendant’s willful act or omission or gross negligence.
Historically in Texas, the spouses, parents and children of someone who was killed in an accident could not sue for the damages that they suffered because of their loved one’s death. The Wrongful Death Act changed that by creating a new cause of action that lets these persons bring suit in the event they have actual damages from the death of their spouse, child or parent.
A wrongful death claim lets family members and the deceased’s estate recover compensation after someone causes the death of their spouse, parent or child.
(For More Information on Wrongful Death)
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Title 4, Chapter 71 serves as the basis for wrongful death and survival lawsuits in Texas.
A spouse can bring a wrongful death action whether the couple’s marriage was formal or by common law. The claim can be brought, too, even if the spouses were separated when one of them was killed, and even if the surviving spouse remarried after the other’s death.
At this time, Texas law does not allow wrongful death actions by same-sex spouses.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means the attorney gets paid only if you get a recovery on your lawsuit. Most often, the amount of the fee will be a percentage of your recovery. The fee percentage and the handling of costs and expenses to represent you will all be set out in a fee agreement when the attorney takes your case. Generally, if you don’t win anything on your case, you won’t owe anything to your attorney.