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How Much Is My Traumatic Brain Injury Case Worth?

Few injuries have the ability to profoundly alter the course of someone’s life the way that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can. Although every TBI is different, common symptoms include sleep disorders, memory loss, inability to concentrate, or even changes in personality. Skills you spent a lifetime acquiring might be gone. Relationships may be altered. And while most people  fully recover within 3-6 months, a significant percentage never do.

Traumatic brain injury settlements can be significant for these and other reasons. At Crosley Law, many of our biggest wins have come in traumatic brain injury cases, including $20 million for a young man hit while riding his bicycle, and $16 million for a master plumber hit by a wrong-way truck driver.

However, obtaining these large settlements can be extremely difficult. There is a lot of misinformation about traumatic brain injuries. Even worse, because the symptoms are often “invisible,” insurance companies frequently deny that your TBI is as bad as you claim. In fact, in that same $16 million win mentioned above, the insurance company initially argued that our client was totally fine and denied his claim.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the factors that go into calculating brain injury settlements, and common challenges that injury victims face. But if you want to know how much your TBI case could be worth, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule your free consultation with Crosley Law, call us today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.

“Mild” Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Still Prove Devastating

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How Are Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements Calculated?

As with any other type of personal injury lawsuit, you can claim several different types of damages. Broadly speaking, these include:

Economic Damages

Your economic damages include the financial costs you suffered (or will suffer) as a direct result of your brain injury. Examples include:

  • Past and future medical expenses (hospital bills, medications, rehabilitation, cost of future medical treatment, etc.).
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work.
  • Reduced future earnings, if you can return to work but only part time or in a different occupation with lower earnings.
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses you can directly tie to the injury, such as childcare, transportation costs to medical appointments, or hiring someone to provide household services you can no longer perform yourself.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for more subjective losses that you’ve suffered as a direct result of the injury. Non-economic damages don’t have a specific price tag, like medical bills or lost wages, but they clearly have a significant impact on your life.

Some examples that are common among brain injury victims include:

  • Physical pain and suffering (for example, if you experience constant headaches).
  • Emotional distress (from mood swings, memory loss, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, etc.).
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, if you can no longer enjoy hobbies or spend time with your friends.
  • Loss of consortium, if your brain injury has affected your relationship with a spouse or partner.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in personal injury cases if the at-fault party acted with particularly egregious, reckless, or malicious behavior (as opposed to simply being negligent). Rather than compensating a victim for specific losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. Some examples of cases where punitive damages might be considered include drunk driving car accidents and intentional assaults.

What Is an Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury?

There really is no such thing as an “average” brain injury settlement. Some cases are worth a few thousand dollars. Others are worth millions. It depends on countless factors, including the duration and severity of your symptoms, whether you’ve suffered a permanent disability, the strength of the evidence, your age and life expectancy, your occupation, the skill of your personal injury lawyer, the amount of insurance coverage available, and more.

One thing is true: mild traumatic brain injury cases are often highly complex. Due to the nature of brain injuries, injury victims often face significant obstacles when attempting to negotiate a fair TBI settlement. The best way to overcome these challenges is by speaking with an experienced brain injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.

Why Is It So Hard to Get Fair Compensation for a Brain Injury?

Certain challenges are common to all personal injury claims. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out more than absolutely necessary to settle a claim. They’re looking for a quick, cheap solution—not your best interests.

Yet brain injury claims can be especially difficult to prove for a variety of reasons. Here are a few common ones:

  • Late diagnoses. Mild traumatic brain injuries are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Often, people don’t realize at first how seriously they’ve been affected and don’t seek medical attention right away. However, even emergency room staff can miss the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury, particularly if there are other injuries that need treatment.
  • Invisible injuries. Objective tests aren’t always available to prove you suffered a brain injury, or that your mental and emotional struggles are as severe as you claim them to be. Conventional brain scans usually look normal, and victims may even look and act fairly normal to someone who does not know them well. Proving that your symptoms are real and severe, and you aren’t just making them up, may require significant testimony from doctors, therapists, colleagues, family members, and more.
  • Scientific misconceptions. There are still many common misconceptions about brain injuries. Despite the name, a “mild” brain injury can result in significant, permanent, severe symptoms just like a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. However, many people mistakenly assume that all mild brain injuries clear up in a few months, or that if you didn’t lose consciousness during the initial accident your brain injury cannot be permanent. Carefully and persuasively explaining the science to an insurance company or a jury can be extremely challenging.
  • The difficulty of calculating damages. Subjective losses such as constant anxiety, depression, feeling alienated from friends, and loss of self-confidence are common among people who have suffered a brain injury. But unlike lost wages or medical bills, these kinds of losses can’t be easily translated to dollars and cents. In short, they’re worth whatever a jury says they’re worth. That makes it even more important to rigorously document how your brain injury has affected your daily life.

Even With Normal Brain Scans, You Can Sue Someone for Your TBI

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The Best Way to Maximize Your Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement Is to Talk to an Experienced Attorney

Before you begin (or go any further with) your brain injury claim, we strongly recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer with a solid track record in handling brain injury cases.

Getting fair compensation for a so-called “minor” brain injury usually requires lots of difficult, detail-oriented work. You want to know your lawyer is willing and capable of going the extra mile for you—including taking your case to trial, if necessary.

A great brain injury lawyer can help you by:

  • Ensuring you get the best possible medical care from the right medical specialists, including those who may provide more sophisticated exams and testing. (In one of our previous cases, we were able to get our client into a cutting-edge research study that was able to show conclusive evidence of the damage to his brain.)
  • Identifying all possible sources of insurance coverage that apply to your situation.
  • Carefully compiling medical records, doctors’ notes, and testimony from medical specialists.
  • Speaking with life care planners, economists, psychologists, and other experts who can accurately predict your future care needs.
  • Speaking with friends, family members, co-workers, and others who can explain the subjective losses you’ve experienced as a result of your head injury.
  • Understanding the science behind brain injuries well enough to not only explain it in common language to a jury, but also effectively cross-examine the “experts” hired by the defense. In one notable Crosley Law case involving a child who suffered a head injury at a trampoline park, we were able to pick apart the testimony of a hired neuropsychologist who claimed our client had fully recovered and needed no future treatment. We ended up winning an $11.5 million verdict in that trial.

Again, these cases are often extremely complex. The insurance company you’re up against will use that to their advantage. They may try to get you to accept a lowball settlement for far less than what you deserve. They will usually hire their own experts who will argue their point of view.

If you’re suffering the effects of a head injury or post-concussive syndrome, the last thing you should have to worry about is the finer points of personal injury law. An experienced attorney can take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on healing and spending time with your loved ones.

Contact Crosley Law Today for a Free Consultation

Our San Antonio law firm isn’t afraid to take tough brain injury cases and fight for what’s right. Attorney Tom Crosley has written and lectured extensively throughout Texas and the United States on the topic of brain injury litigation. Our firm has won multiple multi-million settlements and verdicts for brain injury clients.

The call costs you nothing. The initial case review is free. And we work on contingency, meaning you never pay us anything unless we successfully negotiate a settlement or win your trial.

To set up your consultation with one of our brain injury attorneys and learn more about what your case may be worth, call us today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our brief contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

What Causes Truck Tire Blowouts?

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving down the highway, about to pass a semi-truck. Suddenly and without warning, one of the truck’s tires explodes, causing the truck to suddenly veer into your lane.

It may sound like a freak occurrence. But in fact, the stats show that tire blowouts happen with alarming regularity—especially for large commercial trucks. An average of 8,000 truck crashes involve tire failures each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that, in 2020 alone, 664 people died in tire-related vehicle crashes.

Unfortunately, it’s not always immediately clear what caused a blown tire. And if you don’t work quickly to secure the evidence before it disappears, it may become extremely difficult to identify the root cause. That’s a serious concern for car accident victims—if you can’t identify the person or party responsible, then you can’t get compensation.

If you’ve been injured in a tire-related truck wreck, we strongly urge you to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn more about the most common cause of tire blowouts.

What Is a Tire Blowout?

A tire blowout occurs when a vehicle tire suddenly and unexpectedly bursts, leading to a rapid loss of air pressure. Handling is immediately affected; the vehicle may suddenly slow down and begin pulling aggressively to the left or right.

Blowouts are sudden, startling, and devastatingly dangerous for all vehicles. But they are especially dangerous when they involve large trucks. The sudden loss of control often causes large trucks to swerve into other lanes or vehicles, causing catastrophic damage.

What Causes a Tire Blowout?

Most tire blowouts are the result of negligence. In other words, at some point leading up to the eventual failure of the tire, at least one person or party did not take the necessary, reasonable steps to ensure that the tire was safe to drive on.

But when did the failure occur, and who was responsible? Was it a manufacturing defect? Improper maintenance? Driver error? If you don’t know the root cause, you can’t prove who was responsible—and you may struggle to get compensation for your injuries.

Here are some of the most common factors that can contribute to a tire failure for a semi-truck or other heavy commercial vehicle:

Manufacturing Defects

A tire blowout may occur simply because the tire itself is faulty. A dangerous tire can leave the factory for several reasons, including:

  • Use of poor-quality materials in the manufacturing process, such as low-quality rubber that wears too quickly or results in weak points within the structure of the tire.
  • Improper curing and assembly of the tire. Curing is essential to shape the tire and bond tire components (rubber, steel, fabric, etc.) together. Poorly cured tires tend to have poor strength and durability.
  • Poor quality control. Tires are supposed to be thoroughly tested and inspected before reaching the market. However, if these steps aren’t taken, faulty tires may not be identified.

Tire Defects Cause Fatal Car Accidents Nationwide

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Overloaded Trucks

Each tire has a weight rating, specifying the maximum weight that a tire can support. If the truck routinely exceeds the weight limit, the tires must endure more heat, wear, and tear than they are designed to withstand. The result is a higher risk of tire blowout accidents.

Excessive Speed

Tires also have speed ratings, which indicate the maximum speed at which a properly inflated tire can safely operate. Go too fast, and the risk that the tire will blow out increases dramatically.

The stark reality is that most commercial truck tires can’t handle Texas highway speeds. Semi-trucks typically run on tires that are rated for only up to 75 miles per hour. Meanwhile, state Highway 130, which runs between San Antonio and Austin, has a posted speed limit of 85 mph along specific stretches—the highest speed in the United States, and one of the highest in the world.

Furthermore, while most states have slower speed limits for urban interstates and limited-access roads, Texas keeps traffic on many roads cruising along at 75 mph. And plenty of drivers (including truck drivers) are going even faster.

Incorrect Tire Pressure

In order to operate safely, truck tires should always be inflated to the air pressure recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Underinflated tires can’t support a heavily loaded truck as effectively, causing the tire to sag and tire sidewalls to flex more than they should. Added friction, stress, and heat weaken the tire and increase the risk of a rupture.
  • When tires are overinflated, it reduces the size of the contact patch between the tire and the road. This can put excessive stress on the center of the tread, and more stress on tire components. It also makes tires more susceptible to impact damage from potholes or road debris.

Most trucks should be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that alerts the driver about underinflated tires via a warning light on the dashboard. However, the sensor may be defective—or the warning may be ignored by the driver.

Poor Tire Maintenance

In addition to regularly checking air pressure, truck tires should be inspected routinely for alignment and signs of wear, damage, and other maintenance issues that can increase the risk of a blowout. It’s also important to have tires rotated and balanced regularly to ensure even wear.

Typical red flags include:

  • Excessive tread wear. Old, worn-down car tires are less durable and more prone to overheating, puncturing, and other related causes of tire blowouts.
  • Uneven tread wear. Due to alignment issues, air pressure imbalances, suspension issues, and other factors, some tires may be significantly more worn down than others.
  • Mismatched tires. Tires are considered “mismatched” if they are from different manufacturers, different sizes, or have significantly uneven tire wear. On an 18-wheeler, that’s a lot of tires to check—and issues aren’t always addressed promptly even when caught.

Weather Conditions

There is a reason why summer is sometimes called “tire blowout season,” particularly in a state like Texas. When the temperature of the air and road rises, the air inside the tire expands. If the pressure gets too high, it can cause the tire to fail and result in a blowout or flat tire.

Excessive heat isn’t the only risky weather as far as tires are concerned. Extreme cold temperatures can make tires hard, brittle, and more prone to cracking. Strong winds can cause a semi-truck to sway or lean, putting additional stress on tires. And wet or icy roads cause traction and handling problems that can lead to loss of traction and vehicle control.

Tire Blowout in the Summer? Here’s Why You Should Talk to an Attorney

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Road Hazards

Poorly maintained roads are also a common contributing factor to tire blowouts. Driving over potholes, road debris, sharp objects, or even hitting a curb can easily damage a tire, or cause an already weakened tire to fail.

Who Is Liable for Truck Tire-Related Crashes?

Depending on the specific circumstances, a number of different parties may be found liable for the accident, potentially including:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Fleet mechanics
  • Tire manufacturers
  • The person or company that loaded the truck

Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies fail to take tire maintenance and repairs seriously despite regulations set in place by the Department of Transportation. They’re under a lot of pressure to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible; servicing vehicles takes time and eats into profits. Corners frequently get cut—and far too often, people get hurt as a result.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a tire blowout, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can help you navigate the complex legal process and work toward securing the compensation you deserve. The longer you wait, the more likely critical evidence will be lost forever.

Ideally, we want to get an investigator to the crash scene as soon as possible to examine the skid marks, debris, road conditions, and if possible to recover all or part of the destroyed tire. If the tire blowout was caused by a manufacturing defect, the best way to prove it is to ensure the tire itself can be examined before it is thrown away. You can help by taking as many pictures as possible of the tire, vehicle damage, and crash site.

Furthermore, when the Crosley Law team handles a truck tire blowout case, we always demand copies of the truck’s service logs to look for evidence of skipped inspections or shoddy repairs. We’ll also look for driver errors such as speeding or overloading a truck, often by analyzing the truck’s “black box,” as well as speaking with eyewitnesses or identifying camera footage.

To summarize, we can help you:

  • Fully investigate the root causes of the tire blowout, which may involve identifying and preserving physical evidence, demanding logs from the trucking company, working with experts (such as traffic reconstructionists and engineers), and other sophisticated tactics.
  • Accurately calculate the damages you are entitled to, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Identify all the liable parties responsible for paying those damages, and all sources of insurance coverage that apply to your situation.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the applicable insurance companies.
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf and defend your best interests in court, if the insurance companies won’t agree to pay you what you deserve.

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Crosley Law: Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been the victim of a truck wreck, you need a knowledgeable truck accident attorney by your side to help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Crosley Law, our attorneys have experience determining the cause of commercial truck crashes, whether that’s driver negligence, tire issues, or other product defects.

Contact our attorneys today to learn more about your rights and options in a free consultation of your case. Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete our online form to get started.


Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. (29 August, 2019). CVSA releases results from 2019 international roadcheck [press release]. Retrieved from https://www.cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-roadcheck-results/

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Tire Safety Ratings and Awareness. United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/tires

IIHS. (2019). Maximum posted speed limits by state. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Highway Loss Data Institute. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/speed/speed-limit-laws

The large truck crash causation study – Analysis brief. (2007, July). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

How to Deal With a Private Investigator After a Car Accident

After a car wreck, you may feel like your every move is being scrutinized. Unfortunately, it may not be just your imagination.

If you notice an unfamiliar car parked in front of your home, school, or workplace; or if you receive a strange friend request on social media, a private investigator might be tracking your activities—not just online, but in person, too. Car insurance companies often use investigators to damage crash victims’ credibility.

While this can feel deeply unsettling, it’s important to keep a clear head if you discover you’re being watched. The good news is that you can protect yourself from intrusive surveillance efforts by following a few simple tips from Crosley Law. But first, let’s take a closer look at why insurance companies hire private investigators, and what they can do.

Can Insurers Really Hire Private Investigators to Spy on Auto Accident Victims?

The short answer is yes, they can, and they frequently do. There is nothing illegal about hiring private investigators, as long as the investigators themselves follow the law while conducting surveillance.

Why Do Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators?

Apart from the evidence, the single most important thing you have when pursuing a car accident claim is your credibility.

Insurance companies are skeptical of almost every injury claim and are always looking for reasons to deny them. If they suspect you’re not being completely honest with them, the adjuster may hire a private investigator to track your activities. The investigator’s sole goal is getting statements, footage, or other evidence that suggests you’re not as disabled as you claim.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to cherry pick images and video that suggest you’re much healthier than you really are. While the investigator may get video of you lifting what seems to be a heavy bag of groceries or doing chores, they won’t document how you had to rest for hours after the activity.

How Often Do Insurance Companies Use Private Investigators?

It’s hard to say exactly how often insurance companies hire private investigators. While they certainly don’t hire them for every personal injury claim, it is a common tactic.

The insurance company will consider several factors when deciding whether hiring a private investigator is worth it. These include:

  • The complexity of your case
  • The severity of your injuries
  • How much you’re claiming in damages (in other words, how much they stand to lose if your claim is successful)
  • Whether they’ve already noted any “red flags” that would make them question your credibility
  • The insurance company’s budget for claim investigations

However, even if your case is a small one and you haven’t noticed anything suspicious, that doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t under surveillance. Until your auto accident case has been settled, it’s wise to assume that nothing you do in public or post online is truly private.

What Tactics Can Private Investigators Use During Their Claim Investigation?

Private investigators have many options when they’re surveilling an accident victim. Tactics they might use include:

  • Fixed surveillance: Sometimes called a “stakeout,” the investigator monitors your activities from one location, such as a parked car or a park bench.
  • Stationary technical surveillance: A form of fixed surveillance that uses one or more unmanned devices, such as cameras, to record your activities from a set location.
  • Electronic surveillance: Investigators monitor your online presence looking for damaging social media posts, photos, comments, and other information. They’ll also likely gain access to any public records that might be relevant, such as criminal records, property records, etc.
  • Tracking: An investigator follows you throughout your day, monitoring your activities and routine.
  • Covert recorded conversation: A private investigator may try to interview you, or other people who know you. Because Texas is a one-party consent state, the investigator may surreptitiously record these conversations without the other party’s knowledge or consent.

While insurance company surveillance might seem like a violation of your privacy, much of it is legal in Texas.

Still, there are several rules the investigator must follow. While they can watch your house from the road, they cannot trespass on your private property, or film you in areas where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy (such as a bathroom or bedroom). They also cannot threaten you.

Most importantly, remember that a private investigator is not a police officer. While they might be resourceful, they have no more rights, power, or authority than any private citizen.

What Should I Do if I Suspect a Private Investigator Is Watching Me?

Remember, insurance companies don’t use surveillance in every injury claim. You don’t need to hide inside your home with your blinds permanently shut just because you were involved in a car crash. However, you should follow some basic rules to protect yourself.

1. Don’t Embellish Your Story

When you fill out a form or speak with a doctor, it’s always in your best interest to give them honest and accurate information. You shouldn’t overstate your symptoms, speculate about your injuries, or change your story. Instead, stick to the facts that you know are true and be helpful, without oversharing.

If there are inconsistencies in your statements, the insurance company will try to use them against you. You’ll also face a higher chance of surveillance if the insurance adjuster questions your honesty. Again, your credibility is one of your most important assets in an auto accident case—and once you lose it, it’s very hard to get it back.

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Always Follow Your Doctors’ Restrictions

Life doesn’t stop when you’re injured. You still have a family to care for and a home to maintain. On a good day, it can be tempting to push yourself to get caught up on all your chores and errands—especially if it seems like your symptoms are genuinely improving ahead of schedule and you feel like you’re capable of doing more.

Unfortunately, insurance companies will sometimes use footage of your “good” days or moments to damage your credibility. This tactic can be extremely effective in court, even though it might paint a very inaccurate and incomplete picture.

Even on your best day, you should always follow your doctors’ restrictions to the best of your abilities. Ignoring your doctors’ advice can have additional consequences beyond inviting unfair surveillance. If you push yourself too much, you might also reaggravate your injuries.

Limit Your Social Media Activity and Set Your Accounts to Private

Insurance companies love electronic surveillance. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be remarkably effective. People tend to portray themselves on social media as more active, happier, and healthier than they really are—and that is exactly what you don’t want if you’re pursuing a personal injury claim.

While you don’t have to wipe your social media accounts entirely, you should set them to private. This is not a foolproof solution, however—private investigators often find ways to see posts that are supposed to be private, and if they do, the evidence can be used in court.

That’s why you should always assume your posts are public, regardless of your privacy settings, and never post anything about your accident or your legal case. In fact, the safest option is to simply not post anything on social media until your case is resolved.

You should also monitor your friends’ posts and ask them not to share photos or posts about you, your health, or your activities. While they’re trying to be supportive, posts that minimize your symptoms or contradict stated facts—even inadvertently—could be used against you.

Lastly, never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. It may well be a private investigator.

How Social Media Can Harm Your Personal Injury Case

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Know Your Privacy Rights

While a private investigator typically can monitor you without your consent, there are limitations on their powers. Private investigators cannot:

  • Record you in private areas of your home, such as your bedroom, living room, or bathroom, without your permission
  • Hack into your accounts or tap your phones
  • Open your mail
  • Enter your property without your consent
  • Harass or threaten you

If you see someone trespassing on your property, you should immediately tell them to leave.

If an investigator refuses to leave your property, tampers with your mail, places a GPS tracker on your vehicle without consent, threatens you, or makes you feel unsafe, you should call the police. You should also contact law enforcement and your Crosley Law attorney if you suspect someone hacked into your accounts or used deceitful tactics to obtain information.

A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Minimize the Impact of Surveillance

At Crosley Law, we understand that a single image or brief video can never tell an accident victim’s full story. If a private investigator records you walking your dog, taking your child to the park, or lifting grocery bags, don’t panic. Instead, consult with one of our experienced San Antonio injury lawyers. Our attorneys can educate you about your legal options and help you build a strategy that minimizes the impact of the investigator’s report.

And we can do a lot more than simply coach you about what to do (and not to do) when you’re under surveillance. We also use cutting-edge techniques and expert witnesses to support our clients’ claims.

In any personal injury lawsuit, you can expect that the defense will hire its own experts—often including a private investigator—to bolster their credibility. To beat this tactic, you usually need your own team of experts, with the knowledge and experience to counter unfair and mistaken facts and conclusions. Crosley Law works closely with physicians, life care planners, economists, engineers, rehabilitation therapists, and many other experts who can prove that your serious injuries are legitimate, and the monetary compensation you’re demanding is reasonable.

Often, we can reduce the impact of surveillance footage with expert testimony and aggressive advocacy. We may even be able to prove that the investigator crossed legal or ethical lines, or that their report is inaccurate or unfair.

A Quick Case Study: Turning the Tables on an Aggressive Private Investigator

We’ve helped hundreds of car accident claimants over the years, so we’re used to dealing with private investigators and their tactics. While experienced investigators are usually good about not crossing legal boundaries, we’ve also caught them engaging in harassment and intimidation, and turned those abuses into advantages for our clients.

Once, we represented a 71-year-old woman who was injured in a head-on collision. During the claim, she started noticing a car parked outside her house and felt as if someone was following her.

One morning, our client discovered that someone had taken the air out of one of her tires and she had to call her adult son to help with the repair. She thought that she had a stalker.

In fact, the insurance company hired an investigator to trail her and take surveillance video. They had removed air from her tire in hopes that she would incriminate herself by putting on the spare.

At trial, Crosley Law’s lawyers emphasized how intimidated and frightened our elderly client felt. We had the jury watch the video. In the end, the jurors were so angry at the insurance company’s behavior that they awarded our client a larger verdict than expected.

Crosley Law: We Stand Up for San Antonio Accident Victims

Crosley Law is one of the most respected personal injury law firms in San Antonio. We use sophisticated techniques to investigate our clients’ claims and demand fair compensation for their injuries.

Don’t let a nosy private investigator unfairly damage your reputation and credibility with an insurance company or jury. To request a free consultation with an experienced attorney, please complete this brief online form or call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000. Our staff is eager to get to work for you.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?

You were stopped at a red light, minding your own business. Suddenly, a truck rear-ends you, pushing your car into the middle of an intersection. Now, you’re living with severe back pain and your doctors are suggesting surgery.

Your car accident case is worth a lot of money, right? Maybe.

The reality is, there’s no such thing as an “average” settlement or payout for a rear-end car accident. Some cases are only worth a few thousand dollars. Others may be worth millions. Many factors can come into play, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of insurance coverage available, and the skill of your personal injury attorney.

This article outlines the essentials of Texas rear-end accident settlements and factors that might affect your case’s value. But the best way to get an accurate assessment of how much your case might be worth is to contact an experienced car accident attorney for a free consultation today.

How Are Rear-End Collision Settlements Calculated?

A personal injury settlement is meant to make an injured person as close to “whole” as possible. This means money to cover medical care and lost wages during recovery, as well as the psychological impacts of trauma, injury, or the loss of a loved one (in wrongful death cases).

Lawyers sometimes refer to these losses as “damages.” They also divide them into three common categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

After your car accident, you probably experienced a variety of financial losses. You’ll need to pay your crash-related medical bills and repair or replace your vehicle and damaged property. You might be unable to work. All these costs and losses are economic damages.

Economic damages are anything you’ll get a bill for or money you didn’t get because of your injuries, including:

  • Hospital and doctor appointments
  • Surgeries
  • CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic studies
  • Medication and medical equipment
  • Physical therapy
  • Counseling and mental health services
  • Ambulance rides
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost income and wage-earning capacity
  • Replacement or repair costs due to property damage
  • Costs related to replacement services if you cannot perform certain tasks at home (like cleaning or lawn care)
  • Modifications to your home or vehicle, like ramps and hand controls

You can help your car accident lawyer calculate your economic damages by collecting all your medical bills, paystubs, statements, estimates, and receipts.

While economic damages seem easy to understand, they are not always cut and dried. For example, while you might know how much you’ve already paid for your medical treatment, it’s much harder to estimate your future medical needs.

The same applies to your lost income. You might know how much you’ve lost in earnings, but how much income will you lose over your lifetime?

At Crosley Law, our team often consults with experts like doctors, economists, and life planners to investigate and accurately estimate our clients’ future financial losses.

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Non-Economic Damages

Some losses aren’t financial. Your pain, grief, fear, and other forms of suffering are non-economic damages. Common non-economic damages include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of a relationship with a loved one
  • Mental anguish or distress
  • Physical impairment, such as the inability to do hobbies and other enjoyable activities
  • Disfigurement

Unlike your financial losses, you can’t present a bill to prove that you experienced pain and anguish. Most insurance companies use either a per diem method or a multiplier method to estimate non-economic damages.

  • Per diem method: The insurance company counts the number of days that pass between the accident and you reaching maximum medical improvement (or in other words, the point where your doctors believe you have recovered as much as possible). This is then multiplied by a daily rate, which will typically be roughly similar to your average daily wage.
  • Multiplier method: The insurance company adds up all your economic damages, then multiplies it by a certain factor (usually between 1 and 5). The more severe your injuries, the higher the factor applied.

However, the insurance company is not on your side, and they are likely to use whatever method, rates, or factors result in a lower calculation. And a simple formula cannot express the extent of your pain and suffering.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you show that you deserve a higher valuation. They might identify the most relevant medical records, consult with psychologists and other experts, track your mental health treatment, and collect statements from both you and your loved ones.

For example, we represented a mother after her only child was killed in a truck wreck. Our team worked with medical experts who helped us understand our client’s last moments and the pain and suffering she endured. Then, we interviewed dozens of the young woman’s loved ones, documenting how her loss had changed their lives. In the end, we recovered a $9 million settlement for the family.

Punitive Damages

Juries only award punitive damages in the most severe personal injury cases. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, these damages aim to punish a wrongdoer for their actions.

You might be eligible for punitive damages if the driver that rear-ended you acted intentionally or was very reckless. For example, punitive damages are sometimes available in drunk driving cases.

Other Factors That Might Affect Your Rear-End Accident’s Settlement Value

Calculating a personal injury settlement isn’t as simple as adding up your medical bills and lost income. Other factors might affect your case’s value, and you must consider them before you make a settlement demand.

a white vehicle was rear-ended while stopped at a light

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How Much Insurance Coverage Applies to Your Case

The insurance policy limits of the at-fault party are important. If your costs are higher than their policy limits, and the defendant doesn’t have the resources to pay the rest out of pocket, you could come up short.

In Texas, drivers must carry policies that cover at least $30,000 in injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident they cause. Additional coverage is available, but not everyone has it. If the at-fault driver was operating a commercial vehicle, like a delivery truck or an 18-wheeler, then the minimum required insurance is $750,000, and it’s possible that the policy limits are even higher.

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance, you should look for other sources for coverage. Unless you declined it in writing, you should have at least a modest amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance. This policy can supplement the at-fault driver’s insurance when your losses exceed their policy limits.

Similarly, you might have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which can provide extra coverage for your crash-related medical bills. (Again, your policy should include some PIP coverage unless you declined it in writing.) This is a no-fault policy that will cover some of your medical bills and lost income regardless of who caused the crash.

The Crosley Law team works closely with our clients to identify every policy that applies to their claims. It’s our goal to get you the compensation you deserve, so we aggressively work to identify everyone who contributed to your injuries and hold them accountable.

For example, we represented Miguel, a military veteran who was rear-ended by another vehicle. Miguel suffered severe injuries during the collision, but the at-fault driver was uninsured. We helped him file claims with his uninsured/underinsured motorist policy—and fought back when the insurance adjuster tried to blame his military service for his back and neck injuries.

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The Severity of Your Injuries

Rear-end accidents can cause serious injuries that are life changing. Some of the most common injuries caused by rear-end car accidents include:

As noted above, the severity of your injuries and symptoms make a difference when calculating non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. But insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing or even flatly denying the true seriousness of your injuries, particularly for “invisible” injuries (such as brain injuries) that are based on self-reported symptoms or are harder to prove via objective medical tests.

Evidence that you and your attorney might use to show the severity of these types of injuries include daily pain journals, interviews with colleagues and co-workers, or statements from physicians.

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Texas’ Comparative Fault Rules

Texas is a fault state, which means that the at-fault driver (or their insurance company) is primarily responsible to pay for the injuries they cause. How fault is assigned is a bit more complicated, however.

Under our state’s laws, the insurance company can reduce your damages by your percentage of fault. So, if you were 25% at fault and have $100,000 in losses, you might receive $75,000 in compensation.

If you were more than 50% at fault, you will receive nothing.

Insurance companies sometimes try to shift blame to crash victims, hoping to use these comparative fault rules to their advantage. If the insurance adjuster starts unfairly pointing their finger at you, consult with a lawyer right away.

Many people mistakenly believe that trailing drivers are automatically presumed to be at fault in rear-end collisions. While it’s true that they are usually held at fault, it is not automatic. The front driver may be held partially or even totally at fault if they contributed to the accident by performing an action that an “ordinarily prudent” driver would not have—such as an unsafe lane change.

This can especially get complicated if there are no witnesses or if the at-fault driver is dishonest. Recently, we represented a driver who was injured in a crash after a semi-truck cut him off on the highway. The truck driver claimed that he was forced to slam on the brakes after being cut off, and our client, Michael, was following too closely. By reviewing the crash recording data from both vehicles, we proved the accident was clearly the truck driver’s fault.

Inside view of a car after a collision with an 18-wheeler.

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How to Get a Settlement After a Rear-End Accident

The first step in securing an auto accident settlement of any amount is filing a car accident claim. Most of the time, rear-end accident cases settle out of court. However, be aware that the initial settlement offering may be well below what you need and deserve. It’s important to work with an attorney who knows how to negotiate and is willing to go to trial if necessary.

If the accident was complex or the defendant and their insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement, you and your lawyer may decide to file a lawsuit. If negotiations continue to break down, the case may wind up in trial.

Your attorney will guide you through gathering evidence, determining a fair settlement, and negotiating with the insurance companies. This is especially helpful if the defendant doesn’t have insurance or carries a policy that doesn’t cover your needs.

Once you and the defendant have agreed to a rear-end accident settlement or you have won at trial, the settlement check will make its way to your attorney’s office.

When Should I Settle My Claim?

When you settle a rear-end accident claim, you accept a lump-sum payment in exchange for giving up your right to file a lawsuit. This means that, once you’ve settled your case, you cannot go back and demand more compensation from the at-fault driver or the insurance companies.

Insurance companies typically try to settle cases for as little money as possible, and you should never assume that the adjuster’s offer is fair. Instead, you should always be cautious and consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer before taking a car accident settlement.

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How Long Do Rear-End Car Accident Settlements Take?

Just as there is no great answer for what an “average” rear-end collision settlement is, it’s impossible to provide a precise answer here. For car accidents overall, the average time to settlement from hiring an attorney is about 18 months. But actual results vary, from just a few months to several years.

Factors that can increase the length of time it takes to settle a case include:

  • Whether or not fault is disputed. As noted above, the trailing car is usually at fault, but not always—and insurance companies will look for any excuse to shift the blame.
  • The number of victims. Rear-end collision cases often result in injuries to multiple victims, particularly if there’s a multi-car pileup. In these cases, it’s more likely that the total bodily injury liability coverage available won’t be enough to cover everyone’s damages, and will need to be apportioned on a case-by-case basis. This is complicated and often takes time.
  • The severity of your injuries. More severe injuries usually mean it takes longer to reach maximum medical improvement and accurately calculate future damages. It also often means that the insurance company will fight harder to defend itself against the claim, since it has more to lose.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take in Texas (and When Will I Get My Money)?

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What Are Settlement Liens?

Settlement liens are when a third party has a legal claim to a portion of your settlement. In a personal injury case, this is typically the portion of your settlement that will pay the medical expenses your health insurance didn’t cover.

Medicare, Medicaid, and certain auto and health insurance carriers can have liens against your payout for a rear-end accident settlement. We work with our clients to fairly resolve these liens—and we sometimes can negotiate with the lienholders to reduce these expenses.

How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Most, if not all, injury lawyers are paid on a contingency basis. That means that they do not get paid unless they help you settle your case or win at trial. You shouldn’t have any upfront costs or financial risk when you hire a car accident attorney.

Sometimes, insurance adjusters will tell you that hiring a lawyer is a waste of money. However, research suggests that people who hire lawyers receive more compensation than those who represent themselves.

Crosley Law has a “no fee” policy. Our clients never pay for their attorney’s fees or case costs unless we help them recover compensation. Our initial case evaluations are always free too.

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When Should I Call an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer After a Rear-End Crash?

You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident happened.

Rear-end accident victims often attempt to handle cases on their own at first, thinking that the law will protect them, the insurance company will act in good faith, and that fault in the accident should be obvious. Unfortunately, it’s usually not that simple.

By the time you realize you need experienced legal help, it may be more difficult to prove your case or get a fair settlement. Evidence that can prove what really happened, such as photos of crash damage or debris, event data recorders, or security camera footage, may no longer exist. And if you didn’t seek medical attention right away, it may be harder to tie your current symptoms to the crash.

It is always to your benefit to seek out an attorney for a free consultation. Your attorney can help you evaluate your legal options, give you an early estimate of what an average settlement might look like, act quickly to protect and gather key evidence, and handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. This allows you to put your mind at ease and focus on your physical and emotional recovery, while your attorney focuses on making sure you get the care you need and the best settlement possible.

Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Trusted Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been in a rear-end crash, an experienced car accident attorney will be vital to negotiating and securing the compensation you deserve. Whether you’re suffering from whiplash, a herniated disc, or a traumatic brain injury, the team at Crosley Law is ready to provide a personalized assessment of your case’s settlement value.

Please contact our law firm at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete our short online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers.


Texas Department of Insurance. (n.d.). Automobile insurance guide. Austin, TX: Texas Department of Insurance. Retrieved from https://tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb020.html

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?

After a multi-car accident, drivers and insurance companies often point fingers at each other, trying to shift blame to someone else. But if you suffered life-changing injuries, you deserve to know exactly what happened, which driver (or drivers) were responsible, and which liability insurance will pay for your medical bills and other damages. But getting the answers (and compensation) you need might not be easy.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at multi-vehicle accidents, including how fault is determined, who pays your damages, how to deal with insurance claims, and how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you fight for fair compensation.

Why Is Assigning Fault Important After a Multi-Car Accident?

Texas’ car accident laws are fault-based. That means that, in most cases, the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies will be financially responsible for your injuries. In a two-car crash, this can be a simple calculation. Suppose you are stopped at a red light when a distracted driver rear ends your vehicle. In that case, your personal injury lawyer’s primary focus would be the negligent driver’s liability insurance.

But suppose you’re slowing down to stop at a red light during a thunderstorm when a car suddenly cuts in front of you from another lane and comes to an abrupt stop at the intersection. You don’t have enough time to stop on the slick road, and you hit the rear fender of the car that cut you off. At the same time, the pickup truck behind you was following too closely and rear-ends you.

Whose insurance policy covers your injuries? The answer might not be simple.

Who Is at Fault (and Who Pays Your Damages) in a Multi-Car Crash?

There are several challenges when you are determining fault in multi-car crashes.

In large pileups, especially those that involve more than three or four vehicles, piecing together the truth can become a complex puzzle to solve. Without a free consultation and case evaluation, it’s impossible to give specific advice about who was at fault in your specific pileup crash and whether you may be eligible for compensation. However, here are a few important things to consider.

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The Basic Rule: Negligence

If you’re going to hold a driver—or any potentially liable third party—accountable for a car accident, you need to show that they were negligent. Someone is negligent if:

  • They had a duty of care. (For example, all drivers must follow traffic laws and practice safe driving habits.)
  • They failed in this duty. (For example, by speeding, driving too fast for the road conditions, following too closely, or failing to check for other vehicles when proceeding through an intersection.)
  • Their failure caused damages, like physical injuries, pain and suffering, or property damage.

In the case of another driver, ask yourself, “Could they have reasonably avoided the collision if they had been driving in a safe, responsible manner?” If the answer is “yes,” they may be negligent. If the answer is “no,” they probably are not.
This same logic applies to other third parties (other than those behind the wheel) that could potentially be held responsible for the crash. More on that in a moment.

Multiple Drivers Can Be Liable in Multi-Car Accidents

In many cases, the driver who caused the initial impact, especially a rear-end impact, will be given a major share (if not all) of the fault. However, this isn’t always the case.

In a multi-vehicle accident, more than one driver’s negligence might have caused the crash and your injuries.

Let’s go back to our multi-car crash example. The driver who cut you off started the chain of events that led to the pile-up, but they may not be the one at fault. If the truck driver hadn’t been tailgating, they could have prevented the second impact. And you may have legal claims against both.

Third Parties Other Than the Involved Drivers Might Be Liable as Well

Imagine a scenario where the accident was caused not by driver error, but a vehicle failure. Upon investigation, we might discover that the vehicle or parts manufacturer was negligent for failing to identify defective parts and prevent them from being sold, or an auto mechanic acted negligently by performing shoddy repair work. 

Accidents involving commercial vehicles also frequently involve negligence claims against the driver’s employer. The company has a responsibility to properly train their drivers and ensure all regulations are met. If the company allowed unqualified drivers to remain behind the wheel, or pressured them to work long hours and skip mandatory breaks, they would likely be considered negligent as well. 

These are just a few examples. Again, remember our definition of negligence above. If any party’s failure to exercise reasonable care contributed to an otherwise preventable accident, that party could potentially be liable. 

The Role of the Police Report  

After a pile-up crash, the investigating officer will talk to the drivers and other witnesses, piecing together what happened. The accident report will include known facts about the auto accident and the investigating officer’s opinions on who is at fault.   

If a driver was cited or assigned blame in a police report, this will be critical evidence in a multi-car collision case. However, crash reports don’t always tell the full story. Police officers who respond to emergencies aren’t experts at reconstructing crashes, and they rely on eyewitness testimony, which can be inaccurate.  

We represented a family whose daughter died in a truck wreck. The truck driver was the only surviving eyewitness, and he tried to pin blame on our client. However, using electronic data and a crash reconstruction expert, we discovered that the truck driver was clearly at fault. When we presented this information to the police, they amended their crash report.   

Can You Fix an Inaccurate Police Report After a Crash?

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Why Do Insurance Companies Try to Shift Blame to Other Drivers?  

There’s a lot of finger pointing after a pileup. While some of this is just human nature, insurance companies might try to shift blame to reduce the victims’ settlement values.  

Texas Modified Comparative Fault Law  

Texas is one of many states that use a modified comparative negligence rule. This means only drivers who are 50% at fault or less in an accident can collect damages. Their claimed damages will also be reduced by their share of the fault.  

For example, in our scenario, a jury might decide that that driver who cut you off (the first car) is 70% responsible for the chain reaction collision, while the truck behind you (the third car) is 30% responsible, and you are 0% responsible. If all three of you were injured:  

  • You might recover all your claimed damages, and could have a claim against both drivers.  
  • The truck driver would have a claim against the driver of the first car, but could only recover 30% of their damages.  
  • The first driver would not be able to recover anything, because they were more than 51% to blame.  

How Does Texas Personal Injury Law Deal With Contributory Negligence?

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Joint and Several Liability  

Texas also applies a rule for negligence called joint and several liability. Under this rule, if there are multiple defendants in an injury lawsuit, one defendant can be held responsible for 100 percent of the total damages if they were 51% or more at fault for the incident.  

Let’s go back to our example above. Suppose you have $100,000 in damages and you sue both drivers separately. The driver of the first car (70% responsible) would owe you $70,000, while the driver of the third car (30% responsible) would owe you $30,000.  

Now, imagine that the third driver is uninsured and has no assets, so you cannot collect anything from them. Under joint and several liability, you could sue the driver of the first car for 100% of your damages even though they were only 70% responsible.  

Look Out for Policy Limit Issues in Multi-Car Crashes  

Because multiple insurance agencies may be involved in these cases, things can get complicated. Multi-car accidents often result in many injured people. If the at-fault drivers only had minimal insurance coverage, it can be hard to get a fair settlement payout. (And the insurance company will always try to settle your claims for as little as possible.) Sometimes, there’s not enough insurance coverage to go around.  

For example, we represented Joshua after a truck wreck. He and two co-workers were riding in the same vehicle, and all were seriously injured by a negligent truck driver. Everyone deserved compensation, and their claims were going to exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.  

Because Joshua didn’t require the same degree of emergency care as other victims, their attorneys argued that he didn’t deserve as much compensation—even though he had suffered a permanent, life-altering brain injury. We had to fight hard to ensure he got a fair percentage of the settlement.  

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Protecting Yourself With PIP and Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage  

When a crash involves multiple drivers, it’s also that much more likely that at least one of them is uninsured or underinsured, which can make it difficult for any victims to recover compensation.  

To address injuries caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers, insurance companies must offer personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to drivers in Texas. PIP is a no-fault auto insurance policy that can help cover your medical expenses and lost wages. UM/UIM steps in and pays for your damages if the at-fault driver isn’t carrying any (or enough) insurance.  

Unless you declined it in writing, it’s likely you already have at least a basic amount of PIP and UM/UIM coverage in your auto insurance policy. (We always recommend that drivers purchase as much PIP and UM/UIM coverage as they can reasonably afford.) 

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help  

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pile-up accident, the best thing you can do is speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.  A lawyer will listen to the details of your story and give you their informed opinion about your best course of action.   

If you’ve read this far, one thing should be clear to you by now: multi-vehicle crashes can be incredibly complex. Most drivers can’t fully investigate the crash, talk to multiple drivers and witnesses, and negotiate a fair settlement on their own—especially if they’re trying to recover from serious injuries.  

To uncover the real causes behind a crash, experienced attorneys often work with professional accident reconstruction experts, who can use computer modeling and other cutting-edge techniques to re-create a complex collision involving multiple vehicles and find out exactly why it occurred. In many cases, the attorney’s investigation and collaboration with experts yields a picture of fault that’s very different from the recollections of the other drivers or findings in the police report.  

In addition to thoroughly investigating the crash itself, your car accident lawyer can also help with things like:  

  • Ensuring you get the medical care you need 
  • Working with medical experts to accurately calculate your long-term medical expenses 
  • Working with economists and life care planners to accurately calculate future wage losses and other damages 
  • Speaking with friends, relatives, neighbors, and others who can articulate how your injuries have affected your life 
  • Identifying all possible liable parties and potential sources of insurance coverage
  • Negotiating with the insurance company (or, in many cases, multiple insurance companies) on your behalf 
  • Negotiating with hospitals, care providers, and other lien holders to settle your medical debt as cheaply as possible after you get your compensation 

It’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the wreck. Investigations take time, and critical evidence may be lost if your attorney doesn’t move quickly to preserve it. Crosley Law works with crash investigators in San Antonio and throughout Texas who can get out to the crash site quickly and begin collecting information.  

Crosley Law Firm: Advocates for Pileup Crash Victims  

If you have suffered because of a multi-car pile-up or other collision caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, Crosley Law is here to help. You can get in touch with us by filling out our convenient online form or by calling us at 210-LAW-3000 (210-529-3000).  

We offer free consultations where we can discuss your unique situation and offer candid legal advice. If we can take on your case, you won’t have to pay a thing unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.   

Don’t wait — contact us today! 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

I’m Being Blamed for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault—What Should I Do?

“My word against your word” scenarios happen all the time after auto accidents, especially when there are few other witnesses at the scene. Being accused of causing a car crash that wasn’t your fault can make you feel helpless and angry, especially when no one else is around to support your story.

Getting blamed for a car accident that wasn’t your fault is extremely common—it’s how a car insurance company makes money. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair. The crash scene most likely contains lots of evidence that can prove what really happened. An experienced car accident lawyer can uncover this evidence—especially if you hire one right away after the accident—and use it to help you get fair compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered in the crash.

What Does “Fault” Mean in Car Accident Cases?

In a personal injury case, “fault” means that a person (or another entity, like a company) acted in a negligent way that caused someone else’s injuries or other financial losses.

Examples of negligent driving behavior that could cause someone to be at fault for an accident include:

  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Driving while tired or fatigued
  • Failing to obey traffic signs
  • Driving while distracted, such as texting and driving
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Changing lanes without signaling or checking for other cars
  • Making an illegal turn

Like most things involving our legal system, proving fault in a car wreck case can be complicated and often requires a lot of evidence. To establish that a driver is at fault and financially responsible for your car accident injuries, you and your lawyer must prove three fundamental facts or “elements” of the case:

  1. Duty of care: The other driver had a legal responsibility to avoid causing the victim harm.
  2. Breach of duty: The other driver failed to act with reasonable care and did not uphold their duty of care.
  3. Injuries sustained: The other driver’s breach of duty resulted in the victim (you) sustaining real injuries and damages.

Understanding Negligence in Your Personal Injury Claim

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Why Does It Matter Who’s at Fault in Texas?

Texas is a fault-based state for auto insurance and personal injury claims purposes, so it matters a lot who is at fault for causing a car accident. After a car accident in Texas, the at-fault driver’s insurer is financially responsible for injuries and losses that resulted from the crash.

To get compensation for medical bills and other losses, you’ll need to file a car accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company and provide evidence to show that the other driver caused the crash. (If you live in a state that uses a no-fault insurance system, you would first file a claim for compensation with your own insurance company instead.)

Is One Person Always Completely at Fault in a Car Wreck?

Often in car accident cases, evidence will show that both drivers had some level of responsibility for causing the crash.

As an example, let’s say a driver named Jonathan ran a red light and hit the car of Stacy, who is the victim in this case. However, evidence also shows that Stacy was driving a few miles per hour over the speed limit when the accident happened, which may have made have made it more difficult for her to avoid the collision. In this case, Jonathan is mostly at fault—but Stacy might be a little bit at fault too.

All states have laws to address these types of situations, but different states handle them differently. In Texas, car accident victims can only receive compensation from an insurance claim or lawsuit if they are 50% or less at fault, and only to the extent that the other driver was at fault.

If that sounds confusing, it’s easier to explain how it works in practice:

  • If the other driver was 100 percent responsible for causing the crash, then you’re entitled to financial compensation for 100 percent of all the damages from the crash, including your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and other financial and personal losses.
  • If the other driver was 80 percent responsible for the crash but you were 20 percent at fault, you can receive 80 percent compensation.
  • If the other driver was 60 percent at fault, you can receive 60 precent compensation.

And so on. Note again that in Texas, a person who is 51 percent or more at fault for a crash isn’t eligible for any compensation at all.

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7 Steps You Can Take to Shut Down the Blame Game

The single most important step you can take to defend yourself when someone is unfairly accusing you of causing a car wreck is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.

It can feel terrifying when you’re blamed for a serious car wreck that wasn’t your fault, especially when you have significant medical bills and lost wages to deal with. But a skilled car accident attorney will know exactly what to do. A good lawyer can restore your confidence, deal with the insurance company, and carefully investigate the crash to make sure the truth comes out.

Here are seven additional steps you can take to strengthen your case and fight back when someone tries to blame you after an auto accident:

Take Photos and Video of the Accident Scene

There’s no such thing as too many photos of the crash. Take pictures of anything you can that might seem relevant—damage to vehicles, debris in the road, tire tracks, conditions at the scene, injuries that you or your passengers suffered. Almost anything at the scene that you can preserve in a picture helps.

Request the Police Report

Call the police department after the crash and review it carefully. If the description in the police report doesn’t match what you saw and experienced, then write up a detailed account of what happened and ask the police to add it to their report as a supplement.

Can You Fix an Inaccurate Police Report After a Crash?

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Dispute Any Ticket You Receive

Just because you received a ticket doesn’t mean you were at fault. Police regularly issue tickets at the scene of a crash after a short and superficial assessment of what happened.

If an officer issues you a ticket when you weren’t at fault, then follow the process to fight that ticket in court. If you don’t fight the ticket, you’re legally accepting some degree of fault.

Dispute a Ruling of Fault by the Insurance Company

The best way to deal with the insurance company is through your lawyer. However, if the insurance company assigns you fault for the accident and you don’t have an attorney yet, you can call the adjuster and tell them that you dispute their ruling. After the phone call, send the insurance company a follow-up letter confirming that you dispute their findings.

Get Names and Contact Info From Eyewitnesses

All eyewitnesses to the crash are valuable, but impartial witnesses are the best. A stranger who witnessed the crash and stopped will make a stronger witness than your spouse or friend who was in the car with you.

Identify Any Camera Footage That Might Be Available

Ask any businesses near the location where the crash occurred whether they have working security cameras that could have recorded what happened. Check also for highway cameras or traffic light cameras that might have captured the events.

Don’t delay—many businesses delete security footage in as little as 72 hours. Private businesses may not be eager to hand over their security footage to just anyone, so your attorney is the best person to begin the video request process.

Work With an Attorney to Gather More Sophisticated Evidence

Some critical evidence will only be available to your personal injury lawyer. For example, your lawyer might work with an accident reconstruction expert who can use evidence from the crash scene and then use specialized computer software re-create what happened. Your attorney can also depose the at-fault driver and any other witnesses to get their version of events under oath.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

Insurance company adjusters don’t care about the truth of what happened in a car wreck. The only facts they are interested in are the facts that will help them deny your claim or pay you less. Even if it’s clear that you were the victim, an insurance adjuster may try to twist your words against you and suggest that you share responsibility for the collision.

Dealing with the insurance company after a crash is stressful, and without an expert on your side, it’s easy to make a mistake that could harm your case. The best thing you can do to protect your rights and strengthen your case for compensation is to hire an attorney who can handle all communication with the insurance company.

The sooner you hire an attorney, the faster they can begin an investigation and start collecting critical evidence, which can disappear if it’s not collected and preserved right away.

And just as importantly, an experienced car accident lawyer should manage all the details of your case so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. The aftermath of a car wreck is no time to give yourself a crash course in the complicated world of personal injury law. A good attorney will stay in touch and keep you updated about your case while also giving you the time and space you need to breathe and heal.

Contact Crosley Law and Fight Back When Someone Tries to Blame You for a Car Wreck

The Crosley Law team has decades of experience with all kinds of personal injury cases, including car accident claims involving significant injuries. No matter how serious or complex a car accident case is, we’re ready to fight for fair compensation.

We begin every case with a free consultation where we get to know you and listen to your story. Schedule yours today by calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or completing the easy contact form on our website.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take in Texas (and When Will I Get My Money)?

Car accident settlements are rarely quick and easy affairs. While some cases might settle in just a few months, 18 months is fairly typical—and others can last even longer.

Although the facts of the case (and the obligations of the insurance company) might seem obvious enough to you, the settlement process will take some time—especially if you’re making a significant insurance claim or liability is contested.

In this blog post, our San Antonio car accident lawyers take a closer look at the car accident settlement process—all the way through to your final check—and what you can expect along the way.

How Long Does the Car Accident Settlement Process Take on Average?

There are really two separate parts to this question that we need to discuss in greater detail:

  • How long does it take between hiring an attorney and getting your settlement?
  • Once you’ve reached a settlement, how long do you have to wait to get your check?

Let’s start with the first point. In our experience, a typical car accident claim can take around 18 months to settle. However, “average” is a little misleading here. Really, your case might last anywhere from around 6 months to 2 years or more. A lot depends on the circumstances: The simplest cases might be done in just a few weeks, while the most difficult can last years—and a car accident lawyer can make a big difference.

For example, we represented a young man who was hit by a delivery driver while walking through a neighborhood. He suffered catastrophic injuries and spent 20 days in a rehabilitation hospital. While most cases of this complexity take more than two years to litigate, we used our expertise and reputation to negotiate a $9 million settlement in less than a year and a half.

On the other hand, we settled a major case for the family of another young man who was hit by a commercial vehicle while riding his bike. Due to a variety of complicating factors, this case took three and a half years of hard work, and nearly went to trial, before we reached a confidential settlement.

In our experience, a typical car accident claim can take around 18 months to settle. However, “average” is a little misleading here. Really, your case might last anywhere from around 6 months to 2 years or more.

We wish that our clients didn’t have to wait so long to get justice. But if you’re worried that you won’t be able to hold out for a fair settlement, talk to your lawyer about it. While your case is ongoing, our attorneys work with hospitals, insurers, and other creditors to keep the bill collectors and harassing phone calls on pause until you receive your settlement or jury award.

Now, the second question: once you settle, it will usually take about 60 days to get a check in your hands, or sometimes longer if liens (especially government liens) are involved. We’ll go over why it takes so long later in this post, but first, let’s talk about the whole settlement process from the start.

Once you settle, it will usually take about 60 days to get a check in your hands, or sometimes longer if liens (especially government liens) are involved.

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?

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Understanding the Timeline of a Lawsuit

In most personal injury cases, settlement negotiations begin very early. There are three common stages in a personal injury lawsuit, although it’s important to understand that the sides can settle at any point in the process.

Pre-Litigation Phase

At the very start of your case, your car accident lawyer begins to investigate your injury claim. This will involve things like gathering evidence at the scene, working with an accident reconstructionist, following-up with eyewitnesses, and gathering other evidence (including your medical bills, treatment plan, and record of lost wages)

Eventually, your lawyer will make a settlement demand to the insurance company. Often this begins several rounds of negotiation between the car accident attorney and the insurance adjuster.

In our experience, about 80% of cases settle in the pre-litigation phase, without needing to sue anyone. However, this can still last several months depending on the circumstances of your case (see below for more insight).

Litigation Phase

If both sides are not able to agree on a settlement amount, your lawyer will file a complaint with the court. In other words, they sue the at-fault driver and their insurance, and a car accident lawsuit begins.

During this stage, you’ll participate in discovery (a formal process where you share information with the other side), attend hearings, and continue settlement negotiations. As the trial date approaches, the sides may try to work with a mediator to resolve their differences or choose to settle their case via an arbitrator rather than a jury trial.

Trial and Appeals

Your lawyer presents your evidence and arguments to a judge and jury, who ultimately will make a ruling about your car accident case—including whether you win or lose, and how much you receive if you win.

If either party disagrees with the verdict, they may be able to file a series of appeals.

How Long Does It Take to Get Money After a Settlement?

Once the insurance company finally agrees to a personal injury settlement, most victims are eager to wrap up their case, receive their compensation, and start using that money to address their medical bills and other costs.

However, the settlement process isn’t as simple as the insurance company just dropping a check in the mail. While most personal injury settlements in Texas finalize within about 60 days, the process to get there can be a bit complex. Fortunately, if you know what to expect, you’ll find this process a lot easier to navigate.

Step 1: Signing Releases and Other Documents

Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company, the lawyers typically draft a series of release forms. Depending on your circumstances, your release forms might be relatively simple, or they might contain detailed terms and conditions that your attorney will have to read over very carefully.

Sometimes, parties negotiate back and forth about the terms of the settlement. After these negotiations finish and the release forms reach their final state, you will have to review and sign them before your settlement can proceed.

Step 2: The Insurance Company Processes Your Release and Cuts a Check

Once the insurance company receives your signed release forms, it should process them and issue a settlement check. Usually, they’ll make this check payable to both you and your attorney and then send it to your attorney.

While this process should run smoothly, insurance companies sometimes delay payment for various reasons, including flat-out clerical errors. If you experience prolonged delays while waiting for your settlement check, you should contact your lawyer for assistance.

Step 3: Your Lawyer Deposits the Insurance Check in an Escrow Account and Pays Your Liens

Upon receipt, your attorney will deposit the insurance check into a special trust or escrow account. This is only temporary, and it’s not your attorney’s decision—it’s a mandatory part of the settlement process under State Bar of Texas rules. Once the settlement check clears, your lawyer will distribute your settlement money.

Usually, your lawyer will have to use some of your settlement money to settle various unpaid debts (also called liens). For example, your lawyer might have to send portions of your settlement money to:

  • Medical providers with unpaid bills
  • Your health insurance company, if they paid for accident-related medical treatment
  • Texas Child Support Division, if you have unpaid child support
  • Texas Medicaid, if it covered accident-related medical care
  • Medicare, if it covered accident-related medical care or you meet the criteria for a Medicare Set-Aside

It’s important to resolve these liens right away with your settlement funds. If you ignore liens from medical providers, government agencies, or insurance companies, you might face serious penalties. If you have questions about any liens and how they relate to your personal injury claim, you should schedule an appointment with your lawyer to discuss them.

A good attorney will also work hard to reduce what you owe to medical providers and other creditors whenever possible, particularly if your settlement was limited by the amount of insurance coverage and can’t cover your outstanding bills.

For example, we recently represented a crash victim who had $44,000 in medical bills, but the maximum insurance coverage was only $30,000. After the settlement agreement, we were able to negotiate her debt down to less than $10,000, ensuring that she wouldn’t be left empty handed after paying her bills.

After your lawyer pays any liens, they’ll deduct legal fees and costs from your settlement. Your lawyer’s fees will amount to a certain percentage of your settlement as set forth in the attorney-client contract signed by you at the beginning of your case.

Meanwhile, your legal costs and expenses will depend on lots of factors that are unique to your case. The total will include costs associated with:

  • Gathering medical records and other medical evidence
  • Paying expert witness fees
  • Paying deposition and court reporting costs

You should always get an itemized statement detailing your legal costs. And, if you have any concerns about your costs, make sure you discuss them with your personal injury lawyer.

Once all your liens and fees are deducted, you should receive the rest of your settlement money.

Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long? 4 Factors That Can Affect How Long It Takes to Settle

Generally, the more complex and catastrophic your injuries, the more time your claim will take. At Crosley Law, our auto accident lawyers strive to handle our clients’ cases as efficiently as possible. However, some factors can slow down even the most efficient and aggressive lawyer.

1. You Need Extensive Medical Treatments and Multiple Surgeries

We always recommend that our clients reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling. MMI occurs when your medical conditions will no longer improve with treatment, and you’ve reached your “new normal.”

It can be risky to settle your case before this point, simply because it’s much harder to make an accurate estimate of your future medical care and rehabilitation costs. If you’re facing a difficult recovery that involved intense rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, and complex medical issues, it will take longer to value your injuries properly. This also is true if you suffer complications, like a failed surgical repair or infections, during your recovery.

Your lawyer should carefully track your recovery, medical care, and your specific needs. They may also consult with medical and life planning experts to help speed up the process of assessing your injuries and calculating your damages.

When an insurance company evaluates a claim and decides how much money it is willing to pay out, they carefully consider the facts and law surrounding a case. If the insurance company has defenses or your evidence is weak, the insurer will offer you a tiny settlement or deny your claim completely.

For example, if there’s any question about who is at fault in the car crash, your case will probably take longer to settle—particularly if it means there are multiple insurance companies involved. There may be multiple at-fault parties, such as the other driver, their employer, or even the manufacturer of a part that failed.

Other times, the insurer may question your credibility, claiming that you’re not as injured as you say. They may even hire private investigators to track your activities. Or, they’ll try to reduce your compensation through unfair victim-blaming.

You’ll need an experienced trial lawyer who knows how to respond to these allegations, build up your evidence, and fight back. Our team has seen almost every insurance company tactic in the book, from focusing on pre-existing conditions to hiring biased “independent” medical examiners. We can help you respond to these strategies and outmaneuver the insurance company.

A Crash Victim’s Guide to Personal Injury Mediation

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3. You Have a High-Value Injury Claim

Small car accident claims that involve minor injuries often settle quickly. However, when the insurance company knows you have an expensive claim, they’re more likely to use drastic measures and delay tactics to slow your claim down. Many times, catastrophic injury claims settle right before or during the trial.

In these cases, mediation and alternative dispute resolution are often beneficial. During mediation, a neutral party (usually a specially trained lawyer) will help the parties negotiate, looking for common ground. We’ve found that mediation is a powerful tool; Crosley Law has a history of mediating record-breaking auto accident settlements.

4. You’re Unrepresented

When you don’t have a lawyer, the insurance company has the advantage. They have extensive experience fighting personal injury claims, and they have the time and resources to wait you out.

Sometimes, they’ll draw out a claim by ordering countless medical records, sending you to multiple medical exams, and avoiding your phone calls, hoping that you’ll give up and take an unfair settlement. Other times, they’ll just slow walk everything until the clock runs out on the statute of limitations—at which point you’ll lose the right to sue.

Hiring a good attorney as soon as possible helps you level the playing field and ensures you don’t miss critical deadlines or make preventable mistakes when dealing with an adjuster.

When Should I Settle My Claim?

We know that most people are anxious to settle their injury claim, particularly if medical expenses are piling up and they can’t work. That’s why we work hard to get our clients a fair settlement as quickly as realistically possible.

But before you accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer, do your due diligence and consider the long-term impact of your decision.

After a wreck, the insurance company may pressure you to settle quickly and without a lawyer. However, that may not be in your best interest. It’s not a good idea to settle your claim until you truly understand the extent of your injuries, your ability to return to work, your future medical needs, and other factors. While accepting that offer might provide quick and easy short-term relief, it could put you right back where you started when the money dries up.

Even if it takes a bit longer, a fair settlement will always be better than a quick settlement. When you settle, you also give up the right to seek more money later. If it later turns out that your long-term care needs or lost wages are far greater that your settlement can cover, you don’t get a do-over.

In short, you should settle only when the offer represents what you truly deserve under the circumstances. Your personal injury attorney can help you figure out how to deal with expenses and bills while your case is pending.

What Happens if My Settlement Gets Seriously Delayed?

As we mentioned before, most injured victims receive their settlement funds within about 60 days from the end of negotiations. However, additional delays can happen, particularly if there are a significant number of liens that must be resolved.

If your settlement gets delayed extensively and you’re wondering what’s going on, you should contact your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to at least explain the delay and might even be able to resolve it. And he or she might be able to give you options that could expedite your payment. For example, your lawyer might agree to issue a partial settlement payment, retaining a portion of the settlement proceeds while he or she negotiates your liens.

A Word About Structured Settlement Payments

On rare occasions, a personal injury claim gets paid through a structured settlement, which is an arrangement that involves the victim receiving portions of their settlement over time. Typically, these structured settlements occur when the victim is a minor or has a catastrophic injury claim that involves ongoing, expensive medical and nursing care.

Usually, a structured settlement involves the insurance company funding an annuity for the victim. An annuity is a type of insurance contract that pays out guaranteed amounts on a fixed, regular schedule. For example, if you received a structured settlement, your annuity might pay you a portion of your settlement every month, every year, or every few years.

Structured settlements might sound sensible, but they can involve a level of risk for the victim. Certain annuities are only payable during your lifetime, which means that once you die, all annuity payments stop. If you’re concerned about this happening, you and your lawyer should carefully review and discuss the terms of your proposed structured settlement.

Crosley Law Firm: We Fight for Personal Injury Victims in Texas

Settling an auto accident claim or other personal injury claim is a complicated process. Without experienced legal representation, you might undervalue your personal injury case, forfeit important rights, and experience frustrating delays.

At Crosley Law Firm, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our aggressive, effective approach to representing victims injured in car accidents. If you have questions about any aspect of a personal injury settlement, complete our online contact form or call us at 210-LAW-3000.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury (and When Should I File My Lawsuit)?

One of the first questions many people have an injury is, “How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?” While that’s an extremely important piece of information to know, it can also be misleading—and in some ways, the wrong question to ask.

Here’s the short answer: In most cases, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. While there are some rare exceptions that we’ll get into later, this is the general rule that will apply in most cases.

The longer answer, however, is more complicated. But the key takeaway is that you probably don’t have as much time as you think you do.

What Does “Statute of Limitations” Really Mean?

In simple terms, the statute of limitations is a deadline to file a lawsuit against a person, organization, or another entity who caused your car accident, truck wreck, or another personal injury incident. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your right to compensation.

It’s worth noting that not all personal injury claims result in a lawsuit. When cases are straightforward and facts are clear, we can often negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company without suing them.

However, the risk of potential legal action encourages insurance companies to negotiate and settle claims. Once they know you can’t take them to court, your leverage is gone, and you will almost certainly end up walking away with nothing—no matter how severe your injuries or how righteous your cause.

Taking a Closer Look at the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The rules governing the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury can be found in Chapter 16, section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

For most personal injury and wrongful death cases, the two-year statute of limitations’ “clock” starts counting down on the date of the “action accrues.” This can mean different things under certain circumstances.

  • Personal injury: In most claims, the action accrues on the date of the accident.
  • Wrongful death: Typically, the statute of limitations starts running on the date of death, even if the victim survived for days, weeks, or longer after the initial accident that was the root cause of their death.

This deadline is for filing a lawsuit, not finishing it. It may take longer than two years to resolve your case, but it must begin within the two-year window.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some specific circumstances where the statute of limitations can be reduced or extended. A few of the most notable include:

  • Cases against government entities: If the defendant is a government entity (for example, you were injured in an accident with a city-owned bus), you must file notice of your claim within six months.
  • Injuries to minor children: The clock doesn’t start to count down until the child’s 18th birthday. Kids have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit for a personal injury accident that occurred before they turned 18.
  • Undiscovered injuries: Sometimes, a person may have no reasonable way to know that an injury was the result of negligence until much later. For example, you might be harmed by prescription medication that was later found to be unsafe, or exposure to workplace chemicals that directly led to disease or disability several years later. In these situations, a court may agree to extend the deadline to two years from the moment the negligence was discovered (the “Discovery Rule.”) However, courts often rule against injury victims, claiming that they could have discovered the negligence earlier if they had done their due diligence.
  • Sexual offenses: Adult victims of sexual abuse or assault have five years to file a civil lawsuit from the date of the attack. Minor victims have 30 years from the date of their 18th birthday. (This was increased from the previous statute of 15 years in 2019.)

Despite the existence of these and other potential exceptions, it’s wise to assume that you don’t qualify for an extension. Working with an attorney as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your case moves forward, necessary evidence is collected, and no important deadlines are missed.

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Why Time May Be Running Out Faster Than You Think

Learning that the statute of limitations is two years gives many victims a false sense of security about their personal injury case. Two years seems like a long time—you can take a few months to settle down or try to handle your case on your own, right?

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can easily wreck your entire case. One of the saddest things a personal injury lawyer sometimes has to do is tell an injured person that the time or the evidence just isn’t there for a successful case. And this happens a lot more often than you might think.

Why the rush? There are a few big reasons, but in short:

  • You can collect more, and better, evidence.
  • You may be able to avoid a lawsuit entirely.
  • If you do need to file a lawsuit, your attorney can file it at the best time, and not just “before the deadline.”

Let’s break these down a bit further.

Delaying Could Mean Permanent Loss of Important Evidence

You may have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean the evidence you need to prove your case is going to stick around until you or your attorney start your investigation.

If you call a Texas personal injury attorney right away after an accident, they can get to work collecting the evidence before it’s lost. Ideally, they’ll even be able to send an investigator directly to the scene of the crash to photograph and analyze vehicle damage, debris, skid marks, and other physical evidence before it gets moved, cleaned up, or repaired.

There may be other sources of evidence you might not be aware of right away too.

  • Dashcam footage from another vehicle
  • Security camera footage from a nearby residence or business
  • Logbooks from a commercial driver
  • Cell phone and GPS data

Over time, this information can disappear. If you don’t identify and protect it quickly, it could be deleted or destroyed—along with your best chance at fair compensation.

Similarly, if you don’t seek out medical care as soon as possible after an accident, you can weaken your case. Every time you see a doctor, you generate medical records that detail your symptoms and medical needs. Good documentation makes it much easier to prove that your symptoms are crash-related and that they are as severe as you say they are.

An experienced attorney will have knowledge of, and connections with, the local healthcare community and give you the guidance you need to ensure that you’re getting the medical treatment you need, and you’re generating the medical records necessary to prove the cause and severity of your injuries.

Personal Injury Cases Often Require Significant Pre-Litigation Investigation, Preparation, and Negotiation

Your attorney’s job is to build you the best possible case—one that gives you the best possible chance at not only getting a settlement, but getting a just and fair settlement. To do that, you need to give them time.

At Crosley Law, we’ve worked on cases where we had to read thousands of pages of medical records and scientific research to ensure we fully understood our clients’ medical situation and could communicate it in plain English to an insurance company or jury. We’ve handled cases where we’ve had to hire a dozen or more expert witnesses in fields like economics, traffic engineering, life care planning, and neuroscience. And we’ve worked on cases where we personally interviewed dozens of witnesses, friends, and colleagues.

These kinds of investigations can’t be completed in a weekend. Just acquiring and reviewing existing medical records and police reports will take some time, even for relatively simple cases.

Furthermore, there’s typically some back and forth between your attorney and the insurance company even before a lawsuit is filed. Both sides present evidence, make their offers or demands, and negotiate. Quite often, personal injury cases are settled during the pre-litigation phase, without even needing to sue the insurance company. This, of course, saves you the time, expense, and anxiety of lawsuit. But this may not be an option if you’re too close to the filing deadline.

Simply put, the more lead time you give your attorney to do the work, the better the chances that they’ll be able to accurately calculate the amount of damages you can claim, build you a strong case, and negotiate a great settlement on your behalf.

Injured? Call Crosley Law Today

If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the clock is already ticking on your opportunity to get fair compensation.

To schedule your free, no-fee, no-obligation consultation with a Texas personal injury attorney at Crosley Law, call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our brief contact form.


Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. Retrieved from https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/SDocs/CIVILPRACTICEANDREMEDIESCODE.pdf

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

What Should You Do After a FedEx Truck Crash in Texas?

With more than 100,000 vehicles, nearly 125,000 drivers, and an annual revenue estimated at around $84 billion, FedEx is easily one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that FedEx freight trucks are involved in injury-causing truck crashes nearly every day on American roads.

In fact, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in a recent 24-month period (November 2020 through October 2022) FedEx Ground trucks were involved in a total of 2,766 crashes in the United States, including 893 that resulted in injuries and 71 that resulted in at least one fatality. That’s more than one injury accident per day on average, and a fatal accident more than every other week.

If you or a family member were injured or killed in FedEx truck crash in Texas that wasn’t your fault, you deserve compensation. But getting it won’t be easy: big trucking companies like FedEx are known to fight insurance claims aggressively, denying liability whenever possible—or, failing that, undervaluing the true cost of severe injuries, pain, and suffering. This makes it difficult for accident victims to get the fair compensation they deserve.

What Causes FedEx Truck Accidents?

Accidents involving a FedEx freight truck are often complex, with many potential contributing factors. Some of the most common include:

  • Distracted driving: According to the FMCSA, more than 7 out of 10 accidents involving large trucks occurred when the driver was “doing something besides driving the truck,” for example looking at billboards, using a mobile phone, or eating.
  • Driving while fatigued: Truck drivers put in long hours on the road and may even feel pressured to skip mandatory rest breaks to make deliveries on time.
  • Negligent training or supervision: Trucking companies are under a lot of pressure to keep up with shipments. Unfortunately, that means they may put a driver who hasn’t been properly trained on the road—or keep a driver on the road despite multiple flagrant safety violations.
  • Poor truck condition: Semi-trucks and trailers require regular inspections and maintenance to ensure safety. However, these checks and repairs don’t always occur when they’re supposed to.
  • Improper loading: Cargo that isn’t loaded or secured properly, or shifts during transport, can alter a truck’s center of gravity and make it harder to control, and more prone to overturning.

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the liability for the accident may fall on the truck driver personally, the trucking company (either FedEx or an independent trucking company used as a contractor), a maintenance company, parts or vehicle manufacturer, or even a bar that knowingly overserved a driver.

What Happens if You Get in an Accident With a Delivery Truck Driver?

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FedEx’s Recent Crash and Legal History

As mentioned above, due to the sheer size of the fleet, FedEx Ground trucks are involved in a staggering number of serious accidents—nearly 900 in just the last two years alone.

A quick Google search drives the point home. Just in Texas, in the last 12 months, there have been several notable crashes in the news.

  • On November 28, 2022, a FedEx truck rolled over on I-35 in Buda, shutting down all but two lanes of the interstate for over an hour.
  • On September 6, 2022, a crash between a FedEx delivery truck and a school bus on 183A in Leander sent the bus driver, bus monitor, and a student to the hospital.
  • On February 11, 2022, a FedEx truck driver on I-35W in Fort Worth lost control on slick ice and slammed into an existing pile-up crash at high speed. Six people were killed, and dozens were injured in the pileup. (This one was caught on video, and the footage is truly terrifying.)
  • On December 17, 2021, a FedEx truck on I-35E in Lewisville hit a concrete barrier, flipped on its side, and caught fire.

Of course, not every crash involving a FedEx truck will necessarily be the truck driver’s fault. Vehicles crash for many reasons.

That being said, like other trucking companies, FedEx regularly has to pay out large verdicts and settlements to injury victims harmed by their drivers—as much as they try to avoid responsibility or dispute the severity of the victims’ injuries.

In fact, just a few months ago on August 26, 2022, a Nevada court awarded $8 million to a woman whose vehicle was rear-ended by a FedEx truck. According to attorney Benjamin P. Cloward, who represented the woman, FedEx accepted liability but never offered more than $1.8 million to settle, despite three years’ worth of evidence strongly supporting a higher evaluation.

Sadly, we see this kind of behavior all the time from large trucking companies like FedEx.

Steps to Take After Your Truck Crash

There are several important steps you should take after any truck crash to protect yourself, your health, and any future legal case you wish to pursue.

  • Contact the police. Even if you believe the damage is minor and no one was hurt, still file an accident report. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
  • Document any evidence you can. If you are safely able to do so, take pictures of the scene, car damage, and injuries, and even license plate number. Get contact information from eyewitnesses, the truck driver, and the trucking company.
  • Keep your cool (but don’t admit fault). Emotions run high after accidents, but yelling won’t help your case. Nor will admitting fault—even if you’re just trying to be nice or you aren’t sure who caused the accident. Words you say, especially before the full facts are known, can be used to deny or reduce your legitimate claim.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have any new symptoms, no matter how minor they seem. Often, we hear from injury victims whose injuries only got worse over the following weeks or put off treatment because they thought they’d get better on their own. Insurance companies will use this against you, claiming that your injuries must not have been serious or were unrelated to the crash. So always seek help as soon as possible.
  • Don’t talk to the insurance company adjuster right away. The insurance adjuster is not your friend. They are trained to get you to say things that may sound innocent to you, but can be twisted to cast doubt on your injuries or your role in the crash. The best way to protect yourself is by having your attorney handle all the communication with insurance.
  • Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Evidence disappears quickly after truck crashes. Trucking companies like FedEx are only required to keep logs, event recorder data, and other evidence that could prove your case for a limited time. If that evidence is lost—or even deliberately destroyed by the trucking company—there may be no way to recover it. The sooner you hire experienced legal representation, the more your attorney can do to build you a strong case.

Crosley Law Stands Up to the Big Trucking Companies

You would think a large trucking company that makes billions per year wouldn’t need to nickel-and-dime injury victims and fight legitimate claims. Unfortunately, that’s just not reality.

FedEx and their insurance companies are motivated by profit. Reducing the amount they have to pay out in claims helps their bottom line. And they retain expensive, well-trained attorneys to defend them in court. Injury victims are at a severe disadvantage—but hiring an experienced truck accident attorney can level the playing field and help you defend your rights.

Crosley Law has a history of taking on trucking companies (including FedEx) and winning. In one notable case, we were honored to represent Amanda’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent truck driver.

The truck driver in this case claimed that Amanda caused the accident by running a red light. Because Amanda died at the scene and there were no other available eyewitnesses, the police report took the truck driver’s side of the story, and the insurance company refused to pay. Amanda’s mother, however, believed otherwise and hired Crosley Law. After conducting an extensive investigation and forcing the trucking company to provide us with dashcam footage, telematics data, driver records, and more, we discovered that, among other things:

  • The truck driver was the one who ran the red light, not Amanda.
  • He was traveling 43 miles per hour at the time of the collision, and still didn’t even hit his brakes for five more seconds.
  • The trucking company had seen the dashcam footage before us, but deliberately attempted to hide it.
  • The driver had a documented history of reckless driving, and never showed any remorse or regret when interviewed by our team.

But that’s not all. We also interviewed more than 40 of Amanda’s friends and loved ones, and even worked with an economist to determine her future potential income. This work paid off, and helped us obtain a $9 million settlement in mediation for Amanda’s family.

truck accident settlement

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Or, consider Jerry’s case. He suffered a devastating brain injury after his pickup was hit by a wrong-way semi-truck driver. Jerry could no longer work and suffered obvious cognitive and emotional damage—yet because his brain scans seemed normal, the trucking company refused to acknowledge that he had a brain injury at all. Crosley Law went the extra mile for Jerry, digging into the latest scientific research and even getting him into an experimental study using brain scanning tech that was far more sophisticated than a simple MRI or CT scan. Our hard work paid off with a $16 million jury verdict for Jerry at trial.

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Crosley Law: Helping Injured Texans Get Justice

For more than 17 years, the team at Crosley Law has been helping people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, and other personal injury situations take on the insurance companies and get the compensation they deserve.

Your initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we win a settlement or verdict at trial on your behalf. To request your in-person or video consultation, contact our personal injury law firm today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our brief contact form.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2022, November 16). Safety Measurement System—Overview (U.S. DOT#: 265752). Retrieved from https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/Carrier/265752/BASIC/CrashIndicator.aspx

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2015, February 11). CMV Driving Tips—Driver Distraction. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-driver-distraction

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Out-of-State Car Accident Jurisdiction: A Visitor’s Guide to Texas Injury Law

Texas isn’t just the second most populous state in the U.S. It’s also one of our nation’s biggest destinations for out-of-state travelers. According to Travel Texas, the state hosts more than 70 million visitors per year.

While we certainly wish that everyone who visits our state enjoys a stress-free trip, the reality is that more than a handful of those 70 million will be involved in car accidents. Some of those will result in serious injuries and legal action. And that can put out-of-state drivers in a tough spot.

If you’re an out-of-state driver, the process can be frustrating and confusing—especially if you try to handle it on your own. But a little knowledge and a good Texas car accident lawyer can significantly simplify the process for you.

What Is Jurisdiction?

You’ve probably heard the term “jurisdiction” on the news or your favorite legal drama, but what does it mean? When you file a lawsuit, you have to make sure that the court has the power to hear your case. Lawyers refer to this power to hear cases and issue decisions as “jurisdiction.”

If both you and the at-fault driver are from the same state, it’s not hard to determine jurisdiction—you’ll file your lawsuit in that state’s courts. But when the parties are from different states, things can get complicated.

Generally speaking, if you’re involved in a car crash and want to pursue a lawsuit, you can file in either the state where the defendant lives, or the state where the accident happened. If a car accident occurred in Texas, then Texas law is going to apply, and a Texas court will have jurisdiction. That is true even if the injured party isn’t a Texas resident and has a car insurance policy issued in another state.

A Brief Overview of Texas Personal Injury Law

If you were injured by a Texas driver, you’ll typically have to file a Texas personal injury claim. That means you’ll need to consult with a lawyer that is licensed to practice in Texas, like the team at Crosley Law.

While every injury claim is different, here are four points to keep in mind if you are going to file a personal injury claim in Texas.

Texas Is a Fault State

Under Texas law, the driver who caused the accident must pay for all your damages, including your medical bills and lost income. If you want to recover compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic damages, you’ll first need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. You will also need to prove that the driver was responsible for the car accident.

If you live in a no-fault state like Florida or Michigan, and you are driving your own personal vehicle (insured in your home state) when you’re involved in an out-of-state accident in Texas, your own no-fault benefits may still cover you. However, you will likely still need to make a claim against the Texas driver to recover any non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering), or if your own insurance benefits aren’t enough to cover your economic losses.

Further, if your own insurance company pays your no-fault benefits up front, and you later win your car accident case in Texas, you may have to pay back your no-fault insurance company out of your settlement or trial verdict.

If You Were Partially at Fault, the Insurance Company Could Deny Your Claim or Reduce Your Damages

Texas applies a doctrine of modified comparative negligence with a 51% bar in injury claims, so the insurance company can reduce your compensation by the percent of blame you hold for the crash.

What does that mean?

  • First, to be eligible to receive any compensation, you cannot be more than 50% at fault. If you are determined to share at least 51% of the blame, your claim will be denied entirely.
  • Second, if you are more than 0% but no more than 50% responsible, your damages will be reduced by your degree of fault. In other words, if a court believes your actions made you 10% responsible for the car accident, you can only obtain 90% of your claimed damages.

Can I Recover Damages if I Contributed to a Car Accident?

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Texas Has a Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits

One crucial piece of information to know if you get in a car wreck is the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, you may lose your right to compensation.

In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, meaning you have two years after a car crash to file your injury claim.

While that may seem like a lot of time, it’s best to get started with your case as soon as possible after the accident. The earlier you contact an attorney, the less likely crucial evidence will be lost or overlooked, and the more time you’ll have to build a robust legal case.

All Texas Car Owners Must Carry a Minimum Amount of Liability Insurance

Texas’ car owners are legally required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage on their vehicles: at least $30,000 per person for bodily injuries, with a maximum of $60,000 per crash, and $25,000 for property damage. Other types of insurance, such as collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM), and personal injury protection (PIP), are available but not required under state law.

If you get into an accident caused by a Texas resident and they only have Texas’ mandatory policy limits, a negligent driver may not have enough coverage to pay for all your damages, particularly if you suffer serious injuries.

If your personal auto insurance policy from your home state includes UM/UIM and/or PIP coverage, those benefits will likely be able to step in and cover you if the Texas driver is uninsured or underinsured. However, you should still speak to a personal injury attorney about your options for recovering any remaining damages.

Your Post-Accident Itinerary: What to Do After the Crash

Here are some general tips for what to do immediately following your accident.

1. Report the Accident to the Police

Unless the accident was minor enough to cause almost no damage, Texas law requires you to notify the police so that they can fill out a crash report. If possible, it is a good idea to obtain a copy of that report for future use.

Even if you feel like the damage was minor and you suffered no serious injuries, still get an accident report. Sometimes injuries that seem minor at first turn out to be much more severe.

2. Collect the Driver’s Information

The next thing you need to do after an accident is to collect all the relevant information from the other driver. This information includes:

  • Personal: Name, address, phone, and email
  • License: Driver’s license and license plate number
  • Insurance: Insurance company and policy number

3. Assemble Witness and Damage Evidence

Ask any witnesses for their name and contact information so that their testimony can be used as evidence later, if needed. Additionally, take pictures of the crash scene, your injuries, and the damage to the vehicles involved.

4. Avoid Admitting Any Fault

Do not admit fault to the other driver, police officers on the scene, or witnesses. Even a simple statement such as, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” could be used against you later when determining what percent of the crash was your fault.

5. Seek Medical Care

You should always follow up with a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident if you’re experiencing any new symptoms, however minor they might seem.

While this might seem like an added inconvenience—especially if you’re on vacation—you are far better safe than sorry. As noted above, sometimes injuries are more severe than they first appear. Seeking immediate treatment helps ensure you get the care you need. You will also establish medical records linking your symptoms to the crash, making it harder for the insurance company to argue that you are exaggerating your symptoms or that they were pre-existing.

6. Contact a Texas Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance companies are not on your side. They will use any possible means to avoid having to pay your insurance claim. Before you call or speak to any insurance agent—whether they represent you or the other driver—contact a Texas personal injury attorney.

Fight These Four Common Insurance Company Tricks After a Car Accident

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Do I Really Need to Hire a Texas Car Accident Attorney if My Accident Happened There?

Although you don’t have to hire an attorney, we strongly recommend that you work with an experienced car accident attorney who is local to the area where the crash took place. If you’re an out-of-state visitor, most likely Texas will be your only option (unless the at-fault driver was also a resident of a different state). So, at minimum, you’d need to hire an attorney who is licensed to practice here.

Hiring a local Texas attorney makes sense for other reasons, too. Car accident cases are often complicated and time-consuming. Your attorney may need to subpoena records and evidence, depose the defendant, follow up with eyewitnesses, and more. It is also to your benefit to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later, as critical evidence may be lost forever if your lawyer isn’t able to protect and examine it soon after the crash. All these things are much easier to handle if the person doing the work is familiar with, and local to, the area.

Furthermore, an experienced attorney based where the crash took place should be familiar with local laws, local courts and judges, and potentially even local insurance company attorneys who may be on the defense team.

For all these reasons, working with a Texas attorney can help the process go much more smoothly, and give you a better chance at a great outcome than trying to handle things on your own.

Our team has handled many claims for out-of-state crash victims. For example, John was on a business trip in San Antonio. As he was walking through an intersection, a delivery truck turned the corner and hit him. Using the police report, dashcam footage, and the truck driver’s own statements, we were able to negotiate a $178,000 settlement—and John didn’t have to deal with the logistics of an out-of-state trial.

pedestrian accident settlement

John’s Story: Aggressive Tactics Lead to a $178,000 Settlement for a Pedestrian

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Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Personal Injury Team

A serious crash will bring your vacation plans to an abrupt stop. Although your trip to San Antonio may be ruined, speaking with a local personal injury attorney can help ensure the accident doesn’t ruin the rest of your life as well.

At Crosley Law, we focus on Texas personal injury lawsuits and use our extensive knowledge of local cases and Texas law to maximize our clients’ accident compensation.

We know that pursuing a lengthy personal injury lawsuit can be incredibly stressful and frustrating experience for people who live far away from where their case has been filed, and we work hard to make the process as frictionless as possible. No matter where you reside or spend most of your time, we are happy to work around your schedule, answer any questions you have, and keep you updated about your case. We have extensive experience representing Texas visitors in personal injury claims and are happy to accept referrals from attorneys in other states.

We also accept referrals from out-of-state attorneys who need in-state counsel.

If you’ve been in a serious accident while visiting San Antonio, contact us today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or online for your free consultation to getting your life back on track.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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