Austin Auto Accident Attorneys
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, lost a loved one, or both, you face tremendous grief and an uncertain future. You may be trying to recover from your own injuries while taking care of a seriously injured loved one and trying to figure out how to pay medical bills, let alone the mortgage. If you live in Austin or anywhere in Texas, you need the help of the experienced auto accident attorneys of Shaw Cowart LLP.
We understand that a car wreck can change your life. We have a proven track record of success in helping people with serious injuries from car wrecks and we will fight for maximum compensation for you.
Call us today for a free no-obligation claim evaluation. Put our experience to work so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
Why You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer
You probably do not realize how important it is to have one of our lawyers help you through the legal process. The insurance adjuster is paid to settle with you quickly and for as little money as possible and the insurance company has a team of investigators and lawyers at its disposal to try to keep your case out of court and force you into a small settlement. The adjuster and the rest of the insurance company’s team want to make your claim go away as quickly and for as little money as possible.
At Shaw Cowart LLP we know how to deal with the insurance company. We’ve been doing it for years and we will not let them push you around. Our attorneys have handled every type of car accident claim and the insurance company knows it. We will not let them pull the wool over your eyes as we fight to get the justice you deserve.
Here are just a few of the many reasons to call the lawyers at Shaw Cowart LLP if you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision:
- Many seemingly minor details of the collision and your injuries may impact your settlement. Who was at fault? Were other vehicles or pedestrians involved? Was the other driver distracted? What are the details of the insurance coverage? The answers to each of these questions could impact your settlement or award. Our attorneys have experience with each of these issues and many more.
- Increased settlement value.Insurance companies typically try to settle claims for less than the actual medical expenses and lost wages not to mention future medical expenses and lost income. Rarely, if ever, will an insurance company offer you any consideration for your pain and suffering. We will make sure the insurance company considers all of your medical expenses and lost wages as well as any other damages you have suffered.
- You can focus on your recovery.Dealing with your injuries and those of your family members can make your head spin. Trying to negotiate with the insurance adjuster on top of that is too much. We will take care of your claim so you can take care of yourself and your family
Why Choose Us
There are hundreds of personal injury lawyers in Austin and surrounding areas. So why should you choose the experienced trial lawyers at Shaw Cowart, LLP? Here are just a few of the reasons to hire us to represent you when you have suffered serious injuries in a car wreck:
- Trial lawyers with experience. Many law firms do not try a lot of cases. We do. We are trial attorneys with experience defending claims so we know how your opponent works.
- We prepare each case to go to trial. Although most cases are resolved by settlement, we are always ready to take your case to trial if a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached. Our opponents know our history and that we are willing and able to go to trial. That puts us in a better position to negotiate a favorable settlement for you.
- Our attorneys have the credentials you can count on. For instance, attorney Ethan L. Shaw is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer. He holds an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale Hubbell. It is the highest rating available. In addition, Mr. Shaw was selected to Super Lawyers in 2003 and from 2012 – 2017.
- Unlike many larger firms, we will not pass you off to a paralegal. You will meet personally with the attorney handling your case and can contact that attorney directly if you have questions.
- Action plan for your case. Every case is unique and you have unique priorities, needs and goals. We will create a meaningful action plan to work toward the resolution that maximizes your damages and meets your needs.
When you come in for your free initial consultation, we will share our track record with you, so you can see our history of success for yourself.
Common Questions About Auto Accident Claims
Auto accident cases and the personal challenges you face on a daily basis are complex. We know you have questions and we want you to ask them all. In return, we will give you clear and meaningful answers.
What can I recover in a car accident claim?
You can recover damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and impairment of future earning capacity. In addition, you can recover damages for physical impairment and disfigurement. You can also recover for damage or loss to property and other out of pocket expenses incurred because of the accident and your injuries. You can also recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and emotional distress. Further, if a loved one was killed in the collision, you may be entitled to recover damages through a wrongful death claim.
Who will pay for medical expenses after an automobile accident?
In most cases, your medical expenses will be paid as part of your final settlement with the insurance company. For that reason, in most cases, medical expenses are covered by another source (sometimes your own insurance company) and that source is reimbursed for those expenses when the case settles. We will help you determine the best way to address your medical bills while your case is pending because different payment sources may affect your case and your final settlement.
Should I hire a Texas car accident lawyer?
You may wonder if your injuries and other damages are enough to justify hiring an attorney. There is a lot of data that shows that claimants who retain an attorney to represent them, recover significantly more money than claimants who attempt to handle their claims on their own. The good news is that we will evaluate your case for free and we’ll tell you if we think we can help you. If we agree to represent you, we will do so on a “contingent fee basis”. This means that we only get paid if you receive a settlement or an award and then we receive a percentage of that payment.
What if the at-fault driver is uninsured?
Although Texas law requires every automobile owner to purchase and maintain insurance, many drivers operate their vehicles without insurance. In other cases, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all of your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. This is known as an “underinsured driver” We have experience handling claims involving both uninsured and underinsured drivers. There may be other sources of payment and we will do what we can to uncover them so you can be fully compensated for your injuries.
Investigating Your Auto Accident
Thorough investigation is the bedrock of any auto accident lawsuit. Your claim will rarely be as straightforward as it may seem. We look at every detail to uncover every underlying cause and factor that contributed to your accident and your injuries. This is how we establish liability, and it allows us to pursue every avenue of compensation so that you can recover the maximum amount you need and deserve for your injuries.
The cause of your accident may have seemed obvious at the time, but it is not unusual to find underlying factors that change who can be held responsible and how we approach your case. Common causes of auto accidents include:
- Driver negligence
- Defective vehicle
- Defective roadway
Types of Auto Accident Cases
The auto accident attorneys of Shaw Cowart LLP have a proven track record of securing favorable verdicts and settlements for injury victims and their families in a wide range of different types of auto accidents. Your case may fall under more than one of the following:
- Car accident
- 18-Wheeler Accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bicycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Bus accident
- Taxi, limousine or rideshare accident
- Multicar pileup
- I-35 Accident
- Drunk or drugged driving accident
- Accident caused by a minor
- Defective vehicle accident
- Defective roadway accident
- Accident resulting in severe or catastrophic injuries
- Accident resulting in wrongful death
Types of Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Collisions
Auto accident injuries can be life-altering. Even a low-speed collision can cause debilitating injuries. If you were in a serious crash, you may be suffering from multiple injuries, which can complicate and lengthen your recovery. Injuries commonly caused by car wrecks include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Chest injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broke bone and fracture
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries
- Organ damage or loss
- Respiratory damage
- Chemical burns
- Facial injuries
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
Driver negligence occurs when a driver fails to use reasonable care. A driver does not have to intentionally cause an accident to be held responsible for his negligence. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Driving too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions
- Driving too slowly
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Following too closely
- Unsafe passing
- Failure to use turn signals
- Failure to yield
- Failure to use caution in areas such as school zones and construction zones
- Distracted driving, including but not limited to texting and other device use
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Drag racing
- Aggressive driving
Defective Vehicles and Faulty Repairs
Some accidents are not caused by negligent drivers, but by defective vehicles. Massive recalls have made headlines in recent years, but the majority of defects receive no publicity, and there may be no recall. In some cases, it is not a widespread problem associated with a particular vehicle model or part, but an isolated incident caused by a faulty repair. This is just one of many reasons why thorough investigation by an experienced auto accident attorney is so important to your case.
Examples of defects that can cause accidents, make injuries worse, or both include:
- Faulty tires
- Defective design leading to rollover
- Steering system defects
- Faulty brakes
- Faulty suspension
- Defects causing unintentional acceleration
- Electrical system defects
- Ignition switch defects
- Sensor defects
- Defective airbags
- Faulty seat belts
- Defective airbags
- Defective seat belts
- Collapsing seat backs
- Poor roof crush resistance
- Fuels system defects leading to fuel-fed fires and explosions
If your accident or your injuries were caused by a defective vehicle, one or more of the following may be held liable:
- Auto or part manufacturer
- New or used car dealership
- Part seller
- Rental company
- Repair shop
Roadway defects can also cause accidents or cause injuries to be worse. Defective roadway accidents can be very deceptive, making it appear as if a driver was to blame. Roadway defects are often the cause of single-vehicle accidents.
Auto accident cases involving defective roadways require the knowledge and skill of an experienced attorney. In most cases, you will be suing a government entity, which means you must follow different procedures and have a short amount of time to take legal action.
Proving fault in a defective roadway accident can be very challenging. To prove that a defect such as dangerous intersection caused your accident, your attorney may need to rely on evidence such as a history of accidents in the location where your accident occurred.
Examples of roadway defects that can cause crashes or cause injuries to be worse include:
- Malfunctioning traffic signal
- Defective street light
- Missing or obscured stop sign
- Inadequate or insufficient notification of changes in the shoulder
- Inadequate or malfunctioning warning signs or signals for conditions such as curves, dips, and bumps
- Inadequate or insufficient notification of impending conditions such as construction zones, merging traffic, or hazardous weather conditions
- Improper road or intersection design
- Lack of crosswalk or inadequately marked crosswalk
- Dangerous intersection, crosswalk, bus stop, or railroad crossing that has not been modified despite past indications of hazard
- Improperly banked curve
- Shoulder drop-offs
- Poor drainage
- Pothole or improperly filled pothole
- Excessive oil and/or gravel
- Debris and obstacles which are not been removed in a timely fashion
- Lack of breakaway device on poles
- Missing or defective guardrails
Third Party Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
If you were injured by a drunk driver, or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be wondering how dram shop laws and social host liability apply in your case.
In Texas, establishments that serve alcohol can be held liable under certain circumstances. If the person who caused your injuries was served after they were obviously intoxicated, we may be able to hold the bar, restaurant or other establishment liable for your injuries. There are very specific defenses to this type of claim. Our experienced auto accident attorneys can tell you if you have a claim under the Texas Dram Shop Act.
Similarly, under certain circumstances an adult over 21 who provides alcohol to a minor who is under 18 may be liable for injuries caused by the intoxicated child. This area of law is even more complicated than what you deal with in drunk driving accidents caused by adults. The Austin auto accident attorneys of Shaw Cowart LLP can help.
To learn more about your legal rights and how we can help, please call Shaw Cowart LLP at 877-303-0383 or contact us online today. Your initial consultation is free, and you are under no obligation to move forward with us.