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October 2019 - Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law

What to Expect in Court for Car Accident

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Car accident victims may find the legal process of seeking redress challenging. You may be wondering about how to initiate legal proceedings against the driver at fault to recover damages. Most car accident cases are usually solved outside court, but there are instances when going to court is the best option. Below, we examine what to expect in court for car accident.

What Leads to a Car Accident Case Going to Court?

Most car accident cases never go to court. When you hire a car accident lawyer, they will investigate the accident and gather evidence to solidify your claim for damages. If the driver at- fault’s insurance company and lawyer come to a fair settlement, then the case will be settled and there will be no need to go to court.

Here are some of the reasons why a car accident can go to court.

  • The insurance company fails to compensate you for damages.
  • Both parties in an accident cannot agree on who was at fault.
  • The insurance company declines to pay the full amount for the damages.

Insurance companies may decline to compensate for your damages fully. If you find yourself in such a situation, the only option left is going to court.

What Happens When the Car Accident Goes to Trial?

During a car accident case that goes to court, both parties will have an opportunity to present their evidence. You need a reputable car accident lawyer to argue your case before the court. Presentation of Evidence

You need to present evidence that convinces the judge that the driver is at fault and should compensate you for the damages. The burden of proof is incumbent upon the plaintiff. In a car accident trial, you can present evidence including accident reports, medical records, expert interviews and even witness interviews.

The at-fault driver’s attorney will be given a chance to cross-examine your evidence and table his proof on why he is not-at-fault and should not compensate for your injury.

Jury Deliberation

In some states, the car accident case may be heard by a jury and in others, a judge. Your lawyer’s duty will be to convince the jury or the judge to grant a favorable ruling. When both sides have presented their evidence, the jury then decides who is at fault for the accident and how much compensation should be awarded to the victim by the insurance company.

How Long Does a Car Accident Trial Last?

You may be wondering about how long does a car accident trial last? You need to understand that every case is different. Some may be settled within a few weeks, while others may last for over a year. It is crucial to understand the legal system to help take the correct actions that will enable your case to be settled expeditiously once the hearings commence.

You should seek legal redress to avoid being short-changed when seeking compensation after a car accident. Hiring an experienced attorney to argue your case is essential to ensure you secure a win. Contact Robert Littlefield Buford III car accident attorney to help recover your rightful damages.

When to File a Police Report After an Accident

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Road accidents cause over 1.2 million deaths worldwide. It causes even more non-fatal injuries. Police reports of road accidents are the main source of data when determining the extent and number of accidents. How long do you have to file a police report after a car accident? There is no specific answer. However, you should try to do it as soon as possible. The law only requires you to report certain types of accidents.

How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report After a Car Accident?

If you bump into your neighbor’s car at the parking lot and scratch it a little, you are under no legal obligation to report it. Your insurance company will take care of the problem. If, however, you get into an accident that causes serious injury, property damage, or death, you have to report to the police.

Reporting a Car Accident

You don’t need to report to the police if they have already visited the accident scene and documented it. You are only obligated to report the accident if the cost of the damages is over $500. You may also file your report online and print it out. Submit it to the nearest police station.

Provide the police with as much information as you can. Some of the important details to include are; a description of the vehicles that were in the accident, the date and location of the accident, your insurance details, and the contact information of the involved parties. You may also include the accounts of witnesses.

If you do not own the vehicle that was in the accident, the owner can help you file a police report. Write down all the important details of the accident. If the owner does not have all the relevant details, it may be difficult to get compensation. Work with a lawyer during the entire process. They will help you understand what to expect in court for a car accident.

Why You Should File a Police Report

Failure to file a police report is a non-criminal traffic violation. You may need to do a few hours of community service. File a police report even if you do not have to do it. The main purpose of a police report is to have a record of the accident on file. Sometimes, injury takes a few days to manifest.

Without a police report, it may be difficult to connect an injury to the accident. If your injuries manifest after the accident, get the help of a car accident attorney. They will help you seek compensation and understand what to expect in court for a car accident.

If you choose to file a claim, do it within four years. Your insurance can’t compensate you without a police report. You may have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. If you are looking for a personal injury and criminal defense attorney in Texas, contact the Law Office of Robert Littlefield Buford III. We deliver efficient trial representation at fair prices.

What to Do After a Fatal Car Wreck

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Car accidents can be tragic. They may cause injuries, extensive property damage, and death. Knowing what to do after an accident is important.

While the injured person is seeking medical attention, they should have someone to care for them. Before leaving the accident scene, try to gather as much evidence of it as you can. Take photos and witness accounts. Contact the local police and ask for their report. The information will help you when seeking compensation. If the person dies, you need to initiate other procedures. You can start a claim for wrongful death if the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence. Speak to an attorney and they will help you understand what to expect in court for car accident.

What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident?

When someone dies in a car accident, the death is considered a result of the crash. It does not matter what caused the accident or how much damage was done. In every death during a car accident, there is always someone that can be held liable.

A few things will be analyzed to determine if the death could have been prevented. Some of the important things that may be analyzed include; the driver’s compliance with existing laws, their driving habits, the influence of drugs or alcohol, and other factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Every case is different and each one of them requires special information. The accident may be associated with criminal charges such as; involuntary manslaughter and manslaughter.

Types of Fatal Accidents

If a passenger or the driver that is hit dies suddenly, the accident is called a sudden death car accident incident. These types of accidents happen a crash is severe. It involves large vehicles or high speeds.

If a victim does not die immediately, the accident is known as eventual death fatal accident. The injuries may not cause death but surrounding events do. The accident is still considered the cause of the accident.

What to Expect in Court for Car Accident

Litigation with a fatal car accident depends on whether it is necessary to press civil charges for compensation. A suit is necessary to initiate the possibility of recovery. The dependents of the person who died can get assistance with; medical charges, funeral costs, and loss of income.

Consult a lawyer and they will review your case. They will consider the evidence you have and details of your accident. They will advise you on whether to go to court or seek compensation out of court. A good lawyer will explain what happens when someone dies in a car accident.

If you have been involved in a fatal car accident, do not blame yourself. You should seek legal help as soon as possible. Seek help from the Law Office of Robert Littlefield Buford III. We are a specialized practice that deals with personal injury and criminal defense cases in Austin. We provide you with fair and effective representation at fair rates. Contact us today and get the representation that you need.

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident T Bone?

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Did you know that T bone accidents represent 13% of all car accidents in the United States? According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, an average of 8,000 people die in T-bone collisions every year in the United States. More than half of all automobile accident deaths involve a T-bone collision. The accidents cause a vehicle to be knocked off course into a second collision. It can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a car accident T-bone.

T-bone accidents can cause property damage, death, or severe injury. If you survive a T-bone accident, you may suffer internal injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, or spine injuries.

Who is at Fault in a Car Accident T Bone

In a T-bone car accident, either one of the drivers may be at fault. The accident occurs when one driver fails to give the other one the right of way. Multiple drivers may be at fault.

Determining who is at fault in a car accident T-bone requires the analysis of eyewitness accounts, photographs, and videos. The police will examine the scene of the accident and come up with a report. The police report will include the details of your collision and it may be used to determine fault.

If you have been involved in the accident, try to take as much evidence of it as soon as possible. Take photos from multiple angles and ask for witness accounts. Work with an attorney who may help you know what to expect in court for car accident.

Proving Fault

Knowing what to expect in court for car accident may help you prepare. A successful car accident claim involves a lot more than proving that the other driver was negligent. You must be able to prove that the accident happened due to their negligence. You must also prove that a victim suffered significant bodily harm and financial loss.

You must have proof of your medical expenses, bodily injury, and loss of income. You must provide evidence such as your medical bills and your doctor’s notes to prove the specific injury you suffered in the collision. Submit your pay stub to show the amount you usually earn and how much you have lost from missing work.

Fault can depend on several factors including; the existing road conditions, vehicle defects, and traffic signals. However, the fault is almost always with the other driver. Some of the most common causes of T-bone accidents include the following;

1.  Over speeding

2.  Driving intoxicated

3.  Texting or talking on the phone while driving

4.  Failure to yield the right of way

5.  Running a red light

If your loved one was injured or killed in a T-bone car accident, you should file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Do it as soon as you can. It may be the only way for you to hold the responsible party liable for their negligence. Contact the Law Office of Robert Littlefield Buford III today and we will help you seek compensation.

What Happens in a Hit and Run Car Accident?

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A vehicle accident is a shocking experience that elicits all sorts of reactions from us. A hit and run accident may involve injury or death to another driver or pedestrian. However, they typically involve hitting another car and driving off. 20% of pedestrian deaths in the United States within the past decade were caused by hit and runs according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. With such deep ramifications, it is clear to see why you may need a good lawyer like Robert Littlefield Buford III to help you plead your case.

What Is a Hit and Run?

A hit and run is an accident involving a vehicle hitting a pedestrian, animal or an inanimate object where the driver does not stop to identify themselves or to offer help to an animal or someone who might need it. On the other hand, not all states consider hitting an animal as part of a hit and run.

In a hit and run is does not matter if you were at fault for the accident or not. The offense is leaving the scene after the accident. You may leave the scene for a while either to get help from someone in the vicinity or to find a strong signal to call for help.

Most states in the US include accidents on highways, private roads, and even parking lots as locations where a hit and run can happen. If you hit a car in a private establishment you should leave your contact information on the other car’s windshield.

Criminal Penalties for a Hit and Run

Hit and run criminal ramifications in the United States vary from state to state. However, most states consider hit and run penalties as felonies or misdemeanors.

Felony hit and run involve leaving the scene of an accident where there has been an injury to another person regardless of whether they were in a vehicle or a pedestrian. Penalties for felony hit and runs can range from heavy fines to 15 years in jail depending on the circumstances.

Administrative Penalties for a Hit and Run

Penalties to your driver’s license are assured if you commit a hit and run offense. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be responsible for imposing the penalties.

It does not matter whether the hit and run offense is a felony or a misdemeanor, you should expect a six month period or longer revocation of your driving license if you are convicted of a hit and run. Administrative penalties will most likely be imposed in addition to criminal penalties.

Civil Penalties for a Hit and Run

What to expect in court for a car accident particularly a hit and run is crucial. If the accident was your fault you might find yourself on the wrong end of a debilitating lawsuit. The monetary compensation to be paid will be increased if you not only caused the accident but also fled the scene. You will be required to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

Therefore, if you have recently been involved in a hit and run accident, it would be prudent for you to call at attorney. If you live in Austin, Texas call Robert Buford for the best legal assistance in the state.

What Happens If You Get in a Car Accident with Only a Permit?

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You can drive around in most states with a permit. You may have lost your license and it is currently being replaced or you may be a teenager who is yet to receive their driving license. Regardless of the situation, the question is what happens if you get into a car accident with only a permit? Legal assistance is one of your priorities. A great lawyer like Robert Buford should be of great help when it comes to pleading your case. It is important for those with permits to know what to expect in court and also what to expect from the other parties involved.

Do You Need Insurance If You Use a Learner’s Permit?

Insurance requirements for learning drivers with permits only vary from state to state. Most states do not require a driver with a learner’s permit to have insurance if he/she is a minor because more often than not the driver is accompanied by an insured driver.

Therefore, if the driver with a learner’s permit is behind the wheel when the accident occurs, the driver covered by the insurance will be responsible for any damages accruing from the accident. Insurance policies typically involve the vehicle and not the driver. Therefore if the driver had a permit and the vehicle was insured, they are typically covered.

If you are a guardian or custodian of a minor with a learner’s permit, insurance companies recommend that you notify them and that the learner is driving one of your vehicles. The child can then be added to the policy, usually at a small price.

By including the minor in the policy, you will not only be protecting you and the car but the minor too in case of any serious accidents. When you add them to the policy they now become ‘named insured’.

If the driver, with the learner’s permit, is not your child and they are not listed in your insurance policy nor do they live with you, they are still covered by the policy as long as you gave them permission to use your vehicle. The driver would then be termed a ‘permissive driver’.

It is crucial to never assume that just because you have a learner’s permit or because the person driving your vehicle has a permit that they will be covered by your insurance policy. It is more prudent to contact the insurance firm first and confirm. Your insurance policy might be restricted as it pertains to covering drivers with only a learner’s permit. You should always review your policy before giving another person permission to drive your car.

What to Do If You Are in an Accident?

If you are involved in an accident when you only have a learner’s permit, the first step should be to seek medical assistance if you feel any symptoms of injury. If you are okay, you should take photos and videos as evidence to support your claim. The next step should be to contact a lawyer.

Call Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law today if you were in a car accident while driving with a learner’s permit. He will give you the best legal advice you will get anywhere in Texas.

How to prevent whiplash after a car accident

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Whiplash is very common during vehicle accidents. Whiplash is soft tissue damage caused by abrupt extension and retraction of the neck which happens when vehicles collide with each other or against a hard surface. Whiplash is the most reported car accident injury in the United States according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You need an attorney if you experience whiplash in an accident. Whiplash can cause victims a lot of pain and discomfort which can last for months and be devastating.

The term whiplash has fallen out of favor because of the negative scenarios in which people have seen whiplash victims. Therefore, it is common to hear whiplash referred to as ‘cervical muscle strain’ or ‘neck strain’ from time to time.

Preventing Whiplash During Car Accidents

Luckily for you, you can take several steps before you get on the road that may help you prevent whiplash in case of an accident. The first thing you should do to prevent whiplash is adjusting your headrest as soon as you get into your vehicle. Position it so that it is directly behind your head. The rule of thumb is that the top of the headrest should be aligned to the top of your head. However, you should just adjust the headset appropriately if you are taller or shorter than the headrest’s normal level.

Another thing you should do is something your mother has been telling you forever: sit up straight. You should settle back into your chair so that your head is as close to the headrest as possible. Adjust the recline of your car seat to achieve this position. You should note that a headrest that is within a few inches of the back of your head is twice as effective in preventing whiplash.

Putting on your seatbelt is another crucial element of how to prevent whiplash after a car accident. Moreover, the seatbelt should be worn properly with the shoulder strap across the front not behind the back for it to be effective. Doing so will hold your body steady during an accident and prevent whiplash.

You may follow the tips above but still have whiplash after an accident. If so, you should know what to do.

What to Do After Sustaining Whiplash in a Car Accident

If you experience whiplash during a vehicle crash, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even with minimal pain or discomfort, getting checked out by a physician is crucial. Whiplash symptoms may be dormant for a few days or weeks after the accident.

You should also notify your insurance if you sustain whiplash after an accident. Your insurance coverage should extend to personal injuries extending from car accidents. You have to comprehend the nature and extent of your injuries and all other damages arising from the accident to make a worthwhile claim with the insurance company.

If your insurance company delays paying out your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit. It is important to know what to expect in court for a car accident. You will receive compensation for your troubles if you have a worthwhile claim.

Many whiplash claims are fake. However, if you have a legitimate claim, do not be afraid to call Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law as soon as possible and you will receive the best legal help and adequate compensation for your injuries.