Frequently Asked Questions
The insurance company wants me to settle now; should I?
Many times insurance companies will pressure injury victims to make a quick settlement of their claim. This is a bad idea, because the true value of your claim cannot be known until all of your medical care has been concluded. Once you settle a claim, it cannot be re-opened if you later discover that your injuries were more severe than you initially thought. You should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney prior to settling any claim involving serious injury.
Is it too late to file a claim?
As a general rule, in Texas an injured person has two years in which to make a claim against the person or company responsible for their injuries. Some special rules apply to claims that are made against government agencies.
Do I need a lawyer?
An insurance adjuster will not tell you the true maximum value of your claim. It is the adjuster's job to get the claim settled for the lowest amount possible, and to save as much money as possible for the insurance company. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney puts you on an equal footing with the insurance company, and allows you to recover the true value of your claim.
How do I get a rent car?
Before authorizing a car rental, the insurance company for the other driver must accept liability for the collision. This can be accomplished by providing them with a police report or, if no report is available, with recorded statements from the involved drivers. You should never give a recorded statement to the other insurance company without first speaking with your attorney.
My car is a total loss, how much am I entitled to?
In Texas, if your car is totaled, you are entitled to the average retail value of your vehicle. The insurance company should obtain a written appraisal which shows what other cars of the same year, model, make, condition, and mileage have sold for in this area. You are entitled to a copy of that appraisal to make sure it was done properly. You are also entitled to payment of an additional 6.25% of the retail value for sales tax. If you want to keep your car, you should ask the insurance company for an "owner retain'' offer, which will be significantly less.
How much is my case worth?
In most instances, an injured person is entitled to payment for their medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, physical limitations, and disfigurement. In addition, in certain cases such as those involving drunk driving or other grossly negligent conduct, additional damages may be appropriate in order to punish the party that caused the injuries. No one can accurately estimate the total value of a claim until all medical care has been concluded, all lost income has been calculated, and the full injury diagnosis and prognosis are known.
How do I hire the right lawyer for me?
Any attorney in Texas can advertise that they handle personal injury cases. You should only decide on a lawyer after a personal meeting with one who is experienced in claims such as yours. At the Law Offices of Jay Doyle, P.C., we only handle personal injury and wrongful death cases. Any attorney you meet with should welcome questions about their education and experience.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
There is no cost for meeting with Jay Doyle to discuss your prospective case. If you hire the Law Offices of Jay Doyle, P.C. you will not be charged a fee until we recover payment for your injury. Our fee will be a percentage of that payment. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.