Austin Q And A

FAQ | Personal Injury Lawyer Q & A

When you or a family member suffer a serious personal injury, your questions may seem endless. Below is a library of questions we hear most often, and answers we hope will help you.

Immediately After You’re Hurt FAQ

Q&A: What is a personal injury lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer advocates for injury / accident victims to recover compensation from parties whose actions or negligence contributed to the cause of the injuries.

A personal injury lawyer’s services usually include:

Communicating – on the client’s behalf – with insurance companies, medical billing, law enforcement, court systems, and other involved parties

Gathering documentation to calculate financial damages, and pain and suffering

Explaining the personal injury case process, including deadlines, and range of possible outcomes of the case

Negotiating with insurance companies, medical care billers, and other sources of costs or compensation

Representing the client in formal legal proceedings, including mediation and, when needed, trying the client’s case in court

Working on a contingency fee basis, meaning, clients only pay legal fees if the lawyer wins them compensation for the injury.

Q&A: What should I do if I've been hit by a drunk driver?

Immediately after a crash caused by a drunk driver that has left you injured, you need to:

  • Get medical treatment for your injuries immediately
  • Get documentation (e.g., photos, police report)of the crash and injuries
  • Talk with a local lawyer experienced in representing victims of drunk drivers.

The car crash and truck accident lawyers here at McMinn Law Firm have a strong track record for fighting for compensation for DWI accident victims. You pay no legal fees unless your case results in a financial settlement to you. We provide a no-obligation, free case evaluation at your home or our office, or at the hospital; call the office, use the live chat on the website, or submit a free case evaluation form from the website. We’d like to help. If you or a loved one is hurt in a drunk driving crash you can seek compensation for injuries, loss of work, or reparation fees for the pain or trauma involved. Insurance companies of drunk drivers who have been involved in an accident often try to cheat the injured person out of the compensation they truly deserve. They do this by attempting to limit the person’s recovery to smallest amount by coming to a quick settlement with the victim. Thus, allowing the insurance company to steer clear of any future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages.

Q&A: What kind of documentation of my injury is the most important?

One of the initial things that a person should do after he or she is injured is record everything that he or she can about his or her accident and its impact on his/her daily life. It could be tempting to rely on memory but actual written notes usually prove very critical to receiving financial compensation for losses suffered as a result of an injury. See our Checklist to ensure you don’t leave out any important information when documenting your personal injury.You may need to keep a record of documents such as Police Reports, Medical Bills, Pictures and Video from the Crash, and a Journal of the Crash.

Q&A: What happens after an accident with an uninsured driver?

In Texas, if you are hurt in a car accident in which the at-fault driver is uninsured, the uninsured, at-fault driver will be ticketed or taken to jail. If your insurance covers accidents involving an uninsured driver, you can make a claim for loss and damage. How much you are able to recover depends on many factors. It’s a good idea to take advantage of a free case evaluation offered by personal injury attorneys, Jason and Justin McMinn. An experienced lawyer could help you navigate the many procedural aspects of recovering an appropriate settlement from your insurance company after a devastating accident with an uninsured driver.

Q&A: Who can sue for wrongful death in Texas?

Texas law makes answering the question of who can sue a little difficult. In our state, the only people who can sue for wrongful death are the deceased’s children, spouse or parents. This means that brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends and unmarried romantic partners have no legal recourse if their loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence. This rule gets more complicated, though, in the case of common law marriages, separations, stepparents, foster parents and adopted children. In most cases, a common law spouse or the separated spouse can bring a wrongful death case. Stepparents and foster parents are not permitted to bring wrongful death suits, though parents of legally adopted children can bring a suit. A child who has been adopted is only permitted to bring a wrongful death suit for his or her adopted parents, not their biological parents.

Q&A: Can a Rideshare ( Uber, Lyft, RideAustin) Passenger File a Personal Injury Claim?

The short answer is yes. Whether a crash is the fault of the rideshare driver or another driver, as a passenger you have the right to pursue compensation for injuries from the wreck. To understand your options, we recommend you talk with a car accident lawyer experienced in rideshare crash cases in Austin; a good first step is a free case evaluation from McMinn Law Firm.

Q&A: How do I get my car repaired?

An adjuster from the other party’s insurance company will be able to assess damages to the physical property. First an investigation of liability will be initiated. If they accept full liability of the crash, then an appraiser will asses the value of damages to the vehicle. The insurance adjuster will either write you a check or pay the body shop for repairs of the damage. It’s also possible that the car is totalled and the vehicle’s value will need to be assessed. If this was your only method of transportation, they should authorize a vehicle rental for you once they accept liability. In most cases a personal injury lawyer will focus on handling the injury claims. They may assist with property damage claims, but these relatively simple claims can be generally be handled without an attorney’s assistance.

Q&A: Do you need legal help?
When you experience a serious accident, deciding whether to engage a personal injury attorney on your behalf can seem difficult but in reality is simpler. Since there are no out-of-pocket costs, allowing a personal injury attorney from McMinn Law Firm to help with your case is a simple choice. Engaging a lawyer from McMinn Law Firm will provide you your family with the opportunity to concentrate on the physical and emotional recovery from your injuries while assuring that your case is handled forcefully and adequately. Justin and Jason McMinn are qualified personal injury lawyers who will counsel you in determining whether a settlement or a trial would be the best strategy to employ for your unique case. During the legal process, our Austin lawyers stand up for your rights, delving into all the possible causes of your injury and helping to bring the guilty party to justice.
Q&A: How do I decide on a personal injury lawyer?
Most people search online for a lawyer. Reading client reviews on Google, Facebook, Avvo or Yelp is a good way to get a feel for a particular lawyer. Others ask friends to find recommendations for a personal injury lawyer. As a rule of thumb, look for personal injury lawyers who have no up-front payment, can respond to phone calls and emails quickly, a competitive contingency fee rate, and who have a vast understanding of how to get maximum fair compensation in your case.
Q&A: What should you prepare to get the most benefit from my free initial consultation?
First, bringing any and all relevant documentation will help us give you an accurate assessment of your situation. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and are coming in for a personal injury consultation, bring any paperwork from the mechanic, medical treatment documentation, a copy of the police report and any witness information. Constructing a timetable of the events in question prior to your consultation will provide a sound, clear starting place for the McMinn attorneys. Prepare yourself to be thorough and honest; we need all the facts to help you as completely and effectively as possible. We recommend documenting your personal injury as early as possible, including at the site of the crash if possible. Even if you choose not to hire McMinn Law after this consultation, everything discussed still falls under attorney/client privilege, keeping your sensitive information confidential. Finally, prepare a list of questions and be ready to ask them. This is, after all, meant to give you answers and clear the way for your legal plan of action.
Q&A: What are the stages of a personal injury case?

While there is no formula for a successful personal injury case, most cases will follow five basic steps.

  • Treat injuries
  • Hire a lawyer
  • Continue treating injuries and document case
  • Negotiations
  • Settlement … OR
  • Trial

Remember, it is important to treat injuries before even before you settle on a lawyer or determine if you need legal help. Not only will your physical recovery take longer the more time you wait, but a gap in treatment will cast doubt on the authenticity of your case.

Q&A: Do personal injury cases always end up in court?
No. Many personal injury cases are settled out of court. Typically when a case settles out of court, an accident victim can get the financial resources they need faster to pay off medical bills. If an attorney can reach a fair settlement with the insurance provider, the case will typically wrap up. In personal injury law, cases will go to court if it is necessary to bring the guilty party to justice.
Q&A: Do I really need a lawyer? Can't I just represent myself?

If you were injured in an accident and it was not your fault, it is a good idea to consult with a local personal injury lawyer. However there are a few situations in which you may already have adequate coverage or you can represent yourself. If you were not injured in an accident, the claim can be settled without a lawyer’s help by communicating with insurance adjusters. A second situation may occur if the accident was your fault. If you caused the accident, your insurance company will assign one of their attorneys to defend you. In short: if you were seriously injured by another party, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer. If you were at fault or did not sustain injuries there’s no need to hire a lawyer.

Q&A: Will my lawyer loan me money for my bills?

When you’re unable to work because of your personal injury, you may be faced with difficult decisions related to how you will pay for groceries, mortgages, utility bills, and/or other household bills. Your personal injury lawyer can seek compensation for you for wages lost as a result of the limitations imposed by treatment and recovery periods needed as a result of your injury. Usually those efforts take the form of a claim for lost wages.

Q&A: Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering?

No matter how much pressure you may feel from the adjuster, do not accept a settlement from your insurance company before you speak with a personal injury lawyer. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster’s job is to protect the bottom-line of the insurance company. Even though they were assigned to your case, their main reason for employment is reduce costs for the insurance company. Speak with a lawyer about your options first – there are no risks or fees when you meet with a lawyer for a free consultation.

Q&A: Why would I need a lawyer if my insurance adjuster is negotiating for me?

An injury lawyer is hired by you to represent you, with the goal of getting you the recovery and compensation you deserve for your injury. Insurance company employees, on the other hand, handling your claim may know you and your case, but it is not their job to advocate for you. Instead, your claims adjuster’s job is to keep costs paid on your claim as low as possible for the insurance company. Also, often insurance companies allocate their most qualified and experienced adjusters to talk only with lawyers, not with policyholders. So a lawyer may be more able to work within the insurance company administration to get a better outcome for you.

Q&A: Why does Texas have damage caps?

It is easier to understand where there are caps, than to understand why there are caps. Damage caps exist in medical malpractice lawsuits, lawsuits involving punitive damages, and lawsuits against government entities. In 2003 Texas passed the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act to limit the maximum amount of money a person can receive for non-economic damages.

Q&A: What is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

Pain and suffering refers to the physical, mental, and emotional pain and distress from an injury. Examples include aches and discomfort persisting after an injury is treated, temporary and permanent limitation on activity, potential shortening of life, insomnia, depression, and anguish from scarring. An amateur soccer player’s emotional pain from the loss of ability to play the game she loves would be a type of pain and suffering.

Q&A: How much will my case cost?

Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn at Mcminn take personal injury and accident cases on a contingency basis. Our compensation is based on a percentage of the settlement and award amount you receive if you do receive one.  We don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement; this means you won’t have out-of-pocket fees to McMinn Law Firm.

Q&A: Should I settle or go to court?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to settle or take your case to court. Some considerations can include the cost of a trial, speed of a case, and whether or not the case can be settled fairly. Costs: attorneys fees, expert witnesses, travel and more can add up during a trial, and trials can create stress for many personal injury victims. If you choose to settle your case, you won’t have to worry about additional fees or stress. Speed of case: Settlements end your case faster. Trials can sometimes last a long time, and the appeals process can drag out the time frame even further. In addition, it will be final. No one can appeal a settlement. Fair settlement: If the defendant’s offer is unfair, court may be the solution. As we said above, settlements are final, so you want to be sure the settlement is something you can live with.

Q&A: What is a contingent fee agreement?

A contingent (or contingency) fee agreement means the client / plaintiff only pays their personal injury lawyer a fee if the attorney recovers a financial settlement for the client. The contingency fee arrangement is an important part of how personal injury lawyers can help clients. Other types of lawyers charge hourly fees that many potential clients could not afford. Personal injury lawyers do not require clients to be able to pay fees out of pocket. In the contingency fee structure, the client and lawyer agree beforehand on a percentage of the settlement that will be paid as fee to the lawyer.

Q&A: What compensation can come from a wrongful death claim?

In wrongful death cases, the family of the deceased or their estate can receive compensation in for medical and funeral expenses. Other damages such as, lost earning and financial support for the surviving spouse and children can be recovered. There can also be compensation for emotional distress, especially if the survivor witnessed the accident or negligent that caused to the death of the deceased. Other issues to bring before the court would be Loss of Consortium and comfort. Due to the significant compensation paid to the families of wrongful death cases, the litigation can be complex. We will begin an immediate investigation into your case to ensure that necessary evidence is preserved. Our attorneys will work with experts including accident re-constructionists who can assess the pain and suffering caused to the victim, and forensic accountants who can make an immediate and long-term evaluation of your economic losses. When your family suffers, you need attorneys who can provide the aggressive and effective advocacy you need to get results.

Q&A: How are damages calculated in a bicycle accident case?

Two types of damages – economic and non-economic – are calculated in a bicycle accident case. Economic damages include costs of medications, surgery, or hospitalizations following the accident, as well as lost wages. An amount also may be assessed for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which may be determined as a multiplier of the general economic damages.

Recent Personal Injury Case Results

The McMinn Law Firm has helped injured Austinites for fifteen years, winning over 100 million dollars in settlements to date.

Uninsured Motorist Accident

$350,000

Drunk Driver Accident

$1,300,000

Truck Accident Victim

$1,200,000

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Waiting To Help You

We specialise representing clients in the following areas, we are waiting to help you on your personal injury case.

Personal Injury Lawyer

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Austin Car Accident

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Motorcycle Accident

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Ride Share Accident

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Truck Accident Lawyer

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18 Wheeler Accident

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Employment Accident

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Catastrophic Injuries

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Our Awards

Better Business Bureau (BBB) bases its ratings on information provided by the business, and on public data sources. McMinn Law Firm's A+ rating is the highest available.
In the years 2013-2014 and 2016-2019, Justin McMinn has been selected each year as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. Jason McMinn has been selected as a Super Lawyer in 2020.
Expertise.com, a company that evaluates and recommends local service professionals, placed McMinn Law Firm on their list of 20 recommended car accident attorneys in Austin.

What Past Clients Are Saying

"Jason, Justin, and their entire support team represented me in an accident involving an 18 wheeler. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, and maybe as importantly, the service along the way was something you would want as a client, their entire team was amazing! I can with great confidence recommend them to friends, family, and to anyone who happens to read this. Thank you McMinn Law Firm for a job well done!"

- Charles

"The McMinns were amazing. Within two days of my accident – and still barely able to move – I received a visit to my house for personal consultation (on a Saturday). All the initial feedback about my potential case turned out to be 100% accurate, and when it finally came time to settle they didn’t back off an inch. …If you’re hurt, make the call."

- Harry

"I was rear ended by a large truck. Am thankful for Justin and Jason and their team and all the hard work they put into resolving my case! I highly recommend that you contact them if you’re injured in a wreck!"

- Lori M.

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