Most Common Questions
after an Accident
We often see this from two sources- inflammation around the spine or a compressed nerve root around the spine. Both are serious and require immediate consultation with a MD and Chiropractor. Most of the time these complaints must be explored by an MRI, however only a MD or Chiropractor can make a referral for imaging.
Absolutely. It is very important that you have your injuries documented after an accident as soon as possible. It is best to do this as soon as possible so that the insurance carrier cannot claim you made up your injuries.
Most of our clients suffer from neck or back pain if not both after an accident.
The most common symptoms we see with a serious spine injury are numbness and tingling down our clients’ arms and legs. This is often referred to as radiating pain.
When our clients tell us they have radiating pain, we immediately have them sent to our Medical Doctors who specialize in spine pain. In DFW, majority our of our clients can see our spine group within a few business days and within 24 hours if they also see a chiropractor.
Concussions, easily. Whiplash or even hitting your head on the steering wheel is common. For years concussion specialists weren’t seeing auto accident victims. Recently we have started working with great doctors here in DFW that we can now send our clients if they experience headaches after an impact.
In Texas you have 2 years to settle or file suit after an accident. However, when you go to settle your case you have to convince either a jury or insurance adjuster that your treatment was “reasonable”.
The concern for attorneys is that the longer you wait for medical treatment, the more likely someone judging your case will say you waited too long and the treatment was “unreasonable”.
The short answer is, do not wait more than a month. However, if you do for some reason, be sure to speak to several attorneys and get their opinion on your treatment timeline.
The average is typically 3-4 months. But, if we speak to a client who is 4 months into rehab and still in pain then we will start talking about seeing an ortho specialist because it’s likely they have a serious injury.
Most of them across Texas do. If you take an Uber, I will reimburse you usually.
After an accident or a fall, it is usually due to whiplash. I have handled over 100,000 insurance claims and injuries. I am not a medical doctor but time and time again our clients have these injuries. We immediately at no charge to our clients upfront, send our clients to a MD to see if a MRI is necessary. Generally, a MRI can not be ordered unless you are having radiating pain. These symptoms are signs of radiating pain. A MRI will tell the MD if you are having nerve root compression which is often the reason for the tingling sensation. If you are having this after an accident, call an attorney ASAP.
Some people never get better. A lot of people call us 3 weeks after an accident and still in pain. The good news is most people get better once they see our doctors.
Health Insurance & Medical Bills
If you are injured you should always go to the doctor, even if you don’t have health insurance. Most of our clients do not have health insurance and are set up with our doctors so that they don’t have to pay to get treatment. We can get most clients into see one of our doctors within 24 hours.
If you did not cause the accident, you should not have to use your own cash to fix the situation. This includes paying co-pays and deductibles. We use our own network of doctors who agree to take nothing upfront and only get paid after settlement of the case so that you don’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket.
The at fault party will have to pay this after they accept responsibility. If you hire an attorney, they should be negotiating this bill for you at the end of the case.
When a hospital finds out you were in an accident, they have a legal right to file a lien against your insurance claim to make sure they get paid before you settle your claim.
This is one reason people hire an accident attorney. There are now legal protections in Texas that allow us to reduce those bills in some instances so that our clients do recover something out of a settlement.
Yes, every bill is negotiable and a good attorney will negotiate them down for you.
The amount of the reduction depends on the amount of the settlement in most states. However, on average we try for a 50-60% reduction and in the past, I have had debt reduced for some clients up to 90%.
Many doctors you see like your PCP will not see you if you tell them you were in an auto accident. However, you can see our doctor tomorrow at no upfront cost.
In Texas, medical bills are included in your bodily injury settlement or release from an insurance carrier. You must submit them in an itemized format to the carrier with proper insurance coding. YOU CAN NOT SEND THEM YOUR EOB FROM YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE CARRIER. You also can’t send them your ER discharge paperwork. We get all bills and records within 30 days of you ending treatment at a provider. Claimants who hire a law firm will generally get paid more and faster than when handling the claim themselves.
In most states, you are given an offer based on your pain and suffering plus medical bills owed. So, the adjusters expect you to pay your medical bills out of the settlement.
No, only hospital bills when liens were filed which usually happens and you have to reimbursement your health insurance like medicare or BCBS.
Yes, if your payment is being held up by liens like a large ER bill we often get hired at a reduced % and jump in and negotiate those bills.
We practice in 7 different states and the statute of limitations varies greatly to file a lawsuit. It’s best that you tell us the facts of the case and we explain. For example, on some auto accidents in Texas your statute of limitations could be 2, 3 or even 4 years.
However, if you just want to file a claim with the insurance company that is slightly different but most carriers won’t pay you unless you are within the SOL.
In Texas you can sue or file suit for any amount you want. However, the better question would is there a limit to an insurance settlement in the United States.
The answer is always yes. Every insurance policy, whether home, life or auto, has some type of limit or ceiling. In some states there are penalties for not giving that insurance policy limit to a victim in a timely manner.
The minimum limit for auto policies varies by state. In Texas, every auto insurance policy issued has a minimum limit of at least $30,000. In Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio and Colorado, the minimum limit is $25,000. There are many options to get more than just one policy limit settlement so it is best to speak with an attorney to discuss your options.
Insurance carriers claim a Reservation of Rights or “ROR” because their insured is not cooperating with them after 30 days of trying to contact them to get the facts of the accident.
For example, you get hit by a driver who is covered by Progressive. He never returns Progressive’s calls to discuss what he was driving, when, where and how the accident happened. Progressive will claim a Reservation of Rights, stating that they do not have to pay your property damage or injury claim until they speak to their insured driver.
Essentially this is a loophole in insurance law. They know they are at fault but don’t have to pay anything. This weak action by an insurance carrier can be fixed by our law firm. Give us a call and we will get the Reservation of Rights lifted.
Most people think they are covered in all aspects of an accident; however, this is usually wrong. In most situations people are sold an auto insurance policy that only covers them for full coverage of property damage, not injury damages. There are two types of injury coverages everyone should have: Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured/Underinsured motorist injury coverage. In Texas these are elective policies that you have to ask for. They aren’t that expensive and are the only way to cover you in the event of a serious injury or hit and run.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an injury policy on your own insurance. It ranges from $2,500 to $10,000 and covers medical bills and lost wages. In Texas it is not mandatory to have and you must ask for it. With Personal injury protection you can collect on the coverage even if you are found at fault for the accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Injury coverage is also referred to as UM or UIM coverage. These cover you in two types of situations. One is a hit and run accident or being hit by an at fault driver who doesn’t have insurance. The other is when the at fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injury damages. Both pay for your medical damages and pain and suffering when there is not enough coverage from the at fault party.
For example: You are involved in an accident and break your leg, resulting in $100,000 in medical bills and lost wages, but the at fault driver only has $50,000 in coverages. There is very little you can do in Texas. But if you have $100,000 in UIM coverage then you would use that policy to collect a total of $150,000 instead of the $50,000.
Every Texan should have some type of UM/UIM Injury policy on their insurance if you can afford it. These limits range from $30,000 to the millions.
Fault is usually accepted in one of two ways. Either the driver admits fault, which rarely happens, or a police report or witness puts their driver at fault. State regulation allows them 30 days to investigate liability, but they often take between 5 to 10 days.
We file suit against everybody who can pay you!
Ride share accidents
Absolutely and you could have a very large policy to back you from Uber or Lyft. Give us a call and we can explain.
We represent Uber drivers and passengers in 11 states. Uber and Lyft both carry different policies in every state. However, most ride sharing policies are large and a passenger has up to three different settlement sources in an accident like this. Please give us a call so we can discuss the options.
You won’t if you call us first. The at fault insurance carrier should pay it but that’s only when they find themselves at fault. An attorney should be able to get liability accepted within 5 days.
Yes there are three options for a rental in most states. The insurance carriers are going to require that you have a proper driver’s license and auto insurance otherwise they will just cut a check for the “cost” of a rental. Because we employ 20+ attorneys who investigate your case immediately to get liability accepted, we usually can get the at fault party to put you in a rental car by day 5. If you can’t wait that long, you can pay for it yourself and get reimbursed either by us or the at fault insurance carrier. If you have rental insurance on your own auto insurance, you can pay your deductible and get into a rental within 24 hours. You will be reimbursed your deductible when the at fault insurance carrier accepts fault. Sometimes, we help with this as well.
Pain & Suffering
There is not a formula in Texas for pain and suffering. There are a lot of websites that will state you should get double this or triple that, but they are wrong. The insurance company has a computer that calculates an amount. Attorneys base the amount on their experience and jury verdicts. Ultimately, attorneys and insurance companies sort of meet in the middle.
A party that creates an injury to you has to pay you reasonable medical bill damages and pain and suffering. Medical bills are easy to prove once you have them. Pain and suffering is a little different. Medical records recorded by doctors are the main source for attorneys to prove P&S because those notes show us what is wrong how much pain you are in.
This is the number one question I get on my cases. The key is a surgeon or pain management specialist needs to recommend that based on their medical expertise that you will have future pain and what treatment you will need then how much that will cost. WITHOUT THIS, you cannot make this claim.
911 calls, witness statements, photos of the accident, the police report and the body camera video of the reporting officers. We get these on most cases. Most other firms do not because they don’t have as many attorneys as we do.
Call 911. Go to the ER. Take photos of the accident. Get the at fault drivers cell.
It depends on your injuries. If you never go to the ER or see a doctor, you can’t prove pain and suffering. The carrier would likely give $500 to go away. Go to a doctor, get a mri or xrays and complete physical therapy and the settlement could be Policy Limits if you hire the right attorney. The investigation and the medical work up determines the value of the case. Get the right attorney and your case can be a success.
TxDot crash report online system here
Every time! 80% of lost wages are paid and 20% taken out for taxes in Texas. In order to do right, you must have a doctor state on medical records that you need time off due to your injuries. If you don’t, you are unlikely to get reimbursed lost wages. Sending your recent taxes or a lost wage form to the insurance company attached with your work release will likely get you paid. We handle this for every client who makes this claim.
Find out if you have personal injury protection or medical payments and call us.
Yes, go as soon as possible and gather all of your personal belongings. While there take as many pictures as possible.
You only have an injury claim if you have an injury. If you don’t get medical treatment, there’s no medical documentation to prove an injury. Some people can have lost wages without getting medical treatment so there is a way to get a smaller injury settlement if you have lost wages but no medical treatment. The key is if you have medical treatment that documents your injuries, we will submit that documentation when you MAKE A FULL RECOVERY to an at fault party to get an offer. Some people need treatment for 3 weeks and others for 6 months. We try to get an offer 30-45 days after you end treatment. Often our clients can’t afford medical treatment so we set them up with doctors who generously agree to get paid at the end of the case. For most of Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Arkansas and Oklahoma these doctors can see our client’s within 24-48 hours.
We have seen law firms take 4-6 months to settle after treatment is complete, and the same timeframe for those who represent themselves as well. However, our team usually needs just 30-60 days for an offer and thorough review of the medical records. We don’t get paid until our client’s get paid so we move quickly.
Yes. We do not care what % anyone is at fault. This is a mechanism an insurance carrier created to make you believe you do not have a claim. Like every accident there is at least two options for settlements in Texas for any party involved. Call us and let us see if one or both still apply. This is how we see it: If you are 25% at fault and you get $30,000 is it any different if you were 0% at fault and get $30,000?
Free Consultation and Free Representation if we fail to reach an injury settlement. We work on a contingency basis meaning we take nothing upfront and ONLY WHEN we reach a settlement, we take a fee. There is no risk to you and you will see a doctor within 24-48 hours anywhere in the country.
Just like if you were in an accident in your home state, you want to call 911. Get the insurance information of the other driver and take pictures of their driver’s license and license plate, then go to a local ER.
Texas has a state-wide online police report system. It makes it easy to get the police report. However, states like Oklahoma or Arkansas don’t always have everything online. If you are from out of town it can be hard to get these locally at the police department. Since our firm has 18 locations across the country, we have a system for getting these types of reports quickly.
The easiest answer is both. Attorney Cagney McCormick is licensed in 8 states and our firm has several attorneys also licensed in multiple states. However, usually you want the most medical treatment right after the accident. If you are forced to make a decision, we suggest getting an attorney in the city you live in so they can arrange treatment. The case can always be referred out to someone in the state it happened in if needed.
A work injury case means that you are on the job or clocked in at work, and injured in some way.
This depends on if your company buys into the Texas Workers Comp plan. If a company does not buy into the Texas Workers Comp plan, we call them “non subscribers”. In our field of law, this is a big distinction and we look into it for every caller with a work injury.
This is actually very common, some of the largest companies in the world do not subscribe to Texas Workers Comp. If a company is a non subscriber we can file suit directly against your company if they are at fault for your injury. Then, we can help get you the medical attention you need from our own doctors.
This is another big distinction in our field of law. If this happens then you have a right to Texas Workers Comp treatment and then have an additional case to sue the at fault party for your injuries.
This is called retaliation, and it is illegal in Texas. We see this happen on at least 25% of our work injury cases. Most employers don’t even know you can’t do this. When this happens we file a retaliation lawsuit against your employer. This is an entirely different claim from your original case.
In Texas and most states, you have two settlements after an accident– Property damage and Injury settlement. The insurance carrier must accept fault after an investigation before they will fix your vehicle.
In Texas, a Police Report can take 5-7 business days to come out and assign fault. If the at fault driver doesn’t admit fault to their insurance, then you have to wait at least this long. The insurance carrier then has to make sure their driver and the car involved is on their insurance policy. Hopefully this is done while waiting for the police report.
If you can afford it, yes. Sometimes law firms like mine will help you pay it because going through your own carrier will make the process move much quicker. You could be in a rental car as soon as 24 hours, which is a big difference.
No, but you need to know you have limited options in this settlement. The longer you take to accept the longer it takes to get a working vehicle back and the insurance carrier knows this.
I have three toddlers and I can’t stress this enough:
DO NOT USE YOUR CAR SEAT AGAIN IF IT HAS EVER BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY TYPE OF AUTO ACCIDENT. YOU MUST THROW IT AWAY.
The insurance carrier has to pay for new car seats every time, and if you broke or cracked your phone in the accident they have to pay for a new phone. You would be surprised at how many broken phones I see of my clients.
Apartment Complex Injuries
With the recent boom in real estate and growth in Texas, we get asked this a lot. The answer is yes! Especially if the apartment complex knew about the issue and ignored it.
The most common accident is someone falling from a broken or defective stair. This can result in terrible injuries including broken legs and arms.
If you see a defective or broken stair or stair rail, you need to make a written complaint to your apartment complex and keep a record of it. This request for a safe premise is key to all of these cases.
You probably still have a good case, but it will take further investigation from a firm like the McCormick Law Firm to determine if the apartment complex should have known they had a defective and dangerous issue.
If your injury attorney can’t work out a settlement with an insurance adjuster then the firm should immediately file a lawsuit against the driver as well as possibly against owner of the vehicle that caused your accident.
I have filed over 5,000 lawsuits in ten years, I would say about 25% settle within weeks. Another 50% settle within 6 months and the rest about 6-24 months later.
This is a common practice in North Texas. For years, big advertising firms only signed up cases and settled the easy ones. They referred out the complicated cases to other law firms.
Attorney Cagney McCormick’s personal opinion is this you should want to hire out a firm that handles ALL cases not just the easy ones. The McCormick Law Firm employs over 20 attorneys so that we have the experience and expertise to handle all injury cases.
Remember, you have a right to refuse that transfer of your case and hire another firm that you trust.
The latest estimate was less than 1% of cases actually go to trial .
Covid has slowed down litigation greatly so that number may change.
Dog Bite Accidents
The majority of dog bite cases that we get in the DFW area are delivery delivers like Amazon, UPS or even Door Dash.
Traditionally though, dog bite cases in the area usually come from nannies, baby sitters or landscaping crews when a homeowner forgets to put a dog away.
Immediately call 911 and make a report.
Animal Control Services will usually get involved.
Unlike a car wreck where the officer’s make a report with insurance on there, a dog bite incident doesn’t usually come with insurance information.
Attorney Cagney McCormick recommend hiring an attorney to call the defendant and ask them for this information.
Yes, absolutely! Sometimes the injured party is knocked to the ground pretty hard and will need therapies to fix their spine or leg.
Often a MD is needed to manage wounds and even a plastic surgeon is often needed to do scar revisions. My office can help arrange all of this treatment.