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dallas-car-crash-attorney.jpgEveryone has encountered a driver with road rage at some point. If someone aggressively cuts you off, makes rude hand gestures, uses their vehicle to block your path, or yells at you out their window, you are likely dealing with road rage. Studies show that since the pandemic began, instances of road rage have increased quite a bit. Perhaps this is because people became accustomed to the lighter traffic and are having difficulty adjusting to the return of rush hour. Whatever the reason, all drivers should know how to respond to road rage when it is directed at them. While it is not always possible to prevent a road-raging driver from causing a car accident and hurting you, taking the right steps can help keep you safer before, during, and after a road rage crash. If you were injured by a driver with road rage, our lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation. 

Addressing Road Rage Before an Accident

As soon as you become aware that another driver’s road rage is directed at you, you can begin taking steps to avoid or mitigate an accident. You could: 

  • Change course - If you can, make a turn to get away from the driver. 

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dallas-dui-accident-lawyer.jpgWhile bars and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises can be held liable for a drunk driving accident their customer caused fairly easily, social hosts are only liable under very limited circumstances. “Social host” refers to anyone other than a licensed drinking establishment who provides alcohol to their guests. An individual throwing a party in their home and providing alcohol is the classic example of a social host. Generally, social hosts are not responsible for the conduct of their guests and cannot be held liable for the harm caused by someone who drives away drunk and gets in an accident. However, under some limited circumstances, you may have a right to pursue compensation from a social host. An attorney can help you determine which parties to file a claim against. 

What if a Social Host Serves a Minor?

If a social host knowingly serves an unrelated minor under eighteen years old, they may be liable if the minor goes on to harm someone else due to their intoxication. This often happens when parents of teenagers permit their child to throw a party and provide alcohol. Adults should know better than to give alcohol to children, who are likely unequipped to behave responsibly while intoxicated. Adults who serve alcohol to minors may be held liable for harm caused by the intoxicated minors. 

What if a Social Host Keeps Serving Someone Who is Extremely Intoxicated?

Another situation where a social host may be liable for a drunk driving accident caused by their guest is when the host overserves an already-intoxicated guest. For this rule of law to come into play, the guest being served must have been obviously intoxicated to the point where the host should have realized that the guest was a danger to themselves or others. For example, if a party guest has already fallen over or vomited and the host continues giving them alcohol, then the host may be liable for an accident caused by the guest. This is common at parties thrown by young adults who have not yet learned to respect their limits and others’ limits. 

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Dallas car crash lawyersYou are probably familiar with the term “hit-and-run” referring to a car accident. In a hit-and-run, a careless driver crashes into another vehicle and then takes off. A miss-and-run is somewhat similar in that a careless driver causes a car accident and flees the scene. However, in a miss-and-run, the careless driver does not actually crash into you, but forces you to crash without making physical contact.

This type of accident can take several forms. It may be more challenging to prove a miss-and-run than a hit-and-run, but with a careful investigation, it can be done. Even if the other driver cannot be identified, you may still be able to recover compensation. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you can after a miss-and-run. The sooner the investigation starts, the more evidence is likely to be available. 

How Do Miss-and-Run Crashes Happen?

You might also hear miss-and-run accidents referred to as “phantom driver” crashes. This is because it is often difficult to track down the person responsible for the crash. However, there are still ways you can recover, typically through your own insurance company. Miss-and-run accidents may happen in ways like: 

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Dallas car accident lawyerCar accidents can easily exacerbate an existing injury. Those who are already recovering from an acute injury or managing a chronic injury may be particularly vulnerable during a motor vehicle crash. If a negligent driver hit you and managed to make an injury you already had worse, you may be wondering how your claim will work.

The good news is that even if you were already hurt, the at-fault driver is still responsible for the change in your condition. They cannot escape liability by arguing that you already had an injury if their actions worsened it in any way. Handling your claim may be just a little bit more complicated, as you will need to calculate the costs and expenses associated with the exacerbation. It is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in this case. 

What is the Eggshell Skull Rule?

In law, there is something called the Eggshell Skull rule to address exactly the type of situation where a negligent defendant has worsened the plaintiff’s existing condition or injury. Generally, the rule is that when someone carelessly injures another person, they are responsible for the entire amount of harm that they caused, even if the victim was particularly susceptible due to an existing condition. 

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Dallas car crash injury lawyerInsurance companies have one goal after a car accident: to settle your claim for the lowest dollar amount possible. They are quite skilled at this. The insurance company representative who calls you shortly after your crash may sound caring and friendly, but this does not mean that they will actually be able to help you. You are talking to a professional who is likely to be trained in high-pressure tactics designed to force you into taking an unfairly low settlement. When you have been injured and are still recovering, it may seem convenient for you to simply take a settlement offer and be done with it. However, this is rarely as good an idea as it might seem at the time. Your best bet is to work with an attorney who is prepared to advocate for you and protect your interests. 

Why You Should Have Legal Representation After a Car Crash

There are risks associated with trying to deal with insurance alone after you have been hurt in a car accident. An attorney who has more experience working out fair settlements that fully compensate accident victims can take steps to protect you.

The risks of handling a potential settlement without legal assistance include: 

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Dallas car crash injury attorneyNot all that long ago, personal injury claims were structured much differently than they are now. Nearly all states used to practice what is known as “pure contributory negligence.” The rule of pure contributory negligence states that a person who is in any way at fault for their injury cannot recover damages from the responsible party. Even if the person seeking compensation was only minorly at fault for an accident, they would be barred from being awarded damages for their injury. Most states—including Texas—have enacted some type of comparative negligence rule, allowing the claimant to recover compensation, even if they had a portion of liability.

Understanding Proportionate Responsibility

Rather than comparative negligence, the state of Texas uses the term “proportionate responsibility,” but they mean the same thing. Different states have different percentage amounts that a claimant can be liable for before they are barred from receiving compensation. In Texas, this is referred to as the “51 percent bar” because a claimant can still recover compensation from another person if they are 50 percent or less liable for the accident that caused their injuries.

Calculating Proportionate Responsibility Award Amounts

In cases that involve a claimant who is partially responsible for their accident, the jury is instructed to compare both parties’ negligence and come up with whole number percentage amounts that assign liability to each party. Consider a situation, for example, in which two people get into a car accident and the jury determines that the claimant is 20 percent liable for the accident and the other party is 80 percent liable for the accident. After all of the evidence is presented, it is determined that the claimant suffered $500,000 in losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The amount the claimant is entitled to collect would be reduced by 20 percent, leaving the other party only responsible for paying 80 percent, or $400,000.  

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Dallas personal injury lawyerThe costs of being hit by a negligent driver can far exceed the value of your vehicle and medical bills. When you stop and think about every expense or financial loss you would not be dealing with if it were not for your car accident, it  probably adds up more than you might have initially realized. The good news is that you can recover damages for quite a few different types of losses. The car insurance company is not likely to make an offer that fully compensates you if you try to negotiate with them alone. Before you speak with an insurance company, be sure to speak with an attorney who can give you a better idea of what your claim might actually be worth. 

What Types of Damages Can I Recover After an Auto Accident?

You probably already know that you can recover the cost of your medical bills and the cost of repairing or totaling out your vehicle. You may also be able to recover: 

  • Lost wages - If you had to take time away from work, you could recover the full amount of pay you lost. This can be a big deal for those who were kept away from work for a long period of time due to a long-term injury. In Texas, this can even include any income you will lose in the future. If you suffered permanent disability or had to change your career and are now getting paid less, these amounts may be compensable - and quite significant. 
  • Pain and suffering - This includes both physical and emotional harm. The amount you could receive will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries. Future suffering can be factored in if you have a long-term painful injury. Emotional anguish can count as well. Car accidents can be frightening or even traumatic. Accident victims often struggle with concerns like anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Loss of enjoyment of life due to disability or disfigurement can be compensable as well.
  • Punitive damages - These are less common. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault driver if he was grossly negligent - behaving with a reckless disregard for the safety of others around him. This could include extremely reckless actions like driving while very intoxicated, street racing, or traveling at a dangerously high speed. 

Always speak with an attorney before accepting a settlement. You deserve to be compensated for the full amount of losses you suffered. 

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Dallas County divorce attorneysIn rare cases—but maybe not as rare as you think—the state can be held liable for car accidents. Drivers have a duty to use appropriate care to avoid accidents. The state has a duty to make sure the roads are reasonably safe to drive on. When road conditions are dangerous in a way that the state has control over, the state could be held responsible for any injuries that occur. If you get hurt in an auto accident due to hazardous road conditions, you may want to speak to an attorney to determine whether the state may be liable. 

What Kind of Road Hazards Can Cause Crashes the State is Liable for?

The state of Texas is responsible for maintaining the roads in safe condition. When it does not, it can be held liable for the injuries it causes. The state could be liable to you if your accident was caused by hazards like:

  • Obstructed views - When you are trying to safely get through an intersection or exit a plaza, it is extremely important that you are able to see traffic coming from both directions, important signs, and anything else in your path. When bushes or trees are allowed to grow out of control, they can obstruct drivers’ view. This can lead to accidents as drivers cross paths with other vehicles they could not see. 
  • Night vision - Reflective paint should be used to mark lanes. When reflective paint has faded too much or was never used in the first place, it can become nearly impossible for drivers to see where their lane is when it is dark out. This can lead to collisions when drivers move out of their lane. 
  • Inadequate shoulders - When drivers experience a mechanical issue, a fender bender, or a situation inside the vehicle they need to address, the responsible thing to do is to pull off the road onto the shoulder. When a shoulder is present but too narrow, people who have pulled onto the shoulder may be in danger of getting hit by another vehicle. 
  • Road design - In a few cases, a road is so badly designed that accidents are nearly unavoidable. A curve that is too sharp and does not have a reduced speed limit, an intersection at the bottom of a steep hill, or dangerous lane-merging can render a road unsafe to drive on. 

If your injuries after a car accident may have been caused by the state’s negligence, an attorney may be able to help you recover damages. 

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Dallas non-subscriber work injury attorneyYou are probably familiar with workers’ compensation. It is a specialized type of insurance that most employers pay for so that if a worker gets injured on the job, the insurance company pays the claim. In most states, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers to carry. This is not the case in Texas. Some Texas employers opt-out of purchasing this type of insurance. These employers are referred to as non-subscribers. Should an employee of a non-subscriber become injured at work, the company itself may be liable to their injured employee. However, rather than simply filing a claim with an insurance company, you may need to take your employer to court. If you got hurt at work and your company does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you should prepare for a potential lawsuit and contact an attorney immediately. 

How is the Claims Process Different if my Employer is a Non-Subscriber?

Getting compensation for your workplace injury can be somewhat more difficult. You will most likely need help from a qualified attorney, as the process can be difficult to navigate and may require litigation. However, if your litigation is successful, there are a few distinct advantages of working for a non-subscriber. 

Some key differences include: 

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Dallas personal injury lawyerValentine’s Day is supposed to be a fun and romantic holiday. However, some of the enjoyable gifts we associate with the holiday can become dangerous. There are certain risks associated with any holiday - drunk driving is always a big one - and a few that are unique to Valentine’s Day. Some of these risks affect everyone. Others are more likely to affect children. If you or your child suffered any of these injuries on Valentine’s Day, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney to determine whether another party may be liable for your injuries. It is best to call a lawyer as soon are you are able to after your injury. The sooner an attorney can begin investigating your case, the easier it may be to build your case. 

What Valentine’s Day Injuries Might Someone Else Be Liable For?

Valentine’s Day is not typically thought of as a dangerous holiday, but it can be when people are negligent and celebrate in an unsafe manner. Common types of personal injuries on Valentine’s Day include: 

  • Fires - Candles can be quite romantic, creating a pleasant, nice-smelling atmosphere. However, they can also be dangerous. Those who live in apartments, duplexes, or townhomes are the most likely to be at risk of getting injured in a fire started by a careless neighbor who has placed a candle too close to a flammable object. Fires may also break out when people who do not typically do much cooking make an attempt at preparing a romantic dinner and do not succeed. 
  • Drunk driving - Many couples enjoy a bottle of wine or champagne on Valentine’s Day. Single adults may also indulge. This can become quite a problem if they attempt to drive themselves or their sweethearts home afterwards. Drunk driving accidents tend to increase a bit on this holiday. Few things are less romantic than a car crash and a trip to the emergency room. 
  • Choking - Toys and candies given to children on Valentine’s Day can sometimes become dangerous when choking hazards are present. Even some stuffed animals can be hazardous if they have plastic eyes or other parts that can detach and wind up in a young child’s mouth. Children’s toys should generally be free of choking hazards.

Fun and romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations can quickly turn dangerous when appropriate caution is not exercised. If you or your child were harmed this holiday by someone else’s negligence, make sure you seek immediate medical attention - then call a personal injury lawyer. 

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dallas truck accident lawyerMost parents, when asked whether they would allow their teenager to drive a tractor-trailer, would probably answer with a resounding “no.” However, a new law has gone into effect that will allow people as young as 18 years old to drive semi-trucks across state lines. While most states allow some semi-truck operation by those under 21 years old, they have traditionally been restricted from long-haul drives that take them out of the state. The danger associated with these enormous vehicles has many people concerned that the highways could become less safe with the passage of this new law. 

If you are injured in a big rig accident, it is important to seek prompt medical attention and then call an attorney. The sooner your lawyer can start investigating the crash on your behalf, the more likely it is that critical evidence at the scene of the accident will be found and properly documented in time. 

Why Was This Law Passed?

The short answer is that there is a labor shortage across the board, in nearly all industries, including commercial trucking. When trucks are not running because there is no one to drive them, deliveries do not get made, and then you start to see empty shelves at the supermarket. Lawmakers hope to expand the labor force available to drive trucks in order to keep the supply chain moving. 

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shutterstock_1700575525.jpgPremises liability is a relatively broad category in civil lawsuits. Generally, if you got hurt on someone else’s property, including in a place of business, your injury likely falls under the umbrella of premises liability. Most of these lawsuits are the result of some type of accident, but premises liability also covers some limited cases involving intentional injuries, like those sustained during an assault. Deciding who is liable for these types of often very serious injuries can sometimes be complicated, especially when multiple careless actors or product defects come into play. 

If you were hurt while on another’s property, speaking to an attorney may be the first step towards recovering possible compensation. 

What Types of Incidents Lead to Premises Liability Claims?

All sorts of accidents, mishaps, and even crimes can happen when a business or property owner fails to keep his premises reasonably safe. That said, there are a few broad categories of personal injuries that often lead to a lawsuit grounded in premises liability. They include:

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dallas personal injury lawyerYou have probably been told many times what to do after a motor vehicle accident if you were driving. However, few would know what steps to take after being hit by a car as a pedestrian. In many cases, the pedestrian is transported to the hospital by ambulance immediately after the accident and is unable to even exchange information with the driver at the scene. One of the smartest things you can do after getting hit by a car, as soon as you are able, is to contact an attorney. A qualified lawyer can take over investigating the accident and building your case while you recover. 

What to Do if You Are Hit by a Car While Walking

Accidents between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian tend to cause severe injuries. Recovering compensation for all your costs such as medical expenses and lost wages can be very important, as these costs can be quite high. Steps you can take to help preserve your claim and set you on the path to receiving compensation include: 

  • Emergency care - It is crucial that you seek medical care after getting hit by a car. Injuries that may not be readily apparent, like internal bleeding and head trauma, are common. The adrenaline rush you may experience can temporarily block pain, making it more difficult to tell if you are injured right away. You will need to be fully evaluated by a doctor after this type of accident. 

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dallas car accident lawyerAfter a car accident, it may seem like your to-do list is neverending. You may have doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, and even counseling appointments, all on top of arranging to have your car repaired or replaced. When a car insurance company calls you about the accident, it may be tempting to simply get the conversation over with as quickly as possible so you can get back to everything else. However, doing so could affect your claim. 

Before you speak with an insurance company, you may want to speak to a lawyer. An attorney who is experienced with car accident cases can protect your interests during any dealings with insurance agents. 

What Should I Keep in Mind When an Insurance Company Calls?

Most people receive a phone call from insurance within a few days of the crash. This is hardly enough time for many accident victims to recuperate from the accident and adequately prepare for the conversation. When insurance calls you about an accident, remember these tips: 

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dallas personal injury lawyerAfter a car accident, the faster you act, the better. The sooner you start the process of seeking compensation, the more likely it is that needed evidence will be easily located and preserved. However, it is not always possible to act right after a car accident. Delayed injuries may not be easily attributed to the crash for some time, and people under legal disability often cannot file a lawsuit right away. While the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years in Texas, there are a variety of situations that may extend that limit. If you were hurt in a car accident, whether recently or last year, it may be wise to speak to a qualified attorney when you are able. 

What is the Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations? 

In Texas, the general rule is that you have two years from the date of the crash to file a complaint with the court. Statutes of limitations serve an important purpose. Years after a car crash, much of the evidence has probably been lost and witnesses have likely forgotten what they saw. Despite this proof problem, there are a few exceptions for special cases where the statute of limitations can be paused, including: 

  • Minors - Because minors do not have the legal ability to file a lawsuit on their own behalf immediately, the statute of limitations pauses until they have turned 18 years old. From the date of their 18th birthday, the minor then has two years to initiate a lawsuit. 

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texas work injury lawyerTexas is the only state in the nation that does not require employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation. In every other state, an injured employee’s only recourse is through workers compensation. In Texas, however, an injured employee who works for a non-subscribing employer has the right to sue for compensation. Interestingly, workers have the upper hand in non-subscriber injury cases in one key way - the employer’s defenses are limited. 

If you were hurt on the job and your employer is a non-subscriber, it is very important that you talk to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will want to begin his own investigation without delay, and will be able to tell you if any of these restricted defenses could help your case. 

Which Defenses are Unavailable to a Non-Subscribing Employer? 

Employers who subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance have a few defenses available to them that non-subscribers cannot use. If your employer is a non-subscriber, they cannot raise any of these defenses: 

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TX injury lawyerIt is a commonly quoted fact that you are more likely to get into a car accident on your way to or from the airport than you are to get in a plane crash. This is very true - the sheer amount of traffic around airports can increase the risk of an accident. The commonality of car accidents near airports presents a danger to locals and travelers alike. If you were hurt in a car accident near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you will want to contact a lawyer with experience handling car accident cases in the area as soon as you can. Evidence like road debris tends to be cleaned up - and lost - rapidly after an accident on a busy road. You will need your lawyer to begin his investigation promptly.

What Dangerous Driving Behaviors Cause Accidents Near Airports?

Anyone who has traveled by air in modern times knows what a chaotic hassle the entire experience can be. However, this is no excuse for drivers to drive carelessly on their way to or from the airport. Here are some common problematic driving behaviors that often cause accidents near airports:

  • Rushing and speeding - Drivers who are running late for their flight are prone to speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, and taking other risky actions in an effort to get to the airport on time. Locals may also become frustrated with airport traffic and try to speed through it.
  • Unfamiliar roads - Thousands of visitors to the Dallas/ Fort Worth area rent vehicles at the airport and run into trouble with navigation. People driving in an area they are not familiar with may not see their exit coming up and abruptly swerve, or start to get off at the wrong exit and back up. Or, they may overcorrect to avoid making a wrong turn.
  • Exhaustion - Between jet lag, early or late flight times, and the general tiredness that travel brings can cause drowsy drivers to get into an accident.
  • Distraction - People rushing to make a flight tend to be distracted. They may take their eyes off the road to attend to their children in the backseat, check on luggage, look at their flight schedule, or text someone an update.
  • Intoxication - Vacationers and business travelers alike tend to imbibe during travel. Some people feel that alcohol or drugs calm them down if they are nervous fliers. However, a calm airline passenger is not a safe driver if substances were involved.

While many of these factors are understandable, none of them is an excuse for causing a car accident and injuring someone.

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IL injury attorneyAfter a car accident, it can be hard to think clearly. You might be in shock and have trouble remembering what you need to do between moving your car off the road, making sure everyone is okay, and trying to get insurance information from the other driver. One step should never be skipped - filing a police report. In Texas, drivers involved in an accident are required to report the crash to police if someone is injured, or if there is more than $1,000 in property damage. Beyond that, it is a good idea for preserving your claim should you later decide to seek compensation. If you have been hurt in a car crash, calling an attorney soon after the accident should also be a priority.

How Can a Police Report Help?

Besides keeping you out of legal trouble for failing to report an accident, there are a few reasons you should always file a police report after a car crash. A police report is sometimes the single most important piece of evidence in car crash litigation. Even if you do not think you will want to pursue compensation, it is important to have the police take a report anyway. Here is why:

  • Neutral Perspective - Two drivers involved in an accident often tell wildly different stories about how the accident happened when questioned. The police can serve as a neutral third party who will document what they think happened during the wreck, so it will be harder for the other driver to push their version of events later.
  • Preserving Evidence - Especially in more serious crashes, police may be able to document evidence from the scene of the crash that could help your case later.
  • Criminal Matters - If the other driver was DUI, driving recklessly, or committing another crime behind the wheel, police may arrest or ticket him. This can help you prove that the other driver was negligent in causing the wreck.
  • Weight of Evidence - Statements made by police officers are frequently considered more trustworthy than statements made by other bystanders or involved parties. Insurance companies may take the word of a police officer with little question.

Call a Dallas County Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident, file a police report - then call an attorney. Jerry D. Andrews is experienced in helping car crash victims pursue compensation. Our Dallas car crash lawyers will fight for you to receive all the compensation you may be entitled to after an accident. Call 214-221-5800 for a free consultation.

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Carrollton Catastrophic Injury LawyerThe owner or manager of a building that includes a stairway has a duty to maintain that stairway in a safe condition. When they fail, very serious accidents can occur. Life-altering harm like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries can occur when a person falls down the stairs. In some tragic cases, stairway accidents can even be fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured on an unsafe stairway, a lawyer may be able to recover compensation. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a stairway accident. 

What is Considered a Dangerous Condition on a Stairway? 

A number of conditions can render a stairway unsafe, and the premises owner is responsible for making sure these conditions do not exist. The premises owner may be found negligent and ordered to compensate the injured parties if any of the following dangerous conditions exist: 

  • Low Lighting - If a person using the stairway cannot see very well, they are at a higher risk of tripping or falling and getting hurt. Stairways must be kept well-lit. 

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Carrollton Personal Injury AttorneyRight after you have been in a car accident, you may be feeling a rush of emotions. You are likely experiencing an adrenaline rush, which can act as a natural painkiller and make injuries harder to notice. Even if you do not feel pain right away, or see any visible marks on your body, you may still be injured and it is even possible that those injuries are serious. Symptoms of some injuries may not appear for hours or even days. 

It is very important to get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, whether you initially think you are injured or not. A knowledgeable car crash attorney will be able to begin preserving evidence that may be vital if you decide to file a claim later. 

What Car Crash Injuries Might Have Delayed Symptoms? 

Even if you did get medical care soon after the accident and did not seem to be injured, you should remain vigilant for new symptoms over the next several days. Injuries that may not appear immediately include: 

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