Putting your life back together after an accident can be confusing, no matter the severity of your injury. If you’re filing a personal injury claim in Houston, TX, working with a seasoned personal injury lawyer can allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries instead of stressing over paperwork and insurance companies. However, even if the thought of handling your claim doesn’t overwhelm you, there are some situations where you’ll still want to consult a lawyer.
10 Situations Where You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX
1. You Want to Receive the Best Possible Settlement
Individuals who want to receive the maximum compensation for their injuries should hire a personal injury lawyer immediately following their accident. With a skilled lawyer managing your claim, the other party’s insurance company will be more willing to provide you with a fair settlement offer.
In addition, hiring a lawyer sends the message that you realize how severely you have been wronged and that you are ready to fight for what you deserve. Choosing to handle the claim yourself can make insurance companies believe, however unfairly, that you are naïve and unaware of what a fair settlement amount is for your situation.
2. You Have a Medical Malpractice Suit
Navigating a medical malpractice suit is complicated, and the average individual is not going to be able to understand the intricacies of malpractice law well enough to file a successful claim. Many laws regarding patient care and practitioner performance are designed to protect the doctor over the patient. Proving malpractice is challenging, and the slightest mistake could result in your claim being entirely dismissed.
Since many malpractice incidents occur while a patient is receiving care for a different ailment, you must be able to prove without a doubt that the medical professional’s actions caused your injury. If you have suffered damage from the action or negligence of a healthcare provider in Houston, TX, the only way to ensure you have a fair chance of getting reimbursement for your injuries is by working with a personal injury lawyer.
3. You Were Exposed to Toxic or Damaging Chemicals
Whether you experienced chemical exposure due to contaminants in your food, soil, products, or water, you’ll need a lawyer to attempt to recoup any of the damages the exposure has caused you. Since most chemical manufacturers have airtight defenses against legal action, you won’t be able to dent their armor without a lawyer who is experienced in pursuing chemical exposure claims.
4. Your Injuries Are Long-Term or Permanent
Accidents that result in long-term or permanent injury to your appearance or abilities can make determining a fair settlement challenging. If you don’t correctly calculate the ongoing cost of your treatment, you could accept a settlement that doesn’t cover your future care. To receive a payment that covers the expenses of future surgeries and treatment, you’ll have to be able to prove that your expected care costs are valid.
Should your injury limit your ability to work, you’ll also have to prove that your earning potential has been diminished from the accident. Since a long-term or chronic injury can severely impact your financial future, you don’t want to risk settling for less money than you need. Once you have settled your claim, you won’t be able to reopen it, even if you realize that you gravely underestimated what your injury will cost, so you’ll want professionals handling it from the start.
5. Your Case Is Going to Trial
While personal injury cases in Houston, TX often settle out of court, there are times when both parties cannot reach an agreement and must go before a judge and jury. Representing yourself in court should never be your first choice, as even confident and articulate individuals will find themselves outmaneuvered by the other party’s defense team.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply walk into a courtroom, explain your side of the accident, and expect a positive outcome. Instead, a strong strategy will be necessary for you to have a chance of winning your case.
6. Multiple Parties Are Involved
When multiple parties are involved, such as in a car accident involving several cars, determining fault and negotiating a settlement can be time-consuming. The greater the number of insurance companies involved in an accident, the longer it will take to settle.
You may also run into issues if you are filing a claim against one driver while another driver is filing a lawsuit against you. Trying to keep claims and paperwork organized while proving your innocence will be a full-time job, and it could make it difficult for you to get the rest you need to recover from your accident.
7. You Have Difficulty Maintaining Objectivity
Being seriously injured in an accident can understandably leave you struggling with feelings of anxiety or anger. When you’ve experienced a traumatic incident, you may find it hard to maintain a rational view of the situation. Some individuals will find that they feel incapable of making important decisions or experience anger at the at-fault party that clouds their judgment.
A lawyer will be able to offer you an objective, professional opinion about your case. Since your decisions regarding your claim can have far-reaching effects, you’ll want to know that your choices are solid and well-thought-out, not an emotional reaction you’ll regret in the future.
8. The Insurance Company Refuses to Negotiate
While insurance companies are supposed to negotiate in good faith, which means behaving reasonably, many fail to operate ethically. Sometimes insurers withhold a fair settlement or even refuse to pay your claim.
They may also try to get you to admit fault, which would forfeit your right to compensation. Instead of risking an unscrupulous insurance company tricking you out of your money, contact a lawyer at the first sign that the insurance company is hesitant to negotiate a fair settlement for your injury.
9. Your Case Involves Premise Liability
Texas premises liability law states that home and property owners are responsible for protecting the safety of individuals on their property. The duty of property and homeowners includes ensuring that hazards or dangerous conditions do not harm guests. Types of cases that often fall under premises liability law include:
- Slips and falls
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents caused by unsafe structures
- Accidents caused by faulty wiring
- Accidents caused by inadequate lighting
Premise liability laws can be confusing because many accidents fall into a “grey” area, where a strong case can be made both for and against the homeowner.
10. You Have a Product Liability Case
Suppose a defective product caused your injury. In that case, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer for the medical bills you incurred from the accident, the cost of the product, and possibly pain and suffering depending on the severity of your injury. Working with a lawyer experienced in product liability lawsuits allows you to seek compensation from the manufacturer for your damages.
Companies should be held responsible for the damage their faulty items cause, and consumer protection laws exist to protect the public from being injured. Hiring a lawyer to handle your product liability case will prevent companies from steamrolling over your claim. Since most companies have a legal team on payroll, you’ll need a professional to go toe-to-toe with their team to secure the compensation you are owed.
Being injured due to another person’s actions or negligence can be traumatic, and you may want to put the event behind you as quickly as possible. However, don’t accept a low settlement because you feel overwhelmed handling your case. Instead, contact Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC today and get the legal representation you need to manage your personal injury lawsuit.