Nobody should be left to deal with medical bills and emotional trauma after an accident that was not their fault. When somebody else acts negligently, and it causes you physical and emotional damage, you deserve to seek compensation from the at-fault party. In the aftermath of a serious accident, you should be able to focus on your recovery. By obtaining the representation of a personal injury law firm Houston accident victims trust, you can rest a little easier. They will ensure that your compensation claim moves forward while you have the space to breathe. Under Houston, TX law, if your damages were caused by the negligent behavior of somebody else, they may be found liable for your damages.
Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC – Fierce Advocacy
Here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we know that the middle of your injury recovery is not the ideal situation to begin to educate yourself on the complexities of personal injury law. That’s where we can step in. As soon as you are able, get in touch with our team. We can arrange a free consultation. During this consultation, you can ask any questions you need to ask and we can evaluate your case. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action and if you are comfortable, we can begin right away, removing you from the stress.
Once you agree to representation we can jump into action, investigating on your behalf, dealing with the paperwork, and handling all communication with the at-fault party and their insurance company. Our national trial lawyers are fierce advocates and have numerous victories under their belts. We know how to calculate settlement figures in a way that is hard to dispute and we are prepared to back our claims up in court.
We cover the entirety of Texas so call us today at 936-251-5246
The Process of Hiring Representation in Houston, TX
The first thing you should do in order to begin the process of seeking compensation is to figure out which attorney you want to represent you. All good personal injury attorneys will have certain qualities. They will be knowledgeable and skilled in personal injury law, they will have strong levels of communication and they will have previous victories under their belt. Here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, every one of our personal injury attorneys, has these qualities.
We offer a free consultation for a reason. During that meeting, you can judge us for yourselves and by the end of it, if you are not comfortable with us, you can walk away with no obligations. Once you have decided that you want to proceed with representation, we can begin to work on your behalf.
Evidence Collection and Investigation
As soon as you have agreed to representation, your Houston personal injury lawyer will start investigating. During this stage, they may seek the help of expert witnesses, such as crash scene investigators or other specialists to help them corroborate your story. They might also look for CCTV footage and speak to any eye-witnesses if you managed to collect their details at the scene. They will also look at all of the evidence you provided, such as pictures, videos, or sketches of the incident. With all of the evidence, they will be able to piece together the accident and this will form the basis of the case they build on your behalf.
Calculating the Damages and Sending Settlement Offers
Once they have investigated and understood how the accident happened, and who was liable, your attorney will begin calculating your damages for the settlement offer. To start with, they will need to look at all of the damages you have incurred that can be easily summed up. Medical bills and property damage are the obvious ones. Damages like this are known as economic damages.
Your attorney will then work out what they think your non-economic damages are worth. Your non-economic damages are all of the damages that do not have a clear tangible figure attached to them. To work this out they may decide to apply a multiplier to your economic damages depending upon how much you have suffered. If you suffered a loss of enjoyment of life, for example, if you can no longer play weekly basketball because of your injuries, this should be compensated.
Non-economic damages are tricky and are best calculated by a personal injury lawyer who has experience doing so. The more experience they have in calculating these sorts of damages in a fair and reasonable manner, the harder the eventual sum will be to argue with and the more likely the other party is to accept the settlement offer. Once they have calculated all of your damages, your attorney will have an idea of what all your damages are worth. This will form your settlement offer and will be sent over to the at-fault insurance company. If your damages have been calculated fairly and reasonably, they may choose to accept rather than lose money in a legal battle.
Filing a Lawsuit
The other party may decide they do not want to accept your offer or may send a counter offer over that you are unhappy with. In this situation, your attorney will escalate the case, moving into the courtroom. They will then use all of the evidence they have uncovered and the damages they have calculated to put forward an argument for why you deserve the damages you are seeking from the other party. Here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our team of personal injury attorneys are experienced in all stages of a personal injury claim. They will investigate thoroughly, calculate fairly and accurately, and if necessary, are willing to fight on your behalf, aggressively and without rest.
What to Do at The Scene of the Accident
If you are at the scene of the accident, and you want to maximize your chances of seeking successful compensation, here are some steps to follow.
Prioritize your safety – The first and most important thing you should do is ensure that you prioritize your safety above all else. If you have hit your head or have a pain in the neck, shoulders, or back, remain still and call for help. Do not let anyone move you until the paramedics have been called. If you are confident you are safe to do so, move to a safe location, away from live electricity or fire for example.
Call an ambulance if there are injuries – If the accident has resulted in any injuries, you should call for an ambulance. This serves multiple purposes. Firstly, they will ensure everyone’s injuries are seen too. Secondly, they will write an accident report you can use later on.
Call the police/fire department – If necessary, call the police or fire services. The police are useful in situations such as car accidents, especially if the other driver is drunk or under the influence. If the accident involves live electricity, explosives, or fire, the fire department should be called to make the scene as safe as possible for others.
Collect evidence – Now is the best possible time to collect fresh evidence on the scene. If you are able, you should try to take pictures and videos of the scene. You should also try to take the details of any eye-witnesses that are willing. The more evidence you can collect at this point the better your chances of a successful case will be.
Call a Houston personal injury lawyer – Personal injury cases are time-sensitive, so the sooner you get in touch with your attorney the better your chances of victory.
What Damages Will a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me to Claim?
To help your attorney in the task of calculating your damages it helps to know the different damages you may be eligible to claim:
Medical bills – Medical bills are often the most immediate and serious of all of the damages you may have incurred. Even if you have a premium insurance policy the bills for a serious injury can quickly surpass your cover. In the aftermath of the accident, ensure you keep all of your receipts for treatment, medication, and surgeries as well as your transport bills for traveling to and from the hospital.
Lost Wages – If you have been injured in Houston, TX and the injury has led to time off work or worse, a permanent disability that impacts your ability to work in the future, you can claim for lost wages. In serious cases, you can claim for all future loss of wages as well as any past and present time off you are being forced to take for your recovery.
Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering damages are non-economic damage and can include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional stress, and mental trauma.
Different Types of Injury That Can Qualify for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Houston?
Our firm has seen most types of injury claims and while any injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence may qualify you for a claim, these are the most common:
Burns and cuts.
Slips trips and falls.
TBIs (traumatic brain injuries).
Back and spine injuries.
If your injury is not on this list, and you are uncertain about your situation, give us a call and take advantage of our free consultation and free case evaluation.
How is Negligence Defined and Why is It Important?
Your lawyer will need to prove that there was negligent behavior in order for your case to be valid. Negligent behavior is any behavior that is different from how a sensible and reasonable individual would act, placed in the same situation. Let’s take a DUI injury claim as an example.
A reasonable individual would not get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol. This means that the DUI driver acted negligently. All drivers owe a duty of care to other road users so this means that the negligent behavior breached this duty of care.
The Four Important Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
To successfully win your case your Houston personal injury lawyers will need to prove four elements. If they cannot prove these four elements, the case may be thrown out.
The elements are:
Duty of Care.
Breach of Duty.
Duty of Care
The very first step should be to figure out if the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. Common examples of this are the duty of care owed to a victim by their doctor and the duty of care that every driver adopts towards other users of the road.
Breach of Duty
Once it has been established that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim, the next step is to figure out if they breached this duty. If a party acted negligently, i.e in a way that another reasonable person would not act in the same situation, then they have breached their duty of care.
Next, your Houston personal injury attorney is going to need to prove causation, which shows that the at-fault party’s negligent behavior caused the injury.
Finally, your Houston personal injury attorney will need to be able to prove that the victim incurred damages as a result of the injuries.
What to Avoid Following a Personal Injury Accident in Houston
Never apologize – This is the cardinal rule. Never apologize in any way, shape, or form. Apologizing may lose you all chances of seeking compensation. The other party and their insurance company may use your apology against you to reduce their liability.
Be careful with insurance companies – You should always take care when speaking to an insurance company, be it the other parties or your own. Refuse any request to record your conversations and respectfully ask them to liaise with your attorney going forward. Insurance companies never have your best interests at heart.
Don’t rush to accept a settlement offer – Always take your time to think about any offers of settlement. The first offer is usually a lot lower than they are really willing to offer. Insurance companies will often send you this offer quickly in the days following the accident to get you to accept for less than they know they will have to pay out eventually.
Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There is nothing to stop you from seeking compensation by yourself in the state of Texas. However, it is exceptionally difficult. You will be going up against an insurance company that most likely employs an entire team of skilled and aggressive loss adjusters. Without a lawyer, your eventual settlement will most likely be lower and your chances of victory are drastically reduced. Most victims walk away with more when they seek compensation with a skilled personal injury law firm behind them.
Besides the money, there are multiple benefits to representation after an accident. Firstly, your case may run for months or even years and this means you will have to take the time and energy to deal with keeping the case moving. Your attorney will do this on your behalf. They will also take over all filing of paperwork and investigations. This ultimately leaves you with the space to take a step back and focus on your recovery and health.
Common Personal Injury Cases
Dram Shop Cases in Texas
Houston dram shops are governed by the same dram shop laws as the rest of Texas. These laws state that the venue may be held liable if they overserve a visibly intoxicated person and that person is allowed to enter their car and cause a car accident.
Car Accidents in Texas
Car accidents can cause serious injury and even the wrongful death of a victim. All drivers adopt a duty of care to each other, and all other users of the road when they get behind the wheel of their cars. This means that if they act negligently, by driving aggressively or being distracted, then they are breaching that duty of care. If this causes an accident, it is very likely that they will be found liable.
Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
Motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of serious injury or fatality. This is due to the nature of motorcycles, with their drastically reduced protection, as well as the fact that they are harder to spot. This means that when they do crash, they have very little to protect them.
Commercial Truck Accidents in Texas
Commercial trucks are meant to be monitored to a much higher level than your usual car. Drivers should be following a strict schedule of how long they can drive and their vans must be loaded correctly and maintained to a high standard. This is because a fully-loaded commercial truck weighs a lot more than a normal car or motorcycle. With a weight that can be 15-20x more, the impact when they crash is much higher. When a commercial truck crashes, the case can be complicated. The liability will depend upon the situation. The liability may lie with the driver, the trucking company, or even with the manufacturer or mechanic.
Time Constraints after an Accident
Every personal injury case has time constraints. To begin with, the sooner you get in touch with a Houston personal injury lawyer after your accident, the higher your chances of success and the better your chances of seeking full and maximum compensation for your damages. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be for them to unearth evidence on your behalf. Secondly, you should be aware of the statute of limitations. In Texas, you have two years from the incident to make a claim. After that, it is extremely likely that your case will be thrown out.
How Do I Find a Team of Good Personal Injury Lawyers?
The personal injury laws that govern the state of Texas are difficult and complex to navigate and understand. This means that the experience of your lawyer will be crucial. The more experience in past cases they have, the more skilled they will be at tailoring your case. This will give them an advantage in the settlement stage and if your case goes to court, will give them an edge in the courtroom. Many people have never had to seek the help of an attorney before and this can make it difficult to make a decision on the right one.
Here are a few things we would look for:
Past Victories, Experience, and Referrals – The most important thing to look for when choosing a personal injury attorney is their previous experience, wins, and referrals. A good attorney will be able to showcase their past victories and will have good reviews and referrals from past clients.
Communication Skills – A good attorney will have a full caseload yet still make time for each and every client. You might not have 24-hour access but they will respond promptly to queries and make themselves available if you need them.
Personality – You will most likely be spending a lot of time in your chosen attorney’s company so make sure you use the free consultation to ensure that there are no conflicts in your personalities.
Houston Personal Injury FAQs
Every personal injury case is unique. The circumstances surrounding the event, the steps that led to the accident, and the damages that resulted from the incident will always vary. The more complex your case is, the longer it will take to settle and the simpler it is, the quicker it will settle.
You have the right to choose whatever health provider you want to choose in the state of Texas. The only exception to this is if you were injured at work and are using your company’s health insurance or occupational health.
Do not let insurance companies bully you into using their repair shops. There is no law that states you have to have your car, truck, or motorcycle repaired by their designated shops.
You should always be wary when speaking to an insurance company. They often use underhanded tactics to reduce their liability by tricking you into saying something you shouldn’t. The best option is to refuse to let them record your conversations and ask them to liaise with your insurance claims attorney going forward.
While you are fully within your rights to raise a claim by yourself, your chances of victory are lower alone. The insurance company will most likely have a full team of aggressive loss adjusters and attorneys and they will have an advantage over you in terms of their legal knowledge and experience.
Contact us Here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC
Following an accident that has resulted in either you or someone you love being injured, you should consider filing a personal injury claim in Houston, TX. Your first step should be to contact a personal injury attorney here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC.
We can explain your rights and advise you on the best course of action. Each and every case that we see here is unique. This is one of the reasons we offer a free consultation. We can sit down with you and evaluate your situation, before tailoring an approach specific to your situation.
Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys will be able to investigate on your behalf, seeking evidence, speaking to witnesses, and filing the necessary paperwork on your behalf. We can calculate your damages in a way that is hard to dispute, using our extensive experience in similar cases.