When you are injured through the negligence of somebody else, it can feel like the world is against you. On top of the injuries and the mental trauma, you could be facing mounting medical bills, all for an accident that happened through no fault of your own. In this situation, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed and you might be angry at the at-fault party or unsure of how you are going to deal with the situation.
Thankfully, in Texas, with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can seek compensation for your damages when they are caused by another party if they acted negligently. Your lawyer will help you navigate the complexities of the personal injury laws that govern the state.
Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC – Fierce Representation from a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer
In the aftermath of an accident caused by another party, your emotions are most likely running high. This can put you in a poor position to make the most sensible decisions about what to do next and trying to understand and educate yourself on the intricacies of the personal injury system, while in this state is going to be hard.
This is why seeking representation from a reputable Texas personal injury lawyer is always a smart decision. They will take over and work on your behalf, giving you the time and space you need to focus on your recovery.
Our team of experienced personal injury lawsuit attorneys has fought on the behalf of numerous clients in a wide variety of different cases. We ensure we take the time to build our client-attorney relationship, keeping lines of communication open, listening compassionately to our clients, and advising wherever necessary. We fight aggressively both in and out of the courtroom and we won’t rest until we have won the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Give us a call at 936-251-5246 for a free consultation.
The Process of Seeking Compensation in the State of Texas
The first step in seeking the full and maximum compensation that is owed to you is to find a reputable law firm to represent you. A good law firm, composed of strong, skilled, personal injury attorneys, will provide you with the strongest chance of success.
Here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we offer a free consultation. In this meeting, we can evaluate your case, answer any questions you may have, and advise you on your best course of action.
If you feel confident in our abilities, and you are convinced that we are the right fit for the job, we can spring into action, investigating on your behalf. We will take over all the difficult tasks, such as filing all paperwork correctly and on time, speaking to the insurance companies, investigating and unearthing evidence, and calculating your damages in a fair and accurate way. Our Houston personal injury lawyers cover the entirety of Texas.
What Damages Will a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me to Claim in Texas?
When it comes to calculating a settlement figure that is fair and reasonable, your attorney will need to work out your physical economic damages and your less tangible non-economic damages.
The main damages you should familiarize yourself with are:
Medical bills – Even if you have the highest level of medical insurance, medical bills can quickly become a problem you have to deal with. In more serious accidents, the costs of treatment, therapy, physio, and surgery can quickly amount to more than your insurance will cover. You should not have to suffer from the stress of medical bills when the accident was not your fault. Make sure you keep all receipts, including transport to and from the hospital.
Lost Wages – If your injuries are serious, you may not be able to attend work for a period of time. In certain cases, you may never be able to work in the same capacity as you did before. These damages should be accounted for. You can claim for lost wages, both in the past, and if your injuries are serious, any future loss of wages too.
Pain and Suffering – Certain losses will need to be calculated without a physical figure attached to them. These include mental and emotional trauma, as well as any loss of enjoyment of life. If you cannot carry your baby daughter anymore due to a back injury, this counts as a loss of enjoyment of life. An experienced injury lawyer will help you assess these issues and present them to the court.
Different Types of Injury That Can Lead to a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas.
We see a huge number of victims, in a wide variety of cases every year, and while no two cases ever look the same, certain injuries are more common than others. If you have been the victim of an accident that was not your fault and you have suffered any of the following injuries, you should get in touch with a Texas personal injury attorney immediately.
Burns and cuts.
Slips, trips, and falls.
TBIs (traumatic brain injuries).
Back and spine injuries.
These are the injuries we tend to see on a daily basis as Texas personal injury lawyers. However, any injury caused by an accident that wasn’t the victim’s fault may qualify them to make a claim.
If you are uncertain, we offer a free consultation for a reason. With no obligations, you can explain what happened to you and one of our personal injury lawyers will be able to inform you if they believe you are eligible for compensation.
What is Negligence and Why is It Important?
When it comes to a personal injury compensation claim, you and your attorney will be expected to prove certain elements in order for your case to be valid in the eyes of the court. The first step will be to figure out if the accident was caused by the negligent behavior of the at-fault party.
Negligence is any behavior that is seen as different from how a “reasonable” person would act. An example would be if a shop owner noticed there was a puddle of water on the floor and decided to ignore it, whereas another “reasonable” shop owner would have cleaned it up, or put down a wet floor sign. In this case, the first owner could be seen as acting negligently.
The Important Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
The main things that you and your attorney will need to prove if the case moves into the courtroom are as follows:
First, you will need to prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim.
Second, you will need to prove that the at-fault breached that duty of care by acting in a way that another “reasonable” individual would not have acted.
Third, you will need to prove that this negligent behavior caused the injuries and damages to the victim.
Last, you will need proof that these damages and injuries led to an economic and/or non-economic loss of the victim.
What You Should and Should Not Do Following a Personal Injury Accident in Texas
In the aftermath of an accident in Texas, there are certain things you should do and certain things you should not do if you want the best chances of seeking compensation later on down the line.
The first thing you should always avoid is any form of apologizing at the scene of the accident. It does not matter whether you are clearly in the wrong or clearly in the right, saying sorry could lose you all potential chances of seeking compensation. By saying sorry, you could be seen as accepting liability.
You will probably have to speak to an insurance company in the days following the accident. This could be your insurance company or it could be the insurance company of the at-fault party. In both cases, you should watch what you say and refuse to let them record the conversation. Anything you say may be used against you and insurance companies are notorious for tricking victims into admitting liability.
Do not accept any offers of settlement without speaking to your attorney. Sometimes the insurance company will attempt to get you to settle for less than you should in the hopes that you need the immediate cash.
Things You Should Do:
If you are at the scene of the accident, you need to ensure that, first and foremost, your priority is your own safety. If you have not received injuries to the spine or neck and you feel you are still in a dangerous spot, move to safety before you think about anything or anyone else.
If there are any injuries, we advise you to call the emergency services. This will serve multiple purposes. The ambulance team will make sure everyone is safe and their injuries are managed. The police and fire department will make the scene of the accident safe and the police will administer blood alcohol tests if the accident was caused by a drunk driver. In all cases, the ambulance team, fire department, and police will file an accident report that you can use later on down the line as unbiased evidence.
If you have not received medical treatment from the paramedics, you should head to your chosen hospital or doctor for a check-up. This will ensure that you do not miss any hidden injuries and will count as your first recorded medical attention.
Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Every year, people take on the task of seeking compensation by themselves, and while it can be done, it is not usually the smartest idea. The main reason that people will avoid seeking help from an attorney is the belief that they will end up with less money.
However, in the majority of cases, seeking compensation for a serious injury with the representation of a skilled personal injury attorney will result in a higher payout, even after they have deducted their fees.
Another benefit to representation is that your personal injury lawyer will take over all the paperwork, liaising, and investigating. This frees you from the task and allows you to relax and focus on your own health.
Dealing with the insurance companies, paperwork, and investigation whilst you are still injured may exacerbate your condition and at the very least, will add stress you do not need, especially when the insurance company will most likely be using a legal team of aggressive loss adjusters.
Common Personal Injury Cases
Dram Shop Cases in Texas
When a venue sells alcohol for consumption on the premises, they have to ensure that they refuse service to anyone who is visibly intoxicated. If they fail to do this and the patron is allowed to enter their car, the venue may be held liable if the patron causes a car accident.
Car Accidents in Texas
Car accidents have the potential to cause serious injury, even fatality. In Texas, drivers have a duty of care to all other road users and if they breach this and cause an accident, they can be held liable for all the damages that they cause.
Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
Due to their nature, motorcycle accidents tend to come with more serious injuries and a higher risk of fatality. Motorcycles have limited protection and riders are exposed. When they crash, this means the rider has little to protect them.
Commercial Truck Accidents in Texas
A fully loaded commercial truck may weigh upwards of 10x that of a normal car. This means that when they crash, the impact level is much more severe. Commercial drivers are also bound by more rules and regulations than normal drivers.
Commercial truck companies are expected to monitor how long drivers are on the road, and how much weight they are carrying. They must also carry out extensive checks and maintenance on the trucks. If they fail to do any of this and there is an accident, the company can be found liable.
What Are the Stages of A Personal Injury Case in Texas?
Every single case that passes through our doors is unique. The circumstances and the situation will vary wildly from case to case. However, all personal injury cases follow similar steps and stages:
Evaluating the Case
The very first stage of any personal injury case is going to be your free consultation. In this sit-down meeting, you will explain what happened to you and provide any evidence that you collected yourself.
Your attorney will ask important questions and use your answers and your evidence to evaluate your case. They will give their opinion on your case and inform you if they believe you are eligible to seek compensation. If the answer is yes and you are comfortable, they will explain their process and arrange a more formal sit-down to sign the paperwork.
Evidence Collection and Investigation
If you agreed to representation, your attorney will begin moving as quickly as they can. They will examine your evidence and, if necessary, will send their own team of investigators to the scene. They will speak to your witnesses, obtain police reports and search for CCTV and may even employ the help of a crash-scene specialist to add their expert opinion.
Calculating the Damages and Sending Settlement Offers
Your attorney will now begin building your case. To do so, they will need to work out how much your damages equate to.
First, they will take all of your economic, tangible damages. They will work out property damage and add up all your medical bills and receipts. This will give them a solid figure of your economic damages.
Next, they will consider your non-economic damages and pain and suffering. Often, they will use a sliding scale for this, applying a multiplier to your economic damages. The more severe your pain and suffering, the further up the scale and the stronger the multiplier.
This is one of the reasons why a skilled and experienced Texas personal injury lawyer will prove invaluable. Their previous experience in cases just like yours will mean that they can accurately judge what your pain and suffering damages are worth. The more accurate this figure, the harder it is to dispute in either the settlement phase or in court.
Once they have calculated your damages, they will be left with a figure. This will form the basis of your settlement offer and will be sent to the at-fault party and their insurance.
At this stage, if your personal injury attorney has done a good job, your figure will be hard to argue with and the other party may decide to accept your settlement. If they accept, you get your compensation, if they decline or counter with an offer you do not find acceptable, you will move to the courtroom.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the other party declined your settlement offer, your attorney will use the strong case they have built on your behalf to prove that you deserve what you are seeking. A skilled personal injury attorney will have calculated your damages in a fair and reasonable way, will have built a case based on the best possible evidence, and will be able to utilize their previous courtroom experience to put forward the most compelling argument possible.
Every Houston personal injury lawyer in the team here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, has experience both in and out of the courtroom and will be able to fight on your behalf in a fierce manner.
Time Constraints after an Accident
There are certain time restraints you should know about when it comes to personal injury cases in the state of Texas. Firstly, all personal injury cases are time-sensitive. This means that the sooner you get in touch with your attorney following the accident, the sooner they can begin working on your behalf and the better your chances of victory. The second important time restraint is the state’s Statute of Limitations. This states that you only have 2 years to make a claim after an accident or you forfeit the right to make a claim.
How Do I Find a Team of Good Texas Personal Injury Lawyers
Texas personal injury law can be complex and difficult to navigate and deciding which law firm you want to represent you during your case is an important decision. Many people have never had to seek the help of an attorney before and this can make it seem like a monumental task to research and pick the right one.
Here are a few things we would look for:
Firstly, all good law firms will be able to showcase their past victories and provide glowing recommendations and referrals from previous clients. If they refuse to show you their victories, they most likely do not have any.
Secondly, good attorneys will have excellent communication skills. They will keep you informed and make time for you in their busy schedule.
Finally, you should feel comfortable in your attorney’s company. If you do not get on well with them during your free consultation, consider changing attorneys as you will be dealing with them throughout the whole process.
Texas Personal Injury FAQs
How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Normally Take to Complete and Settle?
A personal injury claim will have lots of different variables. This means that no two cases are the same. The circumstances and complexity of the case will dictate how long it takes to settle. Some cases may be over in months, some may be over in years. Your attorney will be able to provide guidance as to how long they think your case will take during your consultation.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Doctor for Treatment?
No, you can choose whatever healthcare professional you want to treat you unless you are dealing with an injury in the workplace. Some companies will have occupational health providers that they require you to use.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Mechanic for Car Repairs?
There is no law or regulation that states you have to use the insurance company’s mechanics. They may attempt to bully you into doing so, but inform your attorney and they will ensure these tactics stop.
Should I Speak With an Insurance Adjuster?
You may not be able to avoid speaking with the insurance company but you should always bear in mind that they do not have your best interests at heart. They will attempt to use any tactics they can to trick you into reducing their liability. A smart decision is to tell them that you wish your attorney to take over all liaising on your behalf.
Am I Able to Sue a Party in Court Myself?
You are fully within your rights to seek the compensation on your own but it is a difficult task. Your chances of victory and eventual settlement will be much better with the representation of a skilled personal injury attorney on your side. Without the full knowledge of Texas personal injury law, you may even fail by yourself to win any compensation whatsoever.
Contact Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you should contact a Texas personal injury lawyer here at the Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC. With our help, you can seek the full and maximum compensation that you deserve. We know that money can’t fix all of your problems and will not rid you of the trauma you have faced, but it can help you with your recovery. We have won numerous cases for countless clients and we are confident we can do the same for you!