A personal injury law firm represents victims that have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party. Victims in accidents like this often suffer monetary damages as well as their injuries. This may lead to anxiety over finances, as the victim has to take time off work or pay rising medical bills.
This is an unfair situation to be in, and if you have been injured in an accident that happened through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering and you may be able to recover all of the damages that you have suffered as a result.
Your best chance of ensuring justice and recovery will always lie with seeking representation from a Tomball personal injury lawyer. They can investigate on your behalf, build your case, take over the paperwork, and handle all liaising with other parties. This not only gives you the best chance of victory, but it removes you from the situation, giving you the space you need to recover, rest and focus on your own mental well-being.
Contact Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC Today!
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys are experienced and have a long history of successful case wins under their belts. We have won favorable outcomes in cases like yours, giving us a deep pool of knowledge and experience to draw upon.
To begin the process, we offer new clients and victims of any accident a free consultation. In this meeting, you can speak to our attorneys, ask the questions you need to ask, and we can evaluate your case for free.
Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tomball, TX, today at 936-251-5246.
What is Negligence, and Why is it Important?
Understanding negligence is important when it comes to personal injury cases. In order to secure any compensation or recover your damages, you and your attorney are going to need to prove that the other party acted in a negligent manner.
There are four important elements to prove, but most importantly, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the concept of negligence.
Negligence is a legal concept. Essentially, it means that a person has failed to act in a way that they were legally obligated to act under the duty of care they owed to the victim. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a way that preserves the health and well-being of another person.
There are a wide variety of situations where a person might assume a duty of care to another person. Common ones are the duty of care you assume to other road users whenever you get behind the wheel of your car and the duty of care that medical providers owe to their patients.
Negligent behavior does not always mean the act of doing something. You can act negligently by neglecting to do something or by not acting with the due care and attention that you should be acting with.
The Four Crucial Elements
There are four crucial elements that you need to prove in order to have a valid claim, and your attorney will be expected to prove these to the courts if your case ends up in the courtroom.
You Were Owed You a Duty of Care
The first element that you will need to prove is that the at-fault party, at the time of the accident, owed the victim a duty of care. In order for someone to act negligently, they must owe the victim a duty of care that places a legal obligation on them to act in a certain way to preserve the health and safety of the victim.
The Duty of Care Was Breached
The next step is the breaching of that duty of care. In order to breach the duty of care owed to the victim, the at-fault party must have acted in an unreasonable way. To judge this, your attorney will consider how a reasonable person in the same situation, owing the same duty of care, would have acted.
An example of a breach in the duty of care would be a doctor who does not adhere to the medical practices they have been taught to adhere to. Another example would be someone who is on their phone while driving. A reasonable road user would not use their phone whilst driving.
The Breach of Care Caused Your Injury
The next thing to prove is causation, that is, that the accident directly caused your injuries. The best way to ensure that causation can be proven is to seek immediate medical attention after your accident.
Your Injury Resulted in Damages
Finally, to recover any damages, you need to be able to prove that the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident caused you economic and/or non-economic damages. Economic damages may include past and future medical expenses and lost wages. Non economic damages can include things such as loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering.
What to Do After An Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault
Knowing your rights and how to act in the event of an accident can be the difference between a successful claim and an unsuccessful claim.
While ensuring that evidence is collected and witnesses are spoken to is important, you should focus on your own health and safety as a priority. If you are worried that you may be seriously injured, for example, if you feel pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or spine, you should refrain from moving and refuse to let another person move you until medical professionals attend the scene.
You should also make sure that you move away from any oncoming danger if there is any.
Seek Medical Attention
If there are any injured parties, you should make sure you call an ambulance as a priority. Even if the injuries do not seem severe, you should remember that adrenaline and shock can often mask symptoms of serious problems. Head injuries and internal bleeding, in particular, may have no outward symptoms but could lead to the death of the victim if not addressed early enough.
If paramedics attend the scene, they will fill in an accident report, and this will be your first documented evidence of medical attention. This is a great way to assist your attorney with the third element, causation, as your injuries will be recorded immediately after the accident.
Contact the Police/ Fire Department
Depending on what accident you were involved in, you may need to call either the police or the fire department to attend the scene. The fire department should be called if there is any fire, electrical danger, explosion or structural collapse. They may also be needed in traffic accidents to remove victims from mangled vehicles.
The police should be called in any accident where a crime was committed or that involved traffic. They will make the scene safe and deal with the criminal aspects of the case. In accidents that are caused by a DUI driver, you must call the police, as the BAC blood alcohol test they carry out will be instrumental in your case.
Once you have moved to safety, addressed any injuries and called for the relevant emergency services to attend the scene, now is the perfect time, if your injuries allow it, to collect evidence for your case.
We recommend filming the scene and over the top, record a voice statement of what happened in your own words. This is an easy piece of evidence that will stand up over time, even if your memory becomes fuzzy.
If you were lucky enough to have co-operative eyewitnesses on the scene who are willing to give up their details and a statement, make sure you take down as much as you can.
Call a Tomball TX Personal Injury Lawyer
The sooner you get your personal injury lawyer involved, the better. Your attorney will be able to begin their investigation and advise you on your best course of action.
Do Personal Injury Claims Require a Personal Injury Lawyer?
In the state of Texas, there is no legal requirement to have representation when seeking compensation. This does not, however, make it a smart idea.
When you have an attorney behind you, you have an advocate with legal training who can keep you informed and educated in terms of your rights. Victims of personal injury accidents are usually already dealing with pain and emotional distress. This is not the best place to fight a case from, especially as you may be responsible for pushing the case for years to come.
Personal injury lawyers take over liaising with other parties and ensure that paperwork is filed correctly and on time. They also have resources specifically dedicated to the investigation, which means they are better equipped to find evidence that improves the strength of your case.
Your Tomball personal injury lawyers will also be the ones to stand up against the other parties’ insurance companies. These companies have become more aggressive and employ capable legal teams with the sole task of reducing payouts to victims. Your best way of fighting against this is to employ your own aggressive legal representation.
With everything considered, most victims will walk away with a compensation figure that is much higher when they obtain representation from a Tomball personal injury lawyer.
Types of Accidents That Qualify For a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- Animal attacks such as dog bites.
- Medical malpractice, such as birthing injuries.
- Workplace and construction injuries.
- Car accidents and trucking accidents.
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Plant and refinery accidents.
- Injuries resulting from defective products.
- Catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
How Much Time Do You Have To Make a Claim For Personal Injury in Tomball TX
The statute of limitations places a legal time restraint on personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice claims. Once this time has elapsed, victims can no longer raise a claim relating to that specific incident.
Besides this legal time limit, it is also worth noting that all negligence cases, wrongful death, personal injury, and medical malpractice included are time-sensitive. This means that the sooner you raise your case after the incident occurred, the better your chances of successfully seeking maximum compensation.
Researching and Deciding Which Attorneys To Hire
Many accident victims struggle when it comes to deciding which attorney to hire as their representation. It’s an important decision, one that may have a huge impact on the compensation you receive, if you even receive it at all.
We recommend starting by researching the law firms that serve your area. A law firm that dedicates most of its professional time to personal injury cases is a good place to start.
Once you find a potential law firm, look at its attorneys on independent research sites such as AVVO. AVVO places an independent score on attorneys based on certain criteria, such as years of service, accreditations and accolades, peer reviews, and previous client referrals and reviews.
Arrange an initial consultation with the attorney, and prepare a list of questions you want to ask. If you are stuck, here are some good questions to ask:
- Have you represented cases similar to mine in court?
- Have you handled cases similar to mine in the past?
- How can I contact you, and how soon can I expect a response?
- What would a good outcome be in my case, and how will you achieve it?
- How much of your time is dedicated to personal injury victims in the state of Texas?
The Personal Injury Process in Texas
Every personal injury case will be unique, as there are so many factors that will be in play. However, most cases will follow this process:
Stage One: Investigation
The first stage of your claim, once you have agreed to representation, will be the investigation stage. This stage is where your attorney will build your case using the evidence they can uncover and the evidence you have already provided.
Stage Two: Calculating Your Damages
Next, in order to work out what a fair and reasonable settlement figure looks like for your specific case, your attorney will need to calculate what your damages are worth. To do this, they will need to break down your damages into your economic and your non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for lost wages, property damage, and medical expenses.
Economic damages include:
Most people have to take some time off work as a result of their injuries and for many, this means lost wages and reduced earning potential. Your attorney will help you document this and will assist you in recovering your losses.
You may recover all future lost wages too, so if your injury looks like it may require you to take more time off in the future, your attorney will consider this.
For some people, injuries may be severe enough that they can never return to work in the same capacity. In these cases, your attorney may attempt to seek a lifetime of lost earning potential via your claim.
One of the most worrying things for victims are the medical bills mounting up. If your injuries are serious and your medical insurance is not sufficient, you may be left in a difficult situation.
Fortunately, you are entitled to recover all past and future medical bills in your claim. To do this, your attorney may seek the assistance of a medical expert to assist in calculating what your long-term medical treatment may look like in terms of costs so they can attempt to recover this.
Your non-economic damages will need to be considered next, and this task is more difficult as the damages are subjective. The main non-economic damages to consider are your pain and suffering, which compensate you for physical pain, and the trauma and emotional distress the accident has put you through.
These damages do not have a clear figure attached and your attorney will need to draw upon their years of experience in previous cases to accurately and fairly judge what these damages are worth.
Another common non-economic damage that is often claimed through a personal injury case is loss of enjoyment of life. This is designed to compensate victims if the accident has led to a loss of enjoyment. An example of this would be a car accident that leaves a victim with back pain that prevents them from playing basketball with their friends.
Proving how much your non-economic damages are worth can often be challenging, but an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to document it fairly.
Stage Three: Negotiation
Once your damages have been calculated, your attorney will be able to open negotiations with the other party and their insurance company.
They will use the damages they have calculated on your behalf to form a settlement figure that they believe is fair and reasonable. This will form the base of their negotiations, and they will send this figure over to the other party.
At this point, they may decide to accept your settlement, especially if it has been calculated fairly. The reputation of your attorney may also come into play here. Some insurance companies will be more likely to accept a settlement figure if you have an attorney with a strong reputation behind you.
Step Four: Filing a Lawsuit
If your attorney cannot negotiate a settlement figure that you are happy with, the case may need to be escalated. This means your attorney will file a lawsuit, and your case will move to the courtroom.
At this stage, your attorney will be expected to prove the elements of negligence in front of the court in order to convince the Judge or jury to award your damages.
The majority of personal injury cases never need up in the courtroom, but many do, and you need to be prepared for this eventuality.
Tomball TX Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
What if I Suffered a Car Accident With an Uninsured Motorist?
If you have been involved in a car accident, the usual procedure is to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Many drivers, however, do not have insurance, and if you are involved in an accident with such a driver, you may be unsure what to do.
First, you should check your own insurance policy, as many policies come with uninsured driver coverage. This allows victims to claim from their own insurance in the eventually they have an accident with an uninsured party.
If you do not have this coverage, we recommend speaking to your attorney about the options on offer to you.
I Have Been Offered a Quick Settlement. Should I Take it?
We highly recommend that you discuss any offer of settlement with your attorney. In many cases, the other insurance company will offer a quick settlement directly to you in an attempt to get you to settle for a lot lower than they know you deserve.
The first offer of settlement is almost always lower than you deserve so discuss it with your attorney. Once you agree to any settlement figure, you forgo the right to seek further compensation for your damages.
How Long Will My Case Take to Settle?
The length of time a personal injury case will take to complete will depend upon the complexity of the case. Complicated cases that involve multiple parties or serious injuries will take a lot longer to settle, as will cases where the liability is not clear.
Some personal injury cases can take several years to complete, which is an important reason to ensure that you and your attorney get along well, as you will need to deal with them for this period of time.
Arrange a Free Consultation Today!
At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers has a long history of success in cases just like yours. We take the time to build a secure attorney-client relationship that inspires confidence. This means we will take the time to educate you where necessary on your rights, and we will keep you informed throughout the whole process.
We handle all cases, from simple to complex, and we never settle for less.