If you have been injured in an accident, due to another party’s negligence, you may have legal options available for you. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding personal injury claims in Texas.

What should I do if I am involved in a personal injury accident?

The time immediately following a personal injury accident can be extremely overwhelming. However, it is important that victims take various steps to ensure their legal rights are protected as they move forward. First, it is crucial that you call the police as soon as possible. A police report can be valuable when it comes to protecting your legal rights. You will want to take photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident, if possible. If you are unable to take pictures for yourself, have a friend, family member, or someone at the scene take them for you. Next, you will need to visit a doctor or hospital. It is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention following an accident as you may have injuries that are life-threatening but unnoticeable to the human eye. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible can help to ensure your injuries are documented. It is important that you follow any care plans from doctors and that you attend all follow-up appointments. Soon after your accident, you will write want to write down a narrative of what happened while it is still fresh on your mind. Make a list of all the witnesses write down their contact information if you know it. You will need to follow any additional instructions that you receive from your attorney provides.

Can’t I just settle with the insurance company without filing anything in court?

Shortly after being injured in an accident, most victims will be contacted by the at-fault parties insurance company or companies. Insurance companies often act quickly to persuade victims into accepting settlements following their accidents so they do not pursue legal options available to them. Victims are able to accept the settlements. However, accepting a settlement offer provided by an insurance company following an accident will prevent you from exercising your legal rights and pursuing compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. In many instances, the settlement offers provided by insurance companies to victims are not enough to cover the damages sustained as a result of the accident. For this reason, victims are strongly encouraged not to accept the settlement. Instead, victims should seek legal assistance from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Texas as soon as possible who can review the circumstances surrounding their accident determine what legal options are available for them. 

What should I do if the other side’s lawyers call me? 

Whether the attorney for the defendant or their insurance company reaches out to you, it is imperative that you do not speak with them. You should not engage with and conversation with any other lawyer except your own. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to trick victims into accepting minimal settlements.  Sometimes they do this by claiming that their client is not responsible for the accident that has taken place. Rather than take risks of being tricked into assuming liability, it is crucial that you explained that you are hired an attorney and that they will have to contact them instead of communicating with you.

How do I know if I have personal Injury case?

If you have been injured in an accident, the best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is by consulting with an attorney at your earliest convenience. His skilled legal team will be able to discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident, and determine what legal options are available for you. Based on the facts surrounding your accident, an attorney will be able to identify all liable parties against who you can pursue legal claims.

Can I file a lawsuit if I have pre-existing conditions?

There is no way to predict whether or not you have the ability to file a claim without first having a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. Having pre-existing conditions in itself does not prevent you from filing a claim in most cases. However, pre-existing conditions may be considered as a mitigating factor when it comes to proving that the defendant is totally responsible for your injuries and damages. However, there are many instances where accidents aggravate a pre-existing condition or an injury and make the pain and suffering unbearable. At your initial consultation, an attorney will review the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whether or not you have legal options available for you. 

Why was my personal injury case turned down?

A lawyer refusing to take your case does not always mean that you have no chance of prevailing. In many cases, lawyers refuse cases due to them having limited resources. In some instances, loyal lawyers will refuse cases that they feel they are not experienced enough to handle. If you are turned on by an attorney for your personal injury case, it is crucial that you schedule an additional consultation with another attorney who will review the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine if they are willing to represent you.

What is negligence in a personal injury case?

In order to file a successful legal claim against a defendant, you will need to be able to demonstrate to the court that they engaged in actions that were negligent. In Texas, claimants must be able to demonstrate that the defendant failed to use reasonable care and as a result, they breached the duty owed to the claimant. The claimant must then show that as a result of the defendant’s failure to act reasonably, they caused an accident to occur. Finally, the claimant must be able to demonstrate to the court that the accident caused by the defendant’s breach of the duty to provide care to them resulted in their injuries and damages. Victims who are unable to prove that the four elements of negligence were present at the time of their accident may have a difficult time recovering.

How does a statute of limitations work? 

After being injured in a personal injury accident, victims are able to pursue legal options within the state statute of limitations. The statute of limitation dictates how long a person has to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. In Texas, victims must file a legal claim within two years of the date the cause of action occurred. Although two years is the standard statute of limitations for Texas personal injury claims, there are a few exceptions. These include people who are victims of sexual assault, asbestos-related injuries, or silica-related injuries. Additionally, victims who are filing legal claims against a government unit must do so within six months after the date the accident took place instead of within the two-year personal injury statute of limitations. Working with a knowledgeable Texas personal injury attorney can help you to determine how long you have to file a claim following your accident.

What damages are recoverable in a personal injury case?

Victims who are injured and personal injury accidents may be entitled to compensation to cover various damages sustained as a result of their accident. In Texas, there are three types of damages a person can recover compensation for. The first type of damage is called economic damages. These damages include compensation for lost wages, lost earnings, lost benefits, medical expenses, long-term care costs, property damages, and various other expenses you sustained from your accident. The second type of damages is non-economic. These damages include compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, injuries he suffered to your reputation, inconvenience, the loss of enjoyment of life, and various other non-pecuniary losses you sustain from your accident. The third type of damages is punitive damages. In order to recover punitive damages, a victim must prove that the defendant act in a way that was grossly negligent. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. However, a skilled legal team can help you fight to recover punitive damages following your accident.

How much is my personal injury case worth?

There is no way to predict the total amount of compensation you will be able to recover from your accident. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help to determine the total value of your case. Awards for economic damages are usually made by reviewing medical records, employment records and pay stubs, repair statements, and various other bills you face from your accident. Awards for non-economic damages can vary greatly depending on the unique characteristics of your accident. In order to recover the maximum amount of compensation available for non-economic damages, you will need to demonstrate to the court the extent that the injuries and accident have impacted your life. In Texas, the dollar amount for punitive damages recoverable can be up to $200,000, or up to twice the amount of economic damages you face in addition to an equal amount of non-economic damages up to a total amount of $750,000.

How long will it take to get money for my personal injury lawsuit?

In Texas, it is pretty rare for a personal injury case to go to trial. Instead, the majority of legal claims are settled with the defendant or with their insurance company. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to reach a settlement. Claims that involve substantial injuries and a significant amount of money can take a lot longer to settle because insurance companies do not want to pay out large sums of money to injured parties. It can take several months to several years from start to finish for a legal claim to settle following an accident. After a settlement agreement is made, it should not take long to receive a settlement check. In many cases, the time in which it takes for you to recover compensation will depend on how long it takes for your attorney to put together a settlement statement that you will have to review and sign.

What is mediation?

In Texas, victims who pursue legal options available for them to recover compensation following a personal injury accident may be required to attend mediation. Mediation is a settlement conference that is held before a trial takes place. At mediation, the victim and the defendant, along with the attorneys of both parties, will appear before a mediator. This neutral party is generally a retired lawyer or a judge. The mediator will hear both sides of the argument and try to help them resolve their conflicts without having to go to trial. If the two parties are unable to come to an agreement, then their case will proceed to trial. It is important to know the information shared during mediation is confidential.

Am I required to hire a personal injury attorney?

People who are hurt and personal injury accidents throughout the state of Texas are not required by law to retain the assistance of an attorney. However, doing so can provide several benefits for victims who have been injured through no fault of their own. A skilled legal team can help you save money and time when it comes to protecting your legal rights. Our attorneys provide invaluable insight that can help ensure you have the strongest case imaginable while fighting for the justice you deserve. Attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding personal injury claims in Texas and are often aware of tricks that insurance companies will play to avoid paying. Having the upper hand while fighting to hold negligent parties accountable can help to ensure you are able to maximize your recoveries following your accident.

How do I pay for a personal injury lawyer to represent me?

At Low Law Firm, we never ask our clients for a penny upfront. In fact, we do not collect a dime from them until we reach a settlement or verdict and collect money on their behalf. During our initial consultations, we provide clients with information surrounding the payment structures for our cases. In general, victims will pay a percentage of their recoveries to their attorney for representation this is known as working on a contingency fee arrangement. The percentage in which we recover following your accident varies. However, it is often between 30% and 33% for claims in Texas. These details are something we go over in the beginning so that you are aware of what is expected of you. However, it is important that we emphasize that we will not collect anything from you unless your case resolves in your favor.

When is the right time to contact a personal injury attorney after an accident?

Victims have the best chances of recovering if they reach out to a legal team as soon as possible after the accident takes place. Waiting can jeopardize a victim’s chances of recovering full and fair compensation following their accident. Not only does waiting prevent you from receiving timely compensation for your legal claim, but it can jeopardize your chances of collecting evidence and information from the scene of the accident. 

Who can be held liable for damages suffered as a result of a truck accident?

Truck accidents, in particular, can be extremely complex to handle from a legal perspective. These cases often involve various rules, regulations, and laws that many typical personal injury attorneys are unfamiliar with. When it comes to semi-truck accidents in Texas, it is crucial that victims seek assistance from a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Our team at Low Law Firm knows how to analyze each case to determine all liable parties. In semi-truck accidents, there are multiple people who can share liability. These parties can include the driver of the truck, the owner of the truck, the trucking company, the cargo company, or the manufacturer of the parts on the semi-truck. It is crucial to determine what caused the accident to take place in order to identify all liable parties.

Can I recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim if I am partially at fault?

When it comes to recovering from a personal injury case, Texas follows proportionate responsibility laws. These laws specify that victims are able to recover compensation following their accident even if they are partially at fault. In order to recover, a victim must be able to prove that they were less than 50% at fault for their accident. Each defendant in a claim can be held liable for resulting damages in proportion to their degree of responsibility for the accident. In cases where you share some portion of liability, their total amount of recoveries for your damages will be reduced in proportion to the degree to which you are at fault. Working with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Texas can help to ensure you are able to prove that the other party shares the majority of the faults in your accident so you can maximize your recoveries.

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