Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
Car accidents accidents often cause serious injuries and even fatalities. Contact our personal injury attorneys in Houston, TX to understand how we can help you in recovering compensation.
Personal injury attorneys in Houston, TX specialize in helping individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents file and win claims for financial compensation. The amount of compensation you are entitled to is generally used to make up for the lost wages, to pay for medical treatment, and to compensate for suffering that you had to endure as a result of injury. Without the right accident lawyer in Texas, your case to trial could be an issue and and the process of consideration of the case will be too long.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston, Texas Help?
Some of the more common duties that a personal injury attorney can perform for you to help you recover financial compensation after an auto accident
- Getting You Back on Your Feet
- Explaining Your Rights
- Providing Advice
- Representing You in Court
Getting You Back on Your Feet
In the event of a vehicular accident, our team will work with you to recover income lost as a result of being off from work due to injury. We also help in cases where clients have to fend off harassment from bill collectors. After an accident, you will also likely need to repair your vehicle and getting it back on the road, and that is something we can help with as well.
Explaining Your Rights
There are different statutes of limitation and comparative negligence guidelines that can affect your case. There are also different vehicular accident rules in different states. A personal injury attorney will explain to you how various legal issues and specifics of your accident affect your rights.
Usually, comparative negligence rules come into play when the client is at least partly to blame for the accident in question. These rules determine whether he or she can sue the other party. These rules are also used to determine the amount that he or she can recover in compensation from the other party. What you are entitled to, where you may be affected by specific rules or bylaws, and when and how to file a claim or respond to a case are things that we will help you with.
One of the most important duties of a personal injury lawyer is providing advice to a person who has sustained personal injuries in an accident. Our personal injury attorneys will walk you through all of the legal steps you have to go through while ensuring that the whole process is smooth and clear to you. In this way, we try to streamline and expedite the process of recovering the financial compensation you are entitled to deserve.
The most critical piece of advice that any personal injury attorney can provide you with is to refrain from providing a statement to the insurance company of the other driver. This will make it easier for them to explore ways to deny liability and compensation. Moreover, a personal injury attorney will also advise the client how to seek medical treatment since doing so in the right way will help you connect the accident with any injuries sustained.
Representing You in Court
Many personal injury cases are settled before a lawsuit is filed and thus do not result in a trial.
Nevertheless, being represented in court by a personal injury lawyer may be the only way for the client to recover financial compensation if the insurance company denies their claim. A full civil trial is a complex process that requires close adherence to rules of evidence and countless other legal procedures. Because of this, it is always a good idea to have an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side.
Ways You Did Not Know an Attorney Could Help You
While some of the skills and services that your attorney has are clear, there are a number of lesser-known yet still critically important ways that they can help you. Here are a few examples of these services:
Connect You With Medical Providers
As mentioned above, medical providers play an important role when it comes to litigations for personal injury cases. Healthcare services providers are often solicited for proof and documentation on the relationship between an injury sustained and the accident that cause it. A personal injury attorney, leveraging their business relationship with a medical provider, may be able to connect an accident victim to the medical provider who will then be able to offer medical services as needed.
In addition to this, the lawyer may also recommend a specific specialist who has a great understanding of certain types of injuries and a proven track record of delivering excellent results in similar cases. This experience and expertise are things that money can’t buy.
Performing a Professional Investigation
In some cases, personal injury firms may employ the services of investigators who interview witnesses, document accident facts, and try to come up with an explanation for what happened and how. Such investigators are often retired cops or may be professional investigators.
If there a dispute as to the cause of the accident arises, the right legal team will be able to hire accident reconstruction experts on your behalf and leverage the expertise of these outside experts to help your case.
Work Through Multiple Legal Processes
Personal injury accident claims involve more than just filing for compensation and waiting for a payout. You may have to perform follow-up litigation if your claim was denied, or you may not be satisfied with your settlement. An experienced auto accident lawyer can assist you with informal negotiations with the insurance company after or before your case is filed in court. A personal injury lawyer can also help with alternative paths for dispute resolution as well when the need arises.
Personal injury attorneys have the experience and case exposure needed to accurately assess accident damages since they deal with these types of cases on a routine basis. Accident victims often only take into account the immediate health and financial impact of an accident, but an accident can long-lasting and far-reaching consequences depending on its intensity.
Gross negligence is an extreme act in which someone completely disregards the safety and health of other people. It’s an act that lies outside what is regarded as normal behavior. In a gross negligence situation, a person may fail or forget to perform a duty of care and instead act in a way that is detrimental to the health, safety, and well-being of others. Gross negligence includes elements of maliciousness and recklessness that go beyond acceptable behavior. It is conduct that can result in foreseeable harm if not prevented.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident that you believe was caused by another person’s gross negligence, get in touch with our auto accident lawyers today. We will help you prove that the other driver’s gross negligence caused your accident. We will also ensure you file for the highest possible financial compensation package that you are entitled to.
Examples of Gross Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits
- A driver speeding in a place that has heavy pedestrian traffic
- A driver texting while driving
- A driver driving a vehicle with defective brakes
- Drunk driving
Since extreme carelessness or deliberate actions can damage property or result in injuries to others, the compensation offered to the injured party may include punitive damages to punish the defendant.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Also known as exemplary damages, these damages are not meant to compensate the plaintiff for losses incurred in an accident but to punish the defendant for acting maliciously or recklessly. This is done to discourage the defendant from repeating such acts in the future.
What Your Attorney Will Work to Prove to Win Your Punitive Damages Lawsuit
Your lawyer will collect evidence and file a claim that demonstrates that the following elements existed in your negligence case:
- Duty of Care – This is the reasonable standard of care that the defendant should have exercised to prevent you from incurring a loss or experiencing harm. For instance, a driver should not use his/her phone when behind the wheel since his/her duty to others while driving is to pay attention while behind the wheel.
- Breach of Duty – Your lawyer will determine whether the defendant breached his/her duty to you. For instance, a driver can be held liable for breaching his/her duty of keeping an eye on the road and hitting an innocent bystander or another vehicle because he/she was reading a message on his/her phone.
- Factual Causation – Your attorney may also try to prove that the breached duty of care led to loss or harm. For instance, this may involve trying to prove that if the at-fault driver had paid attention to his/her driving instead of his/her phone, you wouldn’t have been injured.
- Proximate Cause – Texting while driving is known to be dangerous; thus, the driver should have known that texting when driving is something they should not do.
- Damages – Your lawyer will work to prove that the harm or loss you suffered requires compensation to help you recover from all damages and harm sustained. These damages include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Mental anguish
- Suffering and pain
You may receive a monetary award if you can prove the above elements existed in your personal injury lawsuit.
How Much Is Your Punitive Damages Claim Worth?
The Damages Act in Texas puts a cap on the compensation you can win in punitive damages. Your monetary award cannot be twice the amount of economic-related damages (damages that compensate you for lost income such as that spent on medical expenses). Moreover, non-economic damages cannot exceed $750,000. In short, your claim can be worth twice your settlement damages and an additional $750,000. You can win $200,000 in case the jury deliberating your punitive damages claim doesn’t award you economic damages.
Comparative Fault Laws in Texas
Texas uses a comparative fault standard that is modified to establish negligence and to determine the at-fault party in order to offer monetary awards to victims of accidents. This standard is also referred to as proportionate responsibility, meaning your compensation can be reduced if you played a role that contributed to the accident.
For example, if you’re texting on your phone while driving and get hit by a vehicle that ran a stop sign, the judge may determine that you were 40% responsible for causing the crash. If your overall award is $60,000, it will be reduced by $24,000 or 40%, because that is the proportion that you were responsible for yourself so you are not entitled to that amount from your insurance provider or the at-fault party’s cover.
Texas laws are also governed by the 51% bar rule which means if you’re more than 51% responsible for injuries you sustained, you cannot collect any damages.
The costs of an auto crash – such as lost income and medical expenses – can add up very quickly. These expenses will continue to rise even after the accident during your recovery period. If you fail to seek compensation for injuries sustained after the crash, you may be forced to pay for your accident bills using your own money even when the accident was caused by another driver.
You should speak to a Houston auto accident lawyer who understands the way the legal system functions in order to be able to win the highest possible compensation package allowed under the law. Our lawyers know the different types of settlements offered to auto crash victims in Texas and will help you plan and file your claim for damages.
Texas Is an At-Fault Insurance State
Texas handles auto crash compensation on an at-fault basis. What this means is that the responsible party is liable for settling the case with the other person or persons involved in the crash. The at-fault party’s insurer will be required to compensate all the accident victims. There are three ways to receive a settlement for your auto crash in Texas:
- File a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for the accident
- File a lawsuit with your insurer (first-party claim)
- File a lawsuit with the insurer of the at-fault driver (third-party claim)
The liable driver is the person who is 51% or more at fault for the accident. It is not always easy to determine the person at fault because the majority of insurance companies and at-fault drivers deny any wrongdoing, and substantiating a claim against an at-fault driver can require evidence collection and follow-up with legal, law enforcement, and medical authorities.
Types of Settlement Available After a Crash
The monetary impact of an auto car accident can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to take into account all your expenses when calculating a number figure for the cost of a crash. Below are a few common expenses related to auto accidents:
- Physical therapy
- Medical treatment after the crash
- Lost income
- Surgical procedures
- Lost earning capacity
- You may also be compensated for:
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Insurance Requirements in Texas
It is mandatory for drivers to have auto insurance under Texas law and they should provide physical evidence of coverage if asked to do so to avoid hefty penalties and fines especially when involved in a crash. The minimum insurance drivers in Texas should have is as follows:
- 30,000 for injuries caused to the body per crash if one person is injured
- 60,000 for injuries caused to the body when more than two people are injured per accident
- 25,000 per accident for property damage
These coverage slabs cater for injuries you may have caused to another person in a crash. You may be held personally liable for anything exceeding your policy limits. You should review your policy carefully to find out whether or not you have enough insurance coverage.
What Your Insurance Covers
Insurance is meant to protect you in case you’re involved in an accident since the minimum state coverage is for protecting other people that may be hurt in a crash and not you yourself. Below are a few optional coverage types that can offer you settlement through your policy:
- Comprehensive Coverage – Insures your vehicle against damages that aren’t related to accidents, such as vandalism.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Helps you recover lost wages as a result of missing work. It also takes care of your medical expenses up to the limit of your policy.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage offers protection against drivers that don’t have any insurance or enough in policy coverage to cover your damages.
- Collision Coverage – This isn’t optional, especially if you’re financing or leasing a car. It covers damages caused by an accident based on fair market value.
What Happens When You’re Hit by an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?
You may think your options are limited if the driver that hit your vehicle doesn’t have insurance coverage. This is not true, and you should contact our Houston auto accident team since different options exist and will apply to your unique case.
You may file a lawsuit if you have underinsured or uninsured car coverage with your insurance company or if you’re a hit-and-run auto accident victim. You can also pursue other legal options if you don’t have underinsured or uninsured car insurance. However, you should talk to a lawyer immediately after an accident as you may not be compensated fairly if you delay.
Argument Leads to Property Damage
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 7, Houston police were called to an address at Panay Drive in Southwest Houston for an accident involving a car being driven into a house. The woman who owns the home claimed that it was her ex-boyfriend who crashed a car into the garage before fleeing the scene on foot.
Though the man had fled the scene, the woman gave police information about her ex. There are no details on what events may have led up to the incident.
Property damage can be worrisome, and damage caused willfully can be even more emotionally frustrating. The key is to remember to keep cool and do as much as possible to make sure you and your family is safe, that you are compensated for any damages and to return to a normal life at home as soon as possible. The first thing you need to do after speaking to law enforcement and filing a report is to notify your insurance company. Some homeowner’s or even renter’s policies only cover the structure of the home and not any damage to the contents inside the dwelling. Check with your insurance agent to find out what is covered. In the State of Texas, such cases can fall under criminal property damage. This is especially true if the property was intentionally or knowingly damaged or if the premises have been substantially tampered with causing damage, loss or inconvenience.
Parents Sue in Wrongful Death Case
The grieving parents of a small girl who died at a southwest Houston daycare earlier this year are suing for the wrongful death of their child. Rayne Stanley, aged 3 years, was left alone in a bathroom at the Kidizone Academy daycare center. The child was asthmatic and had been suffering from chronic asthma and had a small asthma attack hours earlier. The official autopsy report lists the cause of death as being bronchial asthma. The owner of the daycare argues that Rayne’s parents had never informed her of how severe the child’s asthma was. The owner also said it was a terrible accident and that she had performed CPR and did everything possible to save the child’s life.
Attorney for Rayne’s parents, Jason Gibson, does not agree that it was an accident at all and has filed a lawsuit accusing Kidizone of neglect. “I wouldn’t use the word accident at all,” Gibson said. “You’re entrusting the life of your child to a day care. You would expect the employees who work there would be adequately trained.” Public records available through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services have previously cited Kidizone as early as last year for employing caregivers who were not certified in first aid. Asthma is a very serious disease that affects more people every year.
One in 12 people, approximately 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population, had asthma in 2009. This is higher than the 1 in 14 or 20 million, roughly 7% in 2001. It is estimated that 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007. Patients, both children and adults have to often take medication on a constant basis or have access to rescue inhalers and nebulizers to help them manage life-threatening attacks. No parent should have to worry about the safety of their child when entrusting their care to others.
Surviving Family Members of Lake Conroe Victims Call For Stiffer Regulations for Boats
The vast majority of laws exist to keep people and their property safe. Those who break these laws are not only responsible to the authorities who enforce the laws, but to those who were hurt by that disregard, as well. Sometimes, the law doesn’t cover everything, but even then, legal compensation is a possibility. No one should have to pay for the mistakes of another.
A northeast Houston woman lost two sisters and a nephew in a Lake Conroe boating accident. She’s convinced the accident happened because there is no law requiring boats to have proper lighting when boating at night.
Boats that have lights often tend to have lights that are placed where they would do no good, often in places where they can’t even be seen by oncoming vessels. An article in Seaworthy magazine notes these lights are often attached with fittings that slip over time. Or rear lights can be obscured by laundry hanging over a rail.
The writer of the articles recommends boaters always make sure their lights are working, clean, and at full brightness, as well as seated in the proper position and without obstruction. It’s also good practice to anchor the boat somewhere safe and view the lighting from another boat.
The incident that started the discussion on boat lights involved a bass boat carrying two men. It broadsided a second boat carrying eight people and nearly cut it in half. The northeastern Houston woman who lost family in that accident has vowed to see boating laws changed so no one else suffers the tragedy she has.
Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation
Contact our Houston offices at 713-677-2159 to understand how we can help you in recovering financial compensation after sustaining severe or minor personal injuries. With the decades of experience, our personal injury attorneys are ready to work for you.
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