When you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. You might be facing rising medical bills that your insurance coverage isn’t strong enough to cover, painful injuries that require long-term treatment, time off work, and property damages.
Under Texas personal injury law, you are entitled to pursue recovery for all of these damages, including compensation for your pain, suffering and mental trauma.
If you feel you are entitled to make a claim, or you are unsure if your situation qualifies you to make a claim, your best route is to seek the advice of a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer to help evaluate your case and advise you on whether it is worth pursuing. If it is, together with their help, you can build the strongest possible case and seek the full and maximum compensation that you are owed.
Personal injury law can be extremely complicated, and you should always consider obtaining representation from a skilled lawyer. You will most likely be fighting against a strong, aggressive legal team that works on behalf of the insurance company. Without representation, you will be at a massive disadvantage.
Abraham Watkins – Speak to a Cinco Ranch Personal Injury Lawyer Today
After being involved in an accident, the last thing you need is to begin educating yourself on all of the complex issues and laws involved in a personal injury case. You should be focusing on your recovery and your own mental well-being. The sooner you obtain representation, the sooner you can take a step back, confident in the knowledge that your attorney is fighting your case on your behalf.
At Abraham Watkins, our team of Cinco Ranch personal injury lawyers are ready to help. We prioritize our clients and the attorney-client relationship we strive to build with them. This means we don’t just fight your case; we take the time to listen compassionately and educate you throughout the process, keeping you informed and in the loop.
We will liaise with the other insurance company and will investigate what happened. We calculate your damages in the fairest and most reasonable way, which makes them difficult to argue with and harder to dispute in court if it goes that far.
We know how stressed and lost you can feel as a victim of an accident, and we want every victim, no matter their situation, to have access to strong, reliable representation. We offer a free initial consultation to all potential new clients, and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only take a fee if we win your case. If we lose your case, you don’t have to pay a penny.
What Qualifies For a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas?
- Motor vehicle accidents.
- Injuries resulting from dangerous and defective products.
- Dogs bites.
- Slips, trips, and falls.
- Workplace injuries.
- Wrongful death.
- Plant and refinery accidents.
- Offshore injury and maritime law.
Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
The very first step you will need to take before you can pursue a personal injury claim is to find the personal injury lawyers you want to represent you. There are a lot of personal injury lawyers that cover the Cinco Ranch area, and deciding which one to represent you may feel like a difficult decision to make.
If you have never needed the assistance of a lawyer before, you might not know where to start. We advise to avoid making decisions based solely on tv ads or billboards. They can be a great place to start, but you should always dig a little bit deeper.
You should look for a law firm with a strong track record of success in cases similar to yours. They should be able to provide examples and proof of their success when asked.
You should also check independent sites like AVVO – a reputable legal review website where lawyers are given a score based on their client reviews, awards, years of service, and accreditations. This is a good place to check your potential attorney’s reputation.
You should make use of the initial consultation with your personal injury attorney to check several things. You need to make sure you are comfortable in their presence and that your personalities don’t clash. You could be spending the next several years working on your case closely with your attorney.
The Personal Injury Process in Cinco Ranch, TX
These are the stages that most personal injury claims follow:
The very first thing your attorney will need to do is to carry out a full investigation into what happened. They will search for solid evidence that can help them prove all the elements that they need to prove. They will look for CCTV footage, obtain police reports, and speak to witnesses.
They will also look at all the evidence that you have managed to provide, from medical records to photos and videos. This will help strengthen your claim.
Determining What You Are Owed
Next, your attorney will want to work out what they believe your case is worth and how much they believe you are owed. They will consider all of the damages you have suffered and will attempt to calculate the total worth of those damages.
They will begin by looking at your economic damages, which are the ones that can be easily calculated. Economic damages include:
- Medical bills, both past and future.
- Property damage.
- Lost wages, both past, and future.
Economic damages are easy to quantify and calculate. Your attorney will use receipts, bills, invoices, and wage slips to support claims for these figures, and as long as your attorney has these documents, these damages are hard to dispute.
The next lot of damages, the non-economic damages, are harder to work out as they do not have a physical price tag attached to them. They include:
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life, i.e., an inability to continue with hobbies you once enjoyed.
- Physical pain – and suffering.
- Disfigurement, i.e., scars and loss of limb.
As there is no price attached to these damages, the skill and experience of your attorney will be massively important. The more experience they have in calculating fair and reasonable figures for non-economic damages in a case like yours, the better they will be at helping you maximize the recoverable value of your case.
They will use your economic damages and your non-economic damages to calculate a settlement figure that they will use as the base of their negotiations with the other party. If the figures are fair and reasonable and your case is strong, the other party may decide to settle at this point and pay you what your attorney is seeking on your behalf. Your attorney will keep you apprised and informed of the settlement negotiations.
Filing a Lawsuit
If your attorney cannot come to an agreement with the other party, then it may be time to take them to court. During this stage, your attorney will need to prove the four elements you will read about in a minute. If they can do so, the courts may award you what you are pursuing.
What is Negligent Behavior
Negligent behavior is any behavior that can be seen as different from how a reasonable individual in a similar situation would act. There are four important elements to establishing negligence, and your attorney will want to ensure that they can prove all four in order for your case to be valid:
- Duty of Care – The first element is the duty of care. For negligence to happen, the at-fault party must have owed you a duty of care at the time the accident happened. There are numerous reasons a party would owe you a duty of care. When you get behind the wheel of a car, you owe a duty of care to all other road users. Doctors owe a duty of care to patients, and private property owners owe a duty of care to any visitors to the property.
- Breach of Duty – The next element is proving that the other party breached the duty of care to you in some way. An example of this would be a drunk driver crashing into you after running a red light. A normal, reasonable person would not be drunk behind the wheel and would stop at a red light.
- Causation – The breach in the duty of care must have directly caused your injury.
- Damages – Finally, you will need to prove that the injuries caused you economic and non-economic damages discussed earlier.
Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
You do have the right to pursue the recovery of your damages and compensation for your injuries by yourself in the state of Texas. This does not make it a good idea, however.
We always recommend pursuing claims like this with a skilled personal injury lawyer behind you. We recommend this for many reasons.
First, if you have been injured in an accident, your priority should be focusing on your health and recovery, and if you pursue a claim by yourself, you take all the stress on yourself. You might have to push the case forward for several years.
Second, you will be fighting against a team of skilled, aggressive loss adjusters that are employed by the insurance company. Their only job is to reduce your payout, and they will pursue that goal ruthlessly. Without a legally trained attorney behind you, you are at a massive disadvantage.
With an attorney behind you, you are much more likely to win a settlement outside of court, and insurance companies will always take you much more seriously.
Finally, with skilled and reliable representation behind you, you are more likely to win a higher settlement figure; one that eclipses the cost of your attorney. In the majority of cases, you win more overall when you have representation, even after fees have been paid.
Statute of Limitations in Texas
In Texas, under the statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the accident to make a claim regarding that incident. After this period, unless there are extenuating circumstances, your case will be barred. This means you will no longer be able to bring a claim regarding the incident after this point.
Even though this is the outer limit, the sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the better your chances of maximum compensation and the better your chances of winning your case. Your attorney will have more time to investigate, and witnesses and evidence will be more reliable the sooner you get in touch.
Cinco Ranch Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
How Long Do Personal Injury Claims Normally Take to Complete and Settle?
There is no average time for a case to settle. Every single personal injury case will have a huge number of different variable factors. The seriousness of the injuries, the insurance company representing the other party, the clearness of the liability, and the number of parties involved will all have a massive effect. Even the attorney you chose to represent you will influence the time it takes for your case to complete.
The more serious and the more complicated, the longer the case will take; the simpler, the quicker.
What if I Was in an Auto Accident With an Uninsured Motorist?
Personal injury cases involving uninsured motorists are difficult to deal with. The first thing you are going to need to do is to check your insurance policy to see if you have coverage for uninsured accidents. If you do, and your injuries are minor, you should be able to claim back most of your damages and costs that way.
If your injuries or damages exceed your level of coverage, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately to explore the options you have.
What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are punishment and are designed to make an example of the punished party. They are usually reserved for cases where someone has acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.
Can I Make a Claim if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
If you have a previous condition that has been aggravated by the accident, you can still pursue a claim; it will just be more complex. Your attorney will need to consult with medical experts to help them.
Will My Case Go To Court?
A court case can cost a lot of money, and neither side really wants the addition of legal costs to the case. This means that it is usually in the best interest of each party to settle out of court if the other party is clearly liable.
Some insurance companies will fight your claims, however, and in these cases, you may need to go to court to fight them. This is one of the reasons you should always make sure that your attorney is as skilled in litigation in the courtroom as they are in the settlement negotiation, so they can fight your case in court.
What Do I Say To The Other Party’s Insurance Company if They Call Me?
If the other party’s insurance company calls you, you should tell them you wish for them to contact your attorney going forward. Do not allow them to record you or get you to say anything that could be an admission of guilt or liability. Loss adjusters use underhanded tactics to reduce the payout of the insurance company.
Do I Have a Claim?
If you are unsure whether or not you have a valid claim, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. They will be able to evaluate your case and advice you if they think your case is worth pursuing or not.
If I am Offered a Settlement, Should I Take it?
Often, the insurance company will offer you a quick settlement that is drastically lower than you are actually entitled to. You may be tempted to take this as it may still be a sizable amount of money. However, you should always discuss your settlement with an attorney and remember that once you have accepted the settlement, you forgo all chances of seeking any more in the future.
This means that if you run into complications later down the line or your injuries are worse than they first seem, you will not be able to claim further from them. Remember, the first offer is almost always a lot lower than they are willing to offer.
Contact Abraham Watkins Today
At Abraham Watkins, we have been fighting on the behalf of victims across the state of Texas for over 70 years, making us one of the longest-serving law firms in the entire state.
We take the time to keep our clients informed and in the loop, and will listen compassionately to your case.
We won’t rest until every avenue has been explored, and we will dedicate the entire strength of our vast resources to your case.
Call us today at 713-535-9319.
Real trial lawyers, real results
Our Record of Success
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