It can feel like the world is against you when you have been injured in an accident caused by somebody else’s actions. Through no fault of your own, you may now have to deal with the injuries you have suffered, the lost income from time off work, and medical bills.
This is not fair and fortunately, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim to recover your damages and seek compensation from the at-fault party. Personal injury law is clear. If the accident happened because of someone else’s negligence, and you can prove it, they may be liable for your damages.
The best way to pursue your claim is to get in touch with a skilled Galveston TX, personal injury lawyer. They will evaluate your case, listen to your story and provide legal advice. Most personal injury law firms, ours included, will offer a free initial case evaluation and consultation to any accident victim. This meeting allows you to ask the questions you need to ask and decide if you wish to proceed.
Once you have agreed to legal representation, you can take a step back. If you are suffering from injuries from the accident, this will allow you to dedicate your time, and your energy, to your recovery while your attorney gets to work on your behalf.
Abraham Watkins – Fierce Advocacy from Texas’s Finest
At Abraham Watkins, our law firm has been serving Galveston, TX, for a number of years. We have fought numerous battles for clients in the Galveston area, winning favorable outcomes in cases just like yours.
We have extensive knowledge of the legal system here in Texas, and we put this knowledge to use when it comes to fighting for victims who have suffered a serious injury.
Many victims go under the radar and forgo the chance to pursue compensation because they often are scared that the legal fees will be astronomical if the case is lost.
This is a common misconception. When it comes to personal injury cases, our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. We do this to provide reliable representation to all victims, regardless of whether or not they can afford it. Working on a contingency fee basis means there is no initial cost for a consultation or a case evaluation, and if we do take on your case, you do not pay a penny unless you win. In the initial consultation, we will discuss our fees, which will take the shape of a flat percentage cost that we subtract from any settlement we can win.
Working this way means that the clients who come to us can pursue their compensation with confidence, without fear of losing. We take the risk so you can seek your justice.
Call us today at 713-535-9319.
What Damages and Compensation Can a Galveston Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me to Recover
When we talk about compensation and damages, we are talking about the damages you have suffered as a result of the injury. These damages will take two forms, economic damages, and non-economic damages, and calculating these is an important task your attorney will carry out on your behalf.
Your economic damages are clearly laid out and have a physical cost attached. They include medical bills and property damage, as well as lost income. They are called economic damages as they will have a price tag that is clear and a cost that you have suffered or will suffer. This makes them easier to sum up and easier to prove and evidence, compared to your non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are less tangible. These damages are subjective, meaning their value will be up to interpretation by your attorney. Pain and suffering, which covers you for the pain you have been through and the emotional trauma you may have suffered, is the most common non-economic damage.
An attorney that has a lot of experience to draw upon will be best suited to this task as this experience will make them more accurate and effective at calculating what a reasonable sum is for your non-economic damages.
When your damages are calculated accurately, it becomes much harder to argue with them. This serves two purposes:
- The other party is much more likely to accept a settlement offer based on strong evidence and skilled damage calculations
- If the case proceeds to a court case, it becomes a lot easier to prove to the court that you are deserving of your compensation and damages if they are calculated accurately
In order to help your attorney and your case, here are some of the most important damages to be aware of:
Medical bills are perhaps the most worrying of all the damages a victim may suffer, as they have the potential to explode in cost, especially if physical injuries are severe and require complex treatment. Even those that are lucky enough to have health insurance may find that their coverage is exceeded quickly if they are severely injured.
When a victim has no medical insurance or their coverage is exceeded, it leaves the victim responsible for paying their own medical bills until they can recover them. When this is paired with a long period taken off work, this can leave the victim in a vulnerable position financially.
Thankfully, your Galveston, TX, personal injury lawyer will work to recover all of the medical bills you have had to pay or will have to pay. You are entitled to claim back all of the costs if the accident happened due to the negligence of another party.
You can claim all future costs too. This allows you to pursue compensation that will cover your future treatment if you are going to require it.
There are two things you can do to help your chances of claiming the full sum of your medical bills back in your claim.
The first thing is to keep an extensive record of all of your costs. Economic damages usually come with some form of evidence, and if your attorney has access to all your invoices and bills, it makes them much easier to evidence.
The second thing that will prove useful is if you can keep a diary of your medical costs, the pain you are in, and your mood levels. This can help in proving causation and will assist your attorney when they need to work out your pain and suffering.
Loss of Earnings and Lost Wages
Another economic damage that can lead to serious anxiety and stress for victims is the time they have to take off work to receive treatment for their injuries. Many victims work in jobs that have no contingency when it comes to workers suffering from accidents, and this can mean victims do not receive any pay during this time.
If your case is successful, your attorney will pursue the recovery of all the income you have lost or stand to lose because of the injuries you have suffered. This includes the time you have taken off so far, and it also includes any time you will need to take off in the future.
If you have suffered catastrophic injuries, your attorney may look to recover a lifetime of lost earning potential if you are unable to return to work in the same capacity as you did before.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damage is a subjective, non-economic damage. The figure your attorney pursues for your pain and suffering should be, in their opinion, the amount you deserve to pursue for the physical pain your injuries have caused and the emotional and mental trauma you have been subjected to.
Pain and suffering damages can also cover what is known as a loss of enjoyment. This applies to those who have suffered injuries which means they cannot take part in activities they did prior to the accident. If you can no longer ride your bike or go fishing, you deserve to be compensated for the loss of enjoyment this causes.
The more experience your attorney has in similar cases involving similar circumstances, the better they will be equipped to place a fair and reasonable sum on your pain and suffering. This makes it more likely that they will be agreed upon in court or settlement discussions.
What Types of Injury Galveston, TX Personal Injury Lawyers Deal With
As personal injury attorneys, we deal with all kinds of injuries that have resulted from an accident caused by another party.
Here are some of the more common injuries that people will need to claim for:
- Burns to the skin, abrasions, and lacerations (cuts)
- Drowning and choking
- TBIs (traumatic brain injuries)
- Injuries to the spine
- Animal bites and attacks
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash and crushing
While these are the most common, this list is not a comprehensive one. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, you should get in touch with a law firm and seek aggressive representation as soon as possible.
What is the Process for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Galveston, TX Area
The very first step in bringing a personal injury claim against a negligent party is to decide which law firm and which attorney you wish to represent you in your case. This may seem like a tough decision, especially as most accident victims have never needed to hire a lawyer before and do not know what to look for.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we understand how overwhelming it can feel when it comes to choosing an attorney. The decision is an important one, one that could be the difference between you winning your case and receiving the right level of compensation or not.
For this reason and to make it easier for victims to receive some unbiased legal advice, we offer a free initial consultation to any victim who needs it. There are no strings attached, and we are simply happy that you walk away more informed than you were if you decide against representation.
If you agree to our fee structure and wish to proceed with representation, we will take over the filing of your paperwork and investigation of your case, and we will liaise with the other parties and witnesses.
The Importance of Assigning Negligence Following a Personal Injury Accident in Galveston, TX
Negligent behavior, defined by Cornell Law School is:
“A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct). “
Simplified, if the other party acted in a way that a sensible, reasonable person would not have acted in the same situation, they have acted negligently if they owed you a duty of care at the time.
The Four Elements of a Negligence-Based Personal Injury Case
In order for you to have a valid claim, there are four hurdles to overcome. You and your attorney will need to prove the four elements of negligence:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care for the individual who was injured
- The at-fault party breached their duty of care to the victim by acting in a way that is seen as negligent
- The injuries of the victim are a result of that negligence
- The incident led to the victim suffering from economic and non-economic losses
Maximizing Your Chances of Success
There are certain things that you should do and certain things that you should avoid doing in order to maximize your chances of making a successful claim.
Things to Avoid Doing After The Incident
Let us start with the things that you should avoid doing.
Refrain from Apologizing in Any Way, Shape, or Form
You should never admit fault in any way, shape, or form following an accident. Many victims will apologize for the accident in the aftermath without realizing that they are jeopardizing their chances of a claim later on. The other party and their insurance company will use any admission of guilt to reduce their liability and your payout.
Never Allow an Insurance Company Representative to Record Your Conversation
Due to the fact that personal injury cases have historically paid out large sums of money to the victims of accidents, insurance companies now hire the very best legal teams they can. These aggressive legal teams will often use underhanded tactics, such as recording calls to reduce their liability.
Once you have legal representation, you can tell all parties involved that they can liaise with your attorney instead of you.
Never Accept a Settlement Offer on the Spot
Another common insurance company tactic is to offer a quick settlement to victims. They will have run the numbers and worked out what the case may cost them. They will then offer a settlement much lower than this amount in the hopes you accept.
This is because once you have accepted a settlement, you legally forgo the right to pursue further compensation relating to that event.
Things You Should Do at The Scene of the Accident
There are certain things you should try to remember if you are ever involved in an accident or are currently at the scene.
Prioritize Your Safety
The very first and most important thing to prioritize if you have been involved in an accident is your own well-being and safety. That means check yourself for injuries and if your injuries allow you to do so, move away from further danger before anything else.
Check for Injuries and Call an Ambulance
If you have any injuries, or there are any other victims who have suffered injuries, then you should call an ambulance without delay. Do not worry about the cost of doing so. Adrenaline can mask injuries that can later prove to be fatal, and the only way to ensure everyone is treated and safe is to seek the help of an ambulance team.
The ambulance team will also file an accident report that can be utilized in your case.
Collect Evidence and Speak to Witnesses
If your injuries allow you to do so, once you have contacted the emergency services, now is a great time to collect any evidence you can. The most efficient way to do this is to record a video of the accident scene, showcasing any important aspects, and record a voice statement over the top of the video. Simply describe what happened in your own words. This makes for an incredibly solid piece of evidence.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you have followed these steps, or at any point beforehand, you should contact your attorney. They will advise you what to do and what to say and may even send their own investigative team to the scene of the accident.
The sooner you get them involved, the better their chances of uncovering evidence and the longer you give them to build a case on your behalf that is strong and compelling.
Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Every single year, people decide to forgo representation and pursue compensation by themselves. This is usually for one of two reasons. Firstly, they may think they can win more if they do not have to pay legal fees. Secondly, they are worried that if they lose the case, they will have to pay legal fees they cannot afford.
Both these assumptions are usually wrong. Most people walk away with more compensation regardless of their attorneys’ fees when they have representation, and most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win.
Besides the monetary reasons, when you pursue a case on your own, you will be responsible for pushing the case through to completion. You will also be up against a legal team trained to reduce the payouts of the insurance company. By yourself, you are at a massive disadvantage.
Another smart reason to obtain representation from a personal injury attorney is that personal injury cases, especially wrongful death or medical truck accident cases, can take several years to settle and it will be your responsibility to ensure you push the case forward and allocate your time to doing so.
Deadline after an Accident
You should also bear in mind that Texas has a statute of limitations that dictates how long you have to make a personal injury claim after an accident. After this time, you cannot make a claim without it being thrown out by the other party.
It states that you have no longer than two years from the date the incident occurred to make your claim.
Personal Injury Galveston TX FAQs
Is My Settlement/Compensation Guaranteed?
It is entirely unethical and a major red flag if an attorney promises that they will win your case. An attorney may tell you your case is strong and they are skilled and confident, but no victory is ever guaranteed.
How Long Does it Take to Recover Compensation?
The length of time that a personal injury case takes to finish will depend upon the skill of your Galveston, TX lawyers, the injuries suffered in the accident, the evidence on offer, and how clearly the liability lies with the other party. More complex cases, like those involved with wrongful death, will take longer than simple car accident cases, for example.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Doctor for Treatment?
There is no legal stipulation on where you receive the medical treatment you need for your injuries. The only exception to this rule is when you are injured at work. In order to receive workplace-approved medical care, you may need to use their chosen medical providers.
Should I Speak With an Insurance Adjuster?
You should always be aware of speaking to any insurance adjuster once your case is underway. Remember, they will always have their own best interest at heart. Insurance companies are big profit businesses, and that profit does not come from paying out fairly to every claimant.
Contact a Galveston Personal Injury Attorney at Abraham Watkins Today
If you or a family member have suffered an injury due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it can feel overwhelming. This becomes even more true if you have been left with medical expenses and property damage and you are going to require time off work.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we can help you pursue the compensation you may be owed. We will build an attorney-client relationship that is secure and confidence-inspiring, keeping you informed and educated throughout the case.
We have helped countless accident victims secure compensation by fighting vigorously on their behalf. Give us a call today to arrange a free consultation with one of our Galveston personal injury lawyers at 713-535-9319.
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