When one person suffers an injury because another has acted negligently, it can be a stressful time, especially if they are looking at a long period of recovery and physical pain. Treatment for injuries in the state of Texas can be extremely expensive, and most victims will also lose wages while they are injured.
You should never suffer alone and in silence when you have been involved in an accident. Instead, you should seek legal representation from an Alvin personal injury lawyer that can assist you in the pursual of compensation and the recovery of the damage you have suffered. They will investigate on your behalf, calculate your damages and negotiate for a settlement. If that does not work, they will litigate on your behalf in court.
Here at Abraham Watkins, as a personal injury law firm, we can assign you a dedicated Alvin personal injury attorney to your case. Our law firm has been serving victims in the state of Texas for over 70 years. We have been around since 1951, making us one of the states longest serving law-firms.
Over these years, we have won favorable outcomes in a long list of cases, meaning we have fought and won cases just like yours before, giving us an unrivaled advantage when it comes to tailoring a strategy for your specific case.
You can reach us at 816-281-0649 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
How Do I Start a Personal Injury Claim?
Following an accident that has resulted in you being injured, you will need to find a personal injury law firm with a good reputation and a proven track record for success. Most personal injury law firms offer an initial consultation free of charge to allow victims to ask important questions and have their case evaluated.
Here at Abraham Watkins, if you wish to proceed with representation following this initial consultation, we will take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to find the money upfront to retain an attorney from our law firm, and you do not have to pay us if we cannot secure you a settlement or a victory in court. If we do win, we will take a pre-discussed percentage of your settlement.
How Much Could My Compensation Be?
Your compensation figure will depend upon the injuries you have suffered and the damages you have incurred as a result. Your attorney will need to calculate these damages. They will examine your economic and your non-economic damages, and these will form the basis of their negotiations for settlement.
If your accident involved property damage, such as your truck being totaled in a car accident, you might be able to claim the costs of property replacement or repair back.
Medical Bills and Expenses
If your injuries have resulted in medical bills or expenses, you can pursue the recovery of your costs. You can claim for all past and future medical expenses. This means that all treatment costs you have incurred so far and all treatment you may need in the future should be considered in your compensation figure.
Your attorney may need to work with medical experts in order to calculate what your long-term treatment may cost you and will pursue this cost to ensure that you are not left out of pocket in the long run.
Lost Wages/Earning Capacity
When you are seriously injured in an accident, you will usually require time off work to receive treatment and recover. Unfortunately, for most of us, this will result in a loss of wages while we are off work. You should not be left out of pocket for lost wages while you recover from an accident caused by someone else.
You can also claim for future lost earning potential too. This means that if you have received injuries that will require you to take time off in the future, or if you have been injured so badly that you cannot return to your job at all, your attorney will look to value this loss of earning potential and seek to recover it in your claim.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages compensate the victim for the physical pain and emotional suffering they have been through as a result of an accident. These damages are subjective, meaning an attorney will decide what they are worth using their past experience and skill. The more victories your attorney has under their belt, the more experience they will have to draw upon for this task, and this will make their judgment more accurate and harder to dispute.
In the most serious personal injury accidents, the victim may lose their lives. In this tragic situation, the family’s loved ones may pursue a claim. Wrongful death claims compensate the family and loved ones of the deceased. While no amount of compensation will ever return your loved one to you, it will provide financial security while you grieve and will cover funeral expenses.
Punitive damages will only be awarded in cases that have escalated to the courtroom. If a case settles out of court, punitive damage cannot be awarded. They can only be awarded by a Judge who wishes to punish the guilty party for acts that can be seen as grossly negligent or purposefully malicious.
How Do Alvin, TX Personal Injury Lawyers Determine Negligence?
In order to win your personal injury case, your attorney will need to consider the four elements of negligence and whether they can prove them.
Here are the four elements that need to be proven:
Duty of Care
For negligence to have happened, the at-fault individual must have owed you a duty of care at the time the accident took place. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a manner that prevents another individual from coming under harm.
There are several reasons why a person may owe a duty of care, such as a medical provider’s duty of care to their patients and a bus driver’s duty of care to their passengers.
Breach of Duty
The person who owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident must have breached it with their behavior for negligence to have occurred. A breach in the duty of care usually happens when a person acts unreasonably. To measure this, attorneys will often consider what a reasonable person in the same situation would have done, and they will compare the two acts.
If, for example, a driver runs a stop sign without stopping, then they have breached their duty of care to other road users.
Your attorney will need to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the accident, and the best way to do that is to look for medical records documenting that your injuries happened as close to the accident as possible. This may be an accident report from the paramedics or it might be a doctor’s bill from close afterward.
The accident must have resulted in damages such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.
What To Do After an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault in Alvin, Texas
Knowing what to do and say at the scene of an accident can prevent you from jeopardizing your chances of a successful claim. If you do find yourself in the aftermath of an accident, here are the steps you should follow:
Prioritize Your Safety
Your safety and your well-being always come first, so if you find yourself coming around from an accident, take stock of your own injuries first. See if there is any pain in your head, neck, shoulders, or back. If there is, you need to make sure that you remain still and await the paramedics.
If your injuries allow it, move to a place of safety and check to see if there are any other injured parties. If anyone has any injuries, call an ambulance without delay.
Call an Ambulance/Police
It is incredibly important that you call for an ambulance if there are any injuries. They are the only ones qualified to deal with injuries in an accident. Adrenaline and shock both have the ability to mask pain and symptoms of serious injuries. If an ambulance does not attend and someone is suffering from an internal injury like internal bleeding or a head trauma, it could prove fatal if left unchecked.
Calling for the emergency services also serves another purpose. If the police or an ambulance attend the scene, they will file an accident report relating to what happened. This includes important data that can be used as evidence in your case later on.
If your injuries allow it, you should consider collecting whatever evidence you can. Personal injury cases are always reliant on evidence and the fresher it is the better. Recording a video and voice statement of what happened is the best way to do this, with additional photos of the important aspects.
Advice For Speaking With Insurance Companies
Unfortunately, even with legal representation, you may not be able to avoid speaking to the insurance companies altogether. Certain situations may require you to speak to your insurance company, such as in the event you were injured in a car accident and have to inform them within the specified period of time.
However, you must always remember that insurance companies value their profits over their customers. They may seem to be working on your side, but you should never rely on this. Insurance companies did not get to be the giant corporations they are by paying out fairly in every case.
Insurance companies employ strong legal teams and aggressive loss adjusters who have the sole job of finding ways to reduce their payouts.
If you do have to speak to an insurance company representative, tell them immediately that you have an attorney and you wish for further conversations to be with them. Do not let them record you and if you do tell them what happened, keep it brief and vague.
Never admit fault, say sorry, or admit that you are feeling “okay” or “alright” as they may use this to devalue your claim.
Also, you should be on the lookout for sneaky tactics, such as offering a quick settlement immediately after the accident. This will never be a true representative of what you are owed, and if you accept it, you forgo the right to seek further compensation in the future.
Always discuss any settlement offers with your attorney.
Deadlines to File a Personal Injury Claim
The statute of limitations in Texas places legal time limits on bringing a lawsuit against another party. In Texas, this time frame is two years from the date of the incident. This is designed to prevent lawsuits from being raised decades down the line.
The sooner you start the process of filing a claim, the better your chances of success will be, as your attorney will have longer to investigate and build your case.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Alvin, TX
At Abraham Watkins, over our 70 years of service we have dealt with many types of personal injury lawsuit, including:
Texas sees a large number of car accidents that end in catastrophic injury, many of which occur due to DUIs. Across the state, there is a DUI-related crash once every 20 minutes, which is 72 crashes per day.
Motorcycle accidents also have a strong chance of resulting in serious injury due to the fact that riders are more exposed.
Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks have the potential to cause extremely dangerous crashes due to their size and weight. For this reason, there are a number of added complexities in a commercial truck accident case. Commercial truck accident liability can lie with one or multiple parties, such as the driver, the trucking company, the mechanic, and even the manufacturer of the truck parts.
Historically, commercial truck accidents have resulted in some substantial payouts, and this has led to trucking companies employing the most aggressive legal teams they can to protect them.
Dram Shop Claims
Dram shops, which are venues that are licensed to serve alcohol in Texas, have their own laws called dram shop laws. Under these laws, venues need to refuse alcohol to those that are obviously intoxicated. If they continue to serve an obviously intoxicated individual and allow them to enter their vehicle, they may be liable for any crashes that occur afterward.
Slip and Fall Cases
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, then you could be owed compensation. Property owners are required to carry out reasonable maintenance and warn visitors of any potential danger.
Do I Really Need an Alvin, TX Personal Injury Lawyer?
Following an accident that has led to you suffering serious injuries as a result of the negligence of another party, you are entitled and deserve to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Unfortunately, many victims avoid seeking representation because they are concerned that the costs of hiring a lawyer will be too high, or they worry if they lose their case they will still owe legal fees.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we want to offer all victims the opportunity to pursue the full compensation on offer to them without fear. To achieve this, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we charge nothing up-front or if we lose. We simply take our fee from your settlement if, and only if, we win your case.
We also offer a free consultation and initial case evaluation to any accident victim who needs it. In this meeting, we will do our best to educate you, evaluate your case and answer your questions.
Some people are under the misconception that they will do better if they pursue compensation by themselves, which is extremely rare. In fact, most people who seek legal representation and pursue compensation with a reputable attorney, walk away with more money in their pocket, even with our fees deducted.
Besides the fact you may walk away with more money when fighting a personal injury case alone, you will be responsible for pushing the case, which may take over a year. During this year, you will have to find the time and energy to push your case and fight against the aggressive legal team that is most likely against you. Their sole job, each and every day, is to fight against claims, and this puts you at a massive disadvantage.
With a reputable attorney behind you, you can rest a little easier knowing they are handling your case for you. The other party will also be much more likely to take you seriously, and this may mean a quicker settlement.
Questions to Ask a Potential Personal Injury Lawyer
With so many personal injury law firms to choose from, the task may seem like a difficult one.
We recommend taking advantage of the initial consultation many firms offer and avoid making choices based on billboards or tv ads.
During your free initial consultation, here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Will I have to pay anything upfront?
- What is your legal specialization? Are you a full-service law firm, or does your law office specialize in personal injuries?
- If you work on a contingency fee basis, what percentage of my settlement will you take?
- How many years have you dealt with personal injury claims in Alvin?
- What are the important factors of my case?
- What could my case be worth?
- How can I contact you if I have any questions, and how soon can I expect a response?
- Can I see testimonials from your previous clients?
Personal Injury Lawyer, Alvin TX FAQ
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
The period of time that your case will take will always depend upon its complexity and the skill of your attorney. It could also rely on whether or not the other party genuinely believes they were liable. If they do not, they are much more likely to fight.
Some cases can take several months, but the majority of personal injury cases take a year or more to complete.
Is Compensation For My Injuries Guaranteed?
No ethical lawyer will ever guarantee a victory. They may tell you your chances are good, but nothing is a guarantee, and any lawyer who promises success should be avoided.
However, as we work on a contingency fee basis, this means we only take on cases we have evaluated and believe have good chances of success.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Mechanic After a Car Accident?
There is no law or reason why you have to use an insurance company repair shop. You have the right to use whatever repair shop you wish to repair a vehicle.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Medical Professional for Treatment?
Again, you have the right to choose your medical providers following an accident. The only exception to this is if you have been injured at work. In this case, you may need to use a company-approved medical provider.
The Insurance Company Has Offered a Settlement. Should I Accept?
Offering quick settlement offers is an insurance company tactic. Often, when an insurance company finds out about an accident, they will know they will be likely to be liable for the accident.
Once they find this out, they will run the numbers to see what they may have to pay out and they will offer you a sum much lower than this in the hopes you accept. Once you accept, you forgo the chance for further settlement so never accept without speaking to your attorney.
Do I Have to Speak to The Other Party’s Lawyer?
You should avoid speaking to any lawyer that is not your own, especially if they want to talk about what happened or your injuries. Tell anyone who asks that they should liaise with your attorney instead of speaking to you.
Once you have representation, the other party’s attorney should not contact you.
Will My Case Go To Court?
It is usually within the interests of both parties to avoid a lengthy legal battle, and this means the majority of cases will settle out of court. However, you should be prepared for a battle as it does happen, and you should ensure you have a strong litigator representing you.
Do I Have a Claim?
Personal injury cases are extremely complex, with no two cases being the same. This means that the only way to know if you have a good chance of a successful claim is to take advantage of our free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Personal Injury Lawyer Alvin, TX
Abraham Watkins has served the state of Texas for over 70 years. As one of the states longest serving law firms, we can draw upon more successful cases than most personal injury firms. By examining past case victories, we can develop a strategy for your case built upon previous experience.Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give us a call today for a free consultation with a Alvin personal injury lawyer at 713-535-9319.
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