When you have been involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, it can feel like the world is against you. You could be facing unexpected medical costs that quickly add up and, if you do not have enough medical insurance to cover the costs, you could be left in a tricky situation. Paired with the fact that you will likely have to take time off work to receive treatment and recover, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed.
Fortunately, if the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you have the right to pursue compensation as a result. You are also entitled to seek the recovery of your damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. A successful claim will allow you to recover what you have lost.
Winning a personal injury claim can be a difficult affair, especially if the other party has a strong insurance company with an aggressive legal team to defend them. Your best chances lie with seeking assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney. With the right help, you will be able to pursue your right to compensation.
Your personal injury attorney will build a case on your behalf by investigating the accident and assigning liability. They will also calculate your damages, attempt to negotiate a settlement from the other party that is fair and reasonable. f necessary, they will litigate for you in court, convincing the judge and jury you deserve the compensation you are pursuing.
Abraham Watkins – Speak to One of Our Manvel Personal Injury Lawyers Today
At Abraham Watkins, we have served the state of Texas for over 70 years. This time has been spent fighting on behalf of victims just like you, and our countless victories in similar cases to yours give us a clear advantage when it comes to tailoring the best strategy for your case.
You can reach us at 713-535-9319 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney serving Manvel, TX.
How Do I Start a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Following an accident that has left you suffering injuries, after you have received initial treatment for your injuries, your next step should be to find a personal injury attorney that you want to represent you. Doing your research at this point is crucial. You will want to find a law firm with a proven track record for success.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we want all victims to have the option of representation, no matter what their financial situation. One of our goals is to ensure that victims have the option of pursuing compensation without fear of being left worse off if they lose their case.
To help us obtain this, we do several things. To start, we offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation to all new clients. This opens up the space for you to ask the questions you need answering. We will evaluate your case and inform you if we believe it is worth pursuing. We will ask some questions of our own, and we will listen to your story.
A member of our team will speak with you about our fee structure so that you can make your decision. You can either choose to proceed with representation or walk away. There are no strings attached. We simply want you to leave more informed than you walked in.
If we do take on your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis, commonly known as no-win-no-fee. This fee structure allows us to work for our clients without the need for up-front fees. On a contingency fee basis, we only take our fees if we win your case. If we lose your case, then you do not owe us a penny. If we win you a settlement or an award of compensation in court, we take a flat percentage as discussed in the first meeting.
What Are The Damages That Can be Recovered?
The compensation that may be on offer to you will depend entirely upon the damages you have incurred as a result of the injuries you have suffered in the accident. Calculating your damages will give your attorney a good idea of what your compensation should look like. Your compensation should cover all the damages you have incurred and should also cover your pain and suffering.
Your damages will take two forms: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Your economic damages will have bills and receipts. They are the damages that have or will cost you money.
Your non-economic damages are the subjective damages that your attorney will have to place a value too. These damages are the hardest to work out. The more experience your attorney has in previous cases, the better they will be equipped to handle this task.
Here are the damages that your attorney may consider:
If your property was damaged during the accident, such as someone crashing into your car, you could recover the costs of repair or replacement of the damaged property.
Medical Bills and Expenses
One of the most worrying economic damages that victims will incur is the cost of medical treatment. Thankfully, you can pursue the full recovery of your medical bills. This covers all previous medical bills relating to the accident, and it also covers all future medical costs that you may have to pay.
If your injuries are going to require long-term treatment, your personal injury attorneys may need to consult with medical experts to gauge what this will look like. This way, they will ensure you pursue enough compensation so that you will not be left out of pocket in the future.
Lost Wages/Earning Capacity
Another immediate problem that many accident victims face is that they will require time off work to receive treatment and recover. For many victims, this will leave them with lost wages or at least reduced earnings. It is not fair that you lose out on money to receive treatment following an accident that was not your fault, and with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you may be able to recover all of your lost wages.
Just like with your medical expenses, when you pursue the recovery of your lost wages and earning capacity, you can claim for future losses too. For those that are going to require future treatment, this ensures you receive enough to cover your future time off.
For those that have suffered serious injuries and will never be able to return to work in the same capacity as they did before, experts may need to be brought in to help gauge what a loss of a lifetime of earning potential might look like.
Pain and Suffering
Pursuing the recovery of pain and suffering damages allows you to seek compensation for the physical pain and emotional trauma you have been put through. As a non-economic damage, these damages are subjective. This means it will be down to your attorney to decide upon a figure that covers your pain and suffering. It is important to report all pain and impairments to doctors in order to help prove your pain and suffering.
The worst possible outcome of an accident is the accident and wrongful death of the victim. These cases are by far the most complex and will require an incredibly skilled attorney to navigate.
Wrongful death claims are brought by the victims’ loved ones and family and allow them to seek compensation for the loss of consortium and companionship, and to cover things like funeral expenses.
No amount of compensation will ever bring the loved one back, but it can provide financial security during this terrible period.
Punitive damages can be awarded at a trial when there is enough proof of bad enough conduct to punish the at-fault party. These damages are awarded if there is enough evidence the wrongdoer acted with gross negligence or with malicious intent.
How Do Manvel, TX Personal Injury Lawyers Determine Negligence?
There are certain elements that your attorney will be expected to prove if your case proceeds to the courtroom.
Here are the four elements that need to be proven:
Duty of Care
To begin with, in order for someone to have acted negligently toward you, they must first have owed you a duty of care. A duty of care, in legal terms, is a legal obligation to act in a way that prevents other individuals from coming under harm.
There are numerous reasons why you might take on a legal duty of care towards another individual, from the duty of care you automatically assume when you get behind the wheel of a car to other road users, to the duty of care that all medical providers assume to their patients.
Breach of Duty
The next element to prove is that the person who caused the accident, in doing so, breached their duty of care towards you. To breach their duty of care, they must have acted in an unreasonable manner. Legally, acting unreasonably means acting in a way that is different to how a reasonable individual would have acted if placed in the same situation.
An example of a breach of the duty of care for medical malpractice would be, where a doctor has deviated from the standard medical practices they have been taught to adhere to. A “reasonable” doctor in the same situation would have followed standard medical practices.
By comparing the two acts, it is easy to see that the first doctor breached their duty of care.
The next element to prove is that the accident directly caused you to suffer injuries. One way that your attorney may prove this is by looking at accident reports or reports from paramedics at the scene. They may also look at medical records for treatment close to the accident.
Finally, the accident must have resulted in damages, such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.
What To Do At the Scene of an Accident That Was Not Your Fault in Manvel, Texas
When you are in the immediate aftermath of an accident, it can be easy to make mistakes that jeopardize your chances of making a successful claim.
Here are the steps to follow:
Prioritize Your Safety
Always remember, your own safety and well-being come before anything else. This means that the very first thing you can do in the immediate aftermath of an accident is to take stock of your own injuries. The most important things to check are your neck, head, shoulders, and back. If you can feel pain in any of these areas, make sure you do not move and do not allow anyone other than the paramedics to move you.
If you are confident you have not hurt these crucial areas, you should move to safety and take stock of the others involved in the accident.
If there are any injuries whatsoever, be sure to call emergency services to the scene.
Call an Ambulance and the Police
No matter how big or small the injuries seem, you should call for an ambulance following an accident. Some injuries may lie hidden and adrenaline and shock can prevent people from feeling the pain that tells them they are injured. As the shock wears off, they may be left dealing with serious injuries that may have benefitted from quicker treatment.
If you feel that your injuries allow you to do so, you should always try to collect as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. Photos, videos, and voice notes taken at the scene of the accident can prove invaluable as they are fresh evidence. Even if your mind becomes hazy or jumbled, you can look at these photos and recall what happened.
Advice For Speaking With Insurance Companies
While your attorney should take on speaking with the insurance companies of the parties involved, there may be no way to avoid speaking to an insurance company representative completely. However, it is important that you remember that the insurance companies on both sides are primarily out for themselves.
Insurance companies do not actually want to pay out money. These corporations will do anything to avoid paying out a fair settlement to everyone that submits a claim.
If you do end up speaking to a representative from an insurance company, keep it vague. Do not tell them you feel better or apologize in any way, shape or form, as they may use this to reduce their payouts to you.
You should also be aware that they may attempt to use common, sneaky tactics. One of these is to offer you a settlement quickly after the accident. This sum may seem appealing, but we guarantee that it is less than you deserve. They will have run the numbers quickly and gauged what the cost may be in the long run, then offered you a lower sum in the hopes you take it, forgoing the chance at future compensation.
Always discuss any settlement offers with your attorney.
Deadlines to File a Personal Injury Claim
In Texas, there is a statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long you have to raise a claim against an individual following an accident. This is designed to prevent victims from bringing lawsuits against parties decades down the line, where it is nearly impossible to find evidence that corroborates their story.
In Manvel, Texas, this statute of limitations is two years, meaning any claims raised after this time will be thrown out.
As well as the legal time limit on bringing a claim against an individual, another reason to raise your claim as soon as possible is that it will give your attorney a much better chance of building the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Manvel, TX
At Abraham Watkins, over our 70 years of service we have dealt with many types of personal injury lawsuits, including:
There are a large number of serious car accident cases in Texas every single day. A worrying statistic is that every 20 minutes, there is a DUI-related crash. These crashes are often much more serious than normal car accidents, as alcohol and drugs have a strong effect on the ability to spot hazards, maneuver, and break.
Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents are often much more catastrophic than normal car accidents. With their added capacity and size, they can weigh 20x that of a normal passenger vehicle. That means that when accidents happen, they tend to happen with a lot more force and at a drastically increased risk to other road users.
Commercial truck accidents are dealt with differently than normal car accident cases. Liability can lie with several parties, from the manufacturer to the trucking company, the mechanic, the manufacturer of the truck parts, and even the driver.
Due to the historically large payments that have been awarded following commercial trucking accidents, the trucking companies now hire the strongest insurance companies and legal teams possible to represent them.
Do I Really Need a Manvel, TX, Personal Injury Lawyer?
After an accident that has resulted in you suffering serious injuries, you are most likely wondering how to go about pursuing compensation for your damages and injuries.
Many victims will attempt to go it alone, either out of a false misconception that they will win more compensation without the fees of an attorney or simply because they do not wish to pay for an attorney.
In most cases, pursuing your compensation with a skilled and reputable attorney behind you will result in a higher payout, even with legal fees deducted. You will also have an advocate pushing your case for you, instead of having to push it yourself over what could be several years.
When dealing with the recovery period of a serious injury, you are not in the best position to fight a legal battle against a team of loss adjusters. Their sole job is to reduce the payout you receive. They are trained and aggressive, and fighting them alone 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
There are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm to represent you. When sitting down to free initial consultations with potential attorneys, here are the questions you should 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 Manvel?
- 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, Manvel TX FAQ
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
The true length of time that your case may take to complete will be reliant upon the complex factors that make up a personal injury case. These include things like the skill of your attorney, their reputation, the insurance company you are up against, the clearness of the liability, and the seriousness of the injuries.
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 attorney will ever be able to guarantee you that they will be successful in fighting your case. If they tell you they can guarantee a victory, we would avoid them.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Mechanic After a Car Accident?
There is no law in Texas that states you have to use an insurance company’s preferred repair shop to have your vehicle repaired after an accident. You have the right to choose whatever repair shop you wish to repair your vehicle following an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Do I Need to Go to a Particular Medical Professional for Treatment?
You have every right to choose your medical provider following an accident too. There is one exception to this, and that is if you are injured at work. In this situation, you may be expected to use your workplace-approved medical provider. A lawyer can help you navigate that if that is what you are told by your workplace.
The Insurance Company Has Offered a Settlement. Should I Accept?
Quick settlement offers are an insurance company tactic to get you to accept less than you deserve. Accepting a settlement offer means you forgo the right to pursue further compensation. This means if you accept less than you deserve, and later on you need more money for your injuries or treatment, you will not be able to pursue recovery for those additional losses.
Do I Have to Speak to The Other Party’s Lawyer?
Once you have obtained your own legal representation, there is no reason why you should have to speak to the other party’s attorney. If they try to contact you, inform them you have an attorney, and that they should contact your attorney.
Will My Case Go To Court?
Both parties should want to avoid court if possible, and many cases will settle without ever seeing the courtroom. However, if the other party believes they were truly not liable for your damages, you should expect your case to need settling in court.
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?
With the complexity of personal injury cases, the only way to truly know if your case qualifies you to make a claim is to speak to an attorney who can evaluate your case.
Personal Injury Lawyer Manvel, TX
We are one of the states longest serving law firms, and over our 70 years of service, we have won countless cases for victims in similar situations to you. This experience means we can develop the best tailored strategies for our clients based on our past cases.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give us a call today for a free consultation with a Manvel personal injury lawyer at 713-535-9319.
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