How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
When would you need a personal injury lawyer? The day you or your loved one was injured was unquestionably one of the worst of your life. You not only have to deal with the pain and loss, but a suddenly uncertain future. In one moment, your life changes. No one can erase your pain, but a seasoned legal expert can do their best to help you on the road to recovery. The right personal injury lawyer can get you back on track.
If you have experienced a personal injury, or a family member has lost their lives in the Houston, Texas area, you need real help immediately. You need an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury cases require an experienced lawyer to conduct research, gather testimonies, account for all the expenses involved, recover your current costs and pay for your future needs. Preparation for these cases usually takes a great amount of time, and many times requires upfront expenditures to prepare your case for arbitration or trial.
An experienced trial attorney in Houston specializing in personal injury has the support staff, financial backing and necessary legal expertise to prepare your case without upfront investment by you. All the costs of the case and the personal injury lawyer deducts the payment for legal services from the final settlement. You will be able to relax and spend your effort in recovering, leaving your case in the hands of a Houston, Texas area personal injury attorney.
One moment you’re on your way to a shopping center or a doctor’s office in your new car. In a flash, you and your vehicle are involved in a crash. After you recover from the shock, you may start wondering how badly injured you or others are; about what to do about your car now crumpled on the road; whether to call the police; who was at fault. These confused reactions are completely normal.
Traffic accidents usually occur for several common reasons. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, failure of brake systems, distracted driving and limited knowledge of and experience in operating a vehicle all contribute to the number of crashes. You can make sure you are driving safely in a well-maintained car, but you can’t control the actions and circumstances of others.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, counted 14,202 crashes serious injury crashes in 2016, including 17,582 people who were severely injured. Each one of those victims feels the same loss, shock and fear for their future.
There are things you can do immediately after the accident that will help your future case:
- Never admit your feeling of guilt in any way. It is normal to feel regret, to think you must have done something wrong or to want to tell the other party that you’re sorry. These kinds of statements can be used in court and by insurance companies against you. It is best to say nothing. It will allow a lawyer to do their job without having to work through what the other party may claim is a statement of guilt.
- A car accident may require only an exchange of insurance information, registration, drivers license and personal contact information. If you have any doubt that your accident is not ordinary and straightforward, call the police. Any accident that causes injuries or if you suspect that the other driver is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or other complicating circumstances should signal that the police need to be involved.
- Keep all the documents related to your automobile in one package in your glove compartment. You will be able to show your insurance card, registration and other information when asked by the police.
- Take a photo of both vehicles, the other driver and the scene of the accident. If you don’t have a cell phone that takes pictures, keep a disposable camera in your glovebox.
- Get the photos (if possible), names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
In most cases of an accident involving an automobile and a tractor-trailer truck, the car’s passengers fare quite badly. From data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, those semis are up to 40 times larger and weigh up to 30 times as much as your automobile. This difference in mass and weight means that it can take as much as a full football field’s length for them to stop, 20 to 40 times longer than it takes your car to stop.
Their ground clearance is high enough that an automobile often is trapped beneath the truck’s undercarriage. Injuries in a truck accident are often very serious or fatal in these crashes. If this has happened to you, you will need an experienced Houston personal injury attorney with particular expertise in handling these accidents.
Always be aware of how dangerous a big truck can be. Give those trucks plenty of room and be mindful of the hazards that these behemoths can pose and avod a truck accident.
Most products that we use every day are safe and effective. If consumers didn’t trust commercially available products, our economies and our lifestyles would be very different.
Occasionally we hear stories about a brand of baby formula containing plastic, or a virulent infection has shown up in a vegetable product. Sometimes vehicles have parts that do not operate as expected. Any processed or manufactured product can hurt or kill consumers if they are handled carelessly or made incorrectly.
If you or a family member were injured or killed by a defective product, you need an attorney who has experience and expertise in this field. In Texas, the time in which you must bring a legal action is limited to two years from the date of injury. Starting legal action soon after injury means that witnesses will be more likely to remember incidents correctly, the evidence will still exist, and that the product liability lawyer will have the time needed to prepare your case.
Medical and surgical care is difficult in every case. Patients should know that success isn’t guaranteed, but they all want their doctors and hospitals to do their best according to standard practices. When the physicians fall far short of this goal, a patient may consider a medical malpractice suit. However, just because an outcome was bad does not mean that a suit is advisable.
In Texas, you have two years to file suit from the date you discover the medical injury, not from the day it happened. The time when continuous treatment began and ended factor into this limitation. Regardless of these differing circumstances, ten years from the occurrence of the injury is the absolute limit.
Texas also limits the amount you can recover for non-economic damages. Those damages include pain and suffering, stress, loss of enjoyment of life or other costs not directly related to the economics. It takes a real legal expert in this area of specialized practice to ensure that the legal system addresses every one of your issues.
If you undergo surgery or treatment for significant illness, keep good records. Know which entities provided care, equipment or therapy and keep copies of their bills and other materials. Knowing who to contact about what will give your personal injury lawyers more time to devote to winning your case.
A civil suit for the death of a person can be confusing. How can someone be declared not guilty in a criminal trial, but still be sued for that death in a civil court? It means that even if a person or business is found not guilty of criminal liability, the court can hold them financially responsible.
The difference lies in the two different standards of proof. A criminal finding of murder, demands proof beyond reasonable doubt. A civil case of wrongful death only requires a preponderance of evidence that is more likely than not.
These are complicated cases that take a lot of preparation and legal expertise to be successful. If your loved one has died through the fault of another, don’t think that a not guilty plea is inevitably the end of the case. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a possible case for action. The successful outcome of these cases is not prison or jail time for the guilty party, but a financial award.
Choosing the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Many people find themselves in need of a personal injury lawyer but have no idea how to go about finding the right one. The following tips can make the job easier, and lead to a happier outcome for all.
- Ask for referrals from friends, business associates and other lawyers.
- Check the listings in legal directories. Those will have information on education, background and experience. Most local bar associations have this information and there are commercial listings as well.
- Meet in person with several candidates. First consultations are usually free. You will get an opportunity to sense how the lawyer works with people and cases and see if that’s a good match for you. In these meetings, present all your information and documentation.
- What does winning mean to you and does it match the lawyer’s view? Do you want a quick and easy settlement? How about as much as you can get regardless of time or expense? What about more than the insurance company offered? Decide your preferred course and ask if the lawyer can agree.
- There are several ways to judge which lawyers have the experience you need.
- How long as the lawyer been in practice?
- Does the lawyer most often represent plaintiffs or defendants?
- How much of their practice is involved in personal injury cases?
Working With Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve chosen the right personal injury lawyer for you, there are measures you must take to ensure a good working relationship.
- You will need a written fee agreement. Written agreements between you and your lawyer list how and when you will pay the fees, for what work and at which rates. Most personal injury lawyers have standard contracts that they use.
- Always keep your lawyer up to date on changing circumstances that might affect their preparation for a court case. This could affect figuring out what amount should be requested as part of the case.
- Never lie to your lawyer, even if it’s not flattering to you. The rules require secrecy regarding your case, and they do not judge their clients.
A personal injury lawyer is usually honest and honorable. They will work very hard for their clients’ benefit. By choosing carefully and doing your part, you will go a long way toward a favorable outcome.