Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses
The Types of Cases That We Handle
The Types of Cases That We Handle
In the 20 years that the attorneys at our Law Offices have been litigating cases we have successfully represented thousands of clients who have been victims of personal injury or wrongful death accidents. Over the course of this period we have become specialized and have chosen to work primarily in those two areas of law.
Unlike other firms that will take on cases in any kinds of law we believe that the best and most consistently favorable results will come from concentrating our skill sets and dedication on just these two very important arenas of the law.
Consequently, when we are on your team in a wrongful death or personal injury case you will be working with a law firm that spends all their courtroom time, day in and day out, prosecuting cases just like yours, rather than a firm where the lawyers merely dabble in personal injury law.
No matter what your injury … soft tissue damage, broken bones, concussions, brain injury, spine injury … we are able to help you. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had over two decades experience ensuring that victims are adequately compensated for a full range of possible accidents, from 18-wheeler collisions, head injuries, birth injuries, dog bites, construction site accidents, wrongful death cases, injuries from falling on the ice, and literally dozens of other accident types. We have successfully litigated settlements in these cases and thousands of others for our Texas clients who have suffered financial damages, medical costs or pain and suffering.
A brief listing that covers a large number of the types of cases that we handle would include:
Passenger Car Accidents
Construction Site Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents
Other Types of Vehicles Accidents
Railroad and Bus Accidents
Medical Malpractice Cases
Drugs & Pharmaceutical Error Cases
There are certainly other types of cases that we also handle, so please do contact our Law Offices if you have suffered any type of personal injury.
Been In A Person Injury Accident?
Our Law Offices Can Help
The attorneys at our Law Offices have been successfully litigating personal injury claims for over 20 years. During this period of time we have won millions and millions of dollars in settlements for our Texas clients from major insurers throughout the United States. These huge insurance companies are well aware of our outstanding track record and often today will seek to settle out of court rather than face our tenacious attorneys in front of a jury. This of course may be beneficial to you, allowing you to send less time involved in the whole legal process and enabling you to receive your settlement check even faster. Thus you will be able to return more quickly to your regular day to day life.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact our Law Offices today. We are available to you 24 hours a day and are pleased to offer a complimentary consultation. Our team of attorneys are looking forward to discussing your case with you and to answering all of your specific questions.
What is a Personal Injury?
Many people wonder when does an injury become a personal injury in the legal sense. From a lawyer’s point of view, the term personal injury refers to the physical injury and accompanying emotional duress that is caused by another person’s action, or lack of action. Many people also believe that you can just sue anyone that causes you injury. As a victim, you have the burden of proof, meaning that you must show that the defendant violated a legal duty to do harm to you.
As an example, let us assume that you are having surgery; the surgeon in the operation uses his scalpel to make an incision. This is perfectly acceptable. In the next example let’s say that the same surgeon approaches you at a party and cuts you on the arm. Same two people and the same general type incision. But only in the latter case could a claim be made that anyone violated a legal duty to you. This breaching of legal duty is something that you, as the plaintiff, must prove in court. Specifically, you will have to accomplish this within all the rules and procedures of the court system; how these procedures operate, how to file all the necessary motions and pleadings, how to have pertinent evidence admitted, all of these must be done absolutely correctly or you will lose your case. In the modern courtroom, it is not only what you know, its what you can prove as well. This is also an extremely difficult task and one major reason why you will want to locate the absolute best attorneys in Texas.
What is the Purpose of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are two main goals in filing a personal injury lawsuit. The first is that it will allow a victim to recover financially all the losses that the victim may have suffered in an accident. Most accidents will leave a victim reeling under all the possible financial losses that they may suffer. One of these losses may include medical bills, repair bills, lost wages because of hospitalization and many others. These can all add up rapidly and thus the recovery of money from the negligent party can make a huge difference in a victims life. Secondly, a personal injury lawsuit will give the victim the chance to hold the negligent party responsible. By striking a blow for justice and holding the negligent party accountable, you will be diminishing the possibility of this type of accident occurring again in the future.
The Solvent Defendant
In order to win your case you must have a defendant that is solvent. In other words, if your defendant does not have the financial resources to pay the amount that you are requesting, there really is no point in initiating your lawsuit since the defendant would not be able to pay.
There are, unfortunately, many occasions when an unscrupulous defendant or even his or her attorney will attempt to hide assets in order to appear insolvent, to escape fiscal responsibility. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had extensive experience dealing with these types of subterfuge. When we are doing our normal background investigation into the defendant we also will always compile a full asset check as well. If there are assets being hidden we will most definitely locate them.
How To Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit
People often erroneously believe that they are simply entitled to collect compensation of they have been injured because of someone else’s actions. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, however, spells out the reality, that victims have the right to seek compensation. In order to collect compensation for your losses you will need to receive a favorable judgment or agreement saying as such.
Most of us simply assume that legal decisions are all made inside a courtroom, much as on TV and in the movies. In reality, most cases are settled outside of court. This is an excellent way in which to win your case, since it eliminates the uncertainty that may be present in a jury trial. In this case the defendant agrees to pay you a certain amount of money in exchange for which you agree to drop the chargers against the defendant. As long as you are receiving a fair settlement this is good for you, since it saves you time and money as well. You must, however, be wary of a settlement that is not for full value to you. If you are tricked or coerced into taking a lower settlement you will not be able to come back later and sue for the fair value. Offers that you receive before you have hired an attorney will generally be unfair, or low-ball offers. Always refuse to sign anything until you have taken the offer to some reputable attorneys in Texas for their review and input.
Receiving a fair settlement is not a traditional type of business transaction. Sometimes victims believe that since they have a bit of business intelligence or since they run their own company that they will be able to negotiate a fair settlement. This is just not how the legal system operates. A defense attorney will only settle out of court if that attorney is convinced that a jury trial will bring an even more expensive pay out for the defendant. When a non-lawyer sues an insurance company they may think that the insurance company will be intimidated into paying. Nothing could be further from the truth. These huge insurance company have millions of dollars in their war chests and are always prepared to fight claims. They are very unlikely to be scared by the claims made by an unknown law firm, let alone by a non-lawyer attempting self-representation. The attorneys at our Law Offices have been successfully litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases for over 20 years and have won millions and millions of dollars in settlements for our clients from major American insurers. These huge insurance companies are only too well aware of our outstanding track record and today will often seek to settle out of court, rather than face our tenacious attorneys in front of a jury.
If a personal injury case does not, for any number of reasons, settle out of court then it will go to trial. In order to win your case in front of a jury you will need to present evidence supporting each of the four major elements of a personal injury claim. These four elements are duty, breach, cause and damages. Let’s discuss them now in more detail.
First of all you will need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. We all owe each other different levels of care in our lives, in order to avoid causing each other any harm, by acting as a reasonable person would act. This is referred to as the “reasonable person standard” and is the most typically applicable duty of care. This may change in different situations, however; accordingly, here is a list if scenarios where it would not apply:
Often times you will see a sign in a store that may warn you that, say, a floor is wet and slippery after being mopped, or that in a parking lot it isn’t safe to leave valuables in your car. Since most of us wouldn’t warn friends visiting our homes of these conditions why would a business owner do so….The answer: Store owners owe their customers a higher level of care than we do to our house guests. This situation can become more complicated if you now imagine that the store’s visitor is actually a robber during the night, not a daytime paying customer. Does the store still owe the same level of care to the robber? Generally speaking, the answer is no. Thus you may see that duty of care varies depending on the purpose of the visitor.
Doctors and other medical professionals have spent years of advanced study and on the job experience learning to treat patients. We consequently expect them to use their advanced knowledge to take all necessary care of their patients. Thus they owe their patients a higher duty of care than they owe to others. On the job, a surgeon must exercise the duty of care of a reasonable surgeon, not just of a reasonable person.
At the job site things also become more complicated. You may wonder how much care your employer owes you …. The answer will depend on what type of worker you are. If you are an employee then you are owed a fairly high level of care by your employer. He must maintain safe working conditions. If, however, you are a temp worker or contract worker then you are basically responsible for keeping your own working conditions safe. These workers are not owed a duty of care for safe working conditions.
What do we owe to passengers riding in our cars? In many states there are different levels of care required depending on whether these passengers are paying passengers of not. Generally, a driver must place a paying passenger’s safety at more priority than that of a non-paying passenger.
Children are generally held to a lower level of care than are adults, with the level of care based upon their experience and age. The exceptions to this general rule would include times when children might be engaged in normal adult activities, such as when driving a car, when they would be held to adult standards of care.
It is best to consult with reputable attorneys to fully understand the duty of care applicable to your Texas personal injury case. Since Texas civil law relies on what is called “joint and several liability” multiple defendants can be the proximate cause of a victim’s injuries; consequently, the plaintiff may be able to sue all defendants. For example, if you have been hit by a drunk driver you may be able to sue not only the driver but the bar or restaurant where the driver was served excess alcohol.
After proving which level of care applies to your defendant, you must now demonstrate successfully that the defendant breached that duty of care that he or she owed you. Applying the “reasonable person” standard, defendants breach their duty of care if they do something that a reasonable person would not do.
Effectively, there are three ways that defendants violate their duty of care. Perhaps the most common way is through negligence. We commonly refer to negligence as a mistake or an accident. Even if this negligence lasts but a minute or two that is still sufficient to be held accountable. At a higher level beyond negligence is what is called “gross negligence.” This occurs when a defendant acts in a manner which he is aware that may case injury to another person. Drunk driving is a good example of this. The third level of negligence is when a defendant acts intentionally to cause harm, such as in a case of assault.
After you have proven that your defendant breached his or her duty of care you must prove that these actions lead directly to your injuries. If multiple parties were indeed responsible, then proving this may be difficult to say the least. On occasion a defendant will also attempt to blame a third party in order to escape responsibility. In these scenarios you will need abundant evidence to win your case.
The last critical part of your case is to prove damages. You will need not only to prove that you did indeed suffer financial losses because of the injuries that you received in the accident, you must also calculate the amount of these damages. This can be complicated, since you will also need to substantiate every penny of these losses.
Again, it must be noted how critically important it is to substantiate all of these elements in you case. If you fail to bring evidence for even but one element you will definitely lose your lawsuit. One of the experienced attorneys at our Law Offices can certainly assist you in preparing all evidence needed in order to prevail in the courtroom.
Types of Damages
There are two types of damages available in most personal injury cases: Special Damages and General Damages.
Special damages are more objective and thus are easier to quantify and to prove. These may include lost wages because of medical treatment, loss of future earning potential, and medical bills. While some facets are relatively easy to calculate there are others that are more difficult. How, for example, can you accurately compute the loss of future income for a 25 year old with outstanding career future prospers who now will be unable to return to work? This requires much more than merely multiplying the earned annual salary now by the number of anticipated years left in the workforce. One must also include anticipated merit raises, and bonuses from future educational certifications, fiscal benefits from medical and dental and retirement programs, as well as the cost of money and also inflation. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had the necessary experience to be able to accurately compute these types of sophisticated calculations to ensure that every penny of your damages is included.
General damages are the second type of damages available in these cases. These damages are much more subjective in nature and are consequently more difficult to prove. These may include such intangibles as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement and other injuries that are very hard to place monetary value on. General damages will vary extensively from case to case and are completely within the domain of only the most experienced personal injury attorney to compute.
Contact Our Dallas Law Offices, Today
When our Dallas clients come to us, they are often in a state of shock and confusion. We understand that this is a difficult time for injured victims and their loved ones, particularly if they are experiencing pain and suffering due to their injuries. We want you to focus on getting better, while we work diligently on your case.
Contact our Texas law offices today to find out how we can help you with your case. We are here to help you gain a better understanding of your options, so you get the best outcome for your specific situation.