legal 9/6/22 – gtg

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5 Things to do if Involved in a Road Traffic Accident – Injury Attorneys Guide

While the roads may not be getting any safer, with the invention of technology such as airbags, cars are getting safer, but accidents still occur on busy roads.

Have you thought about what would happen if you were involved in a road traffic accident, either as the driver (car, motorbike, or another vehicle) or as a passenger? Would your employer pay you if your injuries required a lengthy stay in hospital or if you had to spend months at home while you recuperate? Or maybe you are self-employed, and you will not get paid if you can not work. Unless you have plenty of savings in the bank, your mortgage needs to be paid, and your family needs to be provided for.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident, here is a list of 5 things you should do:

If you or another person or animal has been killed or injured, you must stay at the scene for a reasonable time. You must also give your vehicle’s registration number, name, and address to anyone who asks for it if they have reasonable grounds to do so. If you do not exchange these details at the scene of the accident, you must report the accident to a police station or police officer as soon as you can (and, in any event, within 24 hours of the accident taking place).

If another person is injured, you must produce your certificate of insurance. If you do not have this with you at the time of the accident, you can produce it when reporting the accident at a police station within 24 hours.

It will be a condition of your insurance policy with your insurance company to report any accident to them, so make sure you do this, even if you do not want to make a claim. If you do not do this within a reasonable time, your insurance company may not cover you for any claims in the future.

If the accident was not your fault, you might be entitled to a road traffic accident compensation claim. There are hundreds of law firms that will be willing to take your case, many on a ‘no win/no fee basis, which means that in the unfortunate event of you not being successful in your claim, the lawyer acting for you will not charge you anything.

And finally, stay calm – panicking will not help the situation.

Being involved in a traffic accident can be traumatic, but the advice in the five steps above should ease the situation.

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5 Things to Know Before You Sign Any Post-Accident Paperwork

Accidents caused by the negligence of another often result in serious personal injuries and costly property damage. This is mainly the case in the aftermath of an automobile accident. A person who is the victim of injuries and property damages due to an accident must keep five factors in mind before any paperwork is signed following the incident.

1. The Importance of an Independent Investigation.
A key factor to remember before signing any post-accident paperwork is the necessity to undertake an independent investigation of matters related to the incident. In other words, a person facing the prospect of signing these documents cannot rely exclusively on what an insurance company representative conveys, including an attorney.

2. Evaluate the True Extent of Losses.
Before executing any paperwork following an accident, an individual must thoroughly evaluate the extent of his or her losses. In most cases, this is best accomplished by retaining the services of an experienced attorney, like those in a firm specializing in personal injury law. Examples of losses a person experiences in the aftermath of an accident include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, these types of losses may continue into the future. A person may continue to incur medical expenses, experience pain and suffering, and lose wages long after the accident.

3. Paperwork can Constitute a Binding Agreement.
A person facing the prospect of signing post-accident paperwork must understand that these documents may include binding agreements. By way of example, a person may be presented with a document that constitutes a waiver of certain rights that otherwise exist. For this reason, each document must be closely and carefully read before signing.

4. Understand the Statute of Limitations.
Each state maintains a law called the statute of limitations that establishes a specific time frame in which a person must file a lawsuit for injuries arising from an accident. If a lawsuit is not filed within that time period, a person typically is forever precluded from pursuing one. When dealing with paperwork, a person must be well aware of this time frame so that he or she does not agree to anything that potentially creates a situation in which he or she will not be able to meet the requirements of the statute of limitations.

5. The Value of Professional Assistance.
Because a person has a great deal at stake following an accident, the value of obtaining professional legal assistance should never be underestimated. An experienced attorney understands what needs to be done to protect a person’s interests, including when it comes to the myriad of paperwork associated with an accident.

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Are Driving Laws Enough to Deter Car Accidents? Injury Guide

When getting behind the wheel, there is always the chance of experiencing a car crash. This risk can be reduced, however, by the installation of the right sort of planning by both locals and the government. While most western countries already have a set of driving laws in place, the question is always whether this is enough to properly deter accidents.

Benefits of Legal Guidelines
When it comes to keeping our roads safe, having the right laws and enforcement certainly has a positive effect. This can be done by:

Punishing those who drive recklessly and endanger others in their car

Persuading people to act more cautiously because of the penalties

Offering clear markers about how to drive safely in certain zones

Providing a set of guidelines to follow whenever behind the wheel

This will let people know precisely how they should behave when on the road to minimise the risk of death, injury or property damage. After all, a car can be a handy tool if driven in the right manner. It can also be a destructive killing machine if handled incorrectly though. By having a clear set of driving laws in place, chances are that the number of car crashes will then decrease over the long term.

Flaws in the Road Rules
Of course, having a set of legal guidelines will only go so far when it comes to making the streets a safer place to drive. This is because laws are merely words on a piece of paper. Without the proper community attitudes and police enforcement, they will remain that way, ignored and unused by those behind the wheel.

To see the effectiveness of driving laws as a whole, one need only look at how a legal agency works. The number of clients these firms get shows that not everyone fully complies with the laws in place. Some defendants have even been wrongly charged, clear proof that not even the legal guidelines and enforcement are completely infallible.

Sometimes, people can be charged with drunk driving or speeding without having actually committed those offenses in the first place. This is obviously a sign that more should be done when it comes to improving our road safety. While the right driving laws are a good start, the work does not end there when it comes to protecting everyone who gets behind the wheel.

What Can Be Done?
So that the roads can be a less hazardous place, it is up to every one of us to get together and work towards a safer future. The right community approaches can drastically improve driving conditions, reducing fatalities and injuries in an effective manner. For example, by educating your children from when they are young, you can encourage the following sorts of behavior:

Respect for other people driving on the road, including passengers
Willingness to follow the stated legal regulations in the right way
Understanding of the dangers associated with reckless driving
Patience and empathy when finally getting behind the wheel

All of these will bolster the effectiveness of any region’s driving laws, seeing to it that the community takes care of itself in the end. Of course, you’ll still need the right amount of law enforcement since there will inevitably be people who fail to heed the regulations but this group will hopefully be in the minority. If good values can be instilled through proper educational techniques for both children and adults, the vast majority of the community will then drive more safely when behind the wheel. This combination of driving laws and social attitudes will work to create a better road environment.

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Can a Taxi Passenger Pursue a Whiplash Claim?

If you are injured in a traffic accident that was not your fault, you can pursue a compensation claim for the damage you have suffered. Remember, you do not have to be the person driving the vehicle to take legal action; even if you were a passenger in a taxi, you will be entitled to claim for any injury you have wrongfully sustained. It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Taxi Passenger Whiplash Claims
Incidents of taxi passenger whiplash, unfortunately, happen all too frequently, and we often receive inquiries from injured passengers asking whether or not they are able to pursue a claim. The simple answer is yes: if you have suffered whiplash in an accident for which someone else is to blame, you will be considered a victim of personal injury. It is, therefore, your legal right to recover compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of finance you have incurred.

Furthermore, it does not matter whether the person at fault was your taxi driver or another road user. It will of course be necessary to establish which party is liable, as this will determine who you claim against. For example, if your taxi driver was driving erratically or without due care or attention, thereby causing an accident in which you suffer whiplash, your claim will be dealt with by his or her insurer. On the other hand, if another road user is responsible for your injury, you will need to obtain their details. These must include their name, insurance information and contact number. If they fled from the scene of the accident or do not have a valid insurance policy, you will still be able to make a claim, but it must be handled through attorneys.

However, what happens if you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident? It is not unusual for people to jump into the back of a cab and forget to put their seat belt on. But will you still be able to claim if your failure to wear a seat belt contributed to your whiplash injury? Again, the answer is yes: as a passenger, you cannot be held responsible for the accident, even if you were not wearing a seat belt. Nevertheless, there will be a case of ‘contributory negligence’, meaning your injuries were partly caused by your failure to take the necessary safety precautions. Consequently, the sum of compensation will be considerably less.

Seek Early Legal Assistance
If you have been injured while you were traveling as a passenger in a taxi, it is vital you seek early legal advice. An attorney who specializes in whiplash claims will be able to advise you upon what action to take next. If this involves making a claim, you could stand to receive a significant sum of compensation for the physical, emotional and financial damages you have endured.

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Injury Claim – What is it Worth? Injury Attorneys Guide

Have you been involved in an accident and curious what your case might be worth? To answer this question for you, an injury attorney will typically consult professionals in the medical field to access damages – including monetary, physical and mental.

The responsible party in an injury case is the one that will be paying the injured individual. Normally the person’s insurance company is responsible for injury compensation. Not all cases go to trial, more often than not the cases are settled outside of the court room when a negotiated agreement is reached between involved parties and their legal counsel.

Let us take a look at several types of damages that are most commonly awarded in personal injury cases.

Compensatory Damages in Injury Cases
Compensatory damages are exactly what they sound like – compensation (intended to make the injured plaintiff “whole” from the monetary compensation point of view. Such damages seek to reimburse the injured for anything that was lost due to the accident – whether it be the medical bills, rehabilitation fees, property damages, or any other types of damages that can be assigned with a dollar figure. Not all compensatory damages are easy to estimate, various activities an injured person can no longer perform that causes mental anguish are a prime example. Inability to perform functions at the same physical ability as prior to the accident is another example of difficult-to-estimate compensatory damages.

A quick overview of compensatory damages:
* Income – when putting a figure amount on compensation of income, past income is not the only type of income that is considered. Any future earnings that you would have been able to obtain if it were not for your accident is also considered in overall total compensation.
* Medical treatment – similar to income, compensation is calculated for medical treatment you have received and will need to receive in the future.
* Pain and suffering – the distinguishing feature of compensation for pain and suffering is that it normally translates into short term suffering and pain, versus ongoing medical treatment.
* Property loss – just as it sounds, your damaged property from the accident is reimbursed through estimates as fair market value.
* Emotional distress – in some states, emotional distress is considered in compensation (things like loss of sleep, fear, anxiety and any other emotional problems resulting from the accident).
* Loss of enjoyment – the inability to partake in daily activities that you used to enjoy but no longer able to do. Such activities may include a personal hobby, outdoor adventuring, physical exercise and others.
* Loss of consortium – damages awarded for negative effects the accident had on the injured person’s spouse or child. Inability to maintain a similar relationship as prior to the accident, whether emotionally or physically.

Punitive Damages in Injury Cases
Punitive damages are normally awarded in large sums to deter a specific behavior exhibited by the defendant. Think of punitive damages as a punishment for doing something terrible – in an extremely careless way. Such damages are awarded to punish the defendant and set forth an example to the rest of the community or industry that the defendant is part of.

Various Factors that May Affect the Claim Outcome
Having any role in your own injury will directly result in lower compensation if any. Most state laws take in account what’s called “comparative negligence” by determining the degree of fault you had in your injury.

Other states (although few) will take in account your degree of fault in a totally different light by the standard of “contributory negligence” – determining whether you contributed to your injury and possibly denying any claims whatsoever.

Failing to receive medical treatment may also cause your claim awards to drop significantly. It is the injured person’s responsibility to take all necessary measures to prevent any further injures, thus requiring to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

As you can see there is no clear answer to what your claim might be worth due to the sheer number of various factors that can significantly sway the compensation amounts. Depending on how well you handled the situation, your degree of fault and your attorney’s expertise, claim awards can be maximized or mitigated entirely. Obtaining help from an injury attorney soon after the injury is your best guarantee for appropriate steps to take place and minimize the harm of making a mistake that can ultimately make your claim worthless.

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legal 8/23/22 – 8 – Car Accidents / Truck Accidents – gtg

CAR ACCIDENTS

Fatal Car Accident Attorneys
Our Law Office Helps You Understand What to do After a Fatal Car Accident

If you and your family are suffering and dealing with the loss of a beloved family member after a fatal car accident, our hearts go out to you. Dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one, regardless of the circumstances, is an ordeal that none of us deserve, but many must endure.

In the midst of your grief, this sudden loss was likely caused by negligence by the driver or someone else. And though it might seem inappropriate to think of anything but mourning your loss, this accident is undoubtedly affecting you and yours financially. Contrary to what your family might think, it is certainly appropriate to consider how your family will be appropriately compensated for your damages and those that your deceased loved one suffered. Someone needs to help you handle this part of your family’s business before someone who doesn’t care about those interests does and victimizes your family during its time of profound sorrow.

Most of us drive responsibly. We obey traffic laws, use our seatbelts and child car seats, and are alert to our surroundings when driving. No matter what we do to keep ourselves, our families, and other motorists safe, that responsibility is not always shared by other drivers. Drivers who are thoughtless, careless, drunk, tired, or distracted can come crashing into our lives without warning, no matter what we do. All we can do is watch out for them and hope to avoid them in time when they come careening out of control into our lives.

After an auto accident that kills someone you love, there’s a lot you can do to protect your rights with the help of the right fatal car accident attorney. You can rightfully seek compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional damages surrounding the tragic fatal auto accident that took your loved one from you and yours. In fighting for that right, you are opposed by powerful forces. They have one goal in mind, to deny the rightful financial remedy you and your family deserve by law: rights that, with the help of an experienced fatal auto injury lawyer, you can effectively protect and keep you safe from the fiscal disaster this wrongful death can become.

If you wish to receive the fairest legal damages that your insurance claim or civil case can bring. In that case, we hope this Web page will help you understand the apparent need to hire an attorney who has experience in personal injury and wrongful death auto accident cases. Some might handle this matter themselves or hire inexperienced counsel who talks a mean game. But we feel obliged to explain some of the basics of wrongful death auto accident cases as a service to our visitors.

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What Compensation Damages are Available after a Fatal Car Accident?

If your loved one has been taken from you because of a fatal car accident, whether they were with you in your auto or someone else’s, you are entitled to seek monetary damage compensation for that horrible loss. We truly understand why no amount of money can compensate a family for the loss of a beloved member in a tragic car wreck. But money is the only remedy the law can provide, especially if no criminal charges are filed against the other driver. Given the high price of funeral expenses and medical bills alone, the civil remedy is a valuable tool to help families get back on their feet after a heartrending fatal car wreck and give their loved one a fitting memorial. Even more: recovering damages from a defendant punishes them for his or her negligence. It also serves as a reminder of the financial and legal consequences to which negligent people expose themselves when they drive irresponsibly, and it can inspire them never to do it again.

In a fatal vehicle accident lawsuit, there are two types of damages. They are wrongful death damages and survivor damages. Below is a general overview of both.

Wrongful death damages are those directly incurred by family members that have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident. These damages can be sought by multiple immediate family members such as a spouse, parents, or children, either separately or collectively. Wrongful death damages will often, but not always, include compensation for items such as the deceased family member’s medical bills prior to death and funeral expenses, along with a family member’s pain and suffering due to their loss. Also included in wrongful death damages is the loss of financial support provided by the decedent and the loss of consortium (or unique familial love that is lost). Sometimes that consortium can be personal and professional if, for example, a father was in business with his wife or his son, or all members were part of a family business. They include:

Compensation for mental and emotional distress caused by the loss of a family member.
Compensation for loss of companionship.
Compensation for loss of the financial support of your deceased family member.
Compensation for funeral and medical expenses your family member incurred due to the accident.
Survivor damages are collected from the defendant by a surviving family member, usually on behalf of the entire family in the name of the deceased family member. Survivor damages are those that the victim would have been able to sue the defendant for, had he or she survived. Those are damages that any personal injury plaintiff may file against a negligent defendant. But in this case, only one family member can seek survival damages since that family member effectively acts as a proxy for their deceased relative in a wrongful death case. In Texas, the family member who seeks survival damages can also seek wrongful death damages, which isn’t the case in many other states.

Survivor damages include:
Compensation for lost wages due to time spent in the hospital after the accident.
Compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Compensation for medical expenses incurred due to the accident.
Compensation for physical pain and suffering.
Compensation for emotional and mental suffering.

Your insurance claim or civil case will most likely demand that you seek damages for both wrongful death and survival. The proof required for these two types of damages is discretely different. The wrongful death attorneys at our Law Office are skilled and experienced in developing cases to prove all the damages our clients are entitled to and maximize your opportunity to recover all the damages you and your family rightfully deserve on behalf of your deceased loved one.

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The Four Required Elements of a Successful Fatal Auto Injury Accident Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

If you’re reading this, you certainly want to know whether or not your family might have a successful personal injury case against a defendant who must reimburse you for the loss of your loved one in a fatal car wreck. In most auto accident cases, the victim, or in this case, the victim’s surviving family, has a legal right to collect damages. Texas law says that rightfully asking for and actually collecting damages are two different things. As plaintiffs, you are burdened to prove all four necessary pillars of defendant liability for the fatal car accident claim in court. In the U.S, we all know that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. So all who will judge your case (or evaluate your insurance claim) must clearly understand why the defendants owe you these damages. All your opponents have to do to win is effectively deny or disprove any of these four elements to get off the hook.

In civil law, each of these four essentials of proving rightful civil liability against a defendant must demonstrate your charges are accurate and appropriate. They are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Below, we’ll briefly discuss each of these elements to appreciate better what it will take to prove that you’re entitled to damage compensation.

Duty: The first task your fatal auto injury lawyer must do is prove that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. This means the defendant must exercise an acceptable level of caution to prevent people from being hurt or killed as they drive. Texas Civil Codes and Procedures establish the level of the duty of care that a person or organization owes to another in personal injury cases. This duty depends on the circumstances in question that are considered relative to the relationship of the parties involved. Proving that the defendant in your case owed your loved one at least some duty of care is relatively straightforward since nearly all drivers owe each other the duty to drive as a reasonable person would keep others safe. Unless there are unusual circumstances (and there are a few), the chances are that a moderate “reasonable person standard” applies to the defendant (or defendants) in an auto accident case that caused your loved one’s untimely death.

Breach: If the defendants drive unreasonably only for the moments immediately before the fatal car wreck, they can be held responsible for their negligent actions that caused this tragedy. Offenses such as speeding recklessly, driving at night without headlights, running through red lights, driving while intoxicated, driving while distracted (by cellphone or texting), and more can constitute a breach of the defendant’s duty of care, even if they may not have been legally charged for these offenses in criminal court. Proving that the defendant breached his duty of care is typically accomplished when your attorney presents evidence from an investigation that removes any doubt about what the defendant did or failed to do in causing the fatal car wreck. The jurors in your case will consider your breach of duty and additional evidence that clearly illustrates the defendant’s negligence. Often this element can be the most difficult to prove and calls for a great deal of investigation by your lawyer. Once that breach is proven, the rest of your civil action might not be so difficult.

Causation: Simply showing the defendant might have been negligent isn’t always enough to win your charges that the defendant owes your family a long list of damages from the fatal auto wreck. If a defendant is forced to deny causation (a term used in proving breach of duty), often he will argue that “unforeseeable circumstances,” such as other drivers, pedestrians, or even your loved one, were the actual cause of the fatal wreck. This tactic is often the defendant’s last stand if he or she hopes to wiggle out of being held liable for legal damages. So expect the defendant’s lawyers to claim anything from the sudden appearance of an obstacle in the road that forced them to violently swerve and hit your loved one’s car to their toddler throwing a bottle of apple juice at them while driving safely. You know that this is untrue. How do you expose this defense for what it is? What happens if they introduce a perfect driving record, no accidents or tickets, that dates back to the Reagan Administration? You and your fatal auto wreck lawyer must prove your accident claim and disprove any untruthful defense. This is why it’s essential to have more than sufficient evidence to disprove any defense thrown at you and that the defendant’s conduct behind the wheel caused the car accident that took your loved one.

Damages: The term “damages” isn’t limited to just the actual cost of injuries and medical or funeral expenses of your loved one. It’s a legal term that refers to the total monetary value (the actual sum of money) the defendant owes you and your family in the wake of your loved one’s fatal auto accident. So, in addition to the above expenses, damages might also include your deceased loved one’s pain and suffering, present lost wages (present and projected earnings), you and your family’s pain and suffering, and, of course, the repair or replacement bills for any vehicle or items of worth that are destroyed in the wreck. To prove what you’re entitled to collect, you and your attorney must correctly calculate precisely what the defendant owes you and provide irrefutable evidence of all your family’s injuries and losses to support your damage claim.

While you and your fatal car accident lawyer establish your accurate damage amount, the defendants also work on the same thing, but they call it “totaling up our losses.” Civil damages-owed can be the most contentious issue of any personal injury case. Defendants use their “creative accounting” to determine how little they think they owe fatal accident victims if the jury finds that they are responsible for the wreck. They’ll accuse you of asking for a handout and beg the court to see that your requested amount is unreasonably higher than traditional payouts in similar cases. This very convenient defendant argument is also often accompanied by a charge that you bring a frivolous lawsuit against them. This is where you must clearly show the jury that your requested damage amount is realistic and proportional to the actual harm done to you and your family by the negligent defendant. Contesting the compensation amount is usually their last gasp at wiggling out of paying reasonable damages. You must strongly finish your case with clear evidence that proves your family’s losses are actual and that the amount requested is the complete and reasonable sum total of your damages.

Determining the proper amount of damages can be as important as the other three elements of proof because you are approaching the end of your family’s quest. You have only one shot at receiving fair compensation from any single negligent defendant. Computing every loss can be challenging unless you have an experienced auto injury attorney who knows the value of personal injury losses arising from fatal auto accidents and how to calculate them effectively: both tangible and intangible. How do you put a price tag on a beloved family member? In calculating loss of earning capacity, how do you account for hypothetical raises and promotions your loved one would have earned had he or she continued to work, been promoted, or hired away by another company at double tomorrow’s salary? These and other damage calculation issues are why you need an experienced fatal car accident attorney with our Law Office who knows how to account for and calculate every damage claimed due to losing a loved one to a fatal auto wreck.

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Whether the Defendant is Insured or Uninsured Greatly Impacts your Case

State law mandates, without exception, that all drivers must have auto insurance. Over the past several years, law enforcement has incorporated some powerful technology to instantly detect whether a motorist is insured. Many dispense “street justice” by immediately towing non-insured vehicles and giving drivers expensive tickets. If the driver has been previously convicted of driving without insurance, he or she can lose their license for a long time and possibly even go to jail, especially if they are involved in a wreck.

Even when they know they’re apt to suffer the consequences if they drive without proof of liability insurance, at least one-in-four Texans still try to get away with it. Whether or not an insurance company is involved in your case makes a huge difference in the legal process and the ultimate outcome of your fatal auto accident claim. Some conditions surrounding your accident (and damages compensation) can be complex and often contentious. Other elements of the fatal car wreck can be relatively straightforward once you get past the initial complexities.

Suppose both drivers involved in the accident are insured. In that case, the company covering the driver that caused the accident is responsible for compensating your family for all legal damages up to policy limits. Whether they do or not is one thing. Generally, this can be good for plaintiffs; in most insured cases, there will be at least some money to compensate your family for the tragic loss of your loved one. Yet, most drivers with “street legal-only” liability insurance carry minimum coverage. Those minimums are 30/60/25. Each number is in thousands. The 30 is bodily injury per person, the 60 is bodily injury per accident, and the 25 is property damage (the value of the vehicle that was hit). Such policies fail to reimburse your family for this profound wrongful death loss fully. Notice there is no provision for pain and suffering or other survivor damages. So just because the money is theoretically available through the negligent driver’s policy doesn’t necessarily mean that you can quickly recover it, especially if the negligent driver carries minimum coverage.

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Anyone who has dealt with “minimum coverage insurance carriers” understands that only a few pay better (and quicker) than others. Many, however, are less than responsive with claimants (not to mention their customers in general, even if they still take in those monthly premiums like clockwork). In almost any fatal auto wreck where an insurance company is involved and with so much money at stake, you’re sure to encounter aggressive insurance company adjusters, accident recreation specialists, defense attorneys, and investigators. All are working to see that you lose your case, should you choose to sue that driver’s insurance company to collect your rightful damages.

Sometimes, a driver who has been involved in a wreck will take steps to hide his assets to make you think he or she is insolvent if your requested damages exceed the amount of their insurance coverage. Or he might try to hide the fact that he is insured altogether because he fears that his carrier will drop his coverage if another car wreck is on his record. Regardless of the reasons behind this defendant’s behavior, the fatal car accident attorneys at our Law Office perform a thorough asset check on every one of the defendants – including the value of their insurance – to find out how much they are worth. If there’s money available, we’ll find it and work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for losing your loved one.

It’s also a good idea to immediately call an experienced auto accident attorney if the driver who caused the accident is less than forthcoming, either at the scene of the wreck or later. Or maybe the other driver doesn’t want to provide his contact or insurance information. Belligerent accident “victims” such as these usually have something to hide, either from the law or their insurance company. This behavior is also a good indicator that he’ll make it difficult to recover the damages you deserve because of his or her negligence in causing the death of your loved one. If the other driver displays this behavior, treat it as a big red flag that you need to talk to a lawyer quickly.

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Insurance Companies Will Constantly Pressure you to Settle for an Unfair Amount

Insurance companies can be extremely hard to negotiate, even on a good day. Getting a straight story or a reasonable sum of money out of it seems impossible. Why waste your time and patience with their tactics designed to frustrate you at every turn? Let your lawyer handle the insurance companies that are out to protect their own interests. If you’ve lost a loved one in an auto accident and seek legal damages, their interests and yours are polar opposites. They’ll use adjusters to try and deny your claims, even if they appear to be on your side. our Law Offices’ former accident injury clients have learned through experience that the best way to deal with insurance adjusters, especially during your time of unfathomable grief over the sudden loss of your loved one. Their remedy is to ignore them simply. Adjusters don’t call our clients. Without exception, we make them call us instead. When adjusters can’t talk to you, they don’t have a chance to twist your words around and use them to deny your legal rights.

Often an insurance company will try to pressure you to settle your claim or lawsuit for less than it is worth: sometimes, much less. Under some circumstances, our attorneys believe that accepting a fair settlement offer benefits the grieving victim’s family. An unfair settlement can be devastating, mainly if that same grief is used to victimize surviving family members. Don’t forget that when you accept a settlement, you permanently give up your right to sue the defendant again if it turns out that more was justified. The settlement is all you will ever collect, so it’s important not to accept an offer unless it’s fair. The only way to determine a fair settlement from an insurance company that wants to victimize you is with the assistance of an experienced fatal auto accident injury lawyer.

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Insurance companies know that most families of accident victims are most likely bleeding cash due to all those unanticipated expenses arising from the fatal wreck. They have hefty medical, funeral, and other emergency expenses that need to be paid quickly. If their loved one was also earning family income, their budget is suddenly much smaller, and there’s little left to pay these new, very large, accident-related expenses.

An insurance company wants to entice you with just enough fast cash that might get you back to even. But what if that’s not the end of your financial distress? Settlements you accept from an insurance company before you have an experienced lawyer on your side never benefit your surviving family in the long run. Don’t let the defendant and the insurance company pay you less than you deserve for your wrongful auto accident fatality claim. Reach out to our Law Office quickly to learn what your case is worth. Then you’ll know whether the defendant’s insurance company’s offer is truly fair.

If you have a bad feeling about how the insurance company appears to be handling your case, trust your instincts. You’re probably right. Despite their protests to the contrary, insurance companies aren’t really in business to help people but to make money. The more creative they find ways to deny legitimate claims, the more money they make. This is especially true with most insurers who aggressively market themselves as “minimum coverage” firms, who take in premiums but drag their feet when it’s time to pay a legitimate (and complete) claim. However, we have dealt fairly with a few of them. Regardless, you should call a lawyer sooner than later if you have a terrible feeling or if any of these circumstances apply.

With Stakes This High, You Need an Experienced Attorney to Defend Your Family’s Rights
Almost any lawsuit is more effective when an experienced attorney argues it, but a claim as serious as wrongful death can significantly benefit from a lawyer’s assistance. Suppose you experience any of the following after the accident. In that case, it is probably a harbinger that successfully winning legal damages through an insurance claim or civil lawsuit may be much more complex than you expect.

If the other driver doesn’t want to give you his insurance information, contact information or file a police report, he or she is probably uninsured. Or the other driver might claim to be insured, but you’ve never heard of his insurance company. The negligent driver’s insurance company might quickly offer you a settlement that seems unreasonably low or unfair, or its adjuster keeps calling you to ask you questions, wants to record your answers, then tells you nothing.

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Among the insurance company’s most effective tactics are bombarding you with questions and trying to badger you into signing a settlement agreement while you and your bereaved family members are still trying to recover from the shock of your loved one’s death (and before you’ve had the opportunity to consult with an attorney). Without talking with an attorney, you must never sign anything an insurance company puts before you. You’re just asking for trouble if you do.

Suppose you have a relative or friend who is a lawyer, even though he or she might be looking out for your best interests and is inspired to fight hard for you. In that case, it might be a good idea to reconsider retaining anyone who might have a difficult time emotionally disassociating him or herself from your emotional case. A pragmatic attorney best serves his clients when he focuses solely on the facts of a case and is calm under fire. Too much empathy is not always good if it clouds one’s thinking.

What happens if that friend or relative attorney doesn’t win the case or accepts a less-than-fair settlement because he knows how badly you need the money now and leaves even more on the table than an experienced attorney would not? How will you feel about your friend or relative then?

When we take a case, we handle every aspect of it. Our law Office deals directly with the insurance company so that you won’t be bothered by their tricky and harassing tactics. We conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene, determine which defendants were at fault, and know whether they can pay a reasonable claim. Then we file claims against everyone responsible. We calculate your damages and send a demand packet to the defendants. We aggressively negotiate with all liable defendants and their insurance companies to get the rightful settlement you and your family deserve from your loved one’s shocking and untimely fatal auto accident. But we’re also prepared to litigate your case to the end and keep you informed of every development. We know your case is essential to you. It’s important to us as well.

If you’d like to learn more about a fatal car accident lawyer or have questions about what we can do in your particular case, call our Law Office (toll-free) to arrange a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to serve you. Our fatal auto wreck lawyers understand why this is a most tragic time for you and your family. And we want to do everything it takes to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your and your family’s unnecessary and tragic loss; without the fiscal fear that only delays the healing process that you and your family deserve.

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TRUCK ACCIDENTS

18-Wheeler Accident Attorney – Do You Need Compensation After you are Seriously Hurt in a Trucking Accident?

Did You Know? Our Texas attorneys have won hundreds of 18-wheeler accident cases. Call us today to discuss your case.

There’s a reason a chill runs down your spine when a big-rig semi grows more prominent in your rearview mirror by the second or pulls aside you on the freeway at 75 miles an hour. Many times an 18-wheeler hits someone and causes serious injuries or even death. What happens if one hits your vehicle or someone in your family and kills them? The one thing you dare not do is take your time to decide how to respond to this tragedy because those who are responsible for hitting you are already starting to defend themselves. Thousands of 18-wheelers pass through Texas as a destination or a way station as they haul all types of goods to and from all parts of the country. So accidents, injuries, and even deaths are a statistical inevitability.

If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident or, worse, if a loved one was injured or killed, an 18-wheeler accident injury attorney with our Law Office can help you. For over 20 years, we have successfully negotiated compensation for our injured clients with insurance companies and successfully litigated hundreds of trucking accident cases on their behalf. We know you suffer pain through no fault of your own as a result of this negligent accident and are bearing a significant financial burden. But once you have recovered – and we hope it’s soon – your troubles might just be beginning if you did not have the presence to hire an experienced attorney. Your fight to seek fair compensation for your injuries can be just as trying as the injuries and pain caused to you by accident. Trying to get a fair settlement or litigating to secure a fair injury award without the proper legal counsel simply adds to this drama you don’t need. We feel it is essential to let you know about all legal avenues available so that you can make the right decision when hiring an attorney who will help you achieve just and fair restitution.

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Who is to Blame for Your Damages and Pain after a Serous 18-Wheeler Wreck?

When filing an insurance claim or civil case after you have been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident, anyone, or several different parties, can be responsible and held liable for your accident: The list includes:

The truck driver
The company he or she works for
The company that loaded the trailer
The person who planned the truck’s route
Maybe even a manufacturer of a truck part

That last bullet point comes into play rather often. Trucks are made up of many parts. All must operate as they should operate safely on the road. Design defects or manufacturing flaws in parts used by a truck may be the manufacturer’s fault, in which case a product liability claim or case might be brought against that company. For example, if a truck has faulty brakes that are a result of a manufacturing defect that causes the truck to slam into your car, or if a strap holding cargo in place has a design flaw that allows cargo to come loose and topple over on your pickup or SUV as you drive side-by-side on the interstate, a manufacturer may be held responsible for your injuries or other damage.

Another different source of compensation comes from the fact that in the past few years, the state and its counties have begun outsourcing much of their road maintenance and highway construction to private companies. So if that company’s construction zone creates conditions that cause an 18-wheeler to hit you, they may also be a liable party to the accident. All private companies retained by the state to build and maintain Texas roads must provide either direct liability insurance coverage or a liability bond to the state.

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Injured 18-wheeler accident victims, as the plaintiff in any legal case, must determine whether the negligent truck driver caused the wreck, if a mechanical malfunction might be responsible, or if someone else like that outsourced road maintenance provider played an important part. Many different contributing factors can abruptly lead an 18-wheeler to enter your life. The company that owned the cargo may have failed to load it properly or didn’t properly secure the cargo. This made it shift or break free during transport and toppled the trailer’s contents onto your vehicle. Or the transport company’s route planner was negligent in sending the truck into an area not zoned for hazardous cargo if the truck that hit you was carrying a hazardous load. It didn’t belong where you were at the time. Or many other negligent acts may have caused this wreck. Rare is the time when we see an open-and-shut 18-wheeler injury accident case. This is why it is in your best interests to harness the expertise of a prominent rig trucking wreck lawyer who will make sure that all the liable parties for your injuries from that truck accident are held responsible for your injuries, pain, and suffering lost wages as well as the damage to (or replacement of) your vehicle and its contents.

A legal concept in Texas law called “respondent superior” states that employers of those found liable for the wreck are ultimately responsible for the actions or inaction of their employees. So when you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler wreck, determining everyone responsible for the accident is the first thing that must be done. Finding those responsible leads to identifying legally liable parties for your injuries and property damage. In many 18-wheeler accidents, multiple parties may be liable for damages, and there can be more than one defendant, especially when our investigators uncover instances of respondent superior where an employee made a mistake that contributed to your serious18 wheeler accident injuries.

To win your claim among several likely defendants, you need an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer on your side who also can investigate the scene of an accident and determine who is (and isn’t) liable. Hence, you know the proper defendants to sue. This investigation is over and above the regular local or state law enforcement investigations. Though those investigations often reveal the primary responsible parties, they often stop short of the type of examination by experienced truck accident lawyers and their investigators. These “drill-down” investigations reveal every liable party and the degree of responsibility each party played in the accident. Occasionally, our investigations bring other case facts to light that law officials miss. We pass them along for further action if they feel it is warranted. We then go a step further by investigating every liable defendant’s assets. It’s not very fruitful to sue someone who can’t afford to pay your damages or doesn’t have the insurance to compensate you for them. We know what every defendant is worth and learn that quickly.

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The Insurance Company Is Armed with Underhanded Adjusters and Slick Legal Eagles

The more valuable an insurance policy (and policyholder), the more insurance companies are willing to do to protect such valuable business assets. Regarding policy value, coverage for an 18-wheeler is at least 25 times more than for the most expensive personal auto. Multiply your car insurance coverage by 25, and that’s how much harder their insurance company will fight to defend their trucking policyholders (and protect their bottom line). The soldiers in their war against you are insurance company adjusters and insurance company defense lawyers.

An insurance adjuster’s goal is not to help you but to help deny payment to accident victims. Adjusters that work on truck wreck cases are not the same “good hands people” from your friendly car insurance company who put you first. Only the best adjusters handle your 18-wheeler case. They’re the all-stars. And they got where they are on the backs of unfortunate accident victims like you. These adjusters are clever. Often, they try and get you to say something so they can record it and later twist your words into some sort of left-field admission of liability to destroy your claim. Some unscrupulous adjusters even convince uninformed personal injury victims to sign away the legal right to sue in exchange for a small settlement that does not come close to compensating the victim’s injuries. So a good rule of thumb is to not talk to any insurance adjuster who doesn’t contact you through your attorney. Even then, you should leave that entire matter up to your experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer. That’s what you’re paying him for, right? You know the old Texas saying. “You can’t get hung by words you never say.” End of story!

To represent them, insurance companies have teams of specialized defense lawyers to avoid paying claims against truck insurance policies. Whether they’re on permanent retainer or staff, these lawyers begin to build cases against accident victims like you seemingly before the last ambulance has left the scene. The longer you wait to file your claim, the more behind you already are. They’ve already devised the strategy, have completed their investigations, conferred with the insurance company, and know everything the adjuster knows about you. Because they specialize in this very involved insurance law, these defense attorneys know dozens of ways to trip you up and have your case dismissed before trial. Your claim may be completely legitimate. If you fly solo or have an inexperienced attorney on your side, eventually, they’ll win before the fight begins on some technicality. The only way to protect your case from these experienced insurance companies, their adjusters, and lawyers is with your own veteran 18-wheeler accident injury lawyer on your side.

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Here’s What You MUST Do Now

There is an old saying that there are two things we can never take back: wasted time and spoken words. This is a very good way to approach your injury case. Before you speak with an insurance company, accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation, sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. Next, time is wasting. Steps must be taken to preserve the evidence from your 18-wheeler accident. That means we all must act quickly and begin investigating the accident scene. Every moment you wait to find experienced legal representation, evidence is beginning to spoil, witnesses’ memories fade, or their stories “mysteriously” change. The scene of the wreck itself also changes quickly, and evidence to prove your case also might begin to “mysteriously” disappear. As soon as we are hired, our Law Office begins a thorough investigation of the accident scene to uncover evidence proving the liability of the truck driver and/or the trucking company. We inspect all the vehicles involved, measure the distance from skid marks to the point of impact, hunt for photographic and video evidence, and assemble all the evidence we find to prove your case. We take every measure to uncover any evidence that might help prove your claim beyond a shadow of a doubt.

For example, we were once hired by the families of two men who were involved in a terrible accident with a tractor-trailer rig. The collision killed one of the men at the scene. The other was left fighting for his life for quite a while. The truck driver left his trailer stretching across a road in the dark of night, preventing anyone from passing. Only the taillights of the trailer by the curb were visible to oncoming drivers, and our clients rounded a curve and unknowingly smashed into the trailer. The collision’s force ripped off the vehicle’s roof, killing the driver immediately and critically injuring the passenger. We were hired the next day and began our investigation at the scene. Our client’s car had been towed to a salvage yard. After examining the vehicle, we noted its missing headlights. Our investigators spotted a security camera asking to look at the video. It showed an official of the trucking company illegally removing the headlights. When the company tried to claim our client had been driving a car without headlights, we produced the video and caught them dead to rights. You can guess how this case ended up. You get a better idea of what we mean when we say that evidence can sometimes “mysteriously disappear.”

If the loved ones of these two men had waited any longer to hire us, this crucial evidence would have been gone forever because the salvage yard’s surveillance system re-records over old videotape every two days. And we can’t think of a more substantial reason why you must find an 18-wheeler accident injury lawyer now, so the investigation can begin while the case is fresh. Lies and missing evidence will cripple your legal right to fair compensation for an 18-wheeler accident from the moment it happens if you allow it to happen by doing nothing.

We Can Help You and your Family Regain Your life After an 18-Wheeler Accident.
Our Law Office’s local Texas truck accident firm has over 20 years of experience handling personal injury litigation in 18-wheeler cases.

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CAR ACCIDENTS

Personal Injury Lawyer – Our team recognizes that recovering from a car wreck is a long, painful, and taxing process, and battling with the insurance agency is mentally taxing at the same time. We aim to help you eliminate that strain so you can prioritize getting better. By letting our experts manage your case, you are placing yourself in the most suitable hands and allowing yourself a better opportunity to heal thoroughly with no even more anxiety on your mind and your body, together with a far better probability of recouping a just settlement and appropriate payment for your injury. Our team is powerful advocates who will work hard to find the ideal conclusion for you and your family.

Submitting a car accident case after an injury is a complex procedure. Our experts will help you through the insurance claims procedure, answer your questions, and ensure a doctor correctly evaluates you to help our team recognize the features and level of your impairments. A personal injury attorney understands your need to process your claim and optimize your settlement. Seeking legal action resulting from a personal injury is the first step. Common questions our experts hear include: How long will my claim take? How much is my case worth? These are tricky problems to resolve immediately, considering that every case depends upon several variables. We will do our utmost to thoroughly investigate your circumstances and create a plan of action that will maximize your damages and give you the best route to recovery.

Important Information About Car Accident Lawsuits
You might be able to pursue a legal claim if your injuries resulted from negligence or reckless actions. This may include being injured in car accidents, truck accidents, defective products, or another type of accident caused by someone else. Suppose you are involved in a car accident. In that case, you may benefit from the services of a car accident lawyer, one who knows the dynamics of car crashes and can identify and weigh all the possible factors that may have played a part. For example, you are driving in the rain on an improperly graded road, and an approaching car has a blowout. It suddenly veers out of control and skids into you at 45 mph. Was it the rain, the poorly built road, the other driver (found with beer cans in the car), or the mechanic who installed the bad tire that caused the accident – or a combination of them all? A car accident lawyer discovers who is responsible, whether insurance policies will pay for your losses, and what you can expect to recover damages if the accident was someone else’s fault.

If you or a family member has been in a car accident, you understand how devastating such a violent event can be for a person’s life. Overcoming the challenges of even a minor accident may seem impossible, but you may be able to secure financial support through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. When another person is responsible for causing such damages, the survivors are legally entitled to seek compensation.

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Key Points About Car Accidents

Understanding the intricate judicial system following an automobile crash could be almost hopeless without professional help. Quite a few people make misjudgments when making statements to police or insurance providers following an automobile accident, compromising the soundness of a future case since they did not have legal counsel. This is especially problematic in cases involving negligence, dealing with many different insurance organizations, or devastating problems. The duration of your situation depends on your personal injuries and how much time you will need medical care. Our firm does not wish to resolve a case before understanding your injuries’ complete nature and severity. This typically means our firm will carry on to gather facts and develop your case while you receive care.

Important Information About Multi-Vehicle Accidents
The most typical causes of car or truck injuries are neglect, abstracted driving, drowsiness, driving under the effect of alcohol or drugs, or going against traffic laws. Other frequent auto collisions include defective automobile parts, unsafe street issues, and exceeding the speed limit. In case you cannot gather evidence of negligence at the scene of the wreck, a knowledgeable legal professional will work with forensic analysts and other experts in the field to discover how the crash occurred initially. You may already know who was accountable for triggering the car injury, but to have a successful claim, it will be essential to provide documentation. Our automobile accident legal experts can analyze the origin of a traffic crash. They will also construct a robust evidence-based case to ensure that the responsible party is held responsible.

Is a Car Accident Lawyer your best option?
It might not be feasible to make a complete recovery after a vehicle crash, but that does not suggest that you should accrue debt because of another person’s recklessness or wrongdoing. Even an outwardly trivial fender bender can bring disastrous impairments, such as brain injury, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and amputations, which can call for considerable medical care and permanent assistance. Nonetheless, doctor visits, operations, physical rehab management, and reduced earnings can swiftly accumulate and deplete your ‘s bank accounts. By taking legal action, you could at least recoup financial remuneration from the liable party for the following losses:
Pain and Suffering
Loss of Enjoyment
Funeral Charges
Lost Functionalities
Motorcycle Damage

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legal 8/23/22 – 7 – Bus Accidents / Premises Liability / Construction Accidents & Workers Comp – gtg

BUS ACCIDENTS

Bus Accidents can be Extremely Dangerous & Cause Devastating Injuries.

If You or a Loved one has been Injured in a Bus Accident, Call our Law Office.

Traveling by bus is increasing in popularity. But in Texas, bus accidents seem to become more common. Think about all of the bus accident stories you see in the news. Don’t they seem to be happening with more frequency? The troubling thing about bus accidents is that more than with other vehicles, any single accident often injures and kills from one to many passengers. Have you been injured in an accident involving a bus? Our personal injury attorneys know how to get what you rightfully deserve due to negligence by either the driver or the carrier.

A variety of bus accidents can occur, either on transit buses, on a school bus, on national carriers like Greyhound or Trailways that criss-cross all of our state’s highways, or one of the many charter services. Bus accidents can occur at any time and for several different reasons. Negligence or oversight by the carrier should not, and does not, shield them from civil liability. So they are not immune to rightful insurance claims or other civil actions that might be appropriate. But there are some givens that you should be aware of; if you are about to take on these powerful carriers and the insurance companies that defend them. Bus companies, be they transit authorities, national lines, coach companies, or those that contract out to local school districts, are usually treated as “common” (or public) carriers. This means that although they are not obligated to “insure” the safety of their passengers, they have what is called an “affirmative obligation” (or duty) to protect them from harm, including injuries that might occur when an accident happens. All of them are required to have expensive liability insurance policies if they are to operate in Texas. So there’s likely to be enough money to compensate those injured in an accident. As with all defendants who have insurance, their underwriter will go to great lengths to defend their policyholders with adjusters and well-compensated attorneys because the mission of the insurance industry is to take in the premiums and fight like the dickens to avoid paying claims. It’s been that way for generations. Suppose the accident has occurred on a school bus or one of the local transit authorities. In that case, injured plaintiffs will find themselves up against quasi-government entities that benefit from favorable laws that discourage people from suing them. So the route to successful compensation is usually one with many twists and turns that inexperienced attorneys (and non-attorneys) have a difficult – if not impossible – time when trying to convince the defendants that they must pay for their negligence if that is found to be the case. Our Law Office has chosen to share some vital information with you if you have been injured in a bus accident. We believe that educated clients are the best clients. And we also believe that you will trust such transparency as you deliberate your options after being seriously injured in one of these unfortunate but likely preventable vehicle accidents.

The truth about all Bus Accidents
Several governmental agencies keep good records of bus accidents. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us that 30,000 commercial buses in the United States belong to over 4,000 motor coach companies. They average 360 million passengers annually, who travel 28 billion combined passenger miles annually. And NHTSA has recently been accused by congress of underreporting the actual number of bus accidents and the injuries and fatalities arising from them. However, two private research firms have much more accurate numbers. These two organizations – Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) – have painted an accurate picture of the occasional dangers of riding busses in the U.S. Their statistics tell us that during one year, 311 people were killed and 17,207 people were injured in U.S. bus accidents. In the following year, there were: 13,395 bus accidents in the United States. FARS reported that 221 accidents were fatal, and MCMIS reported 231 fatal bus crashes in the U.S. Two hundred fifty-four people were killed in these bus accidents throughout the U.S. 15,399 people were injured in bus accidents in the U.S.

These national numbers include school busses, charter, and national bus carriers, as well as those which are a part of local transit authorities. NHTSA’s numbers fall woefully short of these numbers. And in one year, the Texas Department of Transportation counted 1,239 accidents involving school buses. The great majority of these mishaps were minor. But six of them involved fatalities. Now, when you compare the number of accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities with the total number of bus miles traveled annually – 360 million – that’s an awfully small percentage, which tells you that, by and large, bus travel is safe. But things still go wrong. Often it involves someone’s negligence. If the bus company you trusted to get you safely to your destination was negligent, you deserve the right to be compensated for your injuries, pain, suffering, and lost wages. At the same time, you recover future lost wages if you are disabled, and – if a family member has been killed in a bus accident – all of the above compensation and more. The only way to expect that compensation is with the help of an experienced bus accident attorney.

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Accidents While on the Bus

It is not unusual for passengers to become injured while using bus service. Sometimes, these injuries occur when the bus is involved in a collision with another vehicle. If you ride the bus that bus is involved in an accident with another vehicle, your claims process may become quite difficult. The first obstacle you may encounter has to do with the number of people who will be making a claim. Suppose the accident is caused by the other vehicle. In that case, dozens of passengers aboard the bus may need to file a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. As you can imagine, very few people carry enough insurance on their personal automobiles to compensate all passengers fairly. In such an event, you will need the help of an experienced bus accident attorney to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. The attorneys with our Law Office can help you by identifying other sources of money from which you can be compensated and by helping you claim priority for your portion of the responsible driver’s insurance policy. If some sort of commercial vehicle caused the accident, their insurance might be more appropriate, but their insurance company will fight very hard for your rightful compensation.

Injuries Caused by the Bus Itself
Sometimes, the bus itself can pose a safety hazard. For example, when the bus runs over a passenger or other pedestrian, the bus driver starts driving before a passenger is seated or when the door or automated stairs make contact with a passenger. Most of these are more likely to happen with transit authority buses like the local busses or a school bus service. If you have been struck by a bus operated by any of these entities while standing outside (or in your car), your claim would be similar to that of a conventional pedestrian or vehicle-on-vehicle accident victim. The difference, however, is that you would be filing a claim against an institution owned by a government entity. As you can imagine, you stand little chance of victory without the help of an experienced attorney when you try to get money from any quasi-government agency because the laws are written to make it extremely difficult to sue them, even if they are legally obliged to carry private insurance that is designed to prevent the very losses that arise from such accidents from falling at the feet of these agencies.

If you have been injured while on the bus because the bus driver starts moving before you are seated, you will certainly need the help of a lawyer. Such claims are virtually impossible for non-lawyers to win on their own because the liable government entity certainly has a long history of denying these types of claims as valid. Hundreds of court cases throughout the state involving transit authorities and school buses have resulted in numerous denials because lawmakers generally operate under the belief that you knowingly assume such a risk by getting on the bus in the first place. Our attorneys can help you with this type of case by employing contrary case law and statutes that counteract this rather nonsensical outlook that seems so prevalent in these cases in Texas. But it’s not easy. If you have been injured by some component on the transit authority or school buses, such as a door in the process of opening or closing, much of the above-mentioned applies to your case. The bottom line is that you have little chance of making it past a courtroom’s scrutiny without an experienced attorney’s help. Suppose you have been involved in an accident with a school or transit authority bus while driving an automobile. In that case, you will certainly require the help of an experienced local bus accident lawyer. Many laws have been passed to give buses a considerable right of way. This has led to a general (and unfair) stigma that bus accidents are the other vehicle’s fault. That is simply not the case. As unfair as it may be, such biases within the justice system are common, and your only chance for a fair case is to partner with an experienced bus accident attorney.

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Driver Fatigue and Improper Maintenance are Usually the Culprits in Many Bus Accidents, especially on our Highways.

Several noteworthy bus accidents on Texas highways have killed and seriously injured many people in the past few years. In most of them, reports by the Texas Department of Public Safety indicate that an overly-tired driver may have caused just about all of them. These national or tour bus firms have very thin profit margins, which means that the two areas that get squeezed are driver scheduling and maintenance. Though federal laws prohibit the number of consecutive hours a bus driver can be on-duty (10 in a 24-hour period) to keep costs down, many over-the-road bus carriers look the other way when it comes to this regulation, not to mention the bus driver who is happy to get the extra money. When that compromises passenger safety and that of the public in general, it makes the company liable for any accidents or injuries caused by an exhausted, inattentive driver. The same holds true of school bus drivers. Recently, driver fatigue was cited as the cause of a school bus wreck that killed one Texas student and injured 11 others. The legal notion that holds transportation companies liable in such cases is called respondeat superior, which states that employers are legally responsible for their employees’ actions (and inaction) when working. In the driver-fatigue case, in addition to respondeat superior, more direct liability might be attached to the company if they scheduled the driver for more hours than the law allows. A few recent fatal overland bus accidents across the country (and a couple in Texas) were found to have been caused by improper maintenance or a defective part. These causes rank just behind driver fatigue as the cause of a serious bus accident.

Respondeat superior also attaches to this situation, where the bus company is responsible for the maintenance worker’s incorrect acts, in addition to not scheduling routine maintenance in a timely fashion or trying to get a few more miles out of a bus before finally putting it in the shop. Also, you may notice that more Mexican firms that have owned buses in the past few years are now traveling our roads. Though these companies are now allowed to operate in the U.S and can offer their services to Americans, the standards for managing and maintaining buses on the other side of the Rio Grande are a bit laxer than they are in Texas. Whether the buses are adequately insured is also a rightful concern. However, these companies agree to carry “proper” insurance when operating in the U.S. These busses are also subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Texas Department of Public Safety inspections when they cross the border, assuming there is an inspector there at the time they enter the country. If there isn’t one, they just motor on through and continue their journey through our state. Many of them remain and become part of Texas’s lucrative charter bus industry. Some foreign bus operators register their buses in two states using false addresses and a third party to complete their illegal registration paperwork. So it’s not hard, from a regulatory and insurance perspective, for these operators to fall through the administrative and enforcement (and insurance) “cracks” while transporting their passengers across Texas and the country. So, it should become more apparent that before you get on a bus, you have a good idea of what they will be able to do for you if something goes wrong. When something goes wrong, and you are seriously injured (or a loved one loses his or her life) in a bus accident, your best leverage involves an experienced and tenacious bus wreck lawyer.

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Investigations by Your Bus Accident Attorney are Vital to your Claim or Case’s success when you have been seriously hurt (or a loved one killed) in a bus accident.

Determining everyone responsible for the wreck is the first thing that must be done. Finding those responsible leads to identifying the legally liable parties for your injuries. To win your insurance claim or case, you need an experienced accident lawyer on your side who also can thoroughly investigate the scene of an accident and determine who is (and isn’t) liable. Hence, you know the proper defendant(s). In Texas, bus drivers are held to a higher standard (or duty of care) due to the number of passengers they carry. So when a bus accident occurs, much of their investigation focuses on the driver. What caused the accident? What did the drivers say after the wreck? Was it the truth? Your attorney’s investigation must be above average local, state, or federal enforcement investigations. Though those investigations often reveal the primary responsible parties, they often stop short the type of examination experienced by bus accident lawyers and their investigator’s conduct. These “drill-down” investigations reveal every liable party and the degree of responsibility each party played in the accident. Occasionally, our investigations bring other case facts to light that law officials miss. We pass them along for further action if they feel it is warranted.

Injured bus accident victims (and their lawyers), as the plaintiffs in this case, must determine whether the negligent driver caused the wreck, if a mechanical malfunction might be responsible, or if someone else played an important part. Many different contributing factors can abruptly lead to such tragic wrecks. This is why it is in your best interests to harness the expertise of a local bus accident lawyer who will make sure that all the liable parties for your injuries from that accident (or wrongful death) are held responsible for your injuries, pain, and suffering, lost wages, and disability. The odds that a commercial liability insurance company will be involved in the bus accident that injured you is a good bet. Bus companies, especially the larger ones or those that serve a government entity, usually carry very high-dollar policies relative to car insurance policies. This is because injuries caused by a bus wreck are more expensive. After all, many people can be injured or killed in a single accident. So, it follows that bus companies have much more to lose. Insurance companies hired by these common carriers have huge advantages when representing their clients. They have “top gun” teams, including defense attorneys, investigators, and specialists, who will leave no stone unturned in mounting their defense. Their legal teams are highly trained and can find any loophole so their client, the bus company, will not have to pay. The stakes are incredibly high. Their objective is for their client to avoid paying a huge claim. These attorneys in expensive suits also know how to use the inconsistencies in federal and state laws to their advantage.

You must have a local bus accident injury attorney to represent you when making a claim or going to court if our opponents insist on not fairly settling your claim. For generations, the mission of every insurance company has been to protect its bottom line, regardless of whether that company is a corporation that answers to stockholders or a mutual fund company that answers to its policyholder. All insurance companies are in the business of taking-in premiums and paying out as little as absolutely necessary in claims. They deny your claim for as long as possible, avoid paying you fairly if they can and protect their cash. Without the right experienced attorney on your side, the odds of collecting a fair settlement from an insurance company are astoundingly against you, regardless of the nature of your rightful claim. Insurance adjusters are their primary weapon against you because their job is to save their companies money by denying your claim or underestimating your injuries’ actual and total cost. The best adjusters are given the most critical cases. Bus wrecks have the potential to be some of the most expensive accidents and command extremely large damage amounts. This makes them very important claims and poses the most danger to any insurance company’s profits. An adjuster acts like your best friend and constantly assures you that all of your needs are met. Then they turn around and cut you off at the knees, coming up with excuses to deny your claim. They are very clever. They try to imitate the excellent relationship with your car insurance agent. Some unscrupulous adjusters even try to deceptively convince uninformed bus accident injury victims to sign away the legal right to sue in exchange for a measly settlement amount that would never be mistaken for fair compensation for the victim’s injuries or other financial losses from a severe bus accident. We’ve even seen a few haunting the ICU waiting for victims to get out of emergency surgery before they pounce.

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PREMISIS LIABILITY

Suppose You have been Hurt Away From Home Due to Someone’s Negligence.

In that case, a Premises Liability Lawsuit is your Vehicle to Compensation. Every day, we spend time at various places away from home: the grocery store, the pharmacy, restaurants, and often the homes of friends and acquaintances. Accidents that cause significant injuries at any of those places can occur. Suppose you or a loved one has suffered an injury while on someone else’s property, whether residential or commercial. In that case, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the property owner under the purview of Texas Premises Liability by retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Premises liability is a series of laws that protects us from harm and outlines clear procedures for recovering legal damages if we are injured due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else in their place of business or residence. Just as we all have different legal obligations (known as a legal duty) to provide for the safety of others generally, property owners are also required by law to provide specific standards of safety to different kinds of visitors to their property. These standards can be relatively high or more general, depending on the circumstances of the accident and where the injury occurred. If someone sustains an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, that injured person may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit under Texas’ premises liability laws. Injuries from slipping and falling, being struck by fallen objects, or becoming injured by malfunctioning equipment that is the property of the owner where you were hurt, may all be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Not every injury one might suffer on someone else’s property will automatically constitute grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

To have an actionable civil case, the plaintiff’s injury must have resulted from the property owner’s failure to provide the legal duty of safety and care to someone visiting the property. For instance, if a person is assaulted in a convenience store parking lot due to a lack of adequate lighting, then the store could be held accountable under premises liability. Suppose someone slips and falls on a restaurant’s wet floor, but there are signs in clear view that the floor is indeed slippery. In that case, the restaurant owner may have fulfilled his legal duty to warn customers of the hazard and might be able to prove that the injured person disregarded his clear warnings: in which case, winning a civil premises liability suit could be very dubious. The legal duty is equal parts circumstance relative to the level of care a defendant is obliged to meet and the due diligence the property owner can prove that he or she did everything reasonable to assure safety.

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Which Sort of Visitor You are Determines the Level of Legal Duty You are Owed

The obligation owed by a property owner to visitors changes due to the type of visitor. There are three distinct types of legal duty in Texas Premises Law:

* An Invitee is someone who knowingly and willingly visits a property for the mutual benefit of the owner and the visitor. An example of an invitee would be a shopper in a store. He or she benefits by purchasing something, and the owner benefits by selling something to the Invitee.
* A Licensee is a person who knowingly and willfully visits a property for his or her own sole benefit. The law considers someone stopping by to visit a friend an example of a licensee.
* A Trespasser, on the other hand, is a person who enters a property knowingly and willfully without the permission of the property owner or a legal right to do so. Examples of a trespasser might be a burglar or door-to-door salesman.

Exploring a Property Owners’ Legal Duties to Various Types of Visitors and How They Vary
As you now know, property owners owe different safety duties to different types of visitors. Invitees are owed the following responsibilities: The property owner must be aware of any dangerous conditions on the premises and warn those who visit his or her property. An example would be a fast food restaurant warning customers about a wet and slippery floor that an employee has just mopped. The property owner must warn of unique dangers you might not usually anticipate. For example, if you visit a friend’s house and his staircase has uneven steps, loose carpeting, or some other dangerous hazard that is usually assumed to be safe, he is legally required to warn you.

The property owner has a duty of not knowingly or willingly injuring visitors. For instance, if a property owner booby traps his or her property to punish trespassers and the trap injures another visitor, like a child who cuts across his property on the way home from school or some other innocent bystander or welcome visitor, that property owner has not fulfilled his legal duty and could be sued.

Licensees are owed the duties of property owners of being clearly warned of preexisting dangerous conditions to avoid being willfully or inadvertently injured by the property owner. However, some (not all) trespassers are only owed the duty of being protected from wanton dangers of which the property owner is aware. If a trespasser or licensee slips and falls on a newly laid sidewalk that is part of the city’s easement in front of the owner’s home, that’s the trespasser’s problem: though he or she might be able to take his complaint to the city.

Common Examples of Situations That May Justify a Premises Liability Case
There are several types of cases commonly litigated under Texas’ premises liability laws:
* Slip and fall accidents – In this case, hazardous conditions on a property cause someone to trip or slip and fall if the property owner does not clearly warn the visitor.
* Elevator collapse accidents – A defect in design or maintenance leads to an elevator collapse in which people are injured or killed. The plaintiff would likely seek premises liability relief through a defective product lawsuit in this case.
* Injuries as a result of criminal activity – When criminal activity on the property of an owner leads to the death or injury of another person, and the property owner is found to have taken part in that criminal offense (or had been aware of the activity beforehand), the property owner could be liable for damages.
* Injuries due to falling down stairs – When known hazards on a staircase cause a visitor to slip and fall, injuring him or herself, and the visitor has not been clearly warned of the hazards, premises liability laws usually apply.
* Dangerous animal attacks – when animals attack and injure a visitor to a property, the property owner is liable. A recently passed bill in the Texas Legislature now makes this offense subject to criminal prosecution.

To win a premises liability lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the victim to demonstrate that a hazard existed, that the property owner knew about the risk or should have known, and the hazard resulted in an accident and produced the victim’s injuries. Moreover, the victim or plaintiff must prove the requested compensation is both justified and reflective of the damages received by the plaintiff. In other words, you can’t just prove that the property owner failed to perform his or her reasonable legal duty. You must also prove that this failure justifies the number of damages you are seeking. Fulfilling these requirements can be complex. To succeed with a premises liability claim, you will likely need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in Texas premises law.

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Insurance Companies Oppose You and Your Premises Liability Civil Actions
Premises liability lawsuits usually involve the defendant’s insurance company because virtually any business owner knows the first check goes for the rent each month, and the second pays the insurance. The same can be said for most homeowners: at least those still paying a monthly note. Though this business owner or homeowner gets liability protection for his monthly premium, the owner (and his insurance company) and any injured party view this insurance coverage differently. You might see it as a means of financial compensation. Often, the insurance company provides “plausible deniability” for the owner is responsible for paying damages. Does this sound a bit contradictory? Well, yes, in many cases. The insurance company is the one who writes the check to you if your case is successful. It’s their job to fight you tooth-and-nail to deny your civil claim or case. Why? Because to protect the profits that come from all those premiums they take in every month, insurance companies are in the business of not paying out claims whenever possible. They do it with insurance adjusters whose duty is to the insurance company, not you, despite what the “friendly adjuster” might tell you. There’s always some reason why they’re dragging their feet in paying your claim. Sometimes they try to talk to you on the phone and then record the conversation in hopes of tripping you up and getting you to say something they can use against you. The best way to avoid this hazard is to have an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer or premises liability lawyer take those calls and keep you out of the loop.

Another position insurance companies take is to suspect (whether true or not) that you’re just looking for some sucker to fleece and are using the premises liability laws to do just that. This is one reason insurers have great lawyers, either on-staff or permanent retainer, to foil you at every turn. They file motions, argue technicalities, and try to put every legal roadblock they can think of to keep your case out of court. And they have lots of experience dealing with premises liability claimants: both those who are justified and those they claim are not. And finally, if the insurance companies know you have a good case but are not represented by a liability attorney, they’ll offer you a “low-ball” settlement that can’t come close to paying all of your damages from the property owner’s negligence. Or they think their case defense might be weak, even if they also suspect the veracity of the plaintiff’s charges. In short, your opposition knows the ins and outs of premises liability law and the best ways to avoid paying your legitimate injury claim against a property owner whose negligence caused your injury.

There’s Great Danger for Premises Liability Victims who go it alone Against the Insurance Companies.
Whenever you are opposed by a deep-pocketed institution like the insurance industry, who knows all the ropes when it comes to not paying a claim, representing yourself, or hiring your nephew who is just out of law school to argue his first case is like taking a knife to a gunfight. The secret to success in any legal area is experience and well-won respect by the defendants. A premises liability attorney with “skins on the wall” gets the insurance company and their attorney’s genuine attention: even more if one of those skins belongs to them. Our Law Office has over 20 years of experience winning premises liability judgments. We also have as much experience negotiating fair damage compensation packages from these insurance companies. This happens because they know we thoroughly investigate all aspects of any injury case, fairly assess the number of damages owed to our clients, and are fully prepared to take the matter to court if they don’t see reason. They know if your case is genuinely just and proves the defendant’s liability. If your damage expectations are fair, they’ll avoid the hazards of a civil trial by settling for a reasonable and fair amount, which means a trial is avoided. You have your money.

Here’s some free advice from any lawyer. It’s very good advice. Before you speak with an insurance company, accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation, sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. If one applies, your legitimate injury claim can yield damage payments for all your medical bills, pain, suffering, lost wages, and disability. At our Law Office, our attorneys have litigated premises liability cases for over 20 years.

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Understanding the Fundamentals of Personal Injury Law in Texas

Almost anyone injured by somebody else has questions about their legal situation. If this has happened to you, free online legal advice is very easy. Only rarely is “free advice worth more than the price you pay for it.” So while many people try to seek out free legal advice from websites or discussion boards or from friends who consider themselves self-styled experts, the truth is that nothing short of an experienced attorney’s counsel and guidance can deliver a comprehensive assessment of your unique legal situation or a plan that has a chance at actual success. Each personal injury case is different. Without an experienced attorney to determine the specifics of your situation and give you a well-considered opinion that is right for you and your individual case, all you’re doing is wasting your time and becoming more confused by all the contradictory information you can get on the web, or your friends who know just enough about the law to be dangerous. There’s a reason why free web legal resources usually warn you against relying solely on the advice they give. They suggest you consult with a licensed attorney before doing anything that might endanger your case. This article is not meant as a substitute for competent legal counsel. We do hope you will find the advice we share-worthy, that you will learn a little more about the basics of Texas personal injury law and understand some of the terminologies so you can be in a better position to make an informed decision once you do speak with a lawyer, which we very strongly suggest. If nothing more, this information may help you ask the right questions when you sit down with an attorney to produce the necessary answers. To truly understand your legal situation, a website is never enough. This is why we encourage you to contact one of our personal injury attorneys to receive a complimentary, personalized assessment of your specific legal predicament.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (the rules that govern civil law in Texas), a personal injury occurs “as a result of the actions or inaction of another person or entity.” Personal injuries include physical injuries, the physical pain and emotional suffering that those injuries cause, and fair compensation for all your bills, lost income, and possible disability resulting from the injury. In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim is called the plaintiff, and the party that caused the injury is the defendant. Although there can only be one plaintiff (or plaintiff’s family), many times, there can be more than one defendant, depending on the specifics surrounding the injury.

One of the most fundamental concepts that many don’t fully understand about personal injury lawsuits is that the victim is not uniformly entitled to collect money from the defendant just because the defendant may have injured the victim. It’s never that simple, even if many would like you to believe it is. Very rare is the personal injury lawsuit that ends up being an open-and-shut case. But occasionally, it does happen. The scales of justice are tilted in favor of the defendant, and the law presumes that he owes the victim nothing. All the defendant has to do to win is say, “prove it.” Then, if you can’t, the defendant wins. The only way to recover what you deserve for your injuries is to gather sufficient evidence and present it persuasively enough to tip the scales of justice in your favor. This is called the “burden of proof,” which is always on the victim/plaintiff. In every instance, your evidence must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent, that the defendant was the proximate (or immediate) cause of your injuries, and that you are entitled to damages. If you fail to accomplish even one of these three essential tasks, the law won’t allow you to recover fair compensation for your injuries. In a defendant’s efforts to avoid liability, their insurance company (or representing attorneys) will offer a grab-bag of apparently good reasons why he is not liable. So, in addition to proving the defendant’s guilt, you must also clearly disprove all of their arguments for the defense. Sometimes, their responses and charges can get rather vicious. So be prepared for a bumpy ride.

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Why File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuits have two purposes. The first is to receive reimbursement for your losses. In many cases, no amount of money can truly compensate a victim and his or her family for the physical and emotional aftermath of an accident or wrongful death. Because they have suffered a personal injury, victims typically incur very large medical and repair bills for damage to their property. Often, they must take time off from work to recuperate from their injuries. Suing those responsible for your injuries allows you to win the money you need to get back on your feet. In addition to medical bills and property loss, lost wages, reduced long-term earning capacity, pain, suffering, and the expense of a disability, whether short or long-term, along with other expenses caused by accident due to the defendant’s negligence may all be reimbursed through a personal injury lawsuit or negotiated settlement with the insurance company that represents the defendant. The second objective of filing a personal injury lawsuit allows you to punish the individual or entity that caused your injuries. By using those found to be responsible and then winning fair compensation, you’ll make sure that they think twice before acting carelessly in a way that could endanger others.

Who Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit? Anyone can file a lawsuit for any purpose in Texas. What matters is being able to file a successful personal injury lawsuit that you can prove. For your case to be successful, you must have been injured in some sort of verifiable accident, which gives you legal standing to file a personal injury lawsuit. You must be able to present evidence to meet your burden of proof in each of the four elements of a personal injury claim. They are duty, breach, causation, and finally, damages. They are listed again below and include some very general information surrounding what the plaintiff (and plaintiff’s legal counsel) must do to prove each of these four elements:

Duty
The first element of a successful lawsuit is clearly showing that the defendant owed you a duty of care to act in a way that wouldn’t cause harm to you. Often, people owe each other the duty to behave reasonably, so they avoid hurting others. In short, people we usually trust not to harm us owe us a legal obligation to behave in such a manner. This means not only avoiding unreasonably careless activities, but the defendant must take affirmative (precise) precautions to protect others from getting hurt in the same way a reasonable person would. Your case’s applicable duty of care varies according to the people and circumstances involved.

Here are a few examples of instances in which the duty of care may vary that few free online legal advice websites rarely clarify:
* Homeowners. Property owners generally owe a relatively low duty to trespassers who come onto their property without permission or are there to commit a crime. In some instances, property owners may have a more significant duty to protect children from getting hurt on their property, even those of their neighbors or children who are trespassing. Visitors the owner allows on the property also have a right to expect a reasonably high duty of care.
* Shopkeepers. Have you ever noticed stores and restaurants warning you about wet floors, steps, or other hazards that might cause injury? Now we’re not obligated to put up signs warning houseguests of similar hazards because this high duty of care is already assumed. But stores and other places of the business owe an even greater duty of care to customers because the law views customers as strangers. The higher duty of care must be displayed in their warnings, along with the property owner taking every reasonable action to protect these visitors from getting hurt on the property.
* Hotels and public transportation. Like stores and other businesses, Innkeepers and common carriers owe their patrons an exceptionally high duty of care in many instances.
* Doctors and medical professionals. Doctors and other members of the medical profession receive special training to be able to care for their patients. We expect that they’ll use their specialized knowledge and skill when treating and diagnosing us when we are in their care. This is why the law demands that doctors treat patients with an unusually high level of care than they would owe other people they are not treating. While working, doctors and other medical professionals must exercise the care expected of any reasonable medical professional rather than simply that of a reasonable person. In short, by the very nature of their jobs, most healthcare providers are held to a much higher obligation than the rest.
* Drivers. In many states, the duty of care owed by a driver to a passenger depends on whether the passenger is paying for a ride or simply a guest. In states such as Texas, cab drivers, bus drivers, and chauffeurs must be much more careful to protect the safety of a paying passenger in his car, which makes their duty of care unusually higher than that of a driver who, for example, might pick up a hitchhiker who is a stranger.

There are also a variety of other more subtle duties of care that might apply to your case. Depending on which duty of care applies in your situation, you may have a much easier time proving a defendant’s liability. Or you might have a much more difficult duty to prove. These variations represent one reason why after you suffer an injury, personal injury legal advice that’s free is rarely enough to give you an accurate appraisal of your individual situation or how to receive legal relief through a lawsuit. You need the services of an attorney who specializes in personal injury law.

Breach
After showing that the defendant owed him a duty of care, a successful plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that legal obligation to the injured victim. Proving that a defendant breached the duty of care that he owed you usually requires bringing clear and unambiguous evidence to the court to show exactly what the defendant did or failed to do that constituted the breach. If your case goes to trial, the jury will consider your evidence of an alleged breach, along with all of the circumstances involved in the accident, and determine whether the defendant did or did not breach the duty of care you are claiming. And only an experienced personal injury attorney can make juries understand the many nuances of the breach and how they apply to any specific case. Negligence is the most common way of proving that a defendant violates his duty of care. It refers to what you believe is simple carelessness. If a defendant is careless, even during the critical seconds of the accident, he may be held responsible for the injuries. Gross negligence, on the other hand, which is seen as complete disregard for the safety of others, is another way in which people violate the duty of care they owe to you. An action constitutes gross negligence when the defendant knows it’s highly likely to cause injury to other people or willfully damage another’s property. Still, they behave that way without regard for the consequences. Driving while intoxicated is one – of many – examples of gross negligence. Finally, it is very difficult to prove gross negligence in many personal injury cases. But if, for example, your injuries result from physical assault by the defendant, the defendant may be answering criminal charges for his or her very acts that caused your injuries. Regardless of whether or not this defendant is found guilty of – in this case – an assault against you, it will be easier for you and your attorney to argue that this defendant’s actions were intentional, thereby meeting this higher standard of proof of gross negligence.

Causation
The ability to prove causation is a critical part of any personal injury lawsuit. It’s just not enough to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care he or she owed you. You must also demonstrate that the defendant’s actions directly resulted in your injuries. This is not always easy, especially if you were unconscious when your injuries occurred or if many different parties might have contributed to your accident. Furthermore, the defendant you named in your lawsuit will probably try to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else or you. This is also the point where the defendant might try to turn the responsibility for the accident back on you or assassinate your character as his or her attorney tries to drive home the point that your irresponsibility was how you were injured, not the defendant. If you can’t make this crucial link between the defendant’s actions that caused your injuries, your case will quickly unravel, and you’ll lose.

Damages
Now we get to the good part: the payday, known as legal damages. But first, we should say that any Texas free online legal advice website that tells you a specific amount to expect from any personal injury damage suit should be viewed with some skepticism. Sharing typical recovery amounts for various types of personal injury cases handled by a law firm is one thing. But any suggestion that you can recover “X-amount” of money for injury compensation by one with no knowledge of your specific case is misleading. Suppose you are successful in proving the defendant’s liability. In that case, the final step finds him or her paying damages to you to fairly compensate you for your injuries. Most of the time, the defendant’s liability insurance carrier picks up the tab. Now don’t confuse injuries with damages. If you are in an accident and break your legs, your broken legs are your injuries. Your damages are the cost of treating your broken legs, the wages you’ve lost if you can’t return to work during your recovery, and probably the value of other economic and non-economic losses you sustained as a result of your accident now proven by the defendant caused. Your tangible (or apparent) financial losses are called special or economic damages. Most of the time, examples of special damages include lost wages, loss of earning capacity for the period of time you can’t work because of the injury, and your medical bills. Sometimes, the cost of medical treatment can also be easy to calculate. Other times these costs are not, especially if your medical treatment continues longer than expected or the full extent of your injuries is unknown. Then the task of calculating special damages is more complex. Calculating loss of earning capacity is often a complicated matter. Suppose you’re unable to return to work. In that case, you must account for the time-value of money you’ve lost, as well as hypothetical promotions, raises, and career changes when calculating how much you’ll demand that the defendant must compensate you for the income you are unable to earn in the future, regardless of whether it takes months or years for you to recover from the accident this negligent person caused.mIntangible, non-economic losses are called general damages. These usually include compensation for your emotional suffering associated with the accident. They also include the pain and suffering of family members in wrongful death cases.

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CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS / WORKERS COMP

Were You Hurt in a fall at a Construction Site? You May Be Owed Compensation for Your Serious Injury

Construction sites can be hazardous. Those in the business know that. They also understand that the most common hazards facing even the most careful worker are on, around, or under the construction scaffolding. It doesn’t matter if the project is a two-story mansion, an industrial or retail building, a low-rise office, or a towering skyscraper. At some point, scaffolding is necessary for most buildings’ construction (and maintenance). With all the building going on in Texas, there are likely as many scaffolds as there are construction workers. You’re a conscientious worker. You do your best to stay safe at work and keep a safe work area. That doesn’t mean you can’t still become a workplace injury victim anywhere on or near scaffolding. You may have suffered some injury from any construction or building maintenance site fall. Accidents happen, and, in many cases, when the injuries are serious and caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to some form of fair reimbursement under Texas law for the financial losses you’ve incurred from the mishap. Such legal entitlements can include your medical bills, the pain you’ve endured, and your emotional distress. If the accident produces disability, that is a justifiable request. When your construction site fall injury is very serious, it can strain your body, finances, and family. Whether you fell from scaffolding, scaffolding collapsed on you, or scaffolding collapsed while you were on it. You’ve been injured, and you need help; real help. You are not without your rights. You must, of course, focus exclusively on your recovery. That’s important. But you can’t take shortcuts that could hurt your claims and legal case further down the road. The laws that made workers’ comp more complex in Texas are a serious challenge to your ultimate compensation when all this is done. Often, some parties may talk a good game, pledging they have “your best interests” at heart. Suppose this is you: one who has suffered an injury while working on a construction site by falling from scaffolding or some other height or collapsed on or under you. In that case, you are right to consider seeking legal restitution to recover all appropriate damages.

Personal injury claims and lawsuits involving construction companies are complicated: you’ll begin to understand Texas workers’ compensation laws in a bit when we visit with you. The best legal strategies for your case differ because they are based on whether you are a subcontractor, contractor, or employee: and whether the construction company subscribes to workers’ compensation insurance or not. It’s a lot of territories to cover. No two cases are mirror images of the other. For instance, you should know that the laws which make non-subscribers liable for their employee’s injuries don’t apply directly to contractors. Often, construction companies think they can escape legal liability for injuries without even paying for workers’ compensation insurance by hiring contractors instead of employees. Unfortunately, this strategy often works for companies, especially when they don’t have an experienced construction injury and workers’ comp attorney like the ones at our Law Office when one is injured in a scaffolding accident. It’s hard not to feel that the laws surrounding Texas workers’ comp and the contractors who benefit from it the most work to allow them to avoid all liability. Many personal injury firms will drop your case immediately upon initially learning you are not an employee but not having the curiosity to investigate that point. You hear many urban myths about how a workers’ comp subscriber company makes them immune to lawsuits; or how employers can sometimes evade an actual “employer-employee” relationship by diving through a loophole in the law. But when held to the light of truth, they don’t always hold up when you have a team of experienced falling accident injury attorneys like those at our Law Office who advocate your case.

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Seek Medical Attention Immediately After Your Construction/Scaffolding Accident

If you’ve been hurt while on the job, you first need to seek the proper medical attention. The doctor who treated your wounds has told you to continue your recovery treatment. Do it! We might be together for several months. We’ll tell you right off the bat that our successful clients are typically those who do everything they can to recover from their injuries. After all, if you don’t care about your health, why should they be asked to pay? Think about it. Your health is of the utmost importance. Being examined by a medical professional is important for your life and your case. If you need assistance seeking medical help that can consider your personal and financial status, let us help. We have a large network of trustworthy medical professionals that we can point you to. In addition, we may be able to help you see a doctor at no cost to you. We can even show you how the time you take off from work to get care may be compensable by the defendant. Once you have left the emergency room or trauma center, whether you’ve been admitted to the hospital for a few more days or are recovering at home, your next step involves seeking legal assistance to assess your employer’s workers comp status and begin the road to fiscal recovery as well.

Assessing Your Workers’ Comp Status Properly Dictates the Game Plan
The Texas Legislature enacted the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1992. According to that law, employers who purchase workers’ comp get special incentives: unusual protection. These incentives don’t necessarily work in your favor if the injury is serious. The chief protection for employers who pay for workers’ comp coverage is that – with one most unusual exception – they cannot be sued for any more than a capped amount of compensation. Essentially, one-in-two Texas employers subscribe to workers’ comp. It is optional for employers: not the norm for most states. Considering the benefits of workers comp, that’s a pretty low number. We suspect the percentage is slightly lower than half in the construction industry.

Did You Know? Our Texas attorneys have won hundreds of construction accident cases. Call us today to discuss your case.

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You need to know your Texas employer’s workers’ comp status. It determines your legal options regarding what typically begins as your insurance claim. An employer that has workers’ comp is called a subscriber. An employer who does not have such liability coverage is labeled a non-subscriber. Knowing that simple fact makes a big difference in your case and determines how we approach it. It determines the starting point in how your claim is filed and what compensation you may be entitled to receive. The correct answer about whether an employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber to Texas workers’ comp law is not always forthcoming. Very often, employees of a company don’t even know. Sometimes employers give the wrong answer when asked. Sometimes the answer to the question is unclear, and sometimes the company doesn’t have a clear-cut policy for dealing with accidents on the job. Workers’ comp is an expensive program, and some companies choose not to buy it, reasoning that they can save money as long as no one is injured. If they were smart, they’d look at their business like all successful people when they financially protect their homes and heart. The first check every month goes to the mortgage company. The second goes for insurance. That’s an intelligent plan. Even if it’s not cheap, workers’ comp rates, across the board, are less than market rates, even if the cost of workers’ comp for an employer is related to how risky the job is: the same holds true for commercial underwriters; just higher premiums. However, inevitably there will be an accident that produces serious injuries. As a workplace attorney with over two decades of experience working on behalf of scaffolding accident victims, our falling accident work attorneys have encountered situations where companies have blatantly answered falsely when asked if they are a subscriber to Texas workers’ comp. When the odds catch up with these “subscribers in sheep’s clothing,” they try to avoid a lawsuit when there’s a severe injury. These employers may quickly pay victims’ benefits from workers’ comp and ask them to sign what they may represent as a “standard workers’ comp release” to further their deception and get off the hook. Some of these forged forms look pretty professional too. But it’s a trick, so don’t fall for it.

Sometimes Workers’ Comp Benefits Work Well: Especially if Viewed as a Compensation Foundation, Workers’ comp benefits originate from a “pool” of funds. The pool is replenished by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. It protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and disregards employees’ legal rights to be fairly compensated in the case of severe injury when the employer is truly negligent. This is because it limits, or “caps,” the monetary compensation an injured employee can receive. Suppose your employer subscribes to workers’ comp. In that case, it provides some reimbursement to injured employees who are hurt on the job site: primarily expenses directly linked to medical bills and compensation for a certain amount of lost income during recovery. It’s “no-fault” insurance because those covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. Often, the amount you receive doesn’t cover the expenses of an on-the-job injury, especially if it is severe. On the other hand, to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must file a lawsuit in civil court. Fortunately, for the injured party, the prerequisites that encourage companies to subscribe to “no-fault” workers’ comp insurance are somewhat relaxed. These same lower standards of proving subscriber negligence also apply against a non-subscriber in a civil case. So it’s not as difficult to lay the true liability at the feet of a non-subscribing employer for serious on-the-job accidents. This is what we meant when suggesting that your construction site falling injury lawyer knows how to work both sides of the workers’ comp street to get to the bottom of your injury compensation status. That’s because there’s a trump card to all of this. It surrounds third parties to your scaffold or another fall injury. If workers’ comp creates a void between what you’re getting and what you need to recover, third-party defendants who had a hand in your injury could be exposed to our filing insurance claims or lawsuits against them. Rare is there a time when a single negligent act contributes to your injuries and massive expenses like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and rightful disability payments. Those same damages, and more, are available to the surviving family members of a loved one who was fatally injured in a scaffold or some other construction fall. Often, a total compensation package finds workers’ comp is the foundation and a successful third party claim or (judgments) to bringing the total damages received to a more appropriate level as the best legal recourse is available to seriously injured workers like you. you. Once we identify the nature of your employer’s workers’ comp standing and conduct a thorough investigation of all facets and parties involved, we can move forward to secure your fair injury and damage compensation.

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The Type of Compensation that Injured Workers can Expect from Subscriber Companies Workers’ comp does not include coverage or reimbursement for any pain, suffering, or even general damages, aside from the income and medical expenses specified. Wages you lost while you were absent from work, recovering from your accident, capped at a maximum of $600 per week, may be paid to you. Let’s say you’re a carpenter who earns $1,200 a week for 50 hours of work. It takes a month for you to recover enough to return to work. That means you earned 50 percent of what you normally take home. So your monthly budget has taken a big hit. You are entitled to complete reimbursement for all your medical costs, such as those surrounding medical treatment, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and other medical supplies needed to recover from your injury. Ongoing treatment and medical needs are also potentially reimbursable. Suppose you incur travel expenses seeking medical treatment, supplies, and prescriptions. In that case, those may likewise be recovered, but if you become disabled, other than a four-figure initial payment sum, this formula and cap amount hold true even if you’ve been permanently disabled and cannot work for the rest of your life. In other words, you may have to make do with such paltry benefits for the rest of your life. You and your family might never get out of that “void” if your compensation package is limited only to workers’ comp. Are you seeing the value of negligent third parties who can be proven liable and become a rightful supplemental compensation source?

Liable Non-Subscribers to Workers’ Comp Can be Employers or Third parties-subscribing companies with almost unlimited liability to be sued. In contrast, a subscriber employer is protected against lawsuits, and the damages assessed against them are much more limited. By choosing not to be forthright about their worker’s comp status, a liable employer may lead an injured employee to think that he or she has little in the way of redress and that the employer has little in the way of liability. As we’ve mentioned, a non-subscribing (or uninsured) company may even try to pay an injured employee out of pocket (and usually off-the-books, while saying that the money is coming from an insurer or workers’ comp. Accepting such an explanation (and quick settlement, which is a lowball attempt) is undoubtedly never in your best interest. Always remember: if you are injured or hurt in a scaffolding or other construction fall, you’re probably entitled to far more compensation than you would receive, regardless of the coverage. The hush money offered is almost certainly a pittance compared to what the law would likely find in your favor.

To further punish non-subscribing employers, Texas workers comp laws remove the damage cap that would be in place if the employer had purchased workers comp insurance. The crane accident victim must merely prove standard negligence, even if the employer only committed a momentary lapse in safety. As you can guess, the laws governing these principles are incredibly intricate. So to succeed, you will need a crafty crane-related accident lawyer to assist you through every complexity of this challenging legal process. However, just because there’s no workers’ comp court red tape doesn’t mean it’s easier to ensure your right to compensation. It’s a legal action like any other, and as with any severe matter, you need professional representation. The non-subscriber employers (insurance companies) will almost always contest your claims. There are two unique challenges that you need to anticipate when trying to collect from or use a nonsubscriber. The first one is this: even though they don’t carry workers’ comp, non-subscribers usually carry some form of insurance if they’re smart. It will be responsible for paying at least part of your claim: certainly larger than workers’ comp awards. Therefore, not only will your employer have an interest in defending against your claim, but so will his or her insurance company because that’s what it’s for: to get them off the hook or pay the claim if their adjusters and lawyers fail in their attempt. They have a team of sophisticated attorneys in thousand-dollar suits and insurance adjusters ready to attack your case. The adjusters you’ll see in a lawsuit like yours aren’t the same “friendly” adjusters who handle your fender-benders. For high-dollar cases like yours, insurance companies usually use their best people. The adjusters working on these injury cases are highly trained and experienced pros who have gotten to their current positions by denying claims and saving their employers money. They will have teams of attorneys to try to pick apart your claims. They contest your statements. They file nuisance motions. They will do everything they can to make any accident look like you were the sole proximate cause, i.e., wholly responsible for the construction site accident. They will try to undermine any evidence you bring to prove the elements of your claim since you have the burden of proof. All they have to do is say, “prove it.” If you can’t, everything stops right there. Here’s where your falling accident injury attorney’s investigative prowess and experience at countering even the most frivolous counter-charge turns the spotlight of truth back where it belongs: the spot where their client-defendant stands. This is even more complex than it sounds. You must show that the defendant, be it your employer or that third party, is at least partially responsible for the accident, that the defendant’s negligence caused the injuries, and that you are entitled to a specific amount of damages as compensation for your injuries. It might seem like a one-strike-and-you’re-out system most of the time. If you miss evidence on even one of these points, your claim could stand to be dismissed. An experienced legal “pinch hitter” at least gets you three strikes; and a better chance of winning.

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