Need An Attorney Experienced in Nursing Home Abuse?
As Americans start to age, some of them have health issues that keep them from being able to care for themselves or do the normal activities of an independent adult. These real life issues, coupled with the fact that more American citizens are joining the ranks of senior citizens are the reason that the population of nursing home residents has exploded.
These days, moms and dads both must work outside of the home to make ends meet. So there is nobody available to stay home and take care of aging or ailing family members. Nearly everyone has a family member who has lived in a nursing home or is a resident of a nursing home right now. And as much as we would like to think that the nursing home staff members treat our loved ones with kindness and patience, the reality is that nursing home abuse is a major problem in America so much so that there have been congressional hearings on the subject.
If you have reason to believe that your family member or friend is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact our nursing home abuse attorneys. Call for a free consultation. Traditionally elderly family members received care from their adult children and other members of the family. But as married couples spent more time away from home working, nursing homes and day care centers for adults and children who were unable to stay alone became a necessary part of society. As the cost of living goes up, some senior Americans don’t have enough money to cover their cost of living expenses plus their cost of medicine that so many of them in this age range must take. So many senior citizens have had to give up their large homes and independent living to move into nursing care centers where they can receive medical care and the personal attention they deserve.
Advancements in medicine and in the healthcare industry have made it so that senior citizens are living longer and that’s why owning nursing home centers has become one of the most lucrative residential properties in the real estate business today. As profitable as this kind of business can be, some people only view the residents as dollar signs and potential paychecks rather than human beings who need extra care and patience.
For the elderly people who find themselves added to these numbers annually as they become nursing home residents it doesn’t take them long before they realize their new environment is not as they envisioned. ‘Home’ should be a nurturing and peaceful environment. But statistics show that some nursing home residents endure mental or physical abuse because they are at the mercy of cruel healthcare workers. If you have reason to believe that your family member or friend is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact nursing home abuse attorney. Call for a free consultation.
When nursing homes became popular some forty years ago they were not state regulated and prospective employees were not screened. But as more senior Americans started to move into the nursing homes and abuse became a problem, more guidelines were put in place to address the issue. When applying for employment at nursing homes prospective employees were not required to have any formal training. Now, some forty years later prospective employees must go through a broad criminal and employment background check before they are allowed to start working. In the beginning a drug test was just a visual inspection of how a person looked. Now drug tests are completed by medical personnel and the list of drugs tested for is extensive. Nursing home employers now put so much emphasis on drug tests because some believe that employees misbehave or mistreat their clientele because the employees are using drugs that alter their judgment. Also resumes help hiring managers to make better decisions on who will be a part of their staff so their elderly residents are more likely to receive adequate care.
As senior citizens continue to age they become less independent, more vulnerable and less confident in their decision making. Their diminished capacity coupled with the overbearing behavior of the staff has subjected them to the demoralizing actions of nursing home workers on a regular basis. Some of the mistreatment includes slapping, pinching, being heavy handed while grooming the patient’s hair, taking pictures of the patients in compromising positions and ignoring patients’ request for help using the bathroom. Some residents have even reported that they were raped by nursing homes caregivers.
The fact that elderly family members must live away from the family is the source of contention for many, especially since nobody can be sure how their loved one is being treated when they are not present. But here are some suggestions that will decrease the chance that your elderly family members will be victimized:
Relatives should make unannounced daily and weekly visits at various times.
If you cannot make personal visits, be sure to make impromptu telephone calls.
Reassure the senior family member of your whereabouts and contact information in case they need help in an emergency.
Introduce yourself to nursing home staffers so they know you and other family members are concerned about the safety and happiness of your loved one.
If staff members know you and other family members are monitoring what happens to your loved one, they are more likely to treat that person with care and respect and less likely to act negligent or abusive. The nursing care industry also has worked to teach healthcare staffers proper techniques and more appropriate ways to care for infirmed senior citizens. And that has added to the growing number of reliable nursing home employees working in the United States who are great at performing their jobs. Some of them even have earned degrees as Certified Nursing Assistants. Sadly though, some staffers have a history of domestic violence, drug addiction and some are unregistered pedophiles. It is clear that these questionable staffers who have managed to remain employed in this industry and have gone from job to job have preyed on the elderly for way too long. Senior Americans are in need of the same care that goes into protecting a child who is cannot defend him or herself.
If you have a loved one that is being abused or whom you suspect is being abused and who lives in a long-term nursing facility, call the Law Offices of our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more pain and suffering your loved one could be going through. Our team of experienced investigators will do what it takes to uncover the suspected abuse. With more than twenty (20) years of courtroom success, our attorneys will help you protect your loved one against the ever-growing epidemic of nursing home abuse. The telephone call is free and the initial legal consultation is priceless.
Nursing Home Abuse at Its Worse
The same as a child might not alert parents if she or he is being abused, some nursing home residents sometimes are too frightened to tell other staff members or family member for fear that the abuse will become more severe. That’s why nursing home management should do it’s part of let residents know that they are there to protect the rights of the residents and that any suspected abuse should be reported to them immediately without fear of retaliation. But if a nursing home staffer is found to be negligent or abusive the offending nursing home employee or employees could face criminal and civil charges.
The Legal Complexity Involved in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Even if your loved one has told you that she or he is being abused by a staff member, most cases come down to what can be proven in a court of law. Pictures of physical wounds and other evidence is a good thing, but if the alleged victim is unable to testify to their experience or cannot answer questions posed to them about the abuse, there is a slim chance that a personal injury lawsuit or even criminal charges will be filed.
Nursing home abuse personal injury charges are categorized as medical malpractice cases. In Texas medical malpractice lawsuits payouts have been capped by Tort Reform laws. Tort reform was created to decrease the number of undeserving lawsuits which were clogging up the Texas court system. As a result of Tort Reform, it now takes an experienced and successful courtroom litigant who knows the ins and outs of proving personal injury in medical malpractice lawsuits. Our legal team is good at what they do best which is to use the law and their investigative skills to uncover the truth.
Some lawyers prefer not to litigate nursing home abuse cases because of Texas Tort Reform and because of the challenges involving these kinds of cases. But the nursing home abuse attorneys at our Law Offices know what to expect and will go to work for you. Contact our office for a free initial legal consultation.
Daycare Abuse Liability and Negligence Discussed by Texas attorney
When it comes to winning daycare abuse personal injury lawsuits, attorney has one of the best records in the state of Texas. Our Law Offices are a team of knowledgeable and experienced litigators with more than twenty (20) years of courtroom victories.
Our attorneys have fought for the legal rights of daycare abuse victims. And our ongoing advocacy for the rights of the young is relentless. Read this article to get a better understanding of the rights of your children as it pertains to Daycare Abuse and your possible legal recourse. Call our Texas daycare abuse lawyers today.
In any corner of America the daycare industry is big business. The industry’s momentum is due partly to the women’s lib movement because women wanted to have their careers, their husbands their big houses with the picket fence and their children too. Another reason for momentum in the daycare industry is the increase in the cost of living. At one time the husband or man of the house was not just the primary breadwinner. He was the only breadwinner and the woman was a house-wife. That was before it took two incomes to do what one income used to do.
When Can An Individual or Individuals Be Held Negligently Liable for Abuse At A Daycare Facility?
In daycare abuse cases the legal guardian or parent of the injured child has a legal right to proceed on behalf of the child who has been injured. But what they might not expect is that the burden is on the parents or guardians of the victim to show negligence or abuse took place before a lawsuit against the daycare providers can be filed.
Supervisors who are allegedly negligent get the most complaints. This is the type of complaint that might be filed against any daycare employee who is directly involved with the children or even remotely involved at the daycare such as van driver, a custodian, the chef, or even a subcontractor that delivers to the establishment. Negligent Supervision claims normally are filed when the adult in charge who is responsible for the overall security of the children does not deliver on that obligation.
For some people who are unfamiliar with the law, a misunderstood theory called Negligent Entrustment trips them up. Negligent Entrustment is important to any personal injury case because it means the difference between a lawyer and client getting a favorable judgment with no financial recovery or the lawyer and client getting a favorable judgment and an acceptable financial recovery for the client. Imagine a daycare worker turning her back on toddlers riding tricycles just a few feet away from the see-saw when her cellphone rings. The daycare worker turns her attention to her private conversation and away from the children who are playing dangerously close to the see-saw. Children naturally can sense when there is no adult paying attention. That’s usually when they make their move. As the two older children play on the see-saw the other young toddlers peddle close enough under the see-saw and it struck slightly on the head by a child on the see-saw. Although it could have been worse, the toddler on the trike falls off and onto the ground and starts to scream and cry. And just like dominoes, the cries of one child cause the other children to chime in. In this scenario, the daycare employee was within earshot, but she might as well have been on the other side of the playground, because she wasn’t paying attention and a child was hurt in the process.
After checking her employee file it turned out that the negligent employee has been written up several times before for using her cellphone when she should have been giving her undivided attention to the her job, which is watching the children. In this case the worker and the daycare facility can be held liable and be co-defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. That’s because the daycare facility knew about this worker’s less than stellar behavior and failed to make sure the worker didn’t continue her violations. So court documents might charge workers with claims of at inexperience, incompetence or behavior that is unfit for the duties entrusted to them.
Texas daycare abuse attorney and his associates have the highest moral and ethical standards. So throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is not how we operate at our Law Offices. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence to support our claims. Still any attorney worth his weight knows that the owner of the daycare is a better defendant than the daycare worker because owners have access to enough money to pay any damages awarded. Daycare workers earn only a few dollars more than minimum wage.
And when it comes to daycare owners, they are more likely to drop the ball on follow through in the hiring process. It’s called Negligent Hiring. As with any growing business, it takes a number of people to in different capacities to come together and create a well-oiled machine. So in the haste to fill vacancies owners don’t do their due diligence when it comes to background checks and the like. Just because someone knows his or her craft doesn’t mean are a right fit for your company, especially if children are your main clientele. If they come in contact with the children at any time they should be checked against any pedophile registries, for any criminal backgrounds and they should have to take a drug test to get hired and be subject to periodic drug testing during their employment. If not the results might be tragic. In the past daycare owners have realized that employees had criminal backgrounds that include mental illness, child molestation, and rape.
Texas law makes a parent or guardian eligible to file lawsuits on behalf of a minor child, regardless of if the injured child suffered emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect. There are some common theories of negligence that the daycare abuse attorneys look for in every case. If the lawyer and investigators can confirm and prove any of these cases of liability against the daycare owner or workers, then a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Not only is this legal claim brought on behalf of the wounded youth, but bring a legal claim such as this will send a message to every daycare provider who is sure to hear about the lawsuit and take note. It sends a message that there are consequences to abusive and neglectful behavior against a child in your care.
Choosing a Daycare & Steps to Keep Your Child Safe
Although it’s up to the individual chose the best care giver for their child, the Consumer Protection Board says there is a recommended process. Daycare abuse is a fact of life and sometimes the affects can be long-lasting and life-changing. So choose a daycare facility that is:
Licensed by the state of Texas
That will permit surprise visits by parents or legal guardians of the children at the daycare; then
take the liberty of showing up for one of those surprise visits and do a walk through of the daycare facility before you sign up your child to attend
Know where the bathrooms are to make sure they are not too far away from the main area where children will be. Ask questions about who monitors the children, who takes them to the restroom and who will be in contact with them. According to reports, more than fifty (50%) percent of all daycare sex abuse claims are said to happen in the bathroom. And a large percentage of sex abuse happens during nap time. So be sure to ask if nap time is monitored and if so by whom. And definitely take note of daycare rules for conducting background checks and drug screenings on employees, including what kind of criminal offenses are acceptable for potential employees.
Find out who will be spending time with the youths in addition to the screened staff, and for how long. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to screen employees and our children always would be safe. But it’s not perfect. Research shows that sex abuse in addition to physical abuse and exploitation occurs because a trusted member of the child’s care giving team is somehow involved. It might be the van driver, or the custodian, or even a relative. In thirty-six (36%) percent of all abuse cases investigated, children become the victims of sexual molestation at the hands of a family member who is the relative of a staff. And those relatives turn out to be the husband or the son of a daycare worker or owner most of the time. So beware and be certain that your child’s has limited to no contact with these kinds of people. Ask about how many employees are employed by the daycare facility and how many of them will be near your child. Ask about the discipline policies and how they might address bullying at that age.
Inquire how many employees work at the daycare facility and how many of those employees will be in close contact with your child. Statistics on daycare abuse show that the abuse is usually at the hands of persons not directly involved in the supervision of the child. Insist that your child’s interaction and contact with all other service personnel at the daycare is limited. Statistics on a nationwide study of daycare abuse state that while in daycare facilities, it was the family members of daycare staffers that had easy access to the innocent children. And once you have done your due diligence to make sure your child’s environment is a safe place, engage your child in conversations about his or her daily activities when they return home. Regularly question your child about their day and activities while at the daycare. Listen to their answers and take note of their body language. If there is something that doesn’t feel right or sound right, trust your instincts.
If you suspect that your child is the victim of daycare abuse, contact our Texas daycare abuse lawyers to discuss your case through a free initial legal consultation.
What/ How Do You Charge?
No Fees Unless We Win. Seriously.
We’re a business, but we’re in the business of helping people. We firmly believe that access to the justice system should be available to anyone who has a legitimate cause of action, irrespective of their financial standing. In other words, the ability to seek compensation for an injury or wrongful death should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay by the hour. As such, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which breaks down like this:
The client enters into an agreement with the law firm which gives our attorneys the legal authority to represent the client in exchange for attorney fees paid in the form of a percentage of the total recovery.
The law firm assumes all up-front financial risk in the case and will front all litigation costs and expenses, only to be repaid upon securing a legal victory.
The client NEVER pays the attorney out of his own pocket. There are no hourly fees.
The law firm only charges the client if our attorneys are successful at obtaining compensation for the client. The client literally owes no legal fees and is not responsible for any costs or expenses unless we win.
Sometimes juries will award large verdicts to injury victims but the defendant who caused the injury does not actually have any money. In such an event, our clients would pay us nothing. We only get paid if we put money in our clients’ pockets.
The client volunteers an industry standard percentage of the total recovery as payment to their attorneys.
In short, the client hires us and we represent them, investing our time, hard work, knowledge and experience, and our own money if necessary, and the client agrees to share a predetermined percentage of their winnings with us. Again, the client pays us nothing if we don’t win the case or if we win the case but the responsible party has no money to pay the client.
Why Do We Do This?
We do it because it’s fair. We do it because it makes the justice system available to people other than the wealthy. We do it because it ensures that our interests are perfectly aligned with our clients’ interests. When you hire an attorney who gets paid more by getting you paid more, you win. It’s that simple.
What Percentage Do You Charge?
It depends on many factors; generally the type of case and the amount of risk associated with the particular matter. Most clients will pay the same, industry standard rate, but some cases are legitimately more challenging or risky and will necessitate a higher rate. In any event, we will gladly discuss your case with you, free of charge, determine an appropriate rate and then disclose that rate to you before you hire us. The contingency fee percentage is put in writing and guaranteed. There are no surprises.
Do You Charge Anything Else?
No additional fees or hourly rate, etc. But the client is responsible for paying for court costs and litigation expenses. For instance, the court costs for filing a lawsuit is usually about $350. The law firm will advance this money for the client as a courtesy, but the client is required to reimburse the law firm for that cost… but only when and if the case is successfully resolved. If we don’t win, we absorb the loss of any expenses that were invested into the case. It’s your expense; we’re just advancing it for you. To be perfectly clear, we cannot and will not charge the client for any expense that is not justifiable and we don’t charge interest on expenses. To be frank, we have as little desire as you do in investing our own financial resources into a case if it’s not absolutely necessary to help the case. Once again, expenses are simply reimbursed, dollar for dollar. All paralegal time, in-house investigation efforts, attorney time and effort, etc. is paid for in the attorney fees. The expenses are only expenses and nothing else.
Why pick law firms with certain practice area concentration?
In this day and age focusing on a specific area of the law is key. Our Law Offices are primarily focused on personal injury and wrongful death cases. With your typical “one stop shop” type of law firms, your attorney may work on your personal injury case while he is juggling a divorce case, immigration case, real estate case, etc.
We feel that is not the best way to practice law. Our attorneys spend all day every day focusing on 18-wheeler accident cases, car accident cases, wrongful death cases, construction and work accident cases, and a few other personal injury related types of law. Ultimately, any potential client needs to consider whether they would be best served by an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney, or “one size fits all” law firm.
How do I go about hiring a lawyer for my case?
It’s quite simple. Give us a call, click the chat button above, or complete our online form. We will contact you promptly and arrange a meeting with you whereby we will discuss your case in detail. In most cases, we can meet with you at your home or office, or you can meet us at our office as well.
Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not have to pay anything out of pocket to hire us, and the consultation is always free.
Am I assessed a charge for consulting with a lawyer at the beginning?
Initial consultations with any lawyer in our law firm are free of charge. These are intended to determine the validity/strength of your case and balance that against our relevant experience to ensure an appropriate match.
Are judges and juries required for all cases going to trial?
Contrary to what you see on TV, going to trial is a last resort. Trials cost money and time, and when it all comes down to it, you are at the mercy of the jury, that is to say, you are at the mercy of 12 complete strangers who may or may not have their own biases.
Ultimately, it is a risky proposition for both sides.
We are a firm of experienced trial lawyers. We are always willing to go to trial, and we have a very successful track record. However, it is often in your best interest to try to resolve your case through other means such as mediation and arbitration.
We evaluate every case on an individual basis, weigh all of the options, and proceed down the path that has the greatest chance of success.
How long will it take for my case to settle?
Wrongful death cases will typically start at the demand phase, and the litigation phase will begin rapidly. In other words, wrongful death cases pick up a lot of momentum very early on in the process, and are generally resolved in 6 months to a year.
In regard to personal injury cases, every case is different, but almost every case goes through three distinct phases:
The Medical Attention Phase
The Demand Phase
The Litigation Phase
The medical attention phase is generally the longest phase of your case. During this phase we will conduct all of the investigative work, coordinate with your doctors, and make contact with the defendants, their attorneys, and their insurance company. You simply need to focus on following your physician’s advice. We usually do not move onto the next phase of a case until you are back on your feet, or until your physician has developed a solid prognosis regarding your future medical needs.
The demand phase moves rather quickly. Our attorneys calculate all of your damages (lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, etc.) and put together a demand packet which is then sent to the defendant. The initial rounds of negotiation will begin. This phase can take as little as a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, large insurance companies move at a snail’s pace, and there can often be a delay of a couple of months where the insurance company is simply passing your file around their various departments. This is an issue from time to time, but usually this phase moves quickly.
The litigation phase can be non existent or it could take a tremendous amount of time. This is entirely proportionate to the specifics of your case. In a case where you are clearly not at fault, this portion of the case will generally move quickly. If we are required to prove the other party’s fault, or if you have said or done anything to complicate your case before our firm got involved there may be months of negotiation or additional work to “prove up” your case. In other words, this phase will move fast or slow depending upon the level of opposition from the defendants. If the case goes to trial, we are at the mercy of the court system which is generally backed up in most counties.
There are additional circumstances that may make your case move faster or slower, but generally speaking, a routine accident case will take around 3-6 months to resolve with 80% of that time devoted to the medical attention phase. However, your case may take longer if your doctor recommends that you need to treat for a longer period of time.
How will my lawyers inform me about case proceedings?
We will contact you when important deadlines or court appearances are necessary, as well as keep you abreast on all major changes. Since we will most likely be dealing with an insurance company, you can expect a reasonable amount of latency between significant events, as these insurance companies move rather slow. We are always available to speak to our clients and we encourage our clients to contact us as often as they would like to get an update, but as mentioned, our clients will be notified when anything major occurs.
I have a question – What do I do?
We are happy to answer any questions you may have. We can always be reached by phone or email anytime. For normal day-to-day questions about your case, the paralegal assigned to your case is qualified to assist you, and the same confidentiality you have with your attorney applies to your paralegal or any of our office staff. For questions regarding specific legal advice and more detailed information regarding your case, our attorneys will be glad to assist you.
Will my case be settled without my approval?
Every settlement offer proposed to us will be discussed with you. No settlement offer will be taken without your consent.
What is a fair amount for my settlement?
Evaluating a claim incorporates many different factors that your legal counsel will discuss with you. Recommendations will be made with reasons given for every one by your attorney. Since each of our lawyers has a wide breadth of experience in regard to case settlement and has knowledge of juries and judges behaving similarly in similar cases, clients usually follow our lead as far as recommendations are concerned.
What’s the difference between legal assistants and actual lawyers?
Legal assistants and lawyers do not share the same responsibilities. Legal assistants are professional, experienced members of your legal team that help prepare lawsuits by conducting investigations, performing medical and legal research – along with other supplementary work. Legal assistants cannot offer legal advice. When you need legal advice on the spot, legal assistants will turn to a lawyer immediately. However, in your claim’s everyday preparation, legal assistants require your undivided attention and cooperation. They are here to serve you.
What types of cases do you handle?
Our primary focus is on 18-wheeler truck accidents and other common sources of personal injury and wrongful death, such as: auto accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, drunk driver accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, drowning accidents, construction accidents, worker injury, wrongful death claims, birth injuries, brain injuries, nursing home abuse, motorcycle accidents, ATV accidents, boat accidents, and much more.
It is important to consider that we DO NOT practice any type of family law, tax law, real estate law, etc. We focus solely on helping injury victims and the families of those wrongfully killed.
If you have any other questions for the attorneys at our Law Offices, we are very easy to get a hold of, and we would love to speak with you. Call our offices for a free consultation.
Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Discusses Informed Consent & Medical Malpractice
Many victims who have been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional worry that they will not be able to seek compensation since they signed an informed consent document. Thankfully, this is not necessarily the case (though medical professionals or insurance companies may lead you to believe that it is in an attempt to avoid paying you).
It may appear that the purpose of the informed consent document is to inform patients about procedures, but their true purpose is to protect healthcare providers from accepting legal responsibility for their mistakes. But in many situations, you can still seek compensation, even if you signed an informed consent document. Texas medical malpractice lawyers from our Law Offices are here to tell you how informed consent documents work, and how you can seek compensation if you have signed one.
The Specifics of the Informed Consent Document
Medical professionals will typically make you sign an informed consent document before any medical procedure, whether it is a course of treatment, medication, or a surgery. A typical informed consent document includes the following features:
A basic description of the medical condition that the proposed procedure is supposed to treat.
A description of the general purpose of the proposed procedure.
A description of the procedure itself, including any potential adverse reactions or side-effects.
Information about any known risks associated with the procedure, including:
Pre-existing conditions that might make the proposed procedure more dangerous for a specific patient.
The possible benefits that could result from the procedure.
A description of any existing alternatives to the procedure, including their benefits, risks, and possible side-effects.
Information about health problems that could arise should the patient elect not to undergo the proposed procedure.
A disclosure of the fact that the procedure might have some unforeseen and unforeseeable risks.
An acknowledgment that the patient can choose not to undergo the procedure now or at any time in the future.
Acknowledgment that choosing not to undergo the procedure does not void the patient’s right to continue receiving current medical treatment or to receive additional medical treatment in the future.
Simply put, the informed consent document should attempt to give the patient enough information to make an informed decision as to whether or not to undergo the proposed medication schedule, surgery, or other treatment.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Even Though You Signed An Informed Consent Document
A signed informed consent document does not automatically make a medical professional immune to liability. Certain conditions can allow a plaintiff to hold a medical professional accountable for his or her injuries, even in the presence of an informed consent document. But as you surely know, the various medical fields are incredibly complex, and the specific decisions that go into determining a course of medical treatment are over the head of most juries (and most patients, despite the informed consent document). To address this complexity, the courts apply three standards to a medical malpractice claim: the reasonable physician standard, the subjective patient standard, and the reasonable person standard.
The reasonable physician standard simply concerns what any reasonable physician would tell a patient about a proposed procedure. The medical provider is responsible for telling a patient everything about a proposed procedure as dictated by the reasonable physician standard. This allows a jury to determine whether or not the medical professional provided enough general information about the procedure in an informed consent document.
The subjective patient standard concerns the details which the specific patient in question would likely want to know about the proposed procedure. Each patient has unique concerns, and medical professionals have a responsibility to know enough about their patients to provide them with these details. Obviously, this standard is not easy to apply, and it must be extensively investigated on a case-by-case basis.
The reasonable person standard considers whether or not a typical, reasonable person would have consented to the proposed procedure, given the information that the plaintiff had about the procedure when the informed consent document was signed.
The standards set in some of these elements rely largely on expert witness testimony from medical professionals in the defendant’s field. Our attorneys can make sure your case has the witness testimony it needs to prove that were the victim of negligence.
When the above standards are not met, someone hurt due to a medical professional’s negligence can file a medical malpractice claim, even though he or she signed an informed consent document. Applying these standards to a case is not easy for someone without extensive experience, but thankfully, the attorneys at our Law Offices have been helping victims of medical malpractice for twenty years. We have successfully investigated hundreds of cases, and we are intimately familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding medical malpractice claims. Insurance companies and healthcare providers know who we are, and how successful we have been. In many cases, they cooperate fully with our settlement demands so that we can secure a fair settlement without even taking your case to court.
In other words, our legal professionals will work hard to get you back on your feet as painlessly as possible. So if you have been hurt due to the negligence of a medical professional, do not let that negligence go unpunished just because you signed an informed consent document. Contact the aggressive medical malpractice attorneys at our Law Offices today, and let our firm help you seek the fair settlement you need and the justice you deserve.
Texas Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Discusses Drinking and Driving Statistics in Texas
Drunk driving is a major problem in the United States. Unfortunately, it’s an even greater problem in Texas. The drunk driving attorneys at our Law Offices share the following intoxicated accident statistics with you in hopes that you will recall them the next time you, or someone you’re with, thinks they’re able to drive a vehicle, even if they’ve had a few drinks.
Texas holds the dubious honor of having the most drunken driving related accidents in all of the United States. In other words, more accidents occur in Texas related to drunk drivers than anywhere else in the country.
When a fatality occurs on Texas roads caused by a vehicle, nearly fifty percent of these accidents are caused by drunk drivers.
Drunk drivers are the cause behind five deaths per day in Texas.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 1,200 people were killed in Texas in one year as a result of intoxicated drivers.
These drunk driving accident statistics are a grim reminder of the incalculable cost of human lives lost because of drunk drivers.
Regulating the BAC
Furthermore, while steps have been made by the federal and state governments to properly regulate blood alcohol content levels, more progress could be made. Today, every state must enforce a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08%. In the early ‘90s, the legal BAC level was .10% for most states. Studies that compared alcohol-related accidents from both time periods showed a marked decrease in incidents after the BAC level was lowered. However, despite this improvement, 16,000 people are still killed every year in America because of the actions of drunk drivers.
What if I’ve Been in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one of yours has been involved in a drunk driving accident, don’t allow yourself or your family member to become part of the drunk driving accident statistics. To the experienced drunk driving accident lawyers at our Law Firm, you or your loved one will never be a number or statistic. We will be alongside you to see to it that you are properly compensated for your pain and injuries. It’s also important that you contact an experienced law firm as drunk driving cases typically involve dram shop causes of action. This means that an establishment or bar that knowingly serves alcohol to an already impaired individual, or allows that person to leave their establishment while intoxicated, can be held partially liable for an accident that may occur as a result of the drunk driver’s inebriated driving. This can oftentimes be difficult to prove for a lesser-experienced attorney unfamiliar with what is necessary to prove a dram shop cause of action in a drunk driving case. However, with our 20 years of experience in dealing with drunk driving cases in Texas, the attorneys at our Law Offices are well prepared to handle your case.
Because of that same experience, every major insurance carrier knows our reputation for seeking fair compensation for our clients. They often respect us to the degree that they will offer our client out of court settlements because they know we have a high likelihood of winning the case should it go to trial. In other words, our experience benefits you and may help you get you quickly back on your feet while also receiving fair compensation for any physical injuries or property damage sustained as a result of a drunk driving accident. Call us so that we can help you seek justice in your drunk driving accident case.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas
If you or a loved one has suffered moderate, severe, or even fatal injuries due to an intoxicated or impaired driver, our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys here at our Law Offices may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. In this article, we’ll introduce the following topics:
Origins and purposes of Texas’ dram shop laws;
Necessary proof in dram shop lawsuits;
First party vs. third party dram shop claims; and
How the experienced DWI accident attorneys at our Law Offices can help you recover compensation.
Origins of Texas’ Dram Shop Laws
The state of Texas has long been among the leaders in the nation in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Unfortunately, a large number of these accidents, and thus the catastrophic injuries that often accompany them, could have been prevented by a bar or restaurant refusing to over-serve intoxicated patrons. With that in mind, the Texas Legislature adopted the Texas Dram Shop Act, found in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, in 1987 for the following purposes:
Allow injury victims and their families the opportunity to hold bars and restaurants responsible for their wrongful actions;
To give injured victims another method of recovery besides the drunk driver themselves; and
To reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road by putting other alcohol providers on notice of the potential consequences of over-serving an intoxicated patron.
Necessary Proof in a Dram Shop Lawsuit
However, not every person hit by a drunk driver is automatically allowed to hold a bar, restaurant, or other alcohol provider responsible for their injuries. In fact, Texas’ liquor liability laws require injury victims alleging a dram shop cause of action to prove the following criteria before they can force a provider to provide monetary compensation for their injuries:
The alcohol provider served or sold alcoholic beverages to a patron, guest, or customer who was obviously intoxicated;
As a result of over-service, the intoxicated patron was a clear danger to themselves, other patrons, and/or other drivers on the road;
The individual’s over-service while intoxicated was the cause of the accident in which the victim was injured.
First Party vs. Third Party Dram Shop Claims
Importantly, Texas law divides dram shop claims into two categories: first and third party claims. As its name suggests, 1st-party claims are those brought against an alcoholic beverage provider by the party who was over-served, or by their eligible family members in a wrongful death case.
Conversely, 3rd-party claims are those that are brought against a provider by a DWI accident victim or eligible family members for injuries suffered as a result of another party who was over-served.
Our Attorneys Have the Skill & Experience Necessary to Help you Recover the Compensation you Deserve
For more information regarding Texas’ dram shop laws and for a free and confidential consultation based on the facts and circumstances of your economic, emotional, and/or physical injuries, give our drunk driving accident lawyers a call today.
Texas attorney Explains Drunk Driving Accidents & Texas Dram Shop Law
If you are not an attorney, liquor liability laws can be complex terrain to navigate. The validity of these cases is often criticized and misunderstood. However, legal statutes and case law support the fact that these laws stem from common sense ideas that we can explain here.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or someone close to you has been killed in a drunken driving accident in Texas, call the drunk driver accident attorneys of our Law Offices.
With more than twenty years of experience successfully litigating cases predicated upon a Texas Dram Shop Cause of Action, the attorneys at our Law Offices are well credentialed and can readily assist you in getting the justice you deserve.
This article, while here to inform you of your rights and responsibilities, is no substitute for the assistance one of our attorneys can provide. Below you will find useful information to help you understand Texas Dram Shop Laws that assign liability to parties that may be legally, entirely or in part, responsible for the death or injury of your loved one, what the challenges are in pursuing this kind of civil case, and some of the types of cases and claims we can initiate to afford you some relief for your anguish, pain, suffering, and related expenses.
The legal implications and damages involved in a drunk driving accident are far more severe and intricate than the typical auto collision. The most noteworthy distinctions are:
Injuries sustained in accidents involving a drunk driver are typically more severe, and have a higher fatality rate, which typically means there are more financial damages and, therefore, the legal battles become decidedly more aggressive, making having competent legal representation of the utmost importance.
Often there are multiple parties who have violated laws that are in place to protect victims of this type of collision, which means you are best served by a multi-faceted strategy that assesses the value that can be recovered or gained by holding each party responsible.
Defendants in Intoxicated Accident Cases
Most people think that the most obvious person to pursue legal remedy from in an alcohol related collision case is the driver, but often, individual drunk drivers who may bear the bulk of the responsibility for the incident are often not the most viable candidates if your immediate need is financial relief for medical or funeral related costs.
Under the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, statutes state that in addition to suing the drunk driver for his or her negligence, victims also have the right, under what is referred to as “Dram Shop Law,” to pursue damages for the negligence of bars, restaurants or other persons or business entities that enabled the drunk driver to become intoxicated enough to cause the accident.
This liability was established under the theory that car accidents are not merely caused by the immediate action or reflex in the moment of the accident, but can be caused by a chain of events that led up to the accident. Under this logic, any entity that contributed to the chain of events that caused the accident can be held vicariously liable.
Why the Bar?
While most of us probably consider the personal responsibility of the driver to be most important on an emotional level, it is important from an ethical perspective, to ensure that bars and restaurants are not knowingly serving alcohol to drivers who get involved in these collisions when it is clear that someone who is leaving their establishment and may be operating a vehicle when their behavior or reflexes appear to be erratic, or they have consumed an amount of alcohol that puts their blood-alcohol-content (BAC) well above the legal limit. If these establishments were diligent in ensuring their patrons did not become overly intoxicated, drunk driving accidents could much more easily be avoided.
In addition to having greater means to provide financial remedies than the individual driver, the public message should be sent that the establishments and their employees should not be endangering the public by setting potentially dangerous drunk drivers out on the street simply because the bar tender wants to keep collecting the patron’s generous tips or the bar wants to make more money.
In a lawsuit in which the driver and the bar are co-defendants, the court will assign damages for each party’s negligence, and the financial remedy coming from each source will be proportional to the court’s assessment of each defendant’s percentage of liability. Thus, while you may get more financial remedy by filing a case against both the driver and the bar, it is important to realize that this does not necessarily mean that you will get more money by digging into the pockets of the business over the means of the individual driver. It simply allows a distribution of the responsibility which means, ultimately, you have a greater chance of actually getting financial recovery that goes beyond what the individual driver would be able to pay.
Specific Rights and Responsibilities
Under Texas law, it is not only illegal to be behind the wheel of a car with a BAC of more than .08, but it is also illegal to be out in public with this level of intoxication, and it is also illegal for bars or establishments that serve alcohol to serve individuals an amount of alcohol that put them over this limit.
Science has proven that the consumption of alcohol impairs reflexes, judgment and inhibitions, and thus, while a sober person may know his or her limit, once he or she has had a few drinks, that person may no longer be able to make a sound judgment of when he or she is too drunk to drive, and thus the serving party bears the responsibility of safeguarding the public and taking the appropriate action to prevent this from happening.
Many establishments have implemented programs to reward patrons who have a designated driver, or have made partnerships with taxi companies to ensure that their clientele is not driving under the influence. That being said, there is nothing more motivating to the establishments who have not implemented such safeguards, than the potential negative publicity and financial cost of a lawsuit. In most cases these establishments will likely be willing to settle and award financial remedy for medical, auto and funeral related expenses caused by a drunk driving incident for which they bear a portion of the legal responsibility, and with hope, they will then be more diligent in helping prevent public intoxication and alcohol related accidents.
Because bartenders are reasonably expected to know that it is illegal to over serve their patrons, if they choose to disregard this responsibility, they become the proximate cause of related injuries.
Bars are required to have all of their servers licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which entails each server’s participation in training that requires learning and understanding their rules and responsibilities and the consequences associated with failing to follow them. A bar tender cannot simply be unaware of how they should transact their business.
Bars are expected to have written policies and procedures for handling the distribution and tracking of alcohol served.
Bars are required to have written policies and procedures for how to deal with overly intoxicated patrons.
Servers are expected to be on the lookout for signs of intoxication.
The Safe Harbor Defense
Provided a bar or alcohol serving establishment has met the legal obligations outlined above, they cannot legally be held responsible for any degree of negligence in a drunk driving accident. However, many establishments may try to employ this defense whether or not it truthfully applies.
The unfortunate reality in preparing a case against an establishment using the Safe Harbor Defense is that the burden is on the victim or plaintiff to establish proof that there was a blatant disregard for the above guidelines. Dram Shop cases are not subjective, and therefore they can only be won if they clearly deserve to be prosecuted.
Deciding to get involved in a lawsuit can be an emotional experience, and you may have concerns about the cost, the time constraints, and in some cases, the consideration of the relationship you have with the person who caused the accident.
However, it would be unwise to allow time to slip by without looking out for the remedies you are entitled to and lose the evidence and opportunity to protect your interests in the matter because if you wait too long, your options may run out and the related expenses you incur could get beyond your control.
If you or a loved one was involved, injured or killed in a DUI accident, call our Law Offices for a free consultation, and we can discuss your concerns and help you find the right course of action to get the justice you deserve.
Fatal Drunk Driving Accident attorney Explains What You Should Know in the Event of the Death of a Loved One in a Fatal Drunk Driving Accident.
A fatal drunk driving accident has the potential to leave a tremendous amount of distress in its wake, ranging from incredible emotional/mental trauma and stresses and damage to the family fabric, to financial destitution.
Texas citizens affected by fatal drunk driving accidents may be eligible for compensation for their pain, suffering, and financial losses via a wrongful death, or drunk driving accident lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, please contact the knowledgeable attorneys of our Law Offices, to determine your legal rights, and begin your appropriate course of legal action. Our firm has specialized in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law practice for over two decades, and developed a nationally- renowned reputation for positive results. We have won cases against every major insurance company in the nation, and helped thousands of our clients obtain just and fair compensation for their losses.
Wrongful Death and Fatal Drunk Driving Accident lawsuits often prove to be extremely difficult processes for the inexperienced lawyer, or non-attorney to successfully navigate. Proper and thorough investigation of the details of the accident can be the difference between having a claim dismissed, and receiving a fair settlement, or verdict, which effectively resolves your claim. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you need a capable and experienced legal counselor to represent your interests and ensure that insult is not added to injury. Contact the attorneys of our Law Offices, today, for a free consultation.
Texas Dram Shop Law and What It Means to Your Wrongful Death, or Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit
By definition, a “Dram Shop”, when utilized in context signifies a place where alcohol can either be obtained, or is provided. The term is taken from its traditional use “dram”—the unit of measure roughly equal to 1/8th of an ounce utilized to describe the small amount of alcohol traditionally sold by shops serving alcohol in the early to late 20th century, as well as an apothecary unit of measure. In 1987, the Texas State Legislature passed the Texas Dram Shop Law Act, which effectively opened those responsible for serving alcohol to individuals to the point of, or exceeding the point of intoxication, to liability for damages arising from any accidents caused by that intoxicated individual.
The prevalence of alcohol, and fatal drunk driving accidents in the state of Texas required action to be taken to better protect citizens, and facilitate justice in the event of a drunk driving accident, whether fatal or not. Before the passing of the Texas Dram Shop Law, Texas families suffering from the loss of a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident had little other recourse for obtaining fair and just compensation for the full amount of losses incurred, other than suing the drunk driver. It was often the case that this narrow restriction did not result in an outcome where bereaved families obtained the full compensation needed to resume their lives and properly grieve for their lost loved one.
The Dram Shop Law operates under the duty of care, which all entities and individuals agree to, when obtaining a liquor license in the state, or when serving alcohol. For example, a bar serving alcohol to an individual must have safety protocols in place that allow them to regulate the amount of alcohol consumed by a patron, and must be responsible for the safety of that patron in the event that he or she becomes intoxicated more quickly than anticipated by the employees of the bar. In many cases, if a person leaves a bar, restaurant, or other such entity while obviously intoxicated, then the bar, restaurant, or other such alcohol serving entity may be held responsible for any damages—including injuries and even deaths—caused by that intoxicated person.
Utilization of the Texas Dram Shop Law in cases of wrongful death lawsuits resulting from drunk driving accidents present a number of obstacles which may further complicate the legal process of successfully resolving your wrongful death lawsuit. There are four frequent legal obstacles you are likely to encounter in your pursuit of compensation, for the wrongful death of your loved one.
An experienced defense team
The “Third Party” defense
And wealthy ruthless insurance companies
Jury Misconceptions Regarding Dram Shop Law
More often than not, juries hearing cases of accidents caused by drunk drivers, where the drunk driver has served time in jail for the breaking of the law, determine that justice has been served, and that there is no further need for punishment. They often do not understand the financial ramifications that the wrongful death of a loved one often brings, such as funeral expenses, the detrimental financial impacts of income lost, medical or hospital expenses incurred (should the victim have been hospitalized before their death), or other such losses. It is necessary to have the aid of a well-informed and experienced legal representative, who will properly present factual evidence in support of your claim for compensation from responsible third parties. A knowledgeable and skilled Wrongful Death or Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Attorney will also take the time and effort necessary to convince the members of the jury of the need for the additional compensation sought from responsible third parties. The Wrongful Death and Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys of our Law Offices have helped hundreds of our bereaved clients obtain fair and just compensation, by successfully holding third parties responsible for their involvement in drunk driving accidents resulting in wrongful deaths.
Experienced Legal Defense Lawyers
In passage of the Dram Shop Law, the Texas Legislature unwittingly created a culture of opposition, within both the legal and business worlds, in which bars, restaurants, and other such entities selling or serving alcohol and defense lawyers partner in attempts to deny liability for damages, arising from fatal drunk driving accidents. There has come into existence “Liquor Liability” defense law firms who exclusively handle the defense of Dram Shops held liable for damages in fatal drunk driving accidents. These law firms have developed a credible amount of experience in defeating the use of Texas’s Dram Shop Law, however, the skilled and well-informed attorneys our Law Offices provide more than just a match for their tactics and arguments. Our Law Offices has successfully defeated the legal arguments of every major Liquor Liability law firm, and recovered thousands of dollars of damages for hundreds of our clients. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident on the roads of Texas, contact our Law Offices, and let us be your shield against the defense law firms’ attempts to deny your claim for fair and just compensation for your loss.
The “Third Party” Defense in Fatal Drunk Driving, and Wrongful Death Accidents
Should your pursuit of compensation go to trial, the legal defense strategy will center– most certainly– on the drunk driver him/herself. It will be the goal of the defense lawyers to prove that the greater or greatest responsibility for the death of your loved one lies with the drunk driver (to diminish the apparent responsibility of their client(s), who served or sold the alcohol to the drunk driver). However, your Fatal Drunk Driving or Wrongful Death Accident Attorney, from our Law Offices, will ensure that the members of the Jury fully recognize and understand the complicity of the Dram Shop(s) in the accident that took the life of your loved one. We will fight, at every turn, to skillfully overturn their lawyers’ legal arguments and expose the liability of their clients. With a nationally recognized reputation for obtaining results for our clients suffering, caused by the negligence of others, you can be assured that we will obtain the compensation due, so that you can resume your life.
Insurance Companies, and Their Potential Role in Your Pursuit of Fair and Just Compensation for Your Losses
We often encounter defense strategies dictated by insurance companies attempting to avoid having to pay damages on behalf of their clients. Be advised that it is in the best interests of the insurance companies to pay as little as possible to you, the victim in the event of any accident cause by the negligence of their policy holder(s). Tactics utilized by these companies range from tricking you into accepting a low-ball settlement (one which is wholly insufficient to fully recover your financial losses), to intentionally attacking the character of your lost loved one—in an attempt to place blame upon them for their own wrongful death). Insurance companies facing the gauntlet of legal action, and the greater potential for subsequent awards of damages possible in trial, enlist an entire range of strategies and arguments to either completely avoid liability, or decrease the amount they will have to pay. The attorneys of our Law Offices want you to rest easy. We have successfully battled nearly every major insurance company in the country and recovered thousands of dollars in damages suffered by our clients. Every major legal defense law firm in the nation recognizes our reputation for thorough investigation and aggressive litigation in pursuit of justice for our clients. Although recent judicial decisions and legislative actions have further restricted the successes of other law firms’ attempts to secure justice for their clients, our Law Offices continues to be one of the most highly recognized legal practitioners known for successfully litigating cases, and providing positive results for our clients. Do not allow your legal rights to be taken from you, or your entitlement to just and fair compensation for your losses to go unused. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving, or wrongful death accident contact the attorneys of our Law Offices today for a free consultation. Let us recover your financial losses, protect the memory of your loved one and battle for your rights. We are here for you.
Personal Accident attorney Explains How to Proceed if You Suffered Injury on Another’s Privately Owned Premises
Were you or someone close to you injured on someone’s property? Whether the land belongs to an individual or a business, you might be eligible to bring legal action for your losses against the proprietor through a type of litigation called “premises liability.”
We all have a duty to others to ensure their well-being by not endangering their welfare through our own actions or negligence. Those who own property have such a legal obligation to various types of people who visit their property for various levels of safety. Those who suffer harm as a result of the proprietor’s carelessness are entitled to submit claims for personal injuries subject to premises liability. As examples, injury caused by an amusement park accident, attack by a domestic animal, an elevator or stairwell in addition to retail store or security negligence could all serve as a legitimate foundation for premises liability suits. However, not every injury endured on another’s property is a basis for legal action. To provide footing for a valid claim, harm has to have been caused by negligence on the part of the owner in failing to satisfy their obligation to afford the well-being of visitors to their property. If, for example someone becomes a victim of violent assault outside of a gas station because the property is poorly lit, then the facility would be responsible through premises liability.
The kind of visitor that a proprietor might see on their property dictates the owner’s obligation of care toward an individual. A visitor falls into one of three categories:
Invitee – a person with knowledgeable forethought comes onto the property of their own free will for their own advantage as well as that of the proprietor. Customers of a shop are a common variety of invitees. They gain by satisfying a need or desire met by the store’s available products or services. The proprietor profits through the patronage of invitees and accepting payment for his or her wares.
Licensee – A visitor who is familiar with the nature of the property and deliberately goes there with their own agenda. A person dropping by a friend’s residence to see them is legally considered to be a licensee.
Trespasser – Somebody who visits a property with full awareness and of their own volition that has not been permitted by the proprietor or by lawful authority to enter, such as a vandal.
Obligations Owed to Each Type of Visitor Under the Law
Following are the explicit obligations owed to each category of visitor by the proprietor. Invitees are legally entitled to a responsibility by the owner to be aware of potential hazards and to notify their guests. A grocer, for instance, would have to warn their customers of a floor that was slick from mopping or dropped fruit.
The obligation to caution invited visitors of any present risks. If you should visit a friend at their residence where there are poorly maintained stairs with loose boards, your friend is legally compelled to bring this to your attention.
The obligation to refrain from purposefully causing injury to a visitor. A proprietor, for example, might booby trap their property as a security measure against burglars. Such a device could injure an invited visitor instead.
Owners are obligated to caution licensees about any hazards present on the property as well as to not try to hurt these visitors on purpose. A trespasser, on the other hand, are under the sole legal protection from reckless perils put in place by the owner’s knowledge. Should either classification of visitor lose their footing and suffer injury by falling on freshly refinished tile, they have no legal remedy for these damages.
When the Proprietor Assumes Liability for Injuries.
For someone who has suffered injury to win a case against the proprietor, a victim has to establish these key points:
1. The state of the owner’s property imparted a hazard beyond reason to visitors.
2. The owner was aware or should have had knowledge that the state of his property presented a threat beyond reason to someone on the premises.
3. The owner should have expected that a visitor would not notice or recognize the hazard or might be unable to guard against it.
4. The owner’s behavior was negligent.
5. The visitor was hurt.
6. The state of the proprietor’s property contributed to harm to the visitor.
One of the hardest factors to establish is that the owner was aware or should have had knowledge of the hazardous situation. There is no need to prove this if it is evident that the hazard was present by the design of the proprietor, employees or their actions. In this situation, the owner is responsible to practice a reasonable level of concern for the welfare of those legally visiting the premises. Since awareness of a hazard is so hard to establish, a claim of danger purposefully designed by the owner would have a greater chance of success.
When is a Landlord Liable for a Tenant’s Injuries?
Texas state law differentiates between an injury suffered in an area “reserved for common use” and one which takes place in a space leased to the tenant. Those spaces designated for common use refer to corridors, stairwells and parking lots. Leased spaces such as apartments are not so designated.
A landlord has to ensure that areas reserved for common use are safe within reason. Landlords are legally required to know a certain amount about hazardous conditions that cause injuries. For instance, a plaintiff would have to establish that a rail that fell on a shared porch was not maintained to a reasonable standard to safety. They would also have to prove that the landlord was aware or should have been aware that the rail did not meet this standard.
How about if someone is injured in a privately leased area instead of a designated shared space? If someone suffers injury caused by an unsafe or poorly maintained environment inside a leased space, the landlord could be liable. The landlord is required to inform tenants about any defects on the property they are aware of, especially those which the tenant may not discover in the process of casually inspecting the area. The tenant must be made aware of these potential hazards by the time they move in.
Frequent Types of Claims
These are many of the different kinds of claims that are often filed as premises liabilities:
Slip and fall injuries: dangerous circumstances caused by spilled liquid or other debris on the floor, ripped carpeting, uneven sidewalk or tile, highly polished slick floor surface as well as other causes of slick conditions while failing to display proper signage or provide notification to visitors of stores, clubs, salons, restaurants, etc.
Injury due to fallen elevator car: malfunction or fault in manufacture or upkeep causing an elevator car to drop, defective door or failure of closing device or sensor.
Injuries on stairs: caused by lack of sturdy handrail, insufficient illumination, obstacles or known hazards on steps or any other disregard or negligent behavior which might result in a visitor having an accident and causing injury.
Animal attacks: harm by an animal attacking a visitor on the premises, such as a dog on the owner’s property without proper restraint causing injury.
Swimming pool drowning: the proprietor is required to take action to ensure the reasonable safety of their property. It is the owner’s duty to make ample provision to safe guard the lives of those visiting and resuscitate if necessary. If these are not provided, notifications have to be posted. As well as other aspects requiring consideration is if certain safety equipment or a lifeguard is present, the dimensions of the facility, tenants’ ages, descriptive features of the pool and typical usage of the complex. The owner of a private pool must exercise reasonable care for the presence of minors and maintain protection for uninvited children to prevent them from having access.
Injury resulting from criminal acts: if criminal activity on the premises causes someone else injuries or death. Assault in parking lots or ramps due to negligence or lack of security, inadequate illumination as well as other types of negligent behavior. The reasonable degree of care which must be provided by the owner corresponds to the details surrounding the assault, predictability of such an occurrence and the history of crime in the neighborhood. Should such assaults or other varieties of criminal activity result in homicide, a wrongful death case may be filed if the property owner can be proved negligent.
Municipal liability – injury accident on state or local government property resulting from negligent behavior.
Injuries suffered in amusement park mishaps – Visitors hurt due to poorly maintained or malfunctioning rides and equipment, also defects or other negligence at an entertainment venue.
Impact from merchandise falling from a store shelf
Dram shop liability – a bar or restaurant that serves drinks to a patron past the point of intoxication, whereupon the customer drives and inflicts injury on someone else
Whether it’s a missing handrail, uneven or slick floor, a door that is improperly secured, inadequate illumination, negligence, poor maintenance and criminal activity may cause you to be seriously injured or a family member to suffer a lethal accident. If any of these should befall you or someone close to you, then you could be entitled to pursue monetary damages by way of legislation for premises liability. To secure compensation in this type of case, a plaintiff has to establish the existence of a dangerous condition, awareness on the part of the proprietor regarding the hazard and that this situation caused injury. In addition, it is the victim’s burden to justify the amount of claimed restitution. Satisfying these conditions can be difficult and you are most probably going to need to secure the help of a skilled lawyer to successfully recover damages in a premises liability suit.
The associates at our Law Offices have been winning premises liability claims for more than two decades. During this time, we have established a reputation for toughness while helping to win millions at trial and in settlements all over Texas. Contact us right away to consult an attorney if you or a loved one has suffered injury on property belonging to somebody else. We look forward to helping you find answers for your questions concerning the details of your claim. From there, we can lend you a hand in verifying if your situation is grounds for successful litigation. We will work to help you find justice as well as the compensation you deserve just as we have worked for the benefit of thousands who have suffered personal injuries.
In Texas personal injury civil suits, the burden of proof rests on the victim. This means that it is the responsibility of the plaintiff’s legal representation to prove that the defendant was a cause or contributing factor to the accident that caused the victim to suffer a personal injury resulting in some type of financial loss, like medical bills or lost wages. The standard or proof that must be met in civil court is known as preponderance of evidence, which is different from the standard or proof that is required in a criminal case.
Most people are familiar with the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This phrase is used when describing the amount of evidence that must be accrued in order to convict a criminal. A plaintiff’s lawyer in a criminal case must be able to prove that the defendant was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, the standard of proof in civil cases like personal injury lawsuits is lower. Guilt of an accused party is based on preponderance of evidence. Essentially, preponderance of evidence means that a defendant is more likely guilty of an act than they are innocent, based on the evidence at hand. The type of evidence provided or the amount of evidence gathered is not relevant; however, the way that evidence works to convince a judge or jury of the likely guilt of a defendant in a civil suit is what matters. Preponderance of evidence can be based on a robust set of evidence that provides a broad outline of a defendant’s likely guilt, or it can be based on one single, yet vitally important factor involved in the accident causing injury or death. If a jury or judge believes a defendant’s story is likely false based on preponderance of the evidence, and the plaintiff’s story is likely true, and the plaintiff likely deserves to be compensated, then preponderance of evidence is said to have been met.
Even though the standard of proof in civil action cases in Texas is less strict than that required in criminal cases, it is still a standard or proof, which means that evidence must be obtained so that a judge or jury can base their decision on a preponderance of the evidence. With 20 years of experience in civil law in Texas and throughout the country, Texas personal injury attorney and his team at our Law Offices can help investigate your accident claim in order to gather relevant evidence and pertinent testimony so that a robust case can be built on your behalf. Should you have reason to seek legal action against a liable party for an injury or loss you’ve sustained as a result of their negligent behavior, consider contacting our Texas accident injury lawyers.
Tyler Construction Accident attorney Discusses Denied Insurance Claims
Having to deal with an insurance company, unfortunately, often follows being hurt in an accident. Victims of accidents expect to be fairly compensated for their damages. This expectation conflicts with insurance companies’ overriding interest in their own profits. In his two decades of representing injured individuals, our Texas attorneys have helped countless people who have had their insurance claims unjustly denied.
While individuals sometimes make procedural errors that result in claims being denied, especially when trying to represent themselves, it is not at all uncommon for insurance companies to mistreat accident victims and deny meritorious claims. An insurance company may deny a claim citing obscure, unintelligible jargon, and tell you that there is nothing at all you can do. The truth is that insurance company denials can be and are overturned regularly. Our experienced attorneys and legal professionals have years of experience helping injured individuals reverse insurance company denials. We would be happy to help you determine whether or not you could have your insurance company denial reversed. Experienced attorney is here to help you understand your options.
Our attorneys have experience helping individuals get insurance company denials reversed in many areas, including:
Auto Accident Claim: This kind of claim arises from a typical auto accident or car wreck involving passenger vehicles, such as a sedan or a pickup truck.
18-Wheeler Accident: An 18-wheeler accident is an accident involving a large commercial vehicle (as opposed to accidents involving only passenger vehicles).
Workplace Injuries: Any accident that occurs when you are on the job is a workplace injury.
Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents involve one or more motorcycles.
Personal Injury Cases: This kind of case arises when a person has been negligent in their actions, or lack of actions, toward you.
Premises Liability: If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for premises liability.
If you have been injured in any of these situations, but an insurance company has denied your claim or refused to compensate you for your injuries, our firm could investigate your case and determine whether we may be able to force the insurance company to reverse its denial and get you the justice you deserve. We also may be able to help identify additional parties who may be liable to pay for your injuries, so that you can be fully compensated.
How can our Law Offices Help me if my Insurance Claim has Already Been Denied?
Insurance companies create their own rules for approving and denying claims. In many cases, their internal policies run afoul of applicable state laws and regulations. This means that insurance companies sometimes deny people’s claims illegally. Even if an insurance company’s policies are ostensibly legal, they are often unfair and unjust and leave injured individuals inadequately compensated for their losses. Our Law Offices have years of experience taking on every major insurance company in the country. We go against insurance companies and carriers every day, and we know how they operate. We can use our expertise and knowledge to discover areas where insurance companies may be bending or even breaking state law in order to prioritize their profits over compensating you for your pain and loss. We use this type of attack to compel insurance companies to reconsider, and often reverse, your denial.
Did You Know?
Our attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Additionally, we can quickly assess whether an insurance carrier is taking advantage of you. Often we can get insurance company denials reversed without even having to go to court. This is because the companies are aware of our reputation, experience and expertise, and they would prefer not to face us in court in front of a jury if we are forced to sue them over their unethical behavior. To put it another way, our knowledge combined with our track record means that we have a lot of leverage with insurance companies when it’s time to negotiate your claim.
Our attorneys also investigate claims. Sometimes we can uncover additional details of which you or the insurance company were not aware, or did not fully appreciate. New facts and more complete interpretations can cause insurance companies to reverse themselves and approve claims they initially denied.
Let our Legal Professionals Help get Your Claim Approved
Your insurance company is not telling you the whole story if they say that your claim is denied and there’s nothing you can do. You don’t have to just take their word for it and walk away. The truth is they can reconsider your claim and change their minds. Our attorneys can help you get an insurance company denial overturned. We have twenty years experience handling all types of denied claims, and we know how to negotiate with insurance companies so that they give you a fair settlement. Don’t let your uncompensated injuries fatten an insurance company’s bottom line. If you have been denied, experienced denied insurance claim attorney would be honored to consult with you today to see whether there is anything he and his staff can do to help secure the justice and compensation you deserve.
Texas Lawyer Discusses Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. The state of Texas defines a personal injury lawsuit as a suit brought through a court of law wherein a plaintiff claims to have been somehow injured due to negligence on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff is thereby requesting some sort of financial restitution for those damages.
Put simply, the victim tells the court what happened in an accident and then asks the court to enforce the law and make the defendant compensate the victim for his or her injuries. Experienced personal injury attorney from our Law Offices is here to give you a brief overview of how personal injury lawsuits work.
Elements of a Legitimate Personal Injury Lawsuit
In order to have a strong case, your lawsuit must have three factors:
A solvent defendant
A solvent defendant means that the defendant in your case has some means of compensation you for your injuries. This can be an insurance policy (most common) or personal assets, including money or physical assets. Without a solvent defendant, you cannot be compensated. For example, if you are somehow injured by a homeless person who has no money, insurance, or physical assets, that person may be liable for your injuries, but he or she has no means with which to compensate you.
Note that in some cases, defendants will attempt to hide their assets from the court in order to appear insolvent. Our attorneys have years of experience investigating personal injury cases, and we have seen every trick in the book. We can make sure that the defendant in your case does not escape justice by hiding his or her assets.
Liability and Negligence
In order to have a successful case, you must also prove that the defendant was (at least in part) liable for your injuries. Contrary to common belief, there are often multiple liable parties in a personal injury case. In some situations, the plaintiff may be partially liable. In these situations, the jury determines the percentage of liability for which each party is responsible. For instance, imagine person A is hurt in a three car accident involving person B and person C. The jury finds that person A is 10% liable for the accident, person B is 50% liable, and person C is 40% liable. Person A’s damages amount to $100,000. Person A would then receive $90,000 in damages — $50,000 from person B and $40,000 from person C. Person A would be liable for the last $10,000 since he or she was 10% liable for the accident. Our attorneys can help you identify all potential defendants in your case so that you can be fully compensated for your injuries.
Finally, a strong personal injury case must have damages. If you are involved in an accident caused by a solvent defendant but you are not hurt and you receive no property damage, then you do not have a lawsuit because there are no damages for which you need compensation. But damages include a wide range of injuries. For example, accident victims are commonly compensated for their medical expenses, any property damage, their lost wages from time spent recovering from their injuries, and any lost earning capacity due to long-term or permanent damage caused by the accident. But victims can also receive compensation for the physical pain and suffering or the emotional turmoil caused by an accident.
The amount of compensation a plaintiff can ultimately receive is in the hands of the jury. The plaintiff’s attorneys will present a list of requested damages, and the defense counsel will likely argue that many of these damages are not valid. But the jury determines the total amount of damages, so you need an attorney who can speak the jury’s language and convince them that you deserve compensation for all of your injuries.
Let our Firm of Experienced Legal Professionals Help You
Our firm has been helping victims file personal injury lawsuits for twenty years. We know how to identify defendants, prove that they are solvent, and then convince a jury that you deserve full compensation. We have successfully investigated and litigated hundreds of personal injury lawsuits, and we know how to build a case that will cater to your specific needs. We offer free consultations in which we will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make the best decision for your case. In other words, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. So if you have been hurt in an accident, do not let the guilty party’s negligence go unpunished. Contact Texas attorney from our Law Offices today, and let us make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Attorneys at our Law Offices Discuss Mediating a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas
In the movies and on television, the practice of law is usually done in courtrooms with a charismatic lawyer screaming out “Objection, Your Honor!” In reality, many methods exist to resolve a case and most are far less complex and stressful than taking the case to court. An expert personal injury lawyer begins preparing his or her case as soon as he or she takes it, but the purpose of building a strong case is not to go to court, but to force the defendant or their insurer to reach a fair settlement without going to trial.
While an assertive attorney is never afraid to take the matter to court, most commonly, the best way to settle a case is through mediation.
If you have suffered a personal injury, mediation may be the best venue for you to seek restitution. Texas attorney and his team of lawyers at our Law Offices are here to explain mediation to you and help you decide if it’s the best option for settling your personal injury claim.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is designed to cut down on the amount of litigation by permitting attorneys for both the victim (plaintiff) and defendant to meet personally with an unbiased third party and see if the case can be resolved without going to trial. Both sides have the opportunity to present the evidence that would use in court, if the case comes to that.
Generally, the two parties in a lawsuit agree to mediation after the suit has been filed but before the trial is scheduled to begin. Both parties are then permitted an opportunity to assess how strong their case is in relation to the other party, so an agreeable settlement can be discussed and hopefully agreed upon. Mediation permits both sides to avoid the uncertainty and continued expenditure of a prolonged trial.
How Does Mediation Work?
The attorneys for both sides in a scheduled trial meet at a mutually agreed upon mediator’s office. Usually, the mediator is a retired judge or attorney with a lifetime of expertise in the particular field of law: in this case personal injury. Both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyers present their opening statements and general outline of their case to the mediator. He or she then sits down independently with each side to discuss the arguments they have made. The mediator then fluctuates back and forth to each side’s attorney, presenting arguments and counter-arguments. Finally, the mediator determines how he or she thinks the case will bet resolved if it goes to court, and then uses this estimate to suggest an amicable agreement for both sides. If both sides can come to an agreement, then the trial is avoided and the case can be settled.
Is Mediation Right for You?
In real life, going to court isn’t as thrilling as reading a John Grisham novel. It’s a harrowing, stressful process that will consume a considerable amount of time and money before its resolved. Not to mention, you never know for sure what a jury is going to do and settling guarantees compensation. We’re confident in our attorney’s ability to mold juries into sympathy for our clients, but there are never certainties in a jury trial.
That’s why we will employ mediation to resolve a case out of court. Our Law Offices has been helping people resolve their personal injury claims for 20 years. We begin preparing for your case as soon as we take it, and we have a proven record of success in court. As a result, defense lawyers know better than to take us to trial and are often eager to go to a mediator. We know how to choose a mediator who will be sympathetic to your cause and then present the facts to the mediator in such a way to grant you the best chance of receiving total compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence contact our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation and find out what your options are – whether or in court or in front of a mediator.
What are Damages in a Personal Injury Case? Attorney Discusses
The potential value of any Texas personal injury case or lawsuit is ultimately based on the amount of damages that the plaintiff has amassed. In legal terms, the word “damages” refers to money claimed by, or ordered to be paid to a person as compensation for injury or loss. The state of Texas recognizes two distinct types of damages in a personal injury case: General Damages and Special damages.
General Damages, otherwise referred to as non-economic damages, are any type of damages that do not have a tangible value associated with them. General damages are much more subjective and vary from situation to situation in the way that they are quantified.
Some examples of General Damages are:
Pain and Suffering
Loss of Consortium
Injury to Reputation
For an example of the subjectivity of general damages, imagine that an industrial accident has occurred, whereby a factory exploded. In this explosion there were two victims, both of which were badly burned in the ensuing fire. Plaintiff 1 was knocked unconscious in the blast, and although he suffered significant burns, he was not not awake and alert to experience the pain. However, plaintiff 2 was just as badly burned, but was fully alert and experienced the full and terrible pain associated with the burn.
While both of these victims may end up with similar medical expenses and so forth, they each experienced a different amount of pain and suffering, and the damages they are entitled to would be different.
Furthermore, general damages are subjective in the sense that every person experiences and is effected differently by the above mentioned damages. For example, an 18-year-old cheerleader who has a small scar on her face as a result of an injury, may be considerably more affected by the disfigurement than a 30-year-old fire fighter may be. Some people do not care what others think, and some people depend largely on their reputation, which would make damage to that reputation a significant event.
Special Damages, otherwise known as economic damages, are any variety of damages that have an explicitly quantifiable dollar amount.
Some examples of Special Damages are:
Medical Expenses both past and future
Did You Know?
Our Texas attorneys have won hundreds of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Loss of Earning Capacity
For an example of special damages, imagine that a plaintiff who worked as an electrician or lineman making $60,000, yet he lost his ability to work after an 18-wheeler accident caused the loss of one of his legs. Naturally, he can no longer continue his work climbing electrical poles, and as such, he would lose his income over his remaining 20 years of expected employment. Therefore, he has at least $1.2 million in damages as a result of his loss of earning capacity, not to mention his other damages such as medical expenses and so forth.
One of the defining characteristics of a good personal injury or wrongful death attorney is that attorney’s ability to properly account for, and quantify ALL of, the damages that you are entitled to be compensated for. Our Texas personal injury attorneys thoroughly evaluate every case in order to maximize the case’s potential value.
Attorney Discusses The Types of Cases That We Handle
In the 20 years that the attorneys at our Law Offices have been litigating cases we have successfully represented thousands of clients who have been victims of personal injury or wrongful death accidents. Over the course of this period we have become specialized and have chosen to work primarily in those two areas of law.
Unlike other firms that will take on cases in any kinds of law we believe that the best and most consistently favorable results will come from concentrating our skill sets and dedication on just these two very important arenas of the law.
Consequently, when we are on your team in a wrongful death or personal injury case you will be working with a law firm that spends all their courtroom time, day in and day out, prosecuting cases just like yours, rather than a firm where the lawyers merely dabble in personal injury law.
No matter what your injury … soft tissue damage, broken bones, concussions, brain injury, spine injury … we are able to help you. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had over two decades experience ensuring that victims are adequately compensated for a full range of possible accidents, from 18-wheeler collisions, head injuries, birth injuries, dog bites, construction site accidents, wrongful death cases, injuries from falling on the ice, and literally dozens of other accident types. We have successfully litigated settlements in these cases and thousands of others for our Texas clients who have suffered financial damages, medical costs or pain and suffering.
A brief listing that covers a large number of the types of cases that we handle would include:
Passenger Car Accidents
Construction Site Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents
Other Types of Vehicles Accidents
Railroad and Bus Accidents
Medical Malpractice Cases
Drugs & Pharmaceutical Error Cases
There are certainly other types of cases that we also handle, so please do contact our Law Offices if you have suffered any type of personal injury.
What is a Personal Injury
Many people wonder when does an injury become a personal injury in the legal sense. From a lawyer’s point of view, the term personal injury refers to the physical injury and accompanying emotional duress that is caused by another person’s action, or lack of action. Many people also believe that you can just sue anyone that causes you injury. As a victim, you have the burden of proof, meaning that you must show that the defendant violated a legal duty to do harm to you. As an example, let us assume that you are having surgery; the surgeon in the operation uses his scalpel to make an incision. This is perfectly acceptable. In the next example let’s say that the same surgeon approaches you at a party and cuts you on the arm. Same two people and the same general type incision. But only in the latter case could a claim be made that anyone violated a legal duty to you. This breaching of legal duty is something that you, as the plaintiff, must prove in court. Specifically, you will have to accomplish this within all the rules and procedures of the court system; how these procedures operate, how to file all the necessary motions and pleadings, how to have pertinent evidence admitted, all of these must be done absolutely correctly or you will lose your case. In the modern courtroom, it is not only what you know, its what you can prove as well. This is also an extremely difficult task and one major reason why you will want to locate the absolute best attorneys in Texas.
What is the Purpose of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are two main goals in filing a personal injury lawsuit. The first is that it will allow a victim to recover financially all the losses that the victim may have suffered in an accident. Most accidents will leave a victim reeling under all the possible financial losses that they may suffer. One of these losses may include medical bills, repair bills, lost wages because of hospitalization and many others. These can all add up rapidly and thus the recovery of money from the negligent party can make a huge difference in a victims life. Secondly, a personal injury lawsuit will give the victim the chance to hold the negligent party responsible. By striking a blow for justice and holding the negligent party accountable, you will be diminishing the possibility of this type of accident occurring again in the future.
The Solvent Defendant
In order to win your case you must have a defendant that is solvent. In other words, if your defendant does not have the financial resources to pay the amount that you are requesting, there really is no point in initiating your lawsuit since the defendant would not be able to pay.
There are, unfortunately, many occasions when an unscrupulous defendant or even his or her attorney will attempt to hide assets in order to appear insolvent, to escape fiscal responsibility. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had extensive experience dealing with these types of subterfuge. When we are doing our normal background investigation into the defendant we also will always compile a full asset check as well. If there are assets being hidden we will most definitely locate them.
How To Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit
People often erroneously believe that they are simply entitled to collect compensation of they have been injured because of someone else’s actions. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, however, spells out the reality, that victims have the right to seek compensation. In order to collect compensation for your losses you will need to receive a favorable judgment or agreement saying as such.
Most of us simply assume that legal decisions are all made inside a courtroom, much as on TV and in the movies. In reality, most cases are settled outside of court. This is an excellent way in which to win your case, since it eliminates the uncertainty that may be present in a jury trial. In this case the defendant agrees to pay you a certain amount of money in exchange for which you agree to drop the chargers against the defendant. As long as you are receiving a fair settlement this is good for you, since it saves you time and money as well. You must, however, be wary of a settlement that is not for full value to you. If you are tricked or coerced into taking a lower settlement you will not be able to come back later and sue for the fair value. Offers that you receive before you have hired an attorney will generally be unfair, or low-ball offers. Always refuse to sign anything until you have taken the offer to some reputable attorneys in Texas for their review and input.
Receiving a fair settlement is not a traditional type of business transaction. Sometimes victims believe that since they have a bit of business intelligence or since they run their own company that they will be able to negotiate a fair settlement. This is just not how the legal system operates. A defense attorney will only settle out of court if that attorney is convinced that a jury trial will bring an even more expensive pay out for the defendant. When a non-lawyer sues an insurance company they may think that the insurance company will be intimidated into paying. Nothing could be further from the truth. These huge insurance company have millions of dollars in their war chests and are always prepared to fight claims. They are very unlikely to be scared by the claims made by an unknown law firm, let alone by a non-lawyer attempting self-representation. The attorneys at our Law Offices have been successfully litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases for over 20 years and have won millions and millions of dollars in settlements for our clients from major American insurers. These huge insurance companies are only too well aware of our outstanding track record and today will often seek to settle out of court, rather than face our tenacious attorneys in front of a jury.
If a personal injury case does not, for any number of reasons, settle out of court then it will go to trial. In order to win your case in front of a jury you will need to present evidence supporting each of the four major elements of a personal injury claim. These four elements are duty, breach, cause and damages. Let’s discuss them now in more detail.
First of all you will need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. We all owe each other different levels of care in our lives, in order to avoid causing each other any harm, by acting as a reasonable person would act. This is referred to as the “reasonable person standard” and is the most typically applicable duty of care. This may change in different situations, however; accordingly, here is a list if scenarios where it would not apply:
Often times you will see a sign in a store that may warn you that, say, a floor is wet and slippery after being mopped, or that in a parking lot it isn’t safe to leave valuables in your car. Since most of us wouldn’t warn friends visiting our homes of these conditions why would a business owner do so….The answer: Store owners owe their customers a higher level of care than we do to our house guests. This situation can become more complicated if you now imagine that the store’s visitor is actually a robber during the night, not a daytime paying customer. Does the store still owe the same level of care to the robber? Generally speaking, the answer is no. Thus you may see that duty of care varies depending on the purpose of the visitor.
Doctors and other medical professionals have spent years of advanced study and on the job experience learning to treat patients. We consequently expect them to use their advanced knowledge to take all necessary care of their patients. Thus they owe their patients a higher duty of care than they owe to others. On the job, a surgeon must exercise the duty of care of a reasonable surgeon, not just of a reasonable person.
At the job site things also become more complicated. You may wonder how much care your employer owes you …. The answer will depend on what type of worker you are. If you are an employee then you are owed a fairly high level of care by your employer. He must maintain safe working conditions. If, however, you are a temp worker or contract worker then you are basically responsible for keeping your own working conditions safe. These workers are not owed a duty of care for safe working conditions.
What do we owe to passengers riding in our cars? In many states there are different levels of care required depending on whether these passengers are paying passengers of not. Generally, a driver must place a paying passenger’s safety at more priority than that of a non-paying passenger.
Children are generally held to a lower level of care than are adults, with the level of care based upon their experience and age. The exceptions to this general rule would include times when children might be engaged in normal adult activities, such as when driving a car, when they would be held to adult standards of care.
It is best to consult with reputable attorneys to fully understand the duty of care applicable to your Texas personal injury case. Since Texas civil law relies on what is called “joint and several liability” multiple defendants can be the proximate cause of a victim’s injuries; consequently, the plaintiff may be able to sue all defendants. For example, if you have been hit by a drunk driver you may be able to sue not only the driver but the bar or restaurant where the driver was served excess alcohol.
After proving which level of care applies to your defendant, you must now demonstrate successfully that the defendant breached that duty of care that he or she owed you. Applying the “reasonable person” standard, defendants breach their duty of care if they do something that a reasonable person would not do.
Effectively, there are three ways that defendants violate their duty of care. Perhaps the most common way is through negligence. We commonly refer to negligence as a mistake or an accident. Even if this negligence lasts but a minute or two that is still sufficient to be held accountable. At a higher level beyond negligence is what is called “gross negligence.” This occurs when a defendant acts in a manner which he is aware that may case injury to another person. Drunk driving is a good example of this. The third level of negligence is when a defendant acts intentionally to cause harm, such as in a case of assault.
After you have proven that your defendant breached his or her duty of care you must prove that these actions lead directly to your injuries. If multiple parties were indeed responsible, then proving this may be difficult to say the least. On occasion a defendant will also attempt to blame a third party in order to escape responsibility. In these scenarios you will need abundant evidence to win your case.
The last critical part of your case is to prove damages. You will need not only to prove that you did indeed suffer financial losses because of the injuries that you received in the accident, you must also calculate the amount of these damages. This can be complicated, since you will also need to substantiate every penny of these losses.
Again, it must be noted how critically important it is to substantiate all of these elements in you case. If you fail to bring evidence for even but one element you will definitely lose your lawsuit. One of the experienced attorneys at our Law Offices can certainly assist you in preparing all evidence needed in order to prevail in the courtroom.
Types of Damages
There are two types of damages available in most personal injury cases: Special Damages and General Damages.
Special damages are more objective and thus are easier to quantify and to prove. These may include lost wages because of medical treatment, loss of future earning potential, and medical bills. While some facets are relatively easy to calculate there are others that are more difficult. How, for example, can you accurately compute the loss of future income for a 25 year old with outstanding career future prospers who now will be unable to return to work? This requires much more than merely multiplying the earned annual salary now by the number of anticipated years left in the workforce. One must also include anticipated merit raises, and bonuses from future educational certifications, fiscal benefits from medical and dental and retirement programs, as well as the cost of money and also inflation. The attorneys at our Law Offices have had the necessary experience to be able to accurately compute these types of sophisticated calculations to ensure that every penny of your damages is included.
General damages are the second type of damages available in these cases. These damages are much more subjective in nature and are consequently more difficult to prove. These may include such intangibles as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement and other injuries that are very hard to place monetary value on. General damages will vary extensively from case to case and are completely within the domain of only the most experienced personal injury attorney to compute.
Our Law Offices Can Help
The attorneys at our Law Offices have been successfully litigating personal injury claims for over 20 years. During this period of time we have won millions and millions of dollars in settlements for our Texas clients from major insurers throughout the United States. These huge insurance companies are well aware of our outstanding track record and often today will seek to settle out of court rather than face our tenacious attorneys in front of a jury. This of course may be beneficial to you, allowing you to send less time involved in the whole legal process and enabling you to receive your settlement check even faster. Thus you will be able to return more quickly to your regular day to day life.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact our Law Offices today. We are available to you 24 hours a day and are pleased to offer a complimentary consultation. Our team of attorneys are looking forward to discussing your case with you and to answering all of your specific questions.
Burn Injury attorney Can Help With Your Situation
Fire is one of the natural elements of the universe that was created by God and it’s probably the most destructive force on earth. An average summer day in Texas can reach as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now imagine touching something ten (10X) times as hot. Scientists say the temperature of an average fire can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. There are only a few things on earth that can withstand the heat of fire, and human skin is not one of them. In fact burn victims have been known to suffer nerve damage, disfigurement and even death as a result of exposure to fire. If you or someone you know has been injured or died in a fire due to someone else’s negligence, call our burn attorney today for a free consultation.
There are more than two (2) million burn injuries are reported every year in the United States. About twenty (20,000) thousand people are admitted to the hospital because their burns cover at least twenty-five (25%) percent of their body. And some of their injuries are so severe that about ten (10,000) of those victims will die from their wounds.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Burn injuries are the top cause of accidental death in America after car accidents.
Children who are fourteen and under die in accidental home fires more than any other age group. And it’s the third leading cause of death for adults.
Adults over 55 are injured in house fires more often because they fall asleep by smoking.
The kitchen is the deadliest place in the house for people ages 75 and above because it’s where they are injured most. And people ages 75 and older are more likely to die in a house fires because they might be informed but unable to escape.
Children from birth to 4 years old suffer from hot water scalds more than any other age groups.
Newborn to 2-year olds have more emergency room visits due to burn injuries they received in the kitchen and bathroom than any other age groups.
Because of the debilitating nature of burns, they are the most expensive injuries to treat. The more of a person’s body that is exposed to burns, the more it will cost to treat them. For instance, a burn that covers just ten (10%) of a person’s body can cost more than $100,000 in hospitalization and physicians fees. If the wounds are more extensive, more costs could apply for reconstructive surgery and possibly rehabilitation. In addition to the cost to treat the burns the injured person has to miss days from work. So the accumulation of their injuries, medical bills and lost wages often can lead to psychological stress and depression. If you or someone you know is suffering from burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence and you need legal assistance, call our burn attorney today for a free consultation.
How Burn Injuries Happen
You might have heard about Dallas Wiens’ story. He is the Texas man who received a full face transplant – the first in the United States – after he was disfigured in a work related accident. Wiens had his face practically melted away and he lost his eyesight after he accidentally touched a power line while he was painting. He recently received a new nose, lips and the underlying nerves in his face so that he could feel his daughter’s touch on his face again, thanks to advancements in burn injury treatment.
More than one million people in America suffer from burn injuries every year. Whether or not medical treatment is needed depends on the severity of the burn. Most people suffer from simple household burns while they’re cooking, while others might work in an occupation where they are exposed to high temperatures such as in welding, in machinery or in a restaurant of course. Wounds from a curling iron burn or even sun burn can range from a minor first-degree blister that can be healed by applying aloe vera to fourth-degree life-threatening wounds that require extended treatment.
The severity of the burn depends on how hot the skin gets and the length of time the skin was exposed to the burn. If the skin was exposed the heat for an extended amount of time there could be nerve damage that prevents the victim’s arms and legs from functioning normally. It also depends on where the burn occurred on the body, because the thickness, water and oil content are different on some parts of the body such as the hands and feet. The skin is thinner around the face, neck and belly area. All these variations make each burn unique. If a person is exposed to extreme heat or a chemical agent, their wounds might be different than if he or she is burned in a vehicle accident or an explosion. Boiling water, gasoline spills and electrocutions also can cause different effects on human skin. That’s why there are hospitals that have special burn units that treat only burn injuries. If you or someone you know are suffering due to burn injuries because of someone else’s negligence, call our burn attorney today for a free consultation.
How Burn Injuries Are Treated
There are more than 130 burn units across the United States. Most of them are housed at hospitals across the country. Some of them only work with children. Long-term treatment for serious burn injuries involves skin grafts. Skin grafts are the process of taking skin from one part of the body and attaching it to the damaged area of the body. Short-term treatments for burns include bandages, antibiotics and other methods. The effect of these treatments depends on whether or not there were previous health issues that need to be considered.
Insurance policies and Burn Injuries
More than a million people suffer from burn injuries every year which require emergency treatment due to the negligence of someone else. Burn injuries could lead to nerve damage and limited use of the arms and legs, which is why the cost of treatment is so expensive. A majority of insurance policies are not worth enough money to pay for the average serious burn injuries. It’s because there is specialized treatment that is needed to repair burn damage. So you might think there would be a special category of compensation for someone who is victimized in this way, but there is not. Some victims suffer disfigurement, mental anguish and depression because of their injuries. Our self esteem is based on mostly how we look – or more specifically, how others look at us. So if a person is disfigured by their injuries it could be a life-altering experience.
Burn Survivors of Personal Injury Accidents in the US
If you’ve ever experienced a burn, even for a second, you know how painful it can be. So for someone who is injured in a car accident or exposed to fire for an extended period of time it can be excruciating. Some people might think they are being burned alive. And that probably is the highest form of mental anguish. It’s hard to bounce back from something like that. In fact, getting back to work can be tough. For some people returning to work is medically impossible.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and Long-Term Burn Care
When someone is burned badly, even if they have insurance most policies don’t have enough value in them to cover the expense it normally takes to treat someone. So the victim is left to figure out how he or she is going to foot the medical bills and if they have been disfigured there will be emotional scars that also should be addressed. Serious burn injuries don’t just heal by themselves. They need to be treated by professional specialists trained in this area. If your burn injuries are due to the negligence of someone else, you owe it to yourself to hire a personal injury attorney who can help you outline your options. Who is to blame for your injuries and how could it have been avoided? Our burn injury attorney can help you to figure it out. His team of experienced litigators will do a full investigation of your case so that you know what your next move should be.
There are three must haves to a personal injury case:
The victim must show he or she suffered some type of physical, mental, or emotional injury. And in the case of a burn victim that should be easy to do.
The victim must show that the defendant had a duty to do no harm. If the burns came as a result of a car accident, this can mean that the guilty party failed at their duty and caused the victim’s wounds.
The victim must show economic loss, known as damages, because of the injuries. Damages include financial losses including medical expenses, property damage and lost wages.
What to Watch Out For: Stories vs. Evidence
Even though a judge and or jury will be emotionally moved by the sight of a victim’s injuries and the story behind the injuries, it’s important to make sure your personal injury lawsuit has all the elements (named above) needed to win the case. When some people attempt to go it alone and pursue legal action by themselves, they may be left without the resources to conduct the best investigation. So it may then prove impossible for anyone to know what truly happened. However, with the help of our burn injury lawyer and the investigative team at our Law Offices, our clients can be assured of having a thorough investigation conducted into their accident scene so that the truth of the accident’s cause can be assessed, regardless of what the liable driver may be saying.
Contact our Law Offices for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your personal injury burn injury case. We will answer any lingering questions you may have. And we will evaluate your possible legal options in light of the specifics of your case. By starting the process to seek compensation for your injury or loss today, you can start on the road to recovery that much sooner.
Our Texas Lawyers Discuss Mediation & Arbitration in a Texas Personal Injury Case
Alternative dispute resolutions are methods used by lawyers to attempt resolution of a case before it goes to a trial hearing. Many personal injury cases in Texas seldom go to court.
Attorneys choose mediation or arbitration, two forms of alternative dispute resolution, to achieve favorable results for their clients without the need for the time-consuming and oftentimes costlier prospect of a full trial. The Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act governs the methods used in alternative dispute resolution cases. While there are different methods to achieve resolution, in all cases both sides meet with a non-biased third party who works to bring both sides to a mutually beneficial agreement in order to prevent a case brought to trial. The Texas personal injury law firm at our Law Offices explains why alternative dispute resolution might be beneficial in your personal injury case.
Should I Choose Alternative Dispute Resolution?
The short answer is “maybe.” Depending on the nuances of your personal injury case, alternative dispute resolution might be beneficial for you. Our experienced attorneys can help you ascertain whether that might be the case for your case. Alternative dispute resolution is typically less stressful, less time-consuming, and carries fewer legal fees than taking a case to trial. Additionally, trial cases always possess a certain degree of the unknown due to the fact that an impartial jury is deciding your fate. When an experienced lawyer takes a personal injury case, they will typically begin building a lawsuit immediately, even if their client isn’t intending to file a lawsuit. However, this information can be put to good use when negotiating via alternative dispute resolution.
The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at our Law Offices Can Help You Decide Whats Best
Alternative dispute resolutions can be beneficial to your case, but that might not be your best option. For instance, it’s possible that your best interests might better be served by a trial case. In other instances, alternative dispute resolutions might result in a deadlock, where neither party can agree to a mutually beneficial outcome, thus resulting in a trial case. Whatever the case may be, with twenty years of experience in personal injury law, the lawyers at our Law Offices can help you understand your options and how choosing the correct route might help you receive just compensation in your personal injury case. Contact us for more information on whether or not alternative dispute resolution is right for your case.