The Leon Law Firm, P.C, www.theleonlawfirm.com would like to share all this important information from Lawyers.com .
When you've been injured by someone else's carelessness, it's important to take some initial steps toward making sure your injury claim can be settled fairly and as quickly as possible:
- Write down everything you can remember about how the injury happened, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses, police officers and insurance company representatives (or company or workers' compensation representatives if it was a work-related injury
- Talk to a Texas personal injury lawyer before making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance company adjusters or representatives
- Let anyone you think may be responsible for the injury know right away you intend to file a claim against them
- Take steps to protect any evidence you may need to prove your injury, such as your totaled car, photographs of an accident or injury scene, clothing you were wearing, damaged personal belongings, and so forth
How Do I Figure Out Who Is at Fault?
In most cases, in order to collect on an injury claim in Texas, you must prove the person who caused the injury was "negligent" - careless and neglectful. You must prove:
- The person who caused your injury owed you a duty
- The person broke or breached that duty
- The other person's failure caused your injury
- You suffered damages
If you were careless, and that contributed to your injury, the amount you can recover is reduced in proportion to your fault under Texas comparative negligence law. If you were more than 50 percent at fault for your injury, you won't be able to collect from the other person.
Texas joint and several liability rules allow you to collect all of your damages from any person who was more than 50 percent responsible for your injury.
If you've been injured using a consumer product, the seller or manufacturer of the product may be responsible under strict liability law if the product was unreasonably dangerous. Here, you must prove:
- The seller was in the business of selling the product that caused your injury
- The product was in a defective condition when sold, and unreasonably dangerous
- The product was intended to reach you without substantial change in the condition in which it was sold
- The product wasn't fit for its intended use or a reasonably anticipated use at the time it left the manufacturer
- The defect caused your injury
- You suffered damages
What Is My Claim Worth?
Under Texas law, the person who injured you will be responsible for:
- Past, current and future estimated medical expenses
- Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy
- Any property damage, such as damage to your vehicle
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you couldn't do them
- Any permanent disfigurement or disability
- Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression and any interference with your family relationships
- Any other costs directly resulting from your injury
In some cases you may need an expert to explain your injuries and why you're entitled to certain damages. This is very common in medical malpractice cases. A lawyer will know what type of expert witness to hire to best prove your damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Legal Claim?
In Texas, you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. If your lawyer can't reach an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you'll definitely want to file a lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations runs out.
Questions for Your Attorney
- Can I still file a lawsuit if I accepted a settlement offer from the other person's insurance company before I contacted you?
- The insurance company seems to be taking me and my injuries seriously. Why do I need to hire a lawyer?
- Is the other person's insurance company entitled to look at my medical records without my permission? Should I let it have access to my records?
Call 281-980-4529 with any questions!