What kinds of accidents qualify for personal injury cases?
Anytime you have been injured and someone else caused your injuries, you may be able to file a case to recover your injuries. This includes automobile accidents, sports accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall cases, and injuries from an animal.
You can also sue someone who hurt you deliberately, such as when someone commits a battery on you. Your personal injury claim will be separate from the criminal charges, but you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you protect your rights on the claim.
What should I say if I have to make a statement to the police or insurance company?
Obviously, tell the truth, but don’t admit that you were at fault during your initial statement. Right after your accident, you may not be thinking clearly, and you don’t want to admit liability if the crash was not your fault. Also, don’t say that you are not injured. If they ask, let them know that you are going to see a doctor and that you will let them know what the doctor says.
What if my insurance company, or the other person’s insurance company, makes a settlement offer right away?
You may feel pressured to take the first offer, but unless your damages are very minor, it is probably not in your best interest. An insurance company will probably make the lowest offer possible to save money and get your case done.
If you accept an offer so quickly, you will not be able to ask for more money later. If your injuries turn out to be much greater than you thought, you cannot ask for your medical bills to be paid. Your car may have more damages than you originally thought, and you may need more time off from work to take care of these matters. Never accept a settlement until you are sure how much money you are out.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The Statute of Limitations for how long you will have to file a claim is two years in Texas. This includes personal injury and property damage claims and does not include claims against the government. You may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company for a greater period of time, however.
If you were injured or your property was damaged by an agent of the state, such as a police officer or a city bus, you will likely be required to file an administrative claim. In these cases, you may have only 60 or 90 days to file your claim, depending on the jurisdiction.
If you do not file your claim within the required time after your accident, you could lose your right to recover damages. To avoid missing any deadlines, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.
What kinds of damages can I recover from a personal injury lawsuit?
Any damages you can reasonably prove are ones you may be able to recover. This includes:
- Any medical bills, including follow-ups, medicine, physical therapy, and specialists
- Anytime you need to take off from work because of the accident, including future earnings
- Damage to your vehicle or personal property
- The cost of the rental vehicle, if you had to rent a vehicle because yours was damaged
- Physical scars
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
You can recover every expense you can prove was directly related to the accident, including gas to and from doctor visits.
Why should I hire a personal injury attorney?
While you are not required to hire an attorney, it may be in your best interest to do so. Even your own insurance company is really not on your side, as their job is to save as much money as possible. It is always possible for someone to take advantage of you in this difficult time if you do not know the laws and how to work within the system.
In general, people who hire personal injury attorneys receive far larger settlements than those who choose to represent themselves. Attorneys have special relationships with their clients and will help you get the best result possible in your case.
How much money will I need to hire a personal injury attorney?
Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning that your attorney will not get paid until you do. Instead of paying money upfront or paying by the hour, you will agree to pay a certain percentage of your claim when it is finally resolved. That means that if you don’t get any money, your attorney won’t get any money from your case either.
In most cases, your attorney will generally be paying most fees up front, such as normal litigation expenses and filing fees. This helps you out because when you have been in an accident, you have probably lost money that you weren’t planning to spend and may not be able to afford. And it gives your attorney the incentive to work as hard as possible on your case.