Were you injured due to someone else’s negligence? Perhaps you suffered a workplace injury.
Regardless, a Texas personal injury law professional can help you get financial compensation. Before your personal injury case moves forward, a personal injury lawyer will be upfront and realistic about your case.
If you have a case, it can go one of two ways: trial or settlement. If your personal injury case goes to trial, you need an experienced lawyer who can argue your case effectively in court.
If it goes to settlement, a lawyer must take charge during negotiations so you can receive the maximum payout. This article will reveal why you need to hire an attorney after a personal injury occurs. Let’s explore.
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
Under Texas law, everyone has an obligation to look out for the safety of others. When a breach of safety occurs, you have a viable personal injury claim. A person’s blatant disregard of your safety (intentional or unintentional) will bolster your case.
A winning case comprises the following elements:
- The defendant must behave a certain way to preserve the safety of others.
- The defendant failed to honor a duty to care.
- The injury must stem the perpetrator’s breach of duty.
- The defendant should have known his or her actions would have caused grievous harm to another party.
- You must suffer physical injury to qualify for compensation.
To win your case, you must meet all five of the negligence criteria. If you share the blame in a personal injury claim, the courts could lower your compensation amount.
What Kind of Damage Awards Can I Receive?
Texas law allows you to receive three types of rewards: economic damages, non-economic damages, and exemplary damages.
Economic damages consist of medical expenses you incurred to address your injuries. They also include lost wages or income. Further, the reward amount could extend to property damage.
To prove your economic damages, gather as much documentation as you can.
- Example: Save all medical bills and invoices to show the court. Your doctor can also document your injuries in greater detail.
If you suffered property damage, take pictures of the scene or the damaged object.
In addition to economic damages, you may also receive non-economic damages. Non-economic damages break down as follows:
- Pain and Suffering: Texas law allows you to obtain additional money for physical suffering and emotional suffering. This category also refers to the recovery process, which is often lengthy and stressful.
- Mental Anguish: This subset is a different category in Texas. The courts may award damages if you fared through extreme mental turmoil. Mental anguish must be beyond anger, embarrassment, or disappointment. In many cases, the courts will grant mental anguish awards if the anguish will continue in the foreseeable future.
- Disfigurement: This is a separate category from mental anguish and pain and suffering. However, disfigurement may tie into both subsets, depending on the nature of the injury. Scars or deformities could entitle you to additional money.
Your case may entitle you to a combination of economic and non-economic damages. However, talk to a personal injury attorney to learn more.
Lastly, exemplary damages consist of a lump sum meant to punish the at-fault party. Otherwise known as punitive damages, Texas law usually allows exemplary money two times the economic damage amount, including an equal sum to non-economic damages.
However, non-economic damages usually have a cap of $750K. In other cases, the exemplary rewards may have a cap of $200K.
Do I Need to Know About Lawsuit Restrictions?
You can file a personal injury claim against any person or entity. You can also sue government agencies in Texas under limited circumstances.
When dealing with government institutions, the courts will cap the damages at $500K for a single incident and $250K for one person. In most cases, governments are immune from personal injury claims.
Filing against a company is easier, but you need a lawyer by your side to get the money you deserve. Many companies (especially large firms) have enough resources to hire stellar legal teams that can pick apart your case. You can counter defense claims with an experienced lawyer who has enough resources to strengthen your case.
When it comes to individuals, you have a much easier time filing a claim. You can file a claim against any individual who caused bodily harm.
You can also file suit against doctors who commit medical malpractice. Many doctors have medical malpractice insurance, meaning their insurance provider will pay the damages. However, insurance battles are where you need attorneys the most.
Why Do I Need an Attorney During Insurance Negotiations?
Insurance carriers pay minimal benefits to save money. As a result, you could receive less compensation than you deserve. Small payouts can leave you with little money to take care of your injuries.
That’s why you need an attorney, as they can champion your interests to maximize insurance payouts. More importantly, allow a legal professional to deal with the stress of insurance negotiations so you can focus on the healing phase.
How a Texas Personal Injury Law Professional Can Ease Your Burdens
A personal injury lawyer can ensure you file all the necessary paperwork to commence your case smoothly. Additionally, an attorney can tell you if your case meets the guidelines under Texas personal injury law.
They can also tell you what type of evidence you need to increase your chances of victory. If your case reaches a settlement, a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the maximum amount owed.