An Austin personal injury lawyer helps you maximize your compensation. Let’s discuss personal injury cases and the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive.
When a negligent or intentional act leaves you with a bodily injury, you have suffered what the law calls personal injury. Therefore, you can commence a personal injury claim against the negligent party in such an instance. In addition, Texas law allows you to receive economic and non-economic damages if your claim is successful.
Working with an experienced legal team may help increase your chances of success when filing a personal injury claim. Hiring an Austin personal injury lawyer may also increase your chances of getting maximum compensation from the at-fault party. Contact Herring Law Firm today for legal advice and representation if you or a loved one suffered injuries from a negligent action.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim exists when a person suffers injuries from an accident caused by negligence. In these cases, you must identify the negligent party to get adequate compensation for your losses. For example, the at-fault party could be the person whose direct action caused your wound or other third parties who contributed to the event that harmed you.
Generally, you can commence an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. A personal injury law firm can help you decide which route to choose for your claim. When you file an insurance claim, you get a settlement, which ends the claims process.
However, if you fail to settle with the other party, your case might proceed to trial, where a judge will decide the outcome. Sometimes, the money awarded in a trial is more than what you get in an injury settlement. To maximize your compensation in a trial, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Different actions result in a personal injury claim. They include the following:
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the common sources of personal injury cases. This category includes:
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
In addition, there are different types of auto crashes like T-bone collisions, rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, etc. In Texas, there were 12,107 serious injury crashes in 2020, with 14,660 people sustaining severe injuries. Under Texas at-fault auto insurance rules, crash victims can get fair compensation from the person who caused the accident.
A workplace accident can happen for many different reasons. Generally, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage pays for the injury treatment after such occurrences. This ensures that employers do not face litigation.
However, there are instances where you can file a personal injury lawsuit. One example is where your employer intentionally caused your injury or where a third party caused the accident that harmed you.
Medical errors are quite common in the United States and are the third-leading cause of death in the country. A doctor commits medical negligence when they fail to uphold the standard of care. Examples of medical malpractice are:
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Medication error
- Delayed treatment, etc.
Proving negligence in a medical negligence case is complex and requires the help of an Austin personal injury attorney with extensive experience. Therefore, it’s recommended that you get legal representation before commencing this type of action.
Property owners must keep their premises safe for lawful visitors and licensees. If you suffer a horrific experience that leaves you injured due to hazardous conditions on a property, you can file a compensation claim. However, if you are a trespasser, you will be unable to recover financial compensation.
Defective products or product liability cases arise when consumers suffer injuries from a harmful commodity. Product manufacturers must ensure they only produce safe goods. They are liable to compensate you if they manufacture harmful goods or fail to warn the public of dangerous side effects.
Other examples of personal injury cases are construction accidents, boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, nursing home abuse, etc. Also, a personal injury may become a wrongful death claim where an injured party dies.
Common Injuries Sustained in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury victims can either suffer minor, severe, or fatal injuries. Some of the most common wounds sustained are:
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most common catastrophic injuries. They occur when there’s damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. Victims with spinal cord injuries may be paralyzed for life, and could potentially receive settlements in the millions as compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can either cause permanent disability or death when severe. They are common in high-impact crashes where the victim suffers a blow to the head. An example is a motorcycle accident where the motorcyclist fails to wear a helmet.
When the body gets more pressure than it can withstand, it causes broken bones. A break can be simple or compound; if it’s the latter, you may end up with a disability if it is not treated correctly.
Other wounds associated with personal injury claims are:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Internal bleeding
- Bruising and scrapes
- Burn wounds
- Soft tissue injury
- Back injury
- Rib fracture
- Neck injuries
How Do You Prove Fault in a Personal Injury Claim?
After a bad accident, insurance companies, through an insurance adjuster, would investigate to determine who the responsible party is. They will not just take your word for it. Similarly, your Austin personal injury lawyer will do the same to ensure you share no blame for the occurrence.
To do this, your legal team must establish the four elements of negligence. They include the following:
- Duty of Care: Your Austin personal injury lawyer must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. What this amounts to differs in each case. So, speak with personal injury experts to know whether the other party owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty: A breached duty occurs when a party deviates from the duty of care and performs an action that harms you. For example, a drunk driver would have breached their duty of care to drive safely by driving and operating a vehicle under the influence.
- Causation: In personal injury matters, it is never enough that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. It would help if you linked it to the injury suffered. Therefore, even if there was a breached duty, you cannot commence a legal claim if there was no injury. This is because there must be a wrong to have a remedy.
- Damages: Finally, you must show that the injury suffered resulted in damages. Insurance companies sometimes argue that your wounds were not sustained during the accident. However, an Austin personal injury attorney working with a personal injury firm can link your wounds to the accident. Therefore, get a free consultation before commencing your claim.
What Compensation Will I Get for a Personal Injury?
Accident victims are entitled to compensatory damages and, sometimes, punitive damages.
These include economic and non-economic damages. The former compensates you for tangible losses while the other is for non-tangible losses. If your case has a favorable outcome, the responsible party will pay you a settlement that covers the two.
Examples of the economic and non-economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Cost of medical equipment
- Cost of therapy and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not meant to compensate or return victims to the state they were in before the unexpected accident. Instead, they punish the at-fault party for their grossly negligent and malicious actions.
Punitive damages are only available in civil litigation; your trial attorneys must ask the court for it. Texas law caps punitive damages at $750,000 when there are no monetary damages, meaning the court cannot grant you more than this amount.
Note that the amount you get as compensation after an accident depends on several factors. Therefore, settlement amounts differ from case to case. An experienced Austin personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much your claim is worth.
When Should You Commence a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The best time to commence a personal injury action is immediately after an event that injures you. This is because of the Texas Statute of Limitations. Under this law, you have two years to file a case in court.
The clock starts ticking from the day the accident happened. Therefore, if you fail to commence an action within this time, you lose your right to sue. However, there is an exception — the Discovery Rule. It states that if you suffered a delayed injury, the Statute of Limitations starts counting from when you discovered the wound. These laws can be tricky to navigate, so speak with an Austin personal injury attorney for legal advice on your specific situation.
What Is the Role of an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer?
Although you can handle settlement negotiations yourself, hiring a team with legal experience is recommended. The at-fault party’s insurance provider has an entire team of legal experts working for them, and they will not go easy on you. So, it would help if you hired an Austin personal injury lawyer to balance the playing field.
A legal team will commence the legal process. They will handle investigations, file the claim or court processes, represent you during a trial, and protect your rights. Most injury lawyers offer compassionate and aggressive representation and will not relent until they get you maximum compensation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most injury victims assume it costs a lot to hire a lawyer, but this is false. Austin personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not get paid until they win your case.
So, when making your choice for representation, ensure you work with lawyers that accept contingency fees. This fee is a percentage of your total compensation, usually between 30% to 40%.
Book a Free Consultation With an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
At Herring Law Firm, we offer compassionate representation to our injured clients. Our years of combined experience and knowledge of Texas personal injury laws make us a great choice to represent you. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help.