When you leave home, you don’t expect to get injured in some type of accident. Sadly, accidents are common occurrences. Getting injured in an accident can be a traumatic experience. Plus, as Houston personal injury lawyers will attest, an accident can cause more damage than just physical injuries.
Accident victims often face financial challenges because of missing time from work and medical expenses. If you sustained catastrophic injuries during an accident, you might face mental and physical pain from your injuries. If another person’s negligence caused your injuries, Texas law enables you to recover financial compensation for your damages by filing a legal claim.
The claims process may be a complex journey. Houston personal injury lawyers exist to help injured victims recover fair compensation for accidents that were caused by negligence.
Keep reading to learn the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney in Houston and find out how to file a personal injury claim.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston
Personal injuries can be potentially life-changing. The severity of your injuries usually makes the case more complex. In complicated cases, it can be a good idea to work with an experienced injury attorney.
If you are on the fence about hiring an injury lawyer, below are the top advantages of having Houston personal injury attorney in your corner.
Legal Knowhow and Objectivity
Immediately after an injury accident, you may experience strong emotions and pain from the injuries. The emotional distress from such an ordeal may cloud your judgment and make it hard to deal with your claim objectively.
An experienced lawyer will provide insightful legal advice on how you can handle your claim. Consulting an injury lawyer may increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses because they know what types of compensation can be recovered.
Insurance companies often use different tactics to convince injury accident victims that their claims are not worth much. Some send unreasonably low settlement offers as they try to maximize profits. Negotiating with an insurance company can be difficult when dealing with injuries and financial losses. Find a seasoned Houston personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf. In many cases, having legal representation results in higher settlements.
Level the Playing Field
At-fault parties and insurance companies usually defend against accident cases aggressively. If you opt to represent yourself, you’ll face a defense attorney with more knowledge about injury claims than you. Hiring a lawyer helps level the playing field, making it more likely to recover economic and non-economic damages.
Avoiding Costly Errors
If you or your loved one is an accident victim, expect the insurance company to contact you as soon as they discover the accident. You may receive a call from an adjuster that claims the insurance company needs to know details of the accident.
Although the adjuster may sound like a compassionate individual, they are only loyal to their employer’s interests. Avoid providing the adjuster with a recorded statement because the insurance company may use your statement against you during the claim process.
Some insurers may try to get your medical records through release forms. Never make any statement or sign any document from the at-fault party’s insurance company without consulting a personal injury attorney in Houston. Your lawyer will protect you from making crucial mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.
Expedite Personal Injury Claims
Failure to hire legal professionals means you may have to recover from your injuries before pursuing compensation. This can significantly increase the timelines for receiving settlements. To avoid lengthy processes, it can be helpful to contact a Houston personal injury attorney as soon as the accident occurs.
Lawyers know how to avoid bottlenecks to facilitate quick claims resolution. An experienced attorney will help file the claim as you focus on recovery, speeding up the claim process.
Access to Medical Care
Because they want to avoid potential litigation or are unfamiliar with how to bill auto insurance companies, some doctors decline treating injury accident victims. Houston personal injury lawyers usually work closely with doctors and can help you access quality medical care.
Get Peace of Mind
Suffering a serious injury because of others’ wrongful actions often leads to psychological trauma. Dealing with the injuries can cause further stress. Hire an accident attorney right after the accident, so they can handle all claim aspects as you focus on healing.
Types of Damages You Can Recover for a Personal Injury Claim in Houston, Texas
Texas law allows the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages in some scenarios. Punitive damages penalize outrageous conduct to deter others from similar actions in the future, while compensatory damages compensate you for your losses.
Below is a brief description of the compensatory damages you can recover in a personal injury claim.
Physical Pain and Impairment
As a personal injury claimant in Houston, Texas, you can recover damages for current and future physical pain. However, you must provide evidence that your pain was a direct result of your accident. If you show a reasonable probability of pain in the future, you can also recover damages for future pain.
Physical impairment can lead to loss of enjoyment of life because of tasks you can no longer perform. In Texas, you can recover compensation for current and future physical impairment.
Showing evidence of the nature, severity, and duration of mental anguish allows you to recover damages. Anguish often affects your daily routine and causes mental distress. You can also secure your financial future if there is a reasonable possibility of additional mental anguish in the future.
Damages for Disfigurement
Courts can award disfigurement for your embarrassment and need to conceal some body parts. Disfigurement means anything that impairs the physical appearance of an injured person. It can take many forms, such as scarring or amputations.
Medical Expenses and Loss of Income
You can recover damages for past and future medical costs by proving that the expenses are necessary to treat the injury. If your injury affects your earning ability, you are eligible for compensation for loss of income.
Loss of Consortium and Services
Loss of consortium refers to the loss of affection, protection, and companionship after a family member gets injured, while services refer to performing household or domestic duties. Loss of consortium is a derivative claim that is fillable by a personal injury victim’s spouse, parents, or children.
Types of Injury Accidents
Various types of accidents or workplace mishaps can cause injury accidents. They include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Maritime accidents
- Child injuries
Most personal injury lawyers also handle insurance and wrongful death claims.
What to Do After an Accident
Depending on the severity and complexity of your accident, it can be a good idea to hire a Houston personal injury attorney to protect your rights and file a compensation claim. Legal representatives have the technical know-how needed for a smooth process. Below is a guide on what to do after an injury accident:
Get Medical Attention
The first step after an accident is seeking medical care regardless of how well you feel. Seeing a medical practitioner begins the road to recovery. It also ensures you have the proper documentation to strengthen your case.
If you wait too long before getting medical attention, it may be hard to prove your injuries result from the accident.
Keep Accurate Records
Keep all records and documentation about your medical treatment. Also, keep any photos taken and list all involved persons. Accurate records ensure the medical treatment was administered as a result of the accident.
Secure receipts of any medical products bought or rented, including medication and tools like crutches. File all correspondence relating to your case and travel expenses. If you can, take photos of the incident and note down the contacts of any witnesses.
Inform Involved Persons of Legal Action
When planning to file a personal injury claim, it’s essential to let the parties involved know they should expect legal action. Involved parties could be:
- At fault individuals.
- Groups of individuals
- A business or company
- Governmental departments or institutions
Although there is no time limit to inform the target, it’s best to inform them before the process goes too far. This helps ensure the defendant doesn’t claim you spent too much time before providing information about your injuries.
Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Claims
The statute of limitations applies to such claims, meaning you have a specific timeframe to file a claim. The statute of limitation for personal injury in Texas is two years. This extensive period for completing a personal injury claim enables you to recover before initiating the process.
Filing a timely claim allows you to collect possible compensation payouts. When two years pass after the injury, you can no longer initiate a compensation claim.
Talk to a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney in Houston
Many people suffer injuries because of accidents caused by negligent parties and reckless behavior. When an injury occurs during such an event, insurance companies may not want to pay you what your claim is worth. Having a legal team on your side will help you stand up to the insurance company during the complex claims process.
Before choosing an attorney, find out:
- How long they have been practicing.
- Their courtroom experience in personal injury cases.
- Results from previous client cases and a record of success.
- Their ethical standards.
Remember to ask about costs. Many law firms work on a contingency fee basis for personal injury claims and offer a free case review.
A contingency fee means that you won’t have to pay upfront costs. It also saves you from paying attorney fees if the attorney loses the case. But if you win, the lawyer is entitled to a percentage of the settlement. Seek clarification on the percentage they intend to retain as legal fees and any other costs if you lose or win the claim.
If you sustained injuries because of another person’s negligent actions, contact our Houston personal injury lawyers today to evaluate your case.