Common Challenges You Will Face
The most common obstacle on the way to compensation is the insurance adjuster. If your injuries are severe and expensive, you may rely on the adjuster being hard on your case. These insurance adjusters do it for a living, and they know how to throw the blame on the victim or to deny the claim if they may show that the victim was even remotely liable for the damage. They may lessen the compensation if it is shown the victim was the cause of a part of the accident. By placing the blame on you, the insurance adjuster may stand to save his firm thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars that you would be entitled to. Insurance firms measure success in terms of profits, not harmed victims that they aid.
Insurance adjusters will many times give the unsuspecting victim a settlement offer, which is not adequate compensation for the damages you have incurred – especially when the victim is not an attorney. The sole reason the insurance firm makes this kind of settlement is to low-ball you. They already know that eventually, they will pay more if it goes to trial, and are trying to save themselves money. Most probably, if you received such a settlement offer, then you are entitled to much more than they offer. Do not sign any documents that will give the insurance firm a waiver from future suits without first consulting an attorney. If you sign the waiver of responsibility or agree to give up your legal right to sue, then there is nothing any attorney in the world may do to aid you.
Eyewitness Accounts and Testimony
Reality as recalled by witnesses is a matter of perception, and in most crashes, there will be more than one version of what occurred and who is liable. If this is the case in your vehicle accident, you must have physical evidence to substantiate your story. Finding this physical evidence requires the trained eye of a professional investigator. Without adequate legal help, victims many times may not discover vital physical evidence. If you try to rely solely on your testimony, you will not be able to show your case and recover the compensation you deserve. Our vehicle accident attorneys are skilled in the art of investigation, and our firm undertakes a thorough review of all the facts of your case as soon as our firm is hired. Our firm discovers the physical evidence and testimony to prove your claim.
The Elements You Have To Establish in a Claim
The first thing a vehicle accident attorney has to show that the defendant owes you a duty of care to use precaution to make sure that they don’t harm you. The law establishes this level of care, owed from one party to another, depending on the circumstances of the situation. Showing that the defendant in your case owed you at least a basic duty of care would very probably be quite easy since nearly all the drivers have an obligation to drive safely as a reasonable person would. Chances are that this “reasonable party standard” applies to the defendant here.
After your vehicle accident attorney establishes that the defendant in your case owed a duty, you must show he has breached that duty. In almost all cases, it will require showing that the defendant was driving in a manner that a reasonable party would not. If the defendant drove unreasonably, even for a moment, he may be liable for consequences. Showing that the defendant breached the duty of care requires that you bring proof to the court of law to establish exactly what the defendant did or did not do. The jurors in your case will consider the physical evidence and proof that the rest of the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s actions to decide whether the defendant’s conduct was unreasonable.
When the parts of duty of care and breach have been shown, you must show that the defendant was negligent and that negligence was the cause of your injury or loss. Showing negligence is not enough to hold the defendant liable for any injuries. You must also show that the negligence was the cause of the wreck. In a motor vehicle accident, there are many times several parties who may be responsible. The defendant, as an excuse, may use other drivers, or pedestrians, and even something in the road. The defendant in his case very probably will not be the sole one who may escape responsibility by convincing the jurors that a third party was the cause of the accident, that you had a preexisting injury, or that you have was the cause of your own accident. It is vital to have sufficient physical evidence to show that it was the defendant’s behavior that harmed you. It is another reason you need a knowledgeable vehicle accident attorney.
Compensation for Damages
You must then have your vehicle accident attorney show damages. “Damages” does not refer to your bodily injuries. Instead, it refers to the financial value of your injuries you want to receive from the defendant if you win. To show what you deserve to receive, you calculate exactly what you need to pay all your losses and injuries and provide physical evidence of your injuries and losses to support your calculations. Losses such as pain and anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, health care bills, and repair bills may be recovered. When you’re busy calculating how much you think you have in damages, the defendant is doing likewise. They always calculate it as less than what you figure. The defendants argue that in reality, you want more than you deserve for your damages and that you’re looking for easy money. To show the jurors that the amount you requested is legal, right, proper and that the defendant’s statement is nothing but a last-ditch attempt to escape the responsibility, you must have proof of loss available to support your calculations.
Figuring the total amount of compensation is critical because you have one chance to claim whatever you’re entitled to. This may be hard unless you have the knowledge to do so. How may you put a price tag on intangible losses such as pain and anguish? In calculating the loss of earning capacity, how to account for hypothetical raises and promotions you would have earned if you had continued to work? How do you calculate how much all your health care fees will amount to if your treatment is still continuing? Our vehicle accident attorneys know how to justify and calculate all your damages to make sure that you recover as much as possible.
In some kinds of cases, the jurors may be wary to view your request for compensation in a positive light, even if the claim is justified. In particular, it happens in regard to soft tissue injuries like muscle strains, tendon hyperextensions, sprains, and things like whiplash because they cannot easily be shown to other injuries such as broken bone or cut limb. Soft tissue injuries may many times hide most of the injuries that could take several months of rehabilitation to recover. If you have incurred a soft tissue injury, you need a vehicle accident attorney to convince the jurors of the seriousness of the harm to you. Our lawyers have developed a Rolodex filled with expert witnesses in every branch of medicine that may really attest to show their injuries, to even the most skeptical members among the jurors, so that our firm may show the damages that are owed to you.
Many Parties Could Be Liable
In many road wrecks, several parties can be the cause of or what contributed to the chain of events that was the cause of the vehicle accident. If your vehicle accident was the result of a drunk driver, whoever served the driver beyond the point of intoxication may be held liable because of Texas dram shop laws. If a mechanical problem was the cause of the wreck, the manufacturer may probably be held liable in case of product liability. If several parties were the cause of a crash, then separate lawsuits must be brought against them, and damages must be determined by the degree of responsibility of each party. Properly allocating blame and the exact amount of damage is very complex, and it takes a well-seasoned vehicle accident attorney to make sure you get what you deserve.
When the Vehicle Accident Was Fatal
Losing someone in your life to a fatal vehicle accident is a devastating event. Our firm understands that you’re probably dealing with more than you think you can handle. The fact of the matter is that you deserve compensation so that you may take care of surviving family members and loved ones. Under Texas wrongful death law, a civil legal action for negligence and/or wrongful death will usually involve two kinds of damages and the possibility of several different claims. The damages available are damages for wrongful death or survival damages.
Compensation for wrongful death will include all the pain and anguish (and that means both financial and emotional) that the plaintiff has incurred and still incurs because of the death of the victim. The deceased’s loved ones can claim these sorts of damages. Any number of claims for damages may be applied for in a wrongful death legal action. These sorts of injuries frequently are:
Compensation for the absence of companionship and consortium by reason of the death of the victim
Absence of financial support provided by the victim before death
Compensation for psychological and emotional anguish that was the cause of by the absence of a family member
Survival damages are all the damages the victim might have claimed in compensation if he had survived the vehicle accident. The plaintiff who is a survivor has the ability to pursue injury damages, standing up for the victim who died and representing them in court. In most claims, the plaintiff who is pursuing these survival damages will of course also seek damages for wrongful death. There may be sole one survival damage claim for a wrongful death legal action since there is sole one personal injury legal action to inherit, and the closest and most direct living relative typically inherits that claim. These are:
Physical pain and anguish
Loss of future earnings potential
Any damage to property
The mental and emotional damage that was caused by the incident
Any health care bills paid before the victim’s death
Compensation for disfigurement or any other long-term injuries
Absence of wages from time spent in the hospital
Wrongful death damages and survival damages claims are different and each must be sought through unique legal and strategic tactics. Also, each legal action of wrongful death is sought in a trial and must be treated separately as plaintiffs generally have basically little variance in the amounts of damages. Such damages must be shown on an individual basis. Before examining your legal opposition, the prosecution of such lawsuits is complex and technical. Most non-lawyers simply do not have the knowledge and or knowledge of administrative procedures needed to file these sorts of lawsuits effectively. Our firm has seen countless tragic stories about non-lawyers filing their own legal action for wrongful death and then forgetting a minor detail, resulting in a court of law order to lessen damages or even cause the claim to be thrown out.
Do not let it occur to you. Texas fatal vehicle accident attorneys and the other lawyers in our Law Office have over twenty years of knowledge in Texas wrongful death law, and our firm will be sure to cover all the bases at your trial and not have any loopholes that allow a defense attorney to get your claim thrown out. Our firm may aid you to obtain proper compensation for your family members. However, our firm will also do everything to force the defendants to reform their actions so that your family member’s death was not in vain. Our firm hopes to make sure they avoid such fatal auto wrecks in the future. It is an important part of the Texas wrongful death legal action, and our attorneys do not let it to go neglected.
Vehicle Accident attorney Offers Options
Our vehicle accident attorneys will aid you in recovering from your vehicle accident and injuries by making sure that damages you deserve. Our firm may facilitate the hard legal process by offering a variety of services for you, including:
Filing your legal claim, or assume the negotiations if you’ve already filed.
Acting as a buffer between you and the insurance firm, intercepting all communications with the insurer on behalf of the client.
Take on all the casework, so you may focus on recovery.
If you are without health insurance or may not afford a doctor, our firm will discover health care with a payment plan that is manageable.
Conducting thorough investigations by providing a photographic or video documentation, getting the location of witnesses and taking testimony, examining all vehicles involved in the wreck, measuring the distance between the skid marks, scouring police reports, collecting forensic physical Evidence and cataloging of all physical evidence so it may be used in a court of law.
Helping you avoid the uncertainty of facing the jurors by obtaining a just settlement of the insurance company.
For two decades, our lawyers have dedicated our practice to doing everything in our power to fight for the legal rights of our clients. We seek to get them the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Our firm will aid you in getting the compensation to which you are entitled, as our firm has for many others injured Texans.
Vehicle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Without the advice of a qualified vehicle accident attorney, you will probably be disappointed. Our vehicle accident attorneys have been helping auto accident victims to receive the compensation they are seeking for two decades.
If you or a family member has been injured, contact us for a free consultation and learn how our firm may help you too. Our firm will answer all your concerns and questions about your case and help you to feel more comfortable with this situation you’re facing.
If you’re searching for a team of skilled and dedicated attorneys to lead you through your legal maze look no further than our Law Office. Our team has been recognized by our peers. It has taken our Law Office twenty years of hard work to get there.
Our capable team has built a reputation among our clients and colleagues as dedicated, ethical and fierce defenders who capitalize on every personal injury case to get the fairest compensation allowed.
Our Law Office has successfully litigated thousands of cases including personal traffic accidents, commercial vehicle wrecks, on-the-job accidents, and wrongful death cases to name a few. Take a look below at some of our most notable cases. These are cases where we successfully sought justice for victims and in turn, gained the respect of some well-known insurance companies that were brought to justice as well.
Some of Our Most Recent Successful Cases
– Confidential Recovery – Wrongful Death / Commercial Vehicle Accident(policy limits) – Our firm was hired by the wife and children of a retired Army Colonel who was killed in an underride 18-wheeler accident. In addition to being a decorated veteran, the decedent worked both professionally and on a voluntary basis to establish numerous learning institutions and vocational programs for at-risk youths. The accident occurred as the decedent was traveling on a rural highway when an 18-wheeler failed to yield the right of way and made a rolling stop through a stop sign.
This placed the trailer of the 18-wheeler in a position whereby it blocked the entire roadway and shoulder, leaving the decedent no option but to collide with the trailer. Witnesses on the scene attempted to revive him but to no avail. Furthermore, while two female eyewitnesses struggled to pry open the decedent’s door to provide emergency care, the truck driver stayed in his truck and offered no assistance. Despite what appeared to be an incredibly apparent case of negligence on behalf of the defendant, defense counsel refused to accept liability resulting in rather lengthy litigation.
The defendants initially denied the claim based on the allegation that the decedent was speeding and the truck driver therefore could not adequately gauge the amount of time he had to pause at the stop sign. The physical evidence contradicted this notion entirely, notwithstanding the fact that even if the decedent had been contributorily negligent, that would not have outweighed the severe degree of negligence on the part of the defendant. Nevertheless, our attorneys were able to conclusively refute this argument based on eye-witness testimony and the testimony from police investigators who calculated the decedent’s speed to be precisely at the posted speed limit. In a desperate and largely unprecedented move, the defendants then designated the state as a responsible third party.
Generally speaking, a defendant will often threaten to designate a third party in order to leverage their position but it is rare that such an arbitrary and arguably frivolous designation is actually carried out. However, that is precisely what occurred and the state was thusly incorporated into the lawsuit by the defendants. The basis of the defendant’s argument was that the state erected a large street sign that obstructed the truck driver’s view of approaching traffic.
Several months of intense litigation were required before the defendant finally acquiesced in regard to this argument. The argument was finally abandoned by the defendants when in the first mediation our attorneys presented video footage shot (in a controlled setting) from the perspective of an 18-wheeler driver which showed that the sign simply did not obstruct enough of the roadway in order to be a hazard. The case was ultimately resolved through litigation.
– Confidential Recovery – Wrongful Death / Commercial Vehicle Accident(policy limits) – Our attorneys secured a recovery against a major trucking company for the daughter of a man who was killed after his vehicle collided into an 18-wheeler which was blocking the roadway. Litigation is ongoing against additional defendants.
– Confidential Recovery – Wrongful Death / Automobile Accident (policy limits) – Our firm was hired to pursue an intoxicated driver who killed an elderly school crossing guard. The fatal accident occurred as the decedent was escorting a woman and her child across the roadway through a crosswalk. The defendant then sped through the school zone, in an intoxicated state, and struck the decedent who died on the scene.
The family hired our firm to investigate and pursue the defendant under a wrongful death cause of action. Following our investigation and preliminary vehicle inspection, our attorneys issued a Stowers’ demand to the defendants. A significant factor in resolving this claim is that merely days before we submitted our demand to the defendant’s insurance carrier, we won a large case against the very same insurance carrier, which was one of several such victories secured against the carrier in our firm’s history. Our threats of litigation were therefore heeded and the defendants offered policy limits to settle the claim without the need to file suit.
– Wrongful Death / Automobile Accident – Our attorneys were hired to represent the family of a middle-aged woman who was killed in a car accident. The incident occurred as another vehicle struck the car that the decedent was a passenger in, head-on on the passenger side. The impact resulted in catastrophic injuries that claimed the life of the decedent.
Our attorneys were hired soon after the accident and we launched a full investigation. Through the course of our investigation, it was soon determined that the head-on collision was caused a failed component in the defendant’s vehicle (the particulars of which cannot be elaborated upon per the resolution agreement). A suit was filed against the manufacturer of said component and litigation commenced. The case was successfully resolved through litigation.
– Wrongful Death / Truck Accident – An elderly man was killed when a criminally negligent truck driver rear-ended his vehicle as the man yielded the right of way to other traffic. Throughout the course of litigation, the defendants fought to deny liability. Through our diligent investigative efforts, we unearthed damning evidence and mounted an aggressive litigation strategy. Arguments were so persuasive that by the conclusion of litigation the defendant’s attorneys acquiesced wholly with regard to liability.
– Wrongful Death (Workplace Accident) – The family of a deceased factory worker hired our firm following a fatal loading dock/ 18-wheeler accident. The events unfolded as an unqualified driver reversed an 18-wheeler into the loading area of a major manufacturing concern and backed over the decedent, crushing his body. The case was filed in arbitration and litigated for approximately one year. The defendants asserted that the decedent was the sole proximate cause of his injuries. To support this assertion, they pointed to a number of allegations, but primarily counted on the claims that the decedent was not wearing a provided safety vest and that an audible reverse indicator was present in the reversing vehicle. Through discovery and an exhaustive investigation and onsite inspection, we were able to successfully counter these arguments and determine the number of theories of liability.
The safety vest argument was diffused through the testimony of our consulting expert witness who verified that the type of vest that was offered by the defendants was not of the variety that was OSHA approved and that even if the vest had been worn it would have proven entirely ineffective due to several optical shortcomings. In particular, the reversing truck had to back through a doorway that resembles a garage door found in a mechanic shop. The width of the door relative to the width of the tractor-trailer left only a narrow valley of visibility on either side of the trailer by which the mirrors could only reflect what was immediately in line with the space between the door frame and the trailer, on either side of the vehicle. Therefore, for the mirrors to be effective, the decedent would have had to have been standing in one of the two narrow valleys, which would have placed him in a position that where could not have been injured in the first place. In other words, the only place that the mirrors would allow the driver to see was the very place that there was no danger. Furthermore, if the mirrors could not see the worker wearing the vest, then clearly the vest was inconsequential, notwithstanding the fact that the vest was not approved for such use. Additionally, even if the mirrors could display the area where the worker was standing and even if the worker was wearing the vest, the type of vest in question was of the variety that it only reflected light back to the source. As such, the overhead lighting was not sufficient to illuminate the vest. Only headlamps, or other such projected light sources, would have illuminated the vest. The final blow to this argument was that in deposition testimony the defendant admitted that he did not use his mirrors. With regard to the audible reverse alert system, our consulting expert in the field of audiology analyzed sound measurements taken on location and concluded that the ambient noise of the facility drowned out the noise of the alert system such to render its effects nil. Additionally, we contended that the noise-canceling headphones worn by the decedent in compliance with stated company policy rendered the alert system doubly ineffective.
Through discovery, we learned that the defendant driver did not have a commercial driver’s license and the defendant’s liability arguments waned. The case was eventually resolved through litigation. The decedent had signed a binding arbitration agreement prior to his death which, naturally, resulted in the lawsuit being filed in arbitration as opposed to the conventional court. Also featured in the binding arbitration agreement was an option for the surviving spouse to accept a one-time payment in lieu of filing suit against the employer. At our recommendation, she declined their initial offer and we were eventually able to recover 10 times greater compensation.
– Wrongful Death / Commercial Vehicle Accident – The family of a deceased woman hired our firm following a fatal 18-wheeler accident. The fatal accident occurred as the driver of an 18-wheeler lost control of his vehicle and veered out of his lane, resulting in a massive collision. The decedent, a passenger in a vehicle, died on the scene.
Her adult children consulted our firm to initially investigate the accident and make sense of the facts and circumstances since the family felt that the police report did not make it clear enough precisely what occurred. We launched a full investigation an immediately deposed the investigating officers.
Upon the completion of our investigation, it was apparent that the trucking company was indeed negligent and a lawsuit was soon filed. The defendant’s launched an aggressive defense whereby they initially claimed that the truck driver was overcome by his passenger who allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and deliberately drove the truck off the road, despite the truck driver’s best efforts.
We refuted this claim by illustrating that the tire marks that were present clearly show the truck gradually moving across the road and eventually onto the grass, which is entirely inconsistent with an abrupt lane change caused by someone taking control of the wheel. It was quite an unusual defense strategy that we were frankly surprised to even find ourselves having to refute.
The defendants then argued that a tire blowout may have contributed to the accident, which is significant because it would enable the defendant to offset some portion of their liability to a tire manufacturer or installer. Through deposition testimony of the investigating officer, we established that there was absolutely no indication at the scene of the accident that a tire had blown out.
Finally, the defendants argued that the company which loaded the trailer may have improperly loaded the cargo. This argument was most plausible considering that the precise cause of the decedent’s death was that she was essentially pummeled by cargo that broke through the trailer and struck her person.
Our firm consulted several experts in the fields of heavy cargo transportation and physics. Our experts felt that the cargo was secured in a manner that is perfectly consistent with industry standards and that due to the forces involved, the cargo would not have behaved any differently irrespective of how it was secured. In short, the collision caused the cargo to break free and the negligence lay squarely on the trucking company and not any other entity. The case was successfully resolved through litigation.
– Confidential Recovery – Wrongful Death / Premises Liability – Facility sued for negligent contribution to the death of an innocent bystander. A fatal shooting occurred on the property after the facility failed to appropriately respond to outbursts of violence & gang activity. Following the young man’s death, his parents hired our firm to pursue the facility for their negligent actions including failure to provide adequate security. The case was successfully resolved through litigation.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident (Back Injury Requiring Surgery) – Plaintiff suffered a back injury resulting in spinal fusion surgery when her car was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. The defendants argued that the accident was unavoidable, thus denying liability. Litigation commenced and the case was satisfactorily resolved soon thereafter.
Commercial Vehicle Accident / Work Injury (Fractured Pelvis, Other Internal Injuries) – A loading dock employee suffered a fractured and damage to internal organs as the result of a crushing injury sustained when an 18-wheeler backed into him and crushed him between the trailer and loading dock.
Wrongful Death / First Party Dram Shop – A young woman lost her life after a bar over-served her to more than three times the legal limit resulting in her burning to death in a single-vehicle accident. Witnesses stated that she was so intoxicated that she could barely make it to her vehicle without assistance. Through litigation, our attorneys ascertained the necessary evidence to prove that the establishment provided alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, thus resulting in her ultimate demise.
– Workplace Accident (Closed-Head Injury) – A painter fell from an apartment balcony resulting in a closed-head injury and other minor bodily injuries. The case was successfully resolved through litigation against the plaintiff’s employer and the general contractor.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident (Back and Neck Injury) – Recovery for driver struck from behind by 18-wheeler: Driver sustained back and neck injury.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident (Back Injury Requiring Surgery) – Plaintiff, a delivery driver, suffered a back injury resulting in spinal fusion surgery when he was injured in an accident involving falling cargo from an 18-wheeler. The defendants cited the plaintiff’s failure to take evasive action as a source of contributory negligence and litigation commenced accordingly which culminated in an acceptance of liability and eventually satisfactory resolution.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident / Motorcycle Accident (Shoulder Injury Requiring Surgery) – An airline pilot suffered a shoulder injury resulting in surgery when he was sideswiped by an 18-wheeler. The case was resolved through litigation, as establishing liability was a contentious matter. The defendants claimed that the plaintiff made an illegal passing maneuver, but the evidence showed that the defendant made a sweeping turn and intruded upon our client’s right of way.
– Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice – A young handicapped woman lost her life when a long-term care facility failed to provide her with treatment for obvious symptoms of severe illness. The defendants maintained that there were no outwardly visible signs of illness. The medical evidence showed otherwise. The case was successfully resolved through litigation, though damages caps imposed by tort reform were a factor.
– Premises Liability (Brain Injury) – Our attorneys sued an apartment complex in relation to a brain injury sustained by a toddler when he fell through a balcony railing. The apartment complex denied liability, asserted that their railings were in spec at the time of the building’s construction (some 20 years prior), and they claimed that the child’s mother was contributorily negligent in that she did not notice that her child was playing near the railing.
Through litigation, our attorneys countered the defendant’s arguments by showing that the case law does not support the notion of any safety-related concerns in the building code being “grandfathered” in. On the contrary, a property owner has an obligation to keep safety features such as balcony railings within the specs at all times. The railings in this complex were spaced at 7-inch intervals, which was at odds with the now-standard 4-inch interval.
Additionally, our attorneys countered the claims of contributory negligence as a practical matter in that the mother was indeed monitoring the child’s activity and the child literally ran up to the railing and immediately fell through the rails. Alternatively, we argued that the doctrine of parental immunity applied and that the contributory negligence, if any such negligence ever even occurred, of the mother would not be admissible. The case was satisfactorily resolved through litigation.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident (Back Injury Requiring Surgery) – Our client, a middle-aged woman, was injured when an 18-wheeler rear-ended her vehicle. As a consequence of the wreck, she sustained a back injury that required surgery to remedy. Naturally, the defendants denied liability and argued that the accident was unavoidable. Our attorneys filed suit. The defendant driver initially claimed that our client suddenly changed lanes in front of his tractor-trailer and then inexplicably slammed onto her brakes. When confronted with eye-witness testimony and other physical evidence that reflected an entirely different scenario, the truck driver ultimately recanted. The case was successfully resolved through litigation.
– Wrongful Death / First Party Dram Shop – Our firm was hired by the minor child and parents of a young man who was killed in a motorcycle accident after being over-served alcohol at a bar. The plaintiffs hired our firm to investigate the claim on the basis that the decedent was over the legal limit at the time of his death. In initial attempts to settle the case out of court, the defendants denied liability. Suit was filed soon thereafter.
The defendants initially argued that the decedent never consumed alcohol on their premises. Through physical evidence and deposition testimony to the contrary, we were able to conclusively prove that the decedent had indeed been drinking at the establishment.
The defendants then asserted allegations that the decedent’s minor child was not actually his biological child, which would bar his claim entirely. A DNA test was performed and this argument was defeated.
The defendants then asserted the safe harbor defense. Our attorneys argued that the defendants did not qualify for safe harbor protection due to the fact that their servers were not all licensed providers. However, while this element was being addressed, our attorneys focused their attention on addressing the second element of the safe harbor defense regarding the bar’s encouragement of the over-service of alcohol. The defendants claimed that they would never serve the double-shot Bacardi cocktails that witnesses claimed the decedent drank several of. We sent private investigators into the bar to order the same drinks that the decedent consumed on the night of his death and the very same bartenders who over-served the decedent, without hesitation, served copious amounts of alcohol to the investigators, all of which was captured on hidden camera.
Once the safe harbor defense was defeated, the defendants argued that the decedent’s BAC was low enough at the time of his death (as recorded by the hospital) that he would not have necessarily appeared obviously intoxicated to the servers and therefore the bar should not be held liable even if he had been over-served. Eyewitness testimony refuted this.
Additionally, our firm’s testifying medical expert reviewed the medical records related to the emergency helicopter flight that transported the decedent to the hospital after his accident. She determined that the EMS technicians administered numerous blood transfusions while in flight. Armed with this newfound data, our medical expert reverse extrapolated and determined conclusively that the decedent’s BAC was actually in the range of .19-.21 at the time of the accident, though it was drastically diluted by the time he arrived at the hospital, which accounted for the relatively low BAC found in the hospital’s medical records. This testimony proved to be pivotal in the case, resulting in a successful recovery for our clients.
– Product Liability (Back Injury Resulting in Surgery) – A young woman suffered a back injury that required corrective surgery following a boating accident. The boat in question sped out of control and crashed into a landmass, throwing our client from the boat, as the result of a stuck throttle. Upon inspection of the boat, it was determined that a poor design led to the malfunction and a product liability lawsuit was brought against the manufacturer. The defendants argued that the boat was inappropriately piloted, however, the physical evidence depicted the cause of the accident quite clearly and the case was successfully resolved.
– Third-Party Dram Shop Accident (Punctured Colon and Soft Tissue Injuries) – Our client suffered a punctured colon and numerous soft tissue injuries in an alcohol-related car accident. The accident occurred as the defendant driver crashed his car into a concrete median. The plaintiff, a passenger in the vehicle, alleged that the defendant driver was over-served alcohol to such an extent that he was several times the legal limit. As such, a claim was brought against the defendant driver and the bar which over-served him. A settlement was reached with the defendant driver and the plaintiff turned his focus on the bar in question. The case was resolved successfully through litigation. Based on the egregious conduct of the bar and it’s numerous TABC violations, the defendant’s liquor license was revoked soon after the case was resolved.
– Wrongful Death/ Commercial Vehicle Accident – The mother of a young man hired our firm to investigate the death of her son following a fatal car accident. The incident occurred as one of the two vehicles involved ran a red light and drive into the path of the other. The defendant was driving a work vehicle for a construction company. The defendant survived the accident and stated to police that the decedent caused the accident. The police could not conclusively determine who was at fault, yet the police report strongly implied that the decedent was likely at fault based on the statement provided by the defendant.
The plaintiff’s mother was not convinced. Through a thorough investigation, we ultimately determined that the stoplight that the defendant claimed that our client ran, in fact, worked on a timer whereby the light was always green between certain hours unless a vehicle traveling on the intersecting road had been stopped at the right light for more than 30 seconds. Based on an analysis of the vehicles and tire markings, it was conclusively determined that both vehicles were traveling at the speed limit, which clearly indicates that the defendant driver had not accelerated from stop, rather, he was traveling at the speed limit, which would not have triggered a green light for the defendant.
The logical implications of this information is that the light could not have been red for the plaintiff, and it certainly would have been red for the defendant. As a consequence of this information, the case was resolved through litigation.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident (Back Injury Requiring Surgery) – A delivery driver hired our firm to pursue a negligent trucking company following a collision with insecure cargo. Our client was driving his work vehicle when numerous large metal pipes fell from the back of a flatbed trailer onto the roadway. Our client took evasive action but was unable to avoid the debris, which resulted in a fairly severe accident. As a result, our client sustained lower back injuries including two herniated discs which required surgery to correct. The defendants conceded liability early on but would not make a reasonable settlement offer. As such, a suit was filed and the case was ultimately successfully resolved through litigation.
– Wrongful Death / Third Party Dram Shop (policy limits) – An incredibly intoxicated driver drove head-on into a vehicle, killing several of the vehicle’s occupants. The defendants had limited assets, yet an alternative policy was uncovered, which the defendants argued was non-applicable. Under threat of litigation, our attorneys negotiated a settlement for the policy limits.
– Commercial Vehicle Accident / Work Injury (Facial Fractures and Head Trauma) – A loading dock worker suffered serious including numerous facial fractures and minor brain trauma when an 18-wheeler back into him, crushing him against the loading dock. The plaintiff’s employer was a subscriber to Texas Workers’ Compensation coverage, thus a claim was rightly filed against the third party trucking company whom the truck driver operating the reversing 18-wheeler worked for.
The plaintiffs asserted the position that the trucking company in question was liable on the basis of respondeat superior and negligent retention. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his injuries by virtue of the plaintiff putting himself in harm’s way. They maintained that the plaintiff simply walked behind the reversing tractor-trailer as it pushed back toward the loading dock.
It was later determined through deposition testimony that the truck driver had indeed instructed the plaintiff to stand behind the trailer in order to determine the vehicle’s proximity to the dock. Once this fact came to light, the defendants agreed to mediate whereby the case was satisfactorily settled.
– Wrongful Death / Commercial Vehicle Accident(policy limits) – A young mother was killed in an accident involving two commercial vehicles, one an 18-wheeler. The accident occurred as the young woman was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling down a highway in the early morning hours. Without warning, the vehicle in which she was a passenger collided with a stalled 18-wheeler that parked in the right of way, resulting in catastrophic injuries that claimed the young woman’s life soon thereafter.
The authorities initially faulted the driver of the vehicle in which the victim was a passenger, stating that he was using an electronic device rather than paying full attention to the roadway. However, the 18-wheeler was indeed blocking the roadway and the plaintiff alleged that the vehicle did not follow the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act in regard to providing adequate reflective or laminated warning at specific intervals. Further, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant failed to remove his vehicle from the roadway when he first noticed signs of mechanical failure.
Had he simply moved to the shoulder of the road, plaintiffs argued, his lack of adequate warning signs would have been inconsequential. An initial settlement has been obtained in this case, yet litigation has commenced in full against the remaining defendant and is currently ongoing.
– Wrongful Death / Commercial Vehicle Accident – Our attorneys were hired to investigate a fatal motor vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler that claimed the lives of several men, the family of one in particular which our firm represented, felt that the official version of events as outlined in the police report was not an accurate portrayal of the facts and circumstances of the collision.
Our firm launched an investigation, the findings of which served as the basis for a subsequent lawsuit. We were able to determine that the defendant’s accusations of contributory negligence on behalf of the driver of the vehicle did appear to be valid and the plaintiffs conceded as much. However, the plaintiffs were adamant that the contributory negligence did not entirely overshadow the negligence on behalf of the defendant truck driver.
Through physical evidence and an admission of liability that our attorneys were able to importune from the defendant under oath, we were able to show that the defendant had indeed pulled into the path of the decedent’s vehicle, which was of consequence irrespective of the decedent’s own contributory negligence.
– Workplace Accident (Shoulder Injury Requiring Surgery) – Our attorneys were hired by a delivery driver who sustained a serious shoulder injury when a worker for a third party negligently operated a forklift. The accident occurred as the plaintiff delivered a load of hay bails to a commercial farm.
An employee of said facility attempted to unload the trailer with a forklift. In doing so, he pushed several bales of hay off of the flatbed, over the side opposite the forklift. Consequently, several of the 400 lb (est.) bales of hay struck the plaintiff who was working to disconnect tie-downs on the opposite side of the trailer. This resulted in serious injury to the plaintiff’s shoulder.
The defendants took an aggressive stance and denied the claim, asserting that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his own injuries by virtue of the fact that he was standing in a known dangerous area. The suit was filed soon thereafter. Our attorneys argued that the plaintiff’s ordinary work duties, and indeed the normal protocol for all flatbed delivery drivers, consists of letting loose the materials to be unloaded. We maintained that the true cause of the plaintiff’s injuries was that the forklift operator rushed into unloading the trailer.
Furthermore, the manner in which he unloaded the trailer was itself a contributing element of the defendant’s negligence. The forks that were incorporated into the forklift in question were not compatible with stabbing hay bails; they were ordinary forks that were designed to be positioned below a heavy object that was to be lifted. The case was successfully resolved in mediation.
Texas Lawyer Discusses Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. The state of Texas defines a personal injury lawsuit as a suit brought through a court of law wherein a plaintiff claims to have been somehow injured due to negligence on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff is thereby requesting some sort of financial restitution for those damages.
Put simply, the victim tells the court what happened in an accident and then asks the court to enforce the law and make the defendant compensate the victim for his or her injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney from our Law Office is here to give you a brief overview of how personal injury lawsuits work.
Elements of a Legitimate Personal Injury Lawsuit
In order to have a strong case, your lawsuit must have three factors:
A solvent defendant
A solvent defendant means that the defendant in your case has some means of compensation you for your injuries. This can be an insurance policy (most common) or personal assets, including money or physical assets. Without a solvent defendant, you cannot be compensated. For example, if you are somehow injured by a homeless person who has no money, insurance, or physical assets, that person may be liable for your injuries, but he or she has no means with which to compensate you.
Note that in some cases, defendants will attempt to hide their assets from the court in order to appear insolvent. Our attorneys have years of experience investigating personal injury cases, and we have seen every trick in the book. We can make sure that the defendant in your case does not escape justice by hiding his or her assets.
Liability and Negligence
In order to have a successful case, you must also prove that the defendant was (at least in part) liable for your injuries. Contrary to common belief, there are often multiple liable parties in a personal injury case. In some situations, the plaintiff may be partially liable. In these situations, the jury determines the percentage of liability for which each party is responsible. For instance, imagine person A is hurt in a three-car accident involving person B and person C. The jury finds that person A is 10% liable for the accident, person B is 50% liable, and person C is 40% liable. Person A’s damages amount to $100,000. Person A would then receive $90,000 in damages — $50,000 from person B and $40,000 from person C. Person A would be liable for the last $10,000 since he or she was 10% liable for the accident. Our attorneys can help you identify all potential defendants in your case so that you can be fully compensated for your injuries.
Finally, a strong personal injury case must have damages. If you are involved in an accident caused by a solvent defendant but you are not hurt and you receive no property damage, then you do not have a lawsuit because there are no damages for which you need compensation. But damages include a wide range of injuries. For example, accident victims are commonly compensated for their medical expenses, any property damage, their lost wages from time spent recovering from their injuries, and any lost earning capacity due to long-term or permanent damage caused by the accident. But victims can also receive compensation for the physical pain and suffering or the emotional turmoil caused by an accident.
The amount of compensation a plaintiff can ultimately receive is in the hands of the jury. The plaintiff’s attorneys will present a list of requested damages, and the defense counsel will likely argue that many of these damages are not valid. But the jury determines the total amount of damages, so you need an attorney who can speak the jury’s language and convince them that you deserve compensation for all of your injuries.
Let our Firm of Experienced Legal Professionals Help You
Our firm has been helping victims file personal injury lawsuits for twenty years. We know how to identify defendants, prove that they are solvent, and then convince a jury that you deserve full compensation. We have successfully investigated and litigated hundreds of personal injury lawsuits, and we know how to build a case that will cater to your specific needs. We offer free consultations in which we will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make the best decision for your case. In other words, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. So if you have been hurt in an accident, do not let the guilty party’s negligence go unpunished. Contact attorneys from our Law Office today, and let us make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
The potential value of any Texas personal injury case or lawsuit is ultimately based on the amount of damages that the plaintiff has amassed. In legal terms, the word “damages” refers to money claimed by or ordered to be paid to a person as compensation for injury or loss. The State of Texas recognizes two distinct types of damages in a personal injury case: General Damages and Special damages.
General Damages, otherwise referred to as non-economic damages, are any type of damages that do not have a tangible value associated with them. General damages are much more subjective and vary from situation to situation in the way that they are quantified.
Some examples of General Damages are:
Pain and Suffering
Loss of Consortium
Injury to Reputation
For an example of the subjectivity of general damages, imagine that an industrial accident has occurred, whereby a factory exploded. In this explosion there were two victims, both of which were badly burned in the ensuing fire. Plaintiff 1 was knocked unconscious in the blast, and although he suffered significant burns, he was not awake and alert to experience the pain. However, plaintiff 2 was just as badly burned, but was fully alert and experienced the full and terrible pain associated with the burn.
While both of these victims may end up with similar medical expenses and so forth, they each experienced a different amount of pain and suffering, and the damages they are entitled to would be different.
Furthermore, general damages are subjective in the sense that every person experiences and is affected differently by the above-mentioned damages. For example, an 18-year-old cheerleader who has a small scar on her face as a result of an injury may be considerably more affected by the disfigurement than a 30-year-old firefighter may be. Some people do not care what others think, and some people depend largely on their reputation, which would make damage to that reputation a significant event.
Special Damages, otherwise known as economic damages, are any variety of damages that have an explicitly quantifiable dollar amount.
Some examples of Special Damages are:
Medical Expenses both past and future
Loss of Earning Capacity
For an example of special damages, imagine that a plaintiff who worked as an electrician or lineman making $60,000, yet he lost his ability to work after an 18-wheeler accident caused the loss of one of his legs. Naturally, he can no longer continue his work climbing electrical poles, and as such, he would lose his income over his remaining 20 years of expected employment. Therefore, he has at least $1.2 million in damages as a result of his loss of earning capacity, not to mention his other damages such as medical expenses and so forth.
One of the defining characteristics of a good personal injury or wrongful death attorney is that attorney’s ability to properly account for, and quantify ALL of the damages that you are entitled to be compensated for. Our Texas personal injury attorneys thoroughly evaluate every case in order to maximize the case’s potential value.
Did You Know?
Our Texas attorneys have won hundreds of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Burn Injury Attorney Can Help With Your Situation
Fire is one of the natural elements of the universe that was created by God and it’s probably the most destructive force on earth. An average summer day in Texas can reach as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now imagine touching something ten (10X) times as hot. Scientists say the temperature of an average fire can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. There are only a few things on earth that can withstand the heat of fire and human skin is not one of them. In fact burn victims have been known to suffer nerve damage, disfigurement, and even death as a result of exposure to fire. If you or someone you know has been injured or died in a fire due to someone else’s negligence, call our burn attorneys today for a free consultation.
There are more than two (2) million burn injuries reported every year in the United States. About twenty (20,000) thousand people are admitted to the hospital because their burns cover at least twenty-five (25%) percent of their body. And some of their injuries are so severe that about ten (10,000) of those victims will die from their wounds.
According to the Bureau of Statistics:
Burn injuries are the top cause of accidental death in America after car accidents.
Children who are fourteen and under die in accidental home fires more than any other age group. And it’s the third leading cause of death for adults.
Adults over 55 are injured in house fires more often because they fall asleep by smoking.
The kitchen is the deadliest place in the house for people ages 75 and above because it’s where they are injured most. And people ages 75 and older are more likely to die in a house fire because they might be unable to escape.
Children from birth to 4 years old suffer from hot water scalds more than any other age group.
Newborn to 2-year olds have more emergency room visits due to burn injuries they received in the kitchen and bathroom than any other age group.
Because of the debilitating nature of burns, they are the most expensive injuries to treat. The more of a person’s body that is exposed to burns, the more it will cost to treat them. For instance, a burn that covers just ten (10%) of a person’s body can cost more than $100,000 in hospitalization and physician fees. If the wounds are more extensive, more costs could apply for reconstructive surgery and possibly rehabilitation. In addition to the cost to treat the burns the injured person has to miss days from work. So the accumulation of their injuries, medical bills, and lost wages often can lead to psychological stress and depression. If you or someone you know is suffering from burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence and you need legal assistance, call our burn attorneys today for a free consultation.
How Burn Injuries Happen
You might have heard about Dallas Wiens’ story. He is the Texas man who received a full face transplant – the first in the United States – after he was disfigured in a work-related accident. Wiens had his face practically melted away and he lost his eyesight after he accidentally touched a power line while he was painting. He recently received a new nose, lips, and the underlying nerves in his face so that he could feel his daughter’s touch on his face again, thanks to advancements in burn injury treatment.
More than one million people in America suffer from burn injuries every year. Whether or not medical treatment is needed depends on the severity of the burn. Most people suffer from simple household burns while they’re cooking, while others might work in an occupation where they are exposed to high temperatures such as in welding, in machinery, or in a restaurant of course. Wounds from a curling iron burn or even sunburn can range from a minor first-degree blister that can be healed by applying aloe vera to fourth-degree life-threatening wounds that require extended treatment.
The severity of the burn depends on how hot the skin gets and the length of time the skin was exposed to the burn. If the skin was exposed to the heat for an extended amount of time there could be nerve damage that prevents the victim’s arms and legs from functioning normally. It also depends on where the burn occurred on the body because the thickness, water, and oil content are different in some parts of the body such as the hands and feet. The skin is thinner around the face, neck, and belly area. All these variations make each burn unique. If a person is exposed to extreme heat or a chemical agent, their wounds might be different than if he or she is burned in a vehicle accident or an explosion. Boiling water, gasoline spills, and electrocutions also can cause different effects on human skin. That’s why there are hospitals that have special burn units that treat only burn injuries. If you or someone you know are suffering due to burn injuries because of someone else’s negligence, call our burn attorneys today for a free consultation.
How Burn Injuries Are Treated
There are more than 130 burn units across the United States. Most of them are housed at hospitals across the country. Some of them only work with children. Long-term treatment for serious burn injuries involves skin grafts. Skin grafts are the process of taking skin from one part of the body and attaching it to the damaged area of the body. Short-term treatments for burns include bandages, antibiotics, and other methods. The effect of these treatments depends on whether or not there were previous health issues that need to be considered.
Insurance policies and Burn Injuries
More than a million people suffer from burn injuries every year which requires emergency treatment due to the negligence of someone else. Burn injuries could lead to nerve damage and limited use of the arms and legs, which is why the cost of treatment is so expensive. A majority of insurance policies are not worth enough money to pay for the average serious burn injuries. It’s because there is a specialized treatment that is needed to repair burn damage. So you might think there would be a special category of compensation for someone who is victimized in this way, but there is not. Some victims suffer disfigurement, mental anguish, and depression because of their injuries. Our self-esteem is based on mostly how we look – or more specifically, how others look at us. So if a person is disfigured by their injuries it could be a life-altering experience.
Burn Survivors of Personal Injury Accidents in the U.S.
If you’ve ever experienced a burn, even for a second, you know how painful it can be. So for someone who is injured in a car accident or exposed to fire for an extended period of time, it can be excruciating. Some people might think they are being burned alive. And that probably is the highest form of mental anguish. It’s hard to bounce back from something like that. In fact, getting back to work can be tough. For some people returning to work is medically impossible.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and Long-Term Burn Care
When someone is burned badly, even if they have insurance most policies don’t have enough value in them to cover the expense it normally takes to treat someone. So the victim is left to figure out how he or she is going to foot the medical bills and if they have been disfigured there will be emotional scars that also should be addressed. Serious burn injuries don’t just heal by themselves. They need to be treated by professional specialists trained in this area. If your burn injuries are due to the negligence of someone else, you owe it to yourself to hire a personal injury attorney who can help you outline your options. Who is to blame for your injuries and how could it have been avoided? Our burn attorneys can help you to figure it out. Our team of experienced litigators will do a full investigation of your case so that you know what your next move should be.
There are three must-haves to a personal injury case:
The victim must show he or she suffered some type of physical, mental, or emotional injury. And in the case of a burn victim that should be easy to do.
The victim must show that the defendant had a duty to do no harm. If the burns came as a result of a car accident, this can mean that the guilty party failed at their duty and caused the victim’s wounds.
The victim must show an economic loss, known as damages, because of the injuries. Damages include financial losses including medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
What to Watch Out For: Stories vs. Evidence
Even though a judge and or jury will be emotionally moved by the sight of a victim’s injuries and the story behind the injuries, it’s important to make sure your personal injury lawsuit has all the elements (named above) needed to win the case. When some people attempt to go it alone and pursue legal action by themselves, they may be left without the resources to conduct the best investigation. So it may then prove impossible for anyone to know what truly happened. However, with the help of our burn injury lawyers, our clients can be assured of having a thorough investigation conducted into their accident scene so that the truth of the accident’s cause can be assessed, regardless of what the liable driver may be saying.
Contact our Law Office for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your personal injury burn injury case. We will answer any lingering questions you may have. And we will evaluate your possible legal options in light of the specifics of your case. By starting the process to seek compensation for your injury or loss today, you can start on the road to recovery that much sooner.