Financial Compensation for Personal Injury in Austin
If another person was responsible for the injuries you sustained in your recent accident, then you could be entitled to compensation. If the defendant had a legal duty and breached that duty and the plaintiff experienced harm as a result, then the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit have been met. Keep in mind that the law also imposes different degrees of care on individuals- ordinary care, high degree of care and a child's degree of care.
It is imperative to secure a qualified personal injury attorney on your side so that you are not shortchanged in the wake of an accident. Insurance companies are profit-driven and often offer accident victims less-than-adequate settlements.
After an accident, individuals need compensation to cover medical bills, loss of wages and potential future treatment. Also, if another's carelessness harmed you, you should be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. Do not accept a settlement offer or volunteer medical records to any insurance company personnel before securing the legal representation of an attorney. You have a right to fair compensation and this should be protected at all costs!
How Damages Work
In the aftermath of an accident, upon filing a personal injury lawsuit, most victims want to know "What is my case worth?" Compensatory damages can include medical treatment costs, lost social and educational activities, disfigurement, permanent disability, lost income, property loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life and loss of consortium. In some cases, where a defendant's actions are "egregious or outrageously careless," you could be awarded punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate for losses, but to punish a defendant.
Often, the amount of damages you could be entitled to depends upon whether you were partly to blame for an accident (known in Texas as "comparative negligence"). For example, if you were a pedestrian that was hit by a speeding car, but you were jaywalking, you and the other party could both be held liable for the injuries you sustained. Under Civ. Prac. & Rem. §33.001, "A plaintiff's negligence must not be greater than a defendant's; award is diminished in proportion to negligence." In Texas, if the plaintiff is found to be over 50% responsible for an accident, than he/she is barred from recovering any damages. When comparative negligence is involved, a jury will determine the percentage of responsibility of each plaintiff and each defendant.
The statute of limitations also affects your chances of recovering compensation. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years. The Discovery Rule provides victims with a two-year period in which they can file a claim after detecting their injury.
Medical bills are not normally too difficult to calculate, as long as you save all documents as proof. Calculating more subjective damages can be extremely tough, however. In general, pain and suffering damages are usually one-to-three times the amount of your medical bills and lost wages.
If your injuries were particularly severe, the range of recovery could be higher. When injuries are not too serious, an analyst will often multiply the damages with a number such as 1.5 or 2. If the injuries are more serious, the damages could be multiplied by 5. In rare circumstances, damages could be multiplied by as great of a number as 10. In this instance, the injuries would have to be debilitating and life-long. After pain and suffering damages have been calculated, lost wages are normally added. In order to receive a fair and accurate amount for lost wages, an individual should also show documentation of how much money they normally make and how long they were unable to report to work. A written statement from an employer could prove helpful. If you need help collecting applicable paperwork and calculating your settlement, contact Zinda Law Group for the comprehensive legal assistance you need from a Personal Injury Attorney!