Personal Injury Lawyers in Carrollton, Texas
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A CARROLLTON PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER FOR FREE
No matter how careful we are, we inevitably get involved in accidents. Hopefully, the accidents are minor. However, in some cases, accidents can lead to serious physical injuries and financial hardships. As a result, you may no longer be able to enjoy life as you previously could. Perhaps this is due to being unable to work or perhaps because you are suffering from physical disabilities. In such cases, you may wish to seek an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you or your loved one has suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Carrollton.
WHAT IS PERSONAL INJURY?
Personal injury is a broad area of the law that compensates people who were injured by another person or entity. Thus, damages to a non-human entity, like property damage, would not fall under the definition of personal injury. Every personal injury claim has two basic issues: liability and damages.
Liability simply asks whether a person who caused the injury is responsible for the injury. For instance, in most personal injury cases, a victim must show that the person who caused the injury owed a duty of care to the victim in order to prove that the person is liable.
“Damages” is just another term for compensation. It is generally the amount of money the responsible party owes the victim. For example, if you get involved in a car accident and you are able to prove that the other driver negligently caused the accident, then the other driver may have to pay for your medical expenses as damages.
In order for a victim to be successful in his or her personal injury claim, he or she must prove that the other party that caused his or her injuries was negligent. In order to prove that the other party was negligent, the victim must prove that:
- The offending party owed him or her a legal duty
- The offending party breached that legal duty
- The victim was injured
- The breach of the legal duty caused his or her injury
WHO CAN I SUE FOR MY PERSONAL INJURY?
In general, you may sue the party that is directly responsible for your injury. However, in some cases, you may be able to sue somebody who is indirectly at fault. For instance, if an employee causes your injury, you may be able to sue the employee’s employer.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT
1. Seek Medical Attention
After being injured in an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your health is your number one priority. Do not think that just because you feel fine after an accident that you do not need to go to the hospital. Often, the adrenaline rush after an accident masks the pain after an accident. Therefore, it is important that you visit the hospital to make sure you do not leave any injuries left untreated. There have been many cases where a victim thinks he or she is fine after an accident, only to later suffer the effects of the injury because he or she did not visit the hospital.
2. Document the Accident
When you file a wrongful death claim, you have the burden of proof to show that you deserve compensation because the other party was negligent. This means that you must present evidence that the negligent party did not act with a reasonable level of care. To show this you must substantiate your claim with evidence. Evidence may include photographs, medical bills, witness statements, or any other relevant documentation.
3. Keep Receipts and Invoices
You should always keep any medical bills and any other evidence of expenses that you incurred because of your injuries. Furthermore, you should collect your pay stubs if you have been unable to work as a result of your injuries.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Though you may not need a lawyer for claims stemming from minor car accidents, it would be wise to hire an attorney if you plan to file a personal injury claim that is complex, or where a lot of money is a stake. The experienced Carrollton personal injury lawyers may be able to help.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
5. Notify Your Insurance Company
Regardless of whose fault the accident is, you should always contact your insurance company as your insurance company may be able to provide you some relief. However, do not make the mistake of talking about who was at fault for the accident. If your insurance company asks for a recorded statement, politely decline.
HOW TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
1. Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Filing a personal injury claim can be physically and mentally taxing. An experienced lawyer may help you make the process of filing a claim less exhausting by taking some of the heaviest responsibilities off your shoulders.
Once you file a claim with a court, a judge may set up a meeting with a mediator who will try to find a compromise between you and the other party.
If mediation fails to achieve an agreement between the parties, your case may move into the discovery or investigative phase. At this stage, collect all of the relevant documents and evidence necessary to file a claim. These include medical bills, witness statements, official reports, employment reports, etc. This stage is also where depositions may occur. Depositions are essentially interviews conducted by lawyers with people who have information pertinent to your case.
4. Case Settlement
Case settlement may occur at any point in the case. If an insurance company sends you an offer, be sure to discuss the offer with your lawyer. Do not simply accept the offer as your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the insurance company for a more favorable offer.
If after discovery, no settlement is reached, then your case may go to trial. A trial may be either a bench or jury trial. Bench trials are trials where the judge will hear the evidence, apply the laws applicable in your case, and make a ruling. In jury trials, the judge plays a lesser role, but he or she will still set which laws are applicable to your case. Unlike a bench trial, however, the jury will decide the outcome of your case.
DEALING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES
Realize that insurance company adjusters work for their company, not for you. This means that they will generally try to give you the minimum amount of compensation or no compensation at all. When dealing with an insurance company, make sure you know the value of your claim and do not accept an insurance company’s offer if it falls way below the value of your claim. In many instances, a victim fails to receive the amount of money he or she may have been entitled to because he or she simply accepts the insurance company’s initial offer without consulting an attorney.
PERSONAL INJURY COMPENSATION
Compensation may be available for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic losses include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Damaged property
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic losses include the following:
- Past and future emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
Each state has what is called a statute of limitations, or time limit to file a lawsuit. In Texas, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury or accident.
When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Not every personal injury case requires you to seek an attorney. If your case is quite simple, you may not need an attorney. However, if any of the below applies to you, you may wish to seek an attorney:
- Your injury is severe
- Your injury was caused by someone else
- Your insurance company representative is contacting you
- You are uncomfortable with the legal or settlement process
- Your insurance company is refusing to pay the amount you believe is owed to you
- An insurance company tries to dispute liability
How Long Will It Take to Receive a Personal Injury Check?
Because every personal injury case is different, the length of time it takes for a victim to receive a personal injury check depends on many factors. Below is a list of a few of these factors:
- Legal or factual complexities of the victim’s case
- The victim’s case involves a huge sum of money
- The victim is in the hospital or receiving treatment at the time the case is filed.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP
Our Carrollton accident lawyers may be able to help you navigate the legal process. We know that it can be daunting to file a claim for the first time. We are a group of experienced personal injury attorneys who may help you build the strongest case possible and seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you will pay nothing unless we secure a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.