How do judges and juries determine the value of economic loss in a personal injury case?
We present evidence of your medical bills and lost wages to the jury. Medical bills are typically proved using the medical bills and records presented with a sworn affidavit from the custodian of records. The evidence of lost wages can take many forms, but typically we will use your W-2s, tax filings, employment records, pay stubs, and testimony from your coworkers or boss.
Who can be held liable for a catastrophic injury?
In all cases, we investigate to identify all potentially responsible parties and all available insurance. In cases with catastrophic injuries it is even more important to thoroughly search for all sources of recovery. We search for any party that may have played a part in causing the injury. Often when there is a catastrophic injury it’s not just one person who is at fault—many times, for example, the company that employed the primary actor is also responsible.
Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault for my injuries?
Yes you can. Texas applies a “comparative responsibility” theory. The jury will determine the percentage fault of the parties. Your recovery will be reduced by the percentage found attributed to you. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you may not recover for your injuries in Texas.
Can I Collect Worker's Compenstain for My Personal Injury?
Yes, people often ask whether or not they can allow for worker's compensation to pay some portion of their medical bills or their lost wages as a result of an injury. The answer is, of course, yes. However what you need to know is that when worker's compensation pays for these items, and you should later receive a settlement from another party, worker's compensation may be able to come back to you for any payments that were made by them on your behalf.
What is a Catastrophic Personal Injury?
We understand here at Zinda Law Group that almost every injury is catastrophic to the person dealing with it. “Catastrophic claim” is a legal concept to denote extreme physical and life altering conditions, for the injured or deceased and the families that have to overcome adversity and grieve and help their loved one in a tough situation.
We represent all sorts of injury claimants. We have cases with individuals that suffer burns to the most of their body or unfortunate incidents where the family members have died as a result of negligence. Generally, the insurance companies handle these claims with more experienced personnel using sophisticated techniques, where having an attorney on your side is essential from the beginning.
But the most important thing to know is that we take all of these cases just as seriously as every other case we have. The most important thing to do is make sure you stay on top of these cases. Put some pressure on the insurance company and allow this family and friends to grieve and work out their lives, while we deal with everything on the legal and financial end.
What if No One is at Fault for My Personal Injury?
The first thing we look at when evaluating a potential personal injury case is whether there any liability by anyone. There are many different investigative items to determine if someone is at fault. There are experts we can talk to, witnesses who may have seen something not apparent, or other responsible people (owners, employers, manufacturers, builders, etc.). In our experience, oftentimes it's rare that somebody isn't at fault. We take all cases very seriously from the moment they come to us and we want to get on top of the investigation right away. So track down everybody we can, get records requests and make sure that if somebody is responsible or there is a chance that somebody is responsible, we can find out.
The good thing about hiring a personal injury attorney is that unless you're successful in collecting from someone, you don't owe the attorney anything -the attorney doesn't earn a fee. We spend a significant amount of time investigating liability and if we don’t come up with anything, at least you have some peace of mind knowing that there wasn't any legal option for you.
What Factors Determine How Much My Personal Injury Case is Worth?
The factors that determine how much a personal injury case is worth vary widely. They can be anything from the amount of injuries you suffered to the degree of negligence by the person who's injured you. It's difficult for any personal injury lawyer to tell before they start to investigate a claim how much this case is worth. A general baseline of how much a case is worth can be the amount of medical bills that have accrued.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Court?
That's a good question and it really depends on so many different factors. When a case goes to court, it's usually because one side didn't analyze the case correctly or there's a big risk for one or both sides.
The clearer the liability situation is, the less likely it is to go to court. Injuries that are objective (can be documented by medical testing or observation) are less likely to go to court. When it is clear that your injury was caused by the accident alone, without prior related medical conditions you are less likely to go to court.
Now while only a small percentage of our cases do go to court, we are going to treat every case like it is going to court. That allows us to put some pressure on these insurance companies and defense attorneys even if it is not our plan to go to court.
It is really impossible to tell whether a case will go to court before a lawsuit is filed because it will depend on the behavior of the insurance company and their lawyers.
How Much Will I Get From My Personal Injury Case?
This is a question that people ask me on their first visit almost 95% of the time. Any attorney who tells you they're going to get you a certain amount of money at the beginning of your case, is probably lying to you because there is no way to know. There are a lot of different factors that our considered in determining how much money you are going to get at the end of your case.
The biggest factor is how much insurance coverage is available. In Texas, it is extremely difficult to go after somebody individually to get to their bank account and take their assets. Our job is to immediately figure out what insurance policies exist and then we can analyze how much money is available. Just because a certain amount of money is available, doesn't mean that you are entitled to it just because you were involved in a wreck. In addition to finding out what insurance exists, we take into consideration your medical bills, how this has affected you and your injuries. So if you have broken ribs and a broken ankle and a bunch of abrasions – this will probably have higher value than a pinkie injury that lasted a week. You have a spectrum of injuries that are a really high value and really low value cases depending on the injury.
Another factor that is taken in consideration is the actions of the individuals before or after the wreck. If the other driver was intoxicated or fled from the scene, this behavior may be upsetting or outrageous to a potential jury, and it could increase the value of your case. It is really dependent on so many different factors that until we get an idea of all the different investigative items and insurance issues reviewed, it is impossible to predict.
How long will my personal injury case take?
Personal injury cases have no set duration because there are so many factors that determine the length of time they will last. Typically, the injured person has to finish her course of medical treatment before she can submit a demand for her harms and losses to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Recovery time varies based on the person and the gravity of the injury. You never want to settle a claim before you know the full extent of your injuries, so you have to wait until you have a reasonable idea of the totality of those injuries. Once you know your damages, you then make a demand for money to the insurance company. The case will resolve if you and the at-faulty party are able to agree to an amount. If no agreement is reached, your only option to seek more money is to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take as little as 6 months to as much as 3 to 4 years to resolve.