In the state of Texas, if you were injured and suffered economic losses due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and recover eligible damages. However, many persons who believe that they have a valid claim are turned away by Houston personal injury lawyers. Many of them give up the search and try to settle their claim on their own with the negligent party's insurance company. Our advice is to bring your case for a free evaluation to Calhoun Meredith law firm.
We are not afraid to take on complex cases that may result in a personal injury lawsuit. We rely on innovation and extensive knowledge of the law to help people turned away by other personal injury law firms. Our Houston personal injury attorneys have experience and a proven track record both in settlement negotiations and in court.
Let us look first at some of the reasons other legal professionals have for not taking your case. Some of these may be valid reasons, but there are many instances where a determined Houston personal injury lawyer would not be deterred by the unique challenges of the case.
This is a very sad situation, when people with a valid case against an at-fault driver, negligent property owner, or healthcare professional waits too long before starting the legal process of filing a claim. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 2 years starting from the day of the incident in which you were injured.
If this time limit has expired or is about to expire, no insurance company will agree to negotiate and give you the maximum compensation you deserve. They know that they only have to wait a little, until you have no legal options.
However, if you have a strong case and the statute of limitations has not yet expired, a skilled Houston personal injury lawyer with trial experience may still be able to help.
Personal injury cases in Texas are subject to the comparative negligence doctrine. This means that you have to be less than 50% at fault for the accident in which you sustained injuries and economic losses in order to be eligible for financial recovery.
In most cases of motor vehicle accidents, property liability, medical malpractice, and defective product claims, liability can be determined by analyzing the available evidence. However, there are instances where some accident lawyers believe that you may be found more than 50% at fault.
For example, if you were rear-ended during the night while your taillights were turned off, it may be deemed your fault that the other driver could not see your car. Or, a medical provider may argue that you did not complete your treatment and this is the reason why your condition became worse instead of getting better.
Let us return to the instance of a traffic accident (this is one of the most common types of accidents leading to personal injury claims). If the accident reports that the other driver who rear-ended you lost control of the vehicle due to ice on the road, it may be difficult to prove that they breached their duty of care towards you. If they were not speeding or driving under influence, or if the crash was not caused by a defective product (malfunctioning brakes or tires), some attorneys may believe that it is too difficult to find a liable party and win your case.
However, experienced Houston personal injury lawyers may be able to find other means of proving your case. For example, if poor road conditions caused the crash, then the local authorities in charge of maintaining it may be found liable for your personal injury accident.
Here is another reason why personal injury matters are turned down by various law firms. We have the instance above, with the poorly maintained road. Or, injury victims were hurt in commercial vehicle accidents involving a school bus. In this case, the ultimate fault party is the local government or one of its agencies.
This complicates the entire process until a fair settlement, because of the existence of the so-called sovereign immunity principle. Our state enshrines this principle in the Texas Tort Claims Act. What does this mean? The act sets a strict set of rules for individuals who want to sue the government. There are exceptions and strict procedures to be followed. Plus, there are damage caps (limits on the maximum compensation you may seek) - as little as $100,000 if a local county government agency is involved.
In some cases, lawyers refuse potential clients because they believe that the final settlement amount would be too low. One of the factors that may affect the final value of your settlement is the hospital lien. It is a right given by law to hospitals that offer medical care to persons who may have been injured by a negligent driver or another type of breach of duty of care. According to this right, the hospital issues a lien which is automatically attached to any personal injury claim you may file.
What does this mean? As soon as there is a settlement reached or a jury award, the hospital is paid first. The remaining amount of money will be shared between the injured party and their lawyer. An experienced injury lawyer will give you an honest evaluation of your case. However, they will also find ways to maximize your financial compensation so that both the legal professional and you are satisfied at the end of the legal process.
Personal injury matters take many forms:
In many instances, even after a simple slip and fall accident, the victim may suffer severe injuries, which require extensive medical treatments, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Examples of such injuries are:
However, in some instances the accident victim may be lucky to walk away with minor to average injuries, such as cuts and bruises and small contusions. In this case, their economic damages may be limited, as well as the non-economic damages that can be reasonably expected to be won. Even a sympathetic jury would be difficult to persuade that a person who left the crash scene with a few minor bruises deserves a lot of money for pain and suffering - even if their emotional trauma and mental anguish are real.
For these reasons, some Houston personal injury lawyers would refrain from taking the case.
If your case comes to court, you may be expected to take the stand and give testimony concerning your personal injury accident. This is a daunting perspective for the average person. They may be even intimidated enough to talk to an attorney. Thus, they are perceived as poor witnesses whose case is difficult to win.
An experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas will understand their potential client's worries and lack of confidence in talking about their accident. They would take the time to understand their story and prepare them for the moment when they have to speak before a judge and jury about their pain and suffering due to the negligent party's actions.
As you can see, many Houston personal injury lawyers refuse clients due to reasons that may be legitimate or not. In many cases, what you do immediately after the crash will maximize your chances to get legal representation faster and receive the fair settlement amount you deserve. For this reason, you should:
The longer you wait before you go to the hospital or to an emergency room after your personal injury accident, the more difficult it will be for a lawyer to prove your case. Waiting for days may be interpreted as a sign that you were not as badly injured as you claim. Moreover, you may be accused of being injured in a separate accident and trying to make money off an innocent person.
There is a principle in personal injury matters called your duty to mitigate your damages. This means that you have to do everything possible to prevent your injuries from getting worse. Thus, if you are prescribed medication or physical therapy, or any other type of treatment, you should follow it through. Do not forget to refill prescriptions, and do not miss therapy sessions and any required medical evaluation appointments.
If you want professional legal representation, go to a reputable personal injury law firm and retain an attorney. Do not try hiring several, from different law firms. It is a valid reason for a law professional to refuse to represent you.
We understand that you want to get your compensation as soon as possible, but you have to trust your Houston personal injury lawyers that they are doing their best for you. At any rate, they work on a contingency fee basis, so they have a vested interest to win your case.
Trust starts with honesty. When you come for an initial consultation, describe in detail and without leaving any relevant aspect out how you were injured. As explained above, according to the comparative negligence principle, you must be less than 50% at fault.
You only have two years from the date of your accident until the statute of limitations runs out. As any experienced attorney at Calhoun Meredith can tell you, it is not such a long time when it comes to:
In some cases, settlement negotiations fail and your lawyer still needs enough time to prepare your case for trial. For this reason, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible and schedule a free case evaluation: 855-664-0273!