If you’re wondering whether or not you need to contact a personal injury attorney after an accident, the answer is often yes. But it’s can be stressful to figure out what steps to take. A Houston personal injury attorney at Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, can break it down for you.
Whether you were injured two days ago or two months ago, here’s what you need to know before working with a personal injury attorney.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
It can be tough to know whether you need a personal injury attorney in the aftermath of an accident. Some injuries have a delayed onset. That means you might walk away seemingly unharmed, only to develop symptoms later.
Here are some clues about when it might be time to contact an experienced injury lawyer.
When You’re Hurt
People who are injured due to someone else’s negligence should not have to pay for the medical costs, lost income and other losses resulting from their accident. If you were injured in Houston and another person or party is to blame, you need to contact a personal injury attorney.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can fight for you to get the compensation that you are owed. Many victims find themselves dealing with insurance companies offering lowball settlements that are far less that what they are truly entitled to. Contacting a personal injury lawyer can give you an accurate idea of the value of your case and what it will take to achieve the best possible outcome.
When You Start Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed after an accident. It was an unexpected and unfair disruption to your life. But the fact remains that there will be some necessary business that must be taken care of when it comes to insurance claims, medical treatment and future planning.
The insurance company will make you feel that everything must be done right away. Don’t fall for that. Many people have been tricked into making recorded statements and accidentally saying something that jeopardizes their case. All you have to do is report that an accident occurred.
The rest can be handled by a personal injury lawyer. That includes communicating with the insurance company, collecting evidence to support your claim and representing you during settlement talks or at trial. That leaves you free to focus on healing.
When Your Financial Situation Worsens
Your finances can take a major hit if you’ve suffered a serious injury. You might not be able to work as a result of your injury, but that won’t stop the medical and insurance bills from piling up.
In addition, families with a loved one who is catastrophically injured may face further hardships if another wage-earner has to stop working to become a full-time caregiver.
A successful personal injury claim can provide compensation to account for these kinds of burdens and more. If you’re struggling financially, a personal injury attorney can fight for money that provides financial security, both now and in the future.
What Are the Most Common Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury law covers any type of accident in which someone was hurt due to another’s reckless actions, or negligence. That means there are a vast range of possible claims that can benefit from an attorney’s help.
Car accidents are the most common personal injury claims in the United States.
Texas has a particularly high number of injuries sustained from car accidents. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that in a single year, there was one crash reported every 59 seconds across the state. It’s not difficult to see why these accidents spur so many personal injury claims — in many cases, they result in injuries and even death.
Usually, one or more parties in an accident is considered at fault. But determining fault is tricky and can mean a great difference in the amount of compensation that you may be entitled to receive. Talking to a personal injury attorney at Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, can help ensure that you are not assigned an unfair portion of fault and protect your rights to the compensation you deserve.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Falls are a leading cause of unintentional injury nationwide. Slip and fall cases are also common.
Whether the fall was caused by a poorly lit path at an apartment complex or a slippery floor, these cases typically involve a property owner or landlord and an injured individual.
Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe and free from hazards. If you suffered a serious injury as a result of a property owner’s negligence, it’s worthwhile to talk to a personal injury attorney who can investigate the claim more thoroughly.
Not every injury on someone else’s property will result in a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the nature of the injury and the laws of any particular state, the property owner’s liability may vary.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice claims are filed when a doctor or other medical provider administers treatment that falls below any appropriate standard of medical care. That being said, less-than-ideal results after a medical procedure does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred.
Common examples of medical malpractice claims include:
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Birth injuries
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition
Medical malpractice claims are complex and difficult to win. If you believe you’re the victim of malpractice in Houston or a surrounding community, arranging a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, can help you determine if you have a valid claim.
In most cases, a dog owner, handler or keeper is financially responsible for any injuries caused by their dog if certain circumstances are met. In Texas, several laws might entitle a dog bite victim to compensation.
- One bite rule: Compensation possible if proof that dog previously bit a person, showed an intent to bite or if the owner knew about the dog’s prior behavior
- Negligence: Owner could be held liable if they failed to exercise the care to protect others from harm the way a reasonable person would
- Animal control laws: Victim may be able to recover compensation if dog’s owner violated any city or county animal control ordinances
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
When you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand the damages you may be able to receive. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may be entitled to several types of compensation.
Compensable damages include:
In the vast majority of personal injury cases, the damages include coverage for the cost of medical treatment. This is especially important if your injury was severe enough to incur high medical bills, major lifestyle changes and the inability to work. Keep every medical record and bill you’ve received over the course of treatment for your injury to include in your claim for compensation.
If your injury has left you unable to work, then you can request compensation for lost wages. That includes not only wages that you have currently missed, but also lost earning capacity if your injury has affected your ability to continue working.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages means that your injury has taken a toll on your relationship with your significant other. These damages include the loss of a relationship or feelings of companionship with a partner. They may also include the loss of ability to maintain a sexual relationship with a partner.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering refers to your suffering in the immediate aftermath of your injury. It can also account for ongoing pain that you experience as a result of your injury and the treatment it requires for you to heal fully.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
While this is a more subjective type of damage, it is legitimate. Loss of enjoyment implies that your injury has kept you from enjoying day-to-day activities and hobbies that you used to engage in. Even the inability to exercise may be considered under loss of enjoyment damages.
These damages are most common with serious injuries. Rather than covering the physical effects of an injury, these damages seek to cover the psychological impact. If you’ve suffered an injury and are experiencing anxiety, depression, sleep loss, or fear as an aftereffect, you may be eligible to receive emotional distress damages.
Did you lose your vehicle, clothing, or other valuable items in the accident that caused your injury? If so, you’re likely eligible to receive damages for loss of property. These damages can constitute the repair or restoration of your property and compensation for the market value of the items you lost.
What Should You Bring When You First Meet An Attorney?
You first meeting with a personal injury attorney will give you a chance to learn the merits of your case. It will also be your chance to see if the attorney is the right fit for you.
Here’s a list of some important information to bring to your first meeting.
In a personal injury case, medical records and bills are essential components of the case. Everything from your initial intake papers to any prescriptions you’ve been given will be helpful.
Here are examples of things to bring:
- Paperwork detailing diagnosis and treatment
- All medical bills associated with your injury
- Documents outlining any future treatment required
- Physical therapy and chiropractor bills
- Name and address of any hospitals you were admitted to
- Dates of admission and release
- List of all current medications
Insurance information is also important to bring to your first meeting. If you were in a car accident, this will include both your auto and your health insurance information. This will be essential for your attorney as you move forward with your personal injury claim.
Proof of Lost Income
If you’re planning to request damages for missed wages, you’ll need to bring in documentation that proves you did, in fact, lose income. In some cases, all you’ll need is a list of dates that you missed work. In others, more extensive documentation will be required. A W2 or even a notice from your employer may be necessary.
If you lost your job as a result of your injury, bringing in a notice of job termination will be useful as well.
Law Enforcement Reports
If police or another authority filed an official report of your accident, try to bring a copy of it. Any accident or injury report is going to be helpful in your personal injury claim. It may take a little bit of time to get copies of those reports, so make sure request them as soon as possible.
Photos or Videos
If you have photos or videos of the accident that caused your injury, bring them to your first meeting with a personal injury attorney. These photos and videos will serve as valuable evidence in your injury claim. If your doctors took photos of your own injuries, bring those as well.
Keep in mind that you do not need to have all of this information during your first meeting at Seerden Law Firm, PLLC. While everything you bring is a helpful piece to add to your case, our legal team is experienced at gathering everything we need to craft a strong claim on your behalf.
Get A Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Who Demands Maximum Compensation
Suffering a serious injury puts an incredible strain not only on the victim, but also his and her family. Recovery can be a long and stressful road. But it doesn’t have to be one that you walk alone.
Let Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, help. When you choose us, you choose a reliable law firm that cares about you, your claim and fighting for the results you deserve.
There’s no cost for an initial case review, and no obligation.
Call or contact us now to get started.