Types of Personal Injury Claims Explained

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It can be someone who runs into the back of you at a stoplight because they are on their cellphone or a driver who collides with you while they are driving under the influence. It can also include accidents involving cars and pedestrians or bicyclists. These are among the most common types of personal injury lawsuits. They often include both the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident and their insurance company as defendants.
  • 18 Wheeler Accidents: Truck accidents are a lot more common than you think, and when they happen the results can be catastrophic. They result from such things as a driver who stays on the road without meeting his minimum rest as required by law or driving too fast under the conditions. Commercial vehicle lawsuits usually include the professional driver and their insurance company as defendants, as well as the trucking company they are hauling for.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Another category that is pretty self-explanatory. These types of accidents often include a collision between a car and a motorcycle. These accidents often occur because of carelessness or inattentiveness on the part of the car’s driver. It is important to note that lawsuits can result from incidents that take place off-road as well as on them.
  • Boating accidents: A driver of a boat is just as liable for their negligent actions as is a driver of a car. These result in such incidents as someone who drives their boat into yours while speeding in a no wake zone and injures you, or a boat that runs into a swimmer and causes a severe injury in an area that is restricted from boat use.
  • Aviation / Railroad Accidents: These types of accidents are quite often catastrophic in nature and often result in the loss of life. They can include such incidents as a freight train that hits you at a rail crossing because they were going faster than the mandated speed for that area, or you were injured when your plane blew a tire and skidded off the runway upon landing because maintenance procedures were not followed properly.
  • Product Liability Accidents: Product liability claims arise from people being injured by dangerous or defective products, which can range from household goods to automobile parts to prescription drugs. Examples inlcude a child being cut by a toy that has sharp edges, or a person being injured in a crash because the car’s accelerator stuck due to a manufacturer’s defect. Sometimes these lawsuits will turn into class action suits when many people are injured by the same products.
  • Premises Liability Accidents: These are accidents that usually happen as a result of negligence by a property owner or a business property owner. Examples of this are when you break your ankle on your neighbors uneven concrete walkway, or a business’s janitor fails to put up the wet floor warning sign as he is mopping and you fall and hurt your back.
  • Workplace Accidents: Work injuries can occur in any industry, but some jobs are more dangerous than others. Workers employed in construction, oilfield, refinery and industrial settings are often at a higher risk of injury.
  • Medical Malpractice: These types of claims result from negligence on the part of a medical professional, such as surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, or a physician’s failure to recognize a problem. Typical defendants in these types of claims would be the doctor, the medical group, clinic or hospital, and their respective insurance companies.
  • Wrongful Death: The relatives of fatal accident victims have rights under Texas law to claim compensation for negligence. These claims can stem from any of the above accident types.

McAllen Personal Injury Claim Attorney

It is one of those events that nobody ever likes to think about, but unfortunately thousands of people are affected by it every day across the United States. When you are injured in an accident through no fault of your own, it is important that you know your rights under the law and that you know how to protect and exercise those rights.

This article will go a long way toward helping you understand what a personal injury claim is, your rights when making a personal injury claim, and some insight as to why it is in your best interest to retain the help of legal counsel to ensure your claim is litigated successfully.

What is a personal injury in legal terms?

Quite often a personal injury claim as described in legal terminology is an injury to the mind, body or emotions as a direct result of another person’s or businesses actions. It usually involves some sort of negligence by the offending party.

Many lawyers practice personal injury law because a person has a right to be made whole when they are the victim of another person’s carelessness or insensitivity.

National Personal Injury Statistics

It has been said that personal injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. Take a look at some of the yearly average personal injury statistics for the United States as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics.

On average, an estimated 31 million people will be injured badly enough each year in the U.S. that they need a doctor’s care. Out of these injuries, 162 thousand of these people will die as a direct result of them.

Some of the major causes of these personal injuries are automobile accidents (3 million injuries and 41,000 deaths each year); truck accidents (61,000 injuries and 5,100 deaths); construction accidents (305,000 injuries and 1,000 deaths); and medical malpractice (almost 100,000 deaths each year).

Many of these 31 million injuries are the result of negligence or wrongdoing on another person’s or businesses part. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, then you have every right to seek compensation to recover lost pay, lost time from work, reimbursement for medical expenses, and to provide for your future well-being if you have been disabled or unable to work.

No company or person wants to admit fault when personal injuries occur and that is the reason why so many claims are disputed and need to be resolved by the legal system.

I was injured in an accident. What should I do?

When you are involved in a personal injury accident, it can be one of the most chaotic and stressful times you will ever experience in your life, especially if you have been badly injured and hospitalized. If you are physically able to do so after the incident, here are a few steps that will help you if you decide to pursue a claim.

  • If you are physically able to after the incident, take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Write down everything you remember about the incident. Be sure to include even the smallest of details. You don’t want to count on your memory alone if you have been injured or are under a large amount of mental stress as a result of the incident.
  • Preserve anything that you feel may be evidence that can substantiate a future claim.
  • Say as little about the incident as possible, but don’t deny law enforcement and medical personal pertinent facts, especially if you need medical treatment or stating these facts may support a future claim you make.
  • Consider getting legal representation or contacting your family attorney right away.
  • When talking to the offending party’s representatives or insurance company, do not discuss details of the incident. It is best to decline to give a statement until you have spoken to a personal injury attorney.

How to File and Pursue a Claim

If you feel you have a legitimate claim that entitles you to compensation for a personal injury that happened to you as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is recommended that you take the steps to pursue that claim as soon as possible after the incident. The sooner you start the legal process, the better chance of success you will have at being granted a favorable settlement or judgment.

Can you file a claim and negotiate it on your own behalf? Absolutely. But consider your options very carefully before you choose to handle your claim on your own. It has been shown that you are much more likely to win your claim if you have a well-educated and experienced personal injury lawyer representing you. Not only are you more likely to win the case with legal representation, you will most likely be awarded a much higher settlement amount also.

Legal consultations at the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo are free, so before you decide to go it alone, take the time to sit down and talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer at our firm and let us give you legal insight into your case. You will probably end up being surprised by how much you did not know and how many different ways we can help you.

It is also important to keep in mind that the party you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit against is probably going to surround themselves with legal counsel, especially if an insurance company is involved. Insurance companies have adjusters and lawyers on staff whose sole purpose is to get your personal injury claim denied or to settle it by paying you as little money as possible. It is one of the main reasons why it is so important to have legal representation in the case by your side, too.

Choosing an Accident Attorney

Once you have decided that you would like legal representation to help you with your case, there are certain qualities that you should look for in an attorney to hire. First of all, it is always best to look for an attorney that has experience in the personal injury claim area and tort law; you don’t want a lawyer that specializes in divorces cases, but has also “dabbled” in personal injury law to represent you. Every area of law is different, and being experienced in one area does not necessarily mean an attorney will be successful in other practice areas.

Also, check out the reputation of any prospective attorney that you want to hire. You should always meet with an attorney face to face and have a consultation about your claim before making your decision; this can go a long way toward giving you confidence that this is the right attorney for you.

Attorney Fees

In personal injury cases, McAllen personal injury attorneyRaúl Guajardo works on a contingency basis. This simply means that he only gets paid if he wins or favorably settles your case.

How An Experienced Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Once you hire an attorney, there are several ways in which their experience will help you bring your case to a successful resolution.

Filing and Paperwork

Your lawyer will handle all of the paperwork to file a claim for you. They will also handle writing the initial petition and complaint. An experienced lawyer will also know what are realistic monetary damages and compensation to ask for in your case.

Investigation

You will never win a case in a court of law if you cannot prove your claim. This makes the investigation process to gather facts about the case highly important. An experienced accident lawyer will know how to go about getting the facts needed to successfully litigate your case, including police statements, hospital records and other important documents that support the case. In such personal injury accidents as those that involve cars or trucks, they might even go as far as hiring a professional accident investigator.

Settlement

If your case is strong and your attorney does a thorough job presenting your case, chances are it will never see the inside of a courtroom. As was mentioned before, very few personal injury cases ever go to trial. Your lawyer will know what you are entitled to in damages and compensation; a lot of this has been predetermined by what has happened in similar cases before (setting precedent). Personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable in the compensation figures that are typically associated with all types accident injuries.

Your attorney will make every effort to get you a fair, But you will always be given the final say as to whether you will accept the settlement or not.

Trial

In the rare instance that your personal injury lawsuit makes it into a courtroom, your lawyer will have all the evidence prepared to be presented, have witnesses summoned to appear and prepare you for what will happen during the legal proceedings. Most lawyers are very skilled at presenting evidence to the judge and jurors and are well versed in court proceedings.

If your case is valid, then they truly can work with you to bring your case to a successful conclusion and get you the compensation you truly deserve as the result of your personal injury that was no fault of your own.

Get Help Today

While nothing can fully compensate you for the tragedy of a serious accident, money damages can help you cover medical expenses, the loss of income from a job and other harms done to you. To schedule a free initial consultation with personal injury trial lawyer Raúl A. Guajardo, contact us today by calling Toll-free (956) 686-1977.

Steps to Filing a Claim and Getting Resolution

There are several steps that may be a part of the legal process to solve your claim. It is a lot more complicated than just filing some papers and going to court. As a matter of fact, a large majority of personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom.

We will go over the major steps of the lawsuit filing and how it can legally play out. Keep in mind that these are just the major steps; some additional steps may be required and there can always be negotiations, which may cause you and your lawyer repeat a step more than once.

1. Complaint/Petition

This is where the claim starts. This is generally an outline of the case that you will present to the court with details about your case against the defendant. It will also name the defendant(s) of the suit, it establishes the court’s jurisdiction over the lawsuit, and states your legal claims and supporting facts. It will also include the amount and type of restitution that you are seeking.

2. Summons

This is where the court notifies the defendant of the fact that they have been sued, the date it will be heard and where the court is that the matter will be heard. This involves a process where the summons is legally served and signed for by the defendant. It will also tell the defendant that if he does not respond in a certain amount of time they will be deemed in default and the judgment most likely will go against them.

3. Answer

This is exactly what it sounds like. It is the defendants reply to your lawsuit and how they intend to proceed. The lawsuit can start to get complicated here. The defendant may place a counterclaim against you that is similar to your complaint; the suit may also have a cross-claim by another party or the defendant may try to pass the blame on to a third party in an attempt to absolve themselves of any wrong doing. Often when this happens, the third party then becomes part of the lawsuit.

4. Settlement

At this point you, the defendant and any members of your respective legal teams may attempt to reach a settlement. This may go back and forth several times as each partner makes offers and then replies with counter offers. If no settlement can be reached, then the case will proceed to be resolved in court.

5. Trial

This is the first attempt to resolve the lawsuit in a courtroom. It most likely will involve selecting a jury, presentation of both side’s cases and a verdict. The whole process can legally end here or just be getting started.

6. Appeal

If you or the defendant is not happy with the results of the trial for some particular reason, you or they may wish to appeal the case.
Of course this process can be a lot more complex than what is written here, but this gives outline gives a good frame of reference on what to expect from the personal injury claims process.

As you can see it can quickly become complicated, which is why most people choose to have legal representation instead of trying to prove their case by themselves.