Read Our Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
How much is my car accident claim worth? Will my case be settled out of court? Why do I need an attorney to represent me in a truck crash claim? We answer these questions and many more in our FAQs. If your question is not answered here, feel free to call us to set up a free consultation.
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Preguntas Frecuentes sobre Accidentes de Camiones
Cada día, millones de camiones manejan por las carreteras de los Estados Unidos entregando todo tipo de productos, desde aceite hasta productos comestibles. Anualmente ocurren alrededor de 500,000 accidentes camioneros y alrededor de 5,000 de estos mismos resultan en fatalidades.
Cuando eres una de las personas involucradas en un accidente con un camión de 18 llantas, es importante saber qué es lo que pasara. Las víctimas de accidentes con camiones de 18 llantas pueden tener muchas inquietudes. A continuación se muestran las respuestas a las preguntas más comunes que se les hacen a los abogados de McAllen especializados en accidentes con camiones.
- ¿Quién puede ser el responsable en una demanda por accidente con camiones?
Esto depende de los factores de cada caso individual, pero las partes responsables pueden incluir: el conductor del camión, la compañía camionera y la empresa manufacturera de los camiones o partes de los camiones.
- ¿Qué tipo de compensación puedo recibir de un reclamo por accidente camionero?
La cantidad a la que tienes derecho a recibir después de un accidente con un camión de 18 llantas depende de varios factores, tales como qué tan severas son las lesiones que recibiste. Puedes recibir una compensación por daños incluyendo salarios perdidos, cuentas médicas, dolor y sufrimiento y daño de propiedad.
- ¿Qué hago si alguna compañía de seguros me ofrece un arreglo económico?
Es muy común que la compañía aseguradora de la empresa camionera ofrezca un arreglo rápido. Mientras pueda parecer más sencillo aceptar su oferta y cerrar el caso, es importante no aceptar el arreglo antes de que un abogado experto revise tu caso.
Las compañías aseguradoras se crean para generar dinero – no para ayudar a las personas. Tienen su resultado final en mente, no tu salud y bienestar. Un abogado puede evaluar su oferta y hacerte saber si es razonable por los daños que sufriste.
- ¿Si tuve culpa en el accidente, aún puedo presentar una demanda?
Víctimas de accidente que sienten que tuvieron culpa parcial por el accidente camionero no ven muy seguido sus opciones legales. Sin embargo, en muchos casos, aún pueden recibir una compensación. Antes de tomar una decisión, es importante hablar de tu caso con un abogado especializado en accidentes camioneros.
- ¿Cuánto tiempo tengo para presentar un reclamo?
En Texas, el estatuto de limitaciones para presentar un reclamo por accidente camionero es de 2 años. Eso significa que si no presentas la demanda dentro de 2 años después de tu accidente, es posible que no puedas presentar un reclamo. Mientras que hay muy raras excepciones a esta regla, lo mejor es conseguir ayuda de un abogado especializado en accidentes camioneros en McAllen lo más pronto posible después de tu accidente, en lugar de esperar hasta que ya sea muy tarde.
Si has resultado herido en un accidente que involucra un camión de 18 ruedas en McAllen, Texas, Contacta a Raúl A. Guajardo hoy mismo para agendar una consulta gratuita.
What's The Deadline To File Your Injury Lawsuit?
As a personal injury attorney serving clients in places like Starr, Cameron, and Hidalgo counties, I am frequently asked by clients what the statute of limitations is in Texas for personal injury cases.
The important thing to remember in any personal injury civil suit is that regardless of the statutory time limits, the personal injury lawyer that is hired will want as much time as possible to review medical records, gather evidence, and prepare his or her arguments. So the time to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer is really as soon as practical after you recognize the injury. You should not, however, delay medical treatment because you are concerned with it affecting your case. Your medical records can be subpoenaed at a later time and an intentional delay in treatment on your part may adversely affect your claim.
Statute of Limitations in the State of Texas
The amount of time that you have to file a civil suit in Texas for a personal injury case is usually two years. Depending on the type of case, however, the two-year clock could begin at different points. In most cases, the statute of limitations countdown starts at the time of the accident or the date when you become aware of the injury—the two are not always the same.
- Medical Malpractice – Two years from the date of the procedure, misdiagnosis, or failure of the treatment
- Personal Injury – Two years from the date of the incident
- Product Liability – Two years from the date the product failed
- Wrongful Death – Two years from the date your spouse, child, or loved one died (not the date of the accident that led to their death
The bottom line is that the sooner you contact a TX personal injury attorney who handles your type of case, the better your chances of receiving full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Texas Personal Injury AttorneyI have helped hundreds of men and women in South Texas receive total remuneration for their injuries. My practice proudly serves clients in Edinburg, McAllen, Brownsville, Rio Grande, Raymondville, as well as Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy, and Cameron counties. Call (956) 686-1977 to schedule an appointment.
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.
I think I was partially at fault for my accident. Am I still entitled to compensation?
You may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly to blame for the accident.
Texas laws follow a modified comparative negligence rule. That means that if you are in an accident and you are found to be primarily liable (51 percent or more) for the accident, then you will be unable to recover any damages from the other parties. However, if you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible for the crash, then you may still recover compensation. Your compensation will be reduced by the amount that you are at fault.
An Example of How Comparative Negligence Works
Comparative negligence is best illustrated by an example. Imagine that you are driving above the speed limit and you go through an intersection. Another driver makes a left-hand turn at the intersection and hits you. During the course of a lawsuit against the other driver, the other driver is found to be 80 percent at fault for the accident, and because you were speeding, you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the crash. The total amount of compensation is determined by a jury to be $100,000. The rules of comparative negligence mean that your compensation will be reduced by $20,000—a 20 percent reduction in the amount that you are owed. The damages awarded to you by the court should be $80,000 in this example.
Who Decides Percentage of Fault?
The amount of liability attributable to each party may be negotiated during settlement talks with the insurance company. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the court will decide the percentage of liability attributable to each party based on the facts of the case. An experienced lawyer can help present the facts of the face clearly so that a fair agreement about the percentage of liability can be reached during settlement negotiations or can be decided by the court. If you have any questions about your own liability or about the fair damages that you should receive after a Texas car crash, please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule an initial consultation.
What should I do if I need to file a personal injury case in Texas?
If you feel that 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, then it is recommended that you take 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.
Should You File a Personal Injury Case Yourself?
You can file a claim on your own behalf. However, before you do so, we encourage you to consider your options very carefully. 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, but you will also be more likely to be awarded a higher settlement amount.
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 for you to have legal representation in a personal injury case.
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.
5 Steps to Filing a Personal Injury 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. A large majority of personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom.
We will go over the major steps in the process and how they can 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 to repeat a step.
Filing a Complaint or Petition
Your claim officially starts when a complaint or petition is filed in court. 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 of the lawsuit, establish the court’s jurisdiction over the lawsuit, and state your legal claims and supporting facts. Your complaint or petition should include the amount and type of restitution that you seek.
In the summons, the court notifies the defendant of the fact that he has been sued, the date the matter will be heard, and the location of the court where the matter will be heard. The summons must be legally served on the defendant and signed for by the defendant. The defendant will be directed to respond within a certain amount of time. If the defendant does not respond within the required time, then the defendant will be in default and a judgment may be entered against the defendant.
This is exactly what it sounds like. It is the defendant’s reply to your lawsuit, and it indicates how the defendant intends 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 lawsuit 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 wrongdoing. Often when this happens, the third party then becomes part of the lawsuit.
During settlement negotiations, you and the defendant (or your attorneys) may attempt to resolve the dispute. You may go back and forth several times as each party makes offers and the other party responds with counter-offers. If no settlement can be reached, then the case will be resolved in court.
This is the first attempt to resolve the lawsuit in a courtroom. It will most likely involve selecting a jury, both sides presenting their cases, and a verdict being reached. The process may end here or it may continue through the legal system.
If you or the defendant are not happy with the trial results and there is a legal basis for appeal, then you or the defendant may appeal the case to the proper court.
Of course, this process can be a lot more complex than what is written here, but this 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. Please contact us directly for a free consultation about your rights and about how we can help you with a personal injury case.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
When a car accident, workplace tragedy, or criminal act takes the life of an innocent person, many people can be deeply affected by the loss. Friends, co-workers, and significant others may want to do something to make the responsible party pay for what he or she has done. However, only certain people are eligible to take civil action against a careless or negligent person or business in Texas. We take a look at who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas.
Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It may seem senseless to take legal action after the loss of a family member. After all, you know nothing will bring your loved one back, so why go through the pain and difficulty of a court proceeding? We understand your hesitation, but when you lose someone who was a financial provider and loving caregiver because of a negligent person’s actions, you are entitled to recover what you can and to hold that person accountable for his or her actions.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas, as in most other states, only those with a legal connection to the deceased may file for damages. The Texas Wrongful Death Act allows for the following family members to sue for damages when a person is wrongfully killed:
- Parents of the deceased
- Children of the deceased, biological or adopted
- Spouse of the deceased
Any of these family members may file, or they may file as a group. Generally, compensation will be given to all eligible family members with the judge or jury deciding how much each party will receive. A wrongful death attorney may be hired to demonstrate the financial and personal losses suffered by his client so that appropriate compensation can be assigned. Siblings, grandparents, and significant others—no matter how longstanding the relationship was—are not eligible to file a wrongful death suit in Texas.
The Law Office of Raúl Guajardo Can Help
If you have lost a parent, child, or spouse in an accident involving negligence or wrongdoing, contact our legal team to learn how we can help. We understand that this is a difficult time and we will handle your case with the compassion and care it deserves. Connect with us through the link on this page, and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
Do I have a product liability claim when a manufacturer fails to warn me of a potential danger or side effect?
Yes. When a product does not include sufficient instructions or warnings and a person using the product is injured or made ill as a result, this is known as defective marketing. Even when you have a well-designed and well-made product, if it does not warn consumers of potential hazards, you could have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor.
Examples of Defective Marketing
There are three types of flaws that could lead to a product liability claim: defective design, defective manufacturing, and defective marketing, also known as failure to warn. While the first two claims have to do with how the product was designed and put together, the third claim relates to the way it is packaged and sold. Does it offer sufficient warnings of possible side effects or dangerous uses? Is it targeted to an inappropriate age group? Are instructions for its correct and safe use easy to understand? When there is a failure in one of these areas, a consumer who is injured may have a claim against the manufacturer to recover damages. Some examples of defective marketing claims include the following:
- Prescription or over-the-counter drugs that don’t contain sufficient warning of possible severe side effects.
- Cleaning products that can cause chemical burns but do not include instructions to wear rubber gloves when using the product.
- A toy or child’s product that claims to be lead-free but is not.
- Toys with small parts that do not warn parents to keep them away from young children.
- Television commercials that show a product—such as a car—being used by a professional in a protected environment without informing the consumer of the special circumstances.
What You Will Have to Prove to Win a Defective Marketing Claim
These claims are not always easy to win. For one thing, it does not apply to situations where a reasonable person would have been aware of the potential danger. For example, giving a sharp knife to a young child because the knife did not have a warning label telling you not to would not be an acceptable claim. Also, the consumer must have been using the product exactly as it was designed to be used. Using a kitchen cleaning product as a facial cleanser and suffering skin damage, for example, would not justify a failure to warn claim.
Contact a Lawyer If a Product Harmed You
If a product injured you, your first step—after seeking medical treatment—should be to call a product liability attorney. The Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo helps residents of South Texas understand their rights to a dangerous or defective product lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more.
I was injured while working at an oil field. What should I do?
There is no doubt that working on a Texas oil field is dangerous work. With oil production rates increasing across the country, the rates of injury and death in the oil industry are also increasing. According to a 2012 Houston Chronicle investigation, Texas accounts for about 40 percent of all oil field deaths in the U.S. How are these accidents occurring and what should you do if you are injured? Find out here.
Causes of Texas Oil Field Accidents
Oil fields and oil rigs are dangerous work environments and any number of things can go wrong, especially when employers do not have sufficient safety measures in place. The following types of accidents account for many of the injuries and deaths on Texas oil fields:
- Transportation accidents
- Exposure to toxic fumes
- Defective equipment
What to Do When You Are Hurt
If you are injured while working on an oil field, it is important that you take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention. Obviously, if you are seriously hurt, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment, but even if you feel that your injury is minor, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have to make a claim for compensation with your company, you will want medical records to support you. Follow the doctors’ instructions and make sure you are fully healed before returning to work.
- Report the incident. Report your injury to your supervisor as soon as you are able. Fill out an incident report and gather witness statements if possible. Also, if you feel that an unsafe work environment caused your injury, consider reporting it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Call an attorney. It is unlikely that your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance since Texas law does not require it, but you can still seek compensation from your employer for your injuries if he is at fault in any way. A Texas work injury attorney will investigate the accident and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Call the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo
If you are injured on an oil field in Texas, call work injury attorney Raúl Guajardo. He will help you understand your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What should I do if I am hit by an uninsured driver?
Car accidents happen unexpectedly, and those involved are often in shock afterward. It can be difficult to have the presence of mind to take the steps you should take after a car crash, but if you are able to get contact and insurance information from others involved, you may discover that the other driver does not have liability insurance. When this happens, you have a few options.
Your First Step Should Be to Call an Attorney
When a driver who caused a crash does not have insurance, getting the compensation you deserve becomes more difficult. An experienced car accident attorney will make sure every possible source of compensation is investigated, including the at-fault driver’s personal assets and the victim’s insurance policies.
Collecting Compensation From Personal Assets
Drivers in Texas are not technically required to have car insurance, but they are legally responsible for paying for any damage they cause. Most people protect themselves from having to use personal resources by buying insurance. When a driver does not have insurance, an attorney’s first course of action will be to look at his personal assets. If they are significant, the attorney will file a claim for compensation against the driver. Unfortunately, most uninsured drivers do not have personal fortunes to pay your damages.
Looking at Your Own Insurance Policies
If you have car insurance, you probably also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Texas, this coverage is automatically included in every car insurance policy, and you would have to submit a request in writing to reject it. If you do have it, you would file a claim against it, and there should be no difficulty getting the payment. Other coverages you may have in your policy that would kick in in this situation include medical payments coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If you have a health insurance plan, it should cover any medical treatments that are not paid for by other insurance sources.
Protect Yourself Financially and Legally
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), around 1 in 8 Texas drivers is uninsured. This means your odds of being in an accident with one are fairly high. Protect yourself by carrying as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford and by hiring Raúl Guajardo to represent you when you do not know where to turn for compensation. Connect with us today to learn more.