Getting injured in an accident is a stressful experience, taking a big physical and emotional toll on the victim. While compensation and a legal framework exist to protect the sufferer, the overwhelming stress can make navigating this framework confusing and getting the right compensation can be difficult without proper support.
Personal injury law can be a broad area, covering cases including maritime accidents, traffic accidents, product liability and defect injuries, wrongful death, and more. However, the following answers to frequently asked personal injury questions should provide some idea of what to expect in a variety of cases.
If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to call our team at (832) 844-6700. We’re here for you, 24/7!
What is a personal injury?
In terms of the law, a personal injury refers to damages suffered to you—physically and emotionally—as a result of a deliberate or accidental event. It doesn’t include damage to your property. The idea of personal injury is a central part of personal injury lawsuits, where you may have to prove that the negligence of another party was the cause of your injury, and that the injury resulted in financial, physical, or emotional harm.
Will my medical bills be covered?
Depending on who is at fault in causing the personal injury, the answer may be yes. Medical expenses are generally part of the damages available under the law, but they could be reduced if you’re partly to blame for the accident, or if the jury believes your injuries aren’t as severe as they are made out to be. It’s important you keep all medical records related to your case and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to aggressively pursue your claim.
Should I accept a settlement?
Your lawyer will advise you as to whether you should accept a settlement or not. If an insurance company has made an offer and you don’t yet have an attorney, you should first consult with one who can gauge whether the offer is fair.
Insurance companies will often offer a much lower figure than you deserve, in the hope that you will accept just to “get the problem behind you.” However, until you have fully healed from your injuries (sometimes known as Maximum Medical Improvement or “MMI”) you simply won’t know how much the accident has hurt you physically and financially.
How do I pay for medical care?
After an accident, victims are often faced with injuries that require medical care. At times, this medical care can be expensive, and the victim may or may not have health insurance. The personal injury lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP often work with their clients to obtain the necessary medical care without paying anything until after the negligent party is forced to pay. This process involves an agreement with the doctor that the client will pay them after the legal case is resolved. Whether the injuries caused in an accident require the care of neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, or physical therapists, it is important that you receive good and timely medical care in order to begin to heal and feel better. Having the right personal injury attorney on your side will help you get the medical care you need without having to worry about how you will pay for the care upfront.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
After an accident, many victims are forced to miss work and therefore lose income. The thought of having to hire an attorney seems impossible. However, Johnson Garcia LLP offers all of their personal injury clients our services on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we are able to get you money from the other side. In fact, we guarantee you will pay us nothing unless we fight to get the other side to pay your damages. That is why we fight so hard for our clients! After we win your case in Court or resolve the case before trial, only then do our clients pay us with a percentage of the recovered damages. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay!
How much is my case worth?
Since every personal injury case is a unique mix of factors and events, it’s incredibly difficult to put an exact figure on how much compensation you might be eligible for. Many car accidents involve damages that reach into tens of thousands of dollars, but many involve hundreds of thousands and some involve millions of dollars in damages.
The factors that influence your personal injury damages amount may include:
- The quality of evidence
- The severity of your injuries
- Your recovery time
- Total medical costs and expenses
- Any past or future loss of employment or lost wages
- Long-term physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (loss of benefits of a family relationship)
If your case goes to court and the jury determines that the defendant has been willfully or grossly negligent in their actions, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are normally a very significant amount of money and are intended to punish the defendant and deter them and others from repeating their negligence in the future.
Sometimes people choose not to pursue a personal injury claim thinking that their case isn’t worth the hassle. Don’t let that be you, and don’t make a decision until you’re sure. Call (832) 844-6700, where our team at Johnson Garcia LLP are happy to discuss your claim with you and give an indication of what it might be worth.
How much time do I have to file a personal injury claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies from state to state and what type of personal injury law your case falls under. In Texas, for a standard personal injury negligence claim such as after a car accident, you normally have two years from the date of the accident. For maritime injuries, on the other hand, you may have longer, but you should seek justice as soon as possible because cases rarely get better over time.
What if I’m partially at fault?
Even if you’re partially at fault for the accident, you’re most likely still able to pursue a claim. Depending on the state you’re in, however, you may only be paid the percentage of the compensation that was considered to be not your fault. In other words, if an accident was deemed to be 30% your fault, you may only get 70% of the amount you’re claiming. In many states, including Texas, if you are more than 50% at fault, you likely won’t be permitted to recover damages.