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PERSONAL INJURY

After an accident, don't talk to anyone about the accident until you talk to your lawyer. 

The sooner that you call your lawyer, the better.  Your lawyer will help you understand how to respond to questions from an insurance company and help recover compensation for your personal injuries and property damage. 

One of the most important decisions that you will make about your claim is hiring the right attorney.  Keep in mind that our firm, does not accept every case.  We turn down the cases where it is not a good fit, looking at a variety of parameters.  We consider the merits of the case, as well as, the weaknesses, paying special attention to both liability of the other party and the damages involved.  Often it simply comes down to jury appeal.

It is our goal to show how the injury has affected our client's function, freedom of choice, enjoyment of life and ability to contribute to their family and society.  We celebrate our client's life, the good choices they made and the choices that our client had wanted to make but that their injuries will now delay or prevent from happening.  We like to compare those good choices of our client with the bad choices of the defendant – it is all about choices. 

We try cases – We pick juries.  Preparation is the key for us to be successful in winning your case. Our extensive trial experience shows us how best to prepare your case. 

If you have been injured due to the actions or failures to act of another, contact us to help assist you with your recovery. 

What to do if I have been injured in an accident.

If you are involved in an accident and do not stop to exchange contact and insurance information, you may be liable to criminal prosecution.  If someone is injured, call for an ambulance to respond. 

Report the Accident Immediately.  Get the Police to respond and make a report.  A police report will help your insurance and any liability claims.  Utilize your cell phone to photograph and document damages of vehicles and record facts of the scene, such as skid marks, road conditions, malfunctioning equipment.  Not the time of day and weather conditions.  Also, use to your phone to document eyewitness identification, and utilize the video recorder function to obtain the admissions of the driver that caused the accident.  Get the name, address, and phone numbers of everyone there.  Also, be sure to get the other driver's insurance information.  If you hit a parked car and cannot locate the owner, be sure to leave a note with your name, address and phone number.  If you received a traffic citation, that does not prove you are guilty.  Be sure to consult with your lawyer before pleading guilty to any traffic citation from the accident.  If you enter a plea to such citation it may hurt your claim. 

Do not admit fault.  The law establishing fault can be complex.  Give the facts to the responding police officers, but don't establish fault.  Things you say can be used against you.  Also, something may make you feel guilty if the other party was also hurt, give time for an investigation to develop.  You may feel responsible at first, but learn later that the other party either caused the accident or was very much at fault. 

See your Doctor immediately for a diagnosis.  A thorough evaluation and a treatment plan is a must.  The doctor may recognize injuries, sometimes serious, that do not seem to be apparent.  Be sure to attend all medical visits scheduled by your physician, as well as, follow the treatment plan and focus on getting better.  The medical expenses may be covered by the insurance involved.  If you don't have insurance, we can get a doctor who will treat you under a “Letter of Protection.”  Such letter provides that the treating healthcare provider will be paid for their services from the settlement proceeds directly.  Be sure not to settle your claim until after your physician has explained the extent of your injuries and future impact if any. 

After the accident, don't talk to anyone about the accident until you talk to your lawyer.  The sooner that your call your lawyer, the better.  Your lawyer will help you understand how to respond to questions from an insurance company and help recover compensation for your personal injuries and property damage. 

Don't give recorded statements to your insurance or any other insurance company until you have consulted with legal counsel.  Often it takes time for injuries and treatment plans to fully develop, so it is in your best interest to wait to provide a recorded statement until you have a complete picture of your damages. 

Soon after consulting with your lawyer, you should confirm that your insurance is aware of the claim.  Written notice to the insurance should contain the names and contact information for all drivers, passengers and witnesses, as well as, information about the date, time and location of the accident.  If you were at fault, your liability insurance should pay for the other persons' injuries or damages.  If the other driver was at fault but lacks insurance coverage, your own insurance may pay for damages to your car, as well as, your medical expenses and damages for pain and suffering. 

What is my case worth?

“Compensate” derives from the Latin “to counter-balance.”  Look at what is required to balance the plaintiff's loss, in terms of restoring them.  Practically speaking, your case's value depends on insurance limits of the person who hit you, as well as your own insurance limits.  The financial position of the other person is also a factor.  Further, the degree and nature of your injuries compared to the egregiousness of the liability of the other person matters in maximizing the value of a case.  Most importantly, the affect of the injuries on you and your future life dictate value in a case.  All of these factors take time to investigate and develop to get a true picture of a case's worth. 

There are many types of restorative damages that we focus on for a recovery.  Medical expenses are those monies paid for treatment of your injuries.  Loss Earning Capacity is the degree to which your ability to earn a living has been impaired by the accident or injuries.  Pain and Suffering damages relate to how bad it hurt.  Physical Impairment damages are for things that you can no longer do, but you could do but-for the accident.  Mental Anguish damages are proved up by evidence of fear or anxiety that you now have from the accident.  Any recovery for disfigurement is based upon scars from either the accident or surgeries or the loss of any limbs etc… However, damages are not the most important thing in the case.  Without liability of the other party being clear and persuasive, damages will not equal recovery.  Before deciding to file suit, we have to consider liability issues, damages, and the probability of collecting money for damages. 

In the end, any case will depend on being able to show how the injuries inflicted on the plaintiff have negatively affected the plaintiff's enjoyment of life, function, development and the freedom to transcend and become.  We look at what the defendant knows and does, and compare the loss of freedom and function for our client now versus an ability to live the way the plaintiff was and could have lived but-for the defendant's bad choices.  It is our goal to show to the jury how the injury has affected the plaintiff's function, freedom of choice, enjoyment of life and ability to contribute to their family and society.  Next we like to compare those good choices of our client with the bad choices of the defendant – it is all about choices. 

Our Approach

The reality is that cases that go to trial were either poorly evaluated by one side or the other, or poorly presented for settlement.  The well prepared and strongly presented claim typically does not go to trial.  The other side will be making decisions based upon not just the facts, but also looking at the skill of the lawyer and the presumed pressure from the client to settle the case quickly. Defense will want to delay paying, earn more income from the insurance company and put pressure on the injured to settle for less money.   You have to assume that the insurance carrier will value the claim and then adjust that value by considering both the track record of the attorney and whether they are willing to try the case, subjecting the insurance to the unpredictable nature of trial.

Know that the insurance representative is a person that has been trained to say “no” and save his or her boss money.  However, the fastest way to hurt your case is to disrespect that person or create a conflict.  We will be respectful, but we will wait to negotiate until we are completely ready based upon an objective analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their case, compared to our claim. 

Timing to negotiate – There is no need to negotiate until after our case is ready to go to trial.  We will not negotiate prior to completing discovery and having our witnesses lined up.  The defense often wants to call early on and ask us to make a demand.  It is our personal opinion that they really don't have any interest in the amount, but just to see if we will make a demand while being unprepared.  Our best and clearest negotiations will only be after we are ready to try the case.  

We begin with a disinterested, detached negotiation after carefully gathering both facts, data, and caselaw.  It matters whether the firm on the other side is an old, established one with a long history with the insurance company or a one with a brand-new relationship with carrier.  Next, we look at having the correct expert on our side, and let the other side know early the facts to be taken seriously.  They know that frivolous lawyers rarely employ consultants and experts.  Regarding our weaknesses, we will quickly admit such in negotiations along with the reality that despite such weakness we will prevail based upon facts and jury appeal.        

Value of the case?  First consider the recent verdicts on similar cases to create a range of value for your specific case.  We compare the verdict range value to both our preferred settlement target figure and the minimum value that we can accept.  Based upon these values, we work with our clients to decide whether to accept an offer or go to trial.

Often the defense will want you to believe they are doing you a favor to settle and give you money.  However, the truth is that the injured claimant is doing them a favor by settling and not subjecting them to a trial.  When the time is right, our firm will have a recommendation whether to settle or not based upon reviewing the offer, our facts and goals.  As we have been taught by Mr. Halpern, “Your motivation to settle should be based upon the risks of trial, not based upon your lack of preparation for trial.”

PERSONAL INJURY FAQ'S

Can you afford a personal injury attorney?

If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you can afford a personal injury attorney when you use a contingency fee agreement. Click here to learn more.

Why should I seek medical attention after a car accident?

It is critical to seek medical attention after a car accident, even if you do not believe you have any serious injuries. While many car accident injuries are obvious, such as broken bones, some car accident injuries may not exhibit symptoms right away. Therefore, a medical professional should always be consulted after a car accident, even by those who were able to walk away from the scene. If you have recently been injured in a car accident, you have legal rights. Click here to learn more.

What are the most frequently asked questions about car accidents?

If you experienced a car accident in the state of Texas, you likely have questions about how to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Click here to learn more.

Are you curious about elderly drivers and car accidents?

Unfortunately, the nexus between elderly drivers and car accidents exists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides that elderly people are more likely than middle-aged adults to experience car accident-related injuries and fatalities. Indeed, every day approximately 700 elderly people involved in car accidents suffer injuries, while approximately 20 elderly people perish as a result of car accidents. From 2010 to 2020, the number of people aged 65 and older killed in car accidents increased by 20 percent, according to the National Security Council. Click here to learn more.

Are car accidents involving Amazon or delivery drivers different?

Yes. Amazon has practically cornered the market for online shopping with exceptionally speedy delivery, but in the process, they have made our roadways more dangerous. They often utilize deceptive tactics in order to avoid liability in the event of an accident. Click here to learn more.

What are the steps to take after a rideshare accident?

From determining liability to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve, rideshare accidents differ from other car accidents. If involved in a rideshare accident, discover the steps to take immediately afterwards. Click here to learn more.

Is there a connection between PTSD and car accidents?

Yes. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a third of those involved in a roadside collision suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the United States, car accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD. Due to the life-changing impact that PTSD can have, it can be useful for those that encounter these incidents to learn about their compensation entitlements. Click here to learn more.

Are there long-term effects of car accidents?

Yes. There are often physical, psychological, and financial long-term consequences of car accidents. Click here to learn more.

How do you determine liability in Texas pedestrian accidents?

For a pedestrian accident victims claim to be successful, liability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. Only once the insurance company, judge, or jury are satisfied that the evidence shows the defendant is more likely than not responsible for causing the victims injuries can a settlement or award be issued. Click here to learn more.

How are medical bills paid after a car accident?

In Texas, any person who is injured in a car accident is responsible for paying their own medical bills as they are incurred, even if the accident was not their fault. Click here to learn more.

What are the most important things to do and know regarding a motorcycle accident?

Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of suffering a serious injury if they get into an accident. While safe driving practices can help minimize the risk of an accident, responsible bikers can still get injured in crashes caused by the negligence of other motorists. When this happens, motorcyclists often have several questions. Click here to learn more.

What should I do after a boating accident?

With the summer boating season around the corner, more people plan to hit the waterways in Austin, Texas. Considering the large size of a lake, riverway, or harbor, people feel safer on a boat compared to driving a car. Unfortunately, a few recreational boaters are not familiar with boating rules or do not have experience operating the vessel. Everything from impaired operation to unpredictable weather causes accidents on the water. When a boating accident injury happens in Austin, Texas, many people are unprepared to act. If you want to understand your legal options and rights following a boating accident in Texas, click here to learn more.

Do insurance claim adjusters utilize secret tactics?

Yes. There are many manipulative and covert tactics that insurance companies use in order to avoid paying full and fair settlements to accident victims. Click here to learn more.

How does bad weather impact a car accident claim?

Determining liability can be challenging in car accident claims where inclement and bad weather is involved. If you suffered injuries or damages resulting from an accident in poor weather conditions, click here to learn more about all of your legal options.

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