Waco Personal Injury Lawyer
Table of Contents
- What is a Personal Injury?
- When Would You Need a Waco Personal Injury Lawyer?
- When Should You Contact a Waco Personal Injury Lawyer?
- Liability for Personal Injuries
- How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
- Comparative Negligence in Texas
- Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
- Hire a Skilled Waco Personal Injury Lawyer from The Patel Firm Today
You or someone you love has been injured. Your world and future have been utterly transformed without any warning. You might be wondering if and when you will ever recover, what legal rights you have, and how you will ever pay your medical bills. It’s normal to have many questions and worries during this tumultuous time. The good news is that when you hire a seasoned Waco personal injury lawyer from The Patel Firm, you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side who can help you navigate what to do next. The sooner you hire us, the less you have to worry.
When a new injury client hires us, they can rest assured that we will manage every aspect of their personal injury claim. We describe the claims process in detail, answer all of their questions, and address any concerns they might have throughout the process. We take care of all communication with the insurance company, collect any related accident reports, medical records and bills, and medical payments submissions. This allows the client to focus their full attention on recovering from their injuries.
A personal injury can be any type of injury that another party caused you that resulted in damages. Those with personal injuries are typically entitled to receive a monetary recovery for their damages from the negligent party who caused their injuries. Examples of situations that can personal injuries include:
- Car wrecks
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall incidents
- Other premise liability accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Intentional assaults
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Wrongful death
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all personal injuries that can occur. If you believe you have a personal injury claim that isn’t listed here, be sure to reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys anyway to determine your rights.
You aren’t required to hire a Waco personal injury attorney to seek compensation from the party that caused your injuries. However, it is typically advisable to do so. Generally, injured individuals with legal representation recover more than those without. They also experience less stress and have the time they need to recover from their injuries.
Personal injury law in Texas is full of complex processes, procedures, deadlines, and rules. It’s common for victims to be confused by it all. Anyone who has suffered an injury that incurred damages should schedule a consultation with a seasoned Waco personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It’s especially crucial to seek legal help if:
- Your injuries are serious
- You feel like you can’t handle your claim on your own
- The insurance company denied your claim
- You aren’t sure if you’ve been offered a fair settlement or know you haven’t
- Multiple parties could have caused your accident
- There is a dispute over who caused your accident
- Your accident involves complex details or a government agency
- The paperwork or documentation regarding your accident, such as a police report, doesn’t seem right
Suppose someone else’s negligence resulted in your injury. In that case, it’s usually a good idea to have a knowledgeable Waco personal injury attorney review your case. If you don’t, you could be walking away from the money you are entitled to receive.
A personal injury attorney can help you by:
- Explaining and protecting your legal rights and options
- Using their negotiation skills on your behalf
- Helping you document and prove your pain and suffering
- Bringing objective and knowledgeable insight to your decisions
- Uncovering complex lawyers in your case to find out who is liable
- Leveling the playing field—you can bet that the at-fault party will have an attorney on their side
- Navigating the court customs and procedures
- Drawing on resources such as private investigators, expert witnesses, and accident reconstruction specialists
- Ensuring that deadlines are met and that documents are filed properly
- Pointing out suspect evidence provided by the at-fault party’s attorneys
- Providing legal advice on courses of action
- Increasing your potential compensation
- Guiding you during negotiation, mediation, and trial
- Put in the time and effort your case deserves so that you don’t have to
Your health and well-being are always the priority after an accident. However, getting legal advice should also be near the top of your list. In fact, the sooner you can contact a Waco personal injury attorney, the more successful your case might be. During the time between your injury and hiring a lawyer:
- The clock is still ticking towards your filing deadline. Most personal injury victims in Texas have two years after the date of their accident to file a personal injury claim. If they don’t file a case within the legal deadline, they lose their legal rights to receive compensation for their damages. Your attorney needs time to draft your case and prepare for negotiations with the insurance company. If you wait until closer to the two-year mark to contact them, it’s likely they won’t be able to maximize your compensation.
- Evidence can be destroyed, and memories fade. Maybe there is video footage of your accident that would help you claim or witnesses who can testify about how you were injured. Unfortunately, injured people who wait too long to seek an attorney’s help will find that some of the evidence that could have helped them is now gone. Once you have a lawyer on your side, they can go to work doing everything they can to preserve evidence that supports your claim.
- The insurance company could prey on you. The insurance company prioritizes saving money. If they pay your claim fairly, they spend money. As such, an adjuster assigned to your claim might call you within just a few days of learning about your claim or injury. They know that you are vulnerable, likely haven’t had time to speak with an attorney, don’t realize the potential extent of your injuries or their expenses, don’t know what your claim is worth, and possibly need money right now to pay your injury-related bills. They take full advantage of this—unless legal counsel represents you.
- Your injuries may not heal, and you may feel overly stressed. By handing your claim over to an attorney who has your best interest at heart, you can relax. Knowing you are in good hands typically reduces stress and lets you focus on recovering. If you are constantly stressed out and trying to manage your claim, it’s not good for your mental health or physical recovery.
Most personal injury claims are founded on the legal concept of liability. If someone is liable for your injuries, they should compensate you for them. To prove the liability and negligence of the other party, you or your Waco personal injury lawyer must be able to demonstrate the following:
- The other party owed you a duty of care. For example, they had a duty to drive the speed limit, shovel their walkways, manufacture a safe product, or not drink and drive.
- The other party breached their duty of care—perhaps their dangerous dog got loose, they were texting while driving, or a doctor amputated the wrong limb.
- Their breach of duty caused your injuries—you fell and broke your wrist, a car hit your bike, causing you a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or you have lacerations that will scar you.
- Your injuries resulted in your damages—these typically include medical expenses, lost income and wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
The success of your claim relies on being able to prove these four elements of negligence. At the Patel Law Firm, our Waco personal injury lawyers are well-versed in each of these elements. We know what it takes to prove them and maximize your compensation.
Unfortunately, there’s no blanket answer to this question. Each case is different. In general, a personal injury case can take a few months to a year or more to be resolved. The duration of your case relies on many details.
The Extent of Your Injuries
You only have one shot at getting what you deserve for your injuries. Once you accept a settlement or a jury renders a verdict, your case is over forever. Trying to resolve your case prematurely could result in you not getting the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Suppose your case ends before you understand the extent of your injuries and how they will impact your life in the future. In that case, it’s unlikely that you will receive fair compensation. Doing so could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s best not to rush things so that the impact of your injuries will be known when you are ready to settle your claim. Waiting for a while can be frustrating and worrisome; however, it’s essential to get you what you deserve.
How Your Case Ends
Most cases end in a settlement while a few go to trial. The personal injury cases that end in a settlement are usually resolved faster than those that aren’t. While some settlement negotiations can last for months, waiting for a court date can take even longer. However, in some injury claims, taking the time to go to trial is worth it to receive fair compensation.
Insurance Company Cooperation
If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to cooperate, it will delay the resolution of your case. When insurance companies respond promptly to your Waco personal injury attorney, it will move things along quicker. However, not all insurance company’s or their legal counsel want to get things over with quickly. They may take weeks to respond to your attorney. Your attorney can help keep your case moving forward to complete the legal process as soon as possible while keeping you informed of any new developments in your claim.
How Complicated Your Claim Is
Simple, straightforward claims resolve quicker than complex ones. If it’s clear that the other party was at fault for your injuries, your case will likely settle within just a couple of months. However, if your case involves any of the following, it may take two years or longer:
- More than one at-fault party
- Catastrophic injuries
- Complicated insurance issues
- Disputes over fault
In some personal injury claims, there are multiple parties at fault, including the injured party. Under these circumstances, the parties will accept, or the court will assign a percentage of fault during litigation. For example, if a professional dog walker lost control of the animal and the animal bit you, both the dog owner and the walker could have liability.
The dog walker could have 70 percent fault and the owner 30 percent. If an injured party’s case is valued at $100,000, the insurance company for the walker would pay $70,000 of their damages while the dog’s owner’s insurance company would pay $30,000.
In other cases, the injured party and another party could both have some fault. Texas allows the injured party to collect damages if they were less than 50 percent at fault when this happens. If they were more than 50 percent at fault, they aren’t allowed to seek damages.
If you were hit by a drunk driver while attempting to cross the road outside of a crosswalk, you could both be at fault. Suppose the drunk driver’s insurance company is willing to accept 80 percent of the responsibility. In that case, they will pay 80 percent of your damages. You won’t receive the other 20 percent due to your own fault.
When you hear that someone was awarded a certain amount of damages in a legal dispute, they were given money to compensate them for their losses. Damages are the financial translation of those losses. Your losses can vary, depending on the extent and nature of your personal injury. Generally, someone who suffers disabling or catastrophic injuries will receive more damages than someone who doesn’t.
The most common type of damages are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages can be special or general. Special or economic damages mean financial losses such as property damage, past, and future medical expenses, prescriptions, rehabilitation, lost wages and income, and loss of earning capacity.
General damages are those that are intangible. Since they don’t come with a value already attached as a medical bill does, they can be harder to prove and value. However, an experienced Waco personal injury lawyer can help you obtain them. These non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
General damages are usually awarded for between 1.5 and 5 times that of special damages.
Another less common type of damages that can be awarded in litigation for personal injuries is punitive damages. Whereas compensatory damages are obtained to pay the victim for their losses, punitive or exemplary damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party.
If your accident arose from someone’s gross negligence and resulted in severe or significant, you can pursue punitive damages.
Damage caps or limits apply to some personal injury cases, mainly those involving medical malpractice. You have the right to file a claim for the entire amount of economic damages. However, non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 against doctors and $250,000 against other healthcare providers. Additionally, damages caps apply at $500,000 for all medical care providers involved. Under this Texas law, the maximum non-economic damages a person can recover in a medical malpractice claim is $750,000. There are exceptions to these general rules – it is best to consult with a qualified Waco personal injury lawyer who can advise you on your unique situation.
Claims Against the Government
Government agencies are largely immune from liability for personal injuries in Texas. However, if they do have personal injury liability, the injured party’s damages will be capped at $250,000 for a single person and $500,000 for a single event. Therefore, no matter how many injured individuals are involved, no more than $500,000 can be awarded between them. Again, there are always exceptions to the general rule; that is why you it is imperative you speak with legal counsel as soon as possible.
If you suffered personal injury from a car accident, a slip, and fall, a medical malpractice event, or something else, schedule a consultation with one of our Waco personal injury lawyers today. You can learn more about the services we offer and what your case might be worth, and any damage caps that might apply. Contact The Patel Firm at (254) 321-3030 or contact us online to schedule your free confidential consultation.
The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
6801 Sanger Suite 140
Waco, TX 76701
“This is my first time ever using a lawyer to help me process an accident claim. Joanne walked me through every step of the way. No matter when I reached out to ask my lawyer a question I got a very quick response. This was done during the COVID-19 shut down which made it extra difficult but the lawyerAnd his staff kept me informed. I am grateful that he kept his word in every way to me. I would recommend them highly to anyone I know.”
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