When Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Not all accidents require the help of a lawyer. If you suffered mild injuries in a straightforward accident with uncontested liability, you can likely handle your own claim. However, it can be unclear when you need a personal injury lawyer’s expertise or if you even have a case. 

Without legal representation, it can be easy to make mistakes that harm your claim. Once a settlement agreement with the insurance company is signed, it’s final. That means you can’t seek additional money if your injuries turn out to be more serious. 

With so much at stake, it’s crucial to know when you need a personal injury attorney so you can be represented as soon as possible. Here are common circumstances in which you should always speak with a lawyer before communicating any further with the other party. 

You Suffered a Serious Injury

The more serious your injuries, the more your case is likely worth. 

Serious injuries may involve: 

  • Substantial medical bills
  • A lengthy recovery
  • Long-term disability
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Significant non-economic losses like pain and suffering

The insurance company has a great incentive to scrutinize and delay your claim, blame you, and find other ways to minimize or deny a payout. 

After a serious injury, you depend on the settlement to not only replace your lost wages and cover medical bills but potentially pay for lifelong medical care. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer will make sure your case is valued accurately and negotiate on your behalf. Your lawyer will defend you against unfair insurance company tactics and fight for the full compensation you are owed. 

Liability Is Shared or Unclear

Legal representation becomes critical if there’s uncertainty about who is at fault or if multiple parties are involved. Insurance companies often exploit murky liability to reduce payouts. The insurance company might try to shift the blame to you or other parties. 

States vary in how they handle shared fault in personal injury cases. Some states use a comparative negligence standard, while others use contributory negligence. In the few states with a contributory negligence rule, any fault assigned to you will bar you from recovering anything. 

Under a comparative negligence rule, you may still be entitled to compensation. However, it will be reduced according to your share of fault. Depending on the state, you may still be barred from recovering compensation if you are at least or more than half at fault. 

A personal injury lawyer will carefully investigate your accident, gather evidence, and work with experts to make liability as clear as possible. Your lawyer will defend you against unfair blame-shifting tactics and help you hold the responsible party accountable. 

Your Injury Claim Was Denied or Undervalued

Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts. 

The insurance company may undervalue your claim or deny it outright by claiming: 

  • You are not as injured as you claim
  • Your medical expenses were unreasonable or unnecessary
  • Your injuries were not caused by the accident
  • You have pre-existing conditions that caused or worsened your injuries

If you receive a settlement offer, it may not even fully cover your medical costs, let alone your other losses. An experienced lawyer understands the tactics insurance companies use to minimize payouts. They know how to negotiate effectively and will not be intimidated by the insurance company’s attempts to undervalue your claim.

Your lawyer can meticulously document your injuries and associated costs, negotiate on your behalf, and file an appeal of a denied claim. If necessary, your lawyer will take your case to court to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Your Case Involves a Complex Area of Personal Injury Law

Certain personal injury cases involve complex and specialized areas of law. 

Examples include: 

  • Medical malpractice: Proving negligence demands an understanding of both legal and medical principles.
  • Product liability cases: Injuries caused by defective or dangerous products require knowledge about manufacturing standards and regulations.
  • Catastrophic injury cases like spinal cord injuries: Calculating future losses and non-economic damages is essential and complicated.
  • Cases involving government entities: Different rules and timelines for filing a claim apply.

These cases involve unique laws and decades of specialized legal precedence. Expert testimony is often needed. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney For a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Claim

Not all accidents require hiring a lawyer, but knowing when you do need representation is critical. Hiring a lawyer can greatly impact your recovery and financial future. With a skilled personal injury lawyer, you stand a greater chance of recovering the full compensation you need.

5 Things To Do if You’re at Fault for a Car Accident in Texas

5 Things To Do if You’re at Fault for a Car Accident in Texas

A car accident can be difficult to handle, even if the crash was not your fault. If the accident turns out to have been your fault, however, you might end up with legal problems in addition to financial and medical problems. Under these circumstances, you need to observe certain guidelines to protect yourself. 

If you are involved in this situation, you can always reach out to an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case and assist you with your claim in order to minimize your liability. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself.

Context: Negligence Law

Negligence is a legal term that means something like ‘carelessness.’ It is the most common basis for a personal injury claim. You will probably face a negligence claim if you are at fault for a car accident. To win a negligence claim against you, your opponent must prove:

  • You owed them a duty of reasonable care (such as the duty to drive safely),
  • You breached your duty of care (by breaking a traffic safety law, for example),
  • Your opponent suffered physical harm (in a car accident), and
  • It was your bad driving that caused the harm your opponent suffered.

Car accidents don’t always work this way, of course. You might have caused the accident by running into the street as a pedestrian, causing one car to swerve into another to avoid you.

Context: Texas Contributory Fault

Contributory fault is Texas’s way of distributing compensation when more than one party is at fault. Under the Texas system, you lose entitlement to compensation in exact proportion to your percentage of fault for the accident. You will lose 20% of your compensation, for example, if you were 20% at fault. 

Texas, however, applies a cutoff at 50%. If you were more than 50% at fault, your compensation will be zero. Even if the accident was mostly your fault, however, the lower your percentage of fault, the less compensation you will have to pay. 

5 Steps To Take if You’re Responsible for a Car Accident

Even in the (often overwhelming) aftermath of an accident, you must remember to take the following 5 actions:

  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Texas law requires you to do this in most cases. If the accident was your fault, the other driver will insist upon it. 
  • Gather information at the scene of the accident (unless the seriousness of your injuries prevents this). For example, photograph everything that might be relevant, such as the position of the cars after the accident, skid marks on the road, and even the sky (if weather was a factor). 
  • Cooperate with the police. The police will probably send an officer to investigate and file an accident report. Although you normally can’t use a police report in court, either side can use it in settlement negotiations. Be polite, and tell the truth even if the accident was your fault. Stick to the facts, however, and avoid any conclusions like, “The accident was my fault.” 
  • Seek prompt medical attention. You might have suffered an injury in the accident without realizing it. That’s reason enough to seek prompt medical treatment. If the accident turns out to be partly the other driver’s fault, you might need your medical treatment records to support a counterclaim against the other driver.
  • Report the accident to your own insurance company. Under the terms of your policy, you probably have to report the accident to your own insurance company, even if they will not be paying the claim. 

Taking these steps can protect you against some of the worst legal consequences of a car accident.

What Not To Do After a Car Accident That Was Your Fault

Following are some examples of actions you should not take:

  • Do not leave the scene of an accident. Most of the time, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Texas. 
  • Do not admit fault, even to be polite, and do not apologize for the accident.
  • Don’t yell and scream at anyone, particularly the police. Do not try to fight anyone, no matter how angry you are. “Road rage” could subject you to punitive damages.
  • Don’t talk about your accident on social media. The other side can use your social media posts as evidence against you.

At some point, you might need to negotiate your liability. Avoiding these no-nos can help you protect your bargaining position. 

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help  

A car accident lawyer can help you minimize your liability for a collision, even if it was mostly your fault. In a best-case scenario, your lawyer might even be able to prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault after all. The best way to explore your options is to seek an initial consultation with an attorney.

How To Make Sure You Get Compensated For Personal Injury in Las Vegas, NV

How To Make Sure You Get Compensated For Personal Injury in Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is not immune to accidents and personal injuries. Whether it’s a car accident on the Las Vegas Strip or a slip and fall in a crowded casino, you deserve to know how to ensure you get compensated for your damages

personal injury lawyer can assist with your claim and maximize your compensation. In the meantime, there are several points to remember as you navigate your path to recovery. Be sure to do the following: 

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Your health is the top priority after an injury. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is true even if you feel your injuries are minor or that you did not sustain injuries at all. Some injuries are difficult to detect, while others can take days or weeks to appear. A doctor can give you a medical evaluation to check for post-accident injuries.

Not only is this vital for your health, but a doctor’s record will also be crucial evidence in your case for compensation. Medical records help you show the extent of your injuries, prognosis, and treatment plan. They can also highlight the impact of injuries on your life. 

2. Document Everything

Documentation is evidence. Be sure to document every aspect of your accident and injury. This includes taking photos of the accident scene, keeping a diary of your physical and emotional challenges, saving medical bills, and tracking any lost wages from your injury. The more detailed your documentation, the stronger your case will be. 

Other important information to record includes:

  • The date and time of your injury
  • A detailed description of how your injury occurred
  • Names, contact details, and statements of any witnesses
  • Photographs of your injuries and the accident scene
  • Medication logs
  • Receipts for injury-related expenses, such as medical bills, transportation to medical appointments, and over-the-counter supplies

Thorough documentation is crucial. It will allow you to show the extent of your injuries and substantiate your compensation claim. 

3. Do Not Settle Too Quickly

Insurance companies are involved in paying compensation for many personal injury claims. Avoid settling too quickly if an insurance company is involved after your injury. A quick settlement may mean you take home less compensation than you deserve.

Understanding the full extent of your injuries and their long-term implications is important before agreeing to settle your case. A quick settlement may otherwise not cover all your future expenses, including medical costs, ongoing care, or lost earning capacity. This can inhibit your ability to recover fully from any accident or injury. 

4. Understand the Statute of Limitations For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

The statute of limitations is the legal deadline by which you must file a lawsuit for personal injury. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury (with some exceptions). 

You must file a lawsuit within this timeframe to ensure your claim is valid. Missing the deadline can result in losing your right to seek compensation. 

5. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada

Navigating personal injury law can be complex. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help and significantly impact the outcome of your case. This includes the compensation you may be awarded. 

A skilled lawyer can gather and present evidence, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and represent you in any legal proceedings. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering a personal injury in Las Vegas from someone’s negligence can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Fortunately, many Las Vegas personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, document evidence, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.