Accidents can happen to anyone at any time and they happen quickly. One moment you’re healthy, and everything is fine. The very next moment you’re hurt. You’re injured and your mind reels as your life rapidly changes. Suddenly, everything is different.

Injury can take many forms. It is normal for us to endure minor bumps and bruises throughout our lives, but then there are more severe injuries. Some injuries last for days, others for months, but some injuries can leave lasting effects for years or for the rest of our lives. Some injuries also include unbearable mental anguish. Our way of living may never be the same.

But What if the Injury isn’t Your Fault?

This is where personal injury law comes into play. Personal injury is a specific field of law covering cases involving physical or psychological harm.  In personal injury law, we attempt to be reimbursed for losses resulting from an injury caused by someone else. When a party is found at-fault, that party may be held accountable to the victim. The responsible party could be a single person, a group of people, companies, and other entities.

Austin Personal Injury LawyerIf you believe you have been the victim of a personal injury, you need to act fast. Consult an experienced Austin Personal Injury lawyer at your earliest convenience before the statute of limitation expires. Our reputable attorneys will always fight to protect your rights and seek justice, but you must act fast.

In Texas, you have only two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. That is why it is a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your medical and other bills pile up. Don’t live with pain and suffering. Don’t let the at-fault party get away with it.

When looking for an Austin personal injury lawyer, you should be careful. Not all personal injury lawyers manage the same types of cases. Your lawyer should have a track record of success that includes a substantial history of successful settlements and verdicts. Your lawyer should also have specific experience in your type of injury.

To get you compensation, your lawyer must thoroughly evaluate your case. In most personal injury cases, your lawyer will try to prove “negligence.” Negligence is the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. This legal doctrine is essential to many personal injury cases.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

There are many examples of negligence. For instance, a drunk driver is negligent. The driver is impaired. He or she may be speeding. The individual is not acting with the level of care necessary to drive a large dangerous automobile safely. Likewise, many professionals can be negligent. A doctor may be careless if he fails to take proper precautions during a simple procedure that leads to serious harm.

A reputable Austin personal injury lawyer will know how to prove the standard of care was violated and establish negligence. The standard of care varies from case to case. For example, a doctor may be held to a higher standard than a non-medical person in some circumstances. An exotic or dangerous pet owner may be expected to act differently than a domestic pet owner.

Your lawyer may call on other experts and witnesses for help. You should also prepare your own documentation, such as taking photos of the accident or scene of the injury. You should attempt to get written statements from any witnesses and the contact information of everyone involved. Your lawyer may help with many of these details.

Before you speak to an insurance company, it is important to consult an injury lawyer. A good attorney can help you get a full and fair settlement. These settlement amounts can vary widely depending upon your type of case and injury.

Personal injury cases include:

  • Slip and fall –These cases refer to the property. A slick spot on a floor may cause a fall. Debris can lead to the uneven footing. Property owners should mark unsafe spots and caution customers of any hazards. Owners who don’t may be found negligent.
  • Medical malpractice –Doctors and hospitals make mistakes. Pharmacies do too. Other medical experts do as well. These acts may cause severe harm and lead to countless more medical bills, not to mention pain and suffering. Your injury lawyer can help prove medical negligence.
  • Dog bites Texas requires that owners act reasonably. Violent dogs may need leashes or fences. If the owner knows the dog is aggressive, that owner may be at fault.
  • Assault and battery –These are different from other personal injury cases. Rather than negligence, which is an unintentional tort case, these refer to intentional acts and may carry criminal charges.
  • Motor Vehicle accidents – Austin Car accidents happen all the time. Texas is an “at fault” car insurance state. You may file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver. Under Texas law, car owners may be held responsible for injuries.

These are just a few of the many types of personal injury cases there are. Accidents happen for different reasons. You must prove that your specific injuries are linked to the accident or injury event. Simply being injured is not enough. Proving fault can be difficult. It can take a lot of time, energy, and resources.

This is why experienced lawyers are essential. Again, your attorney can help in many ways. He or she may assist in gathering witness statements and obtaining critical medical records and police reports. An Austin personal injury lawyer may be crucial to your case.  If you need to go to court, a high-caliber attorney can play a vital role.

What an Injury Lawyer Does?

Most personal injury claimants avoid court. Litigation can be stressful and time-consuming. Many claimants simply want to heal and get the money they are owed for their injuries.

Insurance companies can be challenging. In many cases, the insurance settlement offered will be entirely unfair.  If you need to go to court, having an experienced attorney to guide you is crucial. Your attorney can ensure that the right documents are filed on time. These documents and filing times may differ from one jurisdiction to another and some may require different kinds of information.

The first step to a lawsuit is to file a complaint. As the injured party, you are called the “plaintiff.” The party you are filing against is the “defendant.” The complaint will then need to be served. Once served, the defendant must respond by the date and time set by the court. The defendant must file an answer within the allotted time, or else risk default judgment being ruled against them. 

The answer will admit or deny any of the allegations listed in the complaint.  If the case progresses beyond this phase, both parties will begin discovery. Discovery entails interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for documents. The more complicated the case, the more discoverable the evidence, and the more discoverable the evidence, the longer the case may take.

Then come the motions. Motions are basically formal requests for the court to do something. They may be used to get more evidence, such as new documents and statements. Some motions seek to resolve the case outright.

Personal Injury Attorney Austin TexasNext, there are pre-trial hearings and mediations. Some defendants don’t want the case in court by this point, and may make offers to settle the case before a judgment is reached. Your lawyer will discuss those offers with you. Not all offers are fair or full. If the offer is not good enough, an experienced attorney will know.  The court may also order the parties to participate in mediation where a trained mediator attempts to help reach a settlement before going to trial.

If your case goes to trial, experienced accident attorneys will know how to fight for what you deserve. They will work hard to represent you. They will help convince the jury of your case. An experienced lawyer will stay by your side throughout this difficult process.

Austin Personal Injury Attorney can help you in many ways

Seasoned lawyers understand that winning a settlement or verdict is not always easy. In most personal injury cases, you will have to prove the defendant’s negligence.  In a negligence case, you must prove four elements: 1.) the defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, 2.) that the defendant must have breached that duty of care, 3.) the defendant caused the harm, and 4.) it resulted in damages.  Each element of negligence has its own characteristics:

  • Duty of care –Everyone has a duty to follow laws. We are expected to act as responsible citizens and to avoid causing harm to others. This is the duty of care we all have.  In most cases, courts apply a “reasonable person” standard.  How would a reasonable person have acted in a particular circumstance?
  • Duty Breached –Duty is breached when it falls below the standard of care acceptable given the circumstances. This might seem straight forward, but can present interesting questions. Have all distracted drivers breached a duty of care? Is winding down a window or adjusting a mirror the same as texting on a cell phone?
  • Causation –You must show that the other parties acts or omissions injured you.  This sounds simple enough but can actually become quite complicated.  That is because this element can actually be broken into two legal concepts: “actual cause” and “proximate cause.”  The difference between these two concepts isn’t important here. An expert Austin personal injury lawyer will help you to prove causation.
  • Damages –These are the costs related to the injury. You can claim many types of damages. However, you must prove each one. Damages can be financial. Damages are usually a monetary award to recover actual financial losses, but may also be awarded for pain and emotional suffering or something called loss of consortium.  They may also be awarded to punish the other party.

Types of Personal Injury Damages

Damages are awarded based on the evidence. You must show that you have suffered a loss. You may need medical proof. You may need employment information. You may need hospital records or bills. Your lawyer can help you identify what you need and prepare your case.

You should always pursue all damages you are entitled to. Damages will help many people financially and return them to normal life. In some cases, however, your life may never be the same. You may be permanently disabled. You may need medications for decades. You may no longer be able to work.  Damages help address these issues and more.

Damages are awarded for:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical bills
  • Punitive damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Wrongful death

Aggressive Austin Personal Injury Law Firms will pursue maximum damages. Opposing attorneys will know that Texas applies a modified form of comparative negligence theory of fault known as “proportionate responsibility.”

If you are found partially at fault for the injury, then recovery of damages can be reduced by the percentage of fault. For instance, a person may be awarded $100,000. This person is determined to be 20% at fault. Therefore, this person only receives $80,000. If a person is found 51% responsible, no money is awarded.  That is yet another of the many reasons to have a quality lawyer by your side.

Personal injury cases are rarely easy. If you’ve been injured, contact Khattar Law, PC today.