Rockport Personal Injury Lawyer Helping Clients Get Maximum Compensation in Texas
Hundreds of thousands of people get injured every year as a result of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior. From drunk drivers who cause serious vehicular accidents to negligent property owners that fail to maintain a public area properly, personal injury claims can take many shapes. Still, they all have one thing in common – an individual who suffered an accident that could have been prevented. Learn how personal injury claims work in Texas and when to seek the help of a Rockport personal injury lawyer.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
Personal injury is an area of civil tort law in which an individual who was injured in an accident caused by someone else has a chance to seek repayment for their losses. The accident and injury are almost always a result of negligence – when someone acts in a reckless manner (such as drinking and driving) or fails to act to remedy a dangerous situation (such as a building manager who neglected to maintain an escalator that later injured someone) – that person is said to have breached their duty of care to others.
In order for a personal injury claim to be valid, it is up to the victim to come up with the evidence necessary to prove their case. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘burden of proof’. This is one of the main differences between a civil tort lawsuit and a criminal case. In a personal injury case, the burden of proof falls on the victim, and if the defendant is found to be at fault, the court may require that defendant to pay the plaintiff (the victim) for damages sustained as a result of the injury, but there is no criminal conviction or penalty given to the defendant.
What Are the Steps to Recover Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim?
The steps to recover compensation vary depending on the type of personal injury claim you are dealing with. Most personal injury victims may receive compensation through an insurance claim, but sometimes the only way to receive payment is through a civil lawsuit. For example, suppose you are the victim of a reckless driver who caused an accident. The accident left your vehicle completely destroyed, and you sustained serious injuries such as broken bones that required a hospital stay and multiple surgeries. The at-fault driver’s insurance should be responsible for receiving your claim and providing you with compensation.
However, some drivers may be underinsured or have no insurance at all. This is when your personal injury lawyer may recommend that you file a claim with your own insurance carrier, which may require a deductible payment but usually results in receiving compensation much sooner. Your insurance company may then demand repayment from the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier.
Some cases may require you to file multiple insurance claims. Trucking accidents, for example, typically involve more than one at-fault party – the truck driver, the trucking company, and the company responsible for loading and securing the cargo, for instance. Other cases may require you to initiate a civil lawsuit to recover compensation, as no insurance coverage is available or your claim has been repeatedly denied. The best way to find out what steps you need to take to recover compensation for your specific case is to speak to a Rockport personal injury lawyer to learn your options.
Is Texas a Comparative Negligence State?
In some cases, the victim of a personal injury case may also have partially contributed to the accident. When that happens, many clients worry that they will not be able to receive any compensation for their injuries. Fortunately, in Texas, individuals who are partially at fault for their injuries may still seek compensation thanks to the state’s modified comparative negligence statute.
Texas follows a modified version of the comparative negligence statute. In practical terms, this means that you may still receive compensation for your damages as long as you are not deemed to be 51% or more at fault. For example, if you were driving and got distracted with your smartphone and did not see a drunk driver who drove through a red light and collided with your vehicle, it may be determined that you were 20% at fault. Any compensation you may be entitled to receive may then be reduced by 20%. If you believe you were partially responsible for your accident, a Rockport personal injury attorney can help you build a strong case in order to try and reduce the percentage of liability assigned to you, maximizing the compensation amount you may receive.
What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Makes an Offer That Is Too Low?
If you have never had to file an insurance claim before, it may come as a surprise that the at-fault party’s insurance carrier may be quick to come up with an offer for your claim and then proceed to try and pressure you into accepting it. However, this is a relatively common practice among insurance carriers.
Generally speaking, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and giving out large sums of money to every claimant is not in their best interests. One of the many tactics they may employ to protect their bottom line is to close out claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Their initial offer may often come quickly, and they may try to convince you that you need to accept it. Their initial offer is often too low and inadequate, and the truth is you are not required to accept it. If you turn down their first offer, they will simply need to come up with a better offer.
Never accept any insurance settlement offers without discussing them with your personal injury attorney first to ensure you are not leaving any money on the table. You may also defer all negotiations and communications to your attorney.
This is when working with a Rockport personal injury attorney can be extremely important. An attorney who is highly skilled in negotiating with insurance companies is likely aware of all their usual tactics and will take the right steps to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
How Long Do I Have to Initiate a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
Every state has a law that establishes a deadline for personal injury victims to initiate a claim or a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their damages. This legal deadline is known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. This means that the clock starts ticking from the very moment when your accident occurred.
However, suppose your personal injury claim is against a government entity. In that case, you may have even less time to take action, as each government entity can have its own statute of limitations. This means that injured victims may have as little as six months to initiate a claim and, in some cases, only 30 days. The best course of action is to speak to an attorney as soon as possible because filing a personal injury claim after the statute of limitations has run out may usually result in your claim being dismissed.
In addition, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to gather the evidence you need to support your case. Documents may be lost, memories may fade, and your chances of putting together a strong case may be weakened. By contacting a Rockport personal injury lawyer shortly after your accident, you will be giving yourself better chances of securing a positive outcome.
Why Should I Hire a Rockport Personal Injury Lawyer for My Case?
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else, you should be able to receive payment for your losses after filing a claim. However, the unfortunate reality is that the process of receiving compensation is not always that simple – even though it should be. Injured claimants may find themselves struggling through an endless stack of paperwork and being given the runaround by insurance companies while the bills keep piling up and the compensation they are entitled to is nowhere in sight.
By working with a Rockport personal injury attorney, you can stop feeling worried and overwhelmed about what step to take next. Your attorney can provide the legal guidance and services you need for a winning case. Besides, your personal injury lawyer can take over every aspect of your case on your behalf, including filling out paperwork and negotiating with the insurance company to get you maximum compensation as quickly as possible.
At the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, we understand what personal injury victims are going through, and we strive to make the entire process as straightforward as possible. While this may be the first time you have ever had to file a personal injury claim, chances are our legal team has handled many cases similar to yours in the past and can apply all the knowledge acquired with each case to increase your chances of a successful outcome.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, don’t try to fight back by yourself. Get the legal help you need by calling the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy in Rockport, TX at (361) 203-7097 and scheduling a no-commitment initial appointment to talk about your case and learn the ways in which we may be able to help you. Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team are looking forward to serving you.