Burn/Fire Injuries Fire and burn injuries are some of the most dangerous and life-altering injuries a person can suffer. Imagine if your life or a loved one’s were irreparably changed for the worse, because of a chemical fire caused by unsafe working conditions or an apartment fire that occurred because of a landlord cutting corners with fire safety?
After an injury, if the damages appear to be more than the small claims court limit (around $5,000, depending on the state), most plaintiffs will seek out an attorney. The typical plaintiff’s personal injury attorney will consult with the plaintiff for free. If, after the initial consultation, it appears that the plaintiff might have a case, the attorney may agree to conduct an exploratory investigation, including whether or not the defendant has applicable insurance and/or sufficient assets. If the consultation and investigation lead the attorney to conclude that the case is viable, he or she will enter into a fee agreement with the plaintiff and officially become the plaintiff’s attorney.
In order to have a viable personal injury lawsuit or claim, your personal injury or injuries must have been caused by the negligence of another person or entity (such as a business or government agency). Generally speaking, when a person or entity acts in a careless manner and causes injury to someone else, the careless person or entity will usually be legally responsible or (“liable”) for their injury or injuries and any other resulting harms under the legal principle of “negligence.”
Many different terms are commonly used to describe vehicle collisions. The World Health Organization uses the term road traffic injury, while the U.S. Census Bureau uses the term motor vehicle accidents (MVA), and Transport Canada uses the term "motor vehicle traffic collision" (MVTC). Other common terms include auto accident, car accident, car crash, car smash, car wreck, motor vehicle collision (MVC), personal injury collision (PIC), road accident, road traffic accident (RTA), road traffic collision (RTC), and road traffic incident (RTI) as well as more unofficial terms including smash-up, pile-up, and fender bender.
Auto, truck, and motorcycle accidents affect people every day. The Texas Department of Transportation keeps track of the number of crashes, fatalities, and injuries that occur on roads in our state each year. According to TxDoT, Texas saw an increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2016. 3,773 people died in auto accidents in 2016. That’s a 5.45% increase from 2015. To put these traffic fatalities in perspective: one person was killed every two hours and 20 minutes.
Seek Medical Treatment. Your health—or the health of a loved one—should be your number-one priority following a slip, trip, and fall accident. If you've been hurt, it's important to see a doctor so that your injuries can be properly documented. Those medical records will be important pieces of evidence should you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.
If you answered “yes” to each of the questions discussed above, you may have a valid personal injury lawsuit or claim. Because filing a personal injury lawsuit can have serious legal and financial consequences, and requires a thorough knowledge of the laws and legal system, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before considering doing so.
You may find this process frustrating, and even exasperating. However, the more information and documentation you provide to the insurance company, the more likely you are to receive fair compensation from the insurance company for all of your damages. Remember, the insurance company is not required to reach a settlement agreement with you. The insurance company may say at some point, “This is the best offer we’re going to make – if you want more money, then file a lawsuit.” (More: When Injury Settlement Talks Fail.)
For example, you might have been treated and released from the hospital emergency room. The other driver’s insurance company may want you to agree to a quick settlement for the medical expenses you incurred up to that point. However, from a medical standpoint, you may not be fully aware of the extent of your injuries. Sometimes the symptoms of injuries don’t appear for weeks, even months, after a car accident. If you enter into a quick settlement with the insurance company, and then find out that you need more medical treatment for your injuries, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for additional compensation.
Before accepting a new case, a personal injury lawyer will normally interview a prospective client and evaluate the client's case to determine the basic facts and potential legal claims that might be made, identify possible defendants, and evaluate the strength of the case. A lawyer may decline to accept a case if the lawyer believes that the legal claims will not succeed in court, if the cost of litigation is expected to exceed the amount that can reasonably be recovered from the defendants as compensation for the client's injury.