Frequently Asked Questions
Get Answers from our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys
What is negligence?
The key factor in a personal injury case is the ability of the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to their injury. Negligence refers to careless or reckless behavior – in other words, the defendant acted (or failed to act) in a way that the average reasonable person would not have. For example, a driver may be guilty of negligence if he or she caused an accident because they were speeding, ran a red light, or drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A store owner may be deemed negligent, and therefore liable for damages, if he or she knew about a dangerous condition on their premises and failed to correct the hazard in a timely manner. Proving negligence can be complex in some cases, so it is wise to consult an attorney who can thoroughly investigate your case and ensure that all liable parties are held accountable.
Do I need an attorney after an accident?
You are not required to work with an attorney after an accident. However, there are many benefits to retaining counsel. An attorney who routinely handles complex accident cases is already familiar with the claims process, how major insurance companies operate, and how to build a strong case in pursuit of maximum compensation.
When an insurance company hears that a proven legal team is representing an accident victim, they may be more likely to offer a fair settlement to avoid going to court than they might offer to someone without representation or experience. Working with an attorney also relieves the burden of having to handle your case on your own – while you focus on recovering from your injury, your attorney can take charge of the legal aspect of your case and fight for the most money possible on your behalf.
How much is my case worth?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the total amount of your bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs (if applicable), the value of your lost wages, and the degree to which the injury has impacted your life (i.e. pain and suffering or loss of earning capacity). In certain cases where the defendant’s negligence was particularly egregious, the plaintiff may additionally be owed punitive damages. Your attorney can review all of the details of your case to help you determine what you are rightfully owed.
What damages am I entitled to recover?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future medical care
- Loss of income
- Lost future earnings
- Property damage
If you lost a family member in an accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeing compensation for funeral and burial costs, costs of medical care incurred prior to the death, loss of companionship and financial support, and more. Request a free case evaluation with an attorney at our firm to discuss in detail what you may be owed.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an accident?
All states limit the amount of time an accident victim has to file a lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date the accident occurred. It is extremely important that you don’t wait too long after an accident to speak with an attorney, as the delay could cost you your ability to seek compensation. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be barred from making a claim.
Do you have more questions that aren’t answered here? Contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs today to request a free initial case evaluation.