Each year, thousands of Texans experience injury-causing accidents, like auto collisions, pedestrian accidents, and premises liability incidents. In the year 2016 alone, more than 265,000 people sustained injuries in auto collisions – one of the most common causes of personal injury.
Types of Personal Injury
In the wake of a personal injury accident, it can sometimes be difficult to move forward. Some victims deal with significant physical hurdles due to their injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Lost limbs
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
It is also possible to suffer significant mental challenges as a result of personal injury trauma. For examples, victims may experience:
- Post traumatic stress
Due to the severe consequences that typically accompany personal injury cases, it is important to have a clear understanding of what to do in the event of an injury-causing accident, and what your legal options might be.
Seeking Medical Attention for Personal Injury
If you have been involved in an accident and believe that you may have suffered injury, it is critical that you seek the guidance of a qualified medical professional. Only a doctor can assess your physical and mental wellness to determine the extent of any personal injury.
Once a condition has been diagnosed, a doctor can recommend a course for rehabilitation and recovery. However, recovery can sometimes be the most difficult process, especially when victims face high medical costs or disability, whether temporary or permanent.
Depending on the situation, and the extent of your injuries, you may be eligible to file a legal claim to recover compensation and other damages related to your accident. That’s where a qualified personal injury attorney can help.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
While you are receiving treatment for your injuries, a personal injury attorney can work to gather the facts surrounding your case. This includes speaking with witnesses, examining the police report and information on the other driver(s) involved, and compiling photographs and medical records detailing your treatment.
Once all records – both medical and financial – have been obtained, an attorney and your doctor can work to finalize a complete evaluation of your injuries, along with any accompanying damages, to recommend a settlement from insurance companies.
After a demand is submitted, it can provide a starting point for any negotiations, whether they are between the victim and the insurance company, or multiple parties involved in the accident. However, the process can prove lengthy, especially in cases involving disputes with insurance companies.
Because insurance adjusters only have a certain degree of authority to settle personal injury claims, they often have to defer to supervisors with greater authority. This can take several months to finalize, leaving personal injury victims in limbo.
It’s also important to remember that when it comes to insurance companies, they will always look to settle as quickly and inexpensively as possible. After all, insurance companies are in the business to make money, so they will seek any necessary channels to spend as little money as possible.
Restrictions on Personal Injury Cases in Texas
Depending on the state you reside in, there may be different statutory limits on how much time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations allows personal injury victims a two-year window from the date of injury to submit a lawsuit in the civil court system.
If you fail to file the lawsuit before the two-year period ends, the state’s civil court will likely refuse to hear the case at any point in the future, which means your right to compensation might be lost.
Certain states also place limits on the kinds of damages that a victim can receive after successfully pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Texas is one such state – in Texas, there are statutory limitations on compensation related to medical malpractice cases only.
Deciding to Settle Your Case or Go to Trial
Ultimately, it is the victim’s decision whether or not to reject or accept a settlement offer. You can either accept the money, or reject the offer and press forward with litigation. Before making this type of decision, it’s important to consider a few things:
- Is litigation worth your time? Personal injury litigation can quickly escalate to a lengthy process
- Are you comfortable with taking risks? There are no guarantees in personal injury litigation, and a jury might grant a lesser award or no money at all. The added cost of litigation can also reduce compensation or damages received
If you elect to push forward with litigation, it is critical that you have a qualified personal injury attorney by your side. Litigation is not only a time-consuming process – it can also grow incredibly complex. Working with an attorney specializing in this legal arena can increase your chances of a successful outcome where you receive the compensation and damages you deserve.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston
If you or someone you know have recently been injured in an accident that came about as a result of someone’s negligence, the law office of Charles J. Argento can help (713) 225-5050. Our firm has a great deal of experience in handling these types of legal matters and is committed to serving as your legal advocate every step of the way.