Common personal injury claims and importance of hiring a lawyer

car accident

Have you had a bump, a trip or been the victim of an accident that has someone’s carelessness as the cause?

Accidents happen every day but when someone is clearly at fault, the law says they have to pay. It’s one way we keep members of our society accountable and it is not a new idea. Compensation was central to Viking justice and failure to pay risked being made a slave. We may have dropped the harsh penalties of the 8th century, but an injury to your body, character or property still means the person at fault has to pay.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

Anytime you think you’ve sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence, it’s your right to make a legal claim and get compensated for your loss. However, you can’t get compensation for all types of injuries, and that’s when it makes sense to talk to one of the most experienced Houston personal injury lawyers to confirm if you should proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.

That said, there are common personal injuries caused by negligence, which do have a legal claim. Let’s find more about them to ensure you know when to work with a personal injury lawyers to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Car Accidents

There’s no reward for guessing that the majority of personal injury cases involve car accidents. Certain auto accident cases lead to a civil lawsuit to decide compensation including for lost wages and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, damage to the car and costs associated with treating and recovering from the injury. Sometimes, car accident cases are criminal offenses such as when the driver has been drinking or the car has been poorly maintained.

Filing a claim is one thing but proving the allegation in court is a different ball game. Proceedings can get complicated, especially if who is at fault is disputed and you need an experienced lawyer. A good lawyer will evaluate your evidence and investigate the whole case and help negotiate the settlement.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is yet another common claim and is the result of a healthcare professional failing to provide you with the best available treatment. You can bring your medical malpractice claim against any medical provider you think is responsible for your injury.  It can be against your doctor if you believe they fail to provide you with the medical care of accepted standards. Your claim can be against nurses or other medical staff if you’re of the view they had a role to play in your injury.

Many people think they can’t file a claim against the hospital itself but that is not true. You can also claim against the hospital instances of collective poor care under the ‘respondeat superior theory’, which states that an employer is responsible for the negligent behavior of their employees

Toxic Tort

You can file a claim if you believe that you’ve been injured in any way because of exposure to a certain chemical. In other words, injuries caused by highly toxic substances fall under toxic tort litigation. In most cases, these injuries rely heavily on how the toxin entered the body, which can happen through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion.

The exposure to these substances can lead to skin injuries, such as burns, rashes, or boils, or result in lung diseases, which usually happen because of your exposure to tobacco or asbestos. You may also sustain internal injuries if you swallow or ingest toxic substances through water or food. These cases can be long and complex and often involve multiple parties seeking compensation as a group, and that’s the reason why you need to have an experienced lawyer by your side to get the compensation you deserve.

Slip and Fall

The most notorious personal injury lawsuits involve slips and falls and allegations of negligence by failing to keep the property in a condition suitable for access by the public.  So many things can lead to a slip and fall. It could be due to structural defects, which usually happens when you live in an old building. Sometimes, even new buildings are structurally weak because of improper construction.

The most common defects that are recognized trip hazards include uneven steps, a cracked sidewalk, slick flooring materials, especially when wet and a lack of handrails. Other hazards include damaged flooring and carpeting, electrical cords and inadequate lighting. All are preventable which is why trip or fall claims tend to be successful.

If you’ve sustained an injury because of structural problems or other hazards, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer who might help you get the compensation for lost wages and medical bills as well as for your loss of enjoyment and suffering. For offensive violations, the guilty party may have to deal with punitive damages as well.

Assault, Battery, and Intentional Torts

You may have a personal injury claim if you believe someone has assaulted you on purpose. The most important thing here is to prove that someone assaulted you intentionally. Understand that different states have different criminal statutes for assault and battery, so working with an experienced lawyer is of immense importance.

A personal injury lawyer can help because the elements of criminal assault and civil assault are quite similar, and only a lawyer can guide you correctly. In case of a civil suit for assault, it is important to prove the “intent” of someone trying to inflict injury on you. It means that words alone won’t make a case and the aggressor needs to “attempt” something to clear their intent. Working with a lawyer is the best way to decide how to proceed when someone has threatened you or take steps to hurt you in any way.

Dog Bites

The law treats pets as personal property and owners accountable liable for compensation. You need to keep in mind that you can file a claim not only when a dog bites you but also when they damage your property in any way or form. This is also true in the case of other pets, such as a rabbit, cat, snake, bird, etc.

In the case of dog bites, you should work with an experienced lawyer because laws vary from state to state. For instance, many states follow a “one-bite” rule, which means that you can’t hold the owner of a dog who attacked you but didn’t have a history of being aggressive. If it’s the first time a dog has bitten you, you don’t have a claim here. However, no such rule is applicable if you’re in Houston, TX.

In this state, you can always file a negligence claim against the owner. But, quite like other personal injury cases, you need to prove certain points. For instance, you won’t get compensated if the other party proves that you provoked the dog with your behavior. Similarly, you might not get the right compensation if the other party manages to prove that they gave you plenty of warning about the aggressive nature of your dog but you didn’t listen.

It means in dog bite cases, you need to prove that the owner of the dog failed to use ordinary care, which caused your injuries. Therefore, you need to be with an experienced lawyer to ensure the other person doesn’t find a loophole in the law and walks Scot-free.

Defamation

Defamation of character is considered a personal injury. You have a case when your reputation is damaged by slander or libel. If someone attacks your character so it affects your ability to make a living, you have the right to claim compensation for what you could have earned.

In defamation cases, you need to work with an experienced lawyer. There are just too many complexities for the layman to navigate and the procedure is different for claims of slander, a spoken defamatory statement than to libel, which refers to a published defamatory statement. Moreover, details in the law vary significantly from state to state, but in most cases, a statement is considered defamatory if it was false, published, unprivileged and injurious.

An important point to understand is that not all defamatory statements help build a case. It’s up to you to provide clear evidence that the statement was false and directly harmed you. It is crucial to hire a good personal injury lawyer with established expertise in working defamation cases if you’ve been treated unfairly by someone saying or writing something about you that is false.

The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer

So many people think they don’t need to hire a lawyer because their insurance companies will pay out to cover losses. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Insurance companies try all the tactics in the book to avoid paying out. Your legal representative knows how they work and can get you the justice you deserve.

Most experienced personal injury lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies who play hardball. But lawyers know the compensation similar cases received by going through the courts. They will save you from unwittingly settling for anything less than fair.

It’s natural for people to worry about the costs of hiring a professional but many first-class lawyers will handle a case on a contingency basis. When you win, part of your payout will be to cover your legal expenses. This way winning your case is in everyone’s best interest. These days, your lawyer covers their costs if you lose. Here are some other good reasons to  think seriously about hiring a personal injury lawyer if you think compensation could be due:

  • You receive a complete package of professional services. When you hire the services of a lawyer you get the team. There will be clerks to help you file your paperwork, investigators to check details and clarify evidence, access to expert witnesses and best of all, someone to represent your best interests at all times in court.
  • With a team of experts in their fields behind you, you are more likely to have a successful claim and receive a higher settlement than you would if you had proceeded alone.

Few Tips to Hire the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston

If you’ve had an accident resulting in a personal injury, you can always discuss it all with your lawyer in Houston. Just be sure to keep the following points in mind to select the right professional for your claim.

  •  Be sure to conduct extensive research to hire an experienced lawyer only. Remember, personal injury laws may be different in different states, so you should be hiring one who knows the existing laws in Houston related to different types of personal injury, including malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, auto collisions, libel, and premises liability.
  • Always work with a lawyer who has a proven track record of winning personal injury cases. You can ask them to prove you with references, so you know they have handled your type of case and managed to win it too.
  • Someone who is only focused on settling a case outside the court is not always the best person to help you get the maximum compensation. Therefore, you should be with someone who is confident about winning the maximum compensation even if that means taking the guilty party or their insurance company to the court.

Conclusion

If compensation is due, it’s your entitlement. You have the right to make a claim but how a claim is presented to those making the decisions can mean the difference between nothing and a fair and realistic payout. You have to be well prepared to defend your claim so why not hire an expert personal claims lawyer to do it properly. It could save you time, stress and money in the end. You may not get the satisfaction of seeing the negligent party working his off his debt to society in endless servitude, but you could get a useful fat check.