Arlington, TX Personal Injury Lawyer
An accidental injury can be a huge setback in your life. Whether you were injured in a car crash or another type of accident, you could face serious injuries that keep you from working and caring for yourself and your loved ones after the accident. For many Texans, injuries like this allow you to sue the at-fault parties in court to get financial compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
The Arlington, TX personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm have decades of experience representing injury victims and their families in accident lawsuits, working to get them the compensation they deserve. In many cases, the at-fault parties will seek to settle cases or send their insurance company to deal with their mistakes, but that can often leave the victim without enough money to cover their damages. If you were injured in an accident, call our personal injury lawyers in Arlington, Texas today for help fighting your case. To set up a free case consultation, contact us at (817) 476-1797.
When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Arlington, TX After an Accident?
If you were hurt in an accident in Arlington, chances are that there is a responsible party you could be entitled to sue for your injuries. The types of accidents and injury cases that often have an “at-fault” party range widely and include any of the following types of accidents and injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical injuries
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Dangerous and defective product injuries
- Slip and falls
- Other injuries on someone else’s property
- Auto defects
- Natural gas and oil worker injuries
- Explosion injuries
- Equipment failure
- Other workplace injuries
In any of these cases, another party such as a driver, the property owner, a manufacturer, or an employer could be at fault for the accident. If these parties breached some legal duty that they owed you, you could be entitled to sue them in court.
As soon as you understand that you were injured and can begin to see the full extent of the injuries – how long it will take to recover, how much the injuries are going to cost you, etc. – you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Acting sooner rather than later is always better in an injury case because it allows your lawyer to begin collecting evidence, taking depositions, and gathering the bills and medical records they need to start building your case. It also allows you to have a lawyer present at early settlement negotiations, which are where many victims mistakenly accept low settlements that fail to cover their needs.
Evidence to Collect in an Injury Case in Arlington, TX
In any injury case, you will need evidence to prove your case in court. The specific types of evidence available in your case will usually vary depending on the specifics of the accident. However, there are usually three main categories of evidence that you will need to prove that the defendant was responsible for your injuries: evidence of what happened, evidence of who caused the injuries, and evidence of what injuries you suffered.
Evidence of the Accident
In most cases, you will need to explain to the jury what precisely happened to cause your injuries. As the plaintiff in the case, the burden is on you (with the help of your attorney) to produce this evidence. In the case of an accident such as a car crash or a slip and fall, your own testimony and the testimony of any witnesses that saw the accident is going to be the most important evidence. With testimony, you can tell the court exactly what happened and how it happened.
Other evidence can help support testimony, such as photos of the accident scene or video footage of what happened. Many security cameras, dash cams, and even cell phone footage can be helpful for showing the jury how the accident happened, as can photos of the aftermath of the accident.
In many injury cases involving particular items or objects that injured people, the object itself could be brought to court. In cases involving defective products, dangerous auto parts, or defective medical devices, you can bring the specific item into court to show the jury how it is broken or defective. You could also bring in photos of dangerous stairs, walkways, electrical cables, or other sources of injury.
In many medical malpractice cases, you will need a medical expert to testify to what happened during the procedure. Because many medical issues are beyond the understanding of untrained jurors, these medical experts become important because they can explain to the jury exactly what happened and why that is dangerous or ineffective.
Evidence of Who is at Fault
To prove that the defendant is at fault for your injuries, you need evidence linking them to the accident. In cases involving another person that did something wrong and immediately caused an accident, you can often identify the at-fault person in court. Pointing the finger at the at-fault driver, the person who assaulted you, or the doctor that negligently performed a procedure can often be the simplest proof of who is at fault.
In some cases, it is not as simple. The defendant in your case could be a company whose workers were responsible for the accident, such as a trucking company whose driver hit you or a store whose workers left dangerous spills that caused your slip and fall. In these cases, the proof is a little more intricate, and your lawyer will need to provide evidence of employment records and other documents that prove who was responsible for the accident.
This is also often an important question when dealing with defective products, as the responsible party could be the manufacturer that assembled the product or an earlier manufacturer up the line that made the parts that went into the product that injured you. Your Arlington, TX personal injury lawyer can help track down who is responsible for the injuries and gather the evidence necessary for trial.
Evidence of Your Injuries
In a court of law, you need to first prove that you were in fact injured before the jury can rule in your favor. In some cases, the injuries are obvious, and your presence in court with bruises, broken bones, a limp, or a wheelchair can be clear evidence of your injuries. However, it is important to provide the full picture of your injuries, and evidence of medical records, X-rays, and pictures of your recovery progress are all important when proving the injuries to a skeptical jury.
Your testimony about what injuries you have and how they affect your life will also be vital evidence of injury. Your own description of the pain, the mental effects of the injuries, and the impact that the injuries had on your day-to-day activities will all help show the jury how serious your injuries really are.
In many cases, the evidence will help prove how much your case is worth in damages. Medical bills will help show how much the injuries cost, and your testimony will help prove how much you deserve in pain and suffering damages. Sometimes, as part of the proof of the injuries you suffered, you will also provide testimony from doctors and medical experts about how much more you have to go on your road to recovery and how much recovery will cost you for ongoing surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other care needs.
Should I Settle My Personal Injury Case in Arlington?
One of the biggest questions in your case will be whether to settle your claim with the defendant and the insurance company or whether to press your case in court. Everyone is entitled to their day in court if they want it, and as long as you can prove the initial elements of your case, your case can usually progress to trial. However, the court will often try to get parties to settle to help save the time and expense of putting on a trial. It also behooves both parties – the defendant and the plaintiff – to consider settling to potentially save money. Ultimately, the decision of whether to accept a settlement or go to trial is yours, but your personal injury attorney in Arlington, TX can help you with this decision.
In many cases, settling is ultimately “worth it.” Settlements can save you the cost and time of getting evidence and testimony prepared for trial, plus the legal costs of working with a lawyer through a potentially lengthy trial. At the end of the day, this could save you significant funding and help you get the damages you need faster. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of cases end up settling.
In some cases, however, settlement does not pay enough. Most insurance companies do not pay damages for pain and suffering, so settling may mean foregoing these damages when you accept an insurance payout. Furthermore, insurance companies and defendants often offer low settlements to save themselves money, and they may not be willing to negotiate and pay the price you need without a court order. Lastly, the settlement itself might be lower than what you could claim at trial because the defendant excludes the money you save by skipping trial.
Although you are the one who makes the ultimate call, your lawyer can help analyze your case and make a recommendation specifically for you. Looking at how “some cases” are handled does not necessarily explain what you should do in your case, and working with an experienced Arlington personal injury lawyer is often necessary to help you make the right decision.
Damages Available in Arlington, TX Personal Injury Cases
In most injury cases, you can claim damages for any harms that stem from the defendant’s negligence or recklessness. This means that even if the damages are somewhat unexpected, they can still be claimed in many court cases as long as they are related to the accident and they are technically foreseeable. For example, a victim could break their wrist in a slip and fall, but they could also fall and hit their head and suffer serious brain injuries. Although brain injuries are rare and might not be the expected result, the victim can still sue for these serious injuries.
Injuries are not always worth a clear amount, and the damages may be worse for some injuries depending on the various economic effects of that injury. For instance, a broken wrist could mean hospital bills, time off work, physical pain, mental anguish, and potentially even rehabilitation costs.
The specific damages that you face depend on the circumstances of your case and the specific injuries you face, but many injury cases involve some or all of the following types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Emergency medical transportation costs
- Past and current lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Future reduction in earning capacity (how much money you are able to make in your life at your current job)
- Household services
- Childcare costs
- Transportation to doctor’s appointments
- “Loss of consortium” and spousal benefits (claimed by the injury victim’s spouse)
- Damages for pain
- Emotional distress damages
There may be other damages beyond this list that you can also claim in your case. It is important to work with an Arlington injury lawyer to calculate your damages, as there may be unique or special damages you can claim in your case.
In cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially dangerous or was part of a pattern of dangerous or negligent conduct, you could also be entitled to “punitive damages” to punish the defendant for their conduct. Talk to a lawyer about claiming these damages in a personal injury case.
Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Arlington, TX
In most injury cases in Texas, defendants have 2 years to file their case in court. This does not mean that the case needs to be completed in 2 years, just that it needs to be filed in court before 2 years has passed since the date of the injury. This deadline is often extended for victims injured as a minor and may have special rules and deadlines with certain types of cases, such as medical malpractice claims.
Call Our Arlington, TX Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation
If you were injured or you are currently dealing with the aftermath of the death or injury of a loved one because of someone else’s negligent conduct, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington, TX personal injury lawyers offer free legal consultations to help injury victims with the next steps in their case. Call our Texas personal injury lawyers today at (817) 476-1797 to set up your free consultation.