If you were injured in an accident, the last thing on your mind might be contacting an injury lawyer. However, taking your injury case to court may get you the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, compensate you for missed work, and help reimburse you for physical pain and mental suffering.
After an accident, if you cannot go to work, you may be unable to support your family or pay for your medical bills. Talk to a personal injury lawyer in Odessa today about how you may be able to recover some of these costs.
The Queenan Law Firm represents injured victims and their families in lawsuits against those responsible for their injuries. For a free consultation on your injury case, and to see what your case might be worth, call our law offices today. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Odessa, TX Personal Injury Attorney for Victims of Negligence
Being injured in an accident hurts you, physically, but it takes a toll on your entire family. If you are hospitalized, face expensive medical bills, miss work, or are unable to return to work, your family may suffer financially. Insurance may be available to reimburse you for many accidents, especially car accidents. However, it may take legal work and court battles to convince the insurance company to pay you. Ultimately, your best chance for full recovery may be taking your case to trial with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Odessa.
Some common types of accidents and injuries our attorneys help victims with include the following:
Many accidents can result in serious brain injuries. Common concussions may not cause too much injury, but they can still be painful and require high medical costs. Repeated concussions can also cause CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), the brain disease common in football players and other athletes. More serious concussions may fall under the category of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The side effects of TBI can include permanent issues with thinking and memory, personality changes, mood swings, motor function issues, loss of senses, confusion, and other serious effects. Some brain injuries may require ongoing medical care for the rest of your life.
One of the most common accidents people face is car accidents. Low-speed accidents can still result in serious injuries. Even something as common as whiplash can result in long-lasting pain and discomfort. Many minor accidents also result in other back and neck injuries with lasting consequences. However, more serious accidents can result in loss of limb, brain injuries, paralysis, or even death.
Premises Liability Accidents
If you are on another person’s property when you are injured, you may be able to sue them for injuries you suffer. Home and business owners owe visitors a duty to keep the property safe and free of hidden dangers. If they fail to keep the premises safe – or at least warn you of the dangers – you may slip, trip, or suffer injuries during a collapse or other accident. Any injuries you sustain this way may be the basis of a lawsuit.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the back and neck may cause problems with the bones, muscles, and soft tissue that can last for the rest of your life. However, if the bones are put out of alignment or break during an accident, the nerves of your spinal cord can become injured. The nerve tissue in your spinal cord does not heal like skin or bones, and can cause permanent injuries. Mild spinal cord injuries can cause pain, numbness, and problems controlling your body below the point of injury. More severe injuries may cause total paralysis or complete loss of feeling and motor control below the point of injury. This is a life-altering injury that can cause serious suffering and ongoing medical care.
Trucks often weigh around 20-times the weight of a sedan, and collisions with tractor-trailers can result in much more severe injuries. There are dozens of federal and state regulations aimed at helping prevent truck accidents. If the driver or their trucking company employer violated any of these rules, that may help prove they were at-fault for the accident that injured you. Suing the trucking company for your injuries may yield substantial compensation for severe cases.
If you or a loved one was hurt at work, they may not be able to continue working to support your family. While workers’ compensation may be available in some cases, suing your employer for your injuries may yield the best compensation available in your case. Talk to an attorney about your options for suing, especially if your injuries were caused by inadequate safety gear, poor training, or unsafe business practices. Typically, workers in Texas are allowed to opt out of workers’ comp. and preserve their right to sue.
Misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, birth injuries, and other issues during medical treatment can cause serious injuries. In many cases, the effects involve an existing condition or illness getting worse, especially in cases involving a missed cancer diagnosis. You may be entitled to sue your doctor or the hospital where you sought treatment. An Odessa personal injury attorney can help you determine whom to sue and how much your case should be worth. These cases often involve testimony from medical experts, which our lawyers can arrange.
How to Sue for an Injury in Odessa, TX
When you are injured in an accident, your first thought about compensation might be that it “isn’t worth it.” In fact, most injury cases that involve some level of pain and suffering or any level of medical treatment do in fact have damages that are worth getting compensated. Sometimes, minor injuries can be compensated through an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s auto insurance, homeowners insurance, or other insurance carrier. However, serious injuries may need to go to court for proper compensation.
Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay full damages for an injury. They will try to undercut victims’ claims and pay out only the bare minimum. Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to pay altogether, and going to court is the only way to make the responsible parties pay what they owe you.
When you sue for an injury, you have to sue a party who owed you some sort of legal duty. The violation of a legal duty that causes injuries is known as “negligence,” and this forms the basis of most personal injury lawsuits in Odessa and throughout the State of Texas.
To file a lawsuit, speak with an Odessa personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can draft a “complaint.” This document that lays out the details of what happened, what injuries you faced, and why the defendant is responsible for the injuries. It also specifically details how much you are claiming in damages and what they are for.
Once this complaint is filed with the court and the defendant is served with notice of the case, you have effectively started your lawsuit. From there, the case progresses through various stages, potentially leading to trial.
How Trials Work for Personal Injury Cases in Odessa, TX
If your case cannot be settled, it may move to trial in court. Before trial, both parties will exchange evidence of what happened and schedule depositions where witnesses provide preliminary testimony about the accident. Judges may push both sides to negotiate a settlement or to go through mediation, but if the case cannot be resolved at a fair price, you can push for a trial.
At trial, both sides will present evidence and testimony. This works much like it does in movies and TV, except the lawyers are not allowed to make arguments to the jury until the end of the trial. Your attorney will start the case by making an opening statement that explains to the jury what they will see in this case and what you are claiming. The defendant’s lawyer will then make their opening statement as well.
The Plaintiff’s Case
From there, the case moves to the plaintiff’s side of the case. Your Odessa personal injury attorney will call witnesses and ask questions so the witnesses can tell the story of what happened. The victim is often the person who best understands what happened to them, so your testimony will typically be key. If you have any photos, documents, or physical pieces of evidence related to your accident, your injury, or your bills and damages, they will be presented at this stage, too.
After each witness, the defense will be allowed to cross examine the witnesses and challenge their telling of the events or their credibility. Your lawyer also gets another chance to “redirect” by asking more questions, potentially reshaping what the defense lawyer tried to accomplish during cross-examination.
Ultimately, the defense gets to present their case and their evidence as well, then your lawyer gets to cross-examine their witnesses. Their goal will be to counter your evidence and cut against your claim that their client is at fault.
Closing Arguments and Jury Deliberation
At the end of the case, each party sums up the evidence in closing arguments, then awaits a jury decision. If they rule in your favor, you win your case and the defendant has to pay you damages for your injuries. Usually, the jury – not the judge – decides which side wins a case based on the facts and evidence presented.
Should I Settle My Personal Injury Case with Insurance in Odessa?
When you are injured, the actual person who injured you is the one who is responsible, and they are the one you would file a lawsuit against. Insurance companies contract with their customers through insurance policies to pay damages when their customer gets sued, but there is usually no requirement that you must use an insurance claim when you are injured.
If the insurance claim is going to pay enough money to cover your needs, your Odessa personal injury lawyer may recommend that you accept the settlement. However, accepting a settlement usually locks you into accepting those damages and nothing more. Every settlement legally ends a case, and you usually sign an agreement saying you will not pursue further legal action for this claim.
Because of this, it is vital to review any settlement offer with a lawyer. Your attorney can help calculate damages in your case and advise you on what other damages you could be entitled to in a lawsuit. Ultimately, most cases are settled in the end because it saves time and money for everyone involved. Your settlement can often be improved through negotiations, which your Odessa personal injury lawyer can help with.
In some cases, the question of whether to settle or go to trial rests on the strength of your case. If you have a very strong case, you could potentially push insurance into settling at a high dollar amount. This typically happens because you would almost surely win at trial, so they settle high so you save them the expense of going to trial and losing anyway. If your case is weak, insurance companies might feel safer making you risk it all at trial, offering a low dollar amount for settlement.
Contact Our Odessa, TX Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an accident, your only way to recover compensation may be to take your case to court. The Odessa personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm have handled varied personal injury cases of all types. Even if you were partly responsible for your own injuries, you may still be able to recover compensation. However, your case may have important deadlines to file, so talk to an attorney today. For a free consultation with our lawyers, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.