The Plano personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm represent injury victims and their families and fight to get them compensation for injuries suffered in accidents. Accidents can happen at any time because of another person’s carelessness or negligence, and you should never be forced to pick up the pieces alone.
Our decades of legal experience give us the skills we need to be your advocate and fight for compensation from the parties that harmed you. Large corporations, harsh insurance companies, and negligent individuals may try to avoid paying and fight the case against them, but our attorneys will work diligently to get you the compensation you need.
If you or a loved one was injured or if you lost a loved one to an accident, contact the Plano, TX personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today for help with your case. Call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule your free case review with our personal injury attorneys.
Should I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit or an Insurance Claim?
Both minor and severe car accident injuries are commonly covered by auto insurance, but insurance may also cover liability for things like slip and falls on someone else’s property. In any case where injury is involved, you should speak with a lawyer before accepting any payments from the at-fault party. This includes insurance payouts as well as settlements.
If you faced a serious injury, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit to claim full damages for the medical expenses you faced. Settlements paid by an at-fault party or their insurance company may be too low to cover your needs fully. For instance, a settlement offer that comes after reporting a dangerous or defective product to the manufacturer may seem like a good amount of money, but once you investigate the further costs of your injury, you may find that it is too low to cover your needs. Most early offers for settlement are too low to fully cover the damages you could be entitled to in court.
Insurance payouts are also often too low to cover serious injuries, as they cover only part of the damages you could seek in court. Most insurance companies, such as auto insurance companies, pay damages for medical expenses and lost wages after a serious accident. This means that they do not cover the victim’s pain and suffering, which could be a substantial part of their injury lawsuit. Insurance policies also typically cover only a portion of lost wages and medical expenses, which means that some of the damages you faced go without reimbursement.
Talk to an attorney about what your case may be worth so you can make an informed decision. Avoiding the stress of filing a lawsuit may be a good reason to take a settlement offer from the defendant or their insurance company, but you should never accept an offer without the advice of an experienced Plano personal injury attorney.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits in Plano
Our attorneys handle personal injury cases for hundreds of causes of injury. Our lawyers have experience handling most of the following cases, but this is not an exhaustive list of the kinds of cases we take:
- Auto defects
- Boating and maritime injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bone injuries
- Car accidents
- Defective product injury cases
- Drunk driving accidents
- Medical malpractice cases
- Oil refinery injuries
- Oil worker injuries
- Parking lot and parking garage injuries
- Workplace injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Trip and fall injuries
- Truck accidents
- Uber and Lyft Accidents
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one suffered another type of injury that is not listed here, contact our law offices today. Our attorneys may be able to file your claim and get you compensation, even for uncommon or irregular injuries.
Who Do You Sue for Personal Injury in Plano, TX?
An important factor in any personal injury lawsuit is that there must be someone that can be held liable for the injuries you faced. In some cases, it is difficult to tell who was at fault, especially if the injury happened at home. Many injuries are caused by negligence that may not be immediately apparent, however. For instance, a contractor who negligently installed a swimming pool or a manufacturer who released a dangerous household appliance onto the market may be liable for injuries these errors cause.
In other cases, one party may be immediately liable – such as a dangerous truck driver or a store worker who failed to clean up a spill – but their employer or a larger company might ultimately be liable for damages. Talk to an attorney about whom to sue for your injury case.
How to Prove a Personal Injury Case in Plano
Most injury cases are based on a claim that the at-fault party was negligent. It is much harder to prove that someone intentionally injured you in an accident– and in many cases, that is not true, anyway. When proving negligence, the victim must show the court that four major elements were met in their case: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty and Breach
To prove the interconnected elements of duty and breach, you have to show that the defendant owed you a duty under the law and failed to uphold that duty. In many cases, the duty is merely the duty to act reasonably based on the given situation. For example, store owners should take reasonable steps to patrol the aisles and mop up spills to prevent slip and falls. Similarly, construction workers should take reasonable care when working around ladders so they do not knock anyone down and injure them.
The law also creates many duties. Failing to act reasonably – or outright violating laws intended to keep other people safe – can constitute a breach of duty.
To prove causation, you have to show that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused the defendant’s injuries and damages. This means showing that it was not just random chance, but that the injuries would not have occurred if the defendant did not do what they did. For example, if a taxi driver did not run a red light, they would not have hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
This is a clear example where causation is simple, but causation can be quite tricky. For example, in a medical misdiagnosis case, there might have been nothing the doctor could do to save a dying patient. Still, the misdiagnosis could have made the patient’s pain and suffering worse, so the doctor’s error still caused harm. However, that misdiagnosis might not have actually caused the patient’s death.
One other issue involving causation is that the actions must have been a “proximate cause” of the injury. A proximate cause is a “legal” cause or a cause that is sufficiently related to the accident. For example, a car crash might not have happened if the driver was never born, but their mother is not responsible for the crash simply because she gave birth to the driver. This is not a proximate cause because her giving birth is not closely related to the car accident. However, a driver who caused a multi-car pileup would typically be liable to the other drivers – even the driver at the end of the line of cars – because their actions directly led to the injuries at hand. Your Plano personal injury lawyer can help sort out complex causation issues in your case.
The phrase “damages” refers to both the harm suffered and the monetary amounts you claim in your case. To prove damages, you have to show that the accident resulted in some harm. If there was no harm, there is nothing to sue for – so damages are a requirement in every personal injury case.
You prove how much the damages in your case are worth by presenting evidence and testimony. Typically, “economic damages” are proven by showing bills, financial statements, pay stubs, and other documentary evidence to show how much financial harm you suffered from the accident. This can help you get damages for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, childcare, household expenses, and more.
“Non-economic damages” are claimed for things like pain and suffering. You typically cannot show these damages to someone, but evidence of your injuries and testimony about how they interrupted your life can help a jury put a value on your non-economic damages.
What Evidence to Collect in a Personal Injury Claim in Plano
Evidence of an injury is usually necessary to prove to a jury that the accident happened and to show them how much your injuries are worth. Evidence can come in many forms, and it is important to collect any and all evidence related to your case. Your Plano personal injury attorney can help with evidence collection to help build your case.
Evidence comes in the form of witness testimony in nearly every case. This includes the victim’s own testimony about what happened. Evidence is usually presented in court during witness testimony, where witnesses are asked to identify items and photos and explain how they are related to the case before they can be “entered into evidence.” Other witnesses can also be asked to testify about what they saw to help strengthen your story.
Photos and Video
Evidence also commonly comes in the form of photographs and video. Photos of your injuries and the accident scene are helpful to show the jury what happened. Videos are even better because jurors can see the injuries actually happening. Make sure to take photos of your injuries and the accident scene if you can stay there after being injured. If there are security cameras, dash cams, or other cameras that might have recorded the accident, make sure to ask the owner of the footage to save a copy for your case. Your Plano personal injury lawyer can send out letters asking for photos and video to be “preserved for trial.”
Documents are also important in many injury cases. Your medical records and charts will help prove that your injuries actually happened and that they required medical treatment. Many records and documents can be entered into evidence in court. If they cannot be entered, they might still be useful to help build the case or help witnesses refresh their recollection of what happened.
In some cases, testimony from an expert will be necessary. Expert witnesses can speak to technical and complex issues about things like medical care, financial projections of lost wages, or scientific matters. In medical malpractice cases, a medical expert is usually necessary to explain to the jury what the standard of care is and whether or not the doctor breached their duty to the patient.
Expert witnesses give “opinions” and statements of fact rather than testimony about the events that occurred. Juries are instructed to rely on the information they provide to help in their decisions about what happened. Your Plano personal injury attorney can find experts to testify in your case if needed.
Plano, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one faced serious injuries after an accident, you may need compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To set up a free consultation with our experienced Plano personal injury lawyers, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.