Suffering an injury is a universal human experience. It can be incredibly painful and frustrating to have your life put on hold due to circumstances outside of your control. It can be even more upsetting if you know that your injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence, and could have been avoided altogether had someone else behaved more responsibly and respectfully.
At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., we understand how frightening it can be to suddenly find yourself in a physically, emotionally, and financially vulnerable position due to the negligence of another person. While your circumstances may feel grim, there is always hope, and your McKinney personal injury lawyer is here to help you find it.
The basis of a personal injury claim has to do with fault. Fault, when used as legal terminology, implies negligence, error, or a defect of judgment. The person found at fault or that person’s insurance company in a personal injury claim is often the one responsible for any expenses incurred, such as medical bills.
When used in legal settings, the word negligence specifically refers to someone’s failure to behave with the level of care and responsibility that a person of average prudence would have behaved under the same circumstances.
Negligence involves four distinct elements: duty of care, breach of that duty, causation, and damages. To prove that negligence exists in a personal injury claim, all four of these elements must be proven.
Duty of care is the concept that each person must behave with the same caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the same situation would use. For example, a reasonable person would follow the rules of the road.
The breach of duty of care essentially means behaving outside of the reasonable box. For example, a person behind the wheel does not use their turn signal when making a turn.
Causation is when the breach of duty of care results in harm to other individuals. For example, the driver who did not use his turn signal caused a car from the oncoming traffic stream to swerve and hit another vehicle.
Damages are just whatever harm has occurred due to the breach of duty of care and causation. In the example we have been using, the damages would be any injuries sustained by the people involved in the crash, any physical destruction caused to their vehicles, and any ensuing costs due to medical care and mechanical repair.
Negligence falls into three categories: gross negligence, comparative negligence, and vicarious liability.
Gross negligence is the most serious form of negligence. An example of gross negligence is a driver speeding through red lights and stop signs, resulting in the injury of someone else.
Comparative negligence comes into play when multiple parties involved in the claim share the fault. Percentages can become important when dealing with negligence, as someone found 30 percent at fault will face less severe consequences than someone found 70 percent at fault.
Vicarious liability is a form of negligence that permits another person or party to be held accountable for the actions of someone else. Vicarious liability can come into play for companies and their employees. If a delivery person, acting within the scope of their employment, is involved in a crash, the company who employed the driver can be found vicariously liable.
Regardless of the specific kind of negligence, as long as your attorney can prove that someone behaved negligently and it caused your injury, you have a valid personal injury case in McKinney.
Personal injuries can occur in public, at work, or even at home. Because injuries can happen anywhere, personal injury law covers a wide range of claim types, and that can make it difficult to determine whether you’re eligible for a claim.
Knowing the type of claim you’re dealing with can aid in recovery from your McKinney personal injury claim. Common causes of personal injuries include:
This is by no means a complete list, but a list of examples of frequent causes of personal injuries.
The common thread in the above list is, again, some form of negligence. For example, premises liability cases that cause injury are due to improperly maintained infrastructure, such as uneven sidewalks or unstable stairwell railings. This could be due to a landlord feeling lazy or wanting to save money by cutting corners.
The most common physical injuries resulting in personal injury cases include the following:
If you are unsure whether the injury you suffered would qualify for a personal injury claim, contact a personal injury lawyer before you file.
They will help you determine several important factors, including the potential value of your claim. You may find that you are eligible to receive more financial remuneration than you had expected!
Personal injury claims are a way to recover economic and non-economic damages due to your accident. It is understandable to want to avoid court following a traumatic experience, especially if you are still recovering, but without involving the justice system, it can be incredibly difficult, even impossible, to get the compensation you are owed.
It is vital to be able to correctly estimate the value of your damages so that the compensation you receive is just. Without years of law school and real-world experience, it is very difficult to accurately gauge the value of a claim, which is why it is important to connect with a reliable personal injury attorney.
Economic damages are damages related to your claim that have a direct monetary value, or price tag, attached. Examples of economic damages include hospital bills and vehicle repair invoices.
Any of the expenses related to your accident, such as medical bills, prescription costs, physical therapy sessions, and ambulance fees should be included in your settlement offer.
Lost earnings should be included in your settlement as well. If your injury causes you to miss work, or makes you unable to return to work at all, the value of your lost wages or salary is calculated into your settlement. Depending on your injuries, you may be out of work for an extended period of time, so it is important that this information is properly calculated.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, as they have no direct price tag attached. Examples of non-economic damages include concepts like pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is an example of non-economic damages; it can be calculated in multiple ways, and is highly dependent on the specifics of your case. In some instances, it can be used as a multiplier on the total of your monetary compensation.
You may also suffer from a loss of consortium, where your injury may have a deep and lasting impact on your personal relationships, especially your romantic or spousal relationships. This unfortunate reality is to be acknowledged during the proceedings.
Punitive damages come into play when the negligent party is found to have committed an especially reckless or negligent act. Historically, punitive damages have been awarded for drunk or distracted driving, among other things. A conversation with a legal representative can help you determine if you want to pursue punitive damages in your case.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Texas, you don’t have to just accept your misfortune. There are options available to you to help you receive compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial suffering.
At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., we understand how terrifying it can be to be thrown into financial instability due to the behavior of another person or party. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys are ready to use all of their education and experience to ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
When you’re ready to speak with a lawyer, reach out for a free consultation. Give us a call at 214-984-3113 or fill out the following online contact form to get in touch.
When you’re hurt in a serious accident, you may have questions to be answered. Your lawyer can give you the answers you need. Getting the help of our attorneys can give you the peace of mind and knowledge you need for your claim. While you’re seeking out services from an attorney, check out our most commonly-asked questions so you know what you can expect from us.
Many people are worried about the expenses of a lawyer, but personal injury attorneys aren’t paid by the hour. We instead charge a contingency fee, meaning that, if we win, you pay only a portion of your compensation. If we lose, we don’t get paid.
Liability for your injuries depends on who caused your injuries, but that person isn’t always the liable party. For example, a dog may have bitten you, but the owner is the one liable for your suffering. Talk to your lawyer about pinpointing the at-fault party.
Unfortunately, the insurance company may not be so keen on settling fairly. Insurers are for-profit businesses, which means profit comes before your recovery. Because of this, you may need to let your lawyer calculate your claim’s value and ensure you’re getting a fair settlement.
Unfortunately, children aren’t immune to the careless actions of others. The good news is that you and your lawyer can work together on behalf of your child. Once you’re granted the ability to act on your child’s behalf, you can get started on their claim.