Personal Injury FAQ
Answers to Common Personal Injury Questions
Whether you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, on another's property, or on the job, it is essential that you know your rights as a victim and the ways in which you can receive compensation for the damages you suffered. In an effort to ensure that the injured residents of Houston and the surrounding communities have a strong foundation of the facts needed to get started on the personal injury claim process, the knowledgeable and passionate legal team at Stern Law Group has compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury law, claims, and compensation.
What is a personal injury claim?
Personal injury claims are legal actions that can be brought against the party responsible for causing your injury or illness. Similar to insurance claims made for property damage, personal injury claims are filed against a person's or company's insurance provider. Successful claims can allow victims to recover monetary compensation for the damages that resulted.
What is liability?
Liability is essentially a legal term that means responsibility. In car accidents, for example, the driver at fault, or responsible, for causing an accident can be held liable for compensating any victims who were injured as the result of the accident. Fair compensation and successful claims hinge on establishing liability. A strong attorney must also clearly present evidence that supports claims of another's liability.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations in Texas is two years for personal injury. This means that you have exactly two years' time starting from the day you were injured (or discovered your injury or illness) in which you can file a claim for compensation. While victims do have a two-year period in which they can file a claim, these are best filed sooner rather than later. The time immediately following a case is perhaps the best time to collect evidence such as medical evaluations, accident site investigations and witness testimony to build a successful case that an attorney can present on the victim's behalf.
How does compensation work?
When personal injury claims are successful, monetary compensation will be awarded to an injured victim and, in some cases, to their family. Compensation will be awarded for economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The breakdown is as follows:
Financial damages will be awarded to victims for any expenses they incurred as a result of their injuries. This includes reimbursement for medical bills from the procedures, treatment, and care required for their injuries. This can also include compensation for any wages lost due to a victim's inability to work.
Compensation will also be awarded for the emotional damages sustained by a victim. While these may be difficult to put a price on, courts will consider many elements when determining compensation amounts for non-economic damages. Determining factors can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss in quality or enjoyment of life, and any emotional injuries suffered by a victim's family.
In certain cases, punitive damages will be awarded to further punish liable parties for extremely negligent or illegal acts. Cases involving drunk driving accidents, for example, commonly award punitive damages.
How can I know if I have a valid lawsuit?
Individuals may not realize that they have a valid personal injury case on their hands until they have a qualified attorney investigate. An investigation can reveal underlying factors that may not have been apparent on the surface. By speaking with a Houston personal injury lawyer, like those at our firm, you can best decipher whether or not you have a legitimate case on your hands.
Will my case go to court?
With any personal injury case, there is the possibility that it will go to court. Some cases are more commonly settled outside of court, but when a successful settlement cannot be reached in out-of-court negotiations, an attorney could make the decision to take your case to court. The driving principle behind going to court or not going to court rests in the question "Is the victim getting the maximum financial compensation they deserve?" If the answer is no, then you could move your case to court.
Do I need an attorney?
There are no state or federal laws that require you to have legal representation when filing a personal injury claim. Considering that the claim process is full of dense legal work and obscure terminology, prone to complications, and often contested aggressively by large insurance companies, however, it is highly recommended that you have an attorney by your side. With an experienced and committed lawyer from Stern Law Group, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while we fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Call our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More!
If you have any more questions about the personal injury claim process or about your unique case, do not hesitate to contact Stern Law Group as soon as possible. Our firm is focused on making sure that our clients and their families are well informed and that we are always available for them. Our 24 / 7 response team of attorneys is always willing to immediately answer and address whatever questions and concerns you may have. We are extremely passionate about our clients and their needs and we do whatever we can to help them win.