Personal Injury Lawyer Houston, TX
Personal Injury Lawyer Houston, TX
Personal Injury Cases Involving Impaired Driving Accidents
If you have been struck by a drunk driver and have suffered injuries as a result of that accident, our Houston, TX personal injury firm can assist you with exploring your legal options. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be entitled to one or more insurance settlements, compensation via a personal injury claim, and/or (if your accident occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities) a workers’ compensation benefits award.
It is important not to make assumptions about whether you have grounds for a strong case or not until you’ve spoken with the experienced legal team at John K. Zaid & Associates. Too often, accident victims refrain from speaking with an attorney about pursuing compensation because they assume that their case isn’t valuable, there is no way to hold others accountable for the harm they’ve caused, and/or that because they were partially to blame, their case won’t succeed. Texas law allows for compensation awards to be extended to accident victims even if the harm they suffered wasn’t catastrophic and, in many cases, even if they were partially to blame for the accident that caused their injuries. In short, scheduling a consultation with our team will help you to understand whether you have strong grounds to file legal action of some sort… and chances are that you do.
Causation, Fault, and Damages
Texas is a “proportionate responsibility” state. Proportionate responsibility is a modified approach to a legal theory known as comparative negligence. In a comparative negligence state, a victim can be awarded compensation proportionate to the degree of fault that others are assigned in the wake of an accident. For example, if the monetary value of harm caused by a victim’s injuries is calculated to be $50,000 and the injury victim is assigned 20 percent of the fault for the accident that resulted in the harm, that victim can still hold others responsible for $40,000 in damages. In Texas, the accident victim must be “less” at fault than the defendant is in order to receive compensation from the defendant. This means that if you were less at fault for the harm that you have suffered, you may be entitled to compensation from a defendant who was more at fault for that harm than you were.
This is a particularly relevant standard in an injurious drunk driving case because, unless you were purposefully trying to crash your vehicle or you were also impaired at the time of the crash, the impaired driver who hit you was almost certainly more responsible for the harm you have suffered than you were, even if you were partially to blame for the accident.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have not yet scheduled a consultation with our experienced legal team, please do so now. As an injury victim, you deserve to understand your rights as codified by Texas law. You have nothing to lose by asking questions and receiving objective, personalized feedback. However, you may discover that by investing your time thusly, you have much to gain.
Wrongful Death Cases Involving Impaired Driving Accidents
The death of a loved one resulting from a Texas automobile accident is devastating and traumatic. In some cases, the accident may have been unpreventable, such as those caused by an act of nature, or poor weather conditions. But many times, one or more individuals are at fault in an accident. When the crash involves a DUI charge, that fault generally rests with the intoxicated individual. But what about when there is an establishment involved, one that served alcohol to the at-fault driver? Should they be held accountable as well? And if so, to what extent? A personal injury lawyer Houston, TX families trust offers the following information.
Dram Shop Laws and Alcohol-Selling Establishments
Most states have “dram shop laws” that govern lawsuits over injuries caused by people who drank inside a bar, restaurant, pub, or other establishments. Dram shop refers to bars, clubs, taverns, or similar commercial establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed. Essentially, these laws hold such establishments liable for selling alcohol to individuals that appear to already be intoxicated at the time of sale. It also applies to the selling of alcohol to minors.
Texas does have a dram shop law on the books. The main purpose of dram shop laws is to reduce incidents of drunk driving, as well as other crimes that a person who is intoxicated may commit. Under the law, if a bartender or other server knows that a customer is drunk yet continues to serve that customer alcohol, the establishment can be held liable if the customer commits a crime, such as a drunk driving crash. A Houston personal injury lawyer can evaluate an individual case to determine if the victim’s case qualifies for damages under the dram shop law.
If a drunk driver causes a crash that injures another person, the victim can sue the drunk driver for damages that they suffer because of their injury, just as with any other type of crash. However, under the dram shop law, the victim can also sue the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol. If the victim does not survive their injuries, their family can pursue legal action against both the driver and the establishment in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Victims Should Not Have to Pay Damages
While no amount of money could ever replace the loss of a loved one, families of DUI victims should not have to suffer additional grief because of financial strain. And, regardless of whether or not dram shop laws exist, guilty parties should be held responsible for those losses–whether they be for final expenses or a loss of income. Unfortunately, the DUI litigation process can be complex and lengthy, which can lead to even more stress for victims and their families.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a DUI accident, it is important to seek qualified, professional help immediately. With a compassionate and mindful approach to wrongful death lawsuits and years of legal experience, John K. Zaid & Associates can help. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team.
How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers help accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. However, with so many of them out there, it can be tricky to choose the right one to handle your case. Here are some helpful tips for hiring the right personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX.
- Choose a Lawyer Who Specializes in Your Case: There are many types of personal injury lawyers out there and not all of them specialize in the same types of cases. For example, some lawyers may specialize in car accidents while others may specialize in medical malpractice. It is a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling cases similar to yours. This way, he or she will be more likely to help you obtain a higher settlement.
- Select a Lawyer With Trial Experience: Although many personal injury cases get settled out of court, you still want to hire a personal injury lawyer who has sufficient trial experience. If the insurance company isn’t offering a fair settlement, you want your lawyer to be confident enough to go to trial and speak to a jury. If the insurance company finds out that your lawyer doesn’t have trial experience, they may try to take advantage of your lawyer.
- Hire a Lawyer With a History of High Settlements: If you were hurt in an accident, you likely have medical bills piling up and might not be able to work. That is why it is critical to hire a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX who has a proven track record for high settlements. During your initial consultation, ask the lawyer to show you all the cases he or she has won and the amount of compensation that was awarded in each case.
- Pick a Lawyer Who Has Time for Your Case: Before you hire a personal injury lawyer, find out how many other cases he or she is currently juggling. If a lawyer has a huge caseload, he or she might not have the time to give your case the attention it deserves. It’s better to go with a lawyer who has time to work hard on your case and give you updates on a regular basis.
- Choose a Lawyer You Get Along With: There is more than experience and skill to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX. Before you make a hiring decision, make sure that you like the lawyer’s personality and get along well with him or her. This way, you will feel more comfortable around your lawyer and not be afraid to share any information with him or her.
To learn more, please call today.