Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX
Personal Injury Cases Involving Impaired Driving Accidents
If you have been struck by a drunk driver and have suffered injuries from that accident, our Houston, TX personal injury firm can assist you with exploring your legal options. Drunk driving accidents can change the lives of victims, and some often are left with debilitating injuries that stay with them forever. It can leave emotional trauma as well because they are often severe. In addition, many drunk driving accidents result in fatalities.
You are encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer for legal assistance if you have suffered a severe injury because of a negligent drunk driver. However, you should not have to figure out how to cope with your injuries and support yourself financially on your own after such an accident that was not your fault.
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A personal injury lawyer helps an injury victim’s wonderful families claim a certain quantity of the damage for damages that another group or individual causes. The amount of money claimed depends on the damage and other factors. Some favorable aspects are the extent or severity of the injury suffered and the loss resulting from damages. The duration through which the person may be injured nicely and the volume of work missed by the victim as an outcome is also taken into consideration by your lawyers. As the consumer is also the duty of the victim and his family to make sure that they seek legal services from a lawyer that could be the best component field of interest. The web and the neighborhood yellow pages are excellent sources to seek out this launch. Personal injury Lawyers in Houston Texas
Getting the services of an individual injury attorney or a vehicle accident lawyer can an individual obtain remuneration. It is the attorney’s job to investigate the accident’s circumstances and file appropriate charges. Once a case is well underway, the lawyer may prepare the mandatory documents as evidence. Or even she also can study settlement offers and report this to families. The attorney will be there for additional medications and legal solutions if you need guidance.
Start regarding your regular lawyer, if you could have one. A person has a preexisting relationship with some in the law, while a divorce lawyer or a corporate lawyer may be the location to give what you referred. This is often an excellent way to find a competent, reputable what is personal injury lawyer in Houston. No lawyer will put some name and reputation on the line for a person who will likely look bad. Incredibly not only potentially move your case heard by an even better class of lawyer than you possess otherwise managed to procure, you probably get a more proper consultation than your average person off the trail.
Medical expenses: If you need to suffer a sexy personal injury, the medical costs will be substantial. A compensation package will consider these expenses and any expenses your ongoing care will obtain.
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An excellent personal law firm can help you make a successful injury claim and recover the amount of compensation to this agreement you are entitled to. But, with so many injury lawyers around, how can which is best for you? How do you find the best injury lawyer that does not just handle your injury claim but furthermore works to make the best possible outcome for your specific case?
The lawyer’s partnership agreement should have a section regarding this firm’s assets, income, and distribution. Therefore, it is prudent to cover the costs and allowances in this document.
What Type Of Information Do You Have About Personal Injury Lawsuits?
When a person has been involved in an accident, the list of furthest things from their mind could be to hire an attorney, and understandable. Interest levels want to seek medical treatment and begin the process of recovery as soon as practicable. However, without an attorney, a person injured in a good accident cannot find a successful recovery.
When choosing your injury Attorney, ensure he is an experienced a. Only if he has enough experience will he be located to guide you through easily and convey the desired result. Discuss with for his reputation effectively. Your case is set in good palms if he has it all.
In your initial meeting, you must gauge how effectively a particular injury attorney communicates. The biggest client complaint is a shortage of communication from their attorney. Does the attorney speak about what you are aware of? Do you think they are talking to you? How quick was someone through your office to get back to you if you left a voice message?
The initial consultation is free of charge of cost and does not require any fees to stay paid to the attorney. It is, therefore, crucial that the victim consults the most significant amount of lawyers because he wants until he finds one that he thinks maintains a pool of capability to win his case. The personal injury attorney will usually study the issue before agreeing to undertake your lawsuit. He will then make a choice that may be very therapeutic for the victim to fight the case. After being hired, a lawyer will file instances in legal court on behalf of this complainant.
The only advantage of this option is the fact that there’s a likelihood that the attorney will demand your problem. With the other payment options, personal injury attorneys are pickier since their compensation rests on the merits of this case or the publicity it generates.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be entitled to one or more insurance settlements, compensation via a personal injury claim, or (if your accident occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities) a workers’ compensation benefits award.
It is essential 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 communicating with an attorney about compensation because they assume that their case isn’t valuable, there is no way to hold others accountable for the harm they’ve caused, or they were partially to blame, and their case won’t succeed. You should not refrain from exploring your legal options just because, on the surface, your case may seem like a lost cause.
You should never assume anything about your case because you do not have the full facts to make such an assessment. To understand your case’s full scope and complexity, you should speak with an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer who can assess your case correctly. Texas law would extend compensation awards to accident victims even if the harm they suffered weren’t catastrophic. In many cases, 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 substantial 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 relative negligence state, a victim can be awarded compensation proportional to the degree of fault others are assigned in the wake of an accident. For example, suppose the monetary value of harm caused by a victim’s injuries is $50,000, and the injury victim is assigned 20 percent of the fault for the accident that resulted in the penalty. In that case, 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 to receive compensation from the defendant. This means that if you were less at fault for the harm you suffered, you might be entitled to compensation from a defendant who was more at fault than you.
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.
Understanding these laws can be difficult, so if you are unsure how the rules apply to your case, reach out to a lawyer. They can give you a complete and detailed explanation of how negligence works and whether you can receive compensation.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you should not be responsible for paying for your medical expenses. Filing a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX, can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you decide the pursue legal action, there are three categories your lawsuit could fall into. Here are three common types of personal injury lawsuits.
1. Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident that another driver called, you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is helpful to hire a lawyer from John K. Zaid & Associates to help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive all the compensation you are entitled to. You may also have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if a loved one was killed in a car accident caused by someone else. While the money will not replace your friend or family member, it may ease the financial burden of funeral expenses. It is always a good idea to consult your lawyer to ensure your case is suitable for a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Injuries on Someone Else’s Property
If you get hurt on property owned by someone else, whether commercial or private, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses. To win a personal injury lawsuit in this category, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence caused the accident to address issues on the property. A lawyer from John K. Zaid & Associates can help determine if your situation meets the criteria for a personal injury lawsuit.
3. Medical Malpractice
Lawsuits involving medical malpractice often fall into their category. However, if the issue was caused by a doctor who accidentally injured you, you may also have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes filing in multiple categories will strengthen your case and help you receive additional compensation. You should be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, but a judge may also award you compensation for any pain and suffering you endured after the incident.
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, your case must meet specific criteria. Merging with a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX, can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure your case qualifies for a confidential injury settlement.
Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Driving
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, nearly half of the people who died in car accidents weren’t wearing their seat belts. Between 1975 and 2017, 374,276 lives were saved by the use of seat belts. Your injury lawyer in Houston, TX, from John K. Zaid & Associates, wants you to buckle up.
Always Keep Your Children in Car Seats
As important as it is for you to wear your seat belt, it’s even more critical that your children are in car seats until they’re big enough and physically developed enough to wear a regular seat belt safely. Don’t let them beg to get out of their booster seat if they’re not tall enough.
Follow the Speed Limit
Follow all traffic laws, including the speed limit. Don’t roll through stop signs or run red lights. Don’t weave in and out of traffic or fail to yield to emergency vehicles. You want your injury lawyer in Houston, TX, to be sure you weren’t doing anything illegal during your accident.
Pay Careful Attention While Driving
Your drive is not the time to talk or text on your phone, eat, put on makeup or do anything else that splits your attention. Unfortunately, many car accidents have an element of distracted driving. Your John K. Zaid & Associates personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX, might remind you that distracted driving is just as impaired as drunk driving.
Don’t Assume Other Drivers’ Actions
You know the driver we’re talking about. The one in the left lane with her right turn signals on but does not attempt to merge into the right-hand lane. At the same time, don’t assume she’s not going to swerve in front of you at a moment’s notice. Give her a wide berth.
Don’t Assume Other Drivers Know Your Actions
You must use your turn signals and your emergency flashers when warranted. Any time you’re turning or merging into another lane, all the drivers around you should be relatively sure of your upcoming action.
Don’t Talk on Your Phone and Drive
Talking on your phone is an excellent way to distract you from your job behind the wheel: safely operate the multi-ton metal cage you’re in. Unfortunately, every driver on the road has a duty of care regarding the other drivers. So your phone needs to stay in your purse or passenger seat.
What Is The Difference Between DWI and DUI?
While DWI and DUI refer to someone being impaired while operating a vehicle in a public roadway, there are some critical differences between the terms. Firstly, DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated,” and DUI stands for “driving under the influence.”
Both terms reference alcohol levels or drug use while driving and are often used interchangeably; however, a DUI is not the legal term for drunk driving—or being otherwise impaired while driving. Using drugs or drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a car means you are impaired and lack the mental and physical faculties you’d typically have while driving.
Someone 21 years or older can receive a DWI charge in Texas if caught operating a vehicle while legally intoxicated. The legal level of alcohol to be legally drunk is .08 via a blood or breathalyzer test. For drugs, if they were to test you and find drugs in your system—or your car—you are likely to receive a DWI charge.
Age is really where the difference comes into play. If someone is a minor pulled over and found to be intoxicated while driving, they will receive a DUI or a DUIA, which is “driving under the influence of alcohol.” A DUI of any kind is only given to minors.
The Zero Tolerance Policy
In Texas, a zero-tolerance policy makes it irrelevant whether a minor driving is impaired by whatever alcohol they have in their system. If you are under 21, driving with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system is illegal. And should the alcohol content be too high (.08 or higher), can the minor receive a DWI? This is also true if the minor has drugs in their system while driving. A lawyer can explain to you in detail the legal limits and what the zero-tolerance policy entails.
Which Is Worse?
Whether a DWI or DUI is worse depends on the state. In Texas, DWI is more serious, while DUIs are only charged to underage drivers following the Texas Traffic Code. In addition, the DUI is set at any amount of alcohol found in a minor’s system, so it is easier to be found guilty.
DWIs are charged under the Texas Penal Code instead of the Texas Traffic Code, which means it is a severe offense with penalties like jail time and fines.
The consequences of a DWI are more severe than a DUI. This is because a DUI is charged to a minor, and their charges will not be as large and excessive as a DWI assigned to an adult. Minors are still growing and learning and will make mistakes, whereas adults over 21 should know what is right and wrong. Adults charged with DWI will not be given a lenient charge because they are expected to know and abide by the law. Prosecutors will not hesitate to opt for a higher demand for adults driving while intoxicated.
In line with the zero-tolerance policy, the penalties for a DWI can be steep, even for a first-time offender. For example, for a first-time DWI offense, you may receive a $2,000 jail sentence of between 3 to 180 days, lose your driver’s license for a year, and find yourself with a fee to retain your license. On the other hand, a minor may only receive a fine of $500, a suspension of their license for 60 days, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and alcohol awareness classes which are mandatory.
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 caused by an act of nature or poor weather conditions. But often, 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 an establishment is engaged, one that served alcohol to the at-fault driver? Should they be held accountable as well? And if so, to what extent? In these cases, determining who is at fault is not a clear or straightforward process. If you are unsure how these laws apply to your unique situation, you should speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer so they can give you an explanation. For example, a personal injury lawyer in 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 drink inside a bar, restaurant, pub, or other establishments. Dram shop refers to bars, clubs, taverns, or 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.
The law states that establishments can be liable if they sell alcohol to individuals who appear intoxicated and end up hurting a victim. Establishments are responsible for monitoring the alcohol consumption of their patrons if they are attempting to purchase alcohol. It also applies to the selling of alcohol to minors.
Texas does have a dram shop law on the books. The primary purpose of dram shop laws is to reduce incidents of drunk driving and other crimes that a person intoxicated may commit. Under the law, if a bartender or different 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 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. In addition, 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. To learn whether your case applies, meet with a lawyer who can provide you with more information.
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. Likewise, if you have been a victim of a DUI accident, you should not have to pay for the costs of your treatment and other related expenses yourself. And, regardless of whether or not dram shop laws exist, guilty parties should be held responsible for those losses–whether for final expenses or a loss of income.
Unfortunately, the DUI litigation process can be complex and lengthy, leading to even more stress for victims and their families. Gathering evidence for these cases can be difficult, especially when the other party has a formidable legal team. Hiring a capable and highly qualified personal injury lawyer can mean the difference between you obtaining a low settlement or one that can cover your total losses.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a DUI accident, it is crucial to seek qualified, professional help immediately. Even if you believe that you might not be able to receive such compensation, you should at least talk to a lawyer about your case.
You might be able to receive a much higher compensation package than you think. First, however, you must act quickly to work on your claim and submit it before the deadline. 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, many out there can be tricky choosing 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; not all specialize in the same cases. For example, some lawyers may specialize in car accidents while others specialize in medical malpractice. Hiring a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling similar circumstances is a good idea. This way, they 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 with sufficient trial experience. If the insurance company isn’t offering a fair settlement, you want your lawyer to be confident 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 and might not be able to work. That is why hiring a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX, with a proven track record for high settlements, is critical. During your initial consultation, ask the lawyer to show you all the cases they have won and the compensation 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 they are currently juggling. If a lawyer has a huge caseload, they 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 regularly.
- 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 making a hiring decision, ensure that you like the lawyer’s personality and get along well with them. This way, you will feel more comfortable around your lawyer and not be afraid to share any information.
Understanding Insurance in Personal Injury Cases
When you call John K. Zaid & Associates for a case review, there is a chance we’ll ask you about the insurance policies involved in your case. If we don’t discuss this with you during your initial consultation, we will do so early in the case investigation. The types of insurance coverage available will vary depending on the case. Nevertheless, having access to a policy can make a big difference in your options and the case outcome.
In some cases, insurance might be unavailable. This could be because the liable party was uninsured. In other cases, the defense can prove that the plaintiff is entirely responsible. Moreover, some cases, such as work injury claims, tend to be vigorously defended. Without a personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas, on your side, you risk being denied any compensation or offered a tiny amount. Overall, you should know that insurance policies make a difference. By understanding how this is true, you equip yourself with better knowledge about what to expect possibly.
Common Types of Insurance in Personal Injury Claims
There are a few primary types of car insurance: no-fault, first-party, and third-party.
- First Party – The person who purchases the policy
- Second Party – The insurance company.
- Third-Party – The negligent person.
You are responsible for filing your claim against your insurance policy in no-fault states. Once you understand the types of insurance coverage for an auto accident claim, you should know what type and amount of coverage are available. This can be found on the declaration page. If you don’t know, talk with your insurance company or lawyer.
Underinsured and Uninsured Coverage
Regardless of where you live, you should have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This will cover any gap in compensation/benefits or when you happen to be in an accident in which the third party is not insured.
Every business should be equipped with liability insurance. This coverage typically covers accidents like slips and falls. Depending on how complicated the owner or insurance company wants, these cases can be very challenging. This is particularly true when the fault is not 100% clear. You’ll want to have a Houston, TX personal injury lawyer to help you.
Homeowners’ insurance covers more than events like a tornado, hurricane, or fire. The insurance also covers injuries sustained by a guest invited to the premises. For example, a slip and fall, injury to a visiting contractor (i.e., electrician), or animal bite. So if you were injured at someone’s house, their homeowner’s insurance would likely compensate you.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Each state has its statutes for workers’ compensation. Generally, any company with more than five employees must carry this insurance. Employees who are injured while working, regardless of whether they were at fault, may be able to recover compensation for their lost wages and medical bills.
In addition to the above, there are other kinds of insurance like sporting insurance, boating and ATV insurance, travel insurance, medical malpractice insurance, rideshare insurance, and more. If you plan on filing a personal injury claim and are unsure what insurance policy is applicable, please call John K. Zaid & Associates.
How to Handle the Insurance Company After an Accident
Many accident cases will require the need to involve an insurance company. This could include your own insurance company or that of another party. Regardless, there are several things you should and should not do at this time. As a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX might advise, by following these simple tips, you could prevent several obstacles from happening.
Do: Notify Your Insurance Company
As soon as an accident happens, you should notify your insurance company to let them know what happened. The sooner you do so, the better.
Don’t: Speak to the Other Party’s Insurance Company
Another party’s insurance company adjuster might reach out to you. If you answer, they might be very friendly and sympathetic to what happened. However, their objectives are generally not in line with yours. They may attempt to get you to say something you don’t mean or understand. Their goal will ultimately be to pay you the least amount possible – if anything at all. You don’t have to speak to them, and you should not.
Do: Tell the Truth
It’s essential to be honest with your insurance company. However, extending the truth, hiding information, or giving false statements can harm your case.
Don’t: Discuss Too Much
You are not obligated to go into too much detail. You can stick to the facts and what you know to be true. If you are unsure, tell them you are unsure. Realistically, having a personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas, communicate on your behalf may be in your best interest.
Do: Let the Adjuster Know the Extent of Your Pain
Be sure the adjuster is aware of all your pain. This is, of course, true for your doctor too. Everything should be known and documented. If your toe hurts or does not feel right, make it known.
Don’t: Allow the Adjuster to Downplay What Happened
In the event your adjuster tries to downplay your injuries or what happened. Or, they argue that a previous injury caused your pain but don’t listen. You can remain calm and stick to what you believe is true. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX. You have not already done so.
Do: Follow All Your Doctor’s Orders
It is prudent you follow all of your doctor’s orders. Regardless of how insignificant an order might be, please adhere to it. Adjusters will look for people who are not doing so. They can demonstrate you were not following the charges; your case could be at risk.
Don’t: Sign any Medical Release Forms.
The insurance adjuster might ask you to sign various forms. One of these is a medical release form which gives them the right to your records. Recommended you avoid doing so without having spoken to a lawyer.
Don’t Say Anything You Don’t Need To
Finally, you should not apologize or admit fault for anything. One small phrase like: “I feel terrible” or “I am sorry for the other person.” can harm your case.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Speak with a lawyer before you talk with any insurance company. Moreover, you can politely decline a conversation. Let them know your lawyer will be in touch. Often this is the best course of action to take. To learn more, call a Houston, TX personal injury lawyer today.
Legal Assistance Is Available
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 you have much to gain by investing your time.