When it comes to accident negligence and your injuries, knowledge is of the utmost importance.

Below are some frequently asked questions to better help you understand personal injury accident cases.

  • Liability is a legal term for fault. Legal liability means that a person or other entity (like a corporation) is responsible for doing something that resulted in personal injuries or property damage.

  • Negligence means that the responsible party acted in a way that disregarded their duty to drive safely on the road, resulting in injury to the plaintiff.

  • Damages is the legal word for the money an injured party has lost due to an injury. Those damages could be medical bills, prescriptions, time off from work, lengthy recovery time, and also pain and suffering. Most insurance policies only cover certain parts of the cost involved in common injuries like car accidents, slip and falls or workplace illnesses.

  • The following statutes of limitations apply to most car accident lawsuits in Texas. It may be difficult to understand exactly when the limitation period applicable to your claim began. This is referred to as when a cause of actions “accrues” in the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.

  • NO. Even if the insurance company calls you after the accident, I advise you to avoid speaking to them until AFTER you’ve discussed your case with me. Their main goal is to make money and cut expenses, and if they pay you a settlement, that hurts the company’s profit. It doesn’t matter which party’s insurance company I am talking about; these companies are only interested in protecting their pockets, not yours.

  • NO. An adjuster may attempt to pressure an injured person into giving a statement after a car accident. Even by answering a few questions to an adjuster on a phone call could jeopardize your case. You are NOT required to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Remember, if you have serious injury, the adjuster’s job is to try to save the insurance company’s money – not protect your rights!

  • Economic damages are tangible losses that can be readily calculated and proven, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Noneconomic damages, often include such awards as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life.

  • Punitive damages are awarded in cases in which it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice. While punitive damages are paid to plaintiffs, courts typically award punitive damages more to punish defendants for dangerous conduct and hopefully deter others from behaving similarly.

  • If a negligent driver does not have enough insurance to satisfy all of the damages involved, the driver can still be held liable for the amount the insurer is refusing to cover. If the driver does not have the personal wealth necessary to pay these costs out of pocket, an attorney may be able to identify other parties that bear liability. You may also be able to recover compensation under your underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage too.

    • The responsible party was careless (negligent) - For example, if a car driver crashed into another vehicle or an innocent pedestrian because he ignored a red light, the car driver, under the law, would be considered negligent.
    • The negligence led to the personal injury - In the above example, if the innocent victim sustained a broken arm and whiplash as a result of the crash, the auto driver’s negligence would be considered to have caused the personal injury.
    • The personal injury resulted in harm (compensatory damages) - In the above example, if the innocent victim’s injuries resulted in medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering, the injury would be considered to have resulted in compensatory damages (i.e., damages for which an injured party may be compensated).
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