There’s no shortage of advertisements that you hear on the radio or see on the television or billboards where personal injury attorneys offer to help you with your case. While many of these ads highlight how their firm’s attorneys can get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, very few, if any, of these commercials or marketing pieces tell you what they’ll do to make your life easier as part of this process.
Personal injury attorneys handle all types of cases, from auto accidents to slips and falls, product liability to premises liability matters, medical malpractice to dog bites, and even third-party work injuries. The support that an attorney provides may be different, depending on the type of case that you have.
We’ll tackle some of the primary ways a personal injury lawyer supports you and some of the differences relevant to the circumstances surrounding your unique legal matter.
The Role an Attorney Plays in an Auto Accident Case
Many motorists are aware of the steps that they should take after a crash, including:
- Stopping or pulling over their vehicle
- Summoning law enforcement to the scene to create a crash report
- Notifying their insurance company of their accident
- Summoning paramedics to the crash scene or going to see a doctor to check for injuries
- Taking pictures of their injuries and damage to their vehicle
- Taking their vehicle in for a property damage estimate
- Receiving follow up medical care as needed for injuries they’ve suffered in a crash
While the above-referenced steps may be imprinted in your mind to take post-crash, certain ones may not be. However, a personal injury attorney would know what steps are important for you to follow. One of the primary things you shouldn’t do is randomly speak with insurance companies. Why?
You should report your accident to your insurance company. However, you should be cautious in answering any follow-up questions that they may pose about car damage, the nature of any injuries you or others may have suffered, or other specifics.
Texas is an at-fault insurance state, meaning that responding police officers and insurers often assign liability to one of the parties for causing a crash. Anything you say could affect liability determinations, especially since Texas employs the “proportionate responsibility” doctrine. This theory allows individuals to be held partially at fault for causing an auto accident.
A motor vehicle accident attorney can help you in the following ways:
- Keeping track of different parties in a case
- Knowing what you should say (and when) to each party so that you don’t compromise your case
- Laws that pertain to vehicle operation in the state
- What evidence to secure
- Uncovering insurance policy limits
- How insurance adjusters operate
- What it takes to prove negligence
This expertise proves invaluable when it comes time for a motor vehicle accident attorney to negotiate a fair settlement in a case.
While car, truck, bike, pedestrian, and motorcycle accident cases often account for a significant portion of the cases that personal injury attorneys handle, they add value to other legal matters too.
How Personal Injury Attorneys Support Clients in Medical Malpractice Cases
Most of us hope that our doctor’s academic training and practical experience will ensure our safety while under their care. Physicians and medical team members are human and make mistakes, though. However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook their mistakes and just deal with the consequences of their actions.
Patients regularly hold medical facilities and their health care personnel liable for errors resulting from:
- Inadequate hiring or training practices
- Failing to procure informed consent
- Short staffing
- Inadequate recordkeeping or poor cross-communication
- Insufficient supervision
- Failing to follow established protocol, like taking time-out procedures before initiating an operation
While this list is far from being an exhaustive compilation of reasons that may warrant you taking legal action against a doctor or hospital, for example, they give you an idea of the factors that can give rise to the filing of a medical malpractice claim.
Personal injury lawyer support in a medical malpractice case may not look all that different from what they offer following an Austin car accident attributable to someone else’s negligence, as described above.
However, there’s an added layer of complexity involved in proving negligence in medical malpractice cases. An attorney must determine whether a health care provider acted differently from what would be expected of any other provider in the same situation, a concept known as a standard or “duty of care.”
Any lawyer attempting to prove this must clearly understand where the fine line lies between an honest mistake or potential adverse outcome and foreseeable error and avoidable consequence. A medical malpractice attorney must have a trained eye to catch any such negligence.
Ways Lawyers Support Clients in Premises Liability Matters
There is no shortage of property-related matters that can leave someone hurt. Premises liability is the field of law that encompasses these types of cases. Injury incidents such as the following fall into that category:
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites
- Attractive nuisances
- Inadequate security or lighting-related ones
It can be particularly challenging to prove negligence in these cases because:
- Various reasons someone might be on the property, for example, as an invited guest or trespasser
- Local codes or state laws may exist limiting a homeowner’s or property owner’s liability for certain situations
- Public schools or other government-run entities may require you to put them on notice and allow them to respond before filing a lawsuit
These above-referenced concerns are only a few examples of complications that may arise if you decide to pursue legal action against a property owner for your injuries. A premises liability attorney will know whether property owners have a duty to warn and have a clear understanding of limitations impacting your right to file suit in your matter.
How Attorneys Help Clients Pursuing Product Liability Matters
Product liability cases are perhaps one of the most challenging types of personal injury matters that attorneys handle. Why?
There can be three different issues with products that hurt a consumer. These include:
- Design flaws
- Manufacturing defects
- Advertising or marketing concerns
As you might imagine, determining where an error occurred along the product life cycle isn’t always easy. Proving that the product’s designer, manufacturer, or marketer was liable (as opposed to user or some other type of error) isn’t straightforward.
Product liability attorneys often have to solicit the help of engineers, safety consultants, and other skilled individuals to identify whether someone involved in the product’s life cycle is liable for a consumer’s injuries. Attorneys must then document the negligence and convince an insurance adjuster, jury, or judge of the negligent party’s liability if they expect to win a settlement in a case.
The Support You Can Expect to Receive from Our Personal Injury Lawyers
We receive calls from individuals who have been injured in any number of ways here in our office every day. Many of those prospective clients have suffered life-altering injuries when they reach out to us. They’re simply looking to hold negligent parties liable for what they did to them.
Every case starts with a free consultation. That meeting allows us to better understand what led up to your injuries and what doctors have told you about your long-term prognosis.
Our attorneys will generally take on your case when liability appears to be clear. From that moment onward, you can expect us to begin building your case and shepherding you through what to expect as the legal process unfolds every step of the way. This may include us communicating with insurance adjusters, getting records and bills from medical providers, and other responsibilities.
Know that our attorneys here at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm are eager to partner with you to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. All you have to do is schedule a consultation to get the ball rolling on that end.