Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
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Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
As the largest and busiest city in Texas, Houston is home to 2.3 million residents, nearly 100 skyscrapers, three airports, a massive trucking and rail system, the headquarters of several corporations, and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.
All of these things have in common, besides a Houston location, is the risk of injury that comes with congested roadways featuring heavy truck traffic, tall buildings with elevators and stairways, and many people at every turn.
Unfortunately, people never think about hiring a lawyer until they need one. If someone else’s recklessness injured you, you can seek compensation for your injuries.
The dedicated legal personal injury lawyers at Kenny Perez Law can answer your questions about the personal injury claims process any time of the day or night. Our case evaluations are always free. Contact Kenny Perez Law today.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
If someone injured you, you can seek compensation for your injuries through a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider or the Texas civil court system in a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawyer provides legal representation to individuals as they seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury.
Some of the services a personal injury lawyer can provide for their clients include:
- Establishing a value to the claim, which is what the claimant demands from the at-fault party’s insurance provider for the expenses they incurred from the injury.
- Determining all sources of liability and their insurance resources. Insurance is one of the most important factors in a personal injury claim because it pays nearly all settlements and awards.
- Managing communication with the insurance adjuster to protect the value of the client’s claim from common tactics adjusters use to reduce or eliminate claims.
- Settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster to obtain a fair offer of compensation for the client’s injuries.
- The timely filing of all court-required paperwork associated with a lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the accident.
- Providing guidance and information to help their client make important decisions regarding their claim.
- Litigation services.
- Assistance collecting the compensation gained via negotiated settlement or award.
Houston Personal Injury Types
The Types of Cases a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Handles
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Houston leads the state in car accidents, with more than 58,000 crashes each year, resulting in more than 250 deaths, more than 1,300 serious injuries, and nearly 6,000 non-incapacitating injuries. Traffic-related accidents are one of the types of cases a Houston personal injury lawyer can handle, including accidents involving:
- Passenger cars
- Commercial trucks
- Taxis and rideshares
Whether the injury you suffered was mild or catastrophic, if it resulted in lost time from work or medical expenses, and someone else’s negligence caused it, you could seek compensation for your injuries.
Here is a look at some other types of accidents a Houston personal injury lawyer handles.
More than 56 percent of the people in the U.S. own dogs. In Houston, that percentage is even higher, with about three-quarters of the human population residing in a home with at least one dog. While dogs benefit their owners, they can injure others.
Texas follows the “one bite rule” when seeking compensation for dog bite injuries. This makes the dog’s owner liable for the injuries their dog causes to others if they had reason to know that the dog was capable of aggression. Essentially, this means that the dog gets “one free bite” before its owner is held accountable.
Slips and Falls
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, about one million people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year due to slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability claim. Premises liability refers to the responsibility of the owner or possessor of a residential, commercial, or public property to regularly inspect the premises in search of hazards that can cause injuries to guests and to mitigate known hazards promptly.
Slip and fall accidents occur when someone slips-or trips-and falls as the result of a property hazard such as:
- Wet or freshly waxed floors
- Cluttered walkways
- Loose, worn, or torn flooring material
- Poor lighting, particularly in stairwells
- Damaged staircases or missing handrails
- Cracked sidewalks
- Potholes in parking lots
When an individual dies due to someone else’s negligence, their family members-including their spouse, children, or parents-can seek compensation for the financial and emotional costs of their loss through a wrongful death claim.
The compensation in a Texas wrongful death claim may include the loss of the deceased’s future earning capacity; loss of care, maintenance, services, and support that the deceased provided to their family members; mental pain and anguish experienced by family members as a result of the death; and the loss of inheritance that the deceased would have passed down to loved ones.
What Type of Injuries Are Commonly Involved in Personal Injury Claims?
People whom someone else’s negligence injured in Houston may hesitate to hire an attorney because they worry that their injury is not severe enough to be compensated.
In truth, the legal team at Kenny Perez Law assists clients who have suffered from:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can result in permanent disabilities and a loss of future earning capacity.
- Spinal cord injuries, which-like brain injuries-have a high likelihood of creating disability. Spinal cord injuries typically result in permanent paralysis beneath the injury site.
- Damage to the vertebrae and discs of the spine, which can result in spinal instability, loss of mobility, and chronic pain.
- Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, which involve the soft tissues of the neck and most commonly result from rear-end car accidents.
- Burns, which can result in a risk of infection, a dangerous loss of bodily fluids, and significant scarring that can require skin graft surgery to repair.
- Broken bones, which can result in an impairment of motion and chronic pain.
- Internal injuries, which can cause hemorrhages and lead to organ failure or even death.
Frequently Asked Questions About Houston Personal Injury Claims
Obtaining compensation through a personal injury claim is a complex endeavor. Understandably, you will have questions about the process. Here are some answers to the questions our legal team often hears.
I think I was partially at fault for the accident that caused my injuries. Can I still file a claim?
In many cases, yes. Texas laws allow claimants who are partially responsible to seek compensation as long as they are not more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident. Speak with an attorney about your claim, so they can evaluate the circumstances of the accident and determine all sources of liability. Often, individuals do not bear as high of a level of responsibility as they think.
What happens if my child was injured? Can I file a claim for them?
In Houston, just as in other places across the U.S., children under 18 may not file legal actions. However, if your child suffered an injury because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you can seek compensation on their behalf. If a settlement agreement is made, the parties must present it to the judge, and an appointed guardian ad-litem must review the terms of the settlement and testify to the court that it is in the best interests of the child.
When a child receives a settlement or court award for their personal injury claim, the money is placed either into a registry to be held for the child until they reach the age of majority or an annuity that the child receives once they turn 18. Texas courts tend to be open to child injury claims, including damages for the parents, such as compensation for medical expenses paid out of the parent’s health insurance policy or for the time they missed from work.
How is liability proven in a personal injury claim?
To prove that someone else is liable for your Houston personal injury, you must be able to show the following elements in your claim:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which refers to the actions that a reasonable person takes to avoid injuring people.
- There was a breach in the duty of care when the at-fault party took an action that was not reasonable or protective of another’s safety.
- The breach caused an accident that injured you. Because of these injuries, you incurred expenses and impacts.
In Texas, there can be more than one source of liability. Your Houston personal injury lawyer needs to identify all liable parties and associated insurance resources to ensure enough insurance money can fully compensate you.
A hit-and-run driver injured me. Can I still file a claim?
Plaintiffs file most personal injury claims against the liability insurance policy of the at-fault party. When you cannot identify the at-fault party, however, you do not have an insurance company to submit the claim to. How your case proceeds would revolve around whether law enforcement officials can identify the driver who caused your injury, as well as whether the driver was insured.
A personal injury attorney can explore your options for compensation, including helping you determine if you have an insurance policy of your own that can pay for your damages until or unless police identify the at-fault driver. Contact Kenny Perez Law today.
Do I have to pay taxes on my personal injury settlement?
For the most part, no. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), compensation received for personal injuries is not considered income and is not subject to tax. There is an exception, however, regarding punitive damages.
Courts award punitive damages when the at-fault party was wantonly or willfully reckless. Courts award this compensation as a financial punishment against the defendant and a way to discourage them from egregious behavior. Because the compensation is not related to your injury, it is income.
If you deduct your medical expenses in one calendar year from your taxes then receive compensation for medical expenses, you must repay the deduction. (This only applies to federal taxes, since Texas doesn’t levy a state income tax.)
Houston Personal Injury? Our Legal Team Can Help
If you have suffered a personal injury, our Houston personal injury lawyer can help you understand the process of seeking compensation and the type of assistance we can provide. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or call (855) 695-7529.