Common Kinds of Personal Injury
Personal injury refers to any injury a person sustained to his or her body, mind, or emotions. When another party is responsible for those injuries, accident victims can file a personal injury claim for compensation. Those injured must prove that the other party was negligent, careless, or reckless, and that their injuries resulted from that negligence.
If you are coping with serious injuries or complex issues after an accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney from Ketterman Rowland & Westlund today. Our knowledgeable team handles a wide variety of personal injury claims, and we can meet with you in a free consultation to discuss your case specifically.
Types of Personal Injury
Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. When it comes to personal injury law, though, there are some types of accidents that are more common than others. Although not every accident will result in a liability claim, accident victims can often claim compensation when they’ve been hurt in any of the instances below.
- Car accidents: Car accidents are the most common form of personal injury lawsuits. When there is a car crash, it’s typically because someone was behaving negligently or not following the rules of the road. In Texas, accident victims can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to demand the compensation they need to recover after a crash.
- Truck accidents: Truck accident cases are usually much more complicated than car accident cases. In truck accidents, victims often sustain extremely serious injuries. There are also often multiple parties to blame, which makes dealing with the many insurance companies and the trucking company even more difficult. An attorney can help handle all of this so the victim can focus on healing.
- Motorcycle accidents: These crashes are some of the worst seen on Texas roads. Motorcyclists are largely exposed when they’re on their bike. They can suffer catastrophic injuries when hit by a negligent driver. To make matters worse, they may find that insurance companies and at-fault drivers try to shift the blame onto them. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help ensure crash victims are not victimized a second time.
- Bicycle accidents: Like motorcyclists, bicyclists are also largely exposed when they are involved in a crash with a larger vehicle. Cyclists are simply no match for cars and trucks. When they are involved in an accident, they often sustain the worst injuries, and many don’t survive the crash.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all accident victims. Unlike motorcyclists and cyclists, they don’t even have a helmet, gloves, or other safety gear to protect them. As such, when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the results are often catastrophic.
- Medical malpractice: Doctors and health care professionals are supposed to provide a reasonable standard of care to help their patients. Although not every unsuccessful treatment is reason for a personal injury claim, when a doctor or other health care worker has been negligent, they can be held liable for damages. Injuries involving medical malpractice are some of the most complex claims, and victims should always seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common types of personal injury cases filed in Texas and throughout the rest of the country. When a person slips and falls on someone else’s property, the injured victim can file a claim against the property owner or manager to recover compensation. Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, including paralysis.
- Dog bites: Dog bites can cause extensive injuries including deep lacerations and permanent scarring. Most of the time, dog bite victims will have to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner in order to claim compensation. However, there are exceptions in some circumstances. It is crucial to have an experienced dog bite attorney on your side if you have been attacked by an animal.
- Premises liability: This type of personal injury law states that when a person is hurt on another person’s property, the accident victim can file a claim against the property owner. Slip and fall cases fall into the category of premises liability, but there are other ways a person could be hurt. For example, if there was inadequate lighting in a parking lot and someone was assaulted, the property owner could be held liable.
- Product liability: Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe to use, and they must warn customers of any dangers associated with using their product. When they fail to do so, it is considered negligent and accident victims can file a claim for compensation for any losses suffered.
- Workplace accident: Unfortunately, on-the-job injuries happen every day in Texas. Most of these cases go through the workers’ compensation system. However, some workers may be entitled to file a separated personal claim. A knowledgeable injury attorney can review the details of your case and identify all sources of compensation.
- Wrongful death: Sometimes, an accident is so severe the victim does not survive it. When this is the case, surviving loved ones can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. They can ask for damages that the deceased incurred before their death, such as medical expenses, as well as any losses the family sustained due to the death, such as loss of guidance and support, and funeral and burial expenses.
Accidents can happen at any time. The injuries they cause can be extremely painful and costly to treat. When accidents were caused by someone else’s negligence, victims should always consider whether they need a personal injury attorney to help. There are many instances when legal representation is an absolute must for these types of accidents.
When Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
It’s true that not all accident cases will need the help of a personal injury attorney. However, if a case involves any of the following five factors, those hurt should speak to an experienced lawyer right away.
- When injuries are serious: Before filing a personal injury claim, you must understand the full extent of your injuries. This can take time and involves gathering medical reports, speaking to doctors and specialists, and receiving a full diagnosis and prognosis. This is often difficult for those who are seriously hurt, but an attorney can take care of all the details while those injured focus on their recovery.
- You’ve missed work: If you’ve missed work due to an accident that was someone else’s fault, your claim can include compensation for that lost income. If you’ve missed work due to your injuries, it’s likely that they are serious and that you need the help of a personal injury attorney.
- The insurance company is not playing fair: Whether you were hurt in an auto accident or while on someone else’s property, you will likely have to deal with an insurance company as part of your claim. These companies are not always cooperative. They would rather keep their profits than pay out on large accident claims. They may use sneaky tactics to try to deny, delay, or reduce your claim, but an attorney will ensure you are not taken advantage of.
- There is a dispute over fault: Too often, those responsible for an accident don’t want to accept blame. This can start a lengthy legal battle that includes collecting evidence, speaking to eyewitnesses, and calling in experts. All of these things are difficult to do for those who do not have extensive legal knowledge. An attorney will know how to prove fault and hold the negligent party accountable.
- The case is complicated: When personal injury claims are complex, such as when they involve lots of legal or medical jargon, an attorney should be involved to ensure the accident victim is not at a disadvantage. An attorney can educate you on what to expect throughout the course of your claim and help you make smart decisions.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we offer free initial consultations, so you can get help deciding whether or not you have a valid claim. During these consultations, an attorney will also provide honest advice and answer any questions you may have.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas?
All states impose a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, and Texas is no different. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim. If you wait too long, you could be barred from receiving any compensation at all if the statute of limitations has expired.
In Texas, accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file their claim. Although this sounds like a great deal of time, it’s not. Before filing, an attorney must understand the full extent of your injuries so they know how to evaluate your claim. They must also gather evidence, reconstruct the accident scene, and more. All of this takes time, so if you’ve been hurt, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
There are many instances in which a person is in an accident and believes they can handle a claim on their own. This is a mistake, though. A personal injury lawyer will do more than just coordinate your case. An attorney will also:
- Negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel
- Use their network of investigators and expert witnesses to help with your claim
- Collect evidence to support your case
- Speak to doctors and gather medical records and invoices
- Fairly and accurately evaluate your claim
A personal injury lawyer will do everything possible to take the burden off you during this difficult time. Most importantly, they will act as your advocate and ensure your rights are upheld while they fight for your best interests.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, but you shouldn’t try to handle a claim on your own. At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our personal injury attorneys can help. We are experienced at holding insurance companies and negligent parties accountable for paying full and fair compensation.
Now is the time for you to focus on getting better. Let us handle the rest. Contact us online for your free consultation.