When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
According to a personal injury study by Martindale-Nolo Research, about 91% of personal injury victims who had legal representation received a settlement, compared to only 51% of those who proceeded on their own. Retaining a knowledgeable attorney is the most important step toward protecting your rights and pursuing compensation for your injuries. An experienced Texas personal injury attorney can evaluate your situation and determine your available options to seek damages.
At my firm — Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law — I'm dedicated to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to personal injury victims and their families. As your legal counsel, I will review and investigate all of the facts of your case, help establish liability, and explore all of your possible legal options. I will fight vigorously to protect your rights, work to hold the responsible parties accountable, and help you pursue rightful compensation for your injuries, damages, or loss. My firm is proud to represent clients throughout Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, Friendswood, Texas, and the surrounding communities.
Common Personal Injury Claims
“Personal injury” is a legal term used to describe any kind of injury or bodily harm sustained in an accident caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another party. Some common personal injury lawsuits result from:
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Animal bites
- Defamation (libel & slander)
- Wrongful death
- Workplace accidents
- Dental accidents
- Repetitive strain activities
- Assault, battery, and other intentional torts
When to Contact a Lawyer
No exact deadline or guideline exists regarding when to hire a lawyer after an auto accident or other incident, but it is often advisable to retain a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This is because negotiating a settlement with the insurer or speaking with the insurance adjuster without proper guidance or experienced representation can affect the outcome of your claim.
Fault States vs. No-Fault States
In “no-fault” states, the accident victims do not have to prove that someone else was at fault for the accident, but the available damages will be limited depending on your own personal injury protection coverage. Conversely, in a fault state, the at-fault party (the driver responsible for the accident, for example) will be held liable for injuries and damages suffered by the victims.
Texas is a “fault” state. In order to recover damages, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The at-fault party owed others a legal duty of care
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care
- The at-fault party's breach of duty of care was directly responsible for your injury
- You suffered or sustained measurable harm, damages, or losses
A personal injury attorney can work to prove fault and establish liability.
Injuries are Serious
If you suffered severe injuries from the accident, hiring an attorney is crucial. Your attorney can assess the full extent of your injuries, property damages and help ensure that you get your deserved compensation.
Know Your Options
The period after a car accident can be confusing to sort through. Due to your limited knowledge or understanding of personal injury laws, you may not know your options. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your circumstances and educate you about your available legal options.
Dealing with Insurance Providers
The insurance companies will seek to deny or delay your claim. Having experienced representation is important when dealing with the insurer. Attorneys are well-versed in negotiations and can maximize your settlement offer. Moreover, the insurance provider will likely take your injury claim more seriously if you have legal representation.
Proof of Negligence Isn't Easy
If your personal injury claim is based on negligence, you need to prove fault before you can recover damages. Even when you understand how negligence works in Texas, proving all four elements in court isn't easy. The insurer's legal team will raise defenses against your arguments just to undermine your claim. To ensure that you don't end up losing your case, hiring a lawyer is vital.
Things to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
Here are some important questions to ask a personal injury attorney before hiring them:
- Can you handle my case?
- Have you handled a case similar to mine before?
- Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
- What is your honest assessment of my case?
- Will I be responsible for any case-related costs if my claim is denied?
- Do you have enough time to dedicate to my case?
- What is the estimated value of my case?
- What is my role in the lawsuit?
- How long will it take to settle my case?
- Will my case go to trial?
Asking these questions can help you make the right choice when hiring an attorney to handle your injury claim.
Call Me — Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law
Retaining an experienced Texas personal injury attorney immediately after the auto accident is paramount to protect your rights and help pursue rightful compensation. At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I have devoted my career to handling personal injury cases and protecting the rights of injury victims and their loved ones. As your attorney, I can:
- Fight to protect your rights and represent your best interests
- Review all the surrounding facts of your personal situation
- Conduct a comprehensive, private investigation into the accident
- Gather all relevant information, required evidence, and medical documentation
- Review accident reports and interview witnesses
- Seek to prove fault and establish liability
- Determine and estimate case-value
- Handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company
- Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer
- Take additional legal action by filing a personal injury, if necessary
Call my law firm — Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law — today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. I can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, strong advocacy, and compassionate representation you need. I'm proud to serve clients across Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, Friendswood, Texas, and the surrounding communities.