Have you suffered an injury as the result of someone else’s negligence? If so, you may have a personal injury claim. But what exactly is a personal injury? When it comes to legal claims, personal injury refers to injuries resulting from another person’s negligence.
In Brownsville, accidents happen all the time. And far too often, they result from someone’s carelessness, inattention, or stupidity. If you suffer injuries because of someone else’s actions, you might be eligible for financial compensation. Contact a Brownsville personal injury lawyer at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, immediately to learn more.
We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. In most states, we also work with affiliate law firms that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
What exactly is personal injury?
Attorneys who practice personal injury law work with clients who suffer injuries other people cause.
Generally, for your case to qualify as a personal injury, you must prove four things:
- The person who injured you had a duty of care: There is an expectation that the at-fault party will take action to keep others safe.
- The person breached that duty of care: Their direct actions or inaction did not qualify as what one expects of a person in a similar position.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty directly resulted in your injuries.
- Your injuries resulted in a calculable loss: This can include medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Looking for a few examples? Below are some of the cases we at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers work on as personal injury attorneys:
Motor vehicle accidents
Ask any personal injury lawyer what type of case makes up the bulk of their day, and by far, it is motor vehicle accidents. Year after year, Texas leads as one of the most dangerous states for drivers. Further, a recent report ranked Brownsville 12th as the city with the most fatal accidents in the state.
According to a recent report from the National Safety Council, in one year, motor vehicle accidents were the second-leading cause of preventable injuries in the United States.
Common injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Emotional distress
Premises liability accidents
While you may not know the term premises liability, premises liability accidents happen daily. The law requires any person who owns or rents property to maintain it in a way that is safe and free of dangers for visitors. When a person fails in their duty to keep their property, they may be responsible for costs and damages related to any subsequent injuries. Premises liability accidents can happen almost anywhere. Examples include:
Slip and fall accidents: If you have never suffered an injury after a fall, it can be easy to dismiss slip and fall claims as frivolous lawsuits. But the truth is, every day, falls result in severe and life-changing injuries. Slip and fall accidents include any fall that happens at ground level.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet flooring
- Uneven sidewalk
- Loose carpet
- Cluttered walkways
- Icy sidewalks
Dog bites: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 4.5 million people suffer from dog bites every year. Of these, one in five requires medical attention. Common injuries include lacerations, infection, scarring, and PTSD.
Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. They could be scared or protecting their owner—even dogs with zero biting history nip and cause serious injury. In Texas, you can hold dog owners liable for any costs incurred if the dog has a history of dangerous behavior.
Negligent security: An employer must take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its employees. A landlord must make sure you can come and go without the risk of harm. When a property owner fails to provide adequate security, they may be responsible for any injuries that result from their negligence.
What constitutes adequate security varies on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, outdoor lighting may be sufficient. In areas where crime is prevalent, it may be necessary for the property owner to put up fencing or hire a security company.
Sadly, unintentional injuries are consistently the leading cause of death in the United States. A wrongful death suit is challenging because it can appear as if it should compensate you for your loved one’s death. This reason is not the purpose of a wrongful death case.
When a person dies, there are many costs associated with the death. Beyond medical bills and funeral costs, you must consider the impact of lost wages. When a family loses a loved one, money is the last thing they should worry about. A wrongful death action allows the victim’s loved ones the time to grieve without the worry of mounting debt.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
It is common to think about money after an accident. Financial compensation is a real concern when faced with mounting medical bills and missed time from work. A personal injury claim aims to help you recover the costs of an accident. You shouldn't be in debt because of someone else's negligence. While we can't give you an exact figure of the value of your case, we can guide you through some factors that will influence the amount of your final settlement.
These factors include:
- Medical bills, including medical transport, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and doctor visits.
- Lost income from the date of your accident until you return to work. For disabling injuries, you may be eligible for future lost wages.
- Residential improvements, including wheelchair ramps and chair lifts.
- Pain and suffering, including but not limited to chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Wrongful death, including outstanding medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and funeral and burial costs.
Do I need a lawyer for my personal injury case?
Yes. After an accident, most of your dealings will be with the other party’s insurance. If you do not have an attorney, you will handle all negotiations yourself. The insurance company is not your friend. From the first time you talk to them, they will ask to record the conversation and use anything you say against you. If they offer you a settlement, it will likely be far less than the value of your case.
Working with a personal injury attorney shows the insurance company that you take your claim seriously. While they're still starting with a low offer, they're more likely to negotiate reasonably.
Aside from negotiations, your attorney will:
- Review, collect, and organize evidence.
- Talk to your care providers and provide referrals.
- Coordinate billing arrangements.
- Arrange and attend mediation and depositions.
- Represent you in court.
- Pay your care providers and close out your accounts.
At Stewart J. Guss, Accident Injury Lawyers, our job is to handle the legal aspects of your case, so you can focus on what matters most—your recovery. For more information or to get your complimentary case review, contact our office today.
How to protect your rights after an accident
The law allows victims to pursue reasonable damages after an accident. However, you must take steps to protect your rights. The insurance company will look for ways to diminish the value of your case or dismiss it altogether. So it’s vital to start on the right foot.
After your accident, there are a few basic steps you should take, including:
- Check for injuries: Your safety is the most important thing. For this reason, you should check to see if you have any severe injuries. If you believe you have sustained a life-threatening injury, call for help immediately.
- Report the accident: The way you do this will depend on what type of accident you have. If your injury happened at a place of business or someone else’s property, report the accident to the owner or the manager on duty. For car accidents with serious injuries, call 911. This step will ensure that anyone injured receives medical attention and should dispatch an officer to the scene. If your injuries do not require immediate medical attention or the police did not show up at the scene, you must file an accident report within ten days.
- Collect evidence: Evidence is arguably the most crucial part of your case and is where you often have the most control. The more you can show what happened, the harder it will be for the insurance company to dismiss your case. The two most valuable types of evidence are pictures and witness testimony. Take photos of the scene and any relevant details. If there were witnesses, be sure to get their contact information.
- Go to the doctor: If the evidence at the scene is the most important piece of information in your case, your medical records are a close second. Your medical records provide information about the degree of your injuries and a written record of your symptoms. They will outline your care plan and document any medical procedures. It is wise to seek medical attention immediately following your accident. This step will ensure your care provider checks for any signs of injury and allows you to schedule further care.
- Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers: The first call you should make after an accident is not to the insurance company but to an attorney. At Stewart J. Guss, we're available 24/7. When you call us, we'll set you up with one of our attorneys to review your case and guide you through the next steps.
Injured in an accident? Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers
Nobody wants to be in the position where they need a personal injury attorney. But if an accident injures you, you want someone by your side who you can trust. At Stewart J. Guss, Accident Injury Lawyers, we know the tactics insurance companies use to get out of paying. We’ll fight to get you what you deserve.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If an accident injured you in Brownsville, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
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