When the Time Comes for a Personal Injury Attorney in Texas

People throughout the U.S. find themselves being injured or made ill due to the neglect, carelessness, or willful intent of others almost every day. When such things happen, like being injured in a car accident, slipping or falling at a store, being hit by flying debris at a construction site, or becoming ill because of a bad food product, people know to call upon attorneys whose practices focus on personal injury cases. Known as tort law, this legal field is wide open and filled with many attorneys and law firms that make money by representing injured clients. This article will focus on what to expect when dealing with these kinds of attorneys.

Learning about Personal Injury Lawyers

Lawyers and law firms practicing personal injury law are pretty much consistent all over the United States and in other countries. They generally work on a contingency basis, which means the personal injury attorneys do not get paid unless they win the case for their clients. If a personal injury lawyer or law firm decides to take a client’s case, it is usually because there is great expectation that the case has a good chance of being successful. Lawyers and law firms are not going to waste their time taking cases where it is apparent that the client does not have a fighting chance of winning.

Types of Lawyers or Law Firms to Look for When Wanting to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer or Law Firm

When looking for a personal injury law firm or lawyer, the potential client should look for an attorney or law firm that focuses on specific types of personal injury cases. For example, a lawyer or law firm whose focus in on medical malpractice may not be the best or ideal lawyer or law firm for a car accident injury or a product liability case. Subsequently, a lawyer whose practice deals with family law, business litigation, but also does personal injury cases, is probably not going to be the lawyer to go with either. Selecting the lawyer or law firm with a proven track record in the type of case the client is presenting puts the client on the right track to having a successful lawsuit.

Questions to Ask Personal Injury Attorneys

Selecting the right lawyer or law firm does not have to be a daunting task, if the potential client knows the right questions to ask the attorney in question. Although most personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee, the client still needs to ask the lawyer or law firm what other fees can be expected to be incurred that the client will have to pay. This might include fees for having research done on the case, the gathering of specific documents, and other similar expenses. The client will also want to know if there will be other attorneys assigned to the case so a rapport can be developed with those individuals.

More Things to Know about Personal Injury Attorneys

Potential clients should also ask the lawyer how long it can be expected for a case of this type to last and if there may possibly be settlement out of court. In many cases, if not most, a settlement is reached before the case goes to trial because this usually works out for the client, his or her legal representative, and the insurance company of the other party. The potential client will want to ask if the attorney or the law firm has ever been under any disciplinary action by a legal review board. A lawyer or law firm with a tarnished reputation may not be the one the client wants representing his or her interests.

Continuing to Look at Things to Know about Personal Injury Attorneys

A potential client should ask the lawyer for past references to get an idea of what kind of success rate the lawyer or law firm has had. It is vital that the client and his or her attorney establish a rapport because, without it, there is no confidence in what the attorney can do for the client. The client should find out if there is anything he or she can do to improve the outcome of the lawsuit. A good way to really tell if a lawyer is a right fit is to set up an initial consultation, hopefully provided free by the potential lawyer.

Finding out about Legal Requirements for Personal Injury Cases in the State

Every state has its own guidelines for personal injury cases. For example, the setting of the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits will vary from one state to the next. This means there is a clock running from the time the injury or illness occurs until the last day a client has to file a lawsuit in a civil court in a particular state. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury or illness. If the client fails to get the lawsuit filed within that period, any opportunity to have the case heard in a Texas civil court will be gone.

More about Personal Injury Cases in Texas

If the statute of limitations runs out, the individual will also lose the opportunity to be awarded damages because of the injury or illness. Individuals in Texas should be aware the state employs the shared fault rule, which means that, if the other party finds that the injured plaintiff shares some of the blame for what happened, money will be deducted from the awards issued. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 40 percent at fault for what happened, any damages received will be deducted by 40 percent.

Final Thoughts on Personal Injury Cases in Texas

A client should be careful with the shared fault rule in Texas because if he or she is found to bear more than 50 percent of the blame for what happened, no damages will be awarded. It is essential that the client hires an attorney who can help prevent this from happening. Winning a personal injury case can happen if all the variables are right.

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