People who have been injured in accidents may qualify to receive compensation for their injuries and related damages through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Personal injury cases generally assert that the plaintiff suffered injuries due to the defendant’s negligence, thereby making the defendant liable for damages such as medical bills and income loss. Common case examples that fall under personal injury law include:
- Vehicle accidents (e.g., accidents involving passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, or motorcycles)
- Medical malpractice
- Defective product-related accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slips, trips, and fall accidents
- Work Injuries including Non-subscriber cases
At Domingo Garcia, our legal team represents people in Dallas and surrounding areas of Texas. If you suffered a severe or catastrophic injury in an accident, a Dallas personal injury lawyer from our firm can review your case and determine what legal options you have to pursue financial compensation. We offer the first consultation for free when you call our firm.
What does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Many people are hesitant about taking legal action because of how daunting building a personal injury case seems. However, when you hire a Dallas personal injury lawyer from Domingo Garcia, we manage your case from start to finish so that you can focus on your recovery. Our team can provide updates as new developments occur for your case, from news about court hearing dates to settlement offers you receive.
Some of the legal duties that your personal injury lawyer can handle include:
Initiating Case Investigation
Part of your initial consultation can involve asking you key questions to gauge how much information you already have, which can dictate where our investigation begins. For example, we may ask you:
- Whether you filed an accident or incident report with law enforcement
- Whether you have photos or video documentation of the accident
- How the accident occurred from your perspective
- Whether more than one party was involved in the accident
We may send some of our team members to the accident scene to investigate whether additional factors might have been present. In some cases, such as those involving defective products, we may request to examine the object.
Collecting Evidence to Build Your Case Argument
As we investigate your case, we can collect as much evidence as possible to support your claims. For example, if you were injured in a truck accident, we may retrieve some of the following as evidence for your case:
- A copy of the official crash report
- Photographs of the accident scene, vehicles that were damaged, and injuries you sustained immediately
- Video footage that captured the accident, such as from traffic cameras, dashboard cameras, or surveillance cameras from nearby buildings
- Eyewitness testimony
- Black box data information from the truck
- Testimony from expert witnesses, such as mechanics or accident reconstruction analysts
Other evidence that may be relevant to your case can pertain to your damages, such as financial documents that prove medical costs you paid for or debts you accrued because of your injuries.
Responding to Messages on Your Behalf and Handling All Communications
While your case is ongoing, any statement you make outside the private discussions with our legal team may be vulnerable to misinterpretation. Insurance companies, for instance, may reach out to hear your statements about the accident that led to your injuries. However, insurance adjusters may listen carefully for any discrepancies in your statement, such as whether you got specific facts wrong or if your actions might have contributed to the accident.
Rather than have you risk jeopardizing your case, one of our Dallas personal injury lawyers can respond to insurance adjusters on your behalf. We can provide catered statements that avoid giving leverage to the defendant. We can also handle other communications relevant to your case, such as:
- Messages from the court about your case
- Settlement offers you receive from the defendant
- Messages from law enforcement or private investigators
- Other third parties interested in your case, such as journalists or expert witnesses
Calculating Your Compensatory Damages and Drafting Your Demand Letter
Compensation figures are based on the economic and non-economic damages that the plaintiff (the victim or their survivor/personal representative) incurred due to their accident.
Our legal team can discuss what kinds of damages you may be entitled to collect, then calculate these items for you. We can factor in future damages you might experience, such as future medical expenses you’ll have to pay if you still require treatment. Our team can then draft your demand letter and send it to the defendant, which notifies them of your intention to sue.
Serving as Your Representative in Negotiation or Trial
Many cases do not go to trial. There may be opportunities for your personal injury attorney in Dallas to negotiate a potential settlement for your case outside of court. Like with all communications, your lawyer can serve as your representative in negotiation meetings and court hearings to present your case for why you are demanding compensation.
Providing Legal Counsel When Necessary
Whenever legal decisions must be made, your attorney can relay this information. We understand that litigation can be difficult for many people to understand, so our team can explain these processes to you and provide any insight that might help you make educated decisions.
What Kind of Damages Can You Win in a Personal Injury Case?
As mentioned, your lawyer can calculate the value of your economic and non-economic damages to determine how much compensation you should pursue in your case. Your compensatory damages are based on the financial, physical, and emotional losses you suffered because of your accident, whether they are direct injuries you experienced at the time of the accident or subsequent injuries you suffered later.
Each personal injury case is unique, so there is no flat-rate figure for pursuing compensation for damages. Our legal team can have to discuss how your accident affected you personally, then go over which damages may qualify you to receive compensation. The following describes some damages we may include in your demand letter to the insurance company or defendant.
Economic Damages Include Financial Losses
Economic damages refer to your monetary losses, including expenses you had to pay for immediately after the accident or debts you incurred that put you under financial strain. In some cases, monetary losses can refer to money you would have made in the past that you can no longer acquire due to physical or mental injuries.
Common examples of economic damages include:
- Medical treatment costs: We can calculate the total cost of the medical care services you received, such as costs for surgeries, doctor appointments, emergency room care, ambulance rides, hospitalization, outpatient services, and lab diagnostic work. If you expect to receive future treatment for your injuries at the time of your filing, we can also factor in future expenses.
- Loss of wages: Severe injuries can require long recovery periods, putting people out of work for days to weeks or months. Individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries may become permanently disabled and unable to return to their careers. We can factor in how much wages you’ve lost during the time you could not go to work.
- Reduced earning capacity: If your injuries forced you to take a lower-paying position or leave your career industry altogether, we could calculate the difference in the salary you now earn. We can also factor in any job opportunities and promotions you missed out on because of your injuries.
- Property damage costs: If applicable to your case, we may calculate how much it would cost to repair or replace your property damaged in the accident. This is a common type of damage in vehicle accident cases.
- Out-of-pocket costs: Other financial damages may include any unique expenses you had to pay because of your injuries, such as costs for prescription medicines, home modifications to accommodate your disability, and mileage costs for traveling to medical appointments.
We may include other economic losses in your demand letter based on what you’ve experienced. To support your claims, we can generally ask for financial documents as evidence, such as tax documents, pay stubs from your employer, and medical or repair invoices.
Non-Economic Damages Include Physical and Emotional Losses
Non-economic damages refer to all other non-financial losses, which means these types of damages do not have an actual monetary amount. Physical, mental, and emotional losses fall under non-economic damages, but the severity of these damages may differ from person to person. Some common examples of non-economic losses include:
- Pain and suffering: “Pain and suffering” is used as an umbrella term for many types of non-economic damages. This includes physical and emotional pain, such as chronic pain or losing pleasure in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed.
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress encompasses various mental responses to trauma since getting injured in an accident can cause significant changes in the victim’s life. Victims who claim “emotional distress” often suffer from depression, anxiety, high stress, and insomnia. Grief can also fall under this category if the victim loses a loved one in the accident.
- Permanent disability or physical disfigurement: Certain injuries can develop into permanent disabilities regardless of the amount of treatment a patient receives. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury, you may have permanent paralysis in all or some parts of your body. Other injuries, such as burn marks, scarring, or amputation, may permanently change your appearance.
- Diminished quality of life: If your injuries prevent you from living independently, such as being able to make a living or do household chores for yourself, you may qualify for compensation based on how significantly your quality of life decreased. We may factor in whether your mental health declined, if you lost independence since becoming disabled, and whether you have a strong support system.
Texas mandates specific methods that lawyers can use to measure how much compensation to pursue based on their clients’ economic damages. In some cases, plaintiffs may be limited to the non-economic damages cap, as written in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.301.
Cases Where the Victim Passed Away May Qualify for Wrongful Death Damages
Unfortunately, not all victims survive their injuries. If you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased accident victim, you may qualify to file a wrongful death action on their behalf and pursue compensation for the damages they and you suffered. A wrongful death lawyer from our office can manage your case for you, relieving some stress as you process this difficult period of your life.
In wrongful death cases, you may pursue additional damages related to the losses you suffered since your loved one passed away. These damages may include:
- Funeral expenses: You may be able to recover the costs to arrange a funeral for your loved one and other service costs, such as costs for burial or cremation services. You can also demand compensation for other out-of-pocket costs for the funeral, such as floral services costs and catering costs for the reception.
- Loss of consortium or companionship: Surviving spouses qualify for this damage, as it reflects the significant emotional changes spouses experience after losing their loved one. You may also claim this damage if, prior to your loved one’s death, your relationship dynamics changed because of their injuries (e.g., you had to become their caretaker until their ultimate passing).
- Loss of parental guidance: Surviving children qualify for this type of damage. This reflects the profound loss of guidance, love, and affection children may have to live with now that their parent has passed away.
- Loss of financial support: If your loved one contributed to the family’s net worth or was a significant financial provider, you may demand compensation since you may now have to survive without their income. You may also be able to recover any loss of benefits or pensions your loved one would have provided for your family.
- Loss of inheritance: In some cases, surviving families must dip into their inheritances to cover medical debts and other financial demands after a loved one passes. Our legal team can fight to recover this inheritance and hold the liable party accountable for your loved one’s wrongful death.
How Long do You Have to File a Personal Injury Case in Dallas, Texas?
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit in Dallas, you must abide by Texas’s statute of limitations, which sets separate deadlines for different types of personal injury cases.
Most statutory deadlines for personal injury cases are written in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, which mandates that:
- If you want to file a personal injury case: You generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against another party.
- If you want to file a wrongful death case: The filing period is also two years. However, the deadline shifts to two years from the date of the victim’s death.
- If you want to file a product liability case: The statutory deadline may depend on when you were aware of the cause of your injury. If a defective product immediately injures you, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If you discovered that using a defective product caused you to develop an illness or injury, you have two years from the date of discovery to file. There is also a 15-year statute of repose, meaning you cannot take legal action if 15 years have passed since the product was sold.
Other types of personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice or nursing home abuse, follow different statutory deadlines. Additionally, if you file a lawsuit against a municipality, such as the city of Dallas, you have other deadlines to abide by before you can file a lawsuit. Our legal team can review your case, then take appropriate action to pursue compensation on your behalf.
Missing Your Case Deadline Could Give Leverage to the Defendant or the Insurance Company
Why is it important to submit a lawsuit by its statutory deadline? Not everyone wants to go through litigation, so there’s always the option to negotiate an insurance claim settlement, right? Yes and no.
One of the main legal strategies behind filing a lawsuit is leverage. Even if your case does not go to trial, filing a lawsuit can be one method to strongarm insurance companies to take your case seriously and offer a fair settlement figure that covers your damages. If you fail to file your case by its statutory deadline, the insurance company or defendant may make certain arguments against you:
- Your case is not legally valid: If you submit your case late, a judge may dismiss it upon review, which would bar you from pursuing compensation. Even if a judge does not immediately reject your case, the defendant would have the right to request a dismissal on your case for tardiness and have it granted.
- Your evidence may be outdated: Certain types of evidence are stronger in court when it’s fresh, such as eyewitness testimonies. Alternatively, the defendant may question whether your evidence is relevant to your case if it took you longer than two years to retrieve.
- Your case is not as serious as you claim to be: The defendant might argue that if it took longer than the statutory filing period for you to demand compensation, your injuries or financial setbacks might not be as damaging as you claim they are. So, while you may be able to recover compensation, the insurance company may use your tardiness as leverage to reduce the amount of money it owes you.
Rather than wait until the last minute to file your case, reach out to a Dallas personal injury lawyer from Domingo Garcia to begin working on your case right away.
Our Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers Handle Various Types of Cases
At Domingo Garcia, we handle the following types of personal injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Oil field accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Work accidents
- Product liability cases
- Wrongful death
- Cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
If you are unsure whether our firm can take on your case, we offer the first consultation for free to listen to your case. During a phone conversation with one of our team members, you can have an opportunity to explain your situation, and we may be able to list your legal options.
Our Case Results Include Million-Dollar Verdicts
At Domingo Garcia, our legal team has proudly won several multimillion-dollar verdicts for our clients. You can read more about our successful settlements and verdicts on our website. Some of our case results include:
- $5 million for a construction worker who suffered injuries in a construction accident that caused him to become paralyzed. Humberto was over 15 feet high off the ground, and the scaffold he was standing on collapsed. He suffered many injuries as a result of this.
- $4 million for a commercial framer who suffered head trauma and a spinal cord injury in a construction accident. Our client was working on a house-building construction site and fell off an unstable scaffold or landing.
- $8,500,000 for the surviving family members of a victim who passed away in a truck accident
Call Domingo Garcia Today to Get a Free Case Evaluation
At Domingo Garcia, we help victims who’ve suffered debilitating or catastrophic injuries and hold liable parties accountable for their negligence. If you suffered an injury in an accident that could have been prevented had another party taken better precautions, you may qualify for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. A Dallas personal injury lawyer from our firm can build your case, then represent you as they pursue compensation on your behalf.
Call Domingo Garcia today to learn more about our legal services and speak with one of our team members. We can evaluate your case for free, then discuss your legal options.