Accidents happen, but they can also be prevented. Accident victims who get severely injured often face immediate consequences, such as paying high costs to receive medical treatment or missing work until their injuries heal enough for them to return (if possible). Yet, the ones who should be paying the consequences of an accident are the parties that cause them.
Suppose you or a loved one in Fort Worth suffered a severe injury, such as head trauma or a spinal injury, in an accident caused by another party. In that case, you might qualify to receive compensation from that party. A Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can represent you and navigate Texas’ litigation system for you. We offer the first consultation for free to explain your legal options and the services we provide.
You May Qualify to Demand Compensation for Injuries from a Liable Party
With a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you can send a demand letter to the liable party and detail the damages you have experienced during and after the accident. Each personal injury case is unique in how much compensation a plaintiff might demand, as damages are based on:
- The type of accident
- What injuries the plaintiff sustained
- The financial background of the plaintiff (e.g., their salary, personal expenses, etc.)
- The costs of the plaintiff’s medical treatment
- How the plaintiff’s injuries affected their personal lives and relationships
Before sending your demand letter, we can discuss what kind of damages you experienced because of the accident in consultations with our team. We can then divide your compensatory damages into economic and non-economic damages. This separates your financial damages from your general ones, allowing us to calculate your losses and assign a reasonable monetary value to those that don’t have one. The following are some examples of damages you might claim:
Perhaps the most common compensatory damage involves expenses for medical treatment. Because the core of many personal injury cases involves being injured in an accident, plaintiffs are often concerned with recovering the money they had to spend on their treatment and physical recovery. Even with health insurance, you may still demand compensation for using your policy to cover these expenses.
Medical expenses can range from as small as buying prescription medicines to as large as having emergency surgery. Other medical care expenses may include costs for:
- Ambulance rides to the hospital
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospitalization and inpatient services
- Outpatient services
- Non-emergency surgeries
- Doctor’s appointments
- Lab work, such as blood testing
- Imaging exams, such as MRIs, C-T scans, and X-rays
- Medical aid equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches, and oxygen tanks
Our team can also calculate the potential cost of your future medical care if your long-term injuries have not reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Additionally, suppose your injuries are permanent (e.g., you became paralyzed because of a spinal cord injury). In that case, we may consult a medical expert to determine how this might affect your health in the long run and what type of medical care you’ll need.
If your injuries were severe enough to prevent you from going to work, you might also qualify to recover your lost wages. We can review your current salary or hourly wages and calculate how much income you lost and how much income you can continue to lose if you are still recovering.
Other damages related to income include:
- Reduced earning potential: Some injuries don’t prevent plaintiffs from working entirely but may force them to hold a different position while recovering. If this position pays less than your regular job, we can calculate the difference to determine your lost wages. If you were forced to leave your field entirely and now work less than what you used to, that life change may also qualify.
- Lost promotions and job opportunities: We can consult a vocational rehabilitation expert to determine whether your injuries might affect your ability to be promoted at your job or find new work. If you were already in the motions of getting a new position and your injuries forced you to reject the offer, we may calculate what you would have earned had you accepted it and followed that path.
- Lost benefits: If you lost your benefits, such as health insurance, because you took too much time off work or had to leave your position, we may be able to fight for compensation for those benefits.
Pain and Suffering
“Pain and suffering” is a general term for several non-economic damages, which includes all physical, emotional, and mental pain. These damages do not have a financial value, so our team can have to calculate them based on the impact they had on your life while using your financial damages as a starting point. We can review this process in a future consultation if you inquire about it.
Some examples of damages that fall within pain and suffering include:
- Physical pain: If your injuries force you to experience chronic pain or inflammation, you may claim this as a consequence of the accident. Alternatively, suppose you can prove that the accident aggravated a previous condition, such as a knee injury you had before a car accident. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation for the damage.
- Emotional distress: If the events of the accident caused you to develop depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, this could fall under “emotional distress,” as you were mentally affected by the accident. Having trouble falling or staying asleep (i.e., insomnia) also falls under this category.
- Permanent disability: If you now claim disability benefits because your injuries were so severe that they rendered you disabled, you may also demand additional compensation from the defendant. Injuries such as loss of vision or hearing, amputation, paralysis, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries commonly qualify for this damage type. You may also be eligible for compensation if you suffered a permanent change in your appearance, such as disfigurement.
- Diminished quality of life: Your injuries may have caused a significant negative impact on your life and reduced your ability to live independently, nurture your relationships, and enjoy daily activities. You may claim “diminished quality of life.” Our team would factor in how your lifestyle drastically changed since the accident.
Certain personal injury cases allow plaintiffs to pursue compensation for property damage they suffered, such as car accident cases or product liability cases. If you had property, such as a car or your home, get damaged in the accident, you may claim this damage to:
- Afford repairs for your property
- Replace the property items
- Recover the value of irreplaceable property items
Our team can explain how we evaluate the value of your property as we build your case.
Having a Personal Injury Lawyer Means Our Team does the Hard Work for You
When you hire a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer from Domingo Garcia, you can leave the burden of building your case argument to us. Many people are intimidated by the legal process, so having an attorney who can provide guidance is a valuable tool to take advantage of when you want to hold your ground against a liable party.
A lawyer can be your voice and help you hold the defendant accountable. Our legal team can recognize tactics when a defendant is trying to be uncooperative, delay your case, or even use intimidation to get you to back out of a case. Whether you’re fighting against a private individual or a major corporation, our team is here to lead your path.
Below are some of the main services we provide our clients:
- Private investigation: We can conduct a separate investigation from law enforcement to collect the information we need to build your case argument. While the accident report may include critical details about your case, other information may be found through video footage, witness interviews, and expert analysis. We may retrieve this evidence on your behalf, then present it to the opposing party to demand compensation.
- Communication services: When a case is ongoing, anything a plaintiff says is vulnerable to interpretation by the defendant. As your legal team, we want to protect your case as much as possible and give as little leeway to the defendant to claim you hold partial fault, caused your injuries, or have an invalid case in general. We can respond to all communications on your behalf and update you when necessary, such as when you receive a settlement offer.
- Administrative services: Casework is technical and tedious. Our firm assigns different members of our team to fill out legal documents relevant to your case, from filing legal motions to preparing your lawsuit for submission. Our founding attorney Domingo Garcia has over 35 years of experience and leads his team to be comprehensive with details.
- Legal representation: As mentioned, we are here to represent your right to demand compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney from our team can advocate for you in Fort Worth, Texas, and be present in negotiation meetings, pre-trial hearings, and trial. You can always have an opportunity to request legal counsel from your attorney, who can abide by your decision as your representative.
Want to learn more about our services? One of our team members can explain further when you call for a free consultation.
Different Types of Personal Injury Cases Require Specific Factors to Consider
At Domingo Garcia, we handle various types of personal injury cases. With our background, we have encountered several obstacles that can complicate a client’s case, so we know what it takes to overcome these challenges.
The following are some examples of factors we must consider when handling your case:
Car Accident Cases
Car accident cases can be standard if only two vehicles are involved, but any car accident lawyer must still be prepared to handle the unexpected. Some challenges with these cases include:
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists: Cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured or whose insurance does not have enough coverage for the accident means the lawyer must consider alternative options for seeking compensation. This may involve filing a lawsuit, filing claims with other forms of insurance, or investigating further if other liable parties may be involved in case they may owe compensation.
- Hit-and-run drivers: If the at-fault driver fled the scene without leaving their contact information, this could extend the investigation, as they must be found in order for the plaintiff to sue them. Because fleeing an accident scene is a criminal offense, our team may work together with law enforcement to track the defendant down.
- Commercial vehicles: Whenever a car accident case involves a commercial vehicle, including rideshare vehicles, this means the lawyer must also consider whether more than one party may be held liable for the accident. This is based on vicarious liability, which places liability on employers whenever their employees harm others during work hours.
Truck Accident Cases
Large commercial vehicles like semi-trucks can open a wide net of liable parties, depending on how the accident occurred and who was involved. It is not uncommon to have multiple liable parties in these cases, such as:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck’s manufacturer
- The parts manufacturer for the defective piece inside of the truck (unrelated to its original design and manufacturing)
- The maintenance company that last worked on the truck
- The loading company that last loaded the truck’s trailer
- A third-party driver that collided with the truck, which made it collide with your vehicle
- A municipality in charge of upkeeping proper road conditions
While the crash report may report that the truck collided with your vehicle if the truck driver claims a malfunction occurred or another party’s negligence contributed to the accident, our team would have to investigate and reach out to those parties to retrieve information.
Slip and Fall Accident Cases
Slip and fall accident cases fall under premises liability, which means the plaintiff can have to argue how the property owner owed failed to respond to or acknowledge hazards on their premises. This may involve pointing out:
- Whether hazard signs were posted near the hazard
- Whether the property owner or manager responded to the hazards immediately
- Whether other staff and guests were aware of the hazards
- Whether it was safe to have people on the premises despite the hazards (e.g., gas leaks require all individuals to evacuate a building)
Other premises liability cases, such as dog bite cases, may also present a history of prior offenses. For example, if a dog has a history of aggressive behavior, the plaintiff must give these records to hold the owner accountable.
Construction Accident Cases
Like truck accident cases, construction accident cases may involve multiple liable parties since construction projects often involve more than one commercial business working together. These parties may include:
- The construction company
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Safety regulation managers
- Supplies manufacturers and distributors
- Trucking companies
- Rental equipment companies
- Equipment manufacturers
Additionally, if the project was funded and planned by a local municipality, plaintiffs may have to take additional steps to file against the government. Often, this means sending a notice of intention to sue within 30 days of the accident, which is significantly shorter than the statutory deadline for most personal injury cases.
Product liability cases can also involve multiple liable parties since the commercial process of a product involves three distinct stages:
- The designer can be held liable if the product’s design caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- The manufacturer can be held liable if the supplies and methods to build the product caused the injury, not the design.
- The product’s marketing can hold the company responsible if the product was mislabeled or failed to warn consumers of its hazards.
- Product sellers can also be held liable if they mislead consumers about a product.
What Happens if the Plaintiff Passes Away from Their Injuries?
Unfortunately, sometimes accident victims do not survive their injuries, but that does not mean that the at-fault parties get to move on without any accountability. Surviving families have a right to step up on behalf of their deceased loved ones and fight for the compensation they would have received had they been alive. Our legal team at Domingo Garcia wants to help you with this goal and ensure the liable parties understand their wrongdoings.
In Texas, the surviving spouse, child, or parent of the decedent (deceased individual) can file a wrongful death action. This type of case is similar to a personal injury case, except a personal representative of the decedent is pursuing compensation due to the circumstances.
Surviving Families May Pursue Additional Damages Through a Lawsuit
Wrongful death cases also allow families to pursue additional damages than the decedent would have received, as these damages pertain to the significant loss the family is suffering. Losing a loved one is an emotionally overwhelming experience, but it can also bring on significant financial setbacks and long-term relationship effects that should not go unaccounted for.
For example, some wrongful death damages you may claim include:
- Funeral expenses: If your loved one did not already have an end-of-life plan, the cost of arranging a funeral could be an extreme burden on a family. Burial or cremation service costs can be hundreds to thousands of dollars, which not every family can afford unexpectedly.
- Loss of financial support: If your loved one worked a job to support the family, the loss of their income can put a financial strain on the surviving spouse or even force a surviving child to take on that responsibility before they’re ready.
- Loss of consortium: Surviving spouses may qualify for compensation for the sudden change in their relationship dynamics, as losing a spouse means losing one’s emotional support, co-parent, and overall life partner.
- Loss of parental guidance: Losing a parent significantly affects surviving children, who are now deprived of a father or mother to raise them. This can affect their outlook on life, relationships, and systemic practices.
Other damages may be related to losing any inheritance or other emotional-related damages. Our team can support your journey and take on as many tasks as possible to prepare your case while your family grieves in private.
Texas Gives a Two-Year Filing Period for People to File Their Lawsuits
If you decide to file a lawsuit about your case, you must abide by the state’s relevant statute of limitations. In Texas, various statutory deadlines exist for different types of personal injury cases. These deadlines are:
- General personal injury cases: Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 sets a two-year deadline, starting on the date of the accident.
- Wrongful death cases: Plaintiffs also have a two-year deadline, but the filing period begins on the date of the decedent’s death.
- Medical malpractice cases, including nursing home abuse: Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.251 sets a two-year deadline from the date of the accident or the date of discovery, as in when the plaintiff discovered the cause of their injury or illness.
- Product liability cases: Plaintiffs have a two-year deadline from the date of the accident or the date of discovery. However, there is also a 15-year statute of repose, meaning plaintiffs cannot file their case once 15 years have passed since the product was sold.
If you fail to submit your case within its statutory deadline, a judge may dismiss your case upon submission or per the request of the defendant. This means you would not be able to use a lawsuit as leverage against the defendant to negotiate a settlement, as you would be barred from pursuing compensation through the state’s civil court system.
Call Domingo Garcia Today to Hire a Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident in Fort Worth, Texas, a personal injury lawyer from Domingo Garcia can represent you and demand compensation from the appropriate parties. When you call our law firm, we offer to review your case for free and explain what services we provide to our clients. Once you understand the terms of our agreement, we’ll get started on your case immediately and update you as new developments occur.
Our team works for a contingency fee, so you don’t owe any attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Even then, we take our fees from your compensation award, so you never have to pay out of pocket, and there’s no financial risk in hiring our lawyers. Call today to get started on your legal journey.