Being seriously injured in any type of accident can cause immediate and long-lasting changes in your life. Your injuries may force you to take time off work leaving you unable to provide for your family. Meanwhile, you are also accruing medical bills and other expenses. Your quality of life may decline due to pain and physical impairments. You may suffer from emotional trauma, and activities you once enjoyed may become a thing of the past.
If another party’s negligence caused you harm, our Tyler personal injury lawyer at Domingo Garcia could help you understand your legal rights and options to pursue compensation. During a free initial consultation, we can explain how our team will handle your case so you can focus on healing and reclaiming your life.
Understanding Tyler Personal Injury Claims
When another person, company, or other entity causes you bodily harm due to careless actions or a failure to act, this is referred to as a personal injury. When you suffer a personal injury, the party responsible may be legally liable for compensating you financially for your economic and emotional losses.
Personal injury cases we handle at Domingo Garcia include but are not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Construction site accidents
- Work-related injuries
- Product liability
- Oilfield accidents
We can help you pursue compensation if you’ve sustained injuries related to these or other types of accidents. We also seek wrongful death damages for families of loved ones fatally injured in a preventable accident.
The Texas statute of limitations (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.001) requires you to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years of your injury or your loved one’s passing.
What does a Tyler Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Generally speaking, a personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who represents accident victims physically or psychologically injured. Personal injury lawyers work in tort law and pursue action against parties liable for negligent or willful actions or inactions. In addition, they seek financial compensation for their clients to cover losses they sustained due to their injuries, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Tyler Personal Injury Claim?
Damages are economic and personal losses pursued by an injury victim against the party responsible for the harm they sustained. Economic damages related to medical bills and loss of income typically represent the bulk of a survivor’s financial losses. These can be easily calculated using bills and receipts and commonly include the following:
- Ambulance and emergency care
- Surgeries and hospitalization
- Rehab and physical therapy
- Doctor’s appointments
- Prescription medication
- Home and vehicle modifications to accommodate physical impairments
- Home medical equipment
- Other health-care related costs and out-of-pocket expenses
When an injury survivor cannot earn a gainful living now or in the future, damages can include compensation for lost income and diminished earning capacity.
Non-economic damages represent subjective or personal losses that don’t come with a price tag but certainly merit compensation. Examples include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished quality of life
- Punitive damages
What Damages Can You be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When another party’s negligence or failure to act results in a victim’s death, the decedent’s spouse or other loved ones may pursue compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages can be awarded to surviving family members for their losses and those suffered by the decedent.
For example, recoverable damages can include the following:
- The decedent’s medical expenses
- The decedent’s pain and suffering before passing
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Loss of the decedent’s inheritance
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, guidance, etc.
If you lost a loved one in a preventable accident, a Tyler personal accident attorney can calculate losses and pursue compensation on behalf of you, your family, and your deceased loved one.
How Can You Prove Negligence and Liability in a Personal Injury Case?
Proving the negligence of another party is an essential part of any solid personal injury claim. Your lawyer must show that the other party acted without reasonable care. Specifically, we will establish negligence by proving the following four legal concepts:
Duty of Care
Duty of care is a basic legal concept that asserts that individuals or companies must act with enough caution to reasonably avoid harming others. For example, if you are driving, all other motorists owe you a duty of care not to injure you, and vice versa. Therefore, if you are in an auto accident, your attorney must reference the statutes and determine whether a duty of care applies to the other party.
Breach of Duty
If the party owed you a duty of care, your attorney must prove beyond doubt that the other party breached their duty of care. Your attorney must then provide evidence proving that the other party acted negligently.
To illustrate, all drivers on the road owe a duty not to drive distracted. Suppose they looked at their phone, ran a stop sign, and hit another car. In this case, their reckless use of their phone was a breach of duty—a court order could confiscate the person’s call or text history as evidence of negligence.
Once your lawyer proves that the other party was negligent, they must prove that their actions or inactions caused your injuries. In other words, you would not have been hurt if not for their behavior. To demonstrate this, your lawyer must thoroughly investigate your accident and rule out any other injury-causing factors.
Sometimes the other party’s actions are proven negligent, but their actions didn’t cause, or only partially caused, your injuries. It is then possible that you acted in a way that left you also partly responsible for the accident. In these cases, you may still be able to sue for compensation based on the proportionate responsibility of the other party.
Finally, your lawyer must demonstrate that your injuries led to quantifiable damages. In personal injury cases, the other party can be liable for both economic and non-economic damages you’ve sustained. Moreover, we will pursue compensation based on damages you’ve already accrued and those you might encounter in the future.
Why Should You Retain a Tyler Personal Injury Lawyer?
The time after an accident, however severe, can be demanding for anyone. This stress is further compounded by the legal process of recovering financial compensation, which is often complex and tedious and requires that strict deadlines are met. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident in Tyler or Longview, a personal injury lawyer can take on this burden and represent your best interests, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injury.
Specific tasks a Tyler personal injury lawyer can handle for you include the following:
Investigating Your Claim and Gathering Evidence
Any solid personal injury claim must be supported by evidence. Indeed, without evidence, your lawyer will not be able to convince the insurance company or a court that you deserve compensation.
Of course, the evidence you will need to prove liability depends on the nature and severity of your injury. And your lawyer will evaluate your unique situation and know which avenues of investigation to pursue. In addition, your lawyer can help continuously document your injuries to prove damages.
Evidence your attorney can collect for your personal injury case may include the following:
- Police reports of the accident
- Incident reports from the public or private location of the accident—e.g., the store, restaurant, mall, etc.
- Eyewitness statements and affidavits
- Statements and opinions from expert witnesses, such as medical examiners, doctors, psychologists, accident reconstruction experts, police officers, etc.
- Photos and videos of the scene after the accident
- Surveillance or cell phone video that shows the accident happen
- Photos and videos documenting your injuries and treatment
- Pay stubs, income statements, and bank statements to prove lost wages after the accident
It can be nearly impossible to collect and present all of this evidence yourself. And this is especially true while injured or dealing with the loss of your loved one. Therefore, having a lawyer assemble the needed evidence will significantly simplify the legal process.
Communicating With Insurance Companies
Rather than the negligent individual or company, their insurance company will most likely be responsible for paying you. For this reason, negotiating your claim with an insurance company is necessary to secure financial compensation.
Insurance companies are for-profit companies. Therefore, it is in their best interest to keep financial losses at a minimum. With this in mind, they may try to undervalue the compensation they owe you and hope you will agree to a lowball settlement. Similarly, if you say anything that could be misconstrued, they can hold it against you in court.
For these reasons, we highly recommend having an attorney communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. A personal injury attorney at our firm can circumvent insurance company tactics, hold them accountable, and get you a fair settlement.
Composing and Sending a Demand Letter or Appeal
Your attorney can help you compose a well-supported demand for compensation from an insurance company. A demand letter will present all the facts and establish how much you are owed and why you believe they owe you.
However, sometimes the insurance company will reject your claim. If this occurs, your attorney can also help you compose and send an appeal.
Representing You in Court, If Necessary
Unfortunately, the insurance company may repeatedly reject your claims and make a settlement out of court impossible. If this happens, you should consider filing a lawsuit and pursuing damages in court. Our attorney serving Tyler will represent you at trial and present your case for compensation to a jury.
What Personal Injury Cases does Domingo Garcia Handle?
Any number of preventable accidents in Tyler or Longview can cause personal injuries. Some of the most common cases we handle include the following:
Auto accidents cause an astounding number of injuries and fatalities every year. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2020, there were an estimated 4.8 million medically consulted injuries. Also, motor vehicle accidents were the second leading cause of preventable death.
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that if you were in an accident that was not your fault, you must file a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company. However, sometimes drivers leave the scene or are uninsured, and then you must turn to your own insurance policy to cover losses like property damages and bodily injury.
Large Commercial Truck Accidents
Many commercial truck drivers and the companies they work for must follow certain traffic laws and regulations that passenger vehicles do not. Moreover, the type of truck involved in an accident determines which specific laws were violated and contributed to liability. These include the following:
- Semis, aka 18-wheelers, big rigs, and tractor-trailers
- Large delivery trucks and vans
- Oil and gas trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tow trucks
- Refrigerated trucks
Motorcyclists face more significant dangers than drivers and passengers in standard cars and trucks. This is because they have a limited amount of protection and no external shell to shield them from the impact of much larger, heavier vehicles. In addition, their small size means they are less visible than other motorists and are more likely to vanish into the blind spots of drivers.
Negligence by motorists often results in significant harm to bikers when they fail to check their surroundings while driving in traffic. Cyclists who are hit commonly sustain severe injuries to the head, neck, and spine that are catastrophic, if not lethal. Furthermore, they may suffer from cuts and lacerations, broken bones, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and more.
For all these reasons, even motorcyclists who drive responsibly and follow the rules of the road are still highly vulnerable, and the impact of a relatively small car can lead to tragedy.
Slip, Trip, and Fall and Premises Liability Accidents
Property owners and renters have a legal duty to maintain safe premises for those invited to enter their home, business, or property. Slip, trip, and fall accidents that result from hazardous or defective conditions are very common. Often they are caused by icy or slippery walking surfaces, broken floorboards, and stairs. They can happen without warning and tend to be especially hard on older adults.
Besides slips and falls, many other premises liability accidents can occur in Tyler and Longview, including the following:
- Ceiling collapse
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Negligent security
- Fire safety and building code violations
- Inadequate lighting
- Dog or animal attacks
Product Liability and Defective Products
Product manufacturers are responsible for distributing products to the public that are safe to use for their intended purposes. Potentially unsafe products (e.g., cigarettes) typically require warnings as to their potential for causing damage. A victim injured by a hazardous or defective product is entitled to pursue compensation from the manufacturer and sometimes the retailer.
In many instances, you will need expert testimony to demonstrate that a product was poorly designed, defective, or dangerous for its intended use. A Tyler personal injury attorney can employ these witnesses for you and ask them to testify in court, if necessary, on your behalf.
Equipment malfunctions, unsafe working conditions, and negligence of workers cause workplace injuries. Workplace injuries may be severe, including traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and long-term health conditions, like cancer or leukemia.
Injured employees may file Texas workers’ compensation claims if their employer has workers’ comp insurance coverage. If not, employees may seek compensation through a third-party injury claim by showing their employer was negligent.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction sites often consist of large, specialized vehicles, heavy machinery, and dangerous chemicals. There are also other hazardous elements you would not normally encounter, such as ladders, scaffolding, and falling objects.
If you were an employee injured at a construction site, and a third party, such as a subcontractor, is to blame, you could be eligible for compensation. If you were passing by a construction site and were injured, you would want to consult with an attorney who can file a claim against the construction company seeking compensation on your behalf.
Example of a Construction Accident-Related Settlement
Jamie Martinez was a construction worker who, in 2005, sought the help of Attorney Domingo Garcia for injuries he sustained when he fell from an unstable scaffolding at a home building construction site in Frisco, Texas.
Supervisors directed Martinez to get on the scaffold, which he assumed was safe. He stood approximately 14 feet above the ground when he fell to the concrete floor. He suffered severe head trauma and a spinal cord injury that left him quadriplegic and permanently disabled. Martinez was awarded $4,000,000 in the final settlement, netting $2,288,706 after attorney fees and expenses.
Oil Field Accidents
Employees working on oil rigs or fields in Tyler or Longview may be subject to various accident-related injuries. While workers’ compensation may provide some benefits, these may not be sufficient to compensate you for your injuries.
Depending on your case’s circumstances and your employer’s insurance coverage, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against a negligent third party. Injuries sustained by oil workers can include the following:
- Unintentional falls on stabbing boards
- Equipment malfunctions resulting in fire or explosions
- Falling objects of substantial weight due to negligence or an explosion
- Exposure to poisonous chemicals used by equipment and machinery
Many parties may be responsible for injuries on oil rigs and in fields. For this reason, seeking legal counsel from our Tyler personal injury attorney is essential to help you explore your options for fair compensation.
What Are Common Injuries Caused by Preventable Accidents?
Accident-related injuries range in severity from minor to lethal. The more severe and long-lasting an injury, the more physical, financial, and personal costs can be associated with it. The most devastating injuries are often life-threatening, highly debilitating, disfiguring, and may result in a lifetime of disability. These are also known as catastrophic injuries.
Although they are not always permanent, catastrophic injuries often require constant and intensive medical attention for months, years or decades. And unfortunately, the full effects of these injuries may not be realized for a very long time. Damages awarded in a catastrophic injury lawsuit could reach well into six or seven figures.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include the following:
- Loss of one or more limbs due to accidental or surgical amputation
- Loss of other body parts
- Extensive burns caused by fires or chemicals
- Injuries causing permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Severe nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries causing partial or complete paralysis
- Loss of eyesight or hearing
- Multiple bone fractures and crush injuries
Having a Tyler personal injury attorney handle your catastrophic injury case may be essential to ensure that potential compensation is not overlooked. Also, in many cases involving such large sums of money, liable parties and their insurance companies fight hard to avoid paying the damages they are responsible for and try to undervalue your claim.
Accident victims can suffer many other injuries that are not catastrophic but severe, painful, and require emergency medical care. The injuries may not be as expensive to treat but can result in significant medical bills and loss of income. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bone fracture
- Cuts and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments
- Mild-moderate burns
- Soft-tissue injuries
If you were injured in an accident due to negligence, a Tyler personal injury lawyer could help you seek fair compensation for any injuries requiring medical attention.
Get Help from a Tyler Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Domingo Garcia, our team will inform you of your case developments so you can make the right decision for your future and your family. We have witnessed firsthand and understand the devastating impact of a severe personal injury on the victim and their families in Tyler and Longview.
Call us today for your free case evaluation. We serve injured victims across Texas, including Dallas, Houston, Tyler, Odessa, and Fort Worth. Our Tyler personal injury lawyers are here to handle all your legal needs so you can focus on getting healthy again.