You Have Questions. We Have Answers!

Do I Have a Case If the Accident Report Says I Am at Fault?

You may, but it depends on the circumstances. In some cases, you may not actually be at fault under the law even if you think you may have done something wrong. Current laws regarding liability and the recovery of damages are very complicated and the judge and jury must hear all of the evidence to make a proper determination of “fault.” If you or a loved one were involved in an accident that resulted in personal injuries or death, you may be entitled to a recovery even if you think you may be at fault for the incident. Even if a police officer finds that you are partially at fault for an accident, you will not be barred from recovery in most cases. Texas is a comparative fault state. This means the current laws in place may prevent your recovery if a jury determines that you are 51% or more at fault for your injury. If you are found to be less than 51% at fault, your recovery may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. Disputes over comparative fault can be very confusing to many people, and the insurance companies will take advantage of this confusion in an effort to limit how much they pay you. Each case must be evaluated on its own separate facts. If you want to discuss whether or not you have a case in light of your particular facts, just remember—One Call, That’s All. The attorneys at The Payne Law Group can explain the comparative fault laws of Texas and more to you during a free consultation.

Can I Sue My Employer for an On the Job Injury?

The answer to this question depends on whether your employer has worker’s compensation insurance coverage or is a “nonsubscriber” that does not have such coverage. If your employer does not have worker’s compensation coverage, then you may be able to bring a claim to recover monetary damages for items such as pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of wage earning capacity, and medical expenses. If your employer does not have such coverage, they cannot defend against your claim by asserting that your own negligence caused the incident unless that was the sole cause of the injury. Generally, if your employer carries worker’s compensation insurance coverage, you cannot sue the employer for an on the job injury. However, even if your employer carries worker’s compensation coverage, you can sue your employer if the injury was caused intentionally or if the employer’s gross negligence causes the death of certain family members.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance coverage that pays for accident-related medical expenses, and possibly some other expenses for covered persons who are injured in an accident, regardless of fault. PIP coverage is optional in Texas.

How Do I Select a Personal Injury Attorney?

When there are so many choices available, it can be very difficult to know you are making the right choice. There are many things you can do to make sure you select the personal injury attorney that is best for your situation. You can talk to your friends and relatives to see if they have any experiences with an attorney, either good or bad. You can also ask other lawyers or legal assistants for their advice and recommendations. Many times, persons working in the legal community will know which personal injury attorneys do a good job for their clients. Many of our clients are referred to us from other attorneys. You also want to make sure your attorney is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. Personal injury laws are constantly changing and an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law has made a commitment to keeping up with the laws and issues that are important to personal injury claims. The Payne Law Group Attorney Scott Scherr is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and can help you in your time of need. Further, Attorney Scherr is a personal injury lawyer who is not afraid of going to trial. Many lawyers claim to fight for you, but only want to rush to a settlement so that they can move on to the next case without having to put much work into the case. Equally as bad is the attorney who claims to protect your rights but is not willing to take your case to trial when necessary. Although most cases do settle before trial, insurance companies know when a lawyer is not willing to actually go to trial, and they will use that to their advantage to obtain a settlement for less than the full value of the case. Even when you don’t want to go to trial, you want an attorney who is known for taking cases to trial so that you can get the highest settlement offer possible.

How Do I Pay My Attorney?

In representing the injured party, all of our personal injury and wrongful death claims are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not receive any fee unless there is a recovery for your injuries. The contingency fee system allows people who might otherwise not be able to afford legal representation a chance to pursue justice for their injuries. If a settlement is reached, we take a pre-established percentage of that amount, so you never have to pay legal fees out of your own pocket.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle My Injury Claim?

Insurance companies presume most people do not know their rights and will not take the time or put in the effort to find out what they are legally entitled to after suffering an injury. The bottom line is that insurance adjusters can oftentimes take advantage of your lack of knowledge to victimize you once again by settling your case significantly below its actual value. Insurance adjusters handle hundreds or even thousands of claims each year. On the other hand, most injury victims have never been involved in a personal injury claim. This creates a very unfair situation where the insurance company can take advantage of a claimant who does not have a lawyer. This means that no matter how smart you are, or how much time you spend to educate yourself about the claims process, the claims adjuster will probably successfully take advantage of the situation unless you hire an attorney. When you need someone to fight for your rights, make sure you remember to make One Call, That’s All.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Each case is different and must be evaluated on its particular facts. There are many factors, which can include issues such as the amount of fault attributable to the other party, any fault that can be attributed to your actions, the amount of damage to the vehicles in a car wreck claim, the type and extent of physical injuries, the total cost of the medical bills, and any special or extenuating circumstances. Again, each case is different and must be evaluated by a lawyer with knowledge of the facts and circumstances. When you need someone to evaluate your case, just remember One Call, That’s All.

I Think My Car Should Be Totaled, But the Insurance Company Wants to Fix It. Can They Do That?

When another person damages your automobile, they generally only have to pay the lesser of the reasonable cost of repair or the fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident. You don’t get to make the decision as to whether or not your car is totaled. The law permits the insurance company to make that decision in most circumstances. This seems particularly unfair when you are involved in an accident while driving a new car. You obviously do not want a brand-new car with substantial repairs—you want a new car. However, current law does not permit you to make the insurance company to “total” your car. In some instances, you may be able to recover for the diminished value of the car if you can prove the loss in value.

The Insurance Company Asked for a “Recorded Statement.” What Is That & Should I Agree?

The insurance adjuster may claim that they simply want to gather information about the incident and your injuries and want to record the conversation for their records. However, a recorded statement provides the insurance company an opportunity to ask you questions without an attorney to protect your rights, in an effort to find a way not to pay your claim. Recorded statements don’t help your claim but may actually harm your ability to recover what you are legally entitled to recover. Even the insurance companies know how unfair recorded statements can be. I have offered many times to let my client provide a recorded statement if we can have the same opportunity to take a recorded statement of the other involved party. However, I have never had a single insurance adjuster agree to let me take a recorded statement of their insured. If you are asked to give a recorded statement, just remember first to make One Call, That’s All.

How Do I Get a Copy of My Accident Report?

If you or a family member has been involved in an accident, we can help you get a copy of the accident report. Give us a call.