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Help & Information

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you navigate legal process and win your settlement.

At Thomas J. Henry Law, we want to ensure all injured victims are informed and knowledgeable about their rights. The legal process can be complicated, confusing, and overwhelming, especially when you are also dealing with the aftermath of an accident or injury.

Thomas J. Henry Law has prepared the following Infographics, FAQ Videos, and Personal Injury Legal Guides to assist you on your road to recovery. If you wish to speak directly with an attorney, contact our offices now for a FREE Case Consultation – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Your Questions Answered


Not only are experts essential in finding and retaining evidence at the scene, they can also provide expert analysis of their findings and expert testimony during trial and arbitration.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your workplace injury lawsuit include:

  • Workplace Safety Compliance Experts
  • OSHA Consultants
  • Hazardous Chemicals Experts
  • Ladder Experts
  • Process Safety Management Experts
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Experts
  • Safety Equipment Experts
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Accident Re-constructionist

In order to prove your nursing home neglect lawsuit, Thomas J. Henry Law may make use of expert witnesses, including:

  • Medical Doctors and Physicians
  • Hospice Physicians
  • Registered Nurses
  • Health Care Administrators
  • Rehabilitation Specialists
  • Wound Care Specialists

If you have been the victim of legal malpractice or barratry, expert witnesses may be essential in proving your claim. Experts may include:

  • Legal Ethics Specialists
  • Legal Regulatory Compliance Specialists
  • Ethics Attorneys

If you have been injured or suffered illness due to a recalled drug, having an expert witnesses can be essential to proving your claim. Thomas J. Henry has spent decades building professional relationships with leading experts including:

  • Pharmacologists
  • Toxicologists
  • Regulatory Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic toxicologists
  • Drug Injury Causation Experts
  • Biomechanics

If you’ve been involved in a premises liability accident, Thomas J. Henry Law may bring expert witnesses to help prove fault, liability, and damages. These include:

  • Premises Maintenance Experts
  • Structural Engineers
  • Slip Resistance Testing Experts

If it is determined that the plaintiff was an invitee of the business owner, then the business owner has a legal duty to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe for that invitee. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonable know about as well as regularly inspecting the property in order to fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions.

Situations involving invitees in which a business owner may have failed to provide a duty of ordinary care and may be liable for a visitor’s injuries include:

  • Injuries caused by a defective sliding door
  • Injuries caused by improperly assembled shelves
  • Injuries cause by improperly assembled and/or poorly maintained ceilings
  • A business owner failing to provide a safe parking lot for customers
  • Slip and fall injuries caused by a we floor

However, even if a visitor is determined to be a trespasser, a business owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by the trespasser if it is determined that the business owner created dangerous conditions on his property or attempted to make known dangerous conditions worse in order to catch or punish trespassers.

If you are visiting a business as a customer, then you are considered and invitee and the property owner owes you a duty of care. Part of this duty of care is that the owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe for invitees. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about as well as inspecting the property and either fixing or warning invitees about any dangerous conditions.

For example, in a situation in which liquid was spilled, the store would either have to clean up the spill in a timely manner or provide notification, such as a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign, to invitees provided the spill was known about or should have reasonably been known about.

If you feel that your injury was the result of a business owner’s failure to fulfill a reasonable duty of care, then you may be entitled to compensation.

If you have fallen at a Texas business, chances are an employee of that business will ask you to sign an incident report. If you have sustained an injury, it is typically best to refrain from signing any paperwork until you have retained an attorney.

An incident report, also called an accident report, is a report formally recording the facts related to an accident or injury. While you do want to make sure that your incident is reported to management, you may not want to sign any paperwork you are presented with.

Negligent security actions can be incredibly complex cases, making them difficult to prove. When hiring a lawyer to represent you in a negligent security case, be sure that they have experience handling and winning these cases and are willing to prepare and take the case to trial. There are many elements that your legal team will have to prove, including:

  • The property owner or manager had a duty of care
  • The plaintiff was on the property legally (not trespassing)
  • Criminal activity on the premises or in the area was foreseeable
  • The property owner did not provide sufficient security on the premises
  • The plaintiff was injured or killed due to the lack of sufficient security
  • The plaintiff suffered damages, monetarily or physically, as a result of the criminal act on the premises

Injuries caused by a third-party on an unsafe premises can be catastrophic in nature. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death can be the result of a violent crime. A negligent security claim can help you recover damages, such as extensive medical costs or future and past lost wages.

These cases oftentimes require experts to help prove that negligent security occurred. Expert witnesses can shed light on background crime data of the area, the foreseeability of dangerous crime on the premises, and whether there was any security or sufficient security present to protect from criminal activity.

Every negligent security case has unique situations and circumstances. It is important that you retain an attorney with the experience handling these types of cases and the legal and financial resources necessary to properly develop a case before trial. Thomas J. Henry has handled complex inadequate security cases and achieved real results for our clients

Property owners are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for people invited onto their premises. Negligent or inadequate security claims involve situations where a property owner’s failure to provide sufficient security on their grounds results in a foreseeable criminal act, such as a robbery, rape, assault, or battery. Criminal activity may be considered foreseeable if similar crimes have previously occurred on the premises or in the area.

Negligent security cases can occur in a variety of settings, both residential and commercial:

  • Apartment building or complex
  • ATMs
  • Bars, nightclubs, or lounges
  • College dorm
  • Convenience store
  • Hotel or motel
  • Movie theaters
  • Office buildings
  • Parking garage
  • Parking lot
  • Parks and recreational areas
  • Retail store
  • Schools
  • Shopping mall

Every negligent security case is different, and the definition of adequate security will differ depending on the premises and foreseeable crime. Examples of adequate security include security officers, adequate lighting, functioning locks or key-in entry, and security cameras or alarms.

The responsible party in a negligent security lawsuit can be the property owner, security contractors, security personnel, property lessees, business owners, or landlords.

Oftentimes in a slip and fall case, the property owner will concoct a legal defense and try to avoid liability by claiming that the slip and fall (and subsequent injury) was the victim’s fault. This defense is raised by the defense counsel in which they must prove that the injured party contributed in some way to the accident.

There are different types of comparative fault and negligence systems depending on the state in which you reside. In Texas, for example, a modified comparative fault system allows plaintiffs to recover damages as long as they are found to be no more than 50 percent negligent in the accident that caused their injury. However, if a jury awards a plaintiff that is found to be partially at fault for the accident, the recoverable damages are reduced by that percentage. For example, a jury award of $100,000 would be reduced to $50,000 if a plaintiff is found to be 50 percent at fault.

Whether you can sue a property owner depends whether the property owner owed you a duty of care and whether the property owner breached that duty of care. The duty of care owed to you by the property owner depends on your relationship with the property owner. Typically, you as a visitor will fall into one of three categories:

  • Licensee: A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits expressly or implicitly to be on his property without a contractual relationship or trade of benefits. A houseguest is normally considered a licensee.
  • Invitee: An invitee is an individual who visits a property for a reason that benefits both the visitor and the property owner. A common example of an invitee is a shopper visiting a grocery store. In this instance, the shopper benefits from getting groceries and the store benefits from the shopper spending their money. A residential example of an invitee would include a contractor hired by a homeowner to complete repairs on a property. While a transfer of money is common in invitee situations, it is not required.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is a visitor who comes onto a property without permission of the property owner.

Once that is established, your attorney will begin to look at the duty of care owed:

  • Duty of Care Owed to Licensees: The property owner is usually only liable for willful or wanton injury to a licensee. This means the property owner must exercise enough care to prevent injury to a visitor who is known to be or could reasonably be expected to be within the range of a dangerous act or condition (i.e. warn the licensee of a known hazard). However, the property owner is not required to inspect the premises or to immediately fix dangerous conditions.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Invitees: The property owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that is commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers: Because there is now true relationship between a trespasser or property owner, the law is much more lenient when it comes to the duty of care owed by the property owner. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse in order to catch trespassers.

An incident report, also called an accident report, is a formal report recording the facts related to an accident or injury. While you do want report your incident to the property owner or manager, you may want to think twice before putting your signature on any paperwork. Formal reports are admissible in court and signing such a report implies that you are in agreement with all the information presented on the document.

A few things you want to look for when an incident report is presented to you include:

  • Is the report in your writing or is it someone else’s account of how the accident happened?
  • Does the report accurately detail your accident and injuries?
  • Is the manager being pushy or trying to intimidate you into signing the report?
  • Could the business be trying to limit their liability for you accident and injuries?
  • Are you aware of the full extent of your injuries?

If you have any reservations about signing a report or if you just feel like something is not quite right, withhold your signature and reach out to an attorney. Remember, the property owner’s primary concern is their own financial well-being. Your physical well-being is much lower on the list.

If you are involved in a slip and fall accident caused by a wet floor or an object on the ground, there are several steps you can take to help build your premises liability case.

Seek medical attention: As always, your health and physical recovery is paramount. If you need to take an ambulance from the scene to the hospital, do it – even if it delays your reporting the incident. Having your injuries diagnosed and documented by a doctor in a timely manner can help establish the damages you will be claiming later.
Report the incident: If you are able to remain at the scene, report the incident to the property owner or property manager. When reporting the incident, only provide the details you are comfort with. Items you may want to cover in the report are provided below. Make sure you get a copy of the report.
Take pictures: Water can be cleaned up and objects can be moved. Be sure you get photos of the scene as it was when your accident happened. Anytime photo is taken with a cell phone or with a digital camera, a time stamp is included in the file information. This can later be used to demonstrate when the accident occurred.
Get contact information of any witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, get their names and phone numbers. Their insight can help during the investigation of your accident, and their testimony can help prove your claim to compensation.
Call an experienced injury attorney: If you are injured in a premises liability accident, you can be certain that the business where the accident occurred will be hiring a lawyer. You should do the same. Thomas J. Henry has the experience and resources to investigate and prove you claim. Thomas J. Henry also has access to expert witnesses and investigators who can demonstrate how negligence of the property owner contributed to your accident.

The law classifies a slip and fall injury, sometimes referred to as a trip and fall, as a tort. Simply put, if you slip and fall and are injured on someone else’s property, you have suffered a slip and fall injury. A slip and fall injury can result from falling on a wet floor in a grocery store to slipping and falling on ice in the front of someone’s residence. Slip and fall injuries are a leading cause of non-fatal injuries for Americans of all ages, with the potential of some severe injuries.

If you or a loved one were injured on someone’s property and believe your injury was the result of the property owner’s failure to provide reasonable protection, following these steps may help build your product liability case.

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries
  • Ensure that you or loved ones’ well being is taken care of before taking any other actions
  • Report the incident to the owner or manager of the property
  • Make sure to get a copy of the incident report
  • Take pictures of the area where the accident happened
  • Photos with a date and time are important, because evidence could be removed
  • Get names and phone numbers of any people who witnessed the accident
  • Witnesses will help prove your story in the future
  • Call an experienced injury attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has the experience and resources necessary to retrieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries

After determining which category an injured falls into, a court will analyze what duty of care is owed by the property owner.  Generally, the duty of care will be as follows:

  • Duty of Care Owed to Licensees: The property owner is usually only liable for willful or wanton injury to a licensee. This means the property owner must exercise enough care to prevent injury to a visitor who is known to be or could reasonably be expected to be within the range of a dangerous act or condition (i.e. warn the licensee of a known hazard). However, the property owner is not required to inspect the premises or to immediately fix dangerous conditions.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Invitees: The property owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that is commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers: Because there is now true relationship between a trespasser or property owner, the law is much more lenient when it comes to the duty of care owed by the property owner. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse in order to catch trespassers.

In most situations, a property owner owes a general duty of care toward those injured on his property. How far this duty of care extends is dependent on the relationship between the property owner and the injured person. In most premises liability cases, plaintiffs will fall into one of three categories:

  • Licensee: A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits expressly or implicitly to be on his property without a contractual relationship or trade of benefits. A houseguest is normally considered a licensee.
  • Invitee: An invitee is an individual who visits a property for a reason that benefits both the visitor and the property owner. A common example of an invitee is a shopper visiting a grocery store. In this instance, the shopper benefits from getting groceries and the store benefits from the shopper spending their money. A residential example of an invitee would include a contractor hired by a homeowner to complete repairs on a property. While a transfer of money is common in invitee situations, it is not required.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is a visitor who comes onto a property without permission of the property owner.

If you have been involved in a car accident, expert witnesses may be called in to help prove liability and damages. Expert witnesses for a car accident lawsuit may include:

  • Medical Doctors and Physicians
  • Biomechanical Engineers
  • Automotive Forensic Consultants
  • Accident Re-constructionists

Expert witnesses are an essential part of proving fault and damages in a car accident claim. Thomas J. Henry Law has spent more than 25 years gathering and building professional relationships with some of the nations leading auto industry experts.

En Texas, si está involucrado en un accidente causado por la conducción negligente o imprudente de otra persona, se le permite presentar una demanda incluso si no tiene seguro.

Algunos conductores sin seguro pueden tener miedo de presentarse o sentirse presionados para llegar a un acuerdo directamente con el conductor culpable por temor a que puedan enfrentar consecuencias legales debido a que conducen sin seguro. No caiga en la trampa: todavía tiene derecho a sus derechos legales y a una compensación justa.

Thomas J. Henry Law ofrece revisiones de casos gratuitas para que pueda comprender mejor sus opciones legales. Esto significa que no paga nada por su primera consulta. Además, Thomas J. Henry Law trabaja sobre una base de honorarios de contingencia, lo que significa que si elige contratarnos, no nos paga nada a menos y hasta que ganemos su caso.

Si usted ha sido lesionado, debe llamar a un abogado de lesiones personales para averiguar qué derechos tiene. Si cree que su lesión ha sido causada por otra persona o una compañía, puede tener derecho a recibir una compensación por la lesión.

Thousands of lawsuits across the country may be filed with a mass tort. These lawsuits are filed in numerous federal district courts. In a mass tort, federal judges will consolidate the thousands of lawsuits into a single proceeding. One judge in a single federal district court will oversee litigation, allowing for consistent rulings and a more expeditious process for the plaintiffs.

A court will consider if a mass tort lawsuit is permissible by determining:

  • whether a large number of plaintiffs are involved
  • whether the plaintiffs are located near or far from each other;
  • whether the injuries sustained are similar among the plaintiffs;
  • whether the claims arose from the same cause (defective toy, car part, oil spill, etc.)

Defective products, such as car parts, toys, or other consumer goods.

Pharmaceutical drugs, such as those that are later linked to severe or fatal health consequences Environmental hazards, such as polluted water sources contaminated by nearby industrial sites or an oil leak.

In a mass tort, each plaintiff (injured person) has an individual claim resulting from their unique damages. In a class action, many plaintiffs are considered collectively. Similarly, in a mass tort, each individual’s claim “value” is unique to the severity of their injuries. In a class action, plaintiffs generally suffer injuries of similar severity, resulting in the same amount of compensation value.

A tort is a civil wrongful act committed by a person or company that results in harm to another person. A mass tort is when multiple victims are injured by the same single tort.

If you used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs while in the military and now suffer from tinnitus or hearing loss, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. For the past 25 years, our experienced product liability attorneys have handled a multitude of defective product cases and have litigated against some of the largest companies in the world. Our extensive legal and financial resources allow us to provide our clients with truly dynamic legal representation.

Let us help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.

If your child is attacked and bitten by a dog:

  1. Get your child to a safe place
  2. Administer dog bite treatment. Wash out the wound with soap and water. Seek medical attention if the wound is serious
  3. Contact local animal control agency or police department to report the incident
  4. Contact the owner of animal (if known)
  5. Contact an experienced child injury attorney

If your or your child is bitten, dog bite treatment should consist of:

  • Washing the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Applying an antibiotic cream or ointment
  • If pain, swelling, or redness persists, seek medical attention as your dog bite wound may be infected
  • Seek medical attention if the dog bite is deep or bleeding significantly
  • Try to confirm if the dog has its rabies vaccine, and seek medical attention if you are unsure or concerned about the potential of rabies.

Although dogs bite people of every age and gender, children between the ages of 5 and 9 have the highest rate of dog-bite injuries. In addition, children are also more likely to require dog bite treatment for injuries resulting from dog bites.

In younger children, dog bites also occur in more serious areas, including the head, neck, and face. As children grow older, dog bites more commonly occur in the extremities, such as the hands and fingers.

In many instances, dog bites occur in your backyard — literally. The majority of dog attacks (61 percent) happen at home or at a familiar place. In addition, 75 percent of dog bites come from dogs that belong to a friend or family member of the victim.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to take legal action against the parties responsible for your injuries or illness. This includes:

  • An individual or organization at fault for an environmental hazard
  • An insurance company that refuses to offer fair compensation for damages related to an environmental hazard
  • An individual or organization that fails to properly regulate and/or dispose of output of pollution, toxic waste, or other hazards

Damages may also be collected as:

  • Remedies for liability under State and Federal laws
  • Damages for liability under State and Federal laws

In toxic tort matters, it is always highly recommended that you speak with an attorney before making any decision or action that could compromise your recovery. Proving causation is difficult in toxic tort claims, and you will likely be facing a large company or corporation who is prepared to argue against your claim.

Do not risk your health or your recovery, call Thomas J. Henry immediately.

Environmental hazards lawsuits cover a ride-range of litigation. Typically, though, the goal is to hold polluters and manufacturers of toxic materials accountable for their actions and help the victims of their negligence recover damages for their illnesses and/or injuries.

Due to the serous nature of environmental hazard lawsuits, litigation may also result in the negligent party paying punitive damages. Punitive damages are an exemplary damage assessed in order to punish the defendant when their behavior or negligence is considered especially egregious or outrageous. In a toxic tort lawsuit, the hope is that punitive damages will serve as an example to other polluters that their behavior will not be tolerated.

TBI settlements are decided upon by financial factors due to the severity of the injury (costs of medical care, loss of income, etc.) as well as emotional or physical distresses. The impact of injury on brain functioning also plays a strong role. Compensation can vary from a few thousand to over a million depending on factors of the incident.

There are mild, moderate, and severe levels of traumatic brain injury. Mild TBI victims will often be able to experience a regular quality of life and sustain short-term symptoms like nausea. Severe TBI victims may exhibit symptoms that show up over extended periods and suffer from a life altering disability.

A traumatic brain injury – or TBI – is a sudden disruptive interference of normal brain functioning. It often can create dysfunction in the brain after a serious blow to the head and is most common in car crashes or being harshly struck in sports related accidents.

A TBI can be an injury sustained by any individual. Infants can be at a higher risk due to falls. Males around the ages of 14-24 are at the highest risk. Those involved in wrecks are also at a very high risk for developing a TBI.

If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI, you may choose to hire an attorney to help you recover damages. An attorney can help relieve the burdens faced by TBI survivors and their families by working to get compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical expenses

A TBI can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from memory loss and trouble sleeping to seizures, coma, and death. Studies have indicated that it can take up to 10 years to fully recover from a TBI. The cost can be a tremendous burden on the individuals and their families, but that is only the beginning. Survivors may also suffer cognitive, sensory, motor, and emotional impairments for the rest of their lives. People who sustain traumatic brain injuries are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

It is important to recognize when you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI. Catastrophic injuries, illnesses, or death can occur if multiple mild traumatic brain injuries are suffered within a short period of time.

Knowing the warning signs of a traumatic brain injury can improve the recovery process and increase the chance of positive outcomes. Some symptoms are easily recognizable, quick to find, and can resolve within days. However, more severe TBIs are much more difficult to notice and can cause symptoms that last for weeks, months, or years.

The following symptoms may indicate a severe traumatic brain injury and may require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe headache that gets worse and does not resolve
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Dizziness or loss of vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness or confusion
  • One pupil larger than the other (black part of the eye)
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Seizures and convulsions

Any person who has suffered a spinal cord or back injury knows that the road to recovery can be long and expensive. If the injury was caused by a person’s negligence or by a defective product, the injured person may consider filing a lawsuit to recover compensatory damages for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of assisted devices
  • Modifications necessary for the home
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium

Victims of burn injuries (plaintiffs) can receive compensation for the life-altering changes that come along with being burned. They can be physical damages like disfiguration, financial damages like medical bills and lost wages, or emotional damages like distress and mental anguish.

The attorneys at Thomas J. Henry Law are dedicated to aiding plaintiffs through the physical and emotional tolls of facing burns so that they may receive the compensation they may be entitled to.

If there was gross negligence or intended actions of burning the victim at play, the individual burned can receive punitive damages. Usually a jury decides this and it causes the perpetrator to pay a higher fee. Manufacturers who carelessly don’t test their products can be subject to punitive damages from gross negligence.

Burn injury payments and settlements are typically determined by the severity of the burn (degree level), the intentions of the perpetrator(s) responsible for the burn, and the amount of that the perpetrator can pay.

Evidence that showcases someone caused a burn injury upon another individual needs to be presented before a court. For instance, if someone using chemical substances on a person, like a hairdresser performing a perm on a client, burns an individual, the claim can be brought in the form of a lawsuit.

There are three degree levels of burns that indicate the severity of the damage done to the body. First-degree burns affect the first layer of skin and are not as severe. They are often caused by sunburns or light scalding and can be described with redness or tender swelling of skin. Second-degree burns are more serious and reach through the outer layer of skin as well as the deeper dermis area. These cause painful blisters and need more treatment. Lastly, third-degree burns are the most severe and reach through all layers of the skin. These can cause nerve damage, charred skin and need immediate surgery.

Texas is unique in that employers are allowed to opt out of offering workers’ compensation; however, a caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.A burn injury is damage to the skin surface or deeper tissues, muscles, or bone. Burns can be most attributed to overexposure to sunlight, heated surfaces and objects, boiling water, fires, or chemical radiation from acids.

According to RAINN, as many as 93 percent of sexual abuse victims under the age of 18 know the abuser. Sexual predators look like anyone else, and sadly, they are often the people you trust most. Some of the occupations most often associated with child abuse include:

  • Priests
  • Pastors
  • Ministers
  • Rabbis
  • Imams
  • Clergy
  • Church officials
  • Youth group leaders
  • Deacons
  • School teachers
  • Music teachers
  • Dance instructors
  • Theater instructors
  • Boy Scout leaders and volunteers
  • Girl Scout leaders and volunteers
  • Coaches
  • Childcare providers
  • Babysitters

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere. Child molesters are opportunists and will enact their abuse anywhere they have access to or are alone with their victim. This includes:

  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Classrooms
  • Restrooms
  • Synagogues
  • Mosques
  • The victim’s home
  • The abuser’s home
  • On field trips
  • On religious retreats
  • On Camping trips
  • In a vehicle during a ride home

Several persons and parties may be responsible for child molestation — whether they committed the abuse themselves or they knew or should have known and did nothing to stop it. Here is a list of potential defendants in a child sex abuse civil lawsuit:

  • The abuser
  • Employers
  • Apartment communities
  • Property owners
  • Daycare providers
  • Landlords
  • Hotels/motels
  • Co-workers
  • Schools
  • Coaches
  • Babysitters
  • Parents/Stepparents
  • Teachers
  • Therapists
  • Youth clubs
  • Churches
  • Doctors

Child sexual abuse signs are often hard to spot. These signs include not only physical but also behavioral and emotional signs. Here are 10 warning signs of potential sexual child abuse:

  • Depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Bleeding, bruising, or swelling in the genital area
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Pain, itching, or burning in genital area
  • Changes in hygiene (bathing too little, or too often)
  • Changes in sleep habits, including nightmares or bedwetting
  • Self-harming or expression of suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble in school, including absences or drops in grades
  • Shies away or feels threatened by physical contact
  • Overly protective of siblings (assumes a caretaker role)

This is by no means an exhaustive list of sexual abuse signs.

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in a child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:

  • Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral 
  • Talk to the child
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse
    • Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease
    • Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand
    • Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child
    • Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them
  • Report it to authorities
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help
    • Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know

If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Childbirth injuries are not always obvious immediately afterward. Moms and dads will oftentimes notice certain things that are out of the ordinary once they take their newborn baby home – sometimes weeks or months later. In addition, some symptoms and signs of a birth injury aren’t apparent until much later.

Here are signs and symptoms of a childbirth injury:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision issues
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Low weight gain

Other physical symptoms of a birth injury in a child include:

  • Weak movement
  • Poor reflexes
  • Spasms
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Hands held in claw-like poses

Common conditions that can result from birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy
  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to the skull
  • Brain damage
  • Future learning disabilities
  • Delayed early development (crawling, walking, talking)

Birth injuries can be caused by many different factors. Common causes of childbirth injuries include:

  • Infection
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Preeclampsia
  • Dangerous medications
  • Traumatic delivery
  • Improper manipulation of the baby (potentially with tools including vacuums, forceps)
  • Failure to monitor baby’s vital signs

If childbirth injuries were preventable — for the mother or baby — the doctors, nurses, surgeons, and medical institution can be held accountable.

Injuries during childbirth can happen to anyone. However, some women find themselves in a high risk pregnancy. These situations require a higher level of attention and care on the part of the physician, and if high the high risk pregnancy symptoms and signs are not spotted or found in time, there could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Women with prior health conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, multiple sclerosis)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Obesity
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Teenagers
  • Women over 35 having their first child
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy
  • Smoking (and secondhand smoke)

Injuries to the mother that can occur during pregnancy include:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Fissures
  • Infection
  • Preeclampsia or eclampsia
  • Vaginal tears or lacerations
  • Death

Mothers can also experience mental injuries as a result of a traumatic birth, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Private schools differ with public schools in that they do not receive immunity. For instance, if your child is seriously injured on the playground or on an off-campus field trip, parents may sue the private schools due to negligence and receive compensation for their child’s injuries.

Did you know that if your child is injured at a public school the school may not have to pay any damages for your child’s injuries? Public schools are protected in some situations by governmental immunity. If your child has been injured due to public school negligence, contact our offices. Our experienced child injury attorneys will help determine if your child has a case against the school.

Like every property owner, amusement park owners and operators have a legal responsibility to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If a person suffers an amusement park injury that could have been avoided if the amusement park had taken reasonable preventative steps, the injured person may be able to successfully sue the amusement park for compensation.

In most cases, you won’t know whether your circumstances give rise to a valid medical malpractice claim until you have talked to an experienced birth injury lawyer. Doctors and medical facilities are governed by detailed professional standards of care during prenatal, delivery and postnatal stages of pregnancy and birth. Anytime medical professionals fail to follow accepted procedures, injuries can result, and the doctors and hospital can be held accountable for medical malpractice.

In most cases, you won’t know whether your circumstances give rise to a valid medical malpractice claim until you have talked to an experienced birth injury lawyer. Doctors and medical facilities are governed by detailed professional standards of care during prenatal, delivery and postnatal stages of pregnancy and birth. Anytime medical professionals fail to follow accepted procedures, injuries can result, and the doctors and hospital can be held accountable for medical malpractice.

You may have a case. The most tragic injuries can happen during birth. Sometimes the birth injury is caused by negligence or malpractice. When this is the case, the pain and suffering and financial burden it causes can be eased by an award that compensates you for the full consequences of the injury and its long-term effects. In most cases, both the baby and the parents have the right to compensation. The first step when dealing with a tragedy like this is to talk with an experienced birth injury attorney.

A child sex abuse attorney can help determine if the person who abused your child has insurance that might help your child heal from the significant harm they suffered. Because a child abuser doesn’t always have the means, assets, or insurance to pay for his victim’s injuries, it’s sometimes difficult for child abuse victims to receive compensation. Our attorneys will look at all options available for obtaining a financial recovery. Money recovered can help with expenses related to your child’s health and future, including medical bills and counseling.

No. The laws have changed dramatically in recent years to protect child injury victims. Even in civil cases involving molestation, the identity of the child will be protected and the child will not be able to be cross-examined in the way the people sometimes see on TV and in the movies. The parent or guardian for the purpose of the litigation will be more involved in the lawsuit, and the child will usually be able to live their normal life without the lawsuit interfering in any significant way. In most instances, a case will settle outside of court and a lawsuit will not be necessary.

A child injury case may be brought when an individual under the age of 18 is injured due to the fault of another person or organization. Examples of a child injury case include car wreck or semi-truck accidents, dog bites, daycare or caretaker abuse/negligence, birth injuries, burns, choking, drowning, or any other personal injury. The most serious child injury cases involve permanent injury or death. A guardian, usually the child’s parent, is appointed by the court to bring a lawsuit (if necessary) on the child’s behalf.

The first and most important thing is obtaining proper medical care. Once the child’s injuries are being professionally addressed, if there is a belief that the injury was the fault of someone else, or because of a defective product or unsafe condition of property, immediate investigation should begin. This is most often undertaken by skilled investigators and experts in consultation with skilled personal injury legal counsel. Often evidence that is crucial to proving fault for an injury can be easily and quickly lost. It is very important to preserve all possible evidence, and to obtain photographs.

You may be entitled to a refund of fees you have already paid to the attorney who solicited your case.

The law recognizes that your attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests. If an attorney or someone acting on behalf of an attorney approaches you when you are physically injured or emotionally distraught, he or she is not acting in your best interests. Pressuring you to hire an attorney at a difficult time in your life is a serious violation of your personal rights. Attorneys or people acting on behalf of an attorney who illegally solicit you may be sued for a refund of attorney’s fees, and you may also be entitled to money damages for the mental and emotional suffering you have gone through as a result of their solicitation.

Under Texas illegal solicitation laws, as stated by the Texas Penal Code §38.12(d):

“A person commits an offense if the person: is an attorney, chiropractor, physician, surgeon, or private investigator licensed to practice in this state or any person licensed, certified, or registered by a health care regulatory agency of this state; and with the intent to obtain professional employment for the person or for another, provides or knowingly permits to be provided to an individual who has not sought the person’s employment, legal representation, advice, or care a written communication or a solicitation, including a solicitation in person or by telephone, that: concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person to whom the communication or solicitation is provided or a relative of that person and that was provided before the 31st day after the date on which the accident or disaster occurred.”

In some cases, barratry may be hard to notice. If you believe you may have been the victim of barratry, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Did you receive phone calls from individuals who told you a family member had asked them to talk to you about hiring an attorney when you never told your family you wanted to hire an attorney?
  • Did they know your family members names, but your family had never spoken to them before or made any calls whatsoever?
  • Were you approached by an attorney or someone acting on behalf of an attorney at the funeral home following the death of a loved one?
  • Did a tow truck driver or body shop employee try to force you to hire a particular attorney?
  • Did a police officer at the scene of your accident persuade you to call an attorney?
  • Did you receive a call from a police officer or someone claiming to be an officer who tried to pressure you to hire a specific attorney?
  • Did your attorney or service provider bribe you with money, gifts or “free” items in exchange for signing a contract?
  • Did a lawyer, “investigator”, or someone acting on behalf of a lawyer go to your home or hospital uninvited to try to obtain a signature on a lawyers’ contract for legal services?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have been wrongfully and illegally solicited.

Medical errors occur at a higher rate than originally believed. According to the British Medical Journal, an estimated 210,00 – 400,000 deaths each year are associated with medical errors. With an estimated 251,454 deaths in 2014 alone, medical errors would be the third leading cause of death in the United States behind only heart disease and cancer.

It is generally a good idea to start documenting. Document what exactly happened during the procedure and everything that occurs afterward. Take as many notes as you can regarding the surgery or procedure, lab results, and MRI or CT scan results. Receive a copy of your medical records and charts, too. Document the names of your doctors, nurses, surgeons, and any other healthcare professionals involved. Keeping a record and documenting these items may help your cause if a malpractice lawsuit is necessary. Our medical malpractice lawyers can assist you in collecting evidence and documenting, so it is important to contact Thomas J. Henry as soon as you can.

Medical malpractice cases are complicated, expensive, and are invariably hard-fought. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a layperson to have the expertise necessary to prepare for a medical malpractice case. Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to pursue medical malpractice lawsuits.

Yes. All that the consent form is doing is indicating that you have been informed of risks of the procedures. If the doctor is negligent in performing the care or surgery, you may still recover against that physician.

The length of a medical malpractice lawsuits can vary greatly from case to case. Variables that affect the length of time a case takes include complexity of the case, the willingness of the insurance company for the doctor, hospital, nurse, chiropractor or other medical practitioner to resolve the case, and how long it takes to fully determine your damages from the medical malpractice.

Standard of care is the expected method of treating a condition, injury, or disease. Failing to follow that standard of care is negligence or in other words, medical malpractice.

Where injury results, the damages include medical bills, both past and future, wage loss, both past and future, and past and future pain and suffering, as well as any disfigurement caused by the malpractice. In wrongful death cases, damages include medical bills, loss of support for family members, and loss of the aid, comfort, society, and companionship that the deceased person would have provided to the family members had he or she lived.

Medical malpractice is negligent treatment by medical providers, such as a doctor, hospital, nurse, chiropractor, therapist, or other medical practitioner. If a medical practitioner fails to act in accordance with accepted standards of practice in the diagnosis or treatment of a condition, they may be responsible for all damages that result.

Usually, in order to make a viable case for malpractice, you need to first establish the applicable standard of care that was appropriate to the circumstances. That means the level of care and skill that your doctor (or whoever harmed you) should have acted with, based on accepted medical practices in the same community. Next, you need to show exactly how the defendant deviated from that standard in treating you, and precisely how you were harmed by the provision of substandard care. In most medical malpractice lawsuits, all of these elements need to be established by a qualified expert medical witness.

A medical malpractice suit can be brought against most licensed health care professionals. This includes physicians, specialists, emergency room doctors, registered nurses, anesthesiologists, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, and physical therapists, to name just a few. The medical corporation or hospital where the individual works can also be sued.

Slip and fall accidents can occur in a variety of settings: indoors or outdoors, residential or commercial. A landlord of a residential property can be held liable for an injury sustained in a slip and fall just as a property or business owner could. A serious slip and fall accident commonly occur in the following locations:

  • Amusement parks
  • Apartment complexes or buildings
  • Elevators
  • Grocery stores
  • Parking garages
  • Parking lots
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Sidewalks and other walkways
  • Sports stadiums and arenas
  • Stairways

If unsafe conditions on someone else’s property caused you injury or harm, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit. A premises liability lawsuit is filed with the intent of holding a property owner responsible for injuries and damages caused by the property owner’s failure to maintain his property or failure to warn visitors of potential hazards.

Roughly 4,836 worker deaths and 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are recorded in the United States every year. Among the most common causes of death and injury in the workplace are falls, slips, and trips.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that falls, slips, and trips result in 16.5% of all recorded fatal workplace injuries. This makes falls the second most common cause of death in the workplace, exceeded only by transportation accidents.

Additionally, fall protection and Scaffolding are consistently among the top three most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA.

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program employers provide to workers to pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with on the job injuries. Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments while an employee is unable to work. Workers’ compensation covers most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s own negligence, but there or instances in which a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. These include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy

While workers’ compensation typically precludes an employee from filing an personal injury lawsuit, Texas law does allow the employee to sue any other parties involved in the accident. In the instance of a scaffolding-related injury, this can include manufacturers of potentially defective products, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.

If you fell from scaffolding while on the job, depending on the circumstances under which your accident occurred and whether or not your employer offers worker’s compensation, you may be able to sue your employer or a third party who was involved in your accident.

When working to determine whether negligence resulted in your accident and injuries, your attorney will often apply what is commonly called the “but-for” test. In a statement, that would be “but for the actions of the defendant, my client would not have suffered his injuries.”

If the statement is true, your attorney will have established cause-in-fact or “actual cause.” This is then strengthened through investigation, the gathering of evidence, and interviewing witnesses. Your attorney may also incorporate the help of expert witnesses to help prove negligence and discover if the actions of the defendant violated federal or state regulations.

Expert witnesses often used in Texas construction accident cases include:

  • OSHA consultants
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Welding experts
  • Confined space permit experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Occupational and environmental health experts
  • Hazardous chemical experts
  • Process safety management experts

These experts can provide detailed information about a construction accident. Because of the experts Thomas J. Henry uses, we are able to bring in information that many other law firms lack. We use a multitude of expert witnesses, putting you in the best position possible to achieve the compensation they deserve.

The Legal Information Institute defines negligence as a failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. While the behavior in question usually consists of actions, it can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.

When attempting to ascertain whether a person’s conduct or behavior lacked reasonable care, lawyers will consider the four elements that are required to establish a prima facie case (a legally required rebuttable presumption). The elements are:

  • The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff
  • The defendant’s breach of that duty
  • The plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury
  • Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury

When it comes to a construction site, your employer, contractor, and co-workers owe you a general duty of care and must conduct themselves in a reasonable and prudent manner. This duty of care can also extend to the owners of the property that is under construction, any transportation companies responsible for transporting materials to the site, as well as the manufacturers of machinery and products being used in the construction project.

If any of these parties acted in a way that contributed to your injuries, you may have a case for negligence.

When it comes to oilfield related injuries and deaths, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible.

Oilfield injury litigation is extremely complex, and oil and gas extraction jobsites are very hectic when active. Hiring an attorney as soon as an injury or death occurs will help ensure that important material evidence is secured.

Not only will your oilfield injury attorney file a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence, your attorney will also hire industry and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) experts to investigate the jobsite for any potential safety violations.

Safety violations often include:

  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Failure to provide adequate fall protection
  • Failure to meet hazard communication standards
  • Failure to provide adequate respiratory protection
  • General transportation safety violations
  • Failure to meet general machinery and machine guard requirements
  • Failure to control hazardous energy

Not only are experts essential in finding and retaining evidence at the scene, they can also provide expert analysis of their findings and expert testimony during trial and arbitration.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your oilfield lawsuit include:

  • Welding experts
  • Process safety management experts
  • Safety equipment experts
  • Hazardous chemical experts
  • State and Federal OSHA consultants and inspectors
  • Accident reconstruction experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Confined space permit experts
  • Environment health experts

It is no secret that oil and gas extraction is a high-risk industry. According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oil and gas extraction workers are killed on the job at a rate seven times greater than the average U.S. workers.

While we all hope that our loved ones will return from work safe from harm, the unfortunate truth is that workplace accidents, injuries, and deaths do happen – and while nothing can ever remedy the pain of losing a loved one, holding those responsible for the death of a loved one can help provide stability for your family in what is most certainly a turbulent time.

Workers on an oilfield are exposed to a wide variety of hazards. Some common examples of oilfield accidents include:

  • Oil well blowouts
  • Explosions and fires
  • Transportation accidents involving the transport of workers to and from the field
  • Slips and falls due to slick surfaces
  • Struck/caught in machinery or equipment
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals or other materials
  • Defective, faulty, or poorly maintained drilling equipment and machinery

These accidents can cause life-altering and debilitating injuries, including burns, brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord and back injuries, eye injuries. Unfortunately, the oil and gas extraction industry is no stranger to fatal injuries as well — 120 workers were killed on the job in 2015. The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry as a whole had the third largest fatal work injury rate in the United States in 2015.

Every drilling site is manned by several crews, each composed of several different types of workers depending on the site and the type of rig.

Roustabouts, floorhands, or roughnecks perform much of the basic, labor-intensive maintenance and drilling tasks. These workers maintain and keep the drilling area clean, remove hazards, and move equipment around the rig for other workers to use. A lot of the grunt work required at an oil rig is taken care of by roustabouts so the other workers can extract oil efficiently.

A motorhand or motorman is responsible for maintaining the engines that power the drilling equipment and other machinery at the drilling site. Oil rigs may have diesel engines, electric engines, or both. These workers also supervise roustabouts, test equipment for safety, operate with the oil rig boilers, assist with the drill pipe, and help other crew members as needed.

Derrickhands, derrickmen or derrick operators guide the uppermost section of the drill as it is lowered and raised from the well bore, known as tripping. These employees are often stationed on a platform high above the ground above the rig in order to head the tripping process. Derrickhands also assist with the mixing and operation of the mud system, helping drillers, and various upkeep on drilling equipment.

A rig operator or driller supervises crew members of an oil rig, specializing in resolving or troubleshooting problems if they arise. They also monitor the work area for safety issues and maintains safety policies. Drillers are tasked with training crew members on safety procedures, conducting drills for blowout prevention, performing equipment maintenance checks, and other personnel-focused management. These oil workers are often assisting with the operation of drill controls and other equipment.

A toolpusher, or oil rig manager, is the supervisor of the oil rig and responsible for all other personnel on site. These managers oversee drillers, derrickhands, motorhands, and roustabouts and provide leadership, important training, and problem solving in regards to employees and oil rig operation. Toolpushers manage the installation of rigs, make sure government and environmental laws are followed, and coordinate the workers in several crews.

Other oilfield occupations include petroleum engineers, pipeline walkers, pipefitters, and pipelayers.

Due to the nature of the job, every worker involved on the oilfield at some point or another could be involved in an incident, depending upon what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Supervisors and even owners of facilities can be seriously injured or lose their life, depending upon who’s on that property, who’s conducting work, and whether it’s being done safely. When drilling operations are being done unsafely and outside the prescribed safety regulations, workers are put at a grave risk of injury or worse.

When a construction accident occurs, it is not uncommon for multiple parties to be partially at fault for the incident. Texas law allows you to pursue compensation from each of these entities, whether they are your direct employer or not, based on the percentage of fault they share for your injuries.

If you have been injured on the job and were denied workers’ compensation, contact you employer or its workers compensation insurance to make sure all necessary paperwork was received and reviewed. If the denial still refuses your claim you may want to appeal the claim.

Another option is to contact a workers’ comp attorney. Talking to an attorney can help determine whether an appeal is in your best interests or if another course of action is preferable.

Workers’ compensation, also called workmans’ comp, is a benefit provided by employers which pays for hospital and medical expenses necessary to diagnose and treat injuries that employees suffer while on the job. In addition, workers’ compensation provided disability payments while you are unable to work. This is usually paid out at about two-thirds your regular salary.

Other items workers’ compensation may cove rare rehabilitation, retraining, and medication.

While workers’ compensation does cover most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s negligence, it is important to note that there are exclusions. For example, injuries that occur while an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Other instances in which workers’ compensation may not imply include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.

Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.

Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.

Get a written report of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.

Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.

Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.

Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.

Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a week.

Generally, a construction site will have several different contractors and employers on site at any given time. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries. This is why it is a good idea to get in contact with an experienced construction accident attorney. Not only can an attorney help identify all the entities responsible for you accident and injuries, they can also help you recover compensation from the entities even if your employer has already begun paying out workers’ compensation.

Some instances in which liability may go beyond your employer are:

  • A commercial vehicle operator striking scaffolding, causing fall injuries.
  • Electrocution that occurred at an apartment complex with poorly maintained wires.
  • Injuries caused by a construction worker being exposed to asbestos at a job site.
  • Injuries caused by a defective piece of machinery or equipment.
  • Injuries caused by a co-worker who acted negligently while under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol.

If you are injured on the job and your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

State law says that any employer who fails to provide workers’ compensation can be held liable for all damages sustained by the employee even if they are only determined to be 1% responsible for causing that employee’s injuries.

Most employers who have opted out of providing workers’ compensation understand this law. Because of that, they may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation to mitigate their liability. Do not be fooled into signing your rights away. You have no obligation to accept their offer or to see a company-selected doctor, and any offer that comes from such an employer after an injury occurs will be well below what they are actually liable for.

Workers’ compensation is a benefit offered by some employers which helps pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with an injury that was sustained on the job. Workers’ compensation may also provide disability payments if you are unable to work following you injury.

While workers’ compensation does cover most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s negligence, it is important to note that there are exclusions. For example, injuries that occur while an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Other instances in which workers’ compensation may not imply include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
  • Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
  • Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy

Employers often benefit from offering workers’ compensation because it preempts them from being held liable for most on the job injuries. As such, a worker who receives workers’ compensation cannot sue their employer for the injuries they suffered in the workplace.

Texas is unique in that employers are allowed to opt out of offering workers’ compensation; however, a caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.

A wrongful death claim is filed to seek damages from an individual or company whose negligent or intentional actions caused a person’s death. According to Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code,

“A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”

The family or beneficiaries of the deceased victim can recover several types of damages, both economic and non-economic, in a wrongful death action, including:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost future earnings
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

In cases where the victim’s death is caused by “the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant,” exemplary or punitive damages may be recovered as well. Texas law defines gross negligence as:

“An act or omission which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.”

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a child who has lost their only parent or both parents can seem confusing, but with the help of an experienced attorney the process becomes much easier.

Thomas J. Henry has been handling wrongful death lawsuits for more than 25 years and has experience representing children in the courtroom. If you have any questions concerning the steps necessary to file such a claim, contact our offices immediately. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Oftentimes, a family member of the minor can be appointed by the court to be the guardian of that minor. Upon being appointed, that guardian is tasked with taking care of the minor and given the power to bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the death of the minor’s parents on the minor’s behalf.

Additionally, lawsuits can be filed by a decedent’s estate or by the administrator of the decedent’s estate with the damages be provided to the child.

The sad truth is that there are instances in which children lose their only surviving parent or both parents in a tragic event. In Texas, that minor is still able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their parents’ death.

Texas law recognizes two distinct types of claims for an event where someone dies: a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim. These claims differ in who they are filed on behalf of, what damages are being sought, and who those damages will be paid to. Still, in some circumstances, both can be pursued in the same lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, one option is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In such a case, the family is not actually suing for harm caused to their loved one – instead, they are suing for the harm that was caused to them as a result of the loss of the deceased person.

A second option that may be available to you is that of a survival action. The name can be confusing at first as the claim is actually filed for a person who has passed away, but understanding the purpose of the claim also helps to explain its title.

When a survival claim is filed on behalf of a deceased person, the victim’s family is essentially asserting that:

  • The person died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the person before they died.
  • Had the person survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the person died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased person’s estate.

A statute of limitations is a law which sets a maximum amount of time parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date the offense occurred. In personal injury law, this essentially is a time limit you have to file your personal injury claim.

While you may think you have a longtime to file a claim that deals with a tragedy as great as a wrongful death, the statute of limitations for filing such a claim is actually based on the precipitating event and not on the damages that occurred (i.e. the death of a loved one). That is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as an accident resulting in death occurs.

Depending on the circumstances leading up to your loved ones death, your attorney may call multiple expert witnesses. For example, if your loved one was killed on the job your attorney may consult with workplace safety compliance experts, OSHA consultants, and industrial engineers. If the death of your loved one was the result of a trucking accident, expert witnesses could include FMCSA compliance consultants, forensic engineers, and accident re-constructionists.

When it comes to proving your damages, expert witnesses often include psychologists, psychiatrists, grief counselors, and forensic accountants.

Wrongful death cases tend to deal with damages that are not tangible, such as lost of society, loss of companionship, and loss of love. Because of this, it is important that you have expert witnesses who can accurately relay the extent of the non-physical damages you have suffered to a jury while demonstrating the death of your loved one was the result of negligence or reckless behavior.

Expert witnesses, also called judicial experts, are additional witnesses who by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience are considered to have expertise and specialized knowledge that is beyond what an average person would have.

In the court room, they are recognized as having an expert opinion that carries considerable weight and may also deliver expert evidence using facts from the field of their expertise. Opinions offered by expert witnesses can be used to demonstrate negligence in an accident as well as assess damages and costs sustained by the plaintiff.

Because experts and fields of expertise are highly specialized and compartmentalized, it is vital that your attorney has access to the right expert for your case. At Thomas J. Henry, we secure the best expert witnesses for your case. Each expert witness we engage has been thoroughly examined and questioned before ever participating in your case. In utilizing expert witnesses, it is vital that you research each and every person before employing them for your case. We have spent a tremendous amount of time in selecting our experts and only use the best in the nation for our clients.

The name can be confusing as the claim is actually filed for a person who has passed away, but understanding the purpose of the claim also helps to explain its title.

When a survival claim is filed on behalf of a deceased person, the victim’s family is essentially asserting that:

  • The person died because of the defendant’s negligence.
  • This negligence caused pain and suffering to the person before they died.
  • Had the person survived, he or she would have been able to pursue legal action against the defendant to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
  • The defendant should not be able to avoid liability for pain and suffering just because the person died.
  • The pain and suffering damages should be paid to the deceased person’s estate.

Beyond pain and suffering damages, a survival claim can seek medical costs associated with medical procedures procured prior to the victim’s death as well as funeral and burial expenses.

A wrongful death claim is a claim in which a family seeks damages related to the loss of a loved one. The important thing to remember about wrongful death claims is that they are not actually filed on behalf of the deceased person; instead, they are filed on behalf of the individuals affected by the decedent’s death.

As such, the damages family members seek when filing a wrongful death claim are:

  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of love and emotional support
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of society

Texas law is very clear on who can and can’t file a wrongful death claims. Wrongful death beneficiaries are limited to three categories:

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Spouses

Other relatives, even those that may be considered immediate family like brothers and sisters, are barred from pursing wrongful death claims in Texas.

When the surviving family members (the estate) of an individual who dies because of the negligence of another party file suit, it is known as a wrongful death claim. When the family files, they may seek a variety of different types of damages.

The types of damages available to these survivors vary from state to state but generally fall into three distinct categories: economic, non-economic and punitive damages.

Generally, a trucking company will attempt to distance themselves from an accident in an attempt to limit their liability, even if this means throwing their own employee under the bus. Trucking companies have teams of investigators and attorneys whose sole purpose is to challenge claims and reduce the amount of money that the trucking company has to payout.

Among the tactics often used by trucking companies to chip away at your claim are:

Recorded Statements – The trucking company’s insurer will contact you after the accident requesting a recorded statement. While they claim this is to they can better understand your injuries and streamline the payout process, they are actually trying to get you on record saying something that harms you case. It is essential that you speak to an attorney before providing such a statement. Do not be bullied, you have no legal requirement to answer the insurer’s questions without the advice of your attorney.

Low Settlement Offers – The insurance company wants to settle your claim for as little as possible. They know that you are in a state of chaos and confusion and will take advantage of it. While it may be tempting, do not accept the insurers offer without consulting with your attorney first.

Destroying Evidence – Often times, a trucking company will attempt to destroy or alter records or evidence after an accident with the goal of hiding their mistakes. An attorney can file a court ordered temporary restraining order in order to preserve any and all evidence in the state that it was in at the time of your accident.

Not Ordering a Drug or Alcohol Test – Some companies will tell drivers involved in an accident not to submit to a drug or alcohol test if they think the driver was impaired when the crash occurred. The driver may feel pressured as being under the influence while behind the wheel can end their career. Federal regulations actually require drivers get tested following a crash. Still, the fine for violating this regulation is much less damaging that the repercussions of a trucker driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Delaying the Claim – May trucking companies will attempt to delay your claim in the hopes that you will lose the will and financial resources to fight. Thomas J. Henry has the money and manpower to see your case through to the end and knows how to drive a case forward.

Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding and building professional relationships with the best expert witnesses from all across the country. Expert witnesses that could benefit your trucking accident lawsuit include:

  • Accident Investigation Experts
  • Hazardous Materials Experts
  • FMCSA Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic Engineers
  • Accident Re-constructionists
  • Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue and distracted driving)
  • General Equipment Technical Expert

Because of the complexity of commercial trucking accident lawsuits, it is essential to have expert witnesses who can help prove your case. An expert witness is able to provide a detailed account of your accident before a jury, explaining what factors contributed to your collision and your injuries.

While trucking regulations do vary by state, there are federal guidelines by which all commercial vehicle drivers and fleet operators must abide. These regulations are codified in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulation.

A few of the most important federal commercial motor vehicle regulations are:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
  • Texas truck drivers must be at least 18 years old to operate within state lines.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

In Texas, drivers of commercial motor vehicles, 18-wheelers, and large trucks are strictly regulated by specialized rules put in place by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA).

From rules dictating who can operate a commercial vehicle to rules limiting the number of consecutive hours a driver can spend behind the wheel, these regulations have been put in place to help keep other drivers safe. When drivers fail to comply by these rules, tragedy can occur.

It also is important to note that trucking regulations are not limited to drivers, but also affect commercial transportation companies as a whole, setting requirements which commercial trucking companies, managers, and fleet operators must meet.

In order to prove loss of income, you will want to gather the appropriate documentation to support your claim. You attorney will go into more detail, but generally you will want to start by:

  • Getting a letter from your employer indicating how much time you took off.
  • A paycheck stub or W-2 that can be used to calculate hourly rate of pay or your monthly salary.
  • Documentation from your employer showing how many hours a week you work.
  • Documentation from your employer indicating whether you are qualified to receive overtime pay and whether or not you typically work overtime.

Once that information is collected, you can begin calculating a rough estimate of your lost wages by:

  • Determine the number of hours you missed from work. If your hours vary from week to week, calculate the average based on your last two to three weeks of work.
  • Determine the number of overtime hours you missed.
  • Multiply the number of hours you missed by your hourly rate or estimated hourly rate.
  • Multiply any overtime hours by 1.5 your hourly rate or estimated hourly rate.
  • Add the values for regular hours missed to the overtime hours you missed.

If you are salaried, you can work out your lost wages by:

  • Divide your annual salary by the number of hours you work (hours a full time employee works per year: 2,080) in order to get the amount you earn per hour.
  • Calculate the number of hours you missed by multiplying the days you were out of work by 8 (typical work days for salaried employees 8 hours – even if you actually work more).
  • Multiply those two figures to calculate your lost wages.

Tips, commissions, bonuses and other items can be added to the base amount of loss wages.

When you are involved in a serious trucking accident, it is very likely that you will miss some work due to your injuries. The amount of work missed generally depends on the severity of your injuries and the physical requirements of your job. In the most severe cases, you may not be able to return to your previous occupation at all. You can recover these damages as lost wages.

In the simplest terms, lost wages are any wages you did not or cannot earn due to your injury. Lost wages are not limited to those you have already missed out on, but can also refer to wages you will miss out on in the future.

Typically, lost wages are broken down into three categories:

  • Lost wages – wages you lost during a period you were unable to work.
  • Loss of earning capacity – if you have sustained a long-term disability from an accident and cannot make as much money as you did before your accident.
  • Lost opportunities – this would include things like missing a job interview while you were recovering.

An important thing to remember is that if you lost your previous job due to your injuries and returned to work for lower pay, you may be entitled to the difference in pay between your previous job and the job you now hold.

If you have been injured in an car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, it may seem like you have no way to seek financial compensation. This is not true! You are entitled to fair compensation, and a lack of responsibility and preparation on the adverse driver’s part does not preempt you from that right.

If the uninsured motorist was operating a commercial vehicle or company vehicle, there may be other types of claims and ways to pursue action against the entity that did not secure the insurance.

This can be complex, but it is possible provided you have an attorney that understands the complexities of commercial vehicle regulations. In such situations, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so they can begin investigating your case and processing your claim.

1. Allow You to Focus on Your Recovery

The first thing your trucking accident attorney will do for you is make sure you are getting the medical attention you need. Trucking accidents can be especially catastrophic due to the large size of the commercial vehicles involved. It is not uncommon for a trucking accident to resulting in back injuries, brain injuries, paralysis, or even death.

By hiring a trucking accident attorney, you can rest easier knowing that your claim is in capable hands and focus on your getting better. As Mr. Henry has said, “The client’s job is to heal. We will handle the rest.”

2. Provide Access to Advanced Technology

When you are going up against a major trucking company, you need to fight fire with fire. Thomas J. Henry utilizes advanced technology both in and outside the courtroom. Through the utilization of a fleet of jets, satellite technology, and mobile technology, our attorneys can be anywhere within a moment’s notice. We can also provide access a client’s files and records and stream live video of evidence and depositions to any courtroom in the country – all with the push of a button.

3. Bring in Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can help gather and assess valuable evidence and can provide compelling testimony demonstrating how the negligence of another directly contributed to your injuries. Thomas J. Henry has spent years building professional relationships with leading industry experts. Among those who can assist you in your trucking accident claims are:

  • Accident Investigation Experts
  • Hazardous Materials Experts
  • FMCSA Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic Engineers
  • Accident Re-constructionists
  • Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue and distracted driving)
  • General Equipment Technical Expert

There are many different factors that can cause a trucking accident. Here are some of the most common causes of Texas trucking accidents:

Truck driver is fatigued or drowsy

Drug or alcohol impairment

Driver is distracted
Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions/inclement weather

Unsecured loads
When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.

Improper turning or lane changing

Failure to maintain vehicle

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles like 18-wheelers and large delivery trucks are strictly regulated by specialized rules put in place by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) in order to keep other drivers safe.

Such regulations include special licensing requirements, stricter blood alcohol content limits, stricter distract driving requirements, vehicle maintenance requirements, and physical fitness requirements. These regulations also set firm limits on the number of hours a commercial vehicle driver can consecutively drive without taking a break.

For example, a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver:

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

If it is determined that the truck driver, a fleet operator, or any part of a commercial vehicle was in violation of a TxDOT or FMCSA regulation at the time of your accident or leading up to your accident, it is much easier to demonstrate that negligence occurred.

The first thing you need to understand when pursuing compensation for a trucking accident is that the playing field is not level.

Typically, large trucking companies have teams of lawyers whose only job is to investigate and challenge trucking accident claims with the goal of limiting or eliminating the trucking company’s liability. These entities also have the financial resources to fight long, hard legal battles in a way that leaves individuals at a disadvantage.

Trucking accident claims are further complicated by the existence of complex trucking regulations as well as state and federal laws defining employer liability and the application of respondeat superior.

This is why it is essential that you hire an experienced commercial accident attorney who is proficient in trucking accident litigation. Thomas J. Henry has been successfully litigating trucking accident lawsuits for more than 25 years. Our commercial litigation attorneys understand the statutes regulating commercial trucking companies and their drivers.

Combine that proficiency with the legal and financial resources that only the largest personal injury firm in Texas can provide, and you finally stand a chance of getting the compensation you justly deserve.

Typically, trucking accident lawsuits are much more complicated and much more demanding than a lawsuit involving a regular car crash. This is due primarily to the special rules that help regulate commercial trucking and the fact that trucking and freight companies tend to have vast legal and financial resources.

Because of this, it is essential that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney whenever you involved in a trucking accident and that you do so quickly.

If you have been involved in a trucking accident and the police say you are at-fault, you should still bring your case to the attention of an experienced personal injury attorney. Trucking accidents are especially complex, and mistakes can occur during the initial investigation. An in-depth analysis of your collision and the vehicles involved may reveal new evidence suggesting proportionate responsibility or relieving you of fault all-together.

Commercial trucks are further classified by their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). In the United States, the classifications are as follows:

  • Class 1- GVWR ranges from 0 to 6,000 pounds
  • Class 2- GVWR ranges from 6,001 to 10,000 pounds
  • Class 3- GVWR ranges from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds
  • Class 4- GVWR ranges from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds
  • Class 5- GVWR ranges from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds
  • Class 6- GVWR ranges from 19,501 to 26,000 pounds
  • Class 7- GVWR ranges from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds
  • Class 8- GVWR is anything above 33,000 pounds

Whether or not a trucking accident case goes to trial is dependent on a number of factors. Among the most important of those factors are:

  • How clear is liability in the case?
  • Is the insurance company willing to pay a reasonable settlement?

While a case will be settled out of court more often than not, it is important that your attorney treats every claim as though it will be tried to verdict.

If someone dies in an accident caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of a truck driver, Texas law allows that person’s spouse, children, or parents to bring a wrongful death claim or survival action.

Even if you crossed a street at an undesignated crosswalk, you may be entitled to receive damages based on comparative fault. Essentially, both parties should take reasonable care to avoid causing harm or an accident. If a pedestrian jaywalks, he or she may be found only partially at fault for an accident if there is evidence that the driver engaged in negligent behavior, including speeding, distracted driving, or driving drunk.

While motorists are legally obligated to take reasonable care to watch out for pedestrians, it is not uncommon for the dangerous design or quality of a road to contribute to a pedestrian accident. For example, if an intersection is poorly marked and poorly lit, it may interfere with a driver’s ability to see an individual crossing the street. The government agency or property owner responsible for maintaining that intersection may be liable for damages for failing to take reasonable measures to prevent harm.

Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to the actions of reckless and negligent drivers. Common causes of pedestrian-related crashes include:

Distracted drivers
There were 520 nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2014.

Poor visibility
In 2014, 72 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in the dark

Drunk driving
An estimated 14 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a drunk driver in 2014.

Failure to yield the right-of-way
Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations.

Poor roadway design
Streets without sidewalks or crosswalks and other dangerous road conditions can increase the risk for a pedestrian accident.

Severe and fatal injuries can occur when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. Even at low vehicle speeds, life-altering damage can be done to pedestrians. Common injuries associated with pedestrian accidents include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Death

Bicycle accidents are oftentimes caused by inattentive, reckless, and negligent drivers. Bicyclists can suffer serious injuries when drivers:

  • Back out of driveways without looking for bicyclists
  • Turning (left or right) without checking for bicyclists approaching
  • Ignore traffic signs and speed limits
  • Fail to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists on the road
  • Drive drunk or impaired

Your actions immediately following a bicycle accident are important. In the case of any motor vehicle accident, it is paramount that evidence is preserved and an experienced bicycle accident lawyer is contacted. If you have been in a bicycle accident, follow these five steps.

File a police report. Even if you do not think you are injured at the time of the accident, you may feel the effects hours or days later.

Obtain driver and witness contact information. Be sure to get this information even if police have already included it in their report.

Document what happened. Take pictures at the scene. As soon as possible after the accident, write down everything you can remember about what happened.

Preserve evidence. Don’t get your bike fixed or replace your helmet.

Decide how to proceed. If you decide to hire a bicycle accident attorney, do not talk to any insurance company until you have spoken with your attorney.

Quickly. To be safe, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible, especially if the injuries are severe or a death has resulted. All too often valuable evidence disappears, witnesses move, memories grow dim and the practical ability to prove your case may diminish.

If you are still being treated by a physician, an attorney can also provide you with guidance concerning your medical care and help you deal with unpaid bills and getting needed treatment.

Legal advice can also be useful if you have questions about the settlement value of a claim, your insurance policy’s terms, or suspect bad faith on the part of your insurance company. Contact Thomas J. Henry to discuss your personal injury case for free.

Yes. If a driver runs you off the road or forces you to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being hit by them, you may certainly pursue a case against them if you can prove them liable.

It depends on the location of the pothole and whether it was created as a result of someone’s negligence or created naturally. The longer the pothole has existed and the larger the pothole is, the greater the chance that you have a case for your bicycle crash injury.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your bike accident, you can possibly recover from the negligent vehicle driver, the vehicle owner, manufacturer or retailer of the bicycle or vehicle, a bicycle repair shop, or the entity that controls and maintains the road where the accident occurred.

The details of a case involving a distracted driver can be complicated. An experienced lawyer can unravel the facts, prove that your injuries were caused by a distracted driver, and create a claim that compensates you for the money you lost while undergoing treatment and recovery.

If a driver’s behavior leads you to believe that he is distracted, make sure you:

  • Give the driver a wide berth
  • Try to pull ahead of the driver or slow down and let him pull ahead
  • Call 911 and report your concern and the behavior of the driver when it is safe to do so

A driver may be distracted if he:

  • Drives much faster or much slower than the speed limit or flow of traffic
  • Needlessly changes speed
  • Stops longer than needed at traffic lights or traffic signs
  • Weaves through traffic
  • Swerves side to side within a lane

Almost all states ban texting while driving. Breaking this law can incur fines, higher insurance premiums, and lost driving privileges. Although specific laws differ in each state, all areas treat distracted driving seriously, especially if the distracted driver caused an accident or seriously injured someone else.

According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers killed 2,841 lives in 2018 alone. Among those killed, there were:

  • 1,730 drivers
  • 605 passengers
  • 400 pedestrians
  • 77 bicyclists

Texting is by far the most dangerous distraction. Sending or reading a text removes your eyes from the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. The National Safety Council estimates that 26% of all car crashes involve cell phones.

Many elements can distract drivers and put them at risk of dangerous accidents. Some examples include:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Talking
  • Applying makeup or shaving
  • Reading (maps, instructions, text messages)
  • Fiddling with the radio, GPS, or some other device

Distracted driving happens when someone behind the wheel is not fully focused on the operation of his vehicle. The three main types of distractions are:

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing

DWI stands for driving while intoxicated while DUI is driving under the influence. DUI’s are issued to minors under 21 only in Texas. DWI’s are more severe in penalty within the state of Texas. Some states do not distinguish between the two or use both.

The damages you can claim after a drunk driving crash will depend on the circumstances of your accident and your injuries. Among the most common damages, however, are:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Past and future medical costs
  • Lost wages

Texas has a history of ranking as the top state in the United States for alcohol-related traffic deaths.

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), around 1,468 Texans were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2017. Nationwide, one person dies every 48 minutes to alcohol-impaired crashes, according to 2017 statistics.

Commercial drivers are only permitted to have a BAC of less than 0.04 in Texas. This applies to driving a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle if you are classified legally as a commercial driver.

BAC is the medical or legal measure of alcohol within a person’s bloodstream or on a person’s breath. It is measured by miligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 milliliters (ml) of blood. A BAC of 0.10%, for example, means that an individual’s blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1,000 parts blood.

The legal limit for driving a motor vehicle in Texas is 0.08 percent for drivers over 21. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level must be below this percentage.

When it comes to electric scooter accidents, it is important to remember that riders are not the only was at risk. Pedestrians, cyclists, and even motorists can be injured in an electric scooter accident. Additionally, accidents may not be the result of negligent behavior as cases of scooter defects and malfunctions have been reported.

The following reflect some of the accidents associated with Bird, Lime, and Blue Duck electric scooters:

  • Scooter accident caused by potholes, debris, fallen branches, and obstructions.
  • Scooter accidents caused by a rider trying to avoid a car, cyclists, pedestrian, dog, or another scooter rider.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists struck by a negligent or reckless scooter rider.
  • Scooter accident caused by a rider colliding with an opening car door or moving vehicle.
  • A motorist crashing into a structure or another vehicle in an attempt to avoid a negligent or reckless scooter rider.
  • A scooter rider that is injured due to a malfunction or defect in the scooter, including defective brakes, tires, throttle, stem, or handlebars.
  • A scooter rider who loses control after being chased by a dog.

Who can be sued for an electric scooter accident is dependent on the type of accident that occurred and who was responsible for that accident. It is important to remember that there is no source of liability insurance when it comes to electric scooters, so legal action against the responsible party is often the only means of financial recovery.

Depending on the circumstances of your electric scooter accident, you may be able to seek compensation from:

The Rider: If your injures were the caused by a negligent or reckless scooter rider, then the rider can be held legally accountable for you injuries.

The Scooter Company: If a defect, design flaw, or malfunction contributed in any way to your accident and injuries, you can seek financial from the scooter’s manufacturer.

Motorists: If you injuries were the result of an accident caused by a negligent driver, you could seek compensation from the driver involved.

Pedestrian at Fault: If the actions of a pedestrian caused your accident – for example, they suddenly stepped into the path of a scooter rider – then you may be able hold the pedestrian accountable for your injuries.

The City: If a pothole or road defect caused your scooter accident, you may be able to seek financial recovery from the city.

Actual insurance policies will vary by rideshare company; however, all drivers are required to have their own insurance in order to be eligible to work for a ridesharing company. Additionally, both Lyft and Uber carry up to $1 million of liability company insurance, but this coverage is only in effect when at certain times.

For example, Uber’s insurance policy has three levels:

Uber App is OFF: Only the driver’s personal insurance is in effect.
App is ON and Driver is “Available”: In addition to driver’s insurance, Uber’s contingent liability coverage can now be accessed. This includes up to $100,000 for injuries.
Driver is on Uber Trip: Company’s full commercial insurance coverage is in effect. This includes $1 million in third party liability and $1 million in uninsured and underinsured coverage.

Rideshare companies have gone great lengths in order to distance themselves from legal responsibility. Uber, for example, does not consider their drivers employees and instead lists them as independent contractors.

When confronted with litigation, parent companies like Uber will attempt to claim they only facilitate fares and are not responsible for their driver’s actions. It is then up to the plaintiff’s attorneys to prove the company’s liability.

The short answer: only a driver’s license.

Unlike taxi services which are heavily regulated, there are no certified licensing programs for rideshare drivers. All a driver needs is a valid driver’s license and auto insurance. After meeting a few other company-based requirements, drivers are free to transport clients with no additional training or experience.

Initially, this resulted in many of these services being banned as unlicensed taxi companies. However, bans have since been lifted, leaving the companies free to operate.

A ridesharing service is a service that arranges one-time shared rides through the use of GPS navigation devices, smartphones, and social networks.

Similar to carpooling, ridesharing services like Uber utilize empty seats in a passenger vehicles to provide transportation to those without access to a vehicle or who may not be in a condition to drive. Unlike carpooling, these services are often set up on short notice and are done for the sole purpose of profit.

Among the leading ridesharing services are:

  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Sidecar
  • Wingz
  • Fasten
  • Ride Austin

Insurance policies will vary by company; however, all rideshare drivers are required to have their own insurance in order to be eligible to work for a ridesharing company. In addition to the driver’s insurance, Lyft carries up to $1 million of liability company insurance. However, this coverage is only in effect when at certain times:

Lyft App is OFF: Only the driver’s personal insurance is in effect.
App is ON and Driver is “Available”: In addition to driver’s insurance, Lyft’s contingent liability coverage can now be accessed. This includes up to $100,000 for injuries.
Driver is on Lyft Trip: Company’s full commercial insurance coverage is in effect. This includes $1 million in third party liability and $1 million in uninsured and underinsured coverage.

Ridesharing companies have worked pretty hard to distance themselves their drivers, at least in terms of legal responsibility. Lyft, for example, has fought against litigation that would give its drivers employment status under law. Instead, Lyft has pushed to keep its drivers listed as independent contractors in order to limit the company’s liability for any negligence displayed by their drivers.

When confronted with litigation, rideshare providers like Lyft will attempt to claim they only facilitate fares and are not responsible for their driver’s actions. It is then up to the plaintiff’s attorneys to prove the company’s liability.

Typically, all a person needs to become a Lyft driver is an active driver’s license and proof of insurance.

Lyft is not as heavily regulated as traditional taxi services, and Lyft drivers are not expected to complete a certified licensing program. After meeting a few company-based requirements, drivers are free to transport clients without any additional training, on-boarding, or experience

Initially, this resulted in many of these services being banned as unlicensed taxi companies. However, bans have since been lifted, leaving the companies free to operate.

In broad terms, a ridesharing service is any service that provides one-time shared rides through the use of GPS navigation, a social network, or an app. Similar to carpooling, ridesharing services like Lyft utilizes empty seats in a passenger vehicle to provide a ride to those seeking one; however, unlike carpooling, ridesharing services are generally set up on short notice, are provided by drivers with not prior connection to the passenger, and are for profit.

Among the leading ridesharing services are:

  • Lyft
  • Uber
  • Sidecar
  • Wingz
  • Fasten
  • Ride Austin

In order to operate a commercial vehicle in Texas, a driver is required to obtain and maintain proper licensing as well as adhere to strict federal and state guidelines. If the commercial driver that caused your accident is not licensed or has allowed their license to expire, they should not have been on the road and your wreck should have never occurred.

If the driver in you commercial vehicle accident was not licensed or allowed their license to expire, you may also have a case against that driver’s employer. Trucking companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees when their employees are acting as agents for the company. This includes verifying that their employees have proper licensing and certifications.

Employers may also be held liable for:

  • Negligent supervision
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failure to properly train drivers
  • Failure to maintain vehicle

Regardless of who we decide to sue, our experienced team of injury lawyers understands how large companies and corporations operate when an employee is involved in a serious automobile accident.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a commercial vehicle accident, it is essential that you obtain competent legal representation. Choosing the right attorney to handle your commercial vehicle accident claim can make the difference in you and your family getting the financial recovery you deserve.

Here are a few items you should consider when looking for a personal injury attorney to handle your case:

  • Hire an attorney with significant trial experience
  • Hire an attorney who has access to top expert witnesses
  • Hire an attorney with the resources to take on large companies
  • Hire an attorney who operates on a contingency-fee basis

In the United States, a vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle if:

  • It is titled or registered to a company or a corporation.
  • Is used for business, but is under the name of a sole proprietor for that business.
  • Is a leased vehicle and in the name of the financial institution that owns it.
  • Exceeds a certain weight or class, even if it is not used commercially or company owned. Generally, any vehicle with a weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more is considered a commercial vehicle, regardless of use or ownership.
  • Is used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

Note that a vehicle used for business may remain privately licensed depending on the amount of time it is used for business.

Among the commercial vehicles that most occupy public roadways are:

  • Large trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Semi trucks
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Travel trailers exceeding 10,000 pounds
  • Large vans (intended to carry more than 15 passengers)
  • Taxicabs
  • Coaches
  • Buses
  • Heavy equipment (backhoes, bulldozers, large farm equipment, etc.)

In the United States, “commercial vehicle” is a pretty broad term. Many times, when a laymen thinks of a commercial vehicle, they thing of a delivery truck or an 18-wheeler; however, in the United States, commercial vehicles can also include fleet vehicles, passenger transports, company cars, and other vehicles used for business.

Depending on the size of the commercial motor vehicle and the severity of the wreck, injuries can widely vary. For example, a crash involving an 80,000 lb. semi-truck and a passenger vehicle could result in catastrophic injuries or death. Common commercial vehicle accident injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries (such as whiplash)
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Psychological and mental injuries

Commercial vehicle and truck accident cases can be complex because there are multiple parties that could be held liable for your injuries, including the vehicle’s driver, the company that owns or operates the commercial motor vehicle, or the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees. Unqualified management of a commercial vehicle fleet could lead to unqualified drivers. Employers may be liable for:

  • Failure to properly train drivers
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failure to verify proper driver licensing or certification
  • Negligent supervision

Deciding who to sue (and where to sue) largely depends on the facts surrounding your case and how the accident was caused. An attorney with experience handling commercial vehicle accidents understands how to determine who the negligent party is.

Thomas J. Henry has helped victims in commercial motor vehicle accidents stand up against large companies and corporations and get them the compensation they deserve. When up against a law firm with extensive legal and financial resources and a proven record of winning big cases, companies are more apt to offer an appropriate settlement amount.

Commercial motor vehicles, or company vehicles, come in many different forms: 18-wheelers, box trucks, van, cars, and garbage trucks. Any vehicle that is owned and operated by a company and is used by employees or agents of the company are considered commercial vehicles. Some commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks, require drivers to hold commercial driver’s licenses.

Commercial vehicle accidents are oftentimes caused by:

  • Following too closely
  • Improper lane changes and other traffic violations
  • Driver fatigue
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Improper loading

Commercial truck operators are required to abide by hours of service regulations, which ensure that a driver is well rested and has a proper amount of sleep before getting behind the wheel. A fatigued driver can cause catastrophic injuries in a crash by falling asleep at the wheel.

Most commercial vehicle companies will attempt to distance themselves from an accident and their own drivers in an attempt to limit their liability, even if this means throwing the employee under the bus. Commercial vehicle companies also employ teams of investigators and attorneys whose sole purpose is to challenge claims and reduce the amount of money that the commercial vehicle company has to payout.

Among the tactics commercial vehicle companies will use to dismantle your claim are:

Recorded Statements – The commercial vehicle company’s insurer will contact you after the accident requesting a recorded statement. While they claim this is to they can better understand your injuries and streamline the payout process, they are actually trying to get you on record saying something that harms you case. It is essential that you speak to an attorney before providing such a statement. Do not be bullied, you have no legal requirement to answer the insurer’s questions without the advice of your attorney.

Low Settlement Offers – The insurance company wants to settle your claim for as little as possible. They know that you are in a state of chaos and confusion and will take advantage of it. While it may be tempting, do not accept the insurers offer without consulting with your attorney first.

Destroying Evidence – Often times, a commercial vehicle company will attempt to destroy or alter records or evidence after an accident with the goal of hiding their mistakes. An attorney can file a court ordered temporary restraining order in order to preserve any and all evidence in the state that it was in at the time of your accident.

Not Ordering a Drug or Alcohol Test – Some companies will tell drivers involved in an accident not to submit to a drug or alcohol test if they think the driver was impaired when the crash occurred. The driver may feel pressured as being under the influence while behind the wheel can end their career. Federal regulations actually require drivers get tested following a crash. Still, the fine for violating this regulation is much less damaging that the repercussions of a trucker driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Delaying the Claim – May commercial vehicle companies will attempt to delay your claim in the hopes that you will lose the will and financial resources to fight. Thomas J. Henry has the money and manpower to see your case through to the end and knows how to drive a case forward.

As long as the truck driver is an employee of a commercial vehicle or trucking company, your lawsuit will seek damages from both the driver as well the company who employs driver. Texas law is very clear on this, stating that commercial vehicle companies are responsible for the negligent actions of their employees.

In addition to being responsible for driver negligence, commercial vehicle companies are also responsible for ensuring:

  • Their drivers have obtained and maintained proper licensing to operate a commercial vehicle
  • Their drivers have not committed any disqualifying criminal offenses that would compromise their CDL
  • Their drivers understand they are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving
  • Their drivers are in compliance with hours of service regulations at all times
  • Their vehicles are properly maintained and inspected regularly

Failure to adhere to these regulations or any others coded in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) can result in a trucking company being held responsible for your injuries.

In some cases, your attorney may decide it is best for you to sue the trucking company only and not the driver.  This is because you are seeking compensation for your injuries and any other damages. While you may want to bring the driver to justice, limiting your lawsuit to the company might be the most financially viable action and the most likely to help you in your recovery.

If an employee is off the clock when a company vehicle accident occurs, the employer may still be liable for the crash in certain situations.

For example, companies and employers are responsible for ensuring any and all company vehicles are properly maintained and are free of dangerous defects. So, if a company vehicle crash involved a vehicle that was improperly maintained, had defective equipment, or was previously subjected to an unaddressed safety recall, the company or employer that owns the vehicle can be held legally liable for any damages.

Even if the vehicle is not defective and the crash was entirely the fault of the off-the-clock employee, Texas law says that companies and employers can be held responsible for providing the employee with a vehicle if the employee’s actions demonstrate that he or she was a reckless, careless, or incompetent driver.

When an employee is on the clock, they are acting as an agent for the company that employees them. As such, companies are generally responsible for the actions of the employee. This relationship-based liability is known as respondeat superior which literally means “let the master answer.”

So, when an accident occurs while an employee is on the job, the employer may be expected answer for the employee’s actions and is subject to liability for the employee’s tort.

When an employee causes a wreck while on the job, the employer is generally responsible. However, there are also situations in which an employer can be held responsible for an employee’s crash even if the employee is not on the clock at the time of the collision.

In Texas, passengers in vehicles that are involved in an traffic accident are able to make recoveries from the drivers of adverse vehicles, the driver of the vehicle they are a passenger in, and in some instances the driver of the vehicle they were in as well as the drivers of adverse vehicles.

In Texas, if you are involved in a car crash as a passenger, you can pursue claims against any drivers involved, including the driver of the vehicle you were in. Beyond that, you can also sue people and entities that may have contributed to your crash and injuries in other ways, such as the vehicle’s manufacturer, property owners, and drinking establishments that over-served an intoxicated driver.

Most auto insurance companies have contracts with body shops in your area. These contracts normally benefit both the body shop and the insurer in that, in exchange for the referred business, the body shops agree to lower labor and material rates as well as parts discounts.

In some situations, these agreements may benefit you as well. By choosing a repair shop recommended by an insurer, you will generally be back on the road faster. Additionally, most reputable insurance companies require that contracted body shops meet certain equipment and training requirements and also require that contracted body shops provide lifetime warranties on any repairs made.

Still, there are situations in which you may want to use a body shop not contracted by the insurance company, which is your right.

If you choose a body shop recommended by an insurer, you may get some push back from claims representatives. This is because claims adjusters are often given set regarding the number of claims that should go to the insurance company’s direct repair shops. They will tell you that the shop is not on their list and that they will not be able to handle your claim effectively, or say that it could be weeks before an adjuster will be available to write an estimate on your car.

Do not be intimidated. If a body shop is truly reputable, they will make sure you receive any and all the benefits of choosing the insurer’s recommended body shop.

Typically, a passenger who gets hurt in a car crash has an easier case than a driver or any other type of personal injury plaintiff due to the fact that the passenger generally does not share any liability (though there are exceptions). In a two-car accident, for example, fault will normally lie with one or both of the drivers.

However, the passenger must still prove that:

  • The crash was the defendant’s fault
  • The plaintiff suffered damages
  • The defendant’s actions resulted in damages
  • The extent of the damages sustained

With this in mind, a passenger injury claim will proceed just like any other car accident claim. Just as in other auto accident cases, the passenger would want to gather the insurance information for any drivers involved in the crash and file claims with the insurance companies of any of the drivers he or she believes is liable for the crash.

Of course, if the accident were a single-vehicle crash, the passenger would only file with their own driver’s insurance company.

The amount of time it takes for you to recover money for an auto accident depends on a number of factors that are unique to your case. Sometimes your case will be settled within weeks, other times resolution may take months or even years.

Generally speaking, the more complex a case is the longer it will take to be resolved.

As soon as you contact Thomas J. Henry, your attorney will begin taking steps to preserve and gather evidence for your claim. The early stages of your case are often the most crucial as the quality of evidence and the ability of witnesses to accurately recall your crash can diminish rapidly.

When investigating your case, your attorney will have one goal – to gather all the evidence necessary to verify how the accident happened and establish who was at fault. They will gather photographic evidence, witness statements, and official reports and may file a temporary restraining order to preserve any evidence that is at risk of damage, destruction, or tampering.

In addition to information about the accident itself, your attorney will request information from your doctor concerning your injuries. Once your doctor has determined that your physical condition is stable, your attorney will begin assembling medical reports, records, and bills. They will also seek out employment records in order to evaluate damages related to loss of wages and loss of earning potential.

How long it takes to settle your Texas car crash lawsuit generally depends on the complexity of your case and whether or not fault is being contested. For example, a multi-vehicle collision involving a commercial vehicle will likely take longer to settle than a crash involving two vehicles as there is more evidence to gather and liability may not be immediately apparent.

In the event of an accident caused by another driver, you may discover that the adverse driver’s liability coverage limits are not sufficient enough to cover your damages. If, for example, your damages total $50,000 but the adverse driver’s liability coverage only covers $25,000, if you have an underinsured motorist coverage policy (with a limit such as $50,000), your insurance company will pick up the remaining difference of $25,000.

Without UM/UIM coverage in this scenario, you will likely have to sue the adverse driver to recover the difference. In many cases, uninsured or underinsured drivers will not have the assets to pay for the remaining damages, which means that you will have to foot the bill for the remaining costs.

If you’re unsure if you have UM/UIM coverage, contact your auto insurance provider. Purchasing this coverage can save your and your family from unexpected and expensive costs in the event of an accident.

Purchasing UM/UIM coverage can protect you from having to pay out of pocket for a variety of expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses for you and your passengers
  • Funeral expenses
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Rental car
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Permanent disability

In addition, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run auto accident or if you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, UM/UIM coverage can help you get the compensation you need for the damages that you incurred.

Although every driver is required to be covered by auto liability insurance — insurance that covers for another driver’s expenses if you cause an automobile accident — some drivers either have no coverage, coverage that has lapsed, or coverage that will not sufficiently cover damages in the event that they cause an accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight drivers were uninsured in the United States in 2012.

If an uninsured or underinsured driver crashes into your vehicle and you are injured, you may be stuck with thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.

In these cases, it is vital to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, sometimes referred to as UM/UIM coverage. In some states, it is required to have UM/UIM auto coverage. In other states, like Texas, by law you are afforded the opportunity to purchase UM/UIM coverage with your auto insurance policy. It is crucial to purchase this optional coverage to protect you, your passengers, and your finances.

Unfortunately, negligent drivers in a hit-and-run can be difficult to track down and are sometimes never caught. In these cases, for injured victims, there are still options available to receive compensation for their losses.

If you suffered a hit-and-run injury in Texas, you can make a claim with your insurer to cover your damages, such as property damage, medical costs, and lost wages. In order to do so, you must have uninsured motorist coverage through your auto insurance provider. Drivers are not required to buy uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, but it is an option insurance providers are required to offer. When buying auto insurance, it is always a great idea to purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.

While you would assume your insurance company would be looking after your best interests after a hit-and-run, insurance claims adjusters may try to short you on the full amount of compensation you need to cover your injuries and other losses. An attorney experienced in hit-and-run accidents can help handle insurance adjusters and negotiate for the payment you are owed. If you believe you are being lowballed or underpaid by you insurance company, call our law offices today.

If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, call the police immediately. Calling law enforcement as soon as possible can increase the chances of finding the hit-and-run driver and also get you the medical attention you need. In addition, a hit-and-run must be reported to the police if you intend on seeking compensation for your injuries or property damage.

It may not always be plausible to get a look at the driver or the vehicle before they flee the scene. If you do happen to get a good look at the vehicle (make, model, color, type of vehicle), the license plate number, or description of the driver, be sure to relay this information to the police. You can also ask witnesses to the accident if they saw the driver or the vehicle that hit you before driving off.

In order to find the driver that caused the wreck and fled the scene, law enforcement or your attorney may be able to check footage from surveillance cameras in the area. Our firm has experience handling hit-and-run accidents, and we will exercise all available options to try and locate the motorist in your hit-and-run.

In many cases, drivers who flee the scene of an accident do so because they know they are at fault, they do not have auto insurance, they broke a traffic law that caused the accident, or they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Hit-and-run drivers leave the scene of an accident because they know they would likely be incarcerated otherwise. It is an unlawful, dangerous, and reckless decision to leave the scene after an accident.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents are entitled to compensation for losses, such as medical costs, lost wages from missing work, pain and suffering, and other damages. Although the means from which you are compensated may differ, hit-and-run accident victims are able to recover damages just as any other person injured in a crash.

If the insurance company determine the cost of repairing your car is greater than the amount the car could have sold for at fair market value, they may designate your car a total loss. In such a situation, you have two options.

  • Accept the total loss value of your car minus any salvage value and keep the car.
  • Accept the total loss salvage value and sign the car over to the insurance company.

When turning over your car to an insurance company, you may be asked to sign a power of attorney to allow the insurance company to dispose of the vehicle.

If the insurance company determine the cost of repairing your car is greater than the amount the car could have sold for at fair market value, they may designate your car a total loss. In such a situation, you have two options.

  • Accept the total loss value of your car minus any salvage value and keep the car.
  • Accept the total loss salvage value and sign the car over to the insurance company.

When turning over your car to an insurance company, you may be asked to sign a power of attorney to allow the insurance company to dispose of the vehicle.

The steps you take will vary slightly depending on whether or not your car is driveable. However, the process will typically go as follows:

Call your insurance company. They will either send an adjuster to look at your car or ask that you take the car to a specified auto repair shop. They will provide you with an estimate and a list of “pre-approved” body shops. You are not obligated to use their recommended body shops.

Get a second opinion. Take your car to a mechanic you trust. If the body shop fells the repairs to your car cannot be made based on the estimate provided by the insurance company, as the manager of the body shop to contact the insurance company on your behalf.

Discuss Payment. Talk to your adjuster and find out how the repairs will be paid for. If you are liable for any charges, get solid figures on the amount you will be expected to pay prior to having repairs made.

Choose your body shop and mechanic. Again, you are under no obligation to use the insurance company’s recommended shops. You have the right to choose who works on your vehicle. Once the body shop and insurance company has worked out the details, have your car repaired.

Follow up on newly discovered damage. If your mechanic finds additional damage during the repair process, ask the shop to contact your insurance adjuster and inform them.

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you will be able to recover losses from the following sources.

Liability Coverage Under the Other Driver’s Insurance – If the other person’s insurance company accepts that their driver was responsible for your accident, they will normally pay a standard amount for you to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, most insurance companies aren’t known for their timeliness. This means you could be left without a car for days or even weeks as the insurance company determines fault, damages, and how much they are willing to pay. Beyond that, the insurer may try to low-ball your payout.

Collision Coverage Under Your Insurance – In situations in which the adverse driver is uninsured or underinsured, you will likely have to file your claim through your own insurance. In such situations, your deductible will likely be lowered or even waived provided you have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. A major benefit of dealing with your own insurer is that they are much more likely to want to help than the adverse driver’s insurer and will be faster at getting your claim resolved.

Whether filing through your own insurance or through the insurance of another driver, it in your best interest to consult with an attorney. This is because the adverse driver or their insurer may try to contest liability after the accident has occurred. Having an attorney on your side can help ensure that the events leading up to your accident are factually represented.

You should never release your medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster as the records may contain confidential information.  Often times, the information contained in you medical records will be utilized improperly by the insurance company, and you need to make sure that when medical information is provided, it is conveyed in the right way and in a legal way.

Generally, it is best to speak to an attorney following an auto accident which results in injury, death, or contested liability, even if it seems like your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver are cooperating.

This is simply due to the fact that insurance companies are in the business of making money. As such, it is in their best interest to low-ball injured victims on settlement offers, limit liability wherever possible, or look for opportunities to deny injury claims outright.

While you are required to notify your insurer of an accident, you should not be pressured into providing a recorded statement until the full extent of your injuries are known. As such, it is recommended that you keep your notification as simple as possible. Try to limit your call to:

  • The fact that you were involved in a crash
  • General background information concerning the crash
  • Date of the accident
  • Time of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Names and addresses for all parties involved

If you have been involved in a car crash in Texas, it is very important that you notify your insurance company to inform them about the accident. However, you may wish to contact an attorney prior to providing a recorded statement.

There is a common misconception that you do not have to notify your insurance company of an accident if you are not at fault. This is false. If you plan on seeking any damages, whether they be to your vehicle or to your body, notifying your insurance company is necessary.

Insurance companies provide a number of services, which you are already paying for! These include towing coverage, medical expense coverage, and collision coverage. In order to take advantages of any of these coverages on your policy, you are required to report the accident to your insurer. Failure to do so in a timely manner may result in coverage being denied.

Another reason it is essential to notify your insurance company is that the other driver may try to say you are at fault and pursue a claim against you. In such a situation, your insurance company is required to provide a defense to you free of charge.

If you have been involved in an auto accident that was not your fault, you will likely get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance requesting a recorded statement. While the insurance representative may try to convince you that providing a recorded statement is in your best interest, this is simply not true.

Like any for profit business, insurance companies are run with the goal of making money. One way of securing profits is to limit payouts to injured victims. A recorded statement is the first move of many that an insurance company will take to erode your claim and limit their driver’s liability.

Medical payments coverage is similar to personal injury protection, but is more limited in that it only covers medical costs and funeral expenses. Typically, medical payments coverage cannot be applied to lost wages or other non-health related items.

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a “no-fault” form of coverage, meaning that some of the medical expenses of the policyholder and others in the policyholder’s care may be recovered by insurance, regardless of which driver is at fault.

While some states require all drivers to carry PIP, Texas only requires that PIP coverage be offered to a consumer who purchases liability insurance. There is no requirement that the consumer purchase PIP coverage.

If a Texas driver does opt for PIP coverage, the policy may pay as much as 80% of medical and other expenses that resulted from the accident, depending on the limits of that individual policy. PIP can be applied to medical treatment for any injuries suffered by you as a driver, injuries suffered by passengers in a vehicle you are driving, and even injuries you may incur as a passenger in another’s car or as a pedestrian.

Beyond medical expenses, PIP may also cover:

  • Service replacement of someone injured in a covered car accident
  • Costs associated with rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Child care
  • Household maintenance
  • Funeral costs

Texas law states that if an auto accident is determined to be 51% your fault, you are unable to collect damages from a lawsuit; however, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage, you may be able to recover your medical bills up to the limit of that coverage.

Distracted driving is characterized by any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the roadway. This sort of reckless behavior oftentimes leads to a car wreck and catastrophic injuries, and in the most severe cases even death can occur.

Beyond cell phone usage, there are many other factors and actions that cause driver distraction.

  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or other music player
  • Applying makeup or shaving
  • Eating or drinking
  • Reading (maps, instructions, text messages)
  • Talking to passengers
  • Using a GPS or navigation system

After an accident, ask the other driver for their:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Insurance information
  • Name of insurance company
  • Insurance agent’s name
  • Policy number

If the other driver refuses to provide their insurance information, ask them for their home address, drivers’ license number, and license plate number. If you can’t safely obtain this information either, recording the driver’s license plate number could be enough for the police or the insurance company to track down the driver.

When dealing with a typical auto accident, whose insurance pays for the damages is dependent on who is at fault for the collision.

Liability Coverage Under the Other Driver’s Insurance – If the other person’s insurance company accepts that their driver was responsible for your accident, they will normally pay a standard amount for you to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, most insurance companies aren’t known for their timeliness. This means you could be left without a car for days or even weeks as the insurance company determines fault, damages, and how much they are willing to pay. Beyond that, the insurer may try to low-ball your payout.

Collision Coverage Under Your Insurance – In situations in which the adverse driver is uninsured or underinsured, you will likely have to file your claim through your own insurance. In such situations, your deductible will likely be lowered or even waived provided you have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. A major benefit of dealing with your own insurer is that they are much more likely to want to help than the adverse driver’s insurer and will be faster at getting your claim resolved.

Note that there is no prerequisite saying you are barred from seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance if you do not have insurance of your own. They only requirement is that that driver is determined to be at fault for your accident and your injuries.

In Texas, if you are involved in an accident caused by the negligent or reckless driving of another, you are allowed to file a lawsuit even if you do not have insurance.

Some uninsured driver may be afraid to come forward or feel pressured into working out a deal directly with the driver at fault for fear that they may face legal consequences due to their driving without insurance. Do not fall for it – you are still entitled to your legal rights and fair compensation.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is essential that you seek out medical attention if you are feeling any pain or discomfort. The full extent of your injuries may not be immediately evident to you, and waiting to seek medical attention until the pain worsens could have long lasting consequences.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is essential that you seek out medical attention if you are feeling any pain or discomfort. The full extent of your injuries may not be immediately evident to you, and waiting to seek medical attention until the pain worsens could have long lasting consequences.

Not taking an ambulance from the scene of an accident does not prevent you from going to the hospital at a later time. If you begin to feel pain or discomfort after a collision, it is always best to get a diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare provider.

If you were injured in an auto accident, even one you were partly responsible for, it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney. In most cases, being partly responsible for a crash does not prevent you from seeking compensation. An experienced attorney can advise you on the best course of action and help secure your claim to damages.

In Texas, you are still allowed to sue for damages even if you are partly responsible for the crash. In crashes in which more than one driver is responsible for the collision, Texas uses a modified comparative fault standard to apportion fault and award damages. Commonly referred to as “proportionate responsibility,” the statute allows an injured person to recover damages based on the percentage of fault each party is determined to have. The more fault the plaintiff is determined to have, the less damages they will be allowed to recover.

When you determine that you need legal representation after an accident, there are certain things to look for in a personal injury attorney:

An experienced attorney with a track record of handling cases like yours.
If you were hurt in a semi-truck accident, look for a lawyer with a record of handling, and winning, trucking accident cases. Injured in a crash involving a drunk driver? Find an attorney that represents clients injured in these kinds of accidents. Did a defective or recalled vehicle cause your accident? You should retain a lawyer that has the capability to handle these complex cases. Thomas J. Henry is a nationally-recognized personal injury law firm that handles all types of injury and accident claims. View all of our personal injury practice areas.

Extensive legal and financial resources.
In order to handle cases against large corporations and businesses, you need a law firm with the resources necessary to properly handle and develop your case. In these cases, it is oftentimes necessary to retain expert witnesses to provide testimony about your accident. Our firm retains the best expert witnesses from across the United States, each one undergoing a rigorous examination before ever participating in a client’s case.

Dedication to client satisfaction.
When you hire Thomas J. Henry, you are hiring a firm experienced in all areas of personal injury with more than 100 lawyers and a devoted support staff. Our business model is to provide personalized representation for each of our clients and their unique needs. We continue to put our clients first to achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible.

A record of winning.
It is important to seek a personal injury lawyer with a history of achieving real results for their clients. Retain an attorney that has success inside and outside of the courtroom. You need a lawyer that can properly prepare for trial and has experience winning in the courtroom. Many personal injury cases settle before ever reaching trial, but you should look for an experienced trial attorney that is not afraid to take a case to trial if necessary.

Our firm has many trial lawyers with proven winning records. Oftentimes, previously won verdicts and settlements can be found on a law firm’s website. To see examples of our previous successes, check out Thomas J. Henry’s recent results page.

Generally, it is best to speak to an attorney following an auto accident which results in injury, death, or contested liability, even if it seems like your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver are cooperating.

This is simply due to the fact that insurance companies are in the business of making money. As such, it is in their best interest to low-ball injured victims on settlement offers, limit liability wherever possible, or look for opportunities to deny injury claims outright.

When dealing with injuries that were caused by a Texas auto accident, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers in your community to provide your immediate healthcare needs based on the future of your case. What this means is that healthcare providers and even specialists will provide treatment and provide the bills for those procedures to you so you can apply those bills towards your claim.

Also, if you are working with an attorney on your case, do not be afraid to address any financial concerns you may have when speaking about your case. Your attorney is there to help you on you physical recovery in addition to your financial recover.

Our attorneys work closely with medical providers and may even be able to refer you to a doctor or specialist who is both familiar with your injuries and is also willing to provide the medical attention you need based on the future of your case.

Providing a recorded statement to an insurance company following a Texas auto accident can definitely have a negative impact on your claim to compensation.

Providing a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

Potential for unintentional inconsistencies – Car crashes can be confusing and disorienting. Further, as time goes on, your recollection of the accident may fade. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.

Exposure to trick questions – The representative on the other end may ask leading questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.

Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured”, you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.

Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of any injuries suffered in a car accident may not be evident until several days after an accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.

You providing material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

Texas does allow punitive damages to be awarded in auto accident lawsuits provided that certain requirements are met. The most important is the plaintiff is able to establish that the defendant acted with gross negligence.

In order for punitive damages to be awarded, there must first be actual damages. Actual damages are things like medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of wages. Without actual damages, punitive damages cannot occur.

Second, you must be able to demonstrate that the defendant acted with gross negligence. This means showing:

  • That a reasonable person in the same situation as the defendant would have known that their behavior or conduct involved an extreme degree of risk.
  • That the defendant knew of the risk but acted with disregard.

In a Texas auto accident case, fault is generally determined by looking at the traffic laws and safety standards that were violated by the adverse driver, then examining whether these actions resulted in damages. If it is determined that more than one driver contributed to the damages sustained in an accident, the situation may result in split liability.

In most cases, liability will not be contested and your attorney will move onto settlement negotiations. However, if the claim is challenged, your case may go to trial, in which case a jury will be called to determine fault.

In many cases, injuries from a car wreck are not noticeable until days, weeks, or months afterward. One way to prevent this from happening is to see a doctor as soon as you can following the accident. Medical professionals can provide you with a routine check-up and diagnose you with an injury that may not be obvious to you.

Some of the most commonly overlooked injuries resulting from an auto accident are soft tissue injuries. These injuries refer to damage done to ligaments, muscles, and tendons. The most frequently occurring soft tissue injury in a car accident is whiplash, an injury to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head. According to the American Chiropractic Association, two out of three people involved in a motor vehicle accidents suffer from whiplash.

If you have been injured in a car crash, you have a right to pursue compensation for all damages you suffered as a result of your accident and injuries. This can include:

Medical expenses such as bills for doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and emergency transportation.

Lost wages such as basic wage loss for time away from work, loss of commissions on sales, loss of fringe benefits, and loss of earning capacity.

Pain and suffering that you sustained as a result of your accident and injuries.
Mental anguish for the fright, terror, anxiety, humiliation, or grief you carry as a result of your accident and injuries.

Loss of consortium resulting from deprivation of affection, comfort, society, or sexual relations that was previously provided by your spouse to you or vice versa following your accident.

Roughly 2.44 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. That averages to about 6,693 injured people every day. These injuries range from minor to sever, and some injured persons may be left with long-term disability. However, no matter the severity of your injury, our attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure your rights as an injured victim are upheld.

Among the injuries we see most often in our auto accident clients are:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Strained ligaments
  • Back muscle sprains
  • Scrapes and Cuts
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Bruising
  • Contusions
  • Broken ribs
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Jaw injuries
  • Loss of teeth
  • Neck injuries
  • Crushed larynx
  • Crushed trachea
  • Broken neck
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Penetration injuries

If you were involved in a crash in Texas, you have the right to pursue financial recovery for your damages, including mental anguish, pain and suffering, earning capacity, or lost wages, impairment, scarring, loss of consortium, loss of value in a relationship and the adverse driver has a duty to make you whole.

  1. Pullover and call the police. No matter how minor or significant the accident is, if your car is driveable, pull over to the side of the road to avoid additional collisions. It is illegal to flee an accident scene. Doing so will make the situation worse. Turn on your hazards and use road flares and reflectors if you have them. Call the police.
  2. Seek medical attention immediately for your injuries. Check to see if you or anyone else is injured. If so, get medical help first. You may not feel any apparent injuries or pain immediately following the crash, but symptoms can show up days or weeks later. Delaying medical care can not only put your long-term health at risk but hurt your potential accident claim.
  3. Record facts and take pictures. Gather information as much as possible about the accident. Take photos of any damage. Get the other driver’s name, address, license plate number, insurance, year, make, model, and vehicle registration. Be sure to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses too.
  4. Report the accident to your insurance. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can following a crash (most policies require an immediate accident report). Consulting your insurance will allow you to discuss your medical benefits and begin your claim. Keep a detailed log of any medical bills, updates, changes in health, and crash-related expenses.
  5. Contact an experienced accident attorney. A team of knowledgeable injury lawyers can assist you every step of the way. They will take immediate action on your case to preserve evidence, examine the existing case law, and find the best expert witnesses in the country on your behalf. Your lawyer will put you in the best position possible to achieve the compensation you deserve.

There are a multitude of different types of expert witnesses, from doctors to accident reconstructionists, all playing a unique role in personal injury litigation. However, most expert witnesses fall into two categories: consulting expert and testifying expert.

Consulting experts, help explain and clarify facts so that your attorney can better understand a situation. In a trucking accident, a consulting expert may be called to provide professional insight on the intricacies of trucking regulations, which can vary by state.

While a consulting expert typically does not testify in open court, the information they provide can play a vital role in supporting your trucking accident claim.

A testifying expert is someone who will deliver testimony in the courtroom. This requires that they not only posses special expertise, but also an ability to deliver complicated information in a manner that is easily understood.

Some expert witnesses will fill both of these duties during the course of a lawsuit, consulting with your attorney privately as the facts of your case are gathered and then presenting any relevant information to the judge or jury.

An expert witness, also known as a judicial expert, is an additional witness who has expertise and specialized knowledge in a particular subject that is beyond what an average person may have.

Expert witnesses can be called upon to offer their expert opinion to the court or to refute inaccurate testimony given by the defense. Because of their expertise and high ethical standards, testimony from an expert witness can go a long way in proving your trucking injury claim.

In Texas, pain and suffering is a type of damage available in a personal injury claim, such as in an auto accident case. Pain and suffering addresses the physical and mental trauma that a person experienced in an accident, in the aftermath of the accident, and during any medical procedures that were needed as a result. In many auto accident cases, establishing significant pain and suffering is one of the most important pieces of a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, cause tremendous pain and suffering. Auto accidents oftentimes leave victims with severe, long-lasting and debilitating physical injuries that can also lead to mental and emotional injuries. In these cases, pain and suffering (physically and mentally) is often easy to recognize. However, the amount awarded for pain and suffering is ultimately left up to a jury’s decision.

In order to successfully show the extent of an injured victim’s pain and suffering, it is imperative to have thorough and exhaustive documentation of medical treatments and therapies from physicians, surgeons, nurses, and psychologists. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with this process and also help with presenting your case clearly and convincingly before a jury.

During your initial meeting with an injury attorney, you will be asked many questions regarding the accident and the injuries you sustained. You should also be prepared to ask the attorney questions of your own. It can be helpful to create a list of questions you have for the attorney prior to the meeting so you don’t forget anything when you get there.

Important questions to ask your prospective accident attorney include:

  • How long have you been practicing law in this practice area?
  • What is your track record of succeeding in these cases?
  • Do you have trial experience?
  • How much will it cost to hire you?

One of the most important questions to ask your lawyer is how they charge for services and if a consultation costs you anything upfront. Our firm offers free case reviews and charges on a contingency basis.

Before your meeting, gather all of the evidence you collected from the accident and anything that may be related to your injuries, such as:

  • Photographs of the accident scene, damage to your car and other vehicles involved, your injuries, or anything else pertaining to the incident
  • Copy of a police report or accident report
  • List of names, phone numbers, or addresses of witnesses you spoke with at the scene
  • Medical records

If you received medical attention after your accident, bring any records or documents showing the procedures or treatment you had completed, the names and contact information of the doctors or medical professionals you saw, what future treatment may be recommended, and the costs associated with your care. In addition, bring medical and auto insurance information with you, if you have them.

Other documents that you may have that you should bring to your first meeting with a lawyer include:

  • Letters or emails you received from your insurer or the other driver’s insurer
  • Name and phone number of the at-fault driver from the accident (and their insurance company’s information)
  • Contact information of any insurance company or claims adjusters that you have spoken with
  • Receipts of anything you purchased to remedy an injury or repair due to the accident

In general, bring any evidence, documents, or information related to your injuries and the accident with you to your initial consultation with your attorney. The more information you bring, the quicker and easier your lawyer can evaluate your case and provide you with the next steps to take. To keep the documents organized and to avoid losing anything, keep all of these in an envelope or folder that you can then bring with you to the law office (or wherever you meet your attorney).

If an insurance company offers you a check right away, do not sign it. When an insurance company seems overly eager to settle a claim, it is because they are trying to limit their liability or they are trying to beat out future damages that have yet to be identified. As such, many checks will include release language benefiting the insurer.

Despite the name, most independent medical examinations (IMEs) are not very independent. The IME is generally conducted by a physician hired by the insurance company, and this physician is inclined to return an opinion that is favorable to the insurance company because the insurance company refers numerous patients to them.

There is no reason you should submit to an IME before speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. If you are asked to complete an IME, call Thomas J. Henry immediately.

When the request for your medical records is first made, it may seem entirely reasonable. After all, you are seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained in the accident, and the adjuster says the medical records will help “verify” what injuries occurred.

What the adjuster is leaving out is the fact that by allowing this medical release, you may be granting the insurance company access to your entire medical history. Unless a medical release is precisely worded, the insurance company will be permitted to review all of your medical records, not just those linked to your accident, for ways to dispute your claim to compensation.

The company hopes your records will include information regarding a pre-existing medical condition or a prior accident that your newly sustained injuries can be blamed on. The insurance company may even argue that your current injuries are not related to the accident in question at all!

If the adjuster wants access to your medical records, contact an attorney familiar with personal injury law. An experienced attorney will work with you to ensure that only the facts pertinent to your claim are released and that any details that you would not like publicly revealed remain confidential.

Personal injury attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by insurance adjusted to dismantle the credibility of injured victims. An experienced attorney will help you outline a statement that accurately details the facts of an accident.

The attorney will also help identify questions that are meant to erode you claim and coach you on how to provide your statement in a concise way that leaves no room for interpretation.

Your attorney may also recommend that you:

  • Request the statement not be recorded
  • Avoid volunteering information
  • Avoid personal information
  • Avoid long explanations
  • Provide a firm “I don’t know” when you don’t know something, as opposed “maybe” or “I guess that’s possible”
  • Not answer questions unless you are absolutely sure what is being asked
  • Avoid admitting fault
  • Do not respond to any potentially leading statements or questions, even if they seem polite or innocent on the surface (i.e. How are you feeling?, I hope your back is feeling at least a little better, or Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured).
  • Provide a statement that preempts contributory negligence (i.e. I was traveling within the posted speed limit free of distraction and had the right-of-way when the crash occurred).

Finally, if your attorney determines that providing a recorded statement is not in you best interest, they may advise that you forgo submitting a statement all together.

If you have suffered injury due to the negligence or reckless behavior of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To determine whether or not you have a case, your attorney will examine the facts and evidence of your accident and injuries. This includes:

  • Identifying all potential injuries
  • Establishing negligence and liability
  • Determining the existence of a legal duty

Many people view contacting an attorney as a last resort – an action that should be taken if the insurer of the negligent party fails to offer fair compensation. This is an unfortunate misconception. While you are taking the “wait and see” approach, the insurance company has representative and lawyers actively working to limit their financial liability.

Insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. While they may seem cooperative while on the phone, behind the scenes they are doing everything they can to undermine your claim.

A common example of this is the “recorded statement.” The adjuster will claim that providing a recorded statement for reference will help them resolve you claim faster. What they won’t tell you is that they will compare the recorded statement to future conversations for inconsistencies, nor will they tell you that the recorded statement you are providing can be used against you in court.

Providing a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

Unintentional inconsistencies – Accidents that result in injury are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following an accident. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.

Exposure to trick questions – Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.

Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured”, you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.

Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of any injuries suffered in an accident may not be evident until several days after the accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of an accident and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.

Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

Following a personal injury accident, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers in your community to provide your immediate healthcare needs based on the future of your case. What this means is that healthcare providers and even specialists will provide treatment and provide the bills for those procedures to you so you can apply those bills towards your claim.

Also, if you are working with an attorney on your case, do not be afraid to address any financial concerns you may have when speaking about your case. Your attorney is there to help you on you physical recovery in addition to your financial recover.

May attorneys work closely with medical providers and may even be able to refer you to a doctor or specialist who is both familiar with your injuries and is also willing to provide the medical attention you need based on the future of your case.

Because of the time constraints, unique requirements, and sheer legal complexity associated of a tort claims, it is best to hire an attorney anytime you are injured by a government employee. An experienced attorney will take immediate legal action to preserve and protect evidence of your injury. Additionally, they will begin hiring expert witnesses to help strengthen your claim to compensation.

Thomas J. Henry has handled tort claims filed against states, counties, and cities for more than 30 years. Our attorneys are familiar with the Texas Tort Claims Act as well as the rules and regulations your claim is subject to.

Thomas J. Henry has spent the last three decades building relationships with leading experts across all industries. Experts who could help establish your Texas tort claim include:

  • Accident Investigation Experts
  • FMCSA Compliance Consultants
  • Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue and distracted driving)
  • Accident Re-constructionists
  • General Equipment Technical Expert
  • Medical Doctors and Physicians
  • Automotive Forensic Consultants
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrists
  • Grief Counselors
  • Safety Equipment Experts

The Texas Tort Claims Act is a set of statutes used to determine when a governmental entity may be liable for tortuous conduct and regulating the process by which a claim can be brought against a governmental entity in the state of Texas.

Prior to the Texas Tort Claims Act, state and local governments held what is called “sovereign immunity.” This meant individuals were barred from recovering damages from state or local governments for injuries resulting from the negligent or reckless actions of government employees or officers performing governmental functions.

In 1969, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Tort Claims Act, waiving sovereign immunity for governmental entities when they are engaged in governmental function.

This established that a governmental unit in the state of Texas is liable for:

  • Property damage, personal injury, and death proximately caused by the wrongful act or omission or the negligence of an employee acting within his scope of employment if:
    • (a) the property damage, personal injury, or death arises from the operation or use of a motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven equipment; and
    • (b) the employee would be personally liable to the claimant according to Texas law; and
      personal injury and death so caused by a condition of use of tangible personal or real property if the governmental unit would, were it a private person, be liable to the claimant according to Texas Law.

In Texas, you have the right to bring a lawsuit against a municipality or any other government entity responsible for your injuries. However, these kinds of claims are a bit different from a regular plaintiff’s lawsuit as they are subject to special rules and procedures outlined by the Tort Claims Act.

If you a planning to sue a government entity for your injuries, it is essential that you hire an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with the Tort Claims Act. Thomas J. Henry has handled government injury lawsuits for more than 30 years.

At Thomas J. Henry, we understand the days and months following a personal injury accident can be confusing and hectic, especially when faced alone. We want you to have the opportunity to discuss and understand your legal rights as soon as you accident occurs.

This is why we offer all injured individuals an opportunity to consult with an attorney at no cost.

To speak with an attorney, simply contact our office via phone or through our website’s contact form. The details of your accident and injury will be recorded and forwarded to an attorney for review. That attorney will explain to you what legal recourse you may have.

More than that, if you choose to have our firm represent you in your personal injury claim, your case will be handled on a contingency-fee bases. This means you will not owe us anything unless and until you case is successfully resolved.

Thomas J. Henry Law offers free case reviews so that you can better understand your legal options. This means you pay nothing for your first consultation. Additionally, Thomas J. Henry Law works on a contingency fee basis meaning that if you do choose to hire us, you pay us nothing unless and until we win your case.

Texas is one of 33 states in the country that recognize a modified comparative fault rule. This rule, called proportionate responsibility in the state of Texas, allows injured parties to recover damages if they are partially at fault up to a certain percentage. States with modified comparative fault rules have adopted either a 50% Bar Rule or 51% Bar Rule.

51% Bar Rule – An injured party cannot recover damages if they are found to be 51% or more at fault in the accident. If the party is 50 percent at fault, they can make a recovery. Texas is one of 21 states that adheres to the 51% Bar Rule.

Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming follow the 51% Bar Rule.

50% Bar Rule – An injured party cannot recover damages if they are found to be 50% or more at fault in the accident. If the party is found to be 49 percent at fault, they can still recover.
Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia follow the 50% Bar Rule.

The injured plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by their degree of fault. If the injured party under the 51% Bar Rule modified comparative fault rule is found to be 50 percent at fault, for example, their recovery will be half of what the jury awards them.

Personal injury lawsuits can be filed in what is referred to as a proper or appropriate venue. An appropriate venue is a city or county that is connected to or pertaining to your case under the rules of civil procedure and venue statute in Texas.

In general, the venue in which a lawsuit can be brought will be determined by one of the following:

  • The county in which the accident or event occurred
  • The county in which the adverse individual, or defendant, lives
  • The county in which the defendant company or business has its principal office or headquarters

For example, if a motorist is hit by a semi-truck driver on a cell phone in “County A,” but the trucking company’s principal office is located in “County B,” your legal counsel will have options on where to file your personal injury lawsuit.

Defendants in a lawsuit can dispute the chosen venue and obtain a transfer in venue from the court if the transfer would be “for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice.” You can view Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 15.002(b) here along with additional information regarding proper venue.

Some lawsuits include more than one defendant, which can open up additional venue options for your legal team. Our firm has handled many types of personal injury cases in nearly every county in the state of Texas, and we will go the extra mile to find the best and most appropriate venue to try your case.

Soon after receiving your settlement, your health insurance provider may make a claim for part of your settlement to recoup for the various medical expenses it paid on your behalf.

Usually this right by the insurance company to be reimbursed for these payments is built into the contract you agreed to when you signed up for coverage. The language of these contracts will oftentimes allow the insurance company to seek repayment if your injuries were caused by a negligent third party. In the case of government-provided healthcare benefits, such as Medicaid or Medicare, reimbursement of payments are generally pursued due to provisions found in the laws that allow for these benefits to exist.

In many situations, these health insurance providers will place a lien on the results of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Before you can receive your recovery from your case, the lien placed by the insurance company has to be paid.

The claim of reimbursement is through the concept of subrogation. Subrogation by definition is the act of a party stepping into the shoes of another. Subrogation allows a collateral source (in this case, an insurance company) to make any claim against a third party that the insured party could have. Insurance companies take the place of the insured party to recoup a monetary amount and relieve some of their financial costs.

The early stages of your case or some of the most crucial as the quality of evidence and the ability of witnesses to accurately recall details of your accident and injuries can diminish rapidly. This is why it is best to contact an attorney as soon as you can follow a personal injury accident.

As soon as you contact Thomas J. Henry, an attorney will begin taking the steps necessary to preserve and gather evidence for your claim. This may include gathering photographic evidence, taking witnesses statements, reviewing official reports, and even filing a temporary restraining order if your attorney feels any evidence is at risk of damage, destruction, or tampering.

Once your doctor believes your condition is stable, your attorney will begin assembling medical reports, records, and bills and begin calculating damages. If you missed work due to your injury, your attorney will seek out employment records in order to evaluate damages related to loss of wages and loss of earning potential.

The goal is to establish the facts of your case. Specifically, that your accident was the result of negligent behavior by the defendant, that the accident resulted in injuries or damages, and that the defendant should be held liable of those injuries and damages.

Whether or not you will need to go to court for your personal injury case is dependent on the facts of your case. While most personal injury cases settle without the plaintiff ever having to set foot in a court room, it is important that you and your attorney prepare your case as though it will be tried to verdict.

Negligence is the legal concept that forms the framework of fault in most personal injury cases. The Legal Information Institute defines negligence as a failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. While the behavior in question usually consists of actions, it can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.

When attempting to ascertain whether a person’s conduct or behavior lacked reasonable care, lawyers will consider the four elements that are required to establish a prima facie case (a legally required rebuttable presumption). The elements are:

  • The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff
  • The defendant’s breach of that duty
  • The plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury
  • Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury

When you win your Texas personal injury case, there are a multitude of damages you can recover depending on the facts of your case. From past and future medical expenses to lost wages to pain and suffering, a jury will look at the facts of your case to determine exactly what types of compensation you are entitled to.

Among the most common damages recovered in personal injury lawsuits are:

Lost wages – You may be entitled to compensation for the impact an accident or injury has had on your salary or wages. This includes wages lost due to time spent in the hospital, rehabilitation, or the loss of a job due to disability.

Loss of earning capacity – Similar to lost wages, loss of earning capacity seeks to recover income that has been lost due to an accident or injury; however, whereas lost wages is focused on salary or wages that has already been lost, loss of earning capacity seeks damages based on future income.

Medical treatment – Damages almost always include the cost of medical care associated with an accident or injury. Damages can include reimbursement for treatment you have already received as well as compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you will need in the future.

Property loss – If any of your property was damages or lost as a result of a personal injury accident, your attorney will seek reimbursement for repairs or compensation based on the fair market value of any property that was lost.

Pain and suffering – If you injury has resulted in pain or serious discomfort, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. This can include pain experienced when an injury was caused, pain experienced immediately after an injury was caused, and any ongoing pain that can be attributed to the injury or accident.

Loss of enjoyment – These damages attempt to quantify loss of enjoyment in day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities.
Emotional distress – Not all injuries are physical. If your accident or injury has had a psychological impact and has resulted in things like anxiety, depression, or sleep loss, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages.

Loss of consortium – Typically applied to wrongful death lawsuits, loss of consortium damages can also be sought when a severe injury has resulted in a loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship with a spouse. Children may also sue for loss of consortium if the injuries have significantly hampered the victim’s ability to provide care, nurturing, or comfort.

If your case goes to trial, expect your attorney to fight for you. If you have hired a competent attorney, then they would have already gathered the evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim before a jury or judge.

Your attorney will also coach you on court room procedures and how to handle questioning and cross-examination.

Going to trial can feel intimidating; however, with the right attorney on your side, you can at least feel well prepared and confident that your best interests will be represented. Thomas J. Henry has been successfully trying cases against large trucking companies for the past 30 years and has built a reputation by securing record-breaking jury verdicts.

With a team of more than 200 attorneys ready to represent injured clients at a moment’s notice, we have the money and the resources to fight and win against even the largest trucking companies.

When settlement discussions begin will depend on the size and complexity of a case. Larger cases may progress further before negotiations begin as neither side wants to appear overeager or desperate to resolve a matter.

After your personal injury case has been filed, your attorney and the defense will begin pretrial investigations. This is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys will begin gathering evidence and may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions.

Keep in mind that it is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.

In larger, more complex cases, such as on the job accidents or commercial trucking accidents, defense attorneys may wait for the plaintiff’s attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.

Insurance companies will attempt to pay out as little as possible when resolving an injury claim. When an individual pursues compensation from an insurance company without the aid of an attorney, the insurance company may see the lack of representation as an opportunity to low ball the injured victim as there is no immediate risk of trial or legal recourse.

By hiring a competent attorney who has a reputation of achieving large verdicts in the courtroom, you are sending a message to the insurer. It will provide the insurance company with extra incentive to offer a fair settlement the first time.

If that first offer is not fair, an experienced personal attorney will have the resources and the knowledge to negotiate with the insurance company in pursuit of a better offer.

When settlement discussions begin will depend on the size and complexity of a case. Larger cases may progress further before negotiations begin as neither side wants to appear overeager or desperate to resolve a matter.

After your personal injury case has been filed, your attorney and the defense will begin pretrial investigations. This is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys will begin gathering evidence and may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions.

Keep in mind that it is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.

In larger, more complex cases, such as on the job accidents or commercial trucking accidents, defense attorneys may wait for the plaintiff’s attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.

Insurance companies will attempt to pay out as little as possible when resolving an injury claim. When an individual pursues compensation from an insurance company without the aid of an attorney, the insurance company may see the lack of representation as an opportunity to low ball the injured victim as there is no immediate risk of trial or legal recourse.

By hiring a competent attorney who has a reputation of achieving large verdicts in the courtroom, you are sending a message to the insurer. It will provide the insurance company with extra incentive to offer a fair settlement the first time.

If that first offer is not fair, an experienced personal attorney will have the resources and the knowledge to negotiate with the insurance company in pursuit of a better offer.

In a contingency fee arrangement, an attorney agrees to accept a fixed percentage of your recovery as payment. This means that if you win your case, your attorney will collect their fees and expenses from the money awarded to you. However, if you lose your case, your attorney will collect nothing.

Most lawyers prefer not to work on contingency cases for two reasons:

  • There is a risk the firm will be paid nothing
  • Any payment is delayed until money is collected from the opposing party

Generally, a lawyer who accepts contingency fee cases:

  • Regularly represents clients who lack the financial resources to pay hourly attorneys fees (as is often the case for personal injury victims).
  • Is more selective about the cases they accept.
  • Is very confident in their ability to win the cases they choose to handle.

The cost associated with hiring a personal injury attorney and how payment is collected may vary from firm to firm. At Thomas J. Henry, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we don’t charge our clients a penny unless and until we when their case.

Working on a contingency fee basis allows clients access to resources and legal representation they might otherwise struggle to afford. The more serious a case is, the more money it costs to take to trial. This is because complex litigation tends to take longer to resolve and the entities involved fight harder.

This is especially true if your lawsuit is against a large company, as would be the case in a trucking accident or on the job injury. Such companies employee teams of lawyers and have seemingly unlimited financial resources. You need an attorney who has the same. Thomas J. Henry employs a team of more than 100 attorneys and has the money to fight your case out to the end.

Finally, by collecting any fees and expenses after a verdict or settlement is secured, Thomas J. Henry can help ensure his clients are able to focus on healing. “The client’s job is to heal. We will handle the rest,” says Thomas J. Henry.

In Texas, a personal injury case is only worth what a jury is willing to award you. This is why you need an attorney who can not only prove the economic damages you have sustained due to your accident, but can also demonstrate the value of non-economic damages you may have sustained, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

In Texas, there is no set formula for determining the damages owed in a personal injury lawsuit. Rather, the amount awarded to a plaintiff is determined by the jury. This is why it is important you have an experienced attorney with the resources and knowledge to accurately quantify and explain the extent of your injuries.

In order to win your personal injury claim, your attorney will need to develop your case in a way that accurately demonstrates any economic and non-economic damages you have incurred. This will require legal expertise, financial resources, and a knowledgeable support staff.

Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to properly develop and handle your case in the most effective and efficient way possible. Client satisfaction is paramount, and our attorneys make sure every client is treated with respect, is kept informed with the most up-to-date information on their case, and is made comfortable throughout the entire legal process as we work to secure the compensation they deserve.

We are constantly exploring and implementing new and innovative solutions in the areas of case management, client interaction, and information security. Through satellite technologies, live streaming, and jet services, our lawyers are accessible to clients from anywhere in the world. Can’t make it to one of our Texas law offices? No worries — our lawyers can come to you at your home, workplace, or hospital. Case files and information can also be accessed at the click of a mouse, allowing information to be expedited between our team and to other legal professionals.

In personal injury cases, it can be extremely important to retain expert witnesses with specialized knowledge on a subject related to the case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding the best expert witnesses across the United States. Our firm retains the most qualified experts for each individual case, from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals. Every expert undergoes a rigorous and in-depth examination process before ever being involved in a client’s case.

There is a final type of damage a jury may award you, provided your case meets a strict criteria. These are known as punitive damages.

Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages in that they are not meant to give a plaintiff back something that was lost. They are meant to punish the defendant for conduct that was especially reckless or malicious and demonstrate to society that the conduct displayed by the defendant will not be tolerated.

In order for punitive damages to be awarded, there must first be actual damages. Actual damages are thing s like medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of wages. Without actual damages, punitive damages cannot occur.

Non-economic damages are those that do not have a clear monetary value connected to them. As such, they can be difficult to quantify, and it can be even more difficult to demonstrate their determined value of the damages to a jury.

When seeking non-economic damages, you may pursue the following:

  • Pain and suffering – If you injury has resulted in pain or serious discomfort, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. This can include pain experienced when an injury was caused, pain experienced immediately after an injury was caused, and any ongoing pain that can be attributed to the injury or accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment – These damages attempt to quantify loss of enjoyment in day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities.
    Emotional distress – Not all injuries are physical. If your accident or injury has had a psychological impact and has resulted in things like anxiety, depression, or sleep loss, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages.
  • Loss of consortium – Typically applied to wrongful death lawsuits, loss of consortium damages can also be sought when a severe injury has resulted in a loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship with a spouse. Children may also sue for loss of consortium if the injuries have significantly hampered the victim’s ability to provide care, nurturing, or comfort.

Economic damages are losses that have intrinsic monetary value. The two most common examples of economic damages sought in a personal injury case are medical expenses and lost wages.

When seeking medical expenses following a personal injury accident, you are entitled to reimbursement for procedures and services, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Ambulance fees
  • Nursing services
  • Medication costs
  • MRIs, x-rays, and other scans
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy

Lost wages represent the amount of money you would have earned from the time of an injury to the date of settlement. You can also recover loss of earning capacity if you have sustained a long-term disability and will be unable to make as much money as you did before your accident as well as damages for lost opportunities such as an interview or promotion you missed out on while you were recovering.

Aside from basic wage calculations (how much direct pay you lost), you are also able to claim:

  • Money that reflects a promotion or wage increase provided you were due for a wage increase or promotion while out of work.
  • Loss of commissions on sales.
  • Bonuses that you were paid in the past and were on track to receive prior to your injury.
  • Loss of fringe benefits.
  • Loss of pension benefits.

Among the most common damages recovered in personal injury lawsuits are:

  • Lost wages – You may be entitled to compensation for the impact an accident or injury has had on your salary or wages. This includes wages lost due to time spent in the hospital, rehabilitation, or the loss of a job due to disability.
  • Loss of earning capacity – Similar to lost wages, loss of earning capacity seeks to recover income that has been lost due to an accident or injury; however, whereas lost wages is focused on salary or wages that has already been lost, loss of earning capacity seeks damages based on future income.
  • Medical treatment – Damages almost always include the cost of medical care associated with an accident or injury. Damages can include reimbursement for treatment you have already received as well as compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you will need in the future.
  • Property loss – If any of your property was damages or lost as a result of a personal injury accident, your attorney will seek reimbursement for repairs or compensation based on the fair market value of any property that was lost.
  • Pain and suffering – If you injury has resulted in pain or serious discomfort, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. This can include pain experienced when an injury was caused, pain experienced immediately after an injury was caused, and any ongoing pain that can be attributed to the injury or accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment – These damages attempt to quantify loss of enjoyment in day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities.
    Emotional distress – Not all injuries are physical. If your accident or injury has had a psychological impact and has resulted in things like anxiety, depression, or sleep loss, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages.
  • Loss of consortium – Typically applied to wrongful death lawsuits, loss of consortium damages can also be sought when a severe injury has resulted in a loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship with a spouse. Children may also sue for loss of consortium if the injuries have significantly hampered the victim’s ability to provide care, nurturing, or comfort.

Personal injury damages fall into two categories:

Compensatory damages – Damages that are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for measurable losses suffered due to an accident or injury. Compensatory damages are further broken down into economic damages, those that have intrinsic monetary value like medical bills and lost wages, and non-economic damages, those that have no clear monetary value but can be quantified in an effort to make the plaintiff whole (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress).

Punitive damages – Extra damages that are meant to punish a defendant for especially egregious or careless behavior while also serving as a deterrent to society at large.

The vast majority of personal injury claims will deal solely with compensatory damages as the plaintiff attempts to recover what they have lost. Some of these damages are easy to put a dollar amount on, such as medical bills and lost wages, but other “non-economic” damages are much more difficult to quantify.

A skilled attorney will be able to demonstrate the extent of any non-economic losses and demonstrate the value of those losses to a jury.

Yes. Our attorneys are on-call, 24/7. If an in-person meeting is necessary and you are unable to travel to our offices, we will send an attorney directly to you.

We do accept walk-ins at our Austin offices. For you convenience, however, you may wish to make an appointment by calling our offices or completing an online contact form.

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident cannot be overstated. Simply put, you are jeopardizing your entire claim to recovery as well as future financial stability. Speaking to an insurer or insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

  • Unintentional inconsistencies – Crashes and accidents are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following your accident. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions – Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured,” you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of injuries suffered in an accident may not be evident until several days after the accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

A successful personal injury attorney will utilize their legal expertise, resources, and knowledgeable support staff to develop your case in a way that accurately demonstrates liability as well as any economic and non-economic damages you have incurred. The ultimate goal is to take care of the clients claim so that the client can focus on their health and physical recovery.

Thomas J. Henry Law has the legal and financial resources necessary to properly build and handle your case in the most effective and efficient way possible. Your attorney will make sure you are treated with respect, are kept informed with the most up-to-date information on your case, and that you are comfortable throughout the entire legal process as we work to secure the compensation you deserve. We will also work with medical providers to ensure you receive proper medical treatment for all of your injuries.

Experienced attorneys also have access to expert witnesses with specialized knowledge on a subject related to the case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding the best expert witnesses across the United States. Our firm retains the most qualified experts for each individual case, from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals. Every expert undergoes a rigorous and in-depth examination process before ever being involved in a client’s case.

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident cannot be overstated. Simply put, you are risking your entire claim to recovery as well as future financial stability.

Insurance adjusters are familiar with claim procedures and liability. When an insurance adjuster calls you with questions concerning your accident, they are looking for information that limits the liability of their client and information that can be used to downplay the extent of your injuries.

Further, adjusters will often ask that you provide a recorded statement concerning your accident and injuries. While they may say that the sole purpose of the recorded statement is to gather information needed to move your claim forward, the statement can actually used to erode your case and right to recovery.

It is the adjusters job to limit your recovery and save their company money. An attorney will help you protect your rights and your claim to fair compensation.

Yes. Our attorneys are on-call, 24/7. If an in-person meeting is necessary and you are unable to travel to our offices, we will send an attorney directly to you.

We do accept walk-ins at our Corpus Christi offices. For you convenience, however, you may wish to make an appointment by calling our offices or completing an online contact form.

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident cannot be overstated. Simply put, you are jeopardizing your entire claim to recovery as well as future financial stability. Speaking to an insurer or insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

  • Unintentional inconsistencies – Crashes and accidents are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following your accident. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions – Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured,” you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of injuries suffered in an accident may not be evident until several days after the accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

A successful personal injury attorney will utilize their legal expertise, resources, and knowledgeable support staff to develop your case in a way that accurately demonstrates liability as well as any economic and non-economic damages you have incurred. The ultimate goal is to take care of the clients claim so that the client can focus on their health and physical recovery.

Thomas J. Henry Law has the legal and financial resources necessary to properly build and handle your case in the most effective and efficient way possible. Your attorney will make sure you are treated with respect, are kept informed with the most up-to-date information on your case, and that you are comfortable throughout the entire legal process as we work to secure the compensation you deserve. We will also work with medical providers to ensure you receive proper medical treatment for all of your injuries.

Experienced attorneys also have access to expert witnesses with specialized knowledge on a subject related to the case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding the best expert witnesses across the United States. Our firm retains the most qualified experts for each individual case, from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals. Every expert undergoes a rigorous and in-depth examination process before ever being involved in a client’s case.

If you have been injured, then you have undoubtedly questioned if you should contact an attorney or pursue your claim through your insurer. The important thing to remember that there is a difference between contacting an attorney and hiring an attorney. Regardless of your injury or how it occurred, it is always best to at least reach out to an attorney. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you understand the options that are available to you and inform you to your best course of action. This is why Thomas J. Henry Law offers FREE no-risk case consultations to all injured victims.

Remember, insurance adjusters are familiar with claim procedures and liability, even when you are not. It is also important to remember that the primary job of an insurance adjuster is to limit their client’s liability and save their company money. Everything said during phone calls and recorded statements to an insurer can be used to challenge your claim, twist liability, and downplay the extent of your injuries. In short, the insurance company and their adjusters do not have your best interests in mind.

Injury attorneys understand the tactics most often used by insurers to chip away at a claim, and they can advise you on how your case may benefit from experienced legal representation. The insurance company representing the person or entity responsible for your injuries has already begun the process of safeguarding themselves against liability – isn’t it time you took the steps necessary to protect your rights and claim to compensation?

Yes. Our attorneys are on-call, 24/7. If an in-person meeting is necessary and you are unable to travel to our offices, we will send an attorney directly to you.

We do accept walk-ins at our San Antonio offices. For you convenience, however, you may wish to make an appointment by calling our offices or completing an online contact form.

The risks of not contacting an attorney after an accident cannot be overstated. Simply put, you are jeopardizing your entire claim to recovery as well as future financial stability. Speaking to an insurer or insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney can often result in:

  • Unintentional inconsistencies – Crashes and accidents are hectic and disorienting. As time moves on, you will likely remember less and less about the events leading up to and following your accident. When an insurance company goes back to compare all the statements you made over a period of weeks or months, they will claim that any inconsistencies were attempts by you to mislead the company and label them as lies before a judge or a jury.
  • Exposure to trick questions – Representatives often ask trick questions or word their inquiries in a way meant to trick or trap you. You may even be pressured into agreeing to facts that are not completely accurate just to get the representative off your back. Even an aggravated response of “I don’t know, maybe” or “I guess” can come back to haunt you later.
  • Exposure to leading statements – Even a statement that seems innocent on its surface can damage your claim depending on your response. For example, by giving a positive response to statements like “I hope your back is starting to feel a bit better” or “Wow, it’s a miracle you weren’t more seriously injured,” you could be tricked into understating the severity of your injuries.
  • Failure to report undiagnosed injuries – Most doctors agree that the full extent of injuries suffered in an accident may not be evident until several days after the accident has occurred. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of a crash and asks about your injuries, chances are you will not be able to provide a complete list of injuries. This will not stop the insurance company from questioning and attempting to dismiss any injuries that became symptomatic after that initial recorded statement was made.
  • Provide material for cross-examination – By the time deposition or trial occurs, chances are the defense counsel will have reviewed your recorded statements dozens of times. They will craft questions for cross-examination with the understanding that you likely don’t remember everything you said or agreed to in that recorded statement. And when you misremember or contradict yourself in a moment of confusion, they will try to claim your misstatement proves your testimony is not credible.

A successful personal injury attorney will utilize their legal expertise, resources, and knowledgeable support staff to develop your case in a way that accurately demonstrates liability as well as any economic and non-economic damages you have incurred. The ultimate goal is to take care of the clients claim so that the client can focus on their health and physical recovery.

Thomas J. Henry Law has the legal and financial resources necessary to properly build and handle your case in the most effective and efficient way possible. Your attorney will make sure you are treated with respect, are kept informed with the most up-to-date information on your case, and that you are comfortable throughout the entire legal process as we work to secure the compensation you deserve. We will also work with medical providers to ensure you receive proper medical treatment for all of your injuries.

Experienced attorneys also have access to expert witnesses with specialized knowledge on a subject related to the case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding the best expert witnesses across the United States. Our firm retains the most qualified experts for each individual case, from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals. Every expert undergoes a rigorous and in-depth examination process before ever being involved in a client’s case.

While every accident and injury is unique, it is typically best to consult with an attorney prior to making any decisions that could impact your claim. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you understand what options available to you as well as what steps you should take to secure fair financial compensation. This is the reason Thomas J. Henry Law provides a FREE case consultation to all accident victims.

It is important to remember that the primary job of an insurance adjuster is to limit liability and save their company money. When an insurance adjuster calls you with questions concerning your accident, they are in fact looking for information that limits the liability of their client and information that can be used to downplay the extent of your injuries.

Adjusters may also ask for a recorded statement concerning your accident and injuries under the guise that they are simply gathering the information necessary to move your claim forward. The truth is that this recorded statement can actually be used to erode your case and path to financial recovery.

By speaking with an attorney before the insurers, you are protecting your rights and your best interests. If you choose to hire your attorney following your consultation, your attorney will begin working on your case that same day.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review

info@tjhlaw.com

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