We Fight For Dallas Injury Victims
Dealing with an injury is never easy. If you or a loved one has suffered from a personal injury caused by someone else, you know this.
No one wants to be hurt or see their family hurt. But on top of the pain and stress of the injury itself trying to navigate the legal system may leave you feeling lost and defeated.
You deserve compensation for your injuries. The Dallas personal injury attorneys at Zimmerman Law Firm are here to help you do just that. We can help you understand your rights during this difficult time and provide the support you need.
Damages You Can Recover After a Personal Injury in Dallas
Texas law protects those who are injured due to another party’s negligent action or inaction. If this happened to you, you are entitled to seek compensation for all damages suffered due to the injury.
One thing you may be wondering is what qualifies as “damage.” There are several different types of damages recognized by Texas law: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Our personal injury lawyers in Dallas, TX can help you figure out what damages you are entitled compensation for.
Economic damages are those that hurt your wallet in one way or another. They are the damages for which you can calculate an exact dollar amount, such as medical costs or wages lost.
Medical costs include any of the bills you accumulated while seeking treatment for your injuries. These costs can add up quickly and might include:
- X-rays and other internal scans,
- Emergency room visits,
- Rehabilitation (including physical therapy),
- Pharmacy costs,
- Hospital stays, and
- Dental work.
The person who caused the injury is responsible for all of these costs. They may also be required to pay a certain amount for future necessary treatments, as long as these treatments are properly identified and quantifiable.
Loss of wages
An injury can prevent you from being able to go to work. You may be out of work for just a day, a month, or longer. You are entitled to the money you would have earned at work if the injury had not occurred.
Loss of services
Families all work together. Between keeping the grass mowed and a family fed, there is a lot of work to keep a home running smoothly. An injury can bring the functioning of a home to a halt. Texas law accounts for this and provides compensation when a family member’s services are lost due to an injury.
Loss of earning capacity
Loss of earning capacity is similar to a loss of wages but applies to the future. If an injury disables you, your ability to do your job may be permanently altered. This can impact your earning potential in a significant way, and you are entitled to compensation for the future loss in income.
For example, a truck driver who loses their vision in an injury will lose their ability to work as a truck driver, which affects their future income. As a result, they can claim compensation for their lost future earnings.
Non-economic damages are harder to place a dollar amount on than economic damages, but they take their toll on your life and can have serious costs.
Pain and suffering
The pain and suffering that comes with an injury may not cost money, but its impact on life quality can be just as severe. You are entitled to monetary compensation for your suffering.
Mental or emotional pain
Like physical pain, emotional pain or mental anguish can take a serious toll on an injured person and their family. An injury can occur in a traumatic event that leaves a person scarred mentally. In such an event, compensation is due.
Suppose you or a family member is not injured physically but is traumatized by witnessing a gory injury. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for the mental strain and trauma you suffer.
Other non-economic damages recognized in Texas
Some of the other non-economic damages that you may be entitled to in the event of a personal injury include:
- Damage to reputation;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of companionship, love, or guidance; and
While non-economic damages don’t cost money themselves, the impact that they can have on your life can be just as severe, or worse, than economic damages. As a result, they are important to consider when you or a loved one is injured.
Unlike the noted economic and non-economic damages that try to “make things right” between parties, punitive damages do not. Instead, the goal of punitive damages is to punish the person who caused the injury.
Sometimes called exemplary damages, punitive damages can be part of a claim if the person who caused the injury did so intentionally, maliciously, or otherwise acted with gross negligence. Injured parties are also due punitive damages if someone committed fraud or acted with recklessness when causing the damage.
For example, if someone is driving drunk and hits your car, they have acted recklessly in causing the damage and may be liable to pay for punitive damages. An injury lawyer can help you determine if punitive damages apply to your case.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Dallas
Personal injury claims can arise from a wide range of different actions. Nonetheless, there are a few types of personal injury claims that are more common than others.
This is the most common of all personal injury claims. Auto and motorcycle accidents happen every day and range from minor fender benders to crashes that cause serious injury and death. Each driver owes a duty of care to others on the road to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. If they don’t do this and an accident results, then the at-fault driver is legally responsible for the damages they cause. Car crashes are so common that every state (including Texas) has laws requiring all drivers to carry insurance. Click here to view our Dallas car accident attorneys page.
Trucking accidents are also common. Commercial trucks are larger and several times heavier than your average passenger vehicle, which often makes accidents more severe. These claims have an added layer of complexity, as a plaintiff may be unsure of whom to file their claim against. Is the company liable? Or just the driver? Or perhaps the company in charge of loading the trailers or maintaining the truck? This is one of the reasons why attorneys are so vital to a personal injury claim’s success. Just because the accidents are common doesn’t mean that a resulting lawsuit will be easy.
Although often perceived as a separate area of law, medical malpractice claims actually stem from basic negligence principles. A doctor owes a duty of care to their patient. If they breach that duty and a patient suffers injury and damages as a result, the patient can file a personal injury claim.
Roughly a quarter million people die every year due to medical errors, so medical malpractice suits are commonly seen on the civil court circuits. Although this cause of action falls under the personal injury umbrella, they are often complex to litigate. It is vital to have a personal injury attorney with specific experience litigating medical malpractice cases.
These cases often stem from slip and fall incidents and other negligent injuries that happen on someone else’s property. They may be caused by a dangerous condition, like a faulty handrail, a puddle or spill, or an uneven floor.
The likelihood of success in these cases often comes down to the relationship between the victim and the property owner, which dictates the duty the property owner owes. Business guests (invitees) receive the highest level of protection, social guests (licensees) receive a lesser level of protection, and trespassers receive little to no protection at all.
When someone is injured due to a defective consumer product, the legal remedy is a product liability claim. There are three types of defects that can result in a lawsuit. The first is a manufacturing defect in a product or part of a product, which causes injury. The second is a lack of proper warnings to the consumer about potential dangers of the product from misuse. The third is a defective product design, where the product was made exactly as intended but the design is faulty.
It is important to note that any party in the supply chain can be held liable for product defects, from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the retailer. To protect consumers and promote product safety, many products are subject to significant federal regulation.
Most workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. This is a no-fault insurance program that covers medical bills, disability benefits, and some lost wages for people who get injured at work. Eligibility for workers’ comp does not require proof that the employer, a co-worker, or anyone else was at fault for the injury/illness. The only requirement is that the worker was acting in the scope of their employment at the time that the incident occured. However, workers’ comp benefits provide a limited amount of compensation as compared to other personal injury claims.
There is a tradeoff between the workers’ comp system and the standard negligence claim. On the positive side, it eliminates the need to prove negligence to recover medical bills and lost wages. But it also means that injured employees cannot sue their employer for negligence and be eligible for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
In Texas, an employer’s participation in workers’ compensation is optional. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, then you can bring a personal injury claim against them. However, you will have to prove that they were negligent to collect your damages.
Additionally, you may be able to pursue a claim against a third party for workplace injuries. The actions of contractors, vendors, and other third parties are not covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance and are thus open to personal injury lawsuits. If you are unsure of liability after a workplace injury, be sure to contact a Dallas personal injury attorney to analyze your situation and determine which path is the best one for you.
Other Personal Injury Suits
These are just a few situations that can lead to a personal injury claim. Others include dog bite cases, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. As long as the incident meets the elements of a personal injury claim, a plaintiff can seek compensation in a civil court.
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
For a personal injury claim to be successful, four elements must be present and proven by the injured party.
Duty of Care
First, it has to be proven that someone owes the person injured a duty of care. A duty of care is one person’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect another from harm. Whether a duty exists and the extent of that duty depends on the relationship between the two.
For example, when a grocery store owner invites shoppers to come to their store, the store owner owes visitors a duty of care. In other words, the store owner needs to take reasonable steps to keep their store safe. If they fail to do so, they may be responsible for any damages based on premises liability.
Breach of Duty
Second, for a personal injury claim to be successful, it has to be proven that the duty of care was breached or violated.
For example, the grocery store owner may fail to clean up a wet floor in a reasonable time or neglect to fix an unsecure shelf.
Third, in a successful personal injury claim, the violation of the duty of care has to be the cause of the injury. Causation is often a contested element of a personal injury case.
Continuing with the grocery store example, where the person breaks their ankle after slipping on the wet floor, causation is pretty direct.
On the other hand, causation might be questionable where the person injured contributed to their injury by acting negligently.
For example, causation could be contested if a person in a grocery store suffered injury after climbing onto a store shelf. In this situation, the store owner could argue that the injured person caused the injury. Still, in this situation, the question of whether the shelf was properly secured would also arise.
It is in situations where causation is questioned that a personal injury case can become complicated, and a personal injury lawyer is necessary..
Finally, the plaintiff must show they were damaged by the defendant’s actions. Damage can come in many different forms. Continuing again with the grocery store example, if the person who slipped on a wet floor hurt their ankle, they could be compensated for their medical bills. On the other hand, if the person slipped, caught themselves, and walked away unharmed, it would be difficult to prove damages.
When in Doubt, Seek Legal Help
There are many ways that any of these four elements can be complicated. For that reason, it is wise to seek the advice of an attorney before committing to or discounting your personal injury claim.
Do You Need a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney?
You should hire a personal injury attorney any time you suffer an injury that is caused by someone else, or at the very least seek a consultation.
If you don’t have an attorney, the person who caused the damage or their insurance company will try to minimize your settlement. You could end up footing the bill for severe injuries that were not your fault at all simply because an insurance adjuster scares you into signing a settlement by implying you were at fault.
The insurance adjusters are pros at this. It is their job. To get the most out of your settlement and the justice you deserve, you should have a professional working on your behalf.
An attorney communicates with the insurance company for you. They know the law and will work to obtain compensation for all of the damages you have suffered.
Your attorney will also have the experience with and knowledge of the laws on personal injury, which is vital in proving that the other person caused your damages.
When to File a Claim
If you suffer from a personal injury that causes damages, you should file a claim as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you will recover your damages.
Waiting too long to file your claim can also cost you your claim entirely. In Texas, for most personal injury cases you have just two years from the date of an injury to file your claim.
Don’t wait too long. Contact a Dallas, TX personal injury attorney today!
How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney
The first step in choosing the best injury lawyer in Dallas is to find one that focuses on personal injuries. A lawyer that focuses on corporate law, for example, will lack the knowledge and experience that a personal injury lawyer has. Because of that, they will be less effective in getting you the compensation you deserve.
Use Google to search for personal injury attorneys in Dallas and read reviews. Also consider using a lawyer-specific search engine like Avvo.com to look for and read reviews of personal injury attorneys. Find a lawyer that you are comfortable with.
Finally, be sure to find a personal injury lawyer who will review your case free of charge before you hire them. At Zimmerman Law Firm, we will do just that. Furthermore, you won’t owe us a dime until we get you a settlement. Our motto is “No Fee, No Recovery.”
Cost of a Dallas Texas Personal Injury Attorney
Typically, the cost of a personal injury lawyer in Dallas, TX is a percentage of the final claim.
We do not recommend that you hire a personal injury attorney in Dallas Texas that charges you an upfront fee.
Contact Us Today
Zimmerman Law Firm brings over 50 years of experience to the table. We focus on personal injury cases, and we provide value to our clients.
We know that every client’s situation is unique, and we work tirelessly to meet their individual needs. From the beginning, you will be speaking with the attorney that will be taking care of your case from start to finish—not a paralegal.