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What are Common Problems Survivors of Catastrophic Accidents Experience?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Negligence is a common factor that contributes to catastrophic accidents – whether a person drove while using a cell phone, drank on the job, or failed to maintain his or her property. When this happens, the party who caused the damage can be taken to court and sued for outstanding expenses. However, Texas law also accounts for extenuating circumstances, such as loss of companionship or the inability to continue pursuing a career.

The following is a brief overview of the common problems survivors of catastrophic accidents face. If you have more questions or concerns about an injury you have received, contact an experienced legal professional in your area for more information.

  • Long-term physical damage. Catastrophic accidents often lead to paralysis, loss of limbs, severe brain damage, and other complications. For example, internal injuries may require special equipment to keep a person alive or functioning.
  • Long-term recovery. Coupled with physical damage, these victims often must relearn motor skills, such as walking, balancing, or speaking. Additional equipment, such as walking apparatuses or speech assistance devices, is often required.
  • Ongoing medical bills. The initial emergency room bill and related surgeries are likely the steepest charges victims ever face. Sadly, that is just the beginning. Continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapists, and live-in care commonly follow catastrophic accidents – and these are not one-time payments.
  • Loss of consortium. The physical consequences of these actions are apparent, but they affect more than just the victim. A settlement should account for losing the intimate relationship you enjoyed with a spouse or the ability to interact with your child.
  • The inability to return to work. Devastating accidents often keep a person from returning to his or her line of work or pursuing a career goal. Athletes, for example, may never play sports professionally again. Courts account for these types of long-term damages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure these areas are considered.
  • Home modifications. Hand controls, bathroom modifications, ramps, machines to facilitate access to a bed, and vehicle modifications may be required to return at least some independence to these victims’ lives.
  • Emotional and psychological consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a frequent result of a debilitating accident. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental and emotional consequences may accompany a catastrophe.

The Common Causes of Catastrophic Accidents

A person may encounter a variety of accidents, but most will not warrant a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you or a loved one is hurt in one of the following types of accidents, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule a consultation with a local law firm.

  • Trucking accidents. The trucking industry is tightly regulated, but thousands of fatal accidents still occur on our highways every year. Teamsters and the companies that employ them must diligently track their working hours, truck maintenance, miles traveled, and more. Overlooking or ignoring these details can lead to major damages.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is markedly dangerous. If you are involved with a drunk-driver collision, seek physical and legal help as soon as possible.
  • Workplace accidents. Many workers’ compensation claims are for minor aches and pains, but professional accidents can also be fatal. This is especially true for those in the construction, oil, and logging industries.

Partner with the Right Attorney in Texas to Protect Your Long-Term Care

Catastrophic cases are legally complex by their nature. Several negligent parties may be responsible, from a shift manager to his or her employer, a product manufacturer, or the distributer. This is further complicated when several insurers enter the mix. Victims of major accidents are routinely offered settlements, but failing to scrutinize the terms of these agreements can leave victims with expensive bills that accrue over their lifetime – which the person or organization responsible for the damages does not pay.

Work with a Dallas, Texas, attorney specializing in personal injury law for more information. The team at Aaron Herbert is ready to represent your claim, so contact us for a consultation. We get to the bottom of who is at fault for harming our clients, and we tirelessly explore the full extent of how catastrophic accidents affect these victims over the course of their lives.

Posted by admin at 10:50 pm

What Happens When Someone Negligently Injures or Kills Your Pet

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

For many Americans, pets are more than animals. They are loved companions who become part of the family, and losing one is often just as difficult as losing a human loved one. If your pet has been injured or killed due to someone’s negligence, here’s what you need to know.

Laws Vary by State and County

Pet legislation is complex because there are no widely accepted rules or regulations regarding pet injury or death. States each have their own laws and precedents, and some counties have their own ordinances. Most laws specifically discuss dog bites and animal cruelty, but few outline clear remedies available to pet owners who suffer a loss.

Generally, a pet owner can obtain financial compensation in a few different ways:

  • Animal cruelty – If someone was cruel to your pet, you can file a criminal charge against the individual. As part of the sentencing, the court may require the defendant to financially compensate the pet owner.
  • Civil actions – You can file a civil claim for personal injury if someone’s negligence caused your pet’s injury or death. Individuals may sue for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  • Small claims actions – Small claims courts allow anyone to file an inexpensive lawsuit in negligence cases. If an attorney does not believe that a civil action would produce adequate financial compensation, he or she may recommend filing a small claims lawsuit.

A pet owner can file criminal charges and a civil action against an individual concurrently.

Potential for Recovery After a Pet Injury or Death

Even though you see your pet as a family member, the courts may not see the relationship in the same way. Pet owners almost never secure as much compensation as the courts award in human injury cases. However, some cases may go above and beyond normal circumstances. Only a personal injury attorney who is familiar with pet laws in your jurisdiction can help you determine what legal action to take.

The court may award a pet owner punitive damages in cases where defendant behavior was excessively negligent. Historically, some courts have also taken pet uniqueness and irreplaceability into account during damages proceedings. In addition to economic damages, these courts may award non-economic damages up to several thousand dollars.

Animal Cruelty Laws in Texas

In Texas, state criminal and civil laws exist to protect domesticated animals and previously captured wild animals. Domesticated pets fall into this category, but the law may not protect a stray animal, even if you took regular care of the animal. Under criminal statutes, you must prove that someone intentionally harmed the animal. Animal cruelty includes acts of torture, unreasonable confinement, purposefully killing or poisoning, neglect, and knowingly injuring an animal that belongs to someone else.

Under state civil laws, pet owners may find a better opportunity for legal recourse. The laws protect all living creatures, wild and domestic. Cruelty under civil law includes acts of torture, overworking, food/water/shelter/care deprivation, confinement, and forced animal fighting.

Proving a Claim

Each court must interpret these laws in light of the facts of the case to make a just ruling. To prove a criminal charge or civil claim, the prosecution/plaintiff must provide evidence of intention and/or negligence. In civil claims, a pet owner must also demonstrate the level of harm a pet injury or death causes.

To develop a fair case for damages, a pet owner and his or her attorney may need to determine the market value of the animal as well as the value of the pet as a companion. A pet’s personality, training, breed, health, and veterinary costs may all play a role in the total amount of compensation a pet owner requests.

For more information about pet injury laws in Dallas, contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.

Posted by admin at 11:51 pm

How People Fake Accidents: Common Schemes and Repercussions

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some people will do anything to get some extra cash in their pockets, even if they have to cheat to do it. Fake accidents aren’t just morally reprehensible and unethical; they’re illegal. When people fake accidents, they take time, money, and support from people who truly suffer due to legitimate accidents. From staged car accidents to slip and fall injuries, here are some of the most common schemes and the consequences perpetrators face if caught.

Staged Car Accidents

Some people purposefully brake erratically in front of a vehicle to encourage a rear end collision. Others plan more elaborate accidents to target unsuspecting and innocent victims. Many staged accidents feature injuries an x-ray or medical evaluation can’t confirm or deny, such as chronic or severe pain. They have lots of witnesses around to support their claims, and if no video surveillance caught the scene on camera, they may have a good shot at getting away with the “accident.”

Fake Work Incidents

Not every employer in Texas has to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but those who do may find themselves vulnerable to injury schemes. Workers who’ve suffered an injury elsewhere may hide the injury and then stage an incident at work to get the insurance money. Others may exaggerate the effects of an incident or make up injuries a medical practitioner can’t disprove. Some will start the scam after a legitimate accident, pretending to have a disability to earn more time off.

Provoked Dog Bite Accidents

While the media plays up the danger of certain breeds, any dog will bite and cause damage if provoked. Some people may torment a canine to the point of an attack and then try to hold the owner accountable. If an individual knows a pooch has bitten or shown documented aggressive behavior in the past, he or she can easily bypass the one bite rule and take the owner to court. The dog will likely be put down in the process.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Anytime you’re on someone else’s property as a guest or customer, the owner is reasonably obligated to provide a safe environment. Some individuals try to take advantage of noticeable shortcomings at an establishment or create unsafe conditions. If there aren’t any cameras and the perpetrators make it look like something the owner should have known about, insurance will likely have to cover the damages or alleged injuries.

Repercussions for Accident Fraud

Accident fraud, also known as insurance fraud, sometimes goes unpunished, and the people who pay for insurance are the ones who lose. However, if the insurance company or the alleged defendant (person who “caused” the accident) can prove the perpetrator lied or staged an accident, he or she may face fines, prison time, and a permanent criminal record. It also hurts people legitimately seeking reparation by forcing insurance companies to pursue extensive investigation in every claim that has suspicious characteristics, such as a vague incident description, symptoms like chronic pain, or exaggerated claims.

Furthermore, the people who were essentially framed for the accident may have to face lingering repercussions in their businesses or when paying for any damage done to their properties during the process. Some people targeted in fake accident schemes choose to take legal action against the perpetrators in the form of an injury claim to cover the costs of injuries and property damage they had to shoulder as a result of the scheme.

Contact

If one of these schemes has affected you, you can hold the perpetrator accountable. Contact our Dallas team today to learn more, and we can walk you through your legal options in light of a fake accident assertion.

Posted by admin at 11:22 pm

What To Do After a Dog Bite

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What Happens if a Dog Bites Someone?

Dogs provide security, companionship, and unconditional love.  However when a dog rages out of control, dog bite injuries can be serious, permanent and even deadly. There are specific facts and conditions that need to be shown to hold a dog owner liable and you need a dog bite lawyer that knows and understands Texas dog bite laws and what to do after a dog bite.

Traumatic Dog Bite Injury

If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury, it can be very confusing and definitely scary. Life changes drastically. You may be out of work while hospital and doctor bills fill your mailbox. You wonder how you are going to pay them. You are in pain and unable to play with your kids, complete your chores around the house, or go out with friends.  There are both physical and psychological scars after a dog bite attack.  Some of the most common injuries associated with animal attacks are as follows:

Compensation After an Animal Attack

When these things happen to you through no fault of your own, you may be overwhelmed by worry and a sense that life just isn’t fair. Victims of serious injuries inflicted by the negligent or intentional acts of others are entitled to full and just financial recovery. But in order to ensure a dog bite victim receives the maximum compensation, steps should be taken immediately after a dog bite injury to deal with a dog bite as quickly and safely as possible.

What to Do After A Dog Bite:

  • Seek medical attention immediately for the injuries and to ensure no rabies shots are needed
  • Get the name and contact information of the dog owner(s)
  • If the bite occurred at a residence or business, get the address and name of the property owners
  • Report your injury to the police and animal control and request a copy of the report
  • Take photographs of your injuries, of the dog and the location where the injury happened
  • Do not accept any settlement or admit fault with the owner’s insurance company
  • Save any clothing damaged by the dog
  • Contact an attorney you can trust 

If you or a loved one have been injured from a dog bite or animal attack, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Aaron A. Herbert will explain what to do after a dog bite attack,  fight to protect your legal rights, and seek the compensation you deserve. No fees or expenses unless we win your case, call 24/7 (855) 655-HURT or (214) 200-4878 for a free consultation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 8:35 pm

Dog Bite Attorney Dallas Dog Bite Lawyer

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dog Bite Attorney Dallas Dog Bite Lawyer

Owners of dogs have a duty to ensure that their animal does not harm people.  Unfortunately, some dog owners fail to take the steps necessary to train their dog. Even worse, some dog owners know their dog has a propensity for violence, but take no steps to properly restrain the dog.  Although anyone can be at risk for a dog bite attack, the majority of dog bite victims are children.

Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Aaron A. Herbert has successfully handled cases protecting the rights of innocent victims of vicious dog bite attacks. If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog, Contact Us for a free consultation.

Common Injuries Resulting from Severe Animal Attacks: Some of the most common injuries associated with animal attacks are as follows:

Compensation Available for Victims:  Victims of serious injuries inflicted by the negligent or intentional acts of others are entitled to full and just financial recovery. The settlement amount in a personal injury case including dog bite claims is based on several factors including

  • The severity of the injuries suffered.
  • The permanence of injuries – requiring future medical costs, rehabilitation expenses and revision surgeries for permanent scarring and disfigurement.
  • Level of pain and suffering – in the state of Texas victims injury are entitled to compensation for the emotional trauma suffered as a result of their injuries.
  • Lost time at work – resulting in lost wages and or loss of future income due to permanent injuries or disabilities
  • Punitive damage – Punitive damages can be awarded in instances where the individual responsible for the K9 acted with either an intent to cause harm to acts in reckless disregard for the health and safety to others.

DOG BITE LIABILITY – HOMEOWNERS POLICY:

According to recent reports dog bites account for one on three claims filed against homeowners insurances amounting to over $500 million in compensation paid by insurance companies to victims. As a result of mounting claims many insurances carriers have created carve out exceptions for specific breeds; in particular those with a high propensity of attacking individuals. Examples of breed specific carve outs include Pit-bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman. In some instances insurance companies have been known to create carve out expectations for all breeds. Despite the recent trend to carve out such claims the vast majority of homeowners insurance policies still cover dog bite claims against innocent homeowners.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FILING CIVIL INJURY LAWSUIT IN THE STATE OF TEXAS:

Generally victims if serious injuries including dog bites have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim in Texas. Minors, individuals under the age of 18 have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim. Failure to file a claim in a timely manner may extinguish a victims right to compensation under the law.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a dog attack in Dallas or other Texas city,  Board Certified Attorney Aaron A. Herbert can help. Attorney Aaron A. Herbert has helped dog bite victims hold negligent parties accountable for recklessness or wrongdoing. Please do not wait to contact us if you or someone you care about has been involved in an animal attack. There is a specific amount of time in which you can take legal action and you do not want to forfeit your rights by waiting too long to speak with a lawyer. Contact Us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:33 am