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What Are Personal Injury Damage Caps in Texas?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Seeking financial compensation for an injury that someone else caused in Texas will require some knowledge of how the legal process works. You will become familiar with one term in particular: damages. In legalese, damages are the compensation awarded to an injured party (plaintiff) for a negligent party’s (defendant’s) wrongful acts. In some states, the damages available in a personal injury case are limitless. In others, however, damage caps control how much money a plaintiff can recover.

What Is a Damage Cap?

When a court awards damages in a personal injury case, it provides financial compensation to make the victim whole again. A plaintiff in Texas can recover compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are actual losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages reimburse a victim for physical pain, emotional suffering and mental distress brought by an injury.

At the beginning of personal injury law, there were no caps on the damages an injured victim could recover from a defendant. Over time, however, some states began introducing damage caps as a way to protect the system. Damage caps are meant to dissuade people from making fraudulent or frivolous personal injury claims by placing a limit on how much compensation is available. Although some states have since ruled damage caps unconstitutional, certain caps on damages still exist in Texas.

Does Texas Have Any Damage Caps?

Yes, Texas does have damage caps. If you wish to bring a personal injury claim in Texas, your financial recovery may be subject to these caps…but only if you have a certain type of case. Texas law does not place a limit on damages in every type of injury claim. Instead, it only imposes caps in three scenarios.

Medical Malpractice Claims

If you wish to hold a health care practitioner or hospital responsible for your injuries, you cannot recover more than $250,000 in noneconomic damages from each doctor or medical center. You also cannot recover more than $500,000 collectively from all medical facilities. Thus, the most you can receive in total noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice claim in Texas is $750,000.

Claims Against the Government

Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, you can hold the government responsible for its negligence and the negligence of its employees. Damages are capped in lawsuits against government organizations, however. You cannot recover more than $250,000 per person involved, $500,000 for any single event or $100,000 for property damage. This cap applies to both types of damages, economic and noneconomic.

Punitive Damage Claims

Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for gross wrongdoing or heinous acts. They are not awarded in every personal injury case. If a judge in Texas does award punitive damages, the amount cannot exceed the cap of $200,000 or twice the amount of noneconomic damages plus an equal amount of noneconomic damages, up to $750,000 (whichever is larger).

How Might a Damage Cap Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

If someone else’s negligence gave you an injury in Texas, the amount you receive in financial compensation from the at-fault party may be subject to the state’s damage caps. This will only be the case, however, if you are pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, a claim against a government entity or punitive damages.

In a car accident case against another driver that does not involve punitive damages, for example, you would not encounter any damage caps in Texas. If a damage cap does apply to your case, you will be unable to recover compensation beyond the statutory limit, even if your actual damages are worth more.

The laws regarding damage caps in Texas are controversial and constantly changing. For the most up-to-date information on the current damage caps, including if they will apply to your personal injury claim, consult with an attorney near you.

Posted by admin at 7:19 pm

How to Prove Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Claim?

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Emotional distress is a very real outcome for a victim injured in an accident. The thoughts that immediately race through your head in an accident can cause fear and anxiety, while consequences such as your physical injuries can impact you emotionally for days or weeks to come.

In Texas, you have the right to seek financial compensation not only for the medical costs of a physical injury after an accident, but also for your emotional trauma. Find out how to prove emotional distress during your personal injury claim for a fair financial award.

Seeking Emotional Distress in an Injury Claim

First, it is worthwhile to note that a plaintiff in Texas can generally only recover compensation for emotional distress if he or she also has a physical injury. Physical injuries are often what cause a victim emotional distress in the form of mental anguish, physical pain, discomfort, disabilities or permanent injuries, lost quality of life, and loss of consortium. It is much more challenging to file a claim for emotional distress only.

However, it is possible if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant exhibited particularly outrageous, egregious or grossly negligent actions that caused the emotional distress. If the defendant intentionally or maliciously inflicted emotional harm, for example, it may be possible to bring a claim even in the absence of a physical injury. You may need a lawyer to help you bring this type of claim.

Keep an Injury Journal

One of the best ways to express emotional distress to a judge and jury is in your own words. After a traumatic accident, start keeping an injury journal where you write down your thoughts and feelings. Express how you felt during the accident, while it is still fresh in your mind, as well as how your injuries have impacted you. Include comparisons between how you used to feel prior to the accident and how you feel now. Documenting your mental and emotional journey in writing can establish your anxiety, fear and depression after an accident.

Get an Official Diagnosis

Although you can seek compensation for emotional distress without an official medical diagnosis, medical documents from a professional can serve as strong evidence in your favor. See a psychologist or therapist about your feelings after an accident. You may have a mental health condition that can be diagnosed, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. These are common mental health conditions after a serious accident or traumatic event. You can use medical documents as evidence later. Your doctor may even be able to testify in court on your behalf.

Have Friends and Family Testify

The people who are closest to you have most likely noticed how you’ve been emotionally impacted by an accident. Having your friends and family officially testify as to how you’ve been acting, behaving and feeling can help you prove the accident has affected you. Personal testimony of your own about the severity of the accident and your injuries can also help. Testimonies can help a jury understand how you’ve changed since the accident.

Supplement Your Emotional Distress Claim With Injury Evidence

If you are seeking compensation for emotional distress alongside a physical injury claim, supplement your case with medical evidence of your physical injuries. Bring medical documentation such as diagnostic reports, test results, x-rays, treatment plans and notes from your doctor to prove the severity of your physical injuries. Medical evidence can establish the existence, severity and duration of your injuries, establishing the reason for your emotional distress.

Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer

Emotional distress is a common type of loss claimed in a personal injury lawsuit under the umbrella of pain and suffering damages. Securing fair and full compensation for emotional distress, however, may take assistance from an attorney. Hire a personal injury lawyer in Dallas to represent you for the best chances of a successful claim. A lawyer will have the experience, knowledge and resources to help you prove emotional distress.

Posted by admin at 6:58 pm

How Are Personal Injury Damages Calculated?

Monday, January 11, 2021

The goal of a personal injury case in Dallas is to make an injured victim whole again by providing financial compensation for his or her losses. These losses, as well as the compensation available, are called damages in legalese. One of the most common questions asked by plaintiffs during injury lawsuits is, “How much is my case worth?” The answer to this question lies in large part in how damages are calculated.

What Damages Are Available?

First, a victim will need to make a list of all the losses he or she suffered because of an accident. This list will go on the victim’s demand letter, which will get sent to the insurance company of the at-fault party in pursuit of compensation. Compensation is available for many different damages during a personal injury claim in Texas.

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Disability costs
  • Lost capacity to earn
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death damages

A victim can seek compensation for both past and future losses. If a victim has a permanent disability from an accident, for example, he or she can seek compensation for a lifetime of medical expenses, surgeries and treatments. In general, the more severe the accident and injury, the more the victim will be awarded in damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages in personal injury law are tangible or special losses that are specific to the victim. These can include health care costs, property repairs and lost wages. The calculation method for economic damages relies on hard numbers. An insurance company or courtroom will add up the actual amount of the economic losses suffered by the victim using evidence such as hospital bills, repair estimates and pay stubs.

Next, the courts will project future economic damages based on the victim’s existing expenses and his or her medical improvement timeline. This calculation may require a doctor to testify as to how long the victim will foreseeably have his or her injuries, as well as the future medical treatments that will be necessary. With existing bills and medical expert testimony, the courts can calculate an amount in economic damages that is appropriate for the victim’s past and future losses.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages refer to intangible or general losses that any injured victim would be likely to suffer. These include emotional distress, physical pain, discomfort, mental anguish and anxiety. Calculating noneconomic damages is not as exact a science as economic damages, as it involves a human factor – the jury’s discretion. It is up to a jury how much to award a victim in pain and suffering. Although calculation methods are available, it is a jury’s decision whether or not to use them.

  • Multiplier Method. The Multiplier Method takes a victim’s total amount awarded in economic damages and multiplies it by a number that matches the severity of the victim’s injuries. A victim with a permanent injury, for example, may receive a multiplier of five, while a victim with a minor injury may receive a multiplier of one.
  • Per Diem Method. The Per Diem Method is more common in cases where the victim has a prognosis for a full recovery at a determinable date. A jury will multiply a suitable amount in daily pain and suffering damages, often equivalent to the victim’s daily wage, by the number of days he or she will have the injury.

In the end, a jury can award as much or as little in noneconomic damages as it sees fit for the situation, up to a state’s damage cap (if applicable). Typically, juries grant larger awards to victims with severe or catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries. These victims will have greater physical pain, emotional suffering and other losses than victims with minor injuries.

Posted by admin at 6:22 pm

Understanding Subrogation Claims on Personal Injury Settlements

Friday, January 8, 2021

When you go through the processes required to recover financial compensation after an accident, you will encounter many unique terms. If you hear the word subrogation, this means your insurance company is bringing a lawsuit against a third party in pursuit of reimbursement for what it has spent on your bills. The point of subrogation is twofold: to save the insurance company from having to pay for losses it is not liable for and to prevent an injured victim from double recovery.

What Is Subrogation?

The definition of subrogation is to stand in the shoes of another party or act as a substitute. Within personal injury law, subrogation refers to an insurance company standing in the place of another party to pay for a victim’s bills. Subrogation typically applies to either car accident insurance claims or health insurance benefits. In either case, the insurance company that paid the client will seek reimbursement from a third party.

Subrogation during an injury claim ensures that a victim does not recover twice for the same accident. If the insured has already received payment for his or her medical bills from an auto or health insurance company, that party should not also be allowed to recover compensation from a personal injury lawsuit. This would essentially pay the victim twice for the same damages.

Instead, if an insurance company has already paid off a claimant’s debts, it will be the insurance company that has the right to bring a third-party lawsuit for those expenses, not the injured. Since the insurance company paid for losses when its client was not at fault, it may bring a claim to replace what it spent. The insurance company will seek reimbursement through the subrogation process.

How Does Subrogation Work?

After an accident in Texas, you require immediate medical care. If you cannot pay for this care out of pocket, it does not mean you cannot receive treatment. Instead, an insurance company will step in to help you pay the bills, such as your car insurance or health insurance provider.

Once you have received medical care, your insurance company will send you a form requesting additional information about the accident. The purpose of this form is to determine if there is someone else financially responsible for the accident. If so, your insurer will let you know of its intent to pursue a subrogation claim. You legally must cooperate with this type of claim, meaning you cannot waive subrogation.

Your insurance company can seek subrogation directly from the at-fault party, from the at-fault party’s insurance provider, or from a settlement or judgment award you receive from the accident. How the insurer chooses to pursue subrogation will depend on the company and the factors of your case.

Subrogation and Your Personal Injury Settlement

Subrogation is an action available to insurance companies to prevent them from paying for losses it legally is not responsible for paying. If subrogation is successful, it will not only reimburse the insurance company, but it will also reimburse you for any money you spent on insurance deductibles.

Subrogation may not require your direct involvement if your insurance company goes straight to the at-fault party for reimbursement. If the insurance company places a subrogation lien on your settlement or judgment award, however, anticipate an amount of your award going immediately to the insurance company after winning your injury claim.

You will be required to pay off any liens against your settlement or judgment award before you can keep the remaining amount. With a subrogation lien, the amount of money your insurance company spent on your medical bills will be deducted from your final award won. Then, the remaining amount will be divided to pay for legal fees, lost wages, property repairs and other losses.

For more information about a subrogation claim during a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, consult with an attorney.

Posted by admin at 8:06 pm

What Is a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

Friday, January 8, 2021

Filing a personal injury lawsuit will open the doors to many terms and legal processes you may be unfamiliar with. The one that seems to give claimants the most anxiety, however, is deposition. A deposition does not have to be daunting. A well-prepared deposition can be critical to the success of your case. Work with a personal injury attorney for assistance preparing for one.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is a question-and-answer session between a party involved in a personal injury claim and an attorney. In general, if you have to give a deposition during your personal injury claim, you will be answering questions from the other party’s attorney (the deponent). You will answer these questions truthfully and to the best of your ability while under oath. Anything you say during the deposition can be used as evidence in court if your case goes to trial.

A deposition typically does not take place inside a courtroom. Instead, you will go to an attorney’s office to give the deposition. In the room, there will be you, your attorney, the other side’s attorney and a court reporter. The reporter will record the deposition and transcribe it so it can be used in document format during a trial. The presence of your lawyer during a deposition can help you answer the questions in a way that will not hurt your rights or your case.

What Personal Injury Cases Require Depositions?

A deposition is part of the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. It occurs after a plaintiff files a personal injury lawsuit but before the actual trial. The discovery phase of a lawsuit gives both sides of the case an opportunity to gather more information, evidence and documentation based on what the other side already knows. Depositions are typically spoken interviews, while interrogatories are written questions.

If your personal injury case settles before you have to file a lawsuit, you will not have to go through a deposition. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies your claim, however, you may need to go up against the defendant at trial. In this scenario, expect a deposition. If a deposition is part of your personal injury case, you have no choice but to participate. Upon receiving a notice of deposition, going in for questioning is mandatory.

How to Prepare for a Deposition

If you find out you will have to participate in a deposition, don’t panic. While it is true that a deposition can be very important to your case, there are ways you can prepare ahead of time for the most successful session. Work with a lawyer for in-depth information about what to expect.

  • Review the facts. The deposition will be your opportunity to provide testimony on the record as to what happened. Establish the facts and circumstances in your own words and ahead of time. That way, the words will come to you even if you’re nervous during the deposition.
  • Go over possible questions with your attorney. Your lawyer will have years of experience attending depositions with clients. He or she can give you example questions the attorney will most likely ask you, so you can prepare answers in advance.
  • Take your time. Do not let anything, including the attorney asking the questions, pressure you during a deposition. Take your time listening and understanding the questions, as well as answering them clearly and succinctly. You can ask for breaks whenever you wish.

The typical deposition starts with questions about your basic personal information. Then, it will go into your physical condition before the accident and a description of your current injuries. You will also get to describe the accident in your own words. At the end of the deposition, you will testify about how your life has changed after the accident.

A lawyer can help you prepare for a deposition, including giving you tips on what to say and what not to say. Your lawyer can also give you advice on how to conduct yourself, plus accompany you into the actual room. For more information about personal injury depositions, consult with a lawyer near you.

Posted by admin at 6:21 pm

How Can Social Media Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

During a personal injury claim, the insurance company responsible for assessing your eligibility for benefits will not want to maximize your payout. Diminishing your injury claim is the insurance company’s main mission. One thing an insurance company may use to investigate your claim is your social media accounts. Be careful what you post, as it could be used as evidence against you.

Social Media Is Admissible Evidence

Your social media profiles are not off-limits during a personal injury claim. Even if you have your account set to private, everything you post is accessible to an investigator. This includes private messages and posts you have deleted. If an insurance company finds evidence on your social media accounts that is relevant to your case, it can submit it to the courts. Social media accounts are a form of electronic records that are considered written documents under Texas law. This makes anything you post on social media admissible as evidence in court.

How Can Posting On Social Media Hurt Your Claim?

Posting things on social media after an accident may seem harmless. After all, it is not on official record and it is used for personal reasons. Since an insurance company can use social media content as evidence against you, however, it is important to recognize the power of what you post. Many accident victims make the mistake of posting things on social media that diminish the values of their injury claims.

  • Information about the case. It is natural to want to talk about your recent accident or injury on social media. Try to avoid posting any information about your case until it is over, however. An insurance company can compare what you post to the facts reported on your claim. Even a minor contradiction could ruin your reliability and hurt your chances of recovering damages.
  • Photographs of you out with friends. Posting pictures out and about with your friends on Facebook or Instagram could show an insurance company that your injury is not very serious. Pictures of you enjoying normal life, such as on vacation or at a bar, will contradict your story if you are pursuing compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Location check-ins. During your personal injury claim, your goal should be to show an insurance company that the accident interfered with your enjoyment of daily life. Checking in at different locations could go against your injury claim. If you claim you broke your leg, for example, checking in at the gym could show an insurance company that you are physically able to continue your daily tasks.

Insurance companies and defense lawyers will almost always check a claimant’s social media accounts for information or evidence. They will look at sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for things to use against a client to diminish his or her payout. The best way to protect yourself during an injury claim is not to post anything on social media at all.

Social Media Dos and Don’ts During an Injury Claim

Although it may be difficult to stay off of social media while a personal injury claim is pending, this could be critical for your case. Posting or doing the wrong thing on a social media account could hurt your injury claim.

  • Do: change all of your social media settings to private.
  • Do not: post anything about your accident or injury.
  • Do: screen your friend requests and avoid interacting with people you do not know.
  • Do not: respond to any questions or comments about the accident.
  • Do: warn friends not to post any photos of you.
  • Do not: post new photographs or videos of yourself after your accident.

When in doubt, stay off of social media completely until your case concludes. This is the most effective way to protect your rights. For more assistance protecting yourself during a personal injury claim, hire an attorney to represent you.

Posted by admin at 7:47 pm

What to Expect During Your First Meeting With a Personal Injury Attorney

Monday, December 28, 2020

If you have never had to pursue financial compensation for an injury before, you may not know what to expect from your first meeting with a personal injury attorney in Texas. While the initial consultation can seem daunting, it is an opportunity for a lawyer to answer your questions, usually at no cost to you and no obligation to hire the law firm. It also gives you the chance to find out if the personal injury lawyer is the right fit for your case. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for your first meeting.

Who Will Be Present at the Meeting?

Most initial consultations with personal injury attorneys are only between the potential client and the attorney. There may be a paralegal or assistant present to take notes, as well. Ask the lawyer you meet if he or she will be the person who will be handling your case. If not, ask to meet the lawyer who will be your legal representative.

What Is the Purpose of the Meeting?

The purpose of the first meeting with a personal injury attorney is for the lawyer to hear the basic facts and fully understand your case. This will allow the lawyer to know whether he or she can proceed with a legal cause of action on your behalf. The initial meeting will also explain the essential points of the legal process, as well as determine your role in the case. For example, your attorney may explain the importance of following your doctor’s treatment plan. Another goal for the initial meeting is for you and the attorney to meet each other and find out if you are the right fit.

What Should You Bring?

You can bring certain documents with you to your first meeting with a personal injury attorney to give him or her more information about your case. While this is voluntary and not mandatory, it can make it easier for the lawyer to understand whether you have grounds for a case. It can also make the legal process more efficient should the attorney choose to offer his or her services. Bring documents related to your accident and injury, such as photographs, medical records, copies of x-rays, pay stubs, a police report, eyewitness statements, an injury journal and your insurance plan.

How Long Will the Meeting Last?

The answer to this depends on you and your case. If you have a particularly complex case, it may take longer for the personal injury attorney to understand its elements and explain the relevant legal doctrines to you. The same is true if the accident gave you severe or life-changing injuries. If you have a straightforward case, however, the consultation may not last as long. In general, the average initial consultation takes around one hour.

What Questions Should You Ask?

The initial meeting with a personal injury lawyer is a fact-finding mission for both you and the lawyer. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask the lawyer about your case and your rights. These questions should include, “Do I have a case?” “How much is my case worth?,” “How many weeks will it take to finish my case?” and, “Do you think you will need to go to trial?” The information you collect during your meeting should allow you to understand the basic facts of your case and whether you have one.

What Should You Look for in Your Personal Injury Attorney?

You should also ask questions directly related to the lawyer and his or her experience. The point of these questions will be to judge whether the lawyer is the right fit for you and your specific personal injury claim. Ask about the lawyer’s experience in your practice area, as well as case results achieved. You should leave your meeting with a good feeling about the attorney if you plan on hiring him or her.

Posted by admin at 7:43 pm

What Is the Court Process for a Personal Injury Claim?

Monday, December 21, 2020

If you get injured in an accident in Texas, someone may owe you financial compensation for your losses. Retrieving payment for your medical bills and other expenses takes filing a personal injury claim. It is important to understand the court process for the typical personal injury case so you can prepare for what lies ahead. A lawyer can help you with your personal injury claim in Texas.

The Plaintiff (Usually) Hires an Attorney

You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you during your claim, especially if you have serious injuries or anticipate your case going to trial. Although the vast majority of personal injury claims settle, cases involving liability disputes or other complications may need to go to court. Hiring a personal injury lawyer at the beginning of your claim can ensure the full protection of your rights either way.

All Parties Involved Investigate the Case

The first step in resolving a personal injury claim is all the parties involved investigating the case. The plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney, the defendant and the defendant’s insurance company will all have the chance to investigate what happened. Investigations often involve reviewing available information and evidence from police reports, accident reports, medical records, eyewitnesses, photographs and video footage.

The Plaintiff Submits a Demand Letter

If a lawyer’s investigation finds that someone else caused your accident and injury due to negligence, your lawyer will help you file a demand letter. The demand letter initiates your insurance claim. It has a basic description of the accident, why you believe the defendant is liable and a list of the damages you are seeking as payment. It should also include a sentence threatening to take the case to trial if the insurance company does not handle it fairly.

The Plaintiff and Insurance Company Negotiate

Upon receiving your demand letter, the insurance company will conduct its own investigation if it has not already done so. The insurance company will either accept or deny your claim based on the facts discovered. If the insurance company accepts your claim, it will offer a settlement to resolve the issue. You and your lawyer can negotiate for a fair amount and end the case there, if desired. If you do not reach a settlement, your lawyer will help you take the case to court instead.

The Plaintiff’s Attorney Files a Lawsuit

Most personal injury cases do not need lawsuits, as they settle before reaching this stage. If your case does require a lawsuit, however, your lawyer will help you with the required court documents and filing paperwork. Your lawyer will need to submit the filing paperwork to the civil courts in the county where you live or the county where the accident occurred by the deadline. In Texas, you have two years from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit against a defendant.

The Claim Goes to Trial

If your personal injury claim goes to trial, your lawyer can help you understand the basic court process in Texas. While every case is unique, all civil trials have essentially the same 10 steps. Your personal injury lawyer will represent you through all of the phases of your lawsuit, whether you reach a settlement during pretrial mediation or your case goes all the way to court.

  1. Pretrial negotiations
  2. Discovery phase
  3. Jury selection
  4. Opening statements
  5. Presentation of evidence
  6. Witness testimony
  7. Cross-examination of witnesses
  8. Closing statements
  9. Jury deliberation
  10. Verdict

During your trial, your side of the case and the defendant’s side will have the opportunity to present evidence to a panel of 12 jurors. The jury will review the evidence and decide whether you met the burden of proof to establish the defendant’s liability as more likely to be true than not true. If so, the jury will give you a judgment award to cover your losses. If not, the jury will not find the defendant liable. Your lawyer will then have the chance to file an appeal or a motion for a new trial, if desired. Work with a lawyer on every step of your personal injury case for the best odds of success.

Posted by admin at 7:37 pm

Can a Personal Injury Case Ever Be Reopened?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Most personal injury claimants anxiously await the ends of their cases. Some jump at the chance to settle as quickly as possible, without making sure the amount received adequately covers past and future losses. Settling quickly can be dangerous, however, as once a personal injury case settles, it is almost always impossible to reopen it.

Can You Renegotiate After Signing a Release Form?

At the conclusion of your personal injury case, before the defendant or insurance company will pay out a settlement, you will receive a liability release form to sign. This is a legally binding contract stating that you are giving up all further rights to sue the defendant for the same injury or accident in exchange for the amount agreed upon. This document is important for the defendant, as it protects him or her from future liability lawsuits. As the claimant, it is your duty to make sure you are satisfied with the settlement offered before you sign a release form.

Do not rush into signing a liability release form. If you regret signing later, you cannot take it back. Except in extremely rare circumstances, the courts will not allow you to reopen a personal injury case once you have signed the release form. You will be legally bound to the settlement agreement. While you may feel pressured to sign quickly, finish your case and receive a check, it is critical to take your time with negotiations. Double-check that you are recovering a fair amount for both past and future damages before signing.

If you do wish to renegotiate or reopen a settled case, you will need to prove to the Texas courts that you have a valid reason for doing so. You will need to make a motion to the court with a legal reason, such as fraud during your case, a clerical mistake or new evidence. Only if you or your lawyer can prove legal grounds for reopening a case will you be eligible to set aside a judgment and renegotiate for a different amount.

Can You Bring a New Claim Against Someone Else?

Another option for financial recovery may be a new personal injury claim against a different defendant. This will only be possible if someone other than the existing defendant played a part in causing your injury, such as the defendant’s employer, a product manufacturer or a property owner. An accident investigation can determine if more than one party is to blame for your injuries and losses.

If your accident case involves multiple responsible parties, signing a release form to settle with one party may affect your ability to recover further compensation from a different party. This will depend on the language of the settlement release form. Some releases prohibit you from pursuing additional claims related to the same accident – even if you wish to bring a claim against a different defendant. Others allow you to pursue further compensation as long as you do not list the paying party as a defendant.

What Should You Do to Ensure a Successful Outcome the First Time?

Do not risk settling for less than you deserve for an accident or injury in Texas. In most cases, you will not be able to renegotiate after signing a release form, even if you realize the defendant should have paid more for your losses. The best way to ensure a fair and full settlement the first time around is by hiring an attorney to negotiate for you.

An attorney can help you accurately calculate both past and future losses. If you have a serious injury, your lawyer can estimate the future value of your medical expenses and other costs to make sure you do not settle for less than you need. If you do wish to reopen your case, a lawyer can help you file a motion with the courts. Work with a lawyer from the very beginning of your case for the most successful claim possible.

Posted by admin at 7:33 pm

What Is a Medical Lien on a Personal Injury Case?

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A victim’s medical bills are one of the main types of damages in a personal injury case in Texas. It often surprises people to discover that hospitals and health insurance companies can stake a claim for part of the financial award received in a personal injury case. This claim is a medical lien, and it is used to repay health care centers for a victim’s medical debts. Learn how a medical lien may affect your personal injury case, as well as how to handle this issue.

About Medical Liens in Texas

A medical lien is a legal claim to someone else’s property or assets as a means to recover the costs of medical bills. If you get injured in an accident, your medical expenses can be significant. The average victim cannot pay out of pocket to cover medical bills upfront. In this situation, the hospital or health insurance company may front the costs of treatments and seek reimbursement later. This is a process called subrogation, which gives the hospital or insurance company the right to seek reimbursement from your settlement.

Not all hospitals and health care providers in Texas allow patients to use medical liens. Since liens are essentially a type of credit for a patient to pay for health care later, only certain providers are willing to take on this risk. A provider that does accept medical liens will need assurance that the patient will pay the hospital back. For this reason, most medical providers only accept liens if they think the patient has a strong case against a defendant.

If you need a medical lien to help you pay for health care costs after a serious accident in Texas, find a doctor willing to accept this payment arrangement. The doctor or hospital will give you a lien agreement to sign. This is a legally binding contract saying that a portion of any award won for your personal injury claim will go to the doctor according to the terms of the agreement. Typically, the agreement stipulates that the doctor must receive payment before the patient receives a penny. It is important to consult with a lawyer before signing a medical lien agreement.

How a Medical Lien Can Affect a Personal Injury Case

While a medical lien will not impact the basic personal injury claims process, it will affect how much you receive in financial compensation. With a medical lien in place, you will not own 100% of a settlement or judgment award given to you during a personal injury case in Texas. Instead, the owner of the lien will automatically receive a portion of your award. You will only get to keep what is left of the award after fulfilling the medical lien and paying off other debts, such as legal fees.

The strength of a medical lien against your claim will depend on the terms of the subrogation agreement. Medical liens are generally negotiable in Texas. However, most doctors are not interested in negotiating lien rights since they do not understand them and will need their lawyers to review them. The most effective way to negotiate with a doctor on a medical lien agreement is with assistance from an attorney.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Negotiate a Medical Lien

A medical lien with the wrong terms could lead to a binding legal contract that hurts your rights and takes a large portion of the award you receive for your accident. Standard lien agreements favor the doctor, hospital or health insurance company, not the patient. Hiring a lawyer to review a medical lien agreement before you sign can make a significant impact on your future.

Your lawyer can benefit your case and protect your rights by working with the doctor to create lien terms that are fairer for you. Your lawyer may be able to discount your medical bills, for example, or work out an arrangement if you do not win your case. Hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with a medical lien in Texas for the best possible case outcome.

Posted by admin at 7:29 pm