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What Is Included in a Personal Injury Settlement?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The civil justice system works by allowing an injured accident victim to become whole again through financial compensation from the at-fault party. If a victim succeeds in proving a defendant is liable, he or she will receive a personal injury settlement or judgment award for related losses. Understanding the components that make up the average personal injury settlement could help you learn what to expect during your injury case in Dallas.

What Is Included in a Personal Injury Settlement?

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Reached?

First, understand what it takes to obtain a personal injury settlement in Texas. The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning you or your personal injury lawyer will need enough evidence against the defendant to prove he or she is more likely than not responsible for your accident and injury.

Most cases in Texas settle without having to go to trial. Settling means your lawyer and the defendant’s insurance company have agreed on a resolution. With a settlement, you will receive a check from the insurer directly. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, however, your lawyer may need to take your case to trial to seek a judgment award instead.

3 Types of Damages

If your lawyer succeeds in proving the defendant is at fault for your injuries, you could receive a settlement that pays for both past and future losses. In Texas, there are three possible types of financial damages available in a personal injury case:

  1. The tangible and specific losses related to an accident.
  2. The intangible or general losses related to an accident.
  3. An additional award to punish the defendant for egregious acts.

Economic and noneconomic damages are common in personal injury law. Punitive damages are relatively rare, although they are possible in a case involving a defendant who behaved with gross negligence, a wanton disregard for the safety of others, maliciousness or intent to harm.

Parts of a Personal Injury Settlement

Economic and noneconomic damages are both compensatory damages, meaning they are meant to compensate a plaintiff for his or her losses. Compensatory damages are further broken down into many specific types of losses that are unique to the individual and case:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Long-term treatment
  • Property damage
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress or anguish
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Legal fees
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages, if applicable

The losses you and your family can claim during a personal injury case in Dallas depend on the particular ways the accident and injury impacted you. You or your personal injury lawyer will need to provide proof of these losses before an insurance company will pay you., such as medical bills, pay stubs, receipts, repair estimates or expert testimony.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Calculated?

The value of your personal injury settlement is directly related to the severity of your accident and injury. However, many different factors can impact the final value of a settlement in Dallas. No two cases are alike, and no average settlement exists. The easiest way to estimate the value of your case is by consulting with a personal injury attorney.

To estimate your economic damages, your lawyer will add up all of the expenses related to your accident. Then, your lawyer will calculate future foreseeable economic damages based on your existing costs and projected recovery time. Next, your lawyer will estimate your noneconomic damages. These are more difficult to calculate, however, as they are awarded according to a jury’s discretion.

In general, a victim with a serious injury, such as long-term disfigurement or disability, will have a personal injury case that is worth more than someone with a minor injury in Texas. Recovery amounts are unique and can be difficult to predict. For more information about your particular personal injury case, contact an attorney in Dallas.

Posted by admin at 10:30 pm

What Is a Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

If you get injured due to someone else’s carelessness, recklessness or intent to harm, Texas law gives you the right to bring a personal injury suit against that party. Before the law will side in your favor and grant a financial award for your injuries and losses, however, you or your Dallas personal injury lawyer must meet the required burden of proof.

What Is a Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim?

Understanding the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

In personal injury law, a burden of proof is the legal term for the amount of evidence necessary to prove the defendant committed the act in question and is therefore legally responsible for the damages claimed. The burden of proof in civil law is different than in criminal law. In criminal law, the burden of proof is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil law, it is proof based on a preponderance of the evidence.

Preponderance of the evidence means “more likely than not.” The injured party, or plaintiff, in a personal injury claim has the burden to convince a jury that his or her argument is more likely than not to be true. In other words, the plaintiff’s version of events must be deemed at least 51% true for him or her to obtain financial compensation from a defendant. Although this is a lesser burden of proof than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, it can still be a difficult bar for a plaintiff to meet without assistance from an attorney.

Elements of Proof Necessary for a Negligence Claim

Fulfilling the required burden of proof in a personal injury case in Texas typically requires clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s negligence. Negligence is a legal theory that describes a degree of substandard care a reasonable and prudent party would not use in the same circumstances.

A defendant may be found liable for a plaintiff’s injuries on the grounds of negligence if the plaintiff can prove four elements as most likely to be true:

  1. The defendant owed him or her a specific duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner.
  2. The defendant breached his or her duty of care. The defendant committed a careless or reckless act.
  3. The defendant’s action or omission caused the plaintiff’s injury. There is a causal link between the defendant’s mistake and the injury in question.
  4. The plaintiff suffered compensable losses related to the defendant’s negligence. Losses include lost wages, medical expenses and emotional distress.

Although negligence is the most common basis for personal injury cases in Dallas, it is also possible to hold a defendant liable for an accident based on other legal theories, such as strict liability or breach of warranty. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the grounds for your particular case. Then, your attorney can collect evidence on your behalf to use in support of your claim.

Evidence Used in a Personal Injury Case

One of the most important aspects of the burden of proof in a personal injury claim is evidence. Holding someone accountable for your losses in Texas requires clear and convincing evidence of that person’s fault. Your attorney will need to present enough evidence to convince a jury that the defendant is at least 51% responsible for causing your accident and the injuries you are claiming. Evidence can come in many forms, including:

  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Hospital bills
  • Pay stubs
  • Expert testimony

It is extremely important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident that injures you in Dallas. A lawyer can immediately go to work on preserving key evidence for your case, such as cell phone records or video surveillance footage. Then, your lawyer can hire experts such as investigators and crash reconstruction specialists to help you establish the defendant is at fault. A lawyer can help you with the burden of proof from the very beginning of a personal injury case.

Posted by admin at 10:29 pm

What Is the Average Time to Settle a Personal Injury Case?

Friday, February 12, 2021

It is normal to feel impatient about settling your personal injury case. Your accident may have caused expensive property damage and medical bills, as well as the inability to work. You may not wish to wait several months or longer to resolve your case. It may not be in your best interest, however, to rush into a fast settlement that does not adequately pay for your losses. Learn more about how long it may take to successfully settle your case.

the Average Time to Settle a Personal Injury Case

How Long Do Most Cases Take to Settle?

It is difficult to determine how long your personal injury case will take based on average settlement timelines. Every client is unique, with timelines varying significantly on a case-by-case basis. How long it takes one client’s case to settle may not be an accurate indication of how long your case will take.

In general, however, a personal injury insurance claim may take around three to four months. This is the average timeline if the insurance claim does not encounter any issues or complications that delay the process. Insurance companies in Texas have 15 days to respond to a claim filed. Then, they have 15 days from the time they receive all forms and information from you to accept or reject the claim.

If your personal injury case requires a trial, expect a longer claims process. Although this is uncommon, some cases require trials if the insurance company is wrongfully denying payment or refusing to offer a reasonable settlement. If your case goes to trial in Texas, anticipate your settlement taking one year or longer to achieve.

Factors That Could Extend Your Timeline

Average personal injury settlement times are not typically accurate when seeking information about how long a case may take to resolve. The best way to obtain an accurate timeline is by consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Dallas. A lawyer will look at the unique factors of your case to determine if there are things that could cause delays.

Factors that may impact how long it takes to settle include:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How long it will take to reach your point of maximum medical improvement
  • The overall value of your claim
  • Problems or challenges with your case
  • Multiple defendants
  • Your comparative fault for the injury
  • Insurance bad-faith tactics, such as unfairly delaying an investigation

On average, a personal injury case with complications such as catastrophic injuries, a long recovery time, high-value losses or a liability dispute will take longer than a simpler case to settle. It is important, however, to recognize when a delay in the settlement could ultimately benefit you by providing a better payout for your injuries and losses.

Do Not Rush Into a Settlement

One of the most common mistakes made by injured parties in Texas is to rush the claims process. It is common to want to settle as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life. Rushing into a settlement that does not adequately pay for your past and future losses, however, is something you cannot take back. It is typically not possible to reopen a closed case, even if you discover that you need additional medical treatments.

Insurance companies expect clients to negotiate back and forth with them before settling, not accept the very first offer. Thus, the first offer is typically lower than the true value of the claim. Rather than accepting the very first settlement offer in an attempt to quickly resolve your case, take it to a personal injury lawyer for review. A lawyer can analyze the facts of your case, give a professional opinion on whether or not you should settle, and help you with negotiations – all while making the legal process as fast and efficient as possible.

Posted by admin at 10:11 pm

What Is the Difference Between Intentional Torts and Negligence?

Friday, January 29, 2021

When one person’s actions cause another person an injury, the victim (plaintiff) will have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party (defendant). The victim will do so by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, a defendant can be held liable for both intentional acts of wrongdoing and unintentional negligence against a plaintiff. Learn the difference between these two legal concepts to better understand your claim.

the Difference Between Intentional Torts and Negligence

What Is an Intentional Tort?

An intentional tort describes a willful and knowing act of wrongdoing, such as an action that breaks the law in Texas. If a defendant is guilty of an intentional tort, it means he or she knew of the criminal nature, wrongfulness or risks associated with an act or omission, yet preceded with it anyway. Someone who commits an intentional tort knows the action will foreseeably cause injury, but breaches the duty of care anyway.

An intentional tort can be a premeditated crime, or the idea can occur to the defendant on the spot. Either way, if the defendant performs a willful and deliberate act of wrongdoing that injures a victim, he or she will be civilly liable for losses. The defendant will also likely face criminal charges in Texas for committing a crime against the victim, such as assault, battery, robbery, abuse or homicide.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence does not involve intent. Negligence is a person’s unintentional or careless failure to perform his or her duties of care. If a defendant is guilty of negligence, he or she made a mistake on accident that caused the victim’s injuries. In Texas, a negligent party can be held liable for a victim’s damages if four main elements are more likely to be true than not true.

  1. The defendant owed the victim a duty of care.
  2. The defendant failed to fulfill the duty or standard of care.
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident.
  4. The victim suffered compensable losses as a result.

With evidence of these four elements, the defendant will be legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and related losses, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage. Even if the defendant did not intend to hurt the victim or willfully breach the standard of care, the defendant will be liable for his or her careless acts in Texas.

How Does This Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

Whether the defendant in your personal injury case was guilty of an intentional tort or negligence, you have the same right to bring a claim against that party. Differentiating between the two will not alter your injury claim – the burden of proof will remain the same. You or your attorney will still need to establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care, willfully or accidentally breached this duty, and caused your injury. However, if the defendant committed an intentional tort, he or she could also receive a criminal conviction.

Note that being convicted of a crime does not immediately make the defendant civilly liable for your losses. You will still need to establish fault through clear and convincing evidence. However, you can use a defendant’s criminal conviction as evidence during your civil case. A criminal conviction can work in your favor to convince a judge and jury of the authenticity of your claim.

Even if a criminal case against the defendant does not result in a conviction, you could still have grounds for a civil claim. It is possible to win a civil claim even without a criminal conviction, as the burden of proof for a criminal vs. civil case differs. To convict the defendant of a crime, the prosecutor will need enough evidence to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney, however, will only have to prove that the defendant’s tort is more than likely what caused your injury.

Speak to a personal injury attorney in Dallas for more information about the burden of proof in your claim.

Posted by admin at 8:07 pm

How to Prove Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

One of the most common types of losses inflicted by an accident is lost wages. Most seriously injured victims cannot return to work immediately after their accidents. Instead, they must take time off, either temporarily or long term.

If the victim was not to blame for the accident, he or she should not have to pay for lost wages out of pocket. The at-fault party should be responsible instead. Before a court in Texas will award you for lost wages, however, you will have to prove this type of loss.

Prove Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case

What Are Lost Wages?

Lost wages refer to the earnings missed when an employee has to stay home due to an accident and injury. When a physical injury interferes with an employee being able to fulfill the critical tasks of his or her job, the employee will have to stay home until he or she recovers enough to return.

In some cases, an employee can return to work, but in a limited capacity and for a lower wage. In other cases, an employee will have to go without any wages until he or she can go back to work. In severe and catastrophic injury cases, a victim may never be able to return to work. A lost wage award during a personal injury case in Texas can cover several types of income and benefits.

  • Hourly wages
  • Tips and perks
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Sick leave
  • Vacation days

Texas law allows victims to recover financial compensation for these wage-related losses after accidents that force them to take time off of work. Even if you had sick days to use, you are eligible for their reimbursement if you did not cause your injury. It will be up to you as the plaintiff to prove your lost wages if you wish to obtain this type of reimbursement, however.

Evidence of Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case

One of the elements you must prove for a successful personal injury case in Texas is damages suffered. The defendant’s wrongful act must have given you real, specific and compensable losses. These losses may include lost income. If you wish to seek financial compensation for lost wages, you or your personal injury attorney will need to provide evidence.

  • Information about your job, such as typical hours worked
  • Pay stubs from before the accident
  • Tax return statements and W2s
  • Wage verification letter from your employer
  • Your business’ banking records, if self-employed
  • Medical records
  • Letter from your doctor confirming you cannot work
  • Expert testimony

These are common examples of evidence and documentation used to prove a plaintiff’s eligibility for a lost wage award. In general, if awarded an amount for lost wages, it will match the exact or estimated wages and benefits the employee would have earned had the accident not occurred.

Can You Seek Compensation for Future Lost Wages?

It is possible to file a claim for future lost wages (called loss potential to earn) in Texas if you will have your injury for the foreseeable future. If you have a catastrophic injury, such as a broken bone, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, that will take you out of work for months, years or life, you and your attorney can seek compensation for the projected amount of time you will be unable to earn a living wage.

An award for the lost potential to earn could cover projected future wages, as well as likely promotions and pay raise opportunities. Proving lost future earnings often requires testimony from your doctor and employer stating that your injuries will make you unable to return to work for a certain amount of time. You may also need to hire a forensic accountant to prove how you arrived at the amount you are claiming in lost future earnings. Work with an attorney for the best odds of obtaining a fair amount for your lost wages in Texas.

Posted by admin at 7:49 pm

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.

Personal Injury Damage Caps in Texas

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.

Proving Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Claim

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.

Subrogation Claims on Personal Injury Settlements

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 a Dallas personal injury 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.

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