Personal Injury Law – Injury Attorneys

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Injury Attorneys

Understanding What Personal Injury Means and What a Personal Injury Attorney Can do for You

“Personal injury” is a legal term relating to a classification of law involving any sort of physical injury along with any and all “damages” suffered by the injury victim. Taken altogether, damages include physical and emotional distress and other elements that can be considered compensatory that produce the victim’s personal loss.

The person or entity that caused the accident can be legally required to pay the victim. This person’s liability for the damages can be the result of an overt act on the liable defendant’s part (known as willful action) or inaction (negligence). When someone suffers an injury, Texas Law states that the person, or plaintiff, who suffered the injury has the legal right to seek monetary relief from the defendant responsible for the injury. More about our Car Accident Attorneys in San Antonio here

However, the personal injury laws in Texas are based on rules known as the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. And nowhere in the code does it say that an injured party (or plaintiff) is automatically owed anything by the defendant. Or to put it another way, just because someone hurt you, doesn’t mean you can’t get the money without a fight. Where do you think the popular words “sue me” came from? This most important, aspect of Texas personal injury law is also the most generally misunderstood. Just because someone owes you money for damages and harm done to you that they are responsible for, doesn’t mean they’ll just say “sure, how much do I owe?” Instead, according to these laws, the victim only has the right to seek fair and satisfactory compensation from the perpetrator (or defendant), for the injury they suffered. And that’s why you recover your damages through a civil lawsuit.

Personal injury laws in our state, like all civil and criminal laws in every state throughout the US, assume the innocence of the accused until proven guilty. This is why defendants are not automatically forced to give up their money. Rather, the laws require the plaintiff to convince the jury that the other person is guilty. This is called “burden of proof.” It is also necessary for the plaintiff to disprove the defense tactics of defendants as they try to avoid paying the damages the plaintiff seeks. Some call this “burden of dis-proof” the other half of the plaintiff’s job in a personal injury case. Until your burdens satisfy the jury, you won’t be paid a dime.

Many Have the Right to File a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

The only people who can successfully sue another person or business entity for their injuries are those who were owed a legal duty that the defendant has somehow violated. Legal Duty is also a legal term that essentially states we all owe each other a certain level of responsibility to exercise a “reasonable amount of care and good judgment” in order to avoid harming others. Take, for example, yourself when one is driving a car. We are all expected to operate our vehicles in a manner that best protects not only us but everyone else within the path of our autos and not cause an accident. Driving recklessly, even if it’s just a few seconds, or making the decision to get behind the wheel of our car after having too much to drink, then getting into a wreck likely means we have violated our clear legal responsibility to not harm others and we will probably be asked to pay legal damages to anyone we hurt.

When someone harms us, just like burden of proof, it is up to us victims to gather enough relevant evidence to show that the defendant who harmed us owed that legal duty, and then violated it, in order for our personal injury case to have the best possible outcome. But there are different levels of legal duty that depend on the circumstances of the accident. And there are some areas of duty that are much higher than the traditional form we have just discussed. An example of this difference might be effectively illustrated by imagining the standard of care owed to you by your neighbor, and that of a doctor. Although you probably trust your friend and longtime neighbor with the keys to your house while you are on vacation, a doctor holds your very life in his or her hands. So, according to Texas law, the standard of care is much higher for that physician than it would for your friend and neighbor.

The degree of legal duty can also be different depending on the circumstances. Let’s say that same doctor walks up to you in the grocery store and for some unexplained reason, pulls out a pocket knife and slices your hand. In this event, he has violated a lower legal duty because the encounter had nothing to do with a doctor/patient encounter than he would have if you were on the operating table, and he performs malpractice by operating on your left leg when he should have performed surgery on the right one. Legal duty is about circumstance and context.

Most personal injuries occur when someone clearly violates their acceptable legal duty depending on the environment and circumstances. Some legal duties can be clear-cut. Others can be a bit more obscure. Imagine, for example, if one company’s employee drops a hammer on the head of another. The legal duty of the employer to the injured employee has been violated because the work site was not safe, since that employer allowed that employee on the job site to cause the injury that he caused. But another portion of that same legal duty can be found in a legal concept in Texas law called “respondeat superior.” It states that employers of those found to be liable for an accident of any kind may be ultimately held responsible for the actions or inaction of their employees. But on the other hand, if the same exact injury situation occurred to a contract laborer or subcontractor of that employer, the company that hired them would not owe anything to the victim because there is no legal duty owed to individuals hired as contractors.

As a rule, the most proper and efficient way to decide if your case is a valid cause of action against the perpetrator or not is to speak with an injury lawyer at our Law Office. We clearly understand the various legal duties that people and other legal entities owe one another. We can clearly explain them to you and help you determine if a specific injury event warrants a personal injury lawsuit.