What does a Waco personal injury lawyer do?
A personal injury attorney in Waco will represent your interests in court against the wrongdoer and the insurance company. In this vital role, your Waco personal injury attorney will explain your rights, give you advice, and represent you in court.
- Explains. An accident injury attorney explains your rights about the legal issues involving your matter, including the standard of comparative negligence and the statute of limitations. Negligence is the most common cause of action in a personal injury case. Comparative negligence rules evaluate whether someone can sue if that person was partially to blame for the accident in Waco. A statute of limitations is the time limit when you must file a lawsuit.
- Advises. Your Waco personal injury attorney will provide you advice about the legal procedures, medical jargon, insurance claims, and paperwork for your matter. Your lawyer is also A counselor who will give you an objective opinion on your case that is not overcome with the fear, anger, and frustration felt by you in this deeply personal matter.
- Represents. A personal injury lawyer is your person in the courthouse. We became lawyers because we love being in the courtroom. We will complete a professional investigation, connect with medical providers, assess damages, and work through a variety of legal motions. Most lawsuits are settled before trial. But motions will still need to be filed, depositions taken, and other pre-trial discovery with deadlines that could make or break a case. Our Waco lawyers routinely guide clients through this confusing process because we have been there hundreds of times already. Our Waco personal injury law firm represents many Central Texans involved in accident and injury claims.
Do I need a Waco personal injury law attorney?
We understand that you may wonder whether it’s worth it to hire a Waco personal injury law firm. Even if it’s not Dunnam & Dunnam, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt in an accident. These matters involve a particular skill and training. But the most critical time to hire a Waco personal injury law office is when you have suffered severe injuries or the legal rules in your claim are complex.
In 2017, Martindale conducted a survey of its readers who had personal injury claims. That survey showed that those who had a lawyer came out far ahead. Those injury victims that hired a lawyer received payout that was more than three times those who were not represented by a lawyer.
These are examples of when you should hire a personal injury law firm in Waco:
• You or someone else in your car is seriously injured (whiplash, back pain, burns, brain or spinal injuries, broken bones, severe animal bite, etc.)
• Death resulted from the negligence of another
• The insurance company is frustrating you or not being fair
• The other driver didn’t have insurance (or enough insurance)
• Nursing home staff neglected or abused you or a loved one
• You were hurt at work
• You slipped and fell on someone else’s property, and you’ll miss work or need expensive medical care
Long-Term Injuries To analyze how your long term injuries affect your livelihood, you must get expert advice. A lawyer will assemble the experts that you need to prove your case to a judge and jury.
Severe Injuries Insurance companies often measure the number of injuries by the type of injuries you sustained, the amount of the medical bills you incurred, and the length of your recovery time. This may not be an accurate portrayal of your pain and suffering. But it is how it will be evaluated by the insurance company. The insurance company is a business. It wants to pay you as little as possible. On the other hand, your Waco personal injury attorney will want to make sure that you get the total amount of compensation reasonable for your claim.
Unclear Liability You should always contact an attorney if you have been injured in an accident and may be partially at-fault for the accident. An attorney can help protect you against counterclaims and cross-claims by the other parties who were involved in the accident.
Insurance Company Refusing to Pay Many insurance companies will advise you that you do not need a lawyer. This is because they know that studies have shown that people represented by attorneys get larger settlements than those that don’t. They would rather deal with an injured person unfamiliar with the law than with an experienced attorney. It is dangerous to speak with an insurance company without first consulting a personal injury attorney. Usually, an insurance company will not give a decent offer, and many times you can accidentally say something that damages your case. Occasionally, insurance companies simply refuse to make a fair settlement offer or refuse to make any settlement offer at all.
Should I talk with an insurance adjuster after an accident?
No. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They make a profit by low-balling you. Be careful when you give them a statement because part of their motivation is to keep you from filing a lawsuit later. If you talk to an insurance company adjuster, the call is usually recorded. Anything you say will be used against you. Adjusters are very good at cherry-picking out one or two damaging sentences out of a long conversation. But if you have an attorney, you can let your personal injury lawyer do the talking. Your lawyer will know what to say and what not to say, plus since your personal injury attorney is not a witness, your lawyer cannot be called to testify.
What can I get from a personal injury case in Waco?
There are several types of damages that you might be able to recover if your case meets the legal definition of personal injury. Your Waco personal injury attorney will analyze your situation and your injuries to value your claim and provide you with a range of values within which any reasonable settlement should be expected to fall. In general, the types of potential damages that might be recoverable in a personal injury claim include the following:
• Past and future medical expenses
• Lost wages or lost income
• Losses in your ability to earn a living
• Losses in your ability to enjoy life
• Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and psychological injury
• Losses for permanent disfigurement and scarring
• Household expenses
Under certain circumstances, your spouse may be able to claim damages for loss of consortium as well.
How much do Waco personal injury law firms take?
Fortunately, you won’t have to pay upfront for legal fees and expenses when you’re hurt and can’t work. Our accident injury attorneys do not work on an hourly basis. Your attorneys will work on a contingent fee basis. Your attorney will be busy preparing and filing extensive legal pleadings, attending court hearings, taking depositions of the at-fault party, and defending you as a witness. When we agree to take on the case, our Waco personal injury law firm will provide you with a written agreement that we will both sign that clearly shows the percentage that will be charged in your case. Most contingent fees range from 33% to 40%. The rate in your matter may vary due to many different factors, including the complexity of the case, the likelihood of success, whether a lawsuit is filed, and the potential costs involved. Your personal injury law office will advance all costs and expenses to properly handle your Waco accident injury claim. The most common costs are police reports, filing fees, investigator fees, expert witnesses, medical records, depositions, and exhibits. These costs can add up to tens of thousands, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars. The costs and expenses increase substantially if settlement does not occur until close to trial. Your Waco personal injury attorney’s costs will then be deducted from the amount paid to you—if we get compensation on your behalf. Also, your Waco injury attorney must deduct and pay all medical liens before you receive any settlement money. These liens can come from medical providers you still owe, and from insurance companies who paid your injury-related medical bills. Although every matter is different, the Waco personal injury lawyer’s final percentage with all fees, costs, and expenses can end up between 45% and 60% of the settlement.
Will a Waco personal injury law office take my case?
The bottom line is that it is worth speaking with a personal injury attorney because consultations are free. And there are limited reasons why a personal injury lawyer would not take your accident claim. Dunnam & Dunnam can benefit you by offering the right kind of help, personal attention, and price for your unique claim.
If a lawyer has rejected your case, it is probably for these reasons. First, you may be contacting an attorney that does not understand the value of your case because the attorney has not handled that type of situation before. Second, if there were no injuries or damages in your accident, then a lawyer may reject taking your case because the injury attorney knows that the attorney cannot add value to your lawsuit. Third, no one may be legally responsible for your accident. Fourth, your case may be too small or too big for the law firm. Fifth, there may be limited resources of the defendant. Sixth, the lawyer may have a conflict of interest. Seventh, the legal period for filing your claim may have expired. A Waco personal injury lawyer would rarely have these reasons to reject your case. But it is possible. It is still worth contacting a lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your matter.
How much do you get for pain and suffering?
There is not a precise formula to calculate pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is the monetary value of being in pain or traumatized in an injury. For example, you may have surgery to repair broken bones. But the medical bills alone do not compensate you for everything that you’ve gone through. It’s also important to value the future expectation of pain and suffering because of your injury. If your injury is expected to get worse with time, your future pain and suffering will be increased.
To improve your potential claim, you could keep a journal about how you feel each day so you can reference it when it comes time to pursue a claim. Be honest in your assessment. The success of your personal injury claim often hinges on documentation and your credibility. But first, talk to your lawyer about what you should do in these matters.
There isn’t a legal requirement to multiply your medical bills to calculate pain and suffering, but in practice, that is usually how it is done. The more serious the injury, the more likely a higher multiple will be applied. Outside of medical malpractice, there is not a limit on the amount of pain and suffering that you may obtain in your personal injury matter.
How much should I ask for in a Waco personal injury settlement?
The money that you could get in a personal injury case has two main variables: (1) your injuries; and (2) the amount of the defendant’s insurance policy. A severe injury will get a higher award. And the insurance company, if there is one, is limited by the amount of the policy.
What do Waco personal injury lawyers look for?
Personal injury lawyers will analyze the legal issues concerning your accident injury claim and the factual background that led to your injury. First, the Waco personal injury attorney must determine who is liable. This will include whether you are partially at fault. Next, that lawyer should evaluate the details of your case to ensure that it can be proven in court under the rules of evidence. Third, your Waco personal injury lawyer will investigate the severity of your injury. Fourth, your attorney will evaluate the economic value of the case and whether someone has the financial ability to pay for it. And fifth, the lawyer will also want to know whether you have already spoken to an insurance adjuster.
How do personal injury lawyers get paid?
Personal injury lawyers are paid on contingency. A contingent fee is money earned only if the lawyer gets a recovery for you. You don’t owe a fee if your Waco personal injury lawyer doesn’t win the case. If the case is won by recovering any money in court before a jury or settled before trial, then the law firm is paid a percentage of that amount.
Do you pay taxes on a personal injury settlement?
No, it is generally not a taxable event unless you have received punitive damages at trial. The reason it is not taxable is that it is compensating you for what you have already lost as a person. Punitive damages are different because those are meant to punish someone. Please note that punitive damages are very rare and can only be ordered by a court.
What falls under personal injury?
Personal injury law covers situations where someone is hurt. A personal injury is when a person’s body, mind, or emotions are injured. These types of damages may arise from car accidents, slip, and fall accidents, defective products, or wrongful death claims. Personal injury law is often called tort law. Tort means “harm” or “wrong” in Latin.
How Can I Increase the Chances of Recovering Money?
Our Waco personal injury attorneys will gather evidence, build your claim, consult with relevant experts if necessary, and handle the other tasks involved in pursuing the settlement or verdict you deserve. You can focus on your family, job, and life.
You can improve your claim by doing a few simple things, including:
- See a Doctor: Go to a hospital or clinic as soon as possible so your injuries are documented.
- Obey Your Doctor: You must follow the instructions of your medical team and take reasonable steps to facilitate recovery.
- Do not talk to the insurer: Your statements to the insurance adjuster might be taken out of context or misrepresented to weaken your case.
- Preserve Evidence: All documents and other evidence relating to your case should be carefully preserved. These include medical records, financial records, photos of the scene, and eyewitness statements and contact information.
- Stay off Social Media: By staying off social media, you will remove a common source of evidence used by insurance companies to dispute claims or invade your personal privacy.
Should I tell a Waco personal injury lawyer if I think that I may have contributed to the accident?
Yes. Lawyers want to analyze your case so that they can present the best one possible for you. This includes information that you feel good about, and information that you may be ashamed about. A legal consultation with an attorney is privileged and confidential, even if you do not hire that lawyer. Privileged means the lawyer can’t be compelled to talk about it in a court and confidential means that the lawyer must keep it secret. So it’s important that you disclose all information so that your case can be evaluated.
What should I bring with me to my legal consultation?
Bring all the documents in your possession. This will usually include a police reports, your automobile insurance declaration page, photos of the vehicles, pictures of your injuries, medical records, correspondence from insurance companies, repair records, towing receipts, car rental, and wage losses.
Will my conversation remain secret even if I don’t hire you?
Yes. Because your communications with us are privileged at the legal consultation, it is important that you disclosure of all important facts with respect to your personal injury claim (such as prior injuries). If the lawyers don’t know all the important facts, then they cannot effectively advocate for your case.
Hire Waco’s Choice for Personal Injury Attorneys Since 1925
The Waco personal injury lawyers at Dunnam & Dunnam have provided quality services to their Central Texas clients for almost 100 years. We offer you free consultations to put your mind at ease. Call us at 254-753-6437. Our personal injury lawyers include:
Carolina G. Truesdale graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law, Cum Laude.Read More
Eleeza's practice areas include: Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Commercial Law, Family Law and Pharmaceutical Law.Read More
Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.Read More
Jim Dunnam is a Board Certified Specialist in both Civil Trial Law and Family Law.Read More
Mason Dunnam is the fourth generation of Dunnam attorneys at the firm since 1925Read More