When the negligence of a person or business causes another party to suffer serious injuries, victims can be subject to several kinds of financial harm in addition to physical pain. Catastrophic injuries not only lead to immense medical expenses, but victims are also affected by being unable to return to work and may need additional help with common everyday tasks if the injuries are particularly severe.
After accidents in which people are harmed as the result of another party’s negligence, insurance companies for at-fault parties will often try to aggressively push victims to accept settlements as soon as possible. While these offers can occasionally sound generous to people who are frequently desperate for financial relief, insurers have a vested interest in paying as little as possible to resolve these claims and settlement offers rarely account for many of the significant future needs of victims.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed as the result of another party’s negligence in Texas, you should not say anything to insurance company agents until you have legal representation. Horak Law fights to get fair and full compensation for clients throughout the greater Houston area, including communities in Harris County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Liberty County, Brazoria County, Waller County, and Fort Bend County.
Houston personal injury attorney Matt Horak can negotiate on your behalf to get a settlement that accounts for all of your financial needs and pain and suffering, or he can take the insurance company to court if it is unwilling to provide a satisfactory settlement. He handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis so you do not pay anything unless you receive a financial award. You can take advantage of a completely free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and explore your legal options as soon as you fill out an online contact form or call us at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 today.
Overview of Personal Injury Claims in Texas
- What are some of the most frequent causes of personal injury claims?
- Which kinds of damages are victims entitled to?
- Where can I learn more about personal injury actions in Houston?
Horak Law helps clients with several different kinds of personal injury cases in Texas. A few of the types of claims that Matt Horak handles include, but are not limited to:
- Auto Accidents — Motor vehicle crashes account for a significant number of catastrophic injuries in the Houston area. While all drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, insurers are still reluctant to honor their obligations to accident victims. People can be entitled to compensation in accidents caused by a motorist driving while intoxicated (DWI), texting while driving or some other form of distracted driving, or any other violation of the rules of the road.
- Commercial Truck Accidents — Despite attempts to regulate the industry, shortcuts by some carriers in the trucking industry occasionally contributes to 18-wheelers not being properly maintained or drivers operating on little sleep and thus being subject to driver fatigue. Because commercial semi-trucks and tractor-trailers weigh significantly more than the average passenger vehicle, the people involved in these collisions can suffer devastating or even fatal injuries.
- Dog Attacks — Dog bites account for some of the most common kinds of personal injury claims in the United States. When a person suffers injuries because of a dog attack, the results can include permanent scars or disfiguration. The dog owner may be liable for the harm caused.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect — Elder abuse in residential care facilities is a common problem that many family members do not learn the true nature of until it is too late. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, but elderly residents may also be the victims of basic failure to provide an adequate level of care. Common signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect include bedsores (also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers), fractured or broken bones, and sudden, unexplained changes in a resident’s banking accounts or to financial documents such as wills.
- Premises Liability — When property owners fail to maintain their premises, visitors can suffer serious injuries. Businesses such as retail establishments have an obligation to make sure that their property is free from hazards, and they can be liable for any injuries that guests sustain in slip and fall accidents, elevator malfunctions, or assaults resulting from inadequate or negligent security.
- Workplace Injuries — Many injuries that are suffered on the job are covered under by an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. In some cases, workers’ compensation does not fully over the losses that victims experience, and third parties may also be liable for the harm caused.
- Wrongful Death — When a loved one dies because of another party’s negligence, the immediate family can experience numerous immediate and long-term hardships. The death of a breadwinner can leave a spouse struggling to pay bills and care for children. Wrongful death lawsuits are intended to provide compensation that covers these costs.
Accident victims may have to file lawsuits or civil actions when insurance companies refuse to provide a fair settlement, and successful lawsuits or civil actions will result in damages being awarded. The amount of the damages is determined by a jury and can vary depending on the specifics of the case.
Essentially, there are three types of damages possible in personal injury cases:
- Economic Damages — Compensatory damages that are intended to compensate a victim for his or her actual economic or pecuniary loss. Economic damages are tangible figures that can usually be calculated, with examples usually including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Noneconomic Damages — Unlike economic damages, noneconomic damages are usually not calculable figures. Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001(12) defines noneconomic damages as “damages awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.”
- Exemplary Damages — Frequently referred to as “punitive damages,” exemplary damages are not intended to compensate the victim so much as to punish the negligent party. Under Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.003, exemplary damages can only be awarded if the victim “proves by clear and convincing evidence” that the harm resulted from the negligent party’s fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Furthermore, Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.003 limits exemplary damages to the greater of $200,000 or two times the award of economic damages plus noneconomic damages up to $750,000.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code — View the full text of state laws covering civil claims. You can learn more about statutes covering trials, judgments, appeals, and other provisions. The code also contains information about tort liability including the Texas Tort Claims Act.
Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics — View automobile accident statistics for all years between 2003 and 2014 and on this website. The statistics not only cover different types of injuries but also cover economic losses. You can also find information relating to conditions for crashes and contributing factors in these accidents.
Horak Law | Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
Were you seriously injured or was your loved one killed as the result of another party’s negligence? Do not sign any paperwork or make any kind of statement to insurance representatives until you have first contacted Horak Law.
Matt Horak is a personal injury attorney in Houston who helps clients all over Harris County and Montgomery County, including such communities as The Woodlands, Pasadena, Conroe, and many others. It is in your best interest to complete an online contact form or call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation that will allow our lawyer to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.