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Houston
South Texas
Bellaire Personal Injury Lawyer

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The Gutierrez Law Firm represents injury victims throughout Bellaire. When you stop to think about the sheer number of things that can happen to you on a given day, it’s clear that you could face life-changing injuries when you can least afford it. Understanding your legal rights is crucial. Our firm has experienced Bellaire personal injury lawyers that can focus on making sure you get the respect and attention you deserve. To set up a free consultation, contact us today.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Hopefully, any accident or injury you go through is relatively minor and won’t require our help. Even still, as an injury victim, you have the legal right to file an injury claim. At the same time, dealing with the aftermath of an accident or injury alone can feel overwhelming. While it’s not mandatory to have us represent you, we can assist in the following ways:

  • Investigating the accident’s cause – We’ll thoroughly examine what led to your accident to establish who’s responsible.
  • Gathering crucial evidence – Our team will help collect medical records, witness statements, and accident reports to support your case.
  • Interviewing witnesses and experts – We’ll talk to witnesses and consult experts to strengthen your claim.
  • Managing communications and negotiations – We’ll handle all discussions with insurance companies and the other party’s lawyers to protect your rights.
  • Securing a fair settlement – Our aim is to obtain a fair and just settlement considering the extent of your injuries and losses.

Again, whether or not you need a lawyer is all about your needs. It’s certainly possible to go through the claims process on your own, but you run the risk of not getting what you’re owed. And when you’re injured, it makes everything more difficult.

What Kinds of Accidents Happen in Bellaire?

Understanding the various types of accidents in Bellaire can shed light on how injuries impact daily life. Bellaire is one of the country’s most diverse in terms of its environment and available activities. Unfortunately, though, this also increases the likelihood of accidents. Most of the time, this includes:

What makes accidents like these so difficult is the likelihood that it will result in varying degrees of injury. What you yourself will face depends on the type of accident and your health going into the incident itself, but can leave you facing any of the following:

  • Whiplash – A prevalent injury in car accidents, whiplash manifests as neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.
  • Broken bones – Accidents can result in fractures, necessitating casting, surgical intervention, or other forms of treatment.
  • Muscle damage – These injuries involve harm to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, leading to pain and restricted movement.
  • Head injuries – Ranging from concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such injuries may have enduring impacts on cognitive function.
  • Back and spine injuries – These can result in paralysis or sensory loss, often necessitating extensive medical intervention and rehabilitation.
  • Cuts and bruises – While seemingly minor, deep cuts and bruises can lead to infections or indicate more severe internal trauma.
  • Psychological and emotional trauma – Accidents can trigger emotional distress, potentially resulting in conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Burns – In incidents involving fires or chemical exposure, burns may be severe and require specialized medical attention.
  • Internal organ damage – These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening, including organ damage or internal bleeding.
  • Sprains and strains – Muscular injuries can cause sprains or strains, resulting in discomfort and decreased mobility.
  • Limb loss – Severe accidents may lead to limb amputations, necessitating specialized medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Scarring and disfigurement – Some accidents result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, which can have both physical and emotional repercussions.

What Steps Should You Take After an Accident?

Following an accident, it’s crucial to take specific measures to ensure your safety and address any injuries promptly. If your injuries are severe, additional steps may be necessary to safeguard your well-being and strengthen any potential claims. Here’s a guide on what to do if you’re injured in an accident:

  • Stay calm – It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, but try to stay as calm as possible. Take a few deep breaths to compose yourself.
  • Assess the situation – Check both yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, call an ambulance immediately.
  • Move to safety – If it’s safe to do so, move yourself and others out of harm’s way. However, if moving could worsen injuries, it’s best to stay put until help arrives.
  • Get medical care – Your health is the top priority. Seek medical care at the scene, then afterward at a hospital or urgent care. This will take care of any immediate injuries and keep them from getting worse.
  • Report the accident – If possible, inform local law enforcement or authorities about the accident and await their arrival at the scene.
  • Gather as much information as possible – Depending on the circumstances, you’ll need to get information from anyone else involved. Take down any details, like where and when the accident happened, vehicle information, product information, and anything else that could help you.
  • Preserve evidence – If your personal belongings have been damaged, don’t repair or replace them. Also, try to take pictures or videos of the accident scene, including visible injuries and any causes.
  • Follow your treatment plan – Follow the advice provided by healthcare professionals and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments. Not keeping up with your treatment could jeopardize your health and potentially impact your claim.

Obviously, every accident is different. So, depending on the circumstances, some of these steps won’t be necessary. However, by taking these steps, you can safeguard not just your health and safety, but your potential claim.

What’s the Claims Process After an Accident?

Each personal injury case in Bellaire has its own unique process, with no two following identical paths. That said, you have two basic legal options to file your injury claim: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Often, the process initiates with an insurance claim, potentially escalating to a lawsuit based on the case’s specifics. Here’s an overview:

  • Insurance claims – When an accident causes injury, the at-fault party’s insurance company steps in. They investigate the claim and propose a settlement based on their evaluation. Opting for an out-of-court settlement can offer advantages like reduced expenses and quicker access to settlement funds. However, drawbacks usually include potential delays and lowball settlement offers.
  • Lawsuit – Opting for a personal injury lawsuit involves bringing your case to court. While this route usually takes longer, it offers the potential for higher amounts of “damages” in a verdict or settlement. During litigation, you’ll have a more active role, while our team manages tasks such as filing legal documents, responding to evidence requests, and negotiating with the opposing lawyers. Our aim is to secure a fair settlement, but if necessary, we’ll prepare your case for trial.

Damages

The primary objective of filing an injury claim is to recover financial support under the law, commonly referred to as “damages.” This typically covers things like:

  • Medical expenses – A big portion of your damages revolves around your medical expenses, covering costs for medical treatment and ongoing care.
  • Lost wages – This covers any income lost due to the injury, including future earning potential.
  • Property damage – These cover any repair or replacement costs for damaged property, from vehicles to personal items like your phone.
  • Pain and suffering – This category covers the physical pain and discomfort stemming from the injury.
  • Emotional distress – These cover the psychological or emotional trauma resulting from the accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – These involve a change or reduction in your quality of life, specifically for previously enjoyed activities.
  • Loss of companionship – These provide financial considerations for strained relationships and loss of support from loved ones.

What you’re ultimately able to recover depends on a few things, like how injured you are and how responsible the other party is. It’s also going to hinge on how well you present your case, which our team has extensive experience and a track record of success with. More importantly, you have to file your claim within Texas’ statute of limitations, which is currently set at two years from the date of the accident.

Who Pays For Your Damages?

Another huge part of your claim is figuring out liability. This is the legal term for the legal responsibility of paying for your damages. This, like most other aspects of your claim, is going to depend on the circumstances. However, liability is determined by establishing “negligence.” You do this by showing:

  • Duty of care – This means the legal responsibility one person has to another to be careful in what they do. For example, drivers must drive safely to avoid hurting others on the road.
  • Breach of duty – This happens when someone doesn’t meet the expected level of care in a situation. It could include things like driving recklessly, not following safety rules, or not keeping property safe.
  • Causation – In cases of negligence, there are two types of causation to think about: cause in fact (what actually caused the harm) and proximate cause (what legally caused the harm). Cause in fact means the other party’s actions directly led to your injuries. Proximate cause means their actions were something that could have been expected to cause harm.
  • Damages – Finally, to prove negligence, you have to show that you have been injured or damaged in some way. This involves showing medical evidence, as well as things like receipts, repair estimates, or even records from mental or psychological care.

With this established, you can think about who exactly your claim will be against. Usually, this will be against:

  • Other drivers
  • Private citizens
  • Pedestrians or passengers
  • Property owners or managers
  • Product manufacturers
  • Local governments

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to file a personal injury claim in Bellaire?

Two years from the date of the accident. This is Texas’ statute of limitations for injury claims. Miss this deadline, and you won’t be able to file a claim.

Can you file a personal injury claim for someone else?

This depends on the circumstances, but if you’re someone’s parent or legal guardian, you can file your lawsuit on their behalf.

How are your damages calculated?

Damages are calculated by looking at the extent of your injuries, who exactly is responsible, and even how much fault you share in the accident.

Contact The Gutierrez Firm After a Bellaire Accident

Over the years, our team of Bellaire personal injury lawyers at The Gutierrez Firm has been helping people that have been hurt in all different types of accidents. With our experience and dedication, we can make sure you get the support you need. More than that, we’ll be with you every step of the way, so you can concentrate on getting well.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in Bellaire, don’t wait. Contact us today for a free consultation.