Have you been injured in an accident? If so, then contact Houston personal injury lawyer Brian White today for help at (713) 224-4878. You could be entitled to compensation. Our team will fight on your behalf to get you the money you deserve.
At Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC, we have over 45 years of combined experience helping accident victims. We handle all personal injury matters including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall cases, and more.
We’ve helped countless clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. Contact our Houston office today to speak with our team and arrange your free consultation to learn more.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer at Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC?
Below are several reasons why you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer at Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC after an accident:
- We have over 45 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases in Houston, TX
- Lead attorney Brian White is a Board Certified in Personal Injury Law, something only 3% of personal injury lawyers in Texas have achieved
- Brian is a former insurance defense attorney. He understands how insurance companies attempt to avoid liability and minimize compensation.
- Our team is comprised of trial lawyers. If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement, we’re ready to go to court.
Houston, TX Accident Statistics
As the fourth-largest city in the United States – and the most populated city in the state of Texas – it’s no surprise that traffic accidents are incredibly common in Houston. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 68,682 collisions reported during 2019 – a 6% increase over the number of crashes in 2018.
When you break that down, it means there are, on average, 188 car accidents in the city of Houston every single day.
Keep in mind, motor vehicle collisions aren’t the only cause of avoidable injury and death in Houston. Some of the most dangerous industries operate in or in close proximity to the city. Thousands of workers get hurt or die on the job every year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 56 workplace fatalities in the Houston metro area in the 21-month span between January 2017 and September 2018.
Why Should I File a Houston Personal Injury Claim?
Getting into an unexpected accident can be incredibly expensive. The National Safety Council determined that the average cost of an injury-causing car accident was $78,900. The costs of a fatal crash are nearly 20 times higher. Even just getting into a fender bender can cost nearly $10,000, on average. By filing a personal injury claim, you can recoup some or all of those costs. The money you’re awarded can make a massive difference in your life for years to come.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas?
You’ll only have a limited amount of time to demand the money you deserve. If you wait too long, you risk not getting any money at all. However, navigating a contested and complex injury claim is the last thing you have the time or energy for right now. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Brian White & Associates will handle all aspects of your injury claim. We’ll investigate. We’ll research. We’ll interview and analyze. We’ll negotiate and, if necessary, litigate. This gives you the time you need to focus on what really matters – recovering from your physical and emotional wounds.
For more information, check out Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Your Personal Injury Case.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers typically on contingency. Simply, the attorneys’ fee is contingent – or dependent upon – the outcome of the case. The lawyer is only paid if and when they successfully recover compensation (in the form of a settlement or jury verdict) on the client’s behalf.
The fee is a percentage of the award – usually somewhere between 30 percent and 40 percent, after fees and court costs are deducted. This is all set in stone before the attorney ever begins to work on the case.
Find out more about the costs associated with hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle in Houston, TX
Personal injury cases come in many forms.
You may have a civil claim against a person, business, or government entity when negligence is the cause of injuries you sustain.
Below are personal injury cases that we commonly handle. For more information about our case, contact our law office at (713) 224-4878.
- Assault and sexual assault
- Traffic accidents such as car accidents, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Houston Premises liability cases such as slip and fall accidents and swimming pool accidents
- Product liability cases such as dangerous drugs and defective airbags
- Civil rights cases involving police brutality
- Dog bites
- Maritime law cases such as Houston Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims
- Workplace accidents
- Wrongful death
If you suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence, criminal misconduct, or recklessness, you may have a personal injury case against them. The best way to find out if you have a case is to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Houston to discuss your accident.
What is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury case is a civil dispute. Basically, one person (the plaintiff) claims to have been injured because of another person’s conduct (the defendant) and is asking to be compensated. Personal injury cases arise when something called a tort is committed.
A tort is essentially an infringement of someone else’s rights. Negligence, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress are all torts. If you’ve been injured as a result of one of these things, you can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. If you can prove the elements of that tort, you can be awarded compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Personal Injury in Texas?
Personal injury cases revolve around some type of personal injury. This refers to a physical, emotional, or psychological injury caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Under Texas law, when someone behaves in a negligent manner and causes you injury, you have the right to hold them legally accountable for the damages you suffer.
The area of personal injury law falls under civil law, not criminal law, although personal injury cases may involve crimes like assault with separate criminal proceedings.
When you make a personal injury claim against someone else, you can seek compensation for the bills and financial costs your injuries have incurred as well as damages without intrinsic financial value. This includes your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
In many personal injury cases, it’s important to remember that negligence can be shared. It’s very common for more than one person to share some blame, especially in cases involving traffic accidents. As an injured victim, you can still recover compensation from the other party even if you were partially at fault under the modified comparative negligence rules in Texas.
You can still seek damages from a negligent party as long as you were not more than 50% to blame. However, your damages will be reduced by your share of fault in the accident.
In Texas, personal injuries are governed by statutes in the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. This code lays out what is considered a personal injury and specific rules that must be followed. For example, Section 16.003 places a strict two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims. This means you have just two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Generally speaking, you might have a personal injury case if you have been harmed because of someone else’s negligence. There are other times when you might have a personal injury claim if you’ve been harmed by someone who is strictly liable for your injuries under the law.
For instance, manufacturers can be strictly liable if you get hurt because a product is defective and dog owners can be strictly liable if you’re bitten by a vicious dog. Strict liability means that you don’t have to prove negligence. Rather, the person is automatically responsible under the law.
The only way to really know if you have a legitimate case is by discussing the details and circumstances with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Our personal injury law firm in Houston offers a free consultation. This can give you a chance to learn a little bit about your legal options and figure out how to move forward.
Can I Recover Damages in Houston If I’m Partly At-Fault?
Different states handle personal injury cases in different ways. Some bar victims from recovering compensation if they are even remotely responsible for their injuries (i.e., contributory negligence). Others allow victims to recover compensation, but reduce the amount of money that’s awarded based on the degree of fault they share (i.e., comparative negligence).
Texas law is a sort of hybrid of these two ideas. It’s called modified comparative negligence. Basically, victims can recover compensation for an accident as long as they’re not primarily responsible for their injuries. So in the case of an accident in Houston, you can recover money as long as you share less than 51 percent of the blame for an accident.
Any fault that is allocated to you will affect how much money you can take home at the end of the day. If you’re 25 percent to blame, your damages will be reduced by 25 percent. This means that you can also be on the hook for 25 percent of other victims’ damages.
Who Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are two parties in a personal injury lawsuit – the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff is the person who reserves the right to file a lawsuit and demand compensation. In order to have this right, the plaintiff must have been injured because of something the defendant did or did not do.
So, anyone who has been injured or harmed in some way because of another person’s conduct can file an injury claim. If the accident doesn’t survive, the right to file a claim isn’t lost. Rather, it simply shifts to the victim’s close family members (e.g., spouse, child, parent).
How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
There are a lot of different factors that will be important in determining what your injury case is worth.
- Are your injuries mild, moderate, severe, or catastrophic?
- Will you be temporarily or permanently disabled?
- Will you have to rely on other people to help you perform routine daily tasks?
- Has your injury caused paralysis or disfigurement?
- Will you be able to go back to work in the same capacity?
- Will your ability to earn an income be affected in any way?
- How much of an impact has the trauma had on you?
- How pervasive are your pain and suffering?
- Was there any property damage? If so, how extensive?
The more serious and debilitating your injuries, the more your case will likely be worth. However, don’t think that you can’t recover a substantial award for minor or moderate injuries. Those types of injuries can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. And that doesn’t even take into account the emotional distress and suffering you experience. Always consult with an attorney to make sure that your case is valued properly.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take From Start to Finish?
It really depends. Some cases, where fault and liability are quite clear, can settle in a matter of weeks. Other cases, where at-fault parties and insurance companies refuse to accept responsibility, can take much longer to resolve. It could take months, or even years, especially if a case proceeds to trial.
Is there a way to accelerate the timeline? You can put pressure on insurance companies and negligent parties by hiring an attorney with a demonstrated track record of success in the courtroom. Insurance companies know which attorneys in Houston are able to, day in and day out, secure substantial verdicts at trial.
Those are the attorneys that insurance companies fear. The last thing they’ll want is a huge loss in court, so they’ll be more inclined to offer a huge settlement to keep a case from getting to that stage.
How Long Will it Take to Receive Compensation Once My Case is Over?
If you settle, insurance companies have an obligation to act in good faith and issue payment within a reasonable amount of time. Your attorney will not let up until the insurer or negligent parties write a check and pays you the money you need.
If you win at trial, it could take a little bit longer to get money in your hands. The defendant could appeal the loss to a higher court, which would essentially freeze the case. However, your attorney will work diligently to make sure that you are able to receive the monetary award you deserve as quickly as possible after your personal injury case is resolved.
What Compensation Can I Get If I Win a Personal Injury Case?
By filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, there are two primary types of compensation you can request – economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages might also be available if the defendant’s actions were particularly reprehensible.
When you get into an unexpected accident or suffer an unintended injury, you’ll experience certain financial costs and losses. These can include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages and income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Nursing care
- Rehabilitation, and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Economic damages are paid to make up for these present and future costs. By recovering an economic award, you should be returned to the financial position you were in before you got hurt.
The consequences of an accident or injury aren’t always tangible. They’re not always easy to value in terms of dollars and cents. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Different people will react to accidents in different ways. These types of intangible consequences are very personal and subjective. This means that they can be quite difficult to value. They can vary significantly from one case to the next.
Many times, these non-economic damages are determined by applying a multiplier to your economic award. The more serious the accident and injuries, the higher the multiplier. In turn, the higher the award. For more information, contact our law office in Houston to discuss the specifics of your personal injury claim.
Economic damages and non-economic damages are types of compensatory awards. They’re paid to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded for one purpose – to punish the defendant for their actions. If punitive damages are applicable, they are awarded in addition to and on top of a compensatory award.
Punitive damages are reserved for situations where the defendant’s conduct was fraudulent, grossly negligent, or malicious. In other words, the defendant’s harmful actions were so shocking or egregious that punishment is necessary to make things right.
Elements of a Personal Injury Case
Personal injury cases in Texas share several common elements. To prove your case, it isn’t enough to suffer an injury or damages. You must prove the following key elements.
You Were Owed a Duty of Care
The first burden you must overcome is showing that the other party owed you some duty of care under the law. The duty the law imposes will depend on the situation. For example, all drivers owe others a duty of care to obey the law and exercise reasonable caution. A physician will owe a higher duty of care when treating you than a store owner owes you while you are on their premises.
As a general rule, the court will consider whether the harm the other party’s actions caused could have been predicted and avoided by a reasonable person in similar circumstances.
Someone who is speeding, for example, is engaging in behavior that violates traffic law and a reasonable driver would know is dangerous.
The Duty of Care Was Breached
Next, you must show that the other party failed to meet the duty of care they owed. Someone can breach their duty of care in many ways, such as failing to exercise reasonable care while driving, failing to maintain safe premises for customers, or committing a crime and directly causing harm to someone else.
This is the hardest element of a personal injury case to prove. A personal injury lawyer will gather evidence to show how a defendant breached their duty of care. This may include maintenance and inspection reports, video surveillance, police reports, expert opinions, witness statements, and more.
The Breach of Duty Caused Your Accident
After showing that the defendant breached their duty of care, you must be able to prove their failure to uphold their duty of care caused your injuries. Their actions or negligence must be the real cause of your accident which means you would not have suffered injuries were it not for their breached duty.
If you were injured after falling in a parking lot, you may show the property owner’s breach of duty caused your accident if there was inadequate lighting and crumbling asphalt and the property owner was aware of the problem.
You Suffered Damages as a Result of the Accident
Finally, you must show that you suffered actual damages due to the defendant’s negligence. This may include medical expenses related to your injury, time you needed to take off work, disability you suffered, and emotional and psychological harm you have sustained. A personal injury lawyer will help you determine the types of damages you may be entitled to recover after your accident.
What Steps Are Involved in a Personal Injury Case?
Now that you’ve made the decision to move forward with a civil personal injury case, it’s important to understand what lies ahead. Here’s a brief overview of the steps that are typically involved in a personal injury case in Texas.
1. Hiring a Lawyer to Represent You and Handle Your Case
The first thing you should do is hire a personal injury lawyer with experience handling cases like yours. There’s a good chance that you’re going to be going up against an insurance company or a corporation with deep pockets. So, the defendant(s) will likely have experience with claims like yours and have resources to fight you every step of the way.
Hiring a lawyer is a great way to level the playing field from the start. Your attorney will know how to investigate your case, build an argument on your behalf, handle the administrative aspects, and put you in the best position to win.
2. Determine What Could Stand Between You and a Financial Recovery
Just because you’ve been injured in an accident doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be eligible for compensation. There are several obstacles that could prevent you from filing a successful claim – including Texas’s modified comparative negligence laws and the statute of limitations that applies to your case.
Your lawyer will be able to review the details of your case, identify potential issues, and formulate a strategy to overcome them, if possible.
3. Coordinating an Exhaustive Investigation Into Your Accident and Injury
In order to win your personal injury case, you’ll have to be able to (a) identify a compensable injury and (b) prove that someone else caused you to get hurt. An investigation will be essential in gathering the information and evidence that will be required to build a successful claim for damages.
An investigation might involve:
- Visiting the scene of the accident
- Finding and interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing photographs, video footage, police reports, and medical records
- Discussing aspects of the case with experts and industry specialists
- Gathering relevant evidence to prove causation, fault, liability, and value
Your attorney will have experience coordinating an in-depth look into the circumstances that led up to and surrounded your accident.
4. Submit a Formal Demand Letter to Your Insurer
Most personal injury cases begin with submitting a claim to recover benefits from an insurance policy. Your attorney will prepare what’s known as a “demand letter,” which is essentially an outline of your case and a formal request for compensation.
Once the demand letter has been submitted, the insurer has to respond. The provider can either approve your claim and pay you the full amount you’ve requested, extend a counteroffer for less money, or deny your claim altogether.
If your claim is approved, your personal injury case is over. Once you sign the settlement agreement, you’ll be barred from seeking additional compensation (from the insurer, at-fault party, or third parties) in the future.
If your claim is denied – meaning that the company issued a counterclaim or refused your request in full – the future of your case is in your hands. Many times, accident victims and insurance companies go through several rounds of settlement negotiations. This can result in an agreement and issuance of payment, or lead to a lawsuit.
5. File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the insurance company refuses to extend a fair offer or denies your claim in full, you have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. That lawsuit could name the insurer, the insured party who you say is responsible for your injury, or another third party.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, the claims process was a private one. Courts, judges, and juries weren’t involved. When you file a lawsuit, that all changes. A lawsuit forces insurance providers and at-fault parties to play by the rules. It shows them that you’re serious about recovering the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Does filing a lawsuit mean that you’re going to end up battling it out in court in front of a jury? Not necessarily. In fact, relatively few lawsuits make it to trial. But, just the act of filing a lawsuit can compel those responsible for your injuries (and their insurance carriers) to engage in meaningful settlement discussions.
Houston Personal Injury Office Location
Our office is located at 3120 Southwest Fwy Suite 350, Houston, TX 77098 and our phone number is (713) 224-4878.
Call Brian White Today For Help
Don’t let the fear of the cost of a lawyer stand between you and the legal assistance you need. At Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., our Houston personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. You do not pay us a dime unless we win your case. We absorb all of the financial risk and take on all of your court costs. We commit the time, effort, and resources necessary to get you the money you deserve. When we win your case, we’ll simply receive a percentage of your settlement or award. It’s that simple. There’s no risk- you get quality legal help and only pay if we win.
Related Personal Injury Blog Posts
- Four Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
- Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer If I’m Submitting a Claim to Insurance?
- How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Settle?
- How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
- Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Your Personal Injury Case
- What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
- Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
- Why Won’t a Personal Injury Lawyer Take My Case
- 7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
- Four Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case