Personal Injury Lawyer San Antonio TX
Accidents can be devastating, and fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer San Antonio, TX victims recommend, is available to help you face your case head-on. The days following your accident will be critical, and victims must take the appropriate steps right from the start to ensure they receive the care they need and safeguard their case. Finding a Texas lawyer to represent you with the tenacity and experience you need will be necessary. The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC, has not only the expertise you rely on but can provide you with the support that you need to ensure the best outcome possible.
Take the Rights Steps, From the Start
The wake of an accident can be incredibly overwhelming. At the scene, chaos is sure to ensue, and the days to follow can be rife with physical pain. Knowing where to start and who to turn to can be challenging. To protect themselves, victims must take the proper steps immediately following an accident:
- Make sure that police are called to the scene
- File a police report or accident report
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Follow the doctor’s orders
- Gather as much evidence as possible
- Contact a lawyer
Personal injury cases can be complicated and overwhelming, especially when managing physical injuries and the pain that is sure to follow. Our personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, TX can help sort through the different facets of the law and ensure that the proper steps are taken to receive the best outcome possible.
Finding a Lawyer to Represent You
You don’t have to be entirely sure that you are taking legal action to search for a lawyer in the area. However, taking the time to find a lawyer to represent you will be critical. This will allow you to receive the best possible way to move forward with your case and ensure that you choose a professional that you can depend on. Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for a lawyer:
- Conduct online research
- Speak with people you know
- Read reviews available online
- Only consider lawyers with personal injury experience
- Meet with prospective lawyers
- Prepare for your consultation ahead of time
While the task of finding a lawyer may seem like a lot of work, the time you put into finding a legal professional will allow for the best possible resolution to your case.
Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
At our law firm, we have experience representing clients who have not been adequately compensated for their damages, injuries, and losses. This may be either due to the long-term aspects of their injuries, the insurance company refuses to pay, they are underinsured, or other complicated legal issues. Accidents are always disorienting and harrowing, especially if the victim only narrowly escaped with their life.
Accidents commonly result in grievous injuries that are costly in medical expenses. By obtaining a legal team to represent your accident as it is being handled, it helps to protect your best interests. Additionally, it can make all the difference to have someone to seek justice and monetary compensation for your recovery.
Not every accident requires getting support from a legal professional. However, if any of these elements apply to your case, then we strongly recommend doing so as soon as possible:
- You were severely injured. In states where the insurance company for the person at fault is responsible for covering the medical costs of the victim driver, less serious injuries are not likely to exceed a policy limit. But if an injury is severe, the victim risks only being compensated for a small portion of what they have to pay out of their own pocket for treatment of injuries (as a result of the liable party’s insurance policy limits).
- There was a defective product or mechanical failure. If there is reason to suspect that an accident was because of a malfunction of a vehicle part, then it is vital that you contact a lawyer. The legal process for proving a third-party manufacturer was liable for the accident can be confusing. We can ensure that you have the proper documentation and that a full investigation of the accident is performed.
- You are on permanent or long-term disability. If your injuries resulted in chronic pain and/or long-term disability, then you will need someone to help you fight for fair compensation so you can recover without draining your bank account. We firmly believe that victims should not have to pay for medical bills that accumulated because someone else was being negligent or reckless. We can aggressively pursue restitution from the offending party or parties.
- The insurance agency is not paying enough. You may have already accepted a settlement offer by the insurance company, but soon realized it wasn’t enough to cover your losses. Or maybe you haven’t accepted a settlement offer yet, and want to know whether you should take it or not. Without even knowing how much they offered you, we would probably guess that the amount is not sufficient to compensate you 100% for losses and damages. That is why you need a lawyer on your side, to watch out for your best interests so you don’t get taken advantage of.
Your Questions Answered
If you were injured by another person’s mistake or negligent actions, please get medical help and then call a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, TX. Below are some of the most common questions and answers about personal injury claims and lawsuits.
What Are Examples of Personal Injury Cases?
Broadly speaking, a personal injury claim can be filed when you have been injured because of the negligent actions, or inactions, of another party. At our firm, the most common personal injury cases we handle, include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective product cases
- Premise liability accidents
If you are unsure whether or not you have a valid case, we would recommend that you call our San Antonio, Texas personal injury lawyer.
How Do I Know If I Meet the Requirements for a Claim?
In general, a claim can be filed when you were harmed by another person. A lawyer will need to establish many things, most importantly:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- Defendant failed to adhere to that duty.
- There was causation that existed between your injuries and Defendant’s actions or inactions.
- Your injuries and damages were a direct result of Defendant’s actions.
Duty of Care
The phrase “duty of care” speaks to a legal standard. Essentially, the law requires individuals, corporations, and other entities to behave in specific ways as they relate to public and individual safety. If a person or other entity deviates from that standard, they are said to have “breached” the duty of care that they owed the individual or other entity in question. For example, federal and state regulations govern the conduct of every single motorist on the road once they sit behind the wheel and turn their ignition on. When motorists fail to obey mandatory regulations (by driving drunk, by texting while driving, by in overly aggressive and dangerous ways, etc.) they are breaching the duty of care that they owe every other traveler on the road.
Similarly, when corporations fail to manufacture safe products, property owners fail to properly maintain the safety of their grounds, and physicians fail to exercise proper care of their patients as determined by industry standards, they are said to have breached the duty owed to those customers, visitors, and patients with whom their actions are affecting.
If you are unsure of whether the party or parties that have harmed you owed you a duty of care under the law, that’s okay. Our firm’s San Antonio, TX personal injury lawyer team is knowledgeable about these legal standards and can clarify how they apply to your situation uniquely. (235)
Negligence, Recklessness, Intentional Harm, and Strict Liability
When an individual or entity breaches a duty of care owed to another and that individual is injured as a result of the breach, chances are good that the offending party may be held legally and financially liable for their injurious actions or inactions. Most of the time, The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC must prove—on behalf of its injury victim clients—that the breach in question occurred while the defendant was acting negligently, recklessly, or in intentionally harmful ways. This legal standard exists to guard against lawsuits targeting those who have harmed others through no fault of their own. For example, if a motorist is driving at a safe speed for conditions and isn’t otherwise engaging in any dangerous behavior and starts to skid on an icy patch, they probably can’t be held responsible if they bump into the car in front of them. However, if the driver in question was tailgating or their brakes were faulty, either they or the manufacturer of those brakes may be held liable for the harm in question.
With that said, some product manufacturers may be held legally responsible for harm caused by their products even if these companies were not behaving in negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful ways. This “loophole” is known as the theory of strict liability. The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC can clarify whether this theory may apply in your case if you have been harmed by a defective consumer or industrial product.
The Cause of Your Injuries and Financial Loss Stemming from Your Injurious Circumstances
Finally, our San Antonio, TX personal injury lawyer team must establish that your injuries resulted directly from the breach of the duty of care you were owed. Additionally, the experienced Texas legal team at The Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC must establish that you suffered some sort of financial loss as a result of your injuries—like lost wages and/or medical bills—so that you can sue the responsible party for recovery of those damages.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Damages are typically compensatory in nature. What this means is they are meant to return you to the state you were in prior to the accident – or as much as possible. A personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, TX will review your case to determine if you are eligible for damages like:
- Medical bills
- Prospective medical bills
- Lost wages or loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- What is My Case Worth?
It is not possible to gauge the value of your case or how it will be resolved (settlement or lawsuit). Furthermore, your health must come first. The best thing you can do is to follow your doctor’s orders, treat your injuries, and call a lawyer to review your legal options.
I Am Receiving Workers’ Compensation. Should I Talk with a Lawyer?
In general, yes, you should call a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, TX to find out whether or not you have the option to file a claim. Money received from workers’ comp is not the same as money received from a personal injury claim. Workers’ comp offers baseline compensation for any injured worker regardless of who was at fault. Sometimes, this will be the only available compensation. However, when it can be proven that a party separate from your work caused the injured, a personal injury claim might be pursuable.
That’s where a personal injury lawsuit comes in, allowing injured parties to potentially recover all of the expenses which have resulted from an accident. But because you can’t sue your employer, a personal injury lawsuit may only be filed against a third party, such as a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, or equipment manufacturer, who is responsible for causing your accident. A good attorney will have a working understanding of workers’ compensation laws, and when a personal injury lawsuit can be filed.
Do’s and Don’ts During Your Personal Injury Case
While it is important to find a good personal injury lawyer in San Antonio TX, it is also important to be a good client. Being a responsible client can help your lawyer gather and present your information in a clear and concise way. If you want your case to go as smoothly as possible, here are some of the do’s and don’ts of being a good client during your personal injury case.
Do Practice Good Communication
John W. Shaw Law will need to contact you multiple times throughout the duration of your case. Whether it be emails, phone calls, texts, or appointments, make sure you respond as quickly as possible. Ignoring your personal injury lawyer in San Antonio TX wastes time and could potentially hurt your case.
Do Practice for Your Deposition
Your lawyer will help you prepare for your deposition, making sure you have all the facts straight and are speaking clearly. Practice giving your evidence a few times beforehand and stick to the advice given to you by your lawyer.
Do Tell the Truth
Hiding the truth from your lawyer can lead to them being unprepared or caught off guard, which can lead to losing your case. It’s best to tell us everything right from the beginning. If you aren’t sure if something is relevant, air on the side of caution and disclose it. It’s better to be too truthful than to present your case with wrong information.
Don’t Miss Medical Appointments
Missing medical appointments can severely impact your case. John W. Shaw Law is notified by your medical provider every time you attend (or miss) a medical appointment. If your medical records show you missed too many, your insurer might assume you aren’t as badly injured as you claim.
Don’t Forget to Keep Records
Hold on to all the documentation you have throughout your case. Photographic evidence, personal injury journals, medical records, records from time missed at work, and any other statements or official documents that might be helpful to your case. The more concrete evidence you have and can provide to your personal injury lawyer in San Antonio TX, the better shot you have at winning your case.
Don’t Forget to Advocate for Yourself
While it is important to be the best client you can be and to follow your lawyer’s instructions and advice, it is also good to know when to advocate for yourself. No one is perfect, and if you feel you aren’t being represented well you deserve to speak up for yourself and feel heard. You have a right to know what is going on in your case at all times, and to feel confident in the person representing you.
Proving Your Case
In order to be successful at collecting damages for a victim’s injury case, a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio TX will need to collect evidence and witness statements that show:
- The alleged at-fault party caused the accident.
- The victim suffered injuries as a result of that accident.
- The victim has suffered economic and/or non-economic losses as a result of their injuries.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the victim’s attorney may use the testimony of expert witnesses to prove one or more of the above factors.
There will be different pieces of evidence depending on what type of accident occurred. For example, in a car accident case, there should be a police report from any law enforcement officer that was called to the scene. In the case of a premises liability accident, unless the accident was a catastrophic one, there likely will not be a police report. Other evidence a San Antonio TX personal injury lawyer may use includes photographs of the accident scene, statements from people who witnessed the accident, and medical reports about the victim’s injuries.
Expert witness testimony is a different kind of evidence. An expert witness is not someone who actually witnessed the accident, however, their testimony – based on their expertise – can help settle any contested issues between the two parties, which will aid the jury in reaching their decision.
Some of the common type of expert witnesses a San Antonio TX personal injury lawyer uses in the cases they litigation includes:
- Accident reconstruction expert: This type of expert has been trained in being able to look at an accident scene, and using certain tools, recreate the circumstances that caused the crash.
- Engineering expert: This type of expert is often used in premises liability cases. They can explain how the design of a building (or location in the vehicle accident cases) contributed to the accident.
- Manufacturing expert: This type of expert is often used in defective or dangerous product lawsuits.
- Medical expert: This type of expert is used to explain the extent of the victim’s injuries, what their treatment options are, and what their chances are of full recovery.
- Mental health expert: This type of expert can explain what type of emotional impact the accident has had on the victim’s life.
- Economic expert: This type of expert can explain what type of financial impact the accident has had on the victim’s life, as well as any future impact.
What If My Accident Occurs in a Store?
When many people think of personal injury lawsuits, they usually think of incidents such as car accidents, truck accidents, job-related accidents, or malpractice incidents as common causes of the injuries that result in the lawsuits. But accidents can happen anywhere and one of the most common sites of accidents that a San Antonio TX personal injury lawyer is aware of are retail establishments.
There are many potential hazards when a customer walks into a store. That is why Texas law requires all business owners to adhere to a duty of care to make sure that any dangers are taken care of immediately or a warning put up to alert visitors of the potential danger if it cannot be addressed right away. If the owner fails to meet this duty of care and a customer is injured, that customer can pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the business for the losses their injuries have caused them.
Some of the more common causes of injuries that each personal injury lawyer at our San Antonio TX law firm sees in the premises liability cases we have handled include the following:
- Slippery or wet floors or other surfaces: When something is spilled on a floor or any other area in a business, employees need to clean the spill up right away. If they fail to address the spill, a customer or other visitor could slip on the wet area and sustain serious injuries. There is also the risk of the floor or other areas being slippery because of the material they are made of. All business owners should install non-slip flooring, especially in foyer areas and stairs. And in the winter months, when there may be ice and snow conditions, a business owner should also make sure that all parking lots and walkways are cleared and de-iced.
- Tripping hazards: In addition to slip and fall accidents, there are also many tripping hazards in business. For example, the huge mat that a store may have at their entrance to catch any debris or wetness from entering customers’ shoes could have turned or frayed edges that could cause a customer to trip and seriously injury themselves. Other tripping hazards include electrical cords and store displays.
- Poor lighting: Wherever customers will be walking, both inside the establishment and on the outside, should have proper lighting. This includes hallways, stairways, walkways, and parking lots. A poorly lit area or one that has burned out bulbs puts customers at risk of falling and suffering injuries. Poor lighting, especially outside, puts customers in danger of becoming a victim of assault or worse.
- Missing or broken handrails: Each city and town in Texas have building codes that every business owner must abide by. Handrails are one item that is usually required wherever there are stairs or ramps. If a business owner fails to install a handrail or the one that is there is loose or broken, a customer could become injured, resulting in a San Antonio TX personal injury lawyer filing a premises liability lawsuit against the owner on behalf of the injured customer.
Experience You Can Rely On
After searching for a lawyer, we are confident that you will find our services to stand out from all the others. Our firm is dedicated to helping clients who face the most challenging times of their lives with compassion and dedication. When facing such a difficult time, you can rest assured that you are in our trusting and capable hands. Our distinguished and confident lawyer is prepared to help you tackle your case head-on with our years of experience.
An accident that has resulted in the hands of a negligent party can be incredibly challenging to deal with. The process of managing a legal case will call on the services that our team can provide. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years, meaning the time to act is now. Contact our San Antonio, Texas personal injury lawyer to learn more about our Law Office of John W. Shaw, PLLC services, and how we can best represent you.