Quick Answers to Your Top Questions About Injuries in Texas
Wayne Wright LLP keeps our clients and the public informed. We provide answers to frequently asked questions to help our clients face their own legal battles. Contact Wayne Wright LLP to speak with an experienced injury attorney in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, El Paso, or Austin offices. We will schedule a free case review and answer your specific questions. Our law firm will not stop working until you receive the justice you deserve.
Please click one of the following categories of our Frequently Asked Questions:
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My loved one didn’t pass away right after the accident. Can I still file a wrongful death claim?
After an accident in which someone is gravely injured, there can be a protracted medical fight as doctors struggle to keep a person dear to you alive against all odds. Unfortunately, this is a battle that can’t always be won, and the injured person may pass away weeks, months, or even years after the accident that caused the injury. In situations like this with a significant gap in time between accident and death, it isn’t always clear-cut to survivors whether they can still seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Here’s what survivors should know about the time restrictions on a wrongful death lawsuit.
Proving a Wrongful Death Case
Even though your loved one did not pass away right at the time the accident happened, you may still be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages for your loss.
While the law in Texas does put a time limit on how long the surviving family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to note that this timeline typically begins from the time of death, not from the time of the accident or injury. Once the clock starts, the family has up to two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, unless one of the rare exceptions applies.
Like any other wrongful death lawsuit, there will be four important elements to building a successful case when there has been a gap between injury and death. Typically, you and your attorney must:
- Show a duty of care. This means that you must show that the defendant had a duty to make sure that his actions didn’t harm someone else, such as obeying traffic laws while operating a motor vehicle.
- Show that the duty of care was violated. Once a duty of care has been established, it has to be proven that the responsible party violated that duty of care, such as if he or she ran a stop sign or a traffic light or was intoxicated behind the wheel.
- Prove that the violation caused the injury. You must be able to prove to the court that the actions of the defendant were what caused the death.
- Show that there were damages. You must also show that the accident caused you damages that can be compensated for financially. This includes the costs of emergency medical treatment and follow-up visits, repeated surgeries, long-term care with a home aide or at a nursing home, hospice expenses, and funerary costs.
As time passes between the initial accident and death, it becomes even more critical for families to contact a personal injury attorney to begin a wrongful death claim as soon as possible after their loved one passes away. Not only is the two-year statute of limitations in effect starting with the date of death, but evidence can also degrade over time. The memories of those involved can fade, physical evidence can become lost or deteriorate in quality, the original doctors that treated the injuries can change practices or retire, and other factors mean that there can be a real challenge to make a case.
Challenges of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Proving any wrongful death case can be challenging based on the situation, but there’s still hope for families who wish to seek recovery in a court of law. Whenever there is a significant time gap, the key factor is going to be showing that the person passed away due to the original injury and not due to an unrelated cause.
An experienced attorney with investigative skills can be a big help in any wrongful death case, but it’s especially important in cases when there is a time gap between the initial injury and death. He or she can help you protect your rights in this complex legal situation and discuss your legal options to move forward with your claim.
Get Legal Help Today
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP have been defending the legal rights of survivors for decades, and we’re here to help you and your family seek the compensation you may be owed in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our legal professionals, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page now.
What should I do if I have been struck by a hit and run driver?
A hit and run accident, in which the person responsible for the crash leaves the scene without stopping, is one of the most frustrating things that can happen on the road. Victims are left shaken, sometimes seriously hurt, and are potentially on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses from the accident.
Here is what you should know you are the victim of a hit and run. This includes what to do if you are involved in a crash, common reasons why these types of accidents happen, what consequences a hit and run driver can face if caught, and how you can get legal help if you have been hurt.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
The first thing you should do if you are hit by a driver who fails to stop is to stop your vehicle safely and pull over. Never try to chase the other driver down. Not only could you get into big trouble for fleeing the scene yourself, but you do not know who the other driver is or why they are fleeing. You could be putting your life seriously at risk at the hands of someone who has already shown that they are willing to violate the law once.
Once you are pulled over safely and have made sure that you are okay, here are some steps you can take:
- Call the police. Don’t wait on this, especially if you or someone else has been injured. Contact the authorities immediately to report that you have been a victim of a hit and run. A hit and run crash is a criminal offense, so even if nobody has been hurt you should still call the police now. Not only is it the right thing to do, but your insurance company may not cover the damage if you wait.
- Collect your evidence. Do your best to recall the make, model, and color of the car that hit you, and any other identifying marks. Try to recall as much of the license plate as you can, because even a partial match can help. If you saw what part of the other car struck yours, it could help identify the vehicle later. Write as much as you can down and take pictures of the scene if you are able and can do so safely.
- Find witnesses. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for contact information and write down what they say they saw. It could help the authorities identify the other driver later.
South Carolina requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage as a part of your insurance policy, so you will want to contact your insurer to get the claims process started. If the other driver is not found, your insurance could be the only way that you can receive financial help after the crash.
Why Hit and Run Accidents Happen
One of the most common questions that victims have after a hit and run is to wonder why the other driver fled. While there are as many answers to this question as there are stars in the sky, there are a few reasons that pop up time and time again. Frequently, it is that the driver thinks that the consequences of fleeing are less than the consequences of some other illegal activity that they were doing at the time of the accident—such as driving with a suspended license or without insurance.
It was also once “common knowledge” that the legal consequences of being caught after fleeing the scene were less than the consequences of a driving under the influence charge (DUI) in Texas, but this is no longer the case. Leaving the scene of an accident is now considered a felony, especially if that accident resulted in serious bodily harm or death. Even if there is no injury, failure to stop and render aid when you are in a crash is still a felony and carries the risk of considerable jail time.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, a personal injury attorney can help you discover what your legal options are. Even dealing with your own insurance company to get a fair settlement can be a challenge without legal representation. Remember, insurers do not make money by paying out claims and may do everything they can to minimize the value of your claim. You may need help protecting your legal rights. A personal injury attorney can also help you pursue compensation from the other driver when he or she is caught.
Wayne Wright LLP has been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by the negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing of others for decades—and we are here to help your family receive the justice you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional, call us today, use our contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
What is an FDA recall?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with the important job of protecting public health by regulating drugs, medical devices, food, cosmetic products, and more. One of the key tools that the FDA has in its arsenal is to issue a product recall. But what does it really mean when the FDA recalls a product? Here’s what you should know about recalls and the recall process—including the different kinds of recalls. We go over how recalls may affect dangerous drug lawsuits and how you can get legal help if you have been hurt by a medication.
Classes of FDA Recall
When the FDA receives evidence that a drug may not be safe for use, it may issue a recall to stop the sales and distribution of a drug. There are three classes of FDA recalls, in increasing order of severity:
- Class III recall. This is the lowest category of recall and indicates that, while the FDA has found a compelling reason to stop a drug from being sold, serious harm is less likely to result from contact or exposure to the drug.
- Class II recall. This type of recall means that the FDA has determined there is a likely risk of temporary health complications, or that there are chances for more serious health complications.
- Class I recall. Drugs under a class I recall are those that have been found to pose severe health problems or could cause death if used.
It is important to note that just because a drug is under the “lowest” recall warning—class III recall—it does not mean that it is not dangerous. For example, in 2008 certain transdermal fentanyl patches (fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever) were under a class III recall because the patches could potentially leak fentanyl-infused gel. Anyone who came in contact with the leaked gel was at risk of dangerous health complications, including a potentially fatal overdose.
There are several ways that a recall of any class can begin. Sometimes, manufacturers will decide to recall a drug voluntarily. Companies that do so must report the recall to the FDA and submit progress reports until the recall is successful. The FDA may also request that a manufacturer recall a drug on a voluntary basis if it receives enough evidence to warrant a recall. If the company refuses, the FDA may legally attempt to order the company to issue a recall through the courts, and in rare cases, the FDA may seek legal approval to seize the drug directly.
How Drug Recalls Affect Your Lawsuit
While an FDA recall of any class may indicate that there is evidence that a drug may cause harm, a recall is not actually necessary for you to succeed in a lawsuit against a manufacturer. For example, if you have been hurt by an undisclosed side effect, or the company failed to warn doctors and consumers about a potential health complication and you have been hurt as a result, you may have grounds for a lawsuit—even if there is no recall or a recall is still pending.
However, the fact that a drug has been recalled doesn’t mean that there are always grounds to file a lawsuit, either. Not every poor medical outcome is the result of manufacturer negligence, even if a drug is under recall.
Get Legal Help Today
Regardless of drug recall status, the question of whether you have a legal case may best be answered by a personal injury attorney with experience handling dangerous drug lawsuits. By seeking the help of an attorney who has the industry knowledge and legal skills to examine the facts in your case and advise you of your legal options, you will have the best chance at financial recovery for your injuries.
Wayne Wright LLP has been representing those who have been injured by dangerous drugs and defective medical device for decades, and we would like to help you begin the financial recovery process today. To speak to a legal professional about your case, call us today, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
Do I need to file a wrongful death case if the state of Texas is pursuing a criminal case?
The legal system can be confusing to anyone, and it doesn’t get any easier when you’re dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one.
A lot of legal myths and misconceptions get passed around to survivors by well-intentioned friends and family, and it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction during a difficult time in your life. One big misconception is about the nature of wrongful death lawsuits versus criminal charges. Sometimes, those who have survived an accident but lost a loved one believe that the court will take care of everything when the responsible person is arrested and charged. Is that really the case?
Here’s what you should know about wrongful death lawsuits when there are criminal charges involved, and how you can get the legal help you need today.
Criminal Court Versus Civil Court in Texas
Just because there are criminal charges filed against a person doesn’t mean that he or she is going to be ordered to pay restitution to survivors. The criminal justice system is concerned with corrections and punishment of those who violate the law. It is not a victim-centric system, in other words. The criminal courts are designed to protect society as a whole, but they do not typically provide relief to specific people who have been wronged.
However, there is another legal system that is separate but parallel to the criminal system that is designed for victims to seek compensation for their losses: the civil court. Civil court is where victims are able to file wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits (legally known as “torts”) to receive a ruling that grants them a financial award for the damages they’ve suffered.
Since both the criminal and civil legal systems are separate, it’s entirely possible and often expected that there will be a civil lawsuit against someone who has committed (or allegedly committed) a crime that cost a life or lives. The two court systems are complimentary, but unrelated.
It’s important for families to realize that although a successful criminal conviction could help your civil case, it’s not necessary, so don’t give up hope. Even if a conviction is not made in criminal court, representatives of an estate may succeed in a civil lawsuit against the responsible party, because standards of evidence in a civil case are different than those of a criminal case. Criminal prosecutors must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a crime was committed. Civil court requires a “preponderance of evidence” to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant (the person being sued) is responsible for the claims made by the plaintiff (the victim filing the lawsuit.)
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
One important element in a wrongful death lawsuit is that the authorities will not usually file this type of lawsuit on your behalf. If a survivor wishes to seek compensation for a wrongful death, he or she will need to file the civil lawsuit, usually with the help of an attorney. Texas law says that those who may file a wrongful death claim must typically be related to the deceased, including:
- A surviving spouse.
- Adult children and children who have been legally adopted.
- Parents, including the legally adoptive parents of a deceased child.
The only exception to this is when the surviving family declines to file a lawsuit within three months. In this case, personal representative of the estate of the deceased may elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the three-month time period has passed, unless a surviving family member requests otherwise. Siblings may not bring a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Texas.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have lost somebody that you love through the carelessness, recklessness, or wrongdoing of someone else, you have the deepest sympathies of Wayne Wright LLP. We’ve spent decades helping survivors seek financial compensation for their loss, and we’d like to help you and your family receive the justice that you deserve in a court of law. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional at Wayne Wright LLP, call us today, use our contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
Can I recover damages if I am partially responsible for my truck accident?
Liability is a big issue in car accidents, especially those involving commercial trucks. Who is responsible for paying damages to those who have been hurt? Sometimes the answer is clear and all the responsibility falls solely on a single party, but there are many cases where it’s not so obvious. There may be shared fault between two or more parties.
The question is, then, who can seek financial compensation when fault is shared in a crash? Can victims recover anything, even if they’re found to be partially liable for the accident?
Comparative Liability in Texas
In the state of Texas, whether you can recover damages after an accident with a truck or other vehicle depends on the portion of the responsibility that you share for what happened. Texas law calls this “proportionate responsibility” and it means that you may still recover damages under certain circumstances, even if you are found to be partially at fault.
Proportionate responsibility in Texas uses a legal method called “modified comparative negligence” when determining damage awards. This type of law says that victims who share a part of the responsibility may make a claim, but any awards for damages will be reduced by the percentage of liability that is shared.
For example, under proportionate responsibility law, if you’re in an accident with a truck and the court decides that you are 20 percent responsible for the crash, you still will be able to recover an award for damages. However, your final award will be reduced by 20 percent. This means that if you are given an award of $500,000, it would be reduced to $400,000.
Proportionate responsibility law also obeys the “51 percent rule.” This means that someone is not able to receive damages at all if his or her share of the responsibility is 51 percent or higher. In our example, if you are found to be 20 percent responsible and the truck driver is 80 percent responsible, the truck driver would not be able to receive a damage award at all.
Determining Negligence in Truck Accidents
There is a three-step process to determine whether there was negligence in an accident. You and your legal team will typically need to show that:
- There was a duty of care. Truck drivers (and others on the road) have a responsibility to operate their vehicles with a reasonable level of care, as required by the law. This is called a “duty of care.”
- There was a breach of duty. After you demonstrate that there was a duty of care, it must be shown that the truck driver breached that duty of care. That is, he or she failed to take appropriate care, or operate the truck in a reasonable and safe manner.
- The breach caused your injuries. The truck driver’s breach of duty must be shown to be the reason you are hurt or otherwise suffered a loss, such as property damage to your vehicle.
Even if you think you shared some part of the responsibility for the accident, you still may be able to receive compensation. By bringing these elements together and demonstrating that you suffered financial and other losses in the accident, you can make your claim for damages in a court of law.
Damage awards can include financial compensation for your medical bills, physical therapy or rehabilitation, lost or damaged property, lost wages from time away from work, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able help you determine what types of damage awards are available in your situation and what legal options are available to you.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, semi-truck, or delivery vehicle, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We believe in standing up for the rights of those who have been hurt due to the negligence and carelessness of others, and we’d like to help you get the justice you deserve in a court of law.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional at Wayne Wright LLP, call us by phone, use the contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
What compensation could I receive if I’ve been hurt by a prescription drug?
Companies that make prescription drugs should have a duty to ensure that their products meet certain safety standards and don’t cause more harm than they cure. There are times, though, when companies seem to put profit before people and release a drug that hasn’t been properly tested, or a failure in manufacturing leads to a drug causing harm to consumers. Common prescription drugs like Abilify, Invokana, Risperdal, Benicar, Prilosec, Nexium, and others are leading to thousands of lawsuits as injured patients seek help recovering from injuries that never should have happened.
Here’s what you should know about dangerous prescription drug lawsuits, damages that patients could potentially recover in a court of law, and how to get started with your own lawsuit if you’ve been hurt.
Prescription Drug Use Statistics
Prescription drugs are far more common than many people realize. According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half (48.9 percent) of people in the United States took at least one prescription drug between 2011–2014, and over three-quarters (76.2 percent) of all doctor visits resulted in drug therapy for patients. This widespread use of medication means that when a dangerous drug enters the marketplace and causes harm, it can cost a great deal of pain and suffering for many thousands of people. Likewise, a drug injury can cause real money problems, as astronomical medical bills and time away from work put severe strain on the family finances.
Damage Awards in Prescription Drug Lawsuits
The best recourse that many patients and their families have when they’ve been hurt by a prescription drug is to file a lawsuit and seek recovery from the manufacturer. By pursuing a lawsuit and proving that the manufacturer is responsible for releasing a dangerous drug, it’s possible to receive financial compensation for your health issues. Compensation is typically in the form of legal damages, which are a type of monetary award granted to make up for an injury or loss incurred by a defendant.
There are several types of damages that you may be eligible to receive for your injury. The two main categories are:
- Economic damages. Economic damages are expenses that can be easily quantified and added up, such as hospital and doctor bills, the cost of any surgeries, physical therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages from time spent away from work, the loss of future earnings if your ability to work has been reduced or you can no longer work at all, and so on.
- Non-economic damages. These damages aren’t as easy to quantify as economic damages, but they are just as important. Non-economic damages that you could receive compensation for include the pain and suffering that you endured, mental anguish caused by your situation, and even loss of consortium or companionship if the drug has affected your relationship with your spouse, significant other, or family in some way.
There is a third type of damage award, known as exemplary or punitive damages. Exemplary damages are not designed to compensate victims for any specific cost or expense, but instead is used to punish a defendant who has engaged in particularly bad behavior. Punitive damages serve as both a warning and deterrent to prevent other people from engaging in similar behavior in the future. This type of damage award isn’t as common as the other two, as it requires a higher than usual standard of evidence in court, but it’s not uncommon for punitive damages to be awarded against drug companies with deep pockets who have caused serious harm to patients.
How to Start Your Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
Pharmaceutical companies are frequent targets of lawsuits, so it takes solid evidence and persuasive arguments to have the best chance at winning your case in front of a jury. A personal injury attorney with experience litigating dangerous drug cases will be able to help you make your case by investigating your situation, examining medical records and other treatment documents, looking at other similar claims, and even calling in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been hurt by a dangerous prescription drug, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We believe in standing up for the rights of patients who have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of drug companies who have put profits before people, and we are here to help you and your family seek the justice you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team, call us by phone, use our contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
Can I still recover damages if a government vehicle hits me?
When you’re involved in a car accident with a private individual or a commercial entity (such as a semi truck or a delivery van), you typically have the right to file a personal injury claim. This lets you seek compensation for your injuries as well as the other expenses involved in a crash that wasn’t your fault to begin with. However, the situation can get a little more complicated if the vehicle that caused the crash belonged to a city, state, or federal agency.
If a police car, ambulance, postal worker, or other official vehicle or agent caused your crash and you want to pursue compensation, you still may be able to. You should be aware that the rules and regulations are different in this situation, and you may need to act fast. Here’s what you should know.
Government Immunity Laws and Car Accidents
Broadly speaking, police officers, fire trucks, ambulances, and other government employees usually have what’s called government or sovereign immunity. This law protects government workers for liability in many cases. However, there are often exceptions that may depend on the agency involved in the crash, and federal, state, county, city, or other local regulations can play a part, too.
In 1969, the state of Texas realized that there are times when it’s right and appropriate for there to be liability for state or local agencies and organizations. The Texas Tort Claims Act allows governmental units to be held legally responsible for personal injury or wrongful death, provided some conditions are met. These conditions include:
- The person responsible for the accident (government employee) must have been acting within the scope of his or her employment; and
- If the employee had been a private individual at the time of the accident, he or she would have faced liability for the accident.
The Texas Tort Claims Act also limits the amount of recovery that you can receive, to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per incident for injury, and $100,000 per incident for property damage.
There is a similar federal law, called the Federal Torts Claim Act, which also allows for lawsuits against federal employees in situations where negligence on the job is involved. However, the federal law may be even more restrictive than the Texas version and there are strict policies and legal procedures to follow to make a successful claim. Your attorney can help you determine the best way to get started with a federal claim.
Making Your Personal Injury Claim
If a city or municipality is involved, you and your attorney will need to take the claim to that municipality. If you were injured in the city of Austin, for example, you can visit the City of Austin Legal Department online to find out the right procedures and what you need to do to file a claim.
It’s important to note that, unlike a regular personal injury claim, the statute of limitations for making a claim against a government entity can be very short. You may have as few as thirty days or as long as six months, so every day counts between when your accident happened and when you contact a personal injury attorney to begin investigating your claim. If the statute of limitations has already expired, it’s likely that you will not be able to make a successful claim or receive any compensation at all.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident with a federal, state, county, city, or other local employee or agency, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, but you have to act fast. An experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the tight deadlines and strict procedures of filing a claim against a government agency can help you seek the justice that you deserve in a court of law.
Wayne Wright LLP has been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by negligence, carelessness, and recklessness for decades, and we’re here to help you recover from your accident.
To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional at Wayne Wright LLP, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
Can I still make a medical malpractice claim after a botched elective or cosmetic surgery?
When you choose to undergo an elective surgery, such as a cosmetic procedure, you typically have a certain expectation of safety. These procedures are often promoted as being safe and effective ways to improve your appearance and even boost your self-esteem, but there are still serious health risks if something goes wrong or the doctor makes a mistake.
Those who have suffered injuries due to cosmetic surgery often wonder if they can still file a medical malpractice suit for a procedure that was elective. Here’s the truth about medical malpractice claims and cosmetic surgery, including common injuries and how you can get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Cosmetic Surgery Statistics
Elective cosmetic surgery is something that many Americans choose to have for a variety of reasons. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) there were over 17 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2016. This number includes 1.7 million of the most common cosmetic surgeries that are considered “invasive,” such as:
- Breast augmentations.
- Rhinoplasty (reshaping of the nose).
- Surgery on eyelids.
- Face lifts.
- Buttock augmentation, labiaplasty, and other invasive surgeries.
It also includes less- or minimally-invasive procedures such as botulinum toxin shots (Botox), soft tissue or dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and more.
The majority of patients were between 40 and 54 years old, making up 49 percent of all cosmetic procedures, according to ASPS data. Women accounted for 92 percent of cosmetic procedures, but 1.3 million men also chose to undergo cosmetic surgery.
When Surgery Becomes Medical Malpractice
Regardless of whether your surgery was elective or not, you still have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
While not every poor or undesirable outcome after a medical procedure is malpractice, there are certain situations when harm to the patient could have been avoided if it weren’t for the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of the doctor or other medical personnel involved in the procedure. Being unhappy with the results of your surgery is not typically medical malpractice, either. However, if your doctor failed to warn you of a potential side effect and you suffer harm as a result of that side effect, you may be able to make a claim.
Issues that may result in a medical malpractice claim can include infections, scarring, nerve damage, disfigurement, anesthesia problems, or other complications, depending on the details of your specific case. A medical malpractice attorney will be able to investigate your case, advise you of your rights, and help you move forward with your legal claim.
Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claim
To make your medical malpractice claim, there are three main components of your case that must be established:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed with the physician you are making a claim against.
- The doctor violated the expected standard of care while treating you.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of your injury.
Another essential part of your claim is showing that the incident resulted in harm that you can be compensated for. This may include the costs of any medical bills related to your injury, repeated “revision” surgeries, and follow-up care, as well as compensation for time you’ve spent away from work, the pain and suffering you’re endured, and any permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Every case is unique, so make sure that your attorney evaluates your situation fully and discusses the awards that you may be eligible for based on the facts of your own situation.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been injured as a result of cosmetic surgery gone wrong, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We’ve been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by medical negligence and malpractice for decades, and we’re here to help you get the justice that you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
What should I do if I am involved in a ridesharing accident?
Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and others have become extremely popular in recent days. These companies allow anyone with a smartphone to summon a nearby driver relatively quickly and cheaply when compared to a traditional taxi service. The drivers are typically not professionals; they use their own personal vehicles to make extra money.
The big question is what happens when one of these amateur drivers causes an accident? Whether you’re a customer in the rideshare vehicle with the driver at the time of the crash, in another vehicle that’s been hit by a rideshare car, or are a pedestrian who has been struck by a rideshare driver, serious questions about liability can result.
Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, and how you can get legal help when you’ve been hurt.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
No matter what kind of car accident you’re involved in, your first priority should be health and safety. Check to make sure that you’re okay, and if you or anyone else is hurt, call 9-1-1 immediately. Even if nobody is hurt, contacting the police is a never a bad idea, especially when there’s significant property damage, and a police report can make your legal case easier later.
After you’ve taken care of any immediate medical and safety needs, you’ll need to get some information from the driver of the rideshare. Not only should the driver have personal automobile insurance, but the ridesharing company may also a policy for drivers, as well, especially when the driver is “on duty” and is either carrying a passenger or is on the way to retrieve one.
If you’re the passenger in the rideshare and you used a company’s app to call for the ride, the app itself may be able to display coverage information directly on your phone; otherwise, you’ll have to ask the driver for that information. You’ll also want to record the driver’s full name, driver’s license number, address, and phone number, as well as the make, model, and license plate of every vehicle involved in the accident. Be sure to ask for contact information of any witnesses, as well, and take pictures or notes related to the accident, including information about injuries, damage, weather conditions, and any traffic lights or stop signs that may have been run.
Seeking compensations from an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare driver can be legally complex. Most ridesharing services maintain a stance that all drivers are “independent contractors,” not employees, to protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident. You’ll most likely need to pursue claims against the driver’s personal auto insurance policy, but other policies may apply, too. Both Uber and Lyft famously offer policies worth $1 million dollars that cover drivers when a passenger is in the car; however, this only applies in certain circumstances, such as when the driver is on the way to pick someone up or already has a passenger being transported.
Uber and Lyft also offer supplemental policies, but in some situations these could only apply if the driver’s personal policy isn’t enough to cover damages. In this case, it may be necessary to file a claim against the insurance companies from both the ridesharing company’s insurer and the driver’s insurer.
Get Legal Help Today
Sorting out the insurance policies involved in an accident with a ridesharing company can be complex. A personal injury attorney who understands this rapidly-evolving field will be able to help you make the right legal choices so that you can seek the full and fair compensation that you may be owed when a ridesharing driver hurts you in an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a ridesharing company, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you. We believe that seeking justice for those who have been injured is the right thing to, and we’re here to help you and your family recover after a bad accident. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.
How should I prepare for my first meeting with a car accident attorney?
If you’ve been in a car accident, consulting with a personal injury attorney is almost always a good idea.
Arranging a meeting with an attorney for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking if you’ve never been in this type of situation before. With a little preparation, though, you can help things move along smoothly so that your attorney can help you understand your legal options. Here’s how to get ready to meet a potential attorney for your case, and how you can get legal help today.
What to Bring to Your Consultation
When you arrange your consultation, your accident attorney should be able to tell you what you need to bring with you. Any information that you can provide—even if it’s not something that he or she asked for immediately—may be useful now or in the future, so don’t be shy about bringing supporting documentation. Here are some of the things you’ll probably want to have with you:
- Police reports. Any police or accident reports related to the crash can be obtained from the agency that created them, such as the local police, highway patrol, or county sheriff’s office.
- Health care records. Bring your medical records from every provider who saw you for a condition related to a crash, including ambulance and emergency treatment records, hospital records, physical therapy paperwork, and so on. Include copies of any diagnosis made by a doctor, as well as the prognosis for the future and recommendations for future care.
- Health care bills. Along with your actual medical records, bring the bills that you receive from the hospital, clinic, rehabilitation service, chiropractor, psychologist, and any other healthcare providers who charged you for care related to the crash.
- Insurance information. Bring your insurance information, including what your policy covers and in what amount, and any bills you have received from the insurance company.
- Work documentation. If your accident cost you any time away from work, bring any records you can indicating how long you were out, and how much that time away cost you (even if you used sick time or vacation days.)
Don’t forget to bring any other evidence you have related to the crash, too, such as photos of the accident, the damage to your vehicle or other property, photos of your injuries, and so forth. Your attorney will evaluate these photos and all of your other supporting documentation to make a determination about what your best legal options are.
What to Ask an Accident Attorney
In addition to providing the attorney with details of your life and the accident, you should be prepared to get something back, too—so come prepared with questions for your initial consultation, and expect good answers in return. Here are some sample questions you may want to ask:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How much of your time and practice is dedicated to car accident cases like mine?
- How many accident claims have you handled, and have they ever gone to trial?
- Do you foresee any challenges that may arise from my case?
- Are you the person who will work on my case?
- May I meet any other attorneys who will be working on my case?
- How do you charge for your services? Do you work on contingency?
- What expenses do you think this case will incur?
If the answers that you receive aren’t satisfactory, you are free to move on and choose another firm. Maybe you’ll decide that this attorney isn’t the right one for your case, after all, and you have every right to do so. Don’t be badgered or bullied into accepting the service of someone you’re uncomfortable with.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been hurt in an automobile accident and don’t know where to turn to for legal help, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We believe in justice for those who have been injured, and we’re here to stand up for your legal rights in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use the contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.