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Personal injury lawyer near me
If you are experiencing pain from an accident, you could potentially recover damages through either a personal injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit. In any case, you’ll need the guidance and expertise of a personal injury lawyer. Here’s what to consider in regard to a “personal injury lawyer near me”.
What qualifies as a personal injury?
Any pain suffered from an accident is considered a personal injury. It doesn’t just have to be physical pain either. You could recover damages due to psychological pain. For example, suffering from anxiety or depression as a result of a traumatic auto accident.
Basically, any accident causing a change in behavior or a physical hindrance effecting your normal daily life can warrant a recovery of damages through a claim or a lawsuit. There are of course many other factors that effect the likelihood of recovery. Let’s dig into those…
What are the chances a personal injury lawyer near me takes my case?
Besides being injured, the biggest factor in a personal injury case is fault. A car accident in which your actions were the primary cause will not bode well in a case. On the other hand, a car accident caused by someone else will.
The state of Texas determines liability in an auto accident through a comparative negligence threshold of 51%. A party deemed less than 51% at fault does not owe damages (money to the claimant for injuries suffered) to a party or parties that are 51% or more at fault.
Insurance companies are the entities which determine fault, however, lawyers are in constant communication with the defendant’s insurance company to gauge and negotiate liability. Your lawyer will conduct his/her own liability investigation as well. If your lawyer concurs with the insurance company’s liability decision then the claim can be settled. If your lawyer disagrees, then he/she can file a lawsuit in attempt to recover what he/she feels you deserve via that route.
Point being, you being majority at fault for an accident may very well scare a personal injury lawyer from taking your case. A lawyer would meet with you for a consultation. If through the consultation the lawyer is not confident you were the victim in the matter, the lawyer will probably deny your case.
Law firms are just like any business in the sense that they will not take on any work unless they are confident the work will make them money. Prior to deciding on the case, a lawyer will weigh the seriousness of the client’s injuries, along with potential out of pocket expenses on the case. If the lawyer likes his/her chances of coming out positive on the case then the case will be taken.
What you need to ask yourself before contacting a lawyer
Are my injuries serious enough to get a lawyer involved?
It is not uncommon for drivers or passengers to experience whiplash or general soreness from a car accident. Sometimes these annoying pains will simply go away in the coming days or weeks, or sometimes they will require prescriptions or minor treatment. Minor injuries typically won’t get a lawyer on board. Actually, minor injuries are best handled by either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. It never hurts to contact a lawyer, but don’t get your hopes up if you are dealing with light pain.
Can I afford a personal injury lawyer near me?
A personal injury lawyer near me likely won’t be cheap. While that may not be breaking news to you, people tend to make spontaneous decisions when suffering a personal injury. Moreover, decisions that are made without first assessing your financial situation. Most lawyers require a substantial hourly fee to be paid by their client throughout their handling of the case. Some will forgo hourly pay and instead require a contingency fee.
Contingency fees are contingent on the case being won and damages being recovered. Rather than paying hourly, the client would be paying his/her lawyer a percentage of the damages recovered (generally 33%). Contingency fees are certainly friendlier to clients, as they are not fixed amounts. However, you are not necessarily free from payment if the case is lost. More often than not, clients are still held responsible for reimbursing the law firm’s expenditures for setting up the case and completing an investigation into the cause of injury.
Who was responsible for my injuries?
If you know you are at fault for an accident then you’re probably not going to get off the starting blocks with a lawyer. For instance, you rear end the vehicle in front of you that is stopped in traffic on the highway. Regardless of your injuries, you are not going to have anything to recover from the driver or passengers of the vehicle you collided with. Actually, the driver or passengers of that car could try to recover from you.
Accidents that are your fault but still result in injuries can be pursued through your insurance company. Insurance companies offer first party injury coverages that provide coverage regardless of fault.
Are my damages recoverable?
If you are found to be the victim in the loss, meaning not responsible or majority responsible, you then have the right to recover damages from the party that was responsible. You can receive a sum of payment for any combination of the following:
- Medical bills
- Wage recovery for loss of work
- Lessened earning capabilities for your job due to restrictions resulting from the accident
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
The latter two are the toughest ones to judge, only because there is not a monetary value that can be pinned to them. Your personal injury lawyer would detail diminished quality of life and pain and suffering expectations to you if applicable to your situation. As for medical bills, wager recover and adjusted earning capabilities, dollar amounts can be applied.
Finding a good personal injury lawyer near me
There are all sorts of online resources available to locate worthy candidates within your region. You’ll find client testimonials, lawyer-to-lawyer critique, and detailed bios highlighting a lawyer’s achievements and credibility. In addition, it’s always a good idea to research the law firm as a whole. Keep in mind, the more established and successful the lawyer, the more you’ll have to pay for his/her services.
Another option is to ask around among friends and family members. Chances are someone you know has had to use a lawyer in the Dallas, TX area at some point in their life. Get that person’s opinion, and if you like what you hear, ask for the lawyer’s name and phone number. Referrals can go a long way and lawyers actually depend on them to lead to a good chunk of business.
Believe it or not, the word “free” can be used when working with a personal injury lawyer near me. Don’t take that to the bank, but the majority of lawyers will at the very least offer a free consultation. Sure, a lawyer’s time is valuable, but the days of paying to have an initial conversation have for the most part gone by the wayside. Now, regardless as to whether or not the case is taken after the consultation, a client will rarely have to pay for the actual consultation. The point is, you do not have to jump on board just because you are offered a free consultation. That is considered commonplace in personal injury law.
Also, don’t be thrown off if a lawyer advises no fee is required if no recovery is accomplished. This is also a rather routine promise. We already touched on contingency fees. Law firms have caught onto the fact that clients are going to be much more inclined to sign on if their payment syncs with a win. And, from the other perspective, no payment with a loss. The general contingency fee is 33% of the recovery. The client gets the rest.
Ultimately, a free consultation and a contingency fee are ideal. You can set your parameters with those two things in mind, but know that you can still play the field in finding the right lawyer for the job.
Does the lawyer routinely handle personal injury cases?
If you are wanting to sell your home, would you rather hire a realtor that has been in the real estate business for 20 years and sold hundreds of homes or a rookie realtor that is in the process of selling his/her third home? You probably know the answer we’re hinting at.
The same thought process applies when searching for a personal injury lawyer near me. There are general practitioners who take on a wide range of cases and there are specialized firms that take on just one type or only a few types of cases. In this instance, you would want the help of a firm that has a history of handling personal injury cases. Experienced personal injury lawyers will of course be more familiar with the process, more insightful about the process, and probably have a better chance at getting you a worthy recovery through the process.
You can always ask to see a lawyer’s resume and ask about prior cases. While that information may be confidential, the lawyer can certainly paraphrase certain parts to give you an idea of body of work.
Does a personal injury lawyer near me try cases in court or just settle?
What is the purpose of obtaining a lawyer? To have a qualified representative on your side to fight for you and your recovery. Priority #1. This means a lawyer that is willing to take a case to court if not getting a fair settlement. Some lawyers will do whatever they can to settle with an insurance company in order to avoid taking a case to court. You don’t necessarily want that.
So, when you consult with a lawyer in Dallas, TX, ask him/her about trying a case in court. Ask if he/she has represented a court case before and how many. Ask what expectations are for your particular case. Though, be weary if your lawyer stresses a particular amount he expects to recover. If you are in the consultation stage, your lawyer should not yet have nearly enough information to confidently express a specific amount of recovery.
Kafor Law Firm
For trustworthy and determined legal representation, rely on Kafor Law Firm. Our firm handles all sorts of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, slips and falls, and dog bites. We seek justice on your behalf, working diligently and tenaciously to recover what’s rightfully yours due to someone else’s negligence.
Our staff is plenty experienced. The experience starts with lead Attorney, Yvonne Kafor. Yvonne passed the State Bar of Texas, is a member of the State Bar College, Texas Trial Lawyers, Texas Family Law Foundation, and is licensed by the U.S. Northern District.
To learn more about Kafor Law Firm, please visit our website—thekaforlawfirm.com. And do not hesitate to call our firm to discuss the details of your case.