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What is Personal Injury in San Antonio, Texas?

Personal Injury

Personal injury in San Antonio refers to the physical and emotional damages sustained by an individual due to someone else’s negligence. It may also include financial and reputational damages. Unlike other injuries, personal injuries deal with the overall impact of an injury or accident on a victim’s life. Also, personal injuries in San Antonio are civil cases as established under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

During a personal injury case, the victim is known as a plaintiff. Meanwhile, the party who caused the accident or injury is called the defendant or at-fault. In San Antonio, an injury must be a result of someone else’s intentional act, negligence, or defective product before it can be regarded as personal injury. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for their injuries by filing a case against the defendant. However, such claims must be filed within two years of the event as established under the statute of limitation.

What is a Personal Injury Claim in San Antonio, Texas?

A personal injury claim in San Antonio is a legal process whereby the plaintiff seeks financial compensation from the defendant for the damages caused. In most cases, personal injury claims are settled out of court when both the plaintiff and defendant reach an agreement for the personal injury settlement. However, a plaintiff may file a lawsuit against the defendant if there is no agreement. To file a personal injury claim in San Antonio, the plaintiff must ensure the injury is a result of the following:

  • An intentional act caused by the defendant
  • An act of negligence by the defendant
  • An act of negligence indirectly caused by the defendant.

In addition, the plaintiff must prove the following to file a case against the defendant:

  • There was damage or injury
  • The accident was  preventable
  • The accident or injury was due to the defendant’s negligence
  • Their awareness or adherence to safety protocols could not stop the injury.

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas?

Interested individuals who wish to find a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio must conduct research. The San Antonio Bar Association provides a list of lawyers in San Antonio. For instance, a lawyer may specialize in wrongful death cases while another specializes in car accident cases. Therefore, the plaintiff needs to ask questions to discover the best fit for the personal injury case. Some of the tips to choose a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio include:

  • Ask for a recommendation and review. A good start is to ask family and friends for a personal injury lawyer. Some factors to consider include: how satisfactory is the personal injury attorney, what is it like working with them?
  • Look out for the personal injury lawyer’s expertise with the specific case. For instance, the best personal injury lawyer for a car accident case must have handled similar personal injury cases over time.
  • Ensure that the necessary boards in San Antonio accredited the personal injury lawyer.
  • Discuss the term of service. Questions like “what service does a personal injury lawyer offer?” will provide insight on what to expect during and after the case.
  • Discuss the payment method. Some personal injury lawyers in San Antonio work on a “No win, No fee” basis that offers percentages of the final settlement. Meanwhile, some prefer upfront payments. Ensure that the fees agreed upon are favorable.

What does a Personal Injury Lawyer do in San Antonio, Texas?

A personal injury lawyer in San Antonio handles a personal injury case on behalf of the plaintiff. The services may include but are not limited to overseeing the negotiation process, representing the plaintiff in court, and ensuring appropriate submission of documents. Other duties of a personal injury attorney include:

  • Advise the Plaintiff. The personal injury lawyers advise a plaintiff on what is expected at every phase. It may include how to communicate the accident to others, explaining the personal injury laws, and so on. To win a personal injury case, an expert lawyer ensures there are no loopholes the other party can take advantage of.
  • Investigate the scene of the accident. Aside from the plaintiff’s narration of the event, a personal injury lawyer must carry out findings. The investigation often covers up for information the victim may have considered irrelevant to the case. For instance, search for eyewitnesses or other resources not available in the victim's narration.
  • Seek the service of experts in different fields. Most times, the type of case determines the help that is required. For instance, a lawyer may work closely with a private investigator or medical practitioner. The information will help the lawyer negotiate the best possible compensation.
  • Propose to take the personal injury case to court. Most times when the fault is established, defendants and their insurance companies try to avoid taking the case to court. An expert personal injury attorney uses the opportunity to negotiate a favorable claim for the client.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer depends on the type of case. For instance, a plaintiff may not require the service of a lawyer if the injury is minimal and the at-fault is willing to compensate them duly. Nevertheless, a plaintiff may hire a personal injury lawyer in a situation whereby the damages sustained are massive. Below are some of the types of personal injuries that may require the service of a lawyer:

  • Car Accidents: In San Antonio, car accident injuries are arguably the most common types of personal injury cases. Plaintiffs in San Antonio hire personal injury lawyers to determine the worth of their settlement and represent them during negotiation or court proceedings. In addition, the personal injury attorney handles the documentation process. Typically, car accidents may cause damages that include but are not limited to job loss or wages, payment of high medical bills, emotional damages, rehabilitation expenses, and funeral expenses. 
  • Truck Accidents: Similar to car accidents, truck accidents are common in San Antonio. Due to the size of a truck, the plaintiff’s injuries are usually severe. Often than not, truck accidents are caused by mechanical failures in some parts that stem from check-up negligence or the fault of the manufacturer.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents are another form of accident that occurs on the road. Generally, victims of these types of accidents need an expert personal injury lawyer to represent them during the whole process. The lawyer must examine and determine the best possible ways to ensure the plaintiff is compensated.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and Fall accidents are injuries or damages suffered on someone else’s property due to their negligence. The plaintiff must provide evidence beyond doubt that shows the property owner is at fault and owes them a duty of care. 
  • Brain Injuries: Victims of brain injuries may suffer paralysis, permanent brain damage, or other severe damages. Typically, such individuals may not be fit to represent themselves. Therefore, the plaintiff may require the service of a professional personal injury lawyer. This may involve handling the entire case from start to finish.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries sustained from personal injuries have severe consequences on the victim’s life. A plaintiff may require the service of an attorney to ensure they are adequately compensated. Often than not, spinal cord injuries stem from car accidents or falls.
  • Wrongful Death: A wrongful death is the type of negligence that results in the victim’s death. This type of injury occurs in situations where the defendant owes the plaintiff a duty of care. Car accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products are common causes of wrongful death. 
  • Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrian accidents are injuries mainly caused by cars or trucks. Victims of this type of accident may hire a personal injury attorney due to the damages. The attorney is responsible for ensuring the plaintiff is compensated. However, similar to other personal injuries, the accident or injury must be the result of the defendant’s negligence.
  • Bicycle Accidents: Bicycle accidents are similar to other injuries that occur on the road. Due to the complex personal injury laws, a plaintiff may need a personal injury lawyer.

How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement in San Antonio, Texas?

In San Antonio, the compensation a plaintiff receives from a personal injury settlement is dependent on the individual case. There is no prearranged amount for personal injury cases due to their uniqueness. Nonetheless, economic damages, emotional damages, and punitive damages are factors that influence the plaintiff’s settlement. For instance, economic damages refer to the loss of wages, medical bills, and more. Meanwhile, the emotional damages consist of the pain and suffering a plaintiff goes through. In addition, the punitive damages are determined based on possible punishments due to the defendant’s negligence. An expert personal injury lawyer uses the knowledge of these factors and the law to estimate how much a settlement is worth.

How Long does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

In San Antonio, a personal injury lawsuit takes up to one year. However, the personal injury lawsuit may take longer or less as each case is unique. Some of the factors that determine how long a personal injury lawsuit takes include:

  • The type of personal injury case e.g. car accidents, wrongful death, and more
  • The number of parties involved in the accident
  • The amount of the claim requested by the plaintiff.