Personal Injury Law

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Man being helped by EMSPersonal injury law is the body of law that allows an injured person to recover when his/her injury was suffered due to the negligent actions or omissions of another person or corporation. Personal injury law stems from the basic principle that every person has a “duty” to conduct themselves in a way that does not cause injury to other people. By failing to act in a way that would prevent someone’s injury or not taking action to prevent someone from harm, a person is negligent and has breached their duty of care, thereby making them liable for the harm done.

What Must You Prove to Win a Personal Injury Case?

The basic elements you must prove in any personal injury case are:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach of Duty
  3. Proximate Cause
  4. Damages

Our legal system holds people and corporations liable for their negligence by ordering that they pay an amount of money that a jury determines fairly makes up for or “compensates” them for the harms and losses that their negligent conduct proximately caused. The injured person bears the burden of proof.

What is Meant by Duty?

A “duty” is a legal obligation to act or not act in a certain way. Every person of sufficient age and/or mental capacity to comprehend their duty has a general duty to not act negligently. When you act in a way that is considered negligent, you have breached your duty to not act negligently.

What is Negligence?

“Negligence” is the failure to exercise reasonable care, and in terms of personal injury claims, a person or entity that is proven negligent will likely be responsible for compensating the victim injured. Said another way, everyone has a duty to exercise reasonable care.

What Does Reasonable Care Mean?

Reasonable care” is that degree of care that an ordinary prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. In a PI case, a person can usually be found negligent if they fail their duty to provide reasonable care, ultimately leading to a person’s injury.

What is Proximate Cause?

Proximate cause” means a cause that was a substantial factor in bringing about an event, and without which cause such event would not have occurred. Basically it means that if this thing had not happened, the rest of the events would not have been set in motion and the person would not have been injured.

In order to be a proximate cause, the act or omission complained of must be such that a person using ordinary care would have foreseen that the event, or some similar event, might reasonably result therefrom. In Texas there may be more than one proximate cause of an event.

When a person fails to exercise reasonable care and thereby causes another injury he may be held liable to the person for the damage done.

What are Damages?

The term “damages” refers to the harm done as a result of the negligence. What you may recover as damages is not unlimited. The law allows recovery for specific elements of damages.  Common damages include: pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, scarring, physical impairment and mental anguish. For a detailed discussion of what you can and cannot recover, please see the “Questions About Damages” section below.

What is Considered to be a Personal Injury?

A “Personal injury” is any type of physical or emotional harm incurred by an individual and in some cases, harm to one’s reputation. The physical harm may be anything from a minor injury to death.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Sometimes life does not go as planned. Accidents occur that can delay or even forever alter your future. When these events are caused by someone else’s carelessness, State and Federal laws often will recognize a right to seek reimbursement for the costs and/or compensation for the harms done and the losses suffered.  However, just because you have a right to seek recovery for something does not mean that it will be easy. Insurance companies and corporations have teams of adjusters, risk analysts, investigators, lawyers and other professionals whose entire job is to hold down the financial exposure of the company by minimizing their payout on personal injury claims.  This means that they are trying to save money at YOUR expense.

Feeling like they might be stacking the deck against you? The role of a personal injury attorney is to level the playing filed by putting a lawyer on your side with the training, skill, knowledge and resources to fight for your right to be fairly compensated.

Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. are personal injury lawyers who have been helping individuals who have suffered due to the negligent actions of others obtain settlements and verdicts compensating them for their losses since the firm formed in 1979.  If you have suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence, call us for a free consultation at: 800-298-0111.

What Type of Cases Do Personal injury Lawyers Handle?

Anytime a person suffers an injury due to the negligence of another, a personal injury claim may arise. In addition to the most common personal injury claims listed in our menu across the top of the page, here are some other cases that personal injury lawyers can help with:

Just because you are injured does not mean someone else is liable. Furthermore, for a personal injury lawyer to take a case, there must be not only an act of negligence and damages but also an expectation that a judgment or settlement can be recovered.   For example, you may have a cause of action against an individual for assaulting you, however, because insurance policies generally do not cover intentional torts and many individuals do not have sufficient assets from which a judgment may be recovered, there is often no benefit to pursuing a personal injury case for an intentional act.

What are Common Types of Injuries?

There are many ways that a person can sustain personal injuries. Each of our areas of practice represent some of the most common types of harm we help clients pursue legal options for.  Some of these include:

If you have suffered any of these, please visit their respective pages for more information on how Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. can help.

What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury attorneys customarily work on a percentage of the recover plus expenses basis.  This is called a contingency fee agreement. Depending upon the lawyer and the state, these types of agreements may vary.  In Texas, it is customary for the lawyer to charge between 33.33% and 50% depending upon how far the case goes. In addition, the lawyer gets reimbursed for outlaying expenses. However, not every lawyer pays the expenses up front.

Thus, two questions you should ask of a lawyer are:

  • What are your fees?
  • Do I have to pay the expenses up front or do you?

At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., our fees are 33.33% if the case settles prior to having to file a lawsuit, 40% if a lawsuit is filed and 45% if the case goes up on appeal. In addition, we put forth all of the expenses of preparing and presenting the claim (investigation, document acquisition, mailings, court filings, litigation costs, and mediation/arbitration costs) and you only reimburse us for these expenses if we may a recovery.

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law

Suffering a personal injury can be scary. Most people do not deal with this sort of thing on a regular basis. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding personal injury claims. You will find more pertaining to specific areas of laws under those sections such as answers to question regarding filing car accident claims.  Furthermore, if you do not see what you are looking for, call us toll free. We are here to help answer your questions. 800-298-0111.

General Personal Injury Questions:

Questions About Damages:

Questions About Litigation Process:

Questions About Liens:

Questions About Financing/Payment:

Issues Specific to Children:

For questions regarding a specific area of law, please visit those pages for more answers.

How Can We Can Help You?

Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. is a personal injury law firm that stands for the proposition that we should serve our clients while striving to uphold the highest Christian values. Our goal is to display honor, integrity and conviction while passionately representing our clients.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, corporation or insurance company, our attorneys are here to help. We offer no obligation consultations at no cost and when you hire us, you pay no attorneys fees unless we make a recovery for you. Call us for a free consultation: 800-298-0111.

Keith M. Fletcher and Paul H. Cannon are Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

 

Other Cities Where We Regularly Represent Clients

Our principal place of business is Houston, Texas and we are located next to the Memorial City Mall which makes us easily accessible to residents in the greater Houston and Katy areas. In addition, Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. regularly travel across Texas to handle serious injury claims. Other places we regularly handle even smaller cases include: Angleton, Beaumont,  Pearland, Cypress, Spring, Conroe, Baytown, Galveston,  Pasadena, Kingwood, Missouri City, Sugar Land, Rosenberg, League City, Harlingen, and Brownsville.