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Personal Injury Articles

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Our team of San Antonio injury attorneys at Barrus Law Group is dedicated to providing free educational articles to help you find answers for important legal questions.  Our website's article library is full of in-depth articles on issues and frequently asked questions pertaining to personal injury laws in Texas.  If you can't find the answer to a question, or need other assistance, contact us at any time and we will be happy to answer your questions - free of charge.

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THit by a Fed Ex Truck, do I have a case?rucking and commercial vehicle accidents are generally tragic events.  When these large trucks collide with passenger cars and trucks, there is loss of life almost always involved, while those that do survive more often than not suffer from serious complications due to injuries sustained during the accident.

Among all auto accidents, truck accidents are noteworthy because of the unique legal process that’s involved in ascertaining liability and compensation. It’s also worth noting because, with their size, trucks wreak the most damage in any accident that they get involved.

One of the main reasons why trucks figure in an accident is defective brakes. Trucks, due to their sheer size do not have the stopping capability of smaller vehicles. It takes more time for their brakes to kick in and slow the vehicle to a stop. If the brakes are defective, the truck doesn’t stop in time to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle or with the one in front of it.

Loads that are not secured can also cause accidents on the road. While the truck itself may not be involved, heavy objects that leave the vehicle could collide with the car or motorcycle right behind the truck.

Human factor is also a major cause of truck accidents. The driver may be fatigued from the stress of interstate travel, or is working too hard in order to meet deadlines from the logistics company. This leads to wrong decisions in driving, which unfortunately include driving recklessly.

Both state and federal governments have exercised their power in an effort to curb possible truck accidents. Regulations now mandate that truck drivers don’t spend their time on the road without resting. Some states, like Texas, also have rules that impose a weight limit on cargo carried by trucks that enter its highways.

What to Do in Case of a Truck Accident 

As mentioned earlier, truck accidents are special or unique because of their nature. Their corporate work means that you can be up against the insurance company, the driver, and the shipping company when you file a compensation lawsuit in the wake of a truck accident. There are also many laws that figure in settling a personal injury lawsuit resulting from a truck accident.

Unlike auto accidents, if you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you need to act quickly to investigate and preserve precious evidence that, if lost, can ruin your case.  That is why contacting an experienced truck accident injury law firm like Barrus Injury Lawyers is key to protecting your rights.  Our injury lawyers have the expertise to effectively analyze your case and set out a legal strategy that will help investigate, preserve evidence, and help get you the compensation that you deserve following an injury.  Call us today at (210) 593-8709 to talk with an injury attorney FREE of charge and get answers to your important questions before it’s too late.

One of the first parties to come and talk to you after you have been injured in a car accident is the insurance company, through a person called an “insurance adjuster,” whose job it is to talk with accident victims and gain a settlement out of court.

Some people, due to stress caused by the accident, might want to settle stuff with the insurance company right away. However, that’s not the correct way of dealing with insurance adjusters, and is a poor way to handle your claim following an accident.

 Why You Should Not Accept the Offer Right Away

 Some people find it tempting to just accept the money and move on. However, if you dissect the settlement amount being offered, you’ll find that it is unfair and does not compensate you fully for the damages you suffered from the accident. Remember, insurance companies work with their own interest in mind and not yours, so they’ll want to pay you as little money as possible.  It’s generally impossible to know the extent of your injuries right after a car accident, except in maybe a minor accident.  You need to be seen by the doctor a few times, making sure to get the MRIs, and treatment you need to restore your health.  This takes time, and settling your injury case before you fully know the extent of your injuries will almost always leave you paying out of pocket for expenses that the at-fault party’s insurance company should have paid. 

The Right Way of Dealing with Insurance Offers

Instead of accepting a fast low-ball offer from the insurance company, what you should do is request the insurance adjuster to give you a breakdown detailing how they calculated such a settlement amount for you. At the same time, take into account your own expenses incurred as a result of the collision, including medical fees and medications to maintain, if there are any. You will need this later on when the insurance companies sends you a reply.

When the insurance company replies with the requested calculation, this is when you produce your own calculations and make a counter-offer. Do not hesitate to make a counter-offer that is higher than what the insurance company is offering you. However, make sure to back it up with documents like doctor’s prescriptions, pharmacy and laboratory receipts and other relevant paperwork.

You can expect the process to be quite lengthy. As mentioned earlier, the insurance company prioritizes its own interest. While they may want to meet you halfway, the settlement offer may not be enough to compensate you for what you suffered, and what you will go through in the future.

In an accident case involving significant injuries, such as broken bones, or herniated discs, it is best to seek out the help of a personal injury attorney that specializes in accident cases because they know the ins and outs of negotiating a fair settlement from parties like insurance companies, or the at-fault driver himself. These firms and their lawyers can give you sound advice, and can assist you in the process itself.

While you may be apprehensive because of the legal fees involved, seek out a personal injury law firm that agrees to work on a contingency basis. With a contingency agreement in place, you will only have to pay the firm a fixed amount calculated from your final settlement, and if there is no recovery, you generally won’t owe the law firm anything. This agreement is very flexible, and makes the law firm’s service relatively affordable because you don’t have to pay anything up front.

We put together a book, and some additional resources to help people settle their own minor injury claims.  Visit the “Helpful Info” section of our website to download these free resources. 

 

Adrenaline can make you claim, immediately after a serious car accident, that you’re fine and there’s no injury. However, when the rush dies down, you can start feeling the effects of the accident, particularly on your back.

Unfortunately, back injuries cannot be easily discounted. For instance, complications that can arise from back injuries can have effects on your range of motion so your movements could become stiff and uncomfortable. In some cases, complications from the injuries can lead to partial or even complete paralysis, which will lead to loss of income and degradation in the quality of your life

This is because your back supports the spinal column, and is central to allowing us the range of movement that we enjoy as humans. If the back is seriously injured, your capability to move around freely and support yourself independently is critically affected

Common Back Injuries Caused by Accidents

Back injuries can lead to many different problems, each with their own symptoms. For instance, it could lead to disc herniation. This is caused by misalignment in the cartilage in one of the spinal discs, and could cause chronic pain that only worsens over time.

Car accidents can also cause compression fracture – this is a dangerous condition in which the spine folds unto itself as a result of the impact of the accident. This puts extreme pressure to the spine, which can lead to weakening and eventual fracturing of this important part of the skeletal system.

Transverse fracture is also a possible result of a car accident. This is even worse than the compression fracture. In this fracture, the spine is twisted out of alignment. If left unaddressed, the constant twisting of the spine due to ordinary movement could put extreme stress on the bones and break the column after a certain amount of time.

What You Should Do

It’s also very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Back injuries sometimes do not manifest any symptoms, but could exhibit symptoms due to complications in the future. By that time, treatment may be difficult. To prevent conditions that make the injury harder to treat, seek medical attention right away after figuring in an accident.

If the injury is caused by an accident that you think you are not liable for, it is even more important to, first, get yourself checked out by a medical professional to establish a case and then contact a personal injury law firm to help you claim for compensation. Get in touch with Barrus Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options. Call us at (210) 593-8709 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

San Antonio Injury Attorney Talks About Comparative Negligence.When it comes to negligence laws, states can choose from two kinds. For instance, Texas, along with 32 other states, observes a comparative negligence approach. Comparative negligence forms the foundation of filing personal injury claims in Texas. Insurance company lawyers for the other driver are likely to claim “comparative negligence” as a defense to paying your claim.  It can be a complex analysis, which is why it helps to have a San Antonio personal injury lawyer to guide you.

 How Does Negligence Affect your Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim filed in the state of Texas is dependant upon the claimant proving the negligence of the party responsible for your injuries. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help collect and present the relevant evidence to prove the other party in your claim was responsible for the accident and owes you compensation to support the costs of your injuries and recovery, as well as lost wages, and in some cases, pain, suffering, and mental anguish damages.

In other words, your claim must prove that the other party was knowingly or unknowingly negligent with regard to safety, hazards, and other factors that resulted in your injury. However, there are two types of approaches to handling negligence claims: contributory negligence and comparative negligence. In Texas, we observe a comparative negligence system.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence refers to a system that shares liability between the party directly responsible for the accident AND the injured party. However, even if the injured party was partially at fault, they can still receive compensation for their injuries. A Texas judge or jury will look at your claim and examine the evidence presented in court, after which a degree of fault is determined for your injuries. This degree is presented as a percentage of fault, indicating the level of your liability for your injuries.

Comparative negligence itself is divided into two types: pure and modified. A personal injury claim  filed in Texas and awarded with damages observes a modified comparative negligence rule with a fault percentage of 51 percent. This means you can hold a maximum of 51 percent liability for your injuries, and still be able to receive compensation.

How Does Degree of Fault Affect my Compensation?

Given that you can be up to 51 percent liable for your injuries, the settlement package you obtain from your personal injury claim will be deducted by whatever percentage of fault you receive. For instance, if you receive $100,000 in compensation and the court determined you were 20 percent responsible for the accident, you will only get $80,000 from your settlement. What’s more, any percentage fault that exceeds 51 percent automatically voids any chances of you recovering damages.

Maximize your Personal Injury Claim with the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re working towards filling a personal injury claim in Texas after injured in an accident, you should have a skilled personal injury lawyer guide you through the claims process. Barrus Injury Lawyers is comprised of a legal team with the skill and experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us here to request a FREE 5 Point Case Evaluation, at no obligation to you.  Or, you can call us at (210) 593-8709.

San Antonio car accident attorney discusses getting help after a car accident.According to a 2014 report by the Texas Department of Transportation, an accident happens in Texas every 72 seconds. Furthermore, someone is hurt in a car accident every two minutes, and someone is killed every two hours and half. In fact, in recent years, not a single day has gone by without some kind of fatality on Texas’s roadways.

As such, it’s critical that motorists and pedestrians in San Antonio and the surrounding counties be cautious while on the road. It also helps to be aware of how a San Antonio auto accident attorney can assist with the financial recovery necessary after an auto accident.

Factors Behind Car Accidents

Not surprisingly, a person driving intoxicated or under the influence is one of the biggest factors behind many accidents. Approximately 28 percent of auto accident fatalities are caused by a DUI. However, a reliable auto accident lawyer in San Antonio knows the majority of motor accidents actually occur because of the following:

  • The driver isn’t paying 100% attention on
  • The driver exceeds the speed limit
  • The driver breaks a traffic law
  • The driver is distracted by a phone call
  • The driver is texting while driving

A San Antonio auto accident attorney from Barrus Injury Lawyers can help you file an injury claim if you've been injured in:

  • Accidents involving multiple vehicles
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Accidents caused by the other driver texting
  • Accidents caused by a DUI
  • A collision with an uninsured driver
  • A collision with an under insured driver

Auto Accident Injuries

The injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident usually depend on factors such as seat belt use, the speed of which the car was moving, the area where the car made impact with another object, the occurrence of a rollover, the size of the vehicles involved, among others.

Some victims have been lucky enough to walk away from an accident with just a few scrapes and bruises, but others have met their untimely end on the road. There are also victims that fall in between the two extremes, sustaining head and neck injuries, broken bones and limbs, nerve damage, and sometimes paralysis. No matter your situation, we are here to consult with you, and help you find a resolution to your claim.

As experienced auto accident lawyers in San Antonio, the attorneys at Barrus Injury Lawyers knows that each auto accident case is unique. Call us at (210) 593-8709 for a free, no-obligation 5 Point Case Analysis.

 

Texas truck wreck attorney discusses how to win trucking accident cases.If you needed proof of how dangerous commercial heavy trucks can be on the road, you’ll probably be surprised that the average liability policy for big rigs is 50 times more expensive than your standard car insurance policy. Why? It’s because commercial trucks, with their massive size, weight, and momentum on the road, can be incredibly dangerous to ordinary motorists and pedestrians. In fact, most accidents that involve heavy trucks lead to deaths and not mere injuries alone.

Often times collisions with 18-wheeler trucks result in ordinary vehicles being crushed, with their occupants killed or at the very least, suffering severe and critical injuries. Our San Antonio injury lawyers have seen far too many cases that involve underride accidents, where the other car partially passes under the trailer of a truck.

 Insurance companies that represent commercial truck companies know the financial risks their clients face, which is why whenever they receive notice of a wrongful death or personal injury claim that could result in millions of dollars in damages, they immediately prepare an aggressive defense plan to reduce liability.

And these big insurance companies are all too aware of the high statistical probability of heavy trucks causing accidents. It’s precisely why they’ve anticipated such events with computer models detailing every possible accident scenario. They also employ experienced teams of investigators and defense experts to conduct swift and aggressive investigations when their clients’ trucks are involved in a truck wreck.

When these wrecks happen, insurance company reps are immediately on the scene to analyze the crash area and determine all possible ways to deflect liability, all while the helpless victims are still reeling from the accident, not knowing they might need the services of an accident lawyer to protect their rights and fight back.

Defense teams of insurance companies do this because of one thing: maximizing profit and reducing liability and the amount they have to pay out. They do so by finding any way to reduce the truck driver’s liability, even going as far as pinning blame on the victims. And with the state of Texas observing comparative negligence laws that allow for victims to share up to 51 percent responsibility for the accident, it’s highly likely that injured and grieving parties won’t get the compensation they deserve without an experienced truck wreck lawyer on their side. In addition, if the judge and jury find that the victim was more than 51 percent responsible for the accident, any chances of recovering damages are lost. The truck driver, the trucking company, and the insurance get away without paying a single cent.

That’s what they’re aiming for, and they’re very good at it.  Their defense attorneys have years of experience in depriving victims of fair compensation, and they have millions of dollars they have at their disposal to help them reduce, avoid, and eliminate paying victims fair compensation. 

Scare Tactics Employed by Insurance Adjusters Against Victims of Truck Accidents

 Here are just some of the many ways insurance companies can compromise your claim.

  1. To reach their goal of paying you nothing, or very little, insurance adjusters like to approach injured parties and try to get statements that can be twisted and used out of context to blame the injured party for the accident. Even the most seemingly innocent statements, when taken out of context, can be used as an admission of fault, twisted to mean almost anything.  This highlights the importance of NOT giving any kind of recorded statement to anyone prior to getting the advice of an experienced truck accident lawyer.
  2. An insurance adjuster can also try to trick you into thinking your claim has no chance of letting you recover for your damages, using so-called “facts” to bully victims into thinking that they were the ones responsible, or partially responsible, for the accident.
  3. The insurance adjuster offers a fast and convenient opt-out to rid you of your troubles: a release form. If you’re smart enough not to give in to this deception, the adjuster may move towards making a settlement offer much lower than you deserve.
  4. Accepting the settlement means releasing your legal right to file a lawsuit for damages. While settlements aren’t bad, agreeing to any offer without the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can mean getting a mere fraction of your claim’s true potential value. Never accept a settlement without first getting the advice of a skilled San Antonio truck accident lawyer, who can determine your claim’s true value and help protect your rights.

 Don’t Be Foolish. Don’t Try to Represent Yourself in Personal Injury Claim Involving an 18-Wheeler Truck.

 You can be way over your head if you decide to go against trucking and and insurance companies alone. In our many years of experience going toe to toe with big insurance companies in truck accident cases, we’ve never heard of a claimant getting a successful resolution on his/her own. Although it may seem easy to establish liability in a truck accident case, in truth, these cases are very complex and involve several variables that present different outcomes in your case. You just don’t have the experience and skill to understand the legal challenges you will face in order to acquire fair financial compensation. Worse, you could end up spending more money than you need and not receive anything in the end.  All too often injured parties that try to handle these accidents on their own end up making mistakes that can completely destroy their ability to recover a penny for their injuries.  Why risk it?

 How to Win a Personal Injury Claim

Our San Antonio truck accident lawyers often refer to a checklist of do’s and don’ts to win claims and cases against trucking and insurance companies. They can collect and present evidence, talk to responders and witnesses, prepare an offensive plan, and go head to head against the trucking and insurance company.

The best advice I could give to anyone injured in a trucking accident is to take advantage of the FREE consultation that many truck accident attorneys offer, including Barrus Injury Lawyers.  The consultation is free, and could help prevent you from doing something to destroy your claim.  Click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced truck wreck attorneys.