We live in a complex, fast-moving world. Between our myriad personal and professional responsibilities, the challenges posed by our modern environment, and the totally unexpected, accidents happen.
From car crashes to workplace accidents, there are dozens of ways a person could get hurt. Whether negligence, distractedness, or a momentary loss of control causes an accident, there are many reasons why you might need the services of a Lubbock Personal Injury Lawyer.
Accidents can cause a major disruption to your routine, causing you to miss work and miss out on activities with family and friends. Worse, if the accident is serious, you might suffer long-term financial setbacks due to medical bills, as well as emotional or psychological effects like anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and more.
In most situations, accidents are covered by insurance – be it an auto liability policy, homeowner’s insurance, or workman’s compensation. Figuring out how to navigate the complexities of the insurance industry is no task for the faint at heart, much less someone who is already dealing with the physical and emotional implications of an accident.
Personal injury lawyers specialize in helping their clients understand their legal rights in the event of an accident, evaluate the repercussions of the event, and identify appropriate and reasonable recourse. Additionally, they document evidence and mount a case to justify compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and related needs.
Depending on your situation, you might require the services of an attorney who is skilled in a specific practice area.
Auto Accident Lawyer
According to the National Safety Council, there were more than 40,000 accidents in the United States in 2018. Speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving (including driving while texting or talking on a cell phone), hazardous weather, and failing to obey traffic signals are all among the causes of accidents. In situations where another party is clearly responsible for the crash, that party or their insurance company is often required to pay compensation to the victim.
When people are injured in a crash, contacting a car accident lawyer for assistance is usually a smart decision. Insurance companies generally prefer to avoid paying claims, but an experienced attorney can present convincing evidence and negotiate the terms of a settlement on the victims’ behalf.
When you retain a personal injury lawyer, he or she will gather witness statements, photographs, police reports, and other kinds of materials to document the circumstances of the accident and demonstrate who is responsible. Additionally, your attorney will request copies of your medical bills and employment records to substantiate the impact of the accident on your financial and physical state.
While attorneys do wind up litigating some cases, most of the time, attorneys can reach a settlement without going to trial. Your attorney will solicit an offer from the responsible party’s insurance company, handle any communication, and explain your options when you receive an offer. If necessary, he or she will also represent your interests during arbitration or at trial.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Given their smaller size and relative lack of a protective structure, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents and injuries on the roadway. Accidents can arise as a result of other motorists’ actions. For example, changing lanes while a cycle is in their blind spot – or from hazardous conditions created by weather or road work
Despite prevalent signage reminding car and truck drivers to share the road and motorcyclists’ best efforts to remain visible and safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle crashes killed more than 5,000 people in 2017. Further, motorcyclists were 28% more likely, on average, to die in a crash than were drivers of fully enclosed vehicles. In these cases, the families of the deceased may qualify to compensation for their loss.
A motorcycle accident lawyer is deeply familiar with the various risks riders face on the road, as well as the different situations under which another driver might be held liable. When an accident is the responsibility of another driver, a motorcycle accident lawyer assists the cyclist in preparing and filing a claim or lawsuit. The claim can help to pay for physical injuries, rehabilitation, and other necessary treatment, as well as repairs to their bike.
A personal injury attorney can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for compensation, and a liability insurance policy typically pays these kinds of claims. Many such policies have in two parts: a property damage rider that pays for damage to another person’s vehicle or other property and a bodily injury rider that addresses death, dismemberment, and physical harm.
Some motorcyclists carry accidental death and dismemberment policies. A personal injury lawyer can recover payments for medical bills and family benefits regardless of whether another driver is held responsible.
Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
Even though most commercial truck drivers are well-trained, careful, and attentive, semi-trucks and other large vehicles represent a significant risk to the drivers of smaller vehicles like cars and motorcycles. Given their size, trucks are harder to maneuver, slow down, and stop, and as a result, they can cause serious accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks common causes of commercial vehicle accidents and reports that crashes often occur due to brake problems, illegal maneuvers, driver inattention or distraction, and unfamiliar roadways. Drug and alcohol use were also factors in two to three percent of incidents.
Sometimes the accident is actually caused by the driver of the smaller vehicle. Ignorance of the truck’s handling characteristics causes the driver of the car to make dangerous decisions, such as pulling out in front of the truck without accelerating quickly enough or driving in the truck’s blind spot.
A truck accident lawyer has specialized expertise in handling the intricacies of crashes that involve eighteen-wheelers. Smaller vehicles and can assist by collecting information that demonstrates who is responsible, providing guidance throughout settlement negotiations, arbitration, or trial, and advising clients regarding their rights.
In cases where the driver of a commercial truck or eighteen-wheeler neglected safety regulations governing the number of consecutive hours spent behind the wheel, or where the driver can be shown to have been inadequately or improperly trained, a truck accident lawyer can usually negotiate a settlement.
Since truck accidents often result in serious injuries, victims face significant time in the hospital. They may also require physical therapy, have lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, or even post-traumatic stress. Having access to monetary damages limits the long-term impact of the accident and makes the process of recovery less worrisome, and retaining the services of a skilled attorney is an important step.
Oil Rig Injury Attorney
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 86,000 people currently are employed in non-supervisory, production roles in the oil and gas industry. Overwhelmingly, these are the hands-on jobs: the pump system and refinery operators, roustabouts, and the wellhead pumpers.
Unfortunately, despite the industry’s stringent safety procedures, accidents are not uncommon. As companies struggle to meet increasing demands, the pressure on workers and equipment can create avoidable risks and unsafe environments. Additionally, when companies must rely on less experienced or inadequately trained workers to fulfill complex tasks, the likelihood of an accident rises.
Given the nature of the work, a drilling accident can have serious repercussions. Fire, explosions, heavy equipment failure, and transportation accidents are all significant risks on an oilfield. Injuries can range from bone fractures and burns to hearing or vision loss, amputation, puncture wounds, and traumatic brain or spinal injuries.
When an employee of an oil company is injured, sickened, or killed while performing his or her job responsibilities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate what happened. They determine whether the company’s procedures or safeguards contributed to the incident. An oilfield injury lawyer represents the employee’s rights and interests. In cases where many people are injured or harmed, they might even organize a class action lawsuit.
Leveraging deep familiarity with the laws and regulations that govern the oil and gas industry, a skilled personal injury lawyer analyzes OSHA findings. They also collects witness statements, documentation related to training and safety protocols. They also view the client’s employment records, and other relevant items to negotiate with the oil company and its insurers to win compensation for employees and their families.
Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a person, company, or other entity is negligent, and that negligence results in a fatality, the person or entity can be held accountable for wrongful death. Even though the victim is no longer able to bring a case against the responsible party, his or her family may be able to institute legal proceedings.
Wrongful death claims often include compensation for loss of support or future earnings, medical bills, funeral costs, lost prospects for an inheritance, and emotional pain and suffering. Car accidents, medical malpractice, elder abuse, defective products, violent acts, and workplace accidents are all common reasons for a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim can implicate a single defendant, such as a drunk driver or a business owner. An entity, such as a corporation that manufactured a defective product, or another type of organization, like a government agency may also be responsible. The defendant can be found to have been negligent or can be found responsible for the death based on intentional behavior. For example, in cases of elder abuse, the perpetrator deliberately caused the victim harm.
In other situations, the defendant is found to be “strictly liable,” which means that even though they didn’t do anything wrong, they are still responsible for the outcome. For example, if someone drowns in a swimming pool, the owner of the pool might be held responsible.
Spouses, parents, and children can all bring suit in response to the loss of a loved one. Siblings and more distant relatives like cousins and grandparents can also sue, but in many states, it is more difficult to negotiate matters involving more distant relationships. Additionally, family members should be aware of the applicable statute of limitations. In most states, families must file suit within two years after the event that resulted in their loved one’s death. However, mitigating factors can impact this timeline.
In the course of the suit, a wrongful death attorney works to demonstrate that the defendant owed the victim a “duty of care,” but was negligent in fulfilling that duty and instead directly contributed to circumstances that caused the person’s death. Based on the evidence of negligence, the attorney then negotiates compensation for the victim’s loved ones.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Attorney
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, slips, trips, and falls result in approximately two million injuries from falls each year. Such injuries are one of the main reasons people miss work or visit an emergency room, and they are the primary source of worker’s compensation claims.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that for the elderly, falls a leading cause of injury and death. The National Institute on Aging reports that thirty percent of people over the age of sixty-five will experience a fall. Of those accidents, ten percent will result in serious injury.
Whether the accident occurs in the workplace, a public location like a store or office building, or an assisted living or long-term care facility, unsafe floors and flooring conditions are a common cause of falls. Uneven stairs, carpet or tile, hazards like extension cords, and wet, icy, or slippery conditions can all cause people to lose their footing, and sprains, bruises, and fractures are a frequent outcome.
When unsafe conditions cause someone to sustain an injury, retaining the services of a slip and fall attorney who specializes in evaluating the circumstances surrounding the incident can be an important first step. Key considerations include who owns the property, whether that person or their agent should have realized that hazardous conditions existed, and whether there was a reasonable time for the owner or agent to remedy the situation.
Additionally, in some cases, the hazard is actually caused by an employee’s negligent act, and the attorney must evaluate whether it was reasonably foreseeable that the negligent act would likely result in a risk to others. For example, if a mechanic spills oil in the waiting room of an auto repair shop and fails to clean it up, it is reasonably likely that someone might slip and fall. Because of the employee’s negligence, the shop could be held responsible.
Having developed a case that demonstrates the defendant’s responsibility, a skilled slip and fall lawyer can begin working to protect the injured person’s rights and negotiate a settlement that covers medical bills, lost pay, and other damages.
Negligent Dog Owner Attorney
Being bitten by an aggressive dog – even a small one – can cause lasting physical and emotional effects, especially for children. Dog bites can result in muscular damage, infection, scarring, and lasting fear of dogs and other animals.
The law requires dog owners to restrain their animals and prevent harm to others. If a dog owner is negligent, they are legally accountable for their animal’s behavior. After seeking appropriate medical attention, dog bite victims should document the incident with photos and witness statements. They should also file a report with local animal control officials Doing so can prevent subsequent injury to others, and reporting animal aggression is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions.
Filing a report can be an important step because it can help the victim gain access to the animal’s veterinary and vaccination records. This information can impact the nature and duration of medical treatment. Further, if other incidents are on record, the report may help establish a pattern of dangerous behavior on the part of the dog, and negligence on the part of the owner.
Once the situation is well in hand, many bite victims consult a dog bite attorney to evaluate the evidence and assist in preparing a claim against the owner. In most cases, dog bite claims include medical bills, compensation for emotional trauma, and potentially lost wages.
Depending on the circumstances, the defendant’s homeowners insurance may cover the claim. For example, if your friend’s dog bites you while you’re visiting their home, your attorney might be able to settle with the insurance company. However, if the bite occurred on the street, at the park, or in another public place, you might need to pursue arbitration or file suit in court.
Get A Free Consultation Today
Regardless of the circumstances that resulted in injury, illness, or death, a seasoned attorney who specializes in the relevant practice area can be a tremendous asset. Minimizing the impact of an accident and re-establishing normal activities are critical aspects of the healing process. Having peace of mind regarding your finances, physical and emotional state, and the well-being of your family is a cornerstone of that effort.
Navigating the process of gathering documentation, establishing liability, and determining the best course of action is complex and time-consuming. The personal injury lawyers at Hutchison & Stoy are skilled in diverse practice areas, and they have the perspective and experience to help you resolve your injury case and achieve the best possible outcome.
Call us at our Lubbock area office today (806) 491-4911 for a free consultation. At Hutchison & Stoy, we’re available to talk about your personal injury case right away.