In a legal context, personal injury is physical, mental, or emotional injury caused to an individual, rather than property damage or damage to a person’s reputation. A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action to recover compensation for personal injury suffered from the at-fault party.
Our personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC, Willie Powells, is a dedicated advocate for personal injury victims with a successful track record who will fight aggressively for your rights. Most of our clients come to us from personal referrals.
Types of Personal Injury Matters We Handle
Personal injury can occur in many different ways, from car accidents to medical malpractice to dangerous medications and products. The attorney you choose to represent you can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim for compensation. We have a history of success handling a range of personal injury matters, including:
- Car accidents: Traffic crashes killed 35,485 people and injured 2,443,000 in a recent year, per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics.
- ATV crashes: The majority of all-terrain vehicle accident victims are ages 15 to 24, as reported by NHTSA.
- Motorcycle accidents: Many motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers who violate the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
- Truck accidents: Passenger vehicle occupants can suffer serious or fatal injuries in a collision with a fully-loaded 18-wheeler weighing up to 80,000 lbs.
- Commercial vehicle accidents: Drivers of commercial vehicles can cause accidents that result in complex personal injury claims.
Personal Injury Claims for Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury can be defined as any personal injury that has severe, long-term effects on the victim. It can be described more precisely as a disabling injury for the long run. Catastrophic injuries can rob victims of the ability to work and support their families.
Catastrophic Injuries Giving Rise to Personal Injury Claims
Examples of the types of catastrophic injury we handle include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe burns
- Multiple bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals
Damages in Catastrophic Injury Claims
Because of the enormous losses with far-reaching consequences caused by catastrophic injuries, damages tend to be much higher than in a typical personal injury claim. The goal is to obtain monetary compensation from the responsible party for extensive medical bills, a lifetime of lost earnings, and extreme physical and emotional suffering for the victim. Our significant knowledge, skills, and experience have enabled us to recover substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries.
Wrongful Death Personal Injury Claims
When a personal injury caused by the negligence of another results in death, surviving family members of the deceased victim may have a wrongful death claim. Under the Texas Survival Statute, Title 4, Chapter 71, Subchapter A, an action may be brought against the liable party by the survivors provided the deceased, if he or she had survived, would have been entitled to sue for damages.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim can arise from virtually any type of accident or injury caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another and resulting in death of a victim. Examples of accidents that can cause wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- ATV accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages in a wrongful death claim may be sought for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person. A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by any of the above-named survivors or by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered for Wrongful Death?
The Texas statute states that the jury may award damages in an amount proportionate to the injury resulting from the death, to be divided among qualified family members. In addition to compensatory damages, exemplary (punitive) damages may be awarded when death is caused by gross negligence or the willful act or omission of the defendant. Damages may be awarded to compensate surviving family members for:
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of love, comfort, companionship, and society of the deceased
- Mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of care, services, support, maintenance, advice, and counsel of the deceased that would have been provided to family members
- Lost inheritance
Comparative Fault in Texas Personal Injury Claims
The rule of modified comparative negligence applies in Texas personal injury cases. This means that the party who is responsible for your injuries will try to claim that you are at least partially at fault for the accident. Under the 51% bar rule, you are only allowed to recover compensation if you are found to have 50% or less fault for the accident that caused your injuries.
The other side will argue to assign the highest share of fault possible to you. Your award for damages will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you are assigned. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found to be 25% at fault, your recovery will be reduced to $75,000.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim
Comparative negligence and the attempts of the other side to assign fault to the victim is one reasons why it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney handling your claim. Insurance companies have their own interests at heart and the incentive to pay out as little as possible for your claim. At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC in Houston, we have the experience, skills, and resources to:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident and injuries
- Obtain and preserve evidence
- Build a strong case based on the facts
- Negotiate skillfully for a full and fair settlement on your behalf
- Fight for your rights in court, if necessary