Personal Injury Attorney in San Antonio Texas
Serving San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, and throughout the Great State of Texas
Regardless of its cause, coping with the consequences of a serious accident can be challenging. Having said that, the pain and suffering, psychological trauma, medical expenses, and lost income, along with the other disastrous consequences can be all the more challenging if the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, the judicial system permits the victims of these personal injury accidents to seek compensation from the at-fault party to recover the costs associated with their injuries and losses.
At Patino Law Firm, we are convinced that individuals who are injured as a result of someone’s careless or reckless behavior should not have to deal with the resulting losses on their on. Our experienced personal injury lawyer has devoted his career to representing the victims of personal injury accidents, and we would like to help you comprehend the range of legal remedies accessible to you. We offer the legal resources and know-how necessary to successfully pursue your personal injury claim.
Our San Antonio personal injury lawyer helps victims all over the Greater San Antonio area. If you are the victim of a personal injury accident, call us and consult with of our lawyer who can make sure that you get the most compensation possible.
Personal Injury Practice Areas
After you have been injured in an accident, you want to be able to concentrate on recovering from your injuries while having faith that your attorney is giving your personal injury case the attention it needs. The legal professionals at Patino Law Firm has the know-how and experience to handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including those relating to:
San Antonio Car, Motorcycle & Truck Accident Attorney
Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of driver negligence, this includes speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving and distracted driving.
Car, truck and motorcycle accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries, costly medical expenses, lost income, and significant pain and suffering.
If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, Patino Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to receive.
If we accept your case, we will offer you an interest-free loan which you will not have to pay back, unless we receive a settlement or judgment on your behalf.
While the legal implications of a motor vehicle accident can appear to be too much for you to handle, you don’t have to deal with it single-handedly. We will prosecute the case on your behalf and allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact An Experienced San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, we can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Patino Law Firm today at 210-646-9100 to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in the Greater San Antonio area and find out about what we can do to help you through this frustrating experience.
We represent clients throughout the Greater San Antonio area.
What to Expect With a Personal Injury Case in San Antonio, Texas
If you are reading this, you or a loved one has probably been injured in an accident and you are looking for a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury claim. Chances are you have never filed a personal injury claim before and don’t know what to expect. To help you understand, here is a brief overview of the process involved in a typical San Antonio personal injury case.
To begin with, most personal injury cases have four stages:
Often, these stages will overlap and, in some cases, your claim will be resolved without the need for litigation at all. In general, however, you can expect the following from your San Antonio personal injury case at each stage of the process.
Stage 1: The Consultation
A good personal injury lawyer understands that their clients need to be fully informed about their claim and the process involved. Because of this, most personal injury lawyers will provide you with a free initial consultation, during which the lawyer will:
- Listen to your concerns and everything else you have to say about the accident in which you were injured
- Ask lots of questions about the accident and the injuries you sustained so that they can better evaluate your claim
- Explain the claims process to you
- Discuss the apparent strengths and weaknesses of your claim
At this free consultation, you will also be able to learn about the lawyer who will potentially be handling your case, specifically, his or her experience handling personal injury cases like yours. You should feel free to ask as many questions as you want and you should never hire a lawyer if you don’t feel comfortable with them and confident in their ability to represent you well.
The Fee Arrangement
During this meeting, the lawyer will also explain to you how he or she will be compensated for handling your personal injury case. Most personal injury clients can’t pay a lawyer on an hourly basis. So, the law permits you to pay them a percentage of the funds that they recover on your behalf. This is called a contingency fee.
Under this fee arrangement, your lawyer will only be entitled to be paid a percentage of the funds recovered if he or she recovers money on your behalf, by either negotiating a settlement or winning a judgment in court. Normally, your personal injury lawyer will also advance you the costs incurred prosecuting your claim. These costs will be reimbursed from the funds recovered before they are divided between you and your lawyer. The exact percentage split between your and your lawyer will be discussed during your consultation and agreed to in your fee agreement.
If you decide to hire the attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim, a fee agreement will be prepared. This document will explain, clearly and precisely, what you are hiring the lawyer to do and how he or she will be compensated. You should always make sure that you have read and that you fully comprehend this fee agreement before signing with any lawyer.
Stage 2: The Investigation
Depending on the severity of your injuries, it is quite possible that you will still be undergoing medical treatment during this stage of your personal injury claim. But, while you are being treated, your San Antonio personal injury lawyer will be obtaining and reviewing your medical records and bills to date, including:
- Any reports made by first responders;
- Your emergency room records;
- Reports from your treating physician; and
- All other relevant documents, including police reports, witness statements, and statements you may have made, if any.
During this stage, both you and your attorney may be required to exercise a great deal of patience. This is because some injuries can be long-lasting or permanent and your prognosis for recovery can be difficult to diagnose early on. So, until your physician has had ample time to thoroughly evaluate your injuries and has a good idea of how much medical treatment, rehabilitation, and/or long-term care you will need, you should not attempt to negotiate or accept any settlement offer.
Once you and your lawyer are satisfied that you know enough about the circumstances that caused your accident, as well as, your injuries, treatment, and prognosis for recovery, a decision will be made to either attempt to negotiate a settlement with the liable party or their insurance company or to initiate a lawsuit.
Stage 3: The Negotiation
After you and your lawyer have evaluated your claim and you have decided that you want to engage in negotiations with the responsible party and/or their insurance provider, your lawyer should be able to provide you with an accurate appraisal of the value of your claim.
Evaluating a personal injury claim for settlement is not an exact science and no specific dollar amount is the right amount. But, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you with a range of settlement values from which you and your lawyer will need to select two:
- The amount of money you will initially demand at the start of negotiations
- The amount you will accept to settle your case
Once these two values have been decided upon, your lawyer will be ready to speak with the defendant’s insurance company to:
- Summarize the evidence in the case
- Provide them with your initial settlement demand
- Explain how that demand was reached
A good settlement demand will be an amount that is high enough to allow room for negotiations, but not so high that the insurance company will refuse to negotiate any further.
You and the other party may then negotiate directly or agree to employ a private mediator to assist you in reaching a settlement. But either way, keep in mind that you don’t have to accept any offer if you don’t believe that it is fair.
You can simply let the insurance company know that you are not willing to accept their offer and that you will get back to them with another settlement suggestion that you believe will be fair, considering the circumstances of your case and the full extent of your injuries. Ultimately, if a settlement cannot be reached, your personal injury claim will have to be litigated.
Stage 4: Litigation
Larger personal injury claims frequently have to be litigated in order to oblige the liable insurance company to compensate the victim of a personal injury accident fairly. Litigation is the process of resolving a personal claim through the court system.
Here is a brief overview of what you can expect if your personal injury case has to be litigated:
Complaint & Answer
Your San Antonio personal injury lawyer will begin the litigation process by drafting and filing a complaint with the court. In this complaint, you (the plaintiff) will:
- Name all of the parties involved in the lawsuit
- The reason for bringing the lawsuit against the defendant (the person responsible for your injuries and losses or their insurance provider)
- Why the defendant is responsible for your injuries and losses
- The damages you would like to receive in compensation for your injuries and losses
In San Antonio TX, the defendant (or his or her lawyer) has a limited time (usually 21 days) to respond to your complaint in writing. If there is no response to your complaint, the judge will issue a default judgment in your favor. Generally, however, the defendant will file an answer with the court admitting to or denying your claims and offering a defense.
After the complaint and answer phase, you and the other party involved in the lawsuit will engage in a formal fact-finding process called discovery. As part of this process, each side will send written interrogatories (questions), requests for documents, and requests for admission to each other.
Once both sides have responded to pretrial discovery demands, the lawyers will begin taking pretrial testimonies (depositions) from you, the defendant, and witnesses from both sides. Depositions are usually held at the office of the law firm representing the party who is giving testimony.
The people who are usually present at a deposition include:
- The examiner
- Both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyers
- The person giving the testimony
- A court reporter whose job it is to record all that is said and to provide the person being deposed with a written transcript of their testimony to be reviewed and corrected, if necessary.
Once you have given your pretrial testimony, you may be asked to undergo a medical examination administered by a doctor hired by the defense, who will then draft a report summarizing his or her findings and opinion on your case.
When all pretrial procedures have been completed and medical reports exchanged, the lawyers from both sides will begin to file pretrial motions with the court. Pretrial motions are usually filed in an attempt to get the court to throw out all or part of the plaintiff’s claims or the defenses asserted by the defendant, or to limit what may be admitted as evidence at trial.
Sometimes in a personal injury case, there is no real disagreement between plaintiff and defendant with regard to what happened and who is responsible. In these cases, the judge will usually grant a pretrial motion for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, following what the law prescribes in that particular case.
After the pretrial motions have been decided, you and your attorney should convene to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your lawsuit, the likelihood of your lawsuit succeeding at trial, and whether or not a settlement should still be entertained.
Final Attempts to Settle Before Trial
Settlement negotiations sometimes continue during the litigation process and often take on greater urgency as the trial approaches. So, it is highly possible, and often desirable, that your lawsuit may be settled before going to trial.
In many cases, if the amount of money in question is relatively small, the potential legal costs are high, the defendant wishes to avoid negative publicity or the stress of a trial, or if the defendant finally accepts responsibility for your injuries and losses, the legal teams may agree to pursue a settlement to avoid going to trial.
If a settlement is reached, you will receive an award for damages and your attorney’s fees and court costs will be paid. At that point, instead of receiving your award in one lump sum payment, you may decide to receive it as a structured settlement that is paid to you in a series of installments over an agreed upon period of time.
There may also be certain stipulations attached to your settlement, such as a Confidentiality or No Admission of Wrongdoing clause. Your injury lawyer will keep you involved and informed in the settlement negotiation process, ensuring that your best interest is always at the forefront of the negotiations.
If a settlement cannot be reached between you and the defendant, your lawsuit will proceed to trial, where you will have the choice of having your case decided by a jury or simply a judge. Your lawyer will advise you on which is best in your situation. Should you go before a jury, both your attorney and the attorney for the defendant will be involved in jury selection.
Once the trial begins, each attorney will be given an opportunity to do the following:
- Make opening arguments
- Present evidence
- Examine and cross-examine witnesses
- Deliver closing arguments to the jury
Finally, either the judge or the jury will render a decision in the case. But, unlike a criminal trial, where the case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge or jury in your personal injury lawsuit will decide the case based on a preponderance evidence that suggests that the defendant is either liable to compensate you for your damages, or not.
The judge or jury will then award you compensation for your injuries and losses in an amount that it deems appropriate given your past and future medical expense and other financial losses; past and future pain and suffering; loss of quality of life; and a variety of other factors related to the accident in which you were injured and for which the defendant is responsible.
Call Patino Law Firm To Discuss Your Case: 210-646-9100
It’s important to remember, that though this information may make the personal injury process seem simple and straightforward, it is very often not. There are frequently many twists and turns to be navigated during a personal injury case, making it extremely important that you hire an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer to make sure that every procedure is followed, every angle is investigated, and that every argument is expertly made or successfully countered.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call Patino Law Firm today at 210-646-9100 or contact us here to arrange to speak with an experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer about your case.