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Injured on an Oil Well or Drilling Rig? Call a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 4:22 pm    

Texas is a big state with a highly diversified economy. It has a huge oil and gas industry so it may not be such a surprise to learn that the state has the highest fatality rate for oil well and gas drilling blowouts and explosions. The oil and gas industry is in fact the most dangerous in the U.S. and Texas is the most dangerous state.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps records of serious injuries and fatalities according to the type of industry. Their figures may not be completely accurate as some accidents are not recorded for privacy reasons. The oil and gas industry is particularly vulnerable to fire and explosions caused by gas leaks. Although only 1% of American workers are involved in the oil and gas industry nationwide, the number of fatalities caused by fire or explosion is about ten times the average number in any other industry with the exception of firefighting.

To be fair, the actual incidence of serious injuries and fatalities in Texas may not be as bad as other states when the percentage of workers involved in the industry are taken into consideration. In 2013, for instance, it appeared that Texas had three times the number of oil and gas fatalities as North Dakota, another state where the industry is important, but on analysis the figures reveal that when the numbers of workers are taken into account, Texas fatal accidents are less than half that for North Dakota.

Accidents on oil and gas rigs are sometimes simply the result of the inherent danger of the proximity to a highly combustible material, but in many cases accidents are preventable. Workers are often injured or killed because of negligence on the part of the company involved in the operation. Methane explosions are particularly common. In one accident in 2010, for instance, supervisors continued to drill for oil after an old coal mine had been pierced, releasing a cloud of methane. The methane exploded, killing seven oil workers.

Workers not the only ones affected by oil and gas accidents

Oil and gas explosions and fires don’t always just affect workers. If they occur on land in the vicinity of buildings used for homes and offices, then others in the community can be seriously affected after a catastrophic accident. Theoretically, an oil or gas well should not be drilled close to anyone’s home, but the distance may not be far enough for all danger to be avoided. In the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 workers died, 17 more were injured and there was also well documented catastrophic damage to the marine environment caused by the subsequent oil spill. The incident remains the U.S.’s worst environmental disaster to date.

Some accidents are caused by ignoring safety procedures. The methane explosion example above was in that category. In other cases, workers may not be sufficiently well trained to do the job they are doing or are not fully trained to follow safety procedures. Adequate supervision may be lacking. In the Deepwater Horizon incident, it was determined that Transocean, the company that was drilling for oil for B.P., had ignored concerns that the well’s blowout preventer was not able to be remotely activated properly in the event that a blowout occurred.

Workers’ comp. or personal injury?

Many Texans and workers from other states are employed in oil and gas wells and are at a higher risk of serious injury than most other workers. In most cases, if an accident causes an injury to an employee, then workers’ compensation should cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages and compensation for dependent families in the event of a fatality. Texas is almost unique in the U.S. for not having mandatory workers’ compensation requirements. Many employers in Texas do in fact take out workers’ compensation insurance. However, in the event that an oil and gas worker is not covered, a personal injury claim may be the only way of obtaining compensation.

For non workers injured by such an explosion or fire there exists the possibility of obtaining compensation through a personal injury claim. If you have been involved in an oil or gas accident and are not covered by workers’ comp., then you should arrange an appointment with a San Antonio lawyer to discuss your legal options and the possibility of a personal injury claim. You can contact the San Antonio office of the Patino Law Firm at 833-210-4878.


Personal Injury Claim: Can a Doctor Make or Break Your Case?

Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 4:21 am    

Injuries in the result of an accident are personal in nature. Two persons involved in the same accident and vehicle will have a different nature of injuries. Similarly, the healing time will be different given their injuries. In this case, the doctor plays a vital role when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of the victim(s). A doctor’s diagnosis of the victims’ injuries and their medical record can make or break the personal injury case. If he makes the wrong diagnosis, or does not keep any a medical record or does not produce at any stage of the proceeding, this can damage the credibility of the victim leading to losing the personal injury case.

Seeking Medical Treatment Immediately After the Accident:

It is very important to seek immediate medical treatment after the accident. These medical records help in determining the link between the accident and consequent injuries. This step is very necessary because the treating doctor’s statement will have more credibility than the hired doctors who are usually paid for the opinion in such cases.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if the victim does not seek medical treatment first and consults the lawyer instead, the court will find it difficult to link between the injuries and accident due to the time that has elapsed between the events. Moreover, the defendant can raise the argument that the injury was pre-existing and not the result of the accident.

The Follow-up Treatment:

Initial treatment is not enough after the accident. The personal injury victim must visit the doctor often and follow the instructions strictly. Moreover, the doctor may also advise that how long after the accident the victim can return to work or can perform other activities. In case the victim does not follow up with the doctors, such an act can be used against the victim that he or she has not taken appropriate steps to recover from the loss.

Keeping Medical Records:  

In a personal injury case, medical records are of vital importance as they serve as the key evidence. Moreover, these medical records must contain complete information about the victim’s accident, injuries, diagnosis, and treatment. For instance, these medical records must contain that the victim’s treatment was started as a result of his or her involvement in a motor vehicle accident. If the doctor proves this link between the injuries and the accident, it can be much easier to recover the compensation money from the insurance companies.

Doctors Being Associated with the Personal Injury Law Firms:

Some doctors have developed a reputation as being associated with the personal injury law firms. When the medical records crafted through these practices, the credibility of such reports come into question. As the personal injury law firms are also involved, it appears that these firms have developed such medical reports. Such doctors fall apart when the cross-examination is carried out. This can break your personal injury claim and the victim lose the case. So, it is advisable to go to the doctor who is not associated with such firms and establishes a good report.

Irrelevant Information:

It is important for a medical report to be perfectly scribed with all the relevant information. Although the attorney can discuss the report with the doctor, however, the doctor must include every relevant information about the treatment.

So, if you are suffering from injuries in the result of an accident, it is better to seek treatment from a well reputed and qualified doctor as well as follow his instructions while keeping a full medical record.

The Texas Dram Shop law and Liability for Injuries Caused by Drunken Patrons

Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 4:52 pm    

Very few people go out to a club or a bar with the intention of causing violence,despite what you might see in a film. Unfortunately, some people seem to become violent easily whenever they have had too much to drink. That alcohol fueled violence can spill over and affect someone who has had nothing to do with the person who has become drunk. They just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Texas, anyone who suffers serious injury because of a drunken attacker whose behavior has been exacerbated by being served alcohol may be able to sue the establishment that served the alcohol. This law is known as the Dram Shop Law.

An example of the Dram Shop Law in action

Let’s say you go out one evening to a bar and have a few drinks with some friends. Youcan’t help noticing that a small group drinking near you is getting drunker and drunker throughout the evening. At some point, one of these guys takes offense at you staring at his group and staggers over and hits you over the head with an empty bottle. You are quite badly injured and need hospital treatment,suffering gashes that need stitching and some loss of vision. Based on this scenario you have the potential right to sue both the bar staff or the bar management as well as the man who hit you. This is regardless of any criminal charge that may have been laid against the drunk bar patron by police assuming that they intervened after you were led away for hospital treatment.

Negligence is the basis of the Dram Shop Law

Like any personal injury situation, liability for someone’s injury depends on proving that negligence caused the injury or made the injury more likely. In the case of a bar, or other commercial enterprise deliberately serving alcohol to someone who was becoming too drunk to be safe, this is construed under Texas law as a case of negligence. The law is an extension of premises liability. The bar staff should not allow the person to drink any more if in their judgment he or she is becoming unable to control his or her behavior satisfactorily and may show signs of violence. The bar management or owners may be judged to be liable if staff are not adequately supervised or trained to stop serving alcohol to someone becoming too drunk.

The same law could also feasibly apply to a non commercial situation, such as in someone’s own home. For example, if people have been invited round to someone’s home and alcohol is provided, then the person who is supplying the alcohol maybe regarded as liable if the alcohol is continually given out to someone who is becoming too drunk to be considered safe.

The Dram Shop Law may also be used if a bar patron has been served with more alcohol than he or she can obviously handle, knowing that that person would attempt to drive away in a vehicle. If the drunk driver causes an injury, then the injured victim may be able to sue the bar management or staff because of their negligence.

Negligence must be proven

As in any personal injury claim, negligence must be proved for the claim to be successful. There is no point in just claiming that the bar was partly responsible for making the person who hurt you drunk. You have to have evidence that this was the case. In the case of a bar attack, it is likely that you would have several other people present at the time who would have seen what had happened and may have also noticed that the attack took place after the attacker had been sold alcohol past the point that that was sensible. These eyewitnesses would be valuable evidence in the event that you made a claim against the bar.

It is likely that if the incident was unprovoked and violent that police would have been called to deal with it or at least investigate it. Their report could also be useful evidence when attempting to show that the attacker should not have been sold as much alcohol as he had been.

You will need a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim

Suing a bar, or other establishment, because of their part in an alcohol fueled injury will not be easy. You are strongly advised to discuss your injury and the incident that led to it with a San Antonio premises liability lawyer. You can contact the San Antonio office of the Patina Law Firm at 833-210-4878.

What to do if you’ve been bitten by your neighbor’s dog

Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 2:36 am    

We all love our pet dogs. They bring us joy and happiness. But sometimes they also cause us grief when they inadvertently attack a neighbor or a passerby. It can also be frightening when you’re at the receiving end of a dog bite. We have all dealt with the neighbor with the aggressive dog and it’s scary when you have been attacked by a neighbor’s dog. For pet owners or pet attack victims, either circumstance leaves a lengthy medical bill – the question is, who pays for it?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog

The first thing you should do when you’ve been bitten by a dog is to evaluate your bite and assess whether you need immediate medical attention.

The next step you should take is to note down the contact information of the dog’s owner. If you’ve been bitten by your neighbor’s dog, you will no doubt have their address and complete name for further contact. If you’ve been bitten in a public place and you’re unsure of who the dog’s owner is, it important to gather as much information as you can about the dog’s owner. At a minimum, this includes the owner’s first and last name.

Your best option is to ask the dog owner to exchange contact information and to ask the owner whether you can take a picture of the owner’s driver’s license. If the dog owner is being uncooperative, you may need to seek the assistance of the police.

Texas Law on Dog Bites

In Texas, the law on animal and dog bites is complex. Rather than a dog owner being 100% at fault for their dog’s behavior, there are a few things you will have to prove if you’ve been bitten by a dog:

  • You have to prove that the dog owner knew or should have know that their dog is aggressive (ie: the owner knows that their dog is aggressive and prone to biting others)
  • You have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in preventing their dog from attacking you

Proving negligence means that establish that the dog owner should have been watching their dog or that their dog should have been on a leash prior to the attack. It’s possible to be bitten by a dog on a leash, but establishing your case is more simplified when the dog wasn’t on a leash when you were bitten.

This rule is known as the “one-bite rule”. The one-bite rule requires you to prove that “but for” the dog owner’s actions or inactions, would you have been bitten by their dog?

The good news with the one-bite rule is that most aggressive dogs have a pattern of aggressive behavior, and its probably not the first time that that particular dog has attacked someone.

While this article addresses dog bites, these rules typically apply to other pet animal attacks.

If you’ve been attacked by someone’s pet, it’s important to contact a San Antonio Personal injury lawyer right away. Dog bites and animal attacks have a statute of limitations. This means that you will want to file your case before your time is up. If you file your case too late, you could be out of money you deserve. Call us at 833-210-4878 today to discuss your legal options.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Workplace Injury in San Antonio

Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018 at 3:03 pm    

In San Antonio, worker’s compensation isn’t mandatory unless the employee is a public employee or meets other requirements of the law. Therefore, employers can decide whether they want to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees or occupational accident insurance for contractors. Workers’ compensation protects both employers who sustain injuries or illnesses on the job and the employer. It basically provides replacement of their wages and health benefits to employees. In contrast, occupational accident insurance, provides the same to independent contractors. Typically, employees who qualify for worker’s compensation or contractors who qualify for occupational accident insurance, have to meet certain requirements to receive payments if they’re not able to their full capacity. In return, the employer is spared a personal injury lawsuit and their financial liability is limited.

If you’re currently employed with a company that has workers’ compensation insurance or occupational accident insurance, it is paramount that you understand how each works. Millions of individuals sustain workplace injuries every day and it’s important that you are aware of your benefits, if they exist. If you are, in fact, injured at work, there are certain steps you should take so that you can become eligible for workers compensation or occupational accident insurance benefits. They are as follows:

Report Your Injury

The first thing you need to do when you are injured on-the-job is to immediately report it to your supervisor. In San Antonio and the rest of Texas, you have up to 30 days to report your injury so that you can make a claim for workers’ compensation. In the event that your employer refuses to accept your report and tries to deny you from making a claim, you can speak with a San Antonio attorney who is experienced in the area of workers’ compensation.

Find Out if Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation

Texas is a state that doesn’t require employers to get workers’ compensation insurance or occupational accident insurance for contractors. As a result, it’s important that you find out whether your employer has it. If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation, you may want to consult with a San Antonio attorney about starting a personal injury claim. This is an option if your injury was sustained as a result of negligence or an intentional act on the part of the employer or a coworker.

Locate Witnesses

In many successful workers’ compensation claims, the injured worker finds a witness who can vouch for what happened. If you can find a witness, it can make things easier. If there weren’t any witnesses, you can still take down the names of anyone who helped you. In Texas, the employee has the burden of proof regarding on-the-job accidents and injuries or illnesses sustained at work, so this is especially important.

See a Doctor

The next step is to see a doctor. You can choose to see your own or one recommended by your employer. Keep in mind that, if you opt to see your own doctor, make sure he or she accepts workers’ compensation insurance. The doctor should make a full report of the findings of your exam, detailing everything about your injury.

Return to Work if Possible

If you are able to, you should return to work as soon as you can. If necessary, do what you can and only perform light work duties. This may be necessary while you wait for your workers’ compensation benefits to begin coming your way. Additionally, if your injury isn’t debilitating, you should return to work to avoid a conflict like getting fired.

If your employer doesn’t have workers compensation or occupational accident insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your injury with a San Antonio attorney while doing light work duties.

It’s important to follow all these steps if you are injured at work in the San Antonio area. Knowing all your rights and having an open communication with your employer is key to a successful workers’ comp claim.

Is a School Liable for My Child’s Injury?

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018 at 4:17 pm    

There are many reasons why a child could be hurt or injured while at school. Both schools and those who work in them are expected to do what they can to prevent school children in their care from being hurt or injured. However, injuries do occur and in many cases, staff members or the school authorities may be considered liable and could be sued for damages.

Typical reasons for school children’s injuries

There are many reasons why a child could suffer harm while at school. In some cases, it may be that the injury was inevitable or not the result of negligence on the part of anyone working at the school or the school itself. In many cases, however, it might be proved that the accident or injury could have been prevented, especially if it happened in a classroom while a teacher was present or outside the classroom in a supervised area such as a playground or sports field. Here are some common examples of school injuries:

  • Fighting or bullying. Teachers may be held responsible if a child suffers from another child’s taunts or violence if it takes place in a classroom, a playground or anywhere else where supervision is supposed to be present.
  • Slip trip and fall injuries. These could be due to slippery floor surfaces, uneven or loose carpets, or other surfaces, food and / or drink spillages anywhere in the school or tripping over objects on the floor which should be neatly stored like school bags.
  • Sports injuries. Schools may be held responsible if an avoidable accident and injury took place on the school grounds.
  • School bus injuries. School bus drivers or other staff may be considered liable for damages if an accident took place on or near a school bus which was due to negligence.

Special problems with suing a public school

In the likely event that your child was injured at a public school, i.e. a school administered by a San Antonio school district you should be aware that suing the school is not as straightforward as suing a privately owned and administered entity. Theoretically, the school and its employees are protected from civil claims made against them by ‘sovereign immunity,’ a caveat which provides protection for all federal, state and city government agencies and those who work for them.

In practice, this immunity is waived when negligence can be proven, but suing a school district can be quite difficult. You are strongly advised to discuss your child’s injuries with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer. You will need to file an initial ‘notice of claim with the school district and wait for their decision to pay compensation. The claim must be accompanied by clear documentation that shows how the injury took place and why you think it was due to negligence. You cannot sue an individual employee of a government owned school. In many cases, your claim will be denied, but this allows you to pursue a personal injury claim instead. You will need legal help with such a claim. You will also need to be aware that Texas has stricter time limits when filing a claim against a government owned entity. The statute of limitations for claims against a government agency is 6 months from the date of the injury.

Your San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer, Dr. Louis Patino, can provide helpful legal advice if your child has been injured while at school and can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the San Antonio office of the Patino Law Firm on 833-210-4878 today.

If you are in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, consider contacting Ponte Vedra Family Law Attorney for your questions/guidance.

How Much Could I Get in a Personal Injury Claim if I was Partly to Blame?

Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2018 at 4:41 am    

Accidents happen all the time, but each one is unique. In some accidents, injuries to the people involved may never happen at all, or may be so insignificant that they will never lead to a personal injury claim being filed. At the other end of the scale, in some accidents, the injuries may be so horrific that one or more victims may be so badly injured that their injuries could disadvantage them for life, or even lead to their death.

Apart from the scale of seriousness of the injuries received in an accident is the question of who was to blame. Many accidents may not be clear cut. Was the accident solely one person’s fault? Was more than one person to blame? If you were injured and are contemplating filing a personal injury claim, one of the first things that a defendant’s insurer will probably do is try and implicate you in the accident. The insurer may try and do this whether you know whether you shared some of the fault or not. If you know that you were not at fault or are not sure whether you were to blame for at least some of the reasons why the accident took place, it is safer not to admit fault at all. Your personal injury accident attorney will help you decide exactly how to proceed with the claim to maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Texas law on comparative negligence

All states have laws that clarify who can receive what in a shared personal injury case. In some states, like Virginia, if you are judged to have had any part of the blame at all, even 1% then you will not be allowed to obtain any personal injury compensation. At the other end of the scale, pure comparative negligence rules allow a plaintiff to receive a percentage of compensation calculated on the percentage blame. This is usually decided by a judge if the case goes to court.

In Texas, the law follows what is called the modified comparative negligence rule. The defendant must be at least 50% to blame for the accident. To put this another way, if you were found to be 51% to blame, you cannot obtain compensation. If you were found to be 49% to blame, then you will be awarded 51% of the compensation payment that you originally claimed.

Basically, as long as you were not more than 50% to blame for the accident that caused your injuries, you should be awarded a percentage of the original amount claimed according to the final percentage blame which it is decided is yours.

The only way to prevent an aggressive insurer for convincing a court (if it comes to that) that you were to blame for the accident that caused the injuries you are claiming for is to get help from an experienced injury lawyer. The attorney will have dealt with claims like yours before and will probably have dealt with the insurer who is now trying to evade having to pay out any compensation at all if they can get away with it.

As with all personal injury claims, the more evidence you have that backs up your claim and negates the allegations that the defendant and his / her insurance adjuster is making, the more likely you will be able to obtain the compensation you need to get on with your life.

Some state laws vary particularly for injury lawyers, the divorce lawyer, accident and wrongful termination lawyers, etc and the like.  But in the instance of Texas our capable attorneys are compliant.

Comparative negligence when there is more than one defendant

Comparative negligence rules also apply when there is more than one defendant. For example, if you have been injured in a bus accident, part of the blame may be the way the bus driver handled the bus at the time of the accident, but perhaps another vehicle driver was also partly to blame, or the bus company itself. Personal injury compensation depends on identifying exactly who was at fault in an accident and to what extent.

Assuming that you, in this bus accident example, were not to blame at all, then the percentage blame must be divided between the bus driver and the other party. The total percentage must come to 100%. If the claim is for a total of $10,000 and it is decided that the bus driver was 60% at fault and another driver was 40% at fault, then if the claim is successful, the bus driver’s insurer would be liable for $60,000 and the other driver’s insurer $40,000.

No personal injury case is quite like any other and few are straightforward. If you are injured anywhere in San Antonio or the surrounding area, you should contact the Injury lawyer San Antonio as soon as you are able to discuss your legal options.

Does Amtrak Have a “Lax Safety Culture”?

Posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2018 at 11:38 pm    

The latest in a string of Amtrak train crashes has yet again focused the public’s attention, as well as that of investigators, on the rail company’s safety record, which is abysmal. It doesn’t matter what is the actual reason for each particular crash, it seems that Amtrak management appears to be attempting to dodge bullets headed at it rather than seriously address its own safety procedures.

The key seems to be getting an electronic safety program called “Positive Train Control” actually working properly. It has only been partially installed and it appears that this just isn’t good enough to prevent trains going off the rails, crashing into trains and other vehicles and lives lost or ruined because of injury.

The latest crash took place in South Carolina on February 8th when Train 91 from Penn Station, bound for Florida, was accidentally derailed from the main line and crashed head on into a CSX freight train which was parked on a siding. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators found that in this instance that CSX crew members failed to reverse the track switch that had allowed the freight train to divert off the main line on to the siding. It also appears that there was a message to dispatchers that indeed the switch had been activated. It also appears from the preliminary results of the NTSB investigation that signals in the vicinity were not working because of lack of maintenance.

The South Carolina crash resulted in the deaths of the train’s engineer and a conductor, as well as injuries most of which, thankfully, were relatively minor, to more than100 passengers.

Amtrak management has put the blame for the latest crash on CSX, which has the contract for servicing the tracks and signals. However, critics have claimed that the recent crash is a symptom of what they say is a culture of lax safety measures at Amtrak. They say that Amtrak has had plenty of time to get Positive Train Control up and running on the rail network and properly operating this would have prevented the most recent crash, as well as most of the others. That includes the January 2018 Washington state crash when an Amtrak train reportedly derailed after negotiating a bend at more than twice the recommended speed.

Positive Train Control is a complex system that integrates sensors providing information about a train’s location and speed with signals and track switches. It is designed to automatically slow down or stop a train if there is any danger of a collision or derailment.

For example, Positive Train Control should have automatically prevented the train that was traveling too fast around the bend in Washington from reaching the speed that it did – more than 50 mph more than recommended. However, it was not turned on, as it was not yet operational. The investigators after that crash questioned why the engineer and conductor appeared to be unaware of their location and that they should have reduced speed before entering the bend. Positive Train Control is supposed to over-ride engineers and conductors if there is a discrepancy between the decisions they make and the potential for an accident as detected by information available to it.

It’s not as if Positive Train Control as a concept is totally new. It was conceptualized back in the 1960s. Congress gave railroad companies until 2015 to fully implement the system, but this was then extended to the end of 2018. It may not be until 2020 that Positive Train Control is fully implemented everywhere and even then there may be a period in which refinements and adjustments are necessary to ensure it is fully operational.

In the meantime, more accidents may be inevitable. Train crashes are potentially very serious because of the number of passengers involved and the size and weight of the train. If you, or a member of your family, are unfortunate enough to be injured in any kind of rail or train accident anywhere in Texas, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney at the Patino Law Firm in San Antonio. You may be entitled to full and fair compensation from the rail company or whoever was to blame for the accident that caused your injuries.

What’s Involved in a Trial in a Personal Injury Case?

Posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 at 8:52 pm    

If you have been considering filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against another person, business or organization, you should ask your attorney about the chances of the lawsuit going to trial and what might be involved if it does.

Most personal injury claims never get to the stage where a trial is called for. In fact, often times, even a lawsuit is never filed because a satisfactory settlement has already been negotiated.

A personal injury attorney will try hard to make sure that a trial is unnecessary and a successful compensation payment is made before a trial takes place. Most personal injury attorneys will carefully assess the circumstances of a personal injury case and in particular the evidence that might be available which can support the claim. The more convincing the evidence is, the less likely that there will be a need for a trial.

A personal injury claim may eventually go to trial because the attorney who represents you thinks that the claim is more likely to be won if a trial takes place or because a more generous compensation payment may be awarded if a trial takes place.

A personal injury trial is not to be taken lightly. Judges do not like their time wasted and attorneys cannot afford to waste their time and money, either, especially because the vast majority of them, like our San Antonio lawyers, work on contingency, i.e. are not paid unless there is a satisfactory outcome for the plaintiff. The legal fees come out of the compensation payment. No win, no fee.

Basically, a trial takes place when no satisfactory agreement can be arranged between you, the plaintiff and your attorney and the defendant, his or her insurer and their attorney. The trial will be heard by a judge and possibly a jury and provides an independent assessment of the circumstances surrounding the injury and how it was caused, together with supporting evidence. It is also an opportunity for the defendant to show that he or she was not responsible or that negligence was not involved. The trial decision will also decide on the eventual payment to be made, if any, to the injured party.

There are a number of steps involved in a complete personal injury trial and it is worthwhile you, as the plaintiff, becoming familiar with them.

Step 1 The jury, if any, is determined. This is not a pre-determined process, as both the plaintiff and defendant get to see who is on the list drawn up in advance and may reject any of the suggested jurors if there is any suggestion that they could be biased against either party.

Step 2 The attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant make opening statements outlining their client’s side of the case. Usually, the plaintiff’s attorney makes the introductory opening statement and because it deals with the reason why a claim has been submitted in the first place may take longer than the other opening statement by the defendant’s attorney. In a few cases, there is more than one defendant, in which case each defendant has an independent opening statement made on their behalf, rebutting the plaintiff’s case.

Step 3 This is when any witnesses that are available give their testimony under oath and may be cross examined by the opposing side’s attorney. As with the opening statement, the plaintiff usually has the first opportunity to bring forth witnesses and make available for inspection other physical evidence, such as photos, medical statements etc. Each witness is first questioned by the attorney representing the side that called the witness, then cross examined by the opposing attorney. Each side may choose to rebut any of the opposing side’s witness statements or question the validity of any other evidence provided.

Step 4 The closing statements come after each side has “rested” with respect to witnesses and other evidence. It is an opportunity for the main points to be stressed and anything that has been raised during the trial incorporated in such a way to enhance the side that is making the closing statement.

Step 5 The jury is given instructions that are needed to come to a verdict regarding the personal injury case. This is usually based on deciding on the “preponderance” of evidence that points one way or another. The jury members then get together to discuss the case. This can take anything from a few hours to a few weeks. In a Texas personal injury trial, a majority of 10, rather than unanimity, is all that is needed for a verdict.

When a decision is made, Step 6 involves the judge announcing the verdict, i.e. whether the plaintiff was justified in suing the defendant and how much should be awarded.

Reasons Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 1:05 pm    

Finding yourself injured due to someone else’s negligence isn’t just a fact of life.

While you may want to move on after an injury, insurance and hospital bills might not allow you to. A personal injury attorney in San Antonio can help you manage your life post-injury.

Speaking to a qualified legal professional can alleviate your concerns and help you navigate your options. Finding yourself managing a case in small claims court or dealing with an uncooperative insurance company can be a headache for the inexperienced.

Here are some reasons why you might want to seek help from a personal injury attorney San Antonio.


The average person who suffers a personal injury isn’t going to be thinking about the legal ramifications immediately after the event. It may be hard to put into perspective who is at fault, even if it’s clear to an objective party.

An experienced personal injury lawyer has probably seen a case like yours before. They can give a quick assessment of what steps need to be taken and in what order.

They are also experienced in dealing with insurance companies. They can advise you on what kinds of things companies are going to want to avoid paying out for and how to ensure you can get what you deserve.

Websites for personal injury lawyers often list testimonials and examples of previous cases. Call a law office and ask about details to get find out what kind of approach they will take. Read reviews to find the right personal injury lawyer for your case.


It can be time-consuming to raise a family, work a job and try building a case for your personal injury claim. The hours of calling insurance and local bureaucrats, looking at records, and calling insurance adjusters can take up days of your time.

The paperwork required for many legal claims can snag most people. There are so many hoops to jump through. Just getting together the paperwork to find lost wages can take weeks.

If this is your first time, it can be easy to make a mistake that leaves a hole in your case for insurance adjusters to take advantage of.

Even if you know the ropes, there might not be enough time in your day to handle this case with all of your other responsibilities.

Finding the right personal injury attorney San Antonio can put your mind at ease and ensure the work will be done right the first time.


It can be very frustrating if an insurance adjuster offers you an unfair settlement, especially after you’ve done your due diligence. After doing all the work of gathering the right paperwork and doing the legwork to track down all the right bureaucrats, you may want to give in.

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to respond to an offer.

Personal injury attorneys regularly handle minor arbitration and mediation that are daunting to the average person.

After experiencing a personal injury, you may just want to have it over with rather than go through the pain of dealing with the other party.

The right personal injury attorney San Antonio can handle all of this for you and ensure you receive a fair settlement. Their experience with dispute resolution will come in handy when you have to go back in and negotiate with lawyers.

Should the issue escalate, your attorney can assess the risks of going to trial and advise you on your next steps.


Representing yourself is a pretty reliable way to ensure that you won’t get the outcome that you’re hoping for. The odds just aren’t in your favor.

Trials can drag on for months at a time and the fatigue can weigh on your bank account and your ability to stay focused. Most attorneys handle multiple cases at a time and can easily juggle the work of your trial with the rest of their workload.

They will put together an efficient and tight case that will succinctly summarize your case for a judge or jury. Details that you might think are important may not prove important in a court of law.

Your personal injury attorney will know this and help navigate the pitfalls common to people who might try to represent themselves. Relying on an attorney will allow you to see an outcome that you’re happy with, without the frustration of learning the ins and outs of courtroom procedure.

Higher Settlements

It’s a matter of fact that people who hire a personal injury attorney are not only more likely to win but often receive higher awards in their settlement. Once fees are deducted, most claimants still walk away better off than those who don’t hire an attorney.

Get to know what kinds of fees your lawyer has and see whether or not an attorney is good for your case. It’s likely going to be the choice that makes the difference between whether you can get some help covering high medical bills or not.

Call the offices of a personal injury attorney San Antonio and see what kinds of settlements they’ve reached in similar cases. Compare your needs with their average settlement price.

Compare that against how much the attorney costs and determine which attorney is right for you.

Finding The Right Personal Injury Attorney San Antonio

Finding the right personal injury attorney can make the difference between winning and losing your right to get back to your life. You’ll find most personal injury attorneys are able to work within any budget. The majority will not collect a fee unless you’re given an award.

Rather than put all of your time into building a case, let an experienced personal injury attorney help you deal with the medical bills and lost wages you’ve experienced from your injury.

Whether you experienced a dog bite or were struck by another driver, there is a personal injury attorney San Antonio ready to handle any type of case. Find them today!