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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Posted on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 12:31 pm
It can be appreciated by most people that not everyone has the same ability to withstand an accident. Some people are more likely to be seriously injured than others even if the accident is exactly the same. If you know that your bones are more brittle than average, for example, you would most likely take precautions to avoid slipping over and falling down, in case the fall meant that you broke an arm or leg bone more easily than most. But what might happen if your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence? Could the person argue that they are not responsible for your injuries because of your naturally more fragile condition? This is where the so-called “eggshell skull” or “thin skull” law applies.
The eggshell skull law prevents a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit from using the plaintiff’s more fragile condition to limit liability if negligence has been proven. This means that even if the accident victim needs a much greater financial payment in compensation because their injuries are more serious than the average person who might have experienced the same accident, then the payment may be justified, although this will depend on the court’s decision.
Despite the law being called the “eggshell skull” law, it is not limited to head injuries and the existence of a thinner or more fragile than usual skull. No-one in real life has a skull that is paper thin or as fragile as an eggshell. It might also apply to the propensity to have a heart attack or develop a particularly serious bacterial infection when hit in some part of the body.
One way to interpret the eggshell skull rule is that the defendant is liable for the victim in the state that he or she was when injured.
Take an example. You are driving on a highway near San Antonio and are hit by another vehicle from the rear as you slow down close to an intersection. The other driver was too close to you and traveling too fast to prevent crashing into you. You are hospitalized as a result of the accident and are discovered to have serious brain injuries as a result of what seemed to be a relatively minor knock to the head. It is discovered that your skull is significantly lighter than average and that means that your injury was more serious than might normally have been expected. The evidence that the other driver was negligent is sufficient to sue him (or her) for damages. There are sufficient eye witnesses to back up your side of the story.
The defendant cannot use your fragile skull’s condition to avoid liability. The defendant must accept you in whatever physical state you were in at the time, or to put it another way the defendant must “take his victim as he finds him”.
Interestingly, the eggshell skull law only applies to physical condition and does not apply to one’s emotional state. It does not apply if another incident aggravates the original injury after the original one, for instance a further accident on the way to the hospital.
The eggshell skull law is not unique to Texas, but is common law valid in all other U.S. states and many other countries.
Vosburg vs Putney: a case study in the application of the eggshell skull law
This is an early example of the eggshell skull law being applied. A schoolboy kicked another boy in a classroom. The boy whose leg was kicked had a previously unknown microbial infection which was aggravated by the blow. The boy eventually lost his leg. Despite the fact that the boy who did the kicking wouldn’t have known about the other boy’s susceptibility this was not considered a sufficient defense to prevent legal action against him. The act of kicking was construed as negligence and therefore the boy was considered liable for his action whatever the physical state of the victim. This decision was made back in 1891 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court!
Although the principles of the eggshell skull law may seem plain enough as they apply to personal injury cases, the calculation of damages can be a complex and contentious subject. If you have been the victim of a negligent action, and have been seriously injured because of your existing condition you are strongly advised to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to work n your behalf. It is vital that you get the argument for damages right the first time, as you will not be able to change the amount of compensation requested a second time round.
If you have been injured in or around San Antonio, Texas, then contact the Patino Law Office in San Antonio on 210-646-9100 for a free consultation.
Posted on Sunday, August 20th, 2017 at 8:07 am
For many, entering into a legal battle can feel terrifying. Especially if you’ve never been through a trial, it may seem confusing, frustrating and downright exhausting.
What can really make or break your experience is who you have behind you. Hiring the right attorney will ensure you are receiving the representation you need.
Not all San Antonio lawyers will offer the same time and effort as others. Also, it’s important that your attorney is someone who is experienced and knowledgeable, all-around.
Hiring a lawyer usually comes in a time crunch. If you need someone to represent you, here are five things to look for prior to onboarding an attorney.
1. Do they usually handle your type of case?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an error that quite a bit of people tend to make. Whoever you’re hiring should have relevant experience handling your specific trial.
If you’re involved with a car accident case, you wouldn’t want to hire a workplace attorney. Your attorney’s area of expertise needs to match the crime.
It may seem tempting to go with other San Antonio lawyers for different reasons. Perhaps, they’re a family friend who can cut you a deal on their services. Or, maybe a colleague had recommended someone who is up for pro bono work.
While this may sound appealing upfront, in the long run, it’s going to cost you. You need someone who is knowledgeable about your case and your specific needs.
The right person will be able to identify what has and hasn’t worked in the past. After discussing previous strategies, they should adapt accordingly to your case.
2. Look for San Antonio Lawyers with Good Recommendations
Sure, we don’t recommend going with just anyone who has been thrown your way. But, referrals can be an excellent place to start.
Reach out to family, close friends and colleagues about your situation. You’ll want to make sure they know you’re looking for someone who specializes in whatever sector.
Inquire about their trial and whether or not they got their desired results. If they did, ask about their overall experience with the attorney.
Was this person open and honest? Communicative? Direct? Pleasant to work with?
If your friends and family haven’t hired a lawyer before, then you could always start online. Browse through consumer-driven sites, such as Avoo, to find attorneys in your area.
Also, you could do a general internet search for “XYZ lawyers near me” (XYZ being your type of case). Then, visit their BBB page, social media accounts, etc.
3. Set Up an Initial Consultation
After doing your research, you should have at least one attorney that you’d work with in mind. But, although they may look good on pen and paper, how do you know they’ll live up?
That’s why it’s imperative to set up an initial consultation with your potential San Antonio lawyers. You’ll be able to put a name to a face, get a feel for their services, and determine if they can help you.
During your consultation, you should come prepared with questions. If you don’t receive the answers you were hoping for, it could be a sign to find another candidate.
Some of the common questions you should ask at a consultation are:
- What is your experience with my type of case? How many have you handled like mine?
- What were the results of these previous trials?
- What is the average time length of my case?
- What can I expect to pay? How often and what exactly will I be billed for?
When visiting an attorney, also make note of their office space. Is it clean and professional? Is their staff orderly and efficient?
4. Usual Processes and Procedures
After asking the above questions (among others), you need to get down to the nitty-gritty. This is when you need to figure out the most important details of your case.
When meeting with a potential attorney, inquire about the details surrounding your situation. Thoroughly explain your case without any restraints. Your lawyer needs to be as knowledgeable about your situation as possible.
If you’re suing, what is the likelihood you’ll win? How much can you expect to earn? What will you and your team need to do to win?
The same goes if you’re the one who’s facing legal trouble. What is the usual sentence for someone in your position? What’s the likelihood you’ll face punishment?
This insight lets you know how your attorney plans to move forward. They’re going to have a different approach, depending on their take towards your case.
Also, they should go over what is and isn’t usual in your type of case. What is the normal procedure for this type of trial? What will you need to do to be successful?
5. Request a ‘Background Check’
Prior to hiring an attorney, you should visit a state directory to conduct a background check. In Texas, you should visit the State Bar website to check for any disciplinary action.
Visiting the State Bar of Texas ensures you are hiring someone who’s in good standing.
Or, you can visit the American Bar Association’s disciplinary action resource page. This lists other agencies who provide public information on lawyers in your area.
As mentioned above, your inner circle can be a great outlet to learning about a lawyer’s history. Did they seem ethical and honest when working with your friend/family member?
Don’t let someone who talks a big game fool you into thinking they’re ethical. Instead, you should ensure they are by reviewing their background history and hearing from others.
Looking for San Antonio Lawyers?
We know where to find some.
At Patino Law Firm, we know a thing or two about personal injury law. In fact, we know quite a few things- which is why we offer our support in 12 different types of injury cases.
Whether you’re handling a wrongful death, medical malpractice, or personal injury, we have you covered. Contact us today to learn about our range of services that will get you your desired results. We stand behind you!
Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 at 7:37 am
If you are facing the uphill battle of filing a personal injury claim, you’ll want to hire San Antonio injury lawyers to get the compensation you deserve.
In this article, we’re covering what qualifies as a personal injury case, what a personal injury lawyer does, and how to choose the right injury lawyer for you.
Read on to find out what personal injury lawyers can do for you.
What Constitutes a Personal Injury Case?
Were you were injured in a car accident, bitten by a dog, assaulted, or perhaps a slip and fall?
A personal injury case can be these or any other scenario in which you sustained serious harm at the negligence or fault of another person or business.
You may remember the recent high profile personal injury case of David Dao. He is the United Airlines passenger who was violently dragged off the plane by airline officials.
Mr. Dao sustained injuries to the nose, teeth, and a concussion. Disturbing photos and videos of the incident when viral. The case was quickly settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
You may also recall the controversial case of Stella Liebeck. Ms. Liebeck was the 79-year-old woman who was severely burned by McDonald’s scorching coffee in 1992.
She required two years of medical treatment for the coffee that spilled in her lap and paid over $10,000 in medical bills. The jury suggested a reward of $2.7 million, which was based upon two days of McDonald’s coffee sales. This case became a media frenzy, and the judge eventually reduced the settlement to about $500,000.
The case is used in many personal injury cases as a litmus test for jury selection. This can help to see if the potential jurors are open to discovering the facts rather than the frenzy.
These are just two cases in the estimated hundreds of thousands of personal injury claims that are filed in the United States each year.
These two examples perfectly indicate why you need injury lawyers to go to bat for you. The legal field is immensely complicated and requires experience and expertise to navigate.
Why You Need San Antonio Injury Lawyers
The harsh reality is that insurance companies will do everything in their power to not pay out the claim. That is why personal injury lawyer for you are the only option when it comes to a serious accident.
Injury lawyers will do the following for you:
- Fight to recover the damages. Damages include medical bills, compensation for leave from work, punitive damages, and more.
- Determine and prove negligence of the defendant.
- Investigate if there was gross neglect in your case. An example of gross negligence is if the driver that hit you was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Investigate if the defendant or claimant was on the job. Companies carry personal liability insurance, typically to a much greater amount than individuals. This could mean a higher settlement as well as a more complicated legal battle.
- Lawyers will know what vital facts to prove, and how to prove them effectively.
- Experience and expertise is required to negotiate a fair settlement with the most benefit you are entitled to receive.
- Lawyers have the means and knowledge to meet crucial deadlines. For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas is only two years. In the legal world, that’s not a very long time, so San Antonio injury lawyers will understand the need to beat this deadline.
- Prevent the removal of your case to federal court, which statistically favors defendants, not claimants. This is a commonly attempted tactic used by defendants to delay the case and even swing the case in their favor.
- More than anything, you’ll want to hire injury lawyer for you to deal with the other side.
Your personal injury lawyer will understand the traumatic nature of your injuries. This includes both physical injuries and emotional ones due to the drama of a legal claim. The lawyers on the other side may not have the same empathy, so you definitely will want a representative to deal with them on your behalf.
How To Find the Right Injury Lawyer for You
If you believe you have a case, the next step is to contact an experienced lawyer for a free consultation.
In the consultation, you can expect to be asked many details about your potential claim, to see if you have a case. Gather information on the details of the accident including the time of day, the number of people involved, the location, etc.
Also, provide the lawyer with information on the injury or injuries sustained. This includes medical bills and any other relevant information.
Remember that you need to feel comfortable with the injury lawyer for you. The consultation is a two-way interview.
Most importantly, it needs to be determined if you have a case. Also, keep in mind that you are hiring this lawyer to represent your best interests and you must feel that you are in the best possible hands.
Want to move forward with a personal injury claim? Patino law firm is here to help.
Dr. Louis Patino is uniquely qualified to handle personal injury cases due to his background in both the legal and medical fields.
A deep understanding of the medical aspect of personal injury claims will help him prosecute your case proficiently.
Patino Law Firm charges no legal fees until we win the claim on your behalf!
We hope this article gave you a deeper understanding of what a personal injury case entails and what personal injury lawyers can do for you.
You have the constitutional right to represent yourself in court. However, most cases are better served by an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle the court systems and the complexities of personal injury law.
If you have faced a personal injury at the fault of another person or organization, you are entitled to compensation for your losses.
Give Patino Law Firm a call today toll-free at 877-333-3333 to find out if you have a case.
If you are in any of these areas, reach out to these attorneys: