How Do I Know If I’m At Fault for My Auto Accident?

Determining Fault In Auto Accidents

The determination of fault in an automobile accident largely rests on identifying the party responsible for “negligence” or carelessness. This factor is easy to assess in many cases where the question of which party was being careless is immediately clear. The negligent party ends up being the one responsible for injuries, property damage, and the other negative effects of the accident.

Police Procedure For Determining Fault

Once the police become aware of a car accident, their main responsibility is preparing a police report which accurately describes the incident. Police officers will gather information by interviewing all of the drivers involved as well as any witnesses. A series of formalized questions is used to ensure that the information gathered is complete and correct.

After the information is gathered and compiled in a report, the officer responsible for it will submit it to his or her department. In some cases, this document will include a statement assigning fault for the accident based on both the statements collected and the professional judgment of the reporting officer.

A determination of fault is not a necessity for a police report, and many auto accident reports do not include them. Additionally, you should know that a determination of fault in a police report is not binding, and a lawsuit may end up assigning legal responsibility (i.e liability) to a different party.

In the course of investigating an auto accident, a police officer might issue traffic citations. Citations are basically law enforcement notices which assert that a driver has violated a traffic law. Examples would include making an unlawful turn or driving faster than the speed limit. Many citations include penalties for the driver such as fines or points deductions. Note that a police office may issue multiple traffic citations for a single car accident.

Drivers who receive traffic citations may be obliged to appear in traffic court or take other action. Traffic citations are not binding when used as evidence in an auto accident lawsuit, but they can serve as strong evidence to establish driver negligence.

Fault Determination For Insurance Companies

Following a car accident, one or more insurance companies typically receive claims. Each claim is assigned to an adjuster who takes responsibility for investigating the accident and settling the claim. It is entirely normal for multiple adjusters to be active in one accident, as each insurance company involved will typically assign its own adjuster.

Adjusters learn more about an accident by gathering information from multiple sources. They will speak with witnesses, examine vehicles, review medical records, and examine the insurance policies of the drivers involved in the accident. Adjusters will sometimes divide up fault in an accident, assigning a separate percentage to individual drivers. The total cost of the accident and the indemnities assigned to different drivers will be portioned out according to this percentage (and to the relevant terms in the drivers’ insurance policies).

The highest rule applied by insurance companies and their adjusters is usually the state’s definition of negligence. Negligence generally consists of failing to use the same level of caution as a reasonable driver in the same circumstances. The simplest example would be a driver who drove past a red light and hit a car being driven through an intersection on a green light. Because the law supports the behavior of the driver with the green light and proceeding past a red light is not a reasonable action, the driver of that car would be considered negligent and at fault for the accident.

In Texas courts, a rule called modified comparative negligence may affect lawsuits related to car accidents. A driver’s ability to file a claim with other party’s insurance companies is limited by the determination of fault. Only drivers who are found to be less than 51 percent at fault may recoup their losses in this way.

How Fault Is Determined In Court

If you get into an auto accident and subsequently file a lawsuit in order to recoup the costs of injuries and/or damage, the question of fault will be determined by the court. The key question here will be whether the defendant in the suit was behaving in a negligent manner as discussed above. A failure to act with reasonable caution in the circumstances is the key definition of negligence in these cases.

Courts will weigh their decisions based on both the arguments presented by each party’s lawyers and any evidence they present. Potential forms of evidence include drivers’ testimony, witnesses’ testimony, police officers’ testimony, and testimony from relevant experts like doctors or accident reconstruction professionals.

Auto accident cases will be decided by either a judge or a jury. Regardless of who is responsible, the determination of fault and negligence will be made based on the evidence presented. A defendant found to be negligent will be required to pay you in order to compensate for your injuries and losses if your suit is successful.

You must always bear in mind that neither police reports nor insurance company determinations dictate the way an accident lawsuit plays out. Certain pieces of evidence may end up being excluded from consideration. Police reports, for example, are often considered hearsay. Determination of responsibility and fault can be affected by many factors, including legal precedents in the jurisdiction in which your case is heard.

Traffic citations and other pieces of evidence can prove to be very persuasive when a court is weighing fault in an auto accident case. Your case may end up getting a big boost if the driver responsible for your injuries received a citation.

Getting Help In An Auto Accident

Car accidents are inevitably traumatic. You have a huge roster of concerns to address, including your medical issues, potential damage to your vehicle, and dealing with the police and insurance companies. If you feel that a lawsuit may be required, it’s a good idea to seek out the best car accident lawyer Corpus Christi has to offer you. Besides explaining your options and advising you on the best steps to take, an attorney specializing in auto accidents will also be a strong advocate for your interests and ensure that you are treated fairly.

Please contact us or call us now at 361-882-5605 for your FREE case consultation! The Law Offices of Jerry J. Trevino or waiting to assist you and answer any questions that you may have!

What You Should Know About Your Auto Accident

All You Need To Know About Car Accidents With Property Damage Exclusively (No Injuries)

In the majority of cases, automobile accidents do not result in physical injury but rather property damage. This being the situation, it is questionable whether or not you would require the services of an attorney when no person was injured in the accident. The answer is that, surprisingly, you probably won’t need a lawyer.

If you are reading the information on this website, it is likely that you are searching for a professional to assist with the red tape involved after experience an automobile accident. In truth, unless you have suffered from a personal injury the chances are likely that you will not need to hire an attorney at all. This article will provide information on how to go about effectively managing an automobile accident without any injuries.

Filing The Claim

While personal injury law firms such as ours can assist people in filing property damage claims, it is also possible that the claim will involve issues of personal injury. A claims process is relatively straight-forward regarding property damage meaning there is little leeway when dealing with the claim for property damage of an automobile. Unlike a personal injury claim where insurance companies use various methods to contest the value of the claim, the property damage claim has a fixed approach to the case.

The claims process starts with the filing of the claim and, unlike a personal injury claim; the monetary value of vehicle repairs is typically a fixed amount. It is for this specific reason that the property damage claim is speedier to file than a personal injury claim. The average time frame for a property damage claim is a few days and it only takes a few phone calls to finalize the details, unless the liability of the claim is being contested.

The Actions To Complete At The Accident

There are various actions to perform when you are the scene of the accident to ensure that the claim will be expedited in a timely fashion. Below is a discussion of some of the most significant actions to complete.

Firstly, it is important that you notify the police of the situation. Filing a police report may seem tiresome, but it can be highly beneficial in the long-term. In some cities, however, police officers will only respond to accidents involving personal injury caused by dangerous conditions or traffic disturbances. Regardless of the situation, it is highly recommended that you contact and inform the police officers in the area.

Another factor to consider when at the scene of the accident is to make note of additional information that could be useful when filing a claim for property damage. Some items that may be beneficial can include the contact details of the other driver, the insurance details of the other driver, and any admissions made by the other driver.

Photographs can be advantageous for filing a property damage claim; therefore, it is recommended that you take pictures with your camera or cell phone. When at the scene it is advised that photographs be taken of all damage to the car including the vehicle’s body, tread marks, the vehicle position and any other pertinent information that could assist with an assessment of damage liability.

Finally, it is beneficial to make a list of any personal items that may have been damaged in the accident. This, as with the photographs, will help with assessments of damage liability.

What To Do After The Car Accident

Once the accident has been experienced, it is vital that you document all the contributing factors. For example, did the weather conditions play a role in the accident or was the driver distracted by road construction? If you feel you feel you have suffered a personal injury, it is recommended that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. This will help when filing a claim with attorneys Corpus Christi for personal injury damages; as well as obtaining treatment for physical ailments.

What You Need To Know About Your Insurance Coverage

Tips For Understanding Insurance Coverage

What is an Insurance Claim?

Insured lawyers are usually required to report any malpractice claims to their insurance carrier when they become aware of them to bind coverage. That is why it is very important to know what is considered to be a claim according to what the policy states. If you don’t understand how a claim is defined by the insurer it can create a serious problem if it was something that wasn’t reported to the insurance carrier promptly.

Professional liability insurance policies might define a claim in a broader way than a basic lawsuit where the policyholder is named as a defendant. For instance, a claim might be defined as “a communication or demand to the insured for professional services or damages,” or “an omission, error or act by any insured which did not result in a demand for damages but that the insured knows, or should know reasonably, would support this demand.”

Occurrence Policies vs. Claims-Made

One of the biggest differences between a general liability policy and professional liability policy is that almost always professional liability policies are written on the claims-made basis in contrast to an occurrence basis. It is also the policy in force when the claim gets presented that pays for a loss. For instance, an error that was made in 2010 by a policyholder but was discovered in 2014 by the policyholder should be reported to the insurance carrier providing coverage when the claim is discovered.

An error by an attorney might be presented in several different ways, which includes being notified by a lawyer of the error who might be recently appointed by a client, or once you are notified directly by the client of the error.

The policyholder must meet important conditions to establish coverage for a claims-made policy. First of all, a policy has to be in place when the claim is made. Also, the policyholder’s “prior acts date” or “retroactive date” must be date as far back at least when the services were provide that gave rise to the claim. Finally, notice must be provided in a timely way to the insure of the claim, and in accordance to the claim-reporting requirements that the professional liability policy defines.

The insured attorney’s “retroactive” or “prior acts” date is established when the policy gets created and is clearly defined always in the professional liability policy’s declarations page. For an attorney seeking coverage when she or he first was licensed to practice law and then had continuous, successive years of uninterrupted professional liability coverage, typically their prior acts date goes back to the the first day on the first insurance policy that the lawyer had.

Policy Renewal and Claim Reporting

At times lawyers worry that reporting a claim will trigger an increase automatically on their annual policy premiums. However, usually professional liability insurer do not debit policy premiums just because a claim is reported by a policyholder. If this was done it would discourage policyholders form reporting claim matters early. However, reporting multiple claims over an extended period of time that are a similar type can indicate that there might be a systemic problem in how a personal injury law firm organizes its client issues, and that can trigger in increase in the insurance policy premium at renewal time.

At the time policyholders are renewing their professional liability insurance they will asked whether or not they are aware of circumstances or facts that could lead to a malpractice claim. That question helps to identify the right claims-made policy to provide insurance coverage.

Lawyers who know about a claim matter but do not report it to their insurance carrier are are risk of losing their coverage if they end up reporting it later on a subsequent insurance policy. That happens sometimes when a lawyer ignores constant pleas from a frustrated or angry client, and assumes the issue will just go away, and then later realizes that the problem has gotten out of control and at that point the policy is in desperate need of assistance from the insurance carrier after the fact.

Pricing

Attorneys, especially new ones, frequently don’t have a good understanding of how much professional liability insurance costs. It would seem that more inexperienced lawyers would have the highest risk and therefore be subject to more expensive premiums, but that is not true.

Risk exposure for malpractice claims dramatically increases for attorney during that five to ten year period after they start to practice law. Lawyers who have been in practice practice for a period of five years or less in general report about 3.5 percent malpractice claims. Attorneys who have practice law for 11 to 20 years have a 37 percent malpractice claims. Why is that? New lawyers simply don’t have a “tail” – which means they just haven’t been practicing long enough for some mistakes to be discovered and also reported. Also,more experienced attorneys who have been practicing for ten years or more have a tendency to handle more matters, and matters that are more complicated. They are also more likely to be responsible for overseeing issues that other lawyers from their firm are handling.

In addition, lawyer who spend a significant amount of time in their practice on areas that have a high number of claims like real estate or plaintiffs’ personal injury, are much more likely to have to pay higher annual premiums. Lawyers in practice areas where the legal matters are very severe and that can be very expensive to resolve – like securities, entertainment and patent/trademark law, can also expect to pay higher premiums.

New attorneys who are getting a firm established and who don’t have any clients yet might sometimes wait for people finding a personal injury attorney before they bind coverage on their first insurance policy. However, any chance for providing legal advice is an opportunity as well for people to rely on faulty information. That is why it is critical for new lawyers to seek professional liability coverage as soon as they get their first license for practicing law.

For help with understanding how your policy can either hurt or help your case, we encourage you to contact us or call us at 361-882-5605 for your FREE case consultation today!

Recognizing The Most Dangerous Jobs In Corpus Christi

Discover Which 5 Occupations In Corpus Christi Are The Most Dangerous

Corpus Christi has a very healthy job market and this benefits many people in the region. It also has quite a lot of commercial activity and commerce which further makes this a great place. The majority of the businesses and the work available are in heavy industry and this can sometimes be dangerous work. As a matter of fact, this city sees excessive injuries in the workplace and even some deaths each year.

Corpus Christi is a city that experiences a high level of injuries in the workplace and we have developed National recognition towards advocating on behalf of victims and their loved ones. Consequently, we have leveraged more than a hundred years of combined experience that helps with the many clients who have been injured in the course of performing their work. On behalf of families who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident while engaged at work, our efforts continue to try and help those as well. We, therefore, know what jobs have the greatest risk and this experience allows us to better help those going through this situation and the victims to pursue getting properly compensated for it.

What Are The Most Dangerous Occupations In Corpus Christi

1. The oil industry is absolutely one of the biggest in the area. There are jobs related to production, refining, distribution, extraction and unfortunately, these are all among some of the most dangerous jobs in the area. According to the US Department of Labor, there are literally thousands upon thousands of injuries which involve workers in the oil fields around distribution and refining of crude oil. This industry is also plagued by explosions and fires that further cause serious injuries.

2. Offshore occupations related to the oil industry are extremely dangerous and regularly expose workers to potential dangers and injuries. Those who work in offshore jobs are at risk of catastrophic injury and even wrongful death.

3. This area also has quite a few commercial and residential construction jobs because of its job opportunities. In these jobs, workers are exposed to dangers such as electrocution, falls, injuries related to working with machinery and other equipment and even objects that fall to the ground on top of someone. According to OSHA, there are as many as 200,000 injuries suffered by construction workers and in recent years over a hundred people that have died Statewide.

4. The transportation industry is another of those thriving in Corpus Christi. Having to transport heavy vehicles and hazardous materials those that work in the industry have a high rate of injury and even fatal incidents. Even those that are involved in services in the transportation of goods face similar risk that the other drivers do when traveling public roads and highways.

5. Plant workers are considered to be in a completely different segment of the workforce but they too are at high risk for injury and even sometimes death. They often handle hazardous material and work with heavy machinery and they come in close proximity to live electricity. In fact, some of the most catastrophic workplace events have been in plants and other similar facilities.

In Conclusion

Even though the occupations that we have been speaking about have substantially higher risk than some other jobs, any employee can be injured while working on the job. It is especially dangerous when third parties fail to live up to the safety regulations required or failed to ensure that the worker is in a safe environment. It is important if you are loved one has been injured in a work-related accident that you know what your legal rights are. In many cases, you can be fully compensated. But time is important in these situations and therefore you are strongly encouraged to quickly bring your situation to a personal injury attorney in Corpus Christi so that they can immediately advise you on a plan of action. You can get started today by simply contacting us and getting a free consultation.

What You Can Expect From Your Personal Injury Claim

What A Texas Plaintiff Can Recover In A Personal Injury Claim

Though it is certainly true that the broad objective of a plaintiff in a personal injury matter is to secure accountability from the party or parties whose negligence caused their harm, clearly more than just a simple declaration of fault is typically desired. Rather than providing aggrieved individuals with little more than a vague acknowledgment or vindication of their arguments, the justice system is meant to provide relief that is more concrete.

For Texas plaintiffs, cases of this type can yield significant damage awards if the defendant is found negligent for the injuries suffered. The concept of damages can encompass the specific losses experienced by a victim in addition to the total compensation they are entitled to receive. Because the term may sometimes be confused or used in an erroneously interchangeable manner, it makes good sense for everyone to gain an understanding of what recoverable damages in a personal injury action actually are. Though laypeople often concentrate primarily on pain, suffering and similar types of damage awards, there are in fact many more elements involved in calculating total damages in any given case.

Personal Injury Cases in Texas and Economic Damage Awards

When it comes to so-called “economic damages” in a litigation context, relevant dollar figures are fairly easy to determine. In essence, losses that can be establish through the production of an invoice, bill or receipt will be classified as economic in nature. These types of losses have essentially already been assigned a market value, making it easier for juries to declare appropriate reimbursement. Common categories of economic damages are:

Current, past and future medical expenses: this represents a substantial portion of the damages typically awarded in a personal injury case. Considering the astronomical costs of medical care, particularly that required to treat serious and accidental injuries, it should come as no surprise that the amounts awarded are often quite high.

Lost Earning Potential and Wages: This category covers actual income that has been lost due to missed workdays as well as any reduction in the ability to resume prior levels of employment and pay during the recuperation period. Those who are unable to return to work in any capacity or who can only do so in a limited one will certainly experience a reduction in earnings for which they deserve to be compensated.

Lost Future Earnings: This type of damage award is meant to provide a remedy for those whose injuries are so significant that their ability to continue their chosen line of work going forward has been destroyed. Because such losses are rather more difficult to pinpoint to an exact dollar figure, it is usually necessary to enlist the aid of an economic or employment expert who will use specific types of calculation methodology to arrive at an appropriate level of compensation for the victim. Factors such as life expectancy, education level, work history and the like will play a large role in the final opinion such an expert will render in a particular case.

It is important that claims for damages in a personal injury case such as those described above be quantified as much as possible through the use of expert testimony and the like. Otherwise, such arguments may be deemed too speculative, an outcome which could make obtaining fair compensation quite difficult indeed.

There are several other categories of economic and non-economic damages which may be available to plaintiffs in Texas personal injury matters, including payment for loss of enjoyment of prior lifestyle, loss of familial and marital relationships, loss of parental guidance and advice and the like. Again, such damage determinations will involve careful analysis of a number of factors which must be explored in detail. An experienced personal injury attorney will possess a strong understanding of how losses of all types can be persuasively explained to the members of a jury.

Prospective plaintiffs in Texas personal injury claims are well-advised to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer in Corpus Christi with a strong track record securing sizable damage awards in cases similar to their own. They should also secure counsel with strong ties to and affiliations with a solid network of subject matter experts able to demystify the true value of the harm sustained.

Serious personal injury events have the potential to cause harm that ranges from temporary disruption and inconvenience to permanent and profound disability. When the effects on a victim in a given case veer toward the latter, it is critical that fairness and accountability be aggressively pursued. Otherwise, the physical pain, emotional trauma and financial devastation that ensue can drive entire families to the edge of collapse.

As such, there really is no substitute for doing everything possible to secure necessary assistance in making reasonable, yet comprehensive calculations of the monetary value attached to each classification of harm sustained. Thorough record keeping of economic damages and reputable expert assessment of non-economic damage categories can make the process of achieving justice far less difficult than it might otherwise have been.

Nobody who has been through the anguish, discomfort and upheaval of a serious injury accident, particularly one caused by another party’s avoidable negligence, should have to suffer in silence. The legal system is designed to provide a forum and a valuable opportunity to hold responsible individuals accountable for each and every type of loss they have caused.

While the road to full vindication of a victim’s rights is not always straightforward, an injury plaintiff in Texas can rest assured that they will be afforded a fair chance to prove what has been lost due to the acts or omissions of the defendant in their case and seek the compensation to which they are rightly entitled. Endeavoring to arrive at accurate, well-founded assessments of damages suffered will only make the effort that much more likely to succeed.

What Recoverable Damages You are Able to Sue For in a Texas Personal Injury Case

Damages That Are Non-Economic in Personal Injury Cases of Texas

The best way to classify damages which are unable to turn to the marketplace to help determine the best solutions are as Non-Economic Damages. This is due to the fact that they are difficult to quantify, usually these are the damages which receive the highest levels of media attention. Oftentimes they receive headlines that are sensational, for example “For Pain and Suffering,
Woman Receives $1 Million.”

When the details of this case are looked over, what the total verdict invariably it is the $1 million dollars, pain and suffering is only a small part of this. Although these damages may be 100% legitimate in the law’s eyes, when it comes to assigning a dollar value to them it means that it is far more likely that juries will when they calculate awards, discount these damages than they are to over inflate them.

Here are some examples of Non-Economic Damages:

Past and future Pain and Suffering – when it comes to damages, everyone’s favorite whipping boy is Pain and Suffering. Contrary to what the media portrays, Pain and Suffering is not a simple blank check that juries can use to award absurd amounts of money. Injury victims are compensated by Pain and Suffering for the ordeal which they endured because of their injury, plain and simple.

A simple question is answered; one which many people who would try to empathize with the victim would ask themselves, “To endure that injury, how much would I have to be paid?” That question is answered differently by everyone, this leads to an ample range of possible awards, which completely depend on the jury.

Being as no one else can feel said pain and suffering, this leads to people being extremely vigilant about those who may “fake” that pain and suffering that was endured. The bias is overcome by an experienced personal injury by presenting how severe a victim’s injury was in a way that completely removes and doubt the jury may have about pain and suffering and how from an injury it was inevitable.

Past and Present Mental Anguish – This form of damages is another one that can be very much maligned and is also sensationalized by the media. For purposes of personal injury, when the circumstances surrounding an accident have been particularly disturbing, mental anguish damages are recoverable.

Common scenarios may be the person having witnessed their loved one being injured in a way that was particularly gruesome or in an accident that was shocking. Since 2013, after the Texas Supreme Court Decision in the Hancock v. Variyam case, the plaintiff’s responsibility is to prove that the mental anguish due to the accident caused a “disruption in their daily routine that was substantial or a high level of mental pain.”

This decision was built upon a previous 1995 Texas Supreme Court decision in Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, here the modern rules that govern mental anguish in person injury cases in Texas was established. Usually, the kind of injuries that allow for victims to receive mental anguish damages are events of a nature that is so brutal and shocking they rarely occur outside of a war zone and often times cause the very same PSTD issued that some returning soldiers experience.

Physical Impairment – It is easy to compare Physical Impairment Damages to Loss of Future Earning Capacity Damages. However, Loss of Future Earning Capacity Damages are awarded to compensate for the injured person´s diminished abilities to making a living after having been in a n accident, however victims are compensated for Physical Impairment Damages due to injuries that limit their enjoyment in aspects of their lives that are not work related.

For example, if a person were to lose their vision in an accident that is an impairment that most people would consider to be serious, one which can detract immensely from them being able to enjoy life. This non-economic damage is out of all of them the hardest one to rebut, especially when there is extensive evidence of Loss of Future Capacity.

Once it has been determined by the jury that the individual is so severely injured that they are unable to make a living as they had prior to the injury, it is not pushing it to also conclude that there will other aspects of their lives that are negatively impacted and the for the negative impact on their lives they should be compensated.

Disfigurement – This kind of damage makes reference to those whose injuries have altered their body´s physical appearance. These damages can include facial dislocations, scars and amputations which after a serious injury are not uncommon. These injuries can basically inhibit an individual’s ability to live a normal life.

There was a case which our firm worked in which in an accident; a gentleman’s face had been smashed. This caused one of his eyes to not be positioned as is should be in his head. When he was seen by his children, they saw him like a monster and were terrified. This is a classic example of a case in which a victim is able to recover damages for disfigurement.

The most common way in which attorneys actually prove these damages is with photographs of before and after the event. There are many cases in which someone is seeking disfigurement damages, and when the before and after photographs are produced and the jury sees them, there is an audible gasp.

Loss of Consortium – In a Texas personal injury case that is non-fatal, the spouses and children of the person injured are that only people who can claim Loss of Consortium Damages. What this kind of damages accounts for is the value that is derived by people from social interaction with some, close relationships that are legally recognized, for example those between spouses as well as between children and parents.

One thing that could impede the recovery of this kind of damages would be if prior to injury occurring, there was deterioration in the relationship. For example, if at the time of the accident, spouses were living separately, less money, if any at all will be awarded by the jury for loss of consortium.

In the event that a child were killed, parents can also pursue these damages. They are however explicitly denied to siblings, step-parents, and there is actually case law that states that pet owners who have a pet that was negligently killed cannot recover Loss of Consortium damages.

It should be noted that each of the damages mentioned here do not apply to all personal injury cases. It would actually be a rare occurrence if all of these applied to one individual case. It is the job of a seasoned attorney to consider each type of damage and request all of those that are relevant to the case at hand. They must also consider how a jury would respond to each of the claims that will be made. Knowing how a jury will react to the claims that are made is crucial. This helps when trying to negotiate a settlement and it has a huge bearing on how things will turn out if the case has to go to trial.

Obstacles That May Make It Impossible To Collect Damages

While the law makes it possible for people who have been injured due to negligence to seek damages from the one that they believe is responsible for them, this does not mean the other party will be forthcoming about their part and be willing to hand over a huge wad of cash. The person who has been injured will have to prove that damages actually occurred, then they will need to prove that the other party was at fault.

The Law Offices of Jerry Trevino respects the fact that attorneys have a duty to fight as hard as possible to defend their clients interests. There are occasions when they cross a line and do things many would find offensive. For example, if a spouse decides to seek Loss of Consortium damages, a defense attorney may decide to peek at social media accounts and take note of posted relationship information to prove that the marriage is not as solid as the other side is claiming it is. They will also speak with neighbors, friends, colleagues and anyone that can expose any discord, even if it was long ago. This will help them reduce the value of the claims against them.

It is sad that the media will drone on about how the law is not working as it should when suspect damages are awarded by a jury that heard all of the facts. On the flip side, the defense attorneys who use shady tactics to convince jurors not to award damages are not discussed nearly as often.

We at The Law Offices of Jerry Trevino encourage you to contact us regarding your claim! We look forward to answering any questions that you may have! Call us now at 361-882-5605 so we can help you with addressing your claim!

To Call Or Not To Call? That Is The Question

Contacting Your Car Insurance Agent Following A Car Accident

Most people don’t plan on being in a car accident. With some luck and taking a safe approach to driving on a regular basis, you might go your whole life without being involved in an accident. However, the reality of the situation is that every time you get behind the wheel of your car, there is the risk that you will get into a crash. That is why it is so important for you to know ahead of time what steps to take if you have gotten involved in an auto accident.

What Steps Should I Take Following A Car Accident?

If you become involved in a car accident there are several different steps that you need to take. The first thing you need to do is ensure your own personal safety as well as the safety of anyone else around you while you are at the accident scene still. If anybody is in need of medical attention, be sure that the EMS is contact to come out to the scene of the accident.

After all safety needs have been addressed, the next thing you should do is exchange pertinent information with the other individuals at the accident scene, like contact information for every individual involved, insurance policy details and driver’s license information. You should also get the badge numbers of the law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene and contract information for any individuals who witnessed the accident. You should also contact a personal injury attorney.

Why Do I Need To Contact My Insurance Agent?

You also need to contact your auto insurance agent. You can do this after you get home from the scene of the accident, or even on the following day. It is very important to get in touch with your insurance agent even when you think that the other driver caused the accident, and you are intending on pursuing an insurance claim against the driver’s insurance company and the driver. That is due to the benefits that are available to your via your insurance policy that you might need to use eventually.

For instance, even when you think that the other driver was at fault in the accident, the other driver’s insurance company might not agree. You will also need your insurance to provide the authorization to your auto repair shop for repairs in order to get your car fixed. If the insurance company for the other driver disputes fault for the accident, then they might not be willing to agree to pay for your repairs immediately. You might also need to have a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. Your insurance company may pay for the rental vehicle and repairs at this point, depending on what kind of insurance coverage you happen to have. However, your insurance company will only be able to do these things if you have informed your insurance agent about your accident.

It is even more important to notify your insurance company about an accident you were involved in when there is a situation where the other driver might not have any car insurance. Depending on what your policy’s details are, you might be entitle to compensation from your auto insurance company under the policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. It is not only important to contact your insurance when in situations when you are attempting to get your car fixed after an accident. For example, if you were injured during the accident, you might incur medical expenses by having to visit your doctor, the emergency room, or to receive physical therapy or other types of treatment.

Medical treatment can be quite expensive and most of us can’t afford to pay for it out of our pocket. Depending on what kind of car insurance coverage you have and state you live in, you might be entitled to receive benefits from your car insurance company that will help pay for the medical expenses. Your insurance agent can provide you with the details on what coverage you have, so you need to make that call right away.

What Information Will I Need To Give To My Car Insurance Agent?

When contacting your insurance agent, be prepared to give them the following information:

  • Name, telephone number and address for any other drivers and occupants in the vehicle that were involved in the auto accident
  • Other drivers insurance policy information
  • Law enforcement agency that responded to the accident (State Highway Patrol, County Sheriff, Municipal Policy)
  • Date, time and where the accident occurred.

Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney?

You might be able hand a very simple car accident claim yourself – for example, if you suffered just minor injuries and the insurance adjuster for the other driver accepts liability. However, if there are any significant injuries involved in your case or the other side is claiming you are at fault for the auto accident, then you will want to have an experienced attorney and a well-versed firm working on your behalf.

Benefiting From Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) In Texas

Roughly less than half of the automobile drivers in Dallas, Mansfield, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Weatherford, or any other area within the state of Texas will carry PIP, or personal injury protection with their insurance policy. Personal injury protection in Texas happens to be one of the more expensive benefits that someone can purchase when it comes to insurance.

Personal injury protection works to cover the losses for medical bills and any lost wages that are incurred with incidents pertaining to auto accidents or that come out of the use of any covered automobile. This is a requirement that is set out within the Texas Insurance Code within Section 1952.151. It must be offered for all automobile insurance policies that are issued in the state of Texas, and the requirement is stated in Section 1952.152.

This information is brought together to help better understand the Texas Insurance Code and Section 1952.155 to tell readers of the laws in this section enforced by holdings with the Texas Supreme Court. Here, it states some of the laws in Texas that deal with PIP and that the title of this section is “The Benefits payable without the regard to fault or the collateral Source; the Effect on Subrogation.”

This section begins with:

(a) Benefits under the coverage required in this subchapter are to be payable without regard to:
(1) Fault or nonfault of the insured named or recipient for causing or contributing to an accident; and (2) any collateral for the source of hospital, medical or wage continuation benefits.

Are you wondering what this means? One means that the personal injury protection benefits are payable regardless of who will be at fault with the cause of loss. Regardless of who may have caused the injury, be it you or another person, the personal injury protection in Texas will pay the benefits. The second means that the PIP benefits will be payable even if there is already a medical benefits plan in place to help pay your bills, or a hospital plan that already took care of the bill. It will pay lost wages even when you have had another disability or another kind of wage loss play that is paying your lost wages. Both will mean that any person could legally have double recovery. This happens to be the only place within Texas law where this would even be a possibility.

The next section states:

(b) Except where provided by Subsection (c), any insurer that is paying benefits under the coverage required in this subchapter will not have a right of subrogation or a claim against any other person or any insurer to recover benefits by reason of alleged fault of the other person that caused or contributed to the accident in question.

Basically, this part (b) means that if you get personal injury protection benefits and it shows that someone else was at fault for the injury or loss, your insurance company cannot try to recover from them or their insurance company any money that has already been paid to you.

The last section states:

(c) Any insurer that is paying benefits per this subchapter, including any county mutual insurance company, will have a right of subrogation and claim against the person the caused or contributed to the accident if, while on the date of loss, the financial responsibility as noted in Chapter 601, Transportation Code, is not yet established for a motor vehicle that is involved in the accident and also operated by that person.

This section (c) is actually an exception to (b) where if another person does cause the accident, and the other subject is not covered under liability insurance that is required by law in the state of Texas, the insurance company that is providing the personal injury protection in Texas benefits can then pursue the person at fault for all money paid in the PIP claim.

To setup your free consultation with The Law Offices of Jerry Trevino contact us or call us at 361-882-5605!

Job Injuries As A Result of Equipment Failure On The Job

Workplace Injuries Resulting From Equipment Problems

The fact of the matter is that some jobs have greater inherent dangers to those engaged in them than others do. For example, those working in mines, oil rigs and even on construction sites face a substantially increased risk of sustaining serious harm. Incidents of this nature can occur at any time, and unfortunately, they regularly do.

Among the most typical causes of workplace injuries is the failure of equipment being used on the job. Equipment that does not function in the manner it was designed to do can prove extremely hazardous. Bone fractures, cuts, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, hazmat exposure, deep wounds and other calamities can all be produced as a result of failed occupational equipment. Unfortunately, many workers are involved in these types of accidents every day and are left wondering if they are able to pursue a case for workman’s compensation.

Typical Reasons for Failures Involving Equipment

There is a wide array of reasons why equipment can fail on a work site. Sadly, when such a scenario develops, the consequences can be devastating. Common causes of events of this nature include:

  • Component wear and tear
  • Defective design or manufacture
  • Lack of worker training
  • Improper maintenance
  • Operator error
  • Negligence

Will Workers’ Compensation Help if Injury Occurs?

An employer has an obligation to keep the workplace safe for those they hire. In addition, they must offer all necessary training on the equipment expected to be used. If a worker suffers serious injuries or worse because a piece of equipment failed, victims and perhaps their survivors are afforded the right to pursue monetary compensation. Workers’ compensation exists as a means to pay for lost wages and medical bills incurred in the aftermath of the accident. Benefits under such programs are paid on a no-fault basis, meaning that there is no need to prove negligence in order to receive payment.

There are some situations in which an employer will not be legally obligated to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. However, those who chose not to purchase such a policy remain very vulnerable should an accident occur. This is because an employee harmed on the work site may choose to explore civil litigation in order to receive the resources necessary to heal. At this point seeking professional legal advice to find out if you have a case should be your #1 priority.

Third-Party Litigation and Liability Claims in Workplace Injury Matters

If it is determined that the failure of a specific piece of equipment is to blame for serious harm sustained, it is often possible for that worker to initiate a third-party claim against the company responsible for producing and selling that equipment. Manufacturing companies have a duty to place safe products into the stream of commerce, and those failing to do so may be liable under products liability or other theories of negligence. Suits of this type can be undertaken in tandem with a traditional workers’ compensation claim, ensuring that an injured worker has a fair chance at receiving the full amount of financial recovery deserved.

In all such cases, the help of a seasoned injury lawyer can be truly invaluable in terms of assembling evidence and mounting effective arguments. Those who have suffered due to workplace equipment failures are encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer Corpus Christi residents have come to trust.

Backhoe Construction Accidents

Heavy Equipment Accidents

Every year, there are a significant number of accidents that occur at construction sites in Corpus Christi, Texas. Due to their nature, when these backhoe construction accidents happen, they will usually involve serious injuries and even fatalities. Individuals should understand how these kinds of accidents happen and also critical details involved.

Backhoe Dangers

One of the most common types of construction equipment at building sites are Backhoes. Their operators must follow strict safety procedures, as failure to do so can place both the operator and other workers in the area at serious risk. Overloading backhoes is a common problem – they have specific weight and dimension requirements for their use, but when they are overloaded, any excessive weight can create a situation of instability of the unit, which can cause serious accidents. Unfortunately, even when construction site workers take all precautions, accidents can still happen.

Common ways in which workers are injured by backhoes include being hit by the moving machine, swinging booms, or other machine components. Backhoes have been known to cause injury or death due to slides into trenches, rollovers during sharp turns, or on uneven or steep slopes. There are reports of serious harm caused by electrocution (Due to underground or overhead power cables), and not surprisingly, defective or poorly maintained equipment.

Backhoe Safety

To avoid being injured or killed in a backhoe accident, there are a number of precautions that can be followed.

  • Before operating any backhoe, the operator should thoroughly inspect it. Proper maintenance will maximize the equipment’s performance.
  • Seat Belts. An operator should always wear their seat belts because if they are not properly secured, they can fall out of the machine.
  • Be Aware of Dangers. Backhoes are always at a high risk of becoming caught up in power lines or trees. Operators should carefully review their surroundings before operating any equipment.
  • Safety Zone. Create a safety zone around the backhoe, and do not operate the equipment when other workers are in the working are, because the machine can move in unexpected ways and strike them.

Who is at fault for a construction accident?

Anyone worker who has been involved in a construction accident, no matter how serious, knows how painful and expensive it can be. Sometimes it is hard to determine who is really at fault, and therefore who will be responsible for medical expenses and covering lost income during recovery. That is usually the last thing on the victim’s mind but it is the most important aspect since it can determine his/her future quality of life.

The answer to this question can include a wide range of people and can also depend on the scope and the size of the construction project you were involved in. A large number of projects are managed by entire organizations and can be based on contracts managed by contractors and sub-contractors. In determining the responsible parties and who is liable for your injuries, workers will need to look at the duties of the individuals involved such as:

  • The owner of the construction site.
  • The contractors and subcontractors.
  • The engineers and architects of the project.

What to do if you’ve been hurt in a construction accident:

If you are involved in a construction accident in Corpus Christi, you can claim damages pertaining to any injuries sustained from operating heavy machinery. Get medical attention immediately to diagnose and treat your condition.

Contact a Corpus Christi personal injury attorney so that you can claim for the damages you deserve.

Pedestrian Injuries in Texas

Pedestrian Injuries

There has been a need in Texas, for some time now, for its larger cities to become more pedestrian-accessible, but the state, which ranks very high in the number of vehicular accidents, has not implemented any stronger regulations for drivers who break pedestrian right of way laws.  This has resulted in a large number of pedestrian accidents on a number of Texas roadways and a huge concern for people who attempt to walk to work or walk to nearby stores from their homes.

Aggressive drivers sometimes forget that pedestrians usually have the right of way in most crosswalks and sidewalks, and quite a few pedestrian accidents occur in parking lots where drivers were not as attentive as they should have been.  Since a car traveling at even a low rate of speed can cause serious injuries to an unprotected pedestrian, even the slightest of accidents can be extremely life-altering. These type of accidents can cause severe spinal or brain injuries that would have a huge impact on someone’s life, or even worse, result in death.

Typically, pedestrian accidents are usually the fault of the driver who was not paying attention or was not looking out for street-crossing pedestrians. If an accident occurs, the driver must pay for any injuries, and the costs are often severe.

It was reported in 2012 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that on average, 12 pedestrians were killed daily and 8 injured just about every hour in the United States.

 The NHTSA 2012 reports show that:

  • 73% of all pedestrian traffic deaths happened in urban settings.
  • 20 % of pedestrian fatalities involved people age 65 and older.
  • 70 % of pedestrian traffic deaths occurred in the nighttime.
  • 48% of pedestrian fatal accidents involved Alcohol consumption, by either the pedestrian or the driver.
  • After California, the State of Texas had the 2nd– highest pedestrian fatality rate in the United States.

According to the Texas DOT reports in 2013, there were 485 pedestrian fatalities in the state. Victims of an auto accident have a right to be compensated for their injuries, including pain and suffering, lost wages, or mental anguish.  If the accident is severe, they are also entitled to receive future income for permanent injuries.  Additionally, the state wrongful death statute allows the family members of a pedestrian that is killed by a motor vehicle to also receive compensation.

Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable, completely unprotected, and can succumb to serious injury or death if involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. They have certain rights available.  It does not matter if the cause of a pedestrian accident was due to a distracted, drunk, or speeding driver, someone who was breaking traffic laws, or by a driver who just failed to exercise reasonable care, they can be assisted with an experienced personal injury attorney in McAllen, Texas.