The novel Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people live their daily lives. What was at first thought of as an emergency that would at some point disappear has morphed into a world-wide pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 500,000 in the US alone. As a result, people had to adapt to the new “normal” and alter the way they interact with others. 2021 came and with it came the hope that this will all be behind us soon. A legendary effort is being done to vaccinate as many people as possible to lower the risks of transmission and glimpse into a life slowly moving back to normal. This, of course, is making people go out and about again. It seemed like a perfect time for our Houston personal injury lawyers to explore some fun activities that could be done during covid-19 that are also safe. Texas Opens Up The state of Texas has just ended its statewide mask mandate on March 10 2021. Under current rules, businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity, given that the hospitals in their region aren’t overcrowded with covid-19 patients. With all these restrictions going away, it’s essential to stress the importance of following the official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as health agencies in Texas to ensure the safety of yourself and people around you. Here’s a quick summary of the loosened covid-19 restrictions in the state of Texas: Face masks are no longer required in the public. However, federal and state health officials still believe masks should be worn to slow the virus’ spread, Schools, colleges, courts, and local governments can still require face masks in their facilities. The cities of Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, & El Paso have keps mask requirements in indoor city buildings. Businesses are allowed to return to 100% capacity, but are still allowed to limit capacity and enforce safety protocols at their discretion. All state parks are set to return to full capacity. Where to Have Fun While Staying Safe in Houston People living in the lone star state and across the nation understandably have reached “pandemic fatigue” and would like to go out and have fun while keeping themselves and their families safe. That’s why we’ve put together some social distancing-friendly activities that will ensure your family a good time. Visit A Museum Houston is home to a number of astonishing museums. Purchase a Houston Museum Pass, a 24-hour pass that grants you entry to all nine museums that are currently open. Learn about history, art, photography, architecture, and more. Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring exhibits and learn about the rich history of Houston & the Lone Star State. Visit A Farmers Market With 4 different farmers’ markets operating weekly in Houston, there’s always a chance to snag some goodies. Whether you’d like to grab a quick meal, some organic produce for your home, or farm raised eggs, you’ll find it all at the farmers market. It’s a great way to work on newly developed pandemic cooking skills with the best ingredients. Go to a Drive-In Movie Theater The pandemic brought back many retro activities including drive-in movie theaters! A few drive-in theaters have opened up in Houston allowing you to have a blast with your family without leaving your car or risking the safety of your loved ones. Join A Yoga Session One of the main issues that accompanies the pandemic is people feeling more stressed than ever. Luckily, there’s a perfect way to relieve stress while staying safe: practicing Yoga! Yoga has not only been found to improve fitness, it also improves mental health and can be used as a framework for how to process the huge shift in our lives caused by the pandemic. There are many Yoga studios and independent instructors that can aid with guidance whether it was an in-person session or even a virtual one. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources We’ve put together a list of additional resources to help you out during the pandemic depending on your needs: Houston COVID-19 Resources Harris County COVID-19 Resources Texas COVID-19 Legal Resources CDC COVID-19 FAQs
Öncelikle, herhangi bir trafik kazası geçirdiyseniz, sizin veya aracınızdaki kişilerin yaralanmadığından emin olmalısınız. Eğer yaralanma söz konusu ise, derhal tıbbi yardım almalısınız. Eğer araçtaki herhangi biri yaralandı ise, hiç vakit kaybetmeden bir Houston Kaza Avukatı ile görüşerek somut durumu ve ilgili hukuk çerçevesindeki haklarınızı değerlendirmek sizin için en iyisi olacaktır. Ancak, yaralanma olsun olmasın, aşağıdaki 12 öneri araç hasarınızı hallederken trafik kazası sebebiyle uğradığınız stres ile mücadele ederken size büyük fayda sağlayacaktır. 1. Araç Hasarınızı Hangi Zaman Dilimi İçinde Talep Edebileceğinizi Belirleyen Texas Zamanaşımı Süresini Bilmelisiniz. Yasal olarak “hala oyunda” olduğunuzdan ve Texas yasalarına göre kayıplarınız için tazminat talep etme hakkınızı kaybetmediğinizden emin olmanız gerekir. Texas’da meydana gelen araç hasarı ile ilgili zamanaşımı süresi kaza tarihinden itibaren iki yıldır. Peki kazaya sebep olan aracın zorunlu trafik sigortası yok ise veya sizin aracınızdaki hasar miktarı, karşı tarafın sigorta limitlerini aşıyorsa durum ne olacak? Eğer, kendi sigorta poliçenizde bu gibi durumları kapsayan bir teminat var ise, araç hasarınızı tazmin edebilmek adına kendi sigortanıza başvurabilirsiniz. Araç sigorta poliçelerinizde bu teminatın olup olmadığını teyit edebilmeniz için, bu teminatın ingilizce karşılığını da veriyorum: “uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage.” Ancak, bu teminata başvurabilmeniz için söz konusu trafik kazasında sizin kusurunuzun bulunmaması gerekmektedir. Sigorta poliçenizdeki “uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage” kapsamında kendi sigortanıza başvurduğunuzda zamanaşımı süreleri biraz daha karmaşık bir hal almaktadır: Sözleşmenin ihlali dört yıl, kötü niyet iki yıl ve Texas Eyaleti Tüketiciyi Aldatıcı Ticaret Uygulamaları Kanunu ihlalleri iki yıllık zamanaşımı sürelerine tabidir. Ancak, bu sürelerin ne zaman işlemeye başladığı vakadan vakaya değişmektedir. Bu nedenle, haklarınızı kaybetmemek için bir Texas Kaza avukatı ile irtibata geçmeniz en iyisidir. 2. Texas Trafik Kazası Polis Raporunuzu Temin Edin. Trafik kazasına karıştığınızda, ufak bir kaza bile olsa, hemen 911’i arayın ve polis olay yerine geldikten sonra muhakkak kazaya dair rapor yazmasını isteyin. (“Peace Officer’s Crash Report – CR-3 Form). Polis tarafından kaza raporunun hazırlanması birçok açıdan önem arz etmektedir. Şöyle ki: Söz konusu trafik kazasının gerçekleştiğinin kayıt altına alınması açısından kaza raporunun hazırlanması önemlidir. Sigorta şirketi nezdinde talepte bulunurken kaza raporunda yer alan bilgilere ihtiyacınız olacaktır—karşı tarafın sigorta bilgileri, ehliyet numarası, açık adresi, gibi. Polis memuru ayrıca kazaya sebebiyet veren kişiye ceza kesti ise bu hususu ve kazaya sebep olduğunu düşündüğü etkenleri de raporunda belirtir. Bu nedenle, polisin hazırladığı rapor, sigorta şirketinin sorumluluk araştırması yaparken değerlendirdikleri bir veridir. Texas Taşıma Kanunu Bölüm 550.062’ye göre, Texas polisi, eğer trafik kazası sebebiyle bir yaralanma veya ölüm meydana geldiyse veya araçta meydana gelen hasar $1,000 veya üzerindeyse Kaza Raporu hazırlamakla yükümlüdür. Texas polisi ayrıca hazırlamış olduğu söz konusu kaza raporunu kazanın olduğu tarihten itibaren en geç on gün içinde Texas Ulaştırma Departmanı’na elektronik olarak sunmakla yükümlüdür. Eğer söz konusu trafik kazası yaralanma veya ölüme sebebiyet vermedi ise veya araç hasarı $1,000’in altında ise, yine de Mavi Form Kaza Raporu (CR-2 Form) (Blue Form Crash Report) veya Sürücü Kaza Raporu da denilen (Driver’s Crash Report) formun doldurulması sizin yararınıza olacaktır. Sürücü tarafından bu raporun hazırlanması ve tutulması hukuken bir yükümlülük değildir. Bu rapor sadece sürücünün kendi kayıtları için faydalıdır ve 1 Eylül 2017’den itibaren ise Texas Ulaştırma Departmanı’na sunulmasına veya departmanda kayıt altına alınmasına gerek yoktur. Trafik kazasına karışan sürücülerin polisin gelmediği veya rapor tutulmasına gerek olmadığı durumlarda, sıcağı sıcağına, bir önceki cümlede belirtilen Sürücü Kaza Raporu denilen formu doldurmaları ve kazaya dair tüm detayları bu rapora yazmaları, zaman içerisinde kaza ilgili bilgilerin unutulması ihtimaline karşı, çok önemlidir. 3. Eğer aracınız sürülebilir durumda değil ise aracınızın nereye çekildiğini ve nerede saklandığını kayıt altına alın. Aracınızın saklanması için günlük depolama ücretinin her geçen gün artmasının önüne geçmek adına ise, aracınızı bir an önce seçtiğiniz bir araba servisine getirin veya ilgili sigorta şirketinin kendi deposuna getirilmesini sağlayın. Aracınızın bulunduğu yerin bilgisi genellikle çekici aracın sürücüsü tarafından size verilir ve aynı zamanda polis raporunda da belirtilir. Bu bilginin belirli olması, kendi sigorta şirketiniz veya diğer sürücünün sigorta şirketi nezdinde talepte bulunurken ilgili sigorta şirketine aracınızın bulunduğu yeri doğru olarak iletmeniz açısından önemlidir. Sigorta şirketinin aracınızdaki hasar ile ilgili bir değerlendirme yapabilmesi adına yetkili bir çalışanını göndermesi ve aracınızı servise çektirebilmesi için aracınızın nerede olduğunu bilmeye ihtiyacı vardır. Unutmayın ki Texas Hukukuna göre, aracınızın hangi serviste tamir edileceğini ve değiştirilen parçaları seçme hakkınız vardır. Eğer aracınız bir araç deposunda muhafaza ediliyor ise, aracınızın muhafazası için günlük ücret işler ve depolama ücreti çok kısa sürede artabilir. Trafik kazası karşı tarafın kusuru ile gerçekleşmiş bile olsa, Texas hukuku çerçevesinde hak sahibi olarak zararlarınızı aza indirgeme yükümlülüğünüz bulunmaktadır. Bu, zararlarınızı ve masraflarınızı azaltmak ve daha da kötüye gitmelerini önlemek için makul adımlar atmanız gerektiği anlamına gelir. Eğer zararlarınızı aza indirgemez ve aracınızın depoda makul olmayan bir süre beklemesine izin verirseniz, sigorta şirketi saklama ücretinin tamamını ödemekten sorumlu olmayacaktır. Eğer sigorta şirketi kaza ile ilgili sorumluluğun kimde olduğunun tespiti için henüz araştırma aşamasında ise, daha fazla depolama ücretinin tahakkuk etmemesi için sigorta şirketinin, aracı kendi depolama tesisine çekmesini sağlayın. 4. Kazada sizin kusurunuz yok ise, diğer sürücünün sigorta şirketi nezdinde talebinizi oluşturun. Eğer Texas kaza avukatı tutmadıysanız, tazminat talebinizi açan sigorta temsilcisiyle konuşurken, kazanın oluş şekline bağlı kaldığınızdan ve kazanızı araştırarak rapor tutan polise anlattıklarınızla tutarlı olduğunuzdan emin olun. Sigorta şirketi sonradan polis raporuna ulaştığında polise anlattıklarınız ile talebinizi oluştururken onlara anlattıklarınız arasında tutarsızlık olup olmadığını bilecektir. Konuşurken az ve öz konuşun, dürüst ve tutarlı olun ve duygusal olmamaya çalışın. Sigorta temsilcisine çoğunlukla adınız, adresiniz, doğum tarihiniz, araç bilgileriniz, arabanızın nerede depolandığı ve kazanın meydana geldiği yer ile saat gibi temel bilgileri vereceksiniz. Ayrıca, kaza sonucu yaralanıp yaralanmadığınızı da soracaklardır. Eğer kaza sebebiyle yaralandıysanız, sigorta şirketiyle yaralanmalarınızla ilgili olarak konuşmadan önce, Texas kaza avukatıyla görüşüp tavsiye almak en iyisi olacaktır. Çünkü çoğu kişi, sigorta şirketi tarafından sorulan bu tarz sorulara nasıl doğru bir şekilde yaklaşacağını bilmemektedir. Sigorta temsilcisi daha sonra size, açmış olduğunuz talep numarası ve talebinize atanan sigorta çalışanının kontak bilgilerini veya araç hasarı talepleri ve/veya pert araç talepleri ile ilgilenen departmanın numarasını verecektir. 5. Kaza sizin hatanız değil ise veya bir vurup-kaçma söz konusu ise ve diğer sürücünün sigortası yok ise, kendi sigorta şirketiniz nezdinde sigortasız sürücünün sebebiyet verdiği mal hasarı (“uninsured motorist property damage”) talebinizi açın. Kazadan diğer sürücü…
A personal injury accident may leave you with more than physical injuries. Accident victims often suffer what is called emotional distress, or psychological harm, as a result of the traumatic experience. Texas courts recognize emotional distress as a type of non-economic or general damages that can be recovered as compensation, if negligence can be proven in a personal injury claim. Proving Emotional Distress Unlike a physical injury, which can be substantiated with medical bills and evidence of lost wages, emotional distress can be much harder to prove. The reason being that there is rarely evidence in the form of financial losses to accompany this type of damages. As a result, the injured person should seek treatment for an accident-related psychological or emotional condition, just as they would for physical harm. This can include treatment from a doctor, psychologist, mental health specialist, counselor, and more. Medical records of the treatment received are vitally important to proving emotional distress, including: Records from visits to a physician or counselor Insurance claims or receipts of payments made to attending physician or counselor Notes from the attending physician or counselor Testimony from the attending physician or counselor List or receipts of prescribed medications Journal of victim’s day-to-day emotional and physical symptoms, and experiences Testimony from family members and friends, confirming the victim’s mental state and impact on their life All of which can be used as evidence in negotiations with the at-fault party, or at trial. Types of Emotional Distress There are two different types of emotional distress damages recognized by the state of Texas: intentional infliction and negligent infliction. Intentional Infliction: the defendant’s harmful behavior was intentionally done to cause emotional distress (e.g. physical or sexual abuse, death threats) Negligent Infliction: emotional distress due to an accident caused by the defendant’s negligent acts. One of the largest hurdles is attempting to prove that a defendant’s actions only resulted in mental harm. In most cases, emotional distress must have some form of physical harm associated with it, to be successful on a personal injury claim. However, Texas is one of the few states that allow emotional distress claims to be pursued without the presence of a physical injury. Some examples of situations that may warrant a claim for emotional distress damages, are witnessing a traumatic event, invasion of privacy, defamation, or the parents of an abducted child. Symptoms of Emotional Distress There are certain symptoms a doctor or counselor may use to diagnose emotional distress, including: Depression Humiliation Anxiety Fear Loss of enjoyment of life Embarrassment Sleeping problems or insomnia Chronic fatigue or lack of energy Anger or bitterness Compulsive or obsessive behaviors Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Loss of sexual function, etc. Physical signs, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, weight fluctuations, and more. It is important to have evidence that demonstrates the intensity and duration of the emotional distress. This is what will prove the harm is severe enough to deserve financial compensation. Contact Us for a Free Consultation Proving emotional distress can be difficult, but with a uniquely crafted legal strategy we can make sure you are rightfully compensated. Contact the Houston personal injury lawyers at Milano Legal Group by dialing (713) 489-4270 today.
A deposition is a witness’s sworn testimony outside of court, and a legal tool used to discover and establish facts relevant to a personal injury case. Essentially it is an opportunity for the attorneys from both sides to learn what the plaintiff (victim) and defendant (at-fault party) know about the case, the extent of the injuries, the damages being claimed, and to have questions about their backgrounds answered. By getting the complete story at depositions from both, you and the at-fault party, the attorneys involved will be able to develop a strategy for the remainder of the case. What Types of Questions are Asked at a Deposition? A deposition can be the key to many personal injury cases, so it is vital to be prepared. The information obtained may not only impact how much compensation a victim receives, but can also decide the case’s outcome. You can expect to answer questions regarding the following: What happened to you? Was anyone with you when the injury occurred? Were there witnesses? Did you file an insurance claim? Did you call the police? Did you see a doctor? Did you receive treatment? How have you been feeling since your original treatment? Has the injury affected your life in any specific way? What injuries have you had in your life? What illnesses have you had? Have you ever been involved in litigation before? Do you have a criminal record? What do you do for work? Questions must be answered honestly, as you will be under oath during a deposition. If you lie, there is a risk of being charged with the crime of perjury. Lying can also destroy your credibility as a witness. When you are asked a question, it’s best to give a simple and precise answer, without providing any additional information. Do I Have to Attend a Deposition? Depositions can be stressful, but they are an important part of the legal process. If you have been subpoenaed to a deposition, there aren’t too many options for avoiding it. If you just don’t show up, you potentially subject yourself to contempt of court or other sanctions. On top of that, you would still be forced into deposition. Who is Present at a Deposition? At a deposition, you can expect to see the attorneys representing the involved parties, a court reporter, and the witness. If you are being deposed as the plaintiff in a case, the assigned insurance adjuster will sometimes attend as well. The deposition may be done at your attorney’s office, opposing counsel’s office, or another agreed upon location. When is a Deposition Taken? If the parties to a personal injury claim cannot reach a fair settlement, the plaintiff (victim) has the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant (at-fault party). A summons must be served to the defendant, and they have a chance to file an answer. Once that occurs, signaling they intend to defend the case, the discovery phase of litigation begins. Discovery gives each party the chance to obtain documents from each other, send written questions (interrogatories), get documents from third parties, hire experts to testify, and depose witnesses under oath. Reasonable notice must be given to all parties when either side wants to schedule a deposition. We Can Help As experienced litigators, the Houston personal injury attorneys at Milano Legal Group are well-versed in the dos and don’ts of depositions. If you are subpoenaed to give testimony for a personal injury case, call (713) 489-4270 and schedule a free consultation.
If you are injured in a personal injury accident in Texas, you may be surprised to hear that there could be a cap on the amount of compensation you can recover. A damage cap limits the total amount of damages that plaintiffs (victims) can be awarded in some personal injury cases. These caps are set by legislators, usually on a state-by-state basis, to avoid excessive verdicts that aren’t based on reason. Texas does have caps in place for certain types of damages or cases. Caps on Economic and Non-Economic Damages Fortunately, the state of Texas does not impose a cap on economic and non-economic damages in most personal injury claims. That means there is no limit on medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, damage to property, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc. For example, if you suffer a serious injury resulting in $500,000 in medical expenses, you will recover compensation for those losses. Non-economic damages that compensate victims for their physical and emotional suffering, can be difficult to put a price tag on. Many insurance companies and personal injury attorneys use a somewhat standardized method of calculating non-economic damages, known as the multiplier method. It takes the known economic damages and multiplies it by a number, typically between 1.5 and five. The multiplier will vary depending on the details of the case and severity of the injuries. If a claim makes it to court, the value of these damages will be subjectively evaluated and decided by a judge or jury. Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims The rules do change for Texas medical malpractice claims. Here are the damage caps imposed by the state: A healthcare facility cannot be sued for more than $500,000 total An individual doctor cannot be sued for more than $250,000 total Non-economic damages cannot exceed $750,000 in a medical malpractice claim Caps on Punitive Damages Plaintiffs are allowed by the state to recover punitive damages in cases involving gross negligence, malice, or fraud. Punitive damages are awarded with the intention to punish the defendant and warn against similar behavior by them and others in the future. Texas caps these damages at the large of: $200,000, or Twice the amount of economic damages, but no greater than $750,000. The cap does not apply if the personal injury was a result of a felony. Caps on Government Claims Lastly, damages cannot exceed $100,000 in personal injury claims filed against the government. For example, if you are hit by a city bus, fall down some faulty stairs in a government building, or slip at the DMV, the amount of compensation you recover is limited by the state. Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyer If you have been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, contact the Milano Legal Group. Our highly skilled Houston Personal Injury Lawyer will ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. Call (713) 489-4270 and schedule your free initial consultation today.
Personal injury victims are often shocked when they discover that something called a “medical lien,” must be paid to health care providers before they can receive their settlement. A medical lien is a legal claim against your personal injury settlement that is filed by a doctor, hospital, your health insurance company, or some other entity that provided you with medical care or services in response to your injuries from the accident. Essentially, it is a demand for reimbursement. How is a Medical Lien Used? Some states allow medical liens to be filed in the following situations: Medical Provider or Hospital Lien: if you do not have health insurance and are unable to pay up front for the medical treatment rendered, a hospital, doctor or other provider may agree to defer payments until you settle your case. They may even ask or require you to sign off on a lien, stating that repayment for their services will come from their personal injury settlement or award. Healthcare Lien: if you use your own health insurance to cover medical bills after an accident, rather than waiting for the at fault party to pay. Your health insurer may then attempt to recover those costs by filing a medical lien. Government Lien: when a government agency, such as Medicare or Medicaid, is used to cover the costs of your medical care related to an accident, they also have the right to file a medical lien for reimbursement. Workers’ Compensation Lien: if you are injured while at work, and your workers’ compensation benefits are paying for your medical bills, but a third party is at fault. If you successfully sue the third party, the workers’ comp insurance company has the right to collect their money back. There are specific requirements and state laws that must be followed in order for a medical lien to be valid, which means in some instances a medical lien may not be enforceable in a court of law. How Can an Attorney Help with Medical Liens? It is entirely possible for a lienholder to accept less than the amount of money they are seeking reimbursement for. In most cases, a skilled attorney can help you get a medical lien reduced, waived, or voided altogether. If a medical lien turns out to be enforceable, an attorney can help you negotiate in an attempt to lower the amount of money you owe. Negotiating before your case settles will likely increase your net recovery and can save you money in the long run. Certain lienholders have more of an incentive to accept a lower pay out prior to your case’s resolution. Given that there is a chance your personal injury claim may be unsuccessful. However, medical liens can be extremely technical, which is why an experienced personal injury lawyer is recommended for their advice and to help guide you through the negotiation process. Consult with a Knowledgeable Houston Personal Injury Lawyer When it comes to personal injury cases, the attorneys at Milano Legal Group have extensive experience in medical lien litigation and negotiation. Discuss your situation with us today in a free consultation, by calling (713) 489-4270 or filling out our contact form online.
Lost wages are commonly recovered in personal injury claims. Whether you have been injured in a car accident, while at work, etc., any length of time you cannot earn an income as a result, can be argued as lost wages. When it comes to proving lost income, you must be able to demonstrate the amount of time you missed from work due to your injuries, as well as how much money you would have made had you not missed work. Four Ways to Prove Lost Wages There are four options for demonstrating lost wages: W-2(s) from the previous tax year(s); Pay stubs from before and after the injury accident (proves the change in income); Wage verification from your employer: the insurance company can provide you with a “salary/wage verification form,” or you may ask your employer to write down your: Title and date hired; Statement confirming you were employed at the time of the accident; Normal wages or salary; The number of hours you typically work per week; Standard rate of pay for overtime; The dates you were/are unable to work; and, Bonus structure and any lost perks. Other income documentation if you are self-employed or a business owner: that can include tax returns, banking records for your business, checks received for your services, or accounts receivables. To protect your privacy, be sure to black line any account numbers. When submitting a lost wages claim, a doctor’s note confirming your injuries must also be included. The note must contain details of your disability and their recommendation as to how much time you should take off of work. What’s Covered Under Lost Wages? The types of compensation that are covered under lost wages are: Hourly Wages An estimate of your total lost wages can be calculated by adding up your missed hours from work and multiplying it by your standard rate of pay. For example, if you miss 10 days of work, and you generally work eight-hour shifts and earn $20 an hour, your lost hourly wages are 10 x 8 x $20 = $1,600. Tips If you held a job that came with tips, and you normally reported them, they can be included as lost income. However, you will need evidence of tips on your taxes or bank account deposits. Overtime Lost overtime can be included in your claim if you are regularly paid overtime. Past pay stubs are the best form of proof. Bonuses Proving you have or will lose bonus pay will require documentation of past bonuses, or a report from your employer detailing how bonuses are earned and any other compensation you will miss out on. Sick Days & Vacation Days Even if you use sick days or vacation time in order to receive payment while you recover, you have the right to recover compensation for those days. If it weren’t for your injury, you would not have been forced to use those benefits. Perks Missing or being unable to work may also mean you lost the perks that went along with your job. For example, you could claim the value of losing the use of a gym membership or company car. Speak to a Houston Lost Wages Lawyer Proving lost wages and the process for doing so can be complicated. An experienced Houston personal injury attorney at Milano Legal Group can help you by evaluating your lost wages claim and determining the amount of compensation you are owed. Call (713) 489-4270 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
A truck accident can change your world forever, making it impossible to return to the life you had before. As a result, you may be entitled to significant compensation if another party is to blame. However, the aftermath of a crash is stressful, and although there is no specific deadline as to when you should hire a truck accident lawyer, the sooner you do the better. Determining which parties can be held liable is often complicated. With the help of a Houston truck accident attorney, you can figure out how you need to approach your claim. Other things to consider when deciding at what point should you hire an attorney, including the following. How Much Time has Passed Since the Accident? Delaying contacting an attorney after a crash can result in a loss of critical evidence that proves fault. Ultimately, that can give the trucking company a considerable advantage, which may result in either the devaluing of your claim, or it being denied altogether. Examples of valuable evidence can include, traffic camera footage, inspection of the truck involved in the accident, proof that the trucker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the truck driver’s logbook, the truck’s black box data, photos of the scene and of any skid marks on the ground, eyewitness statements, etc. Additionally, the state of Texas has a statute of limitations in place for truck accident claims, that allows victims up to two years to pursue compensation. Have You Been Offered a Settlement by the Insurance Company? You don’t necessarily need an attorney if the opposing party’s insurance company offers you a settlement, but consulting with one before you accept it is highly recommended. Insurers are motivated to settle quickly and for as little money as possible, which means the first settlement offer will likely be low. If your injuries and medical costs are severe, that amount probably won’t be enough to cover your current and future financial losses. Truck accident victims often win 3.5 times more in settlement compensation when they are represented by an attorney, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council. Are You Severely Injured? Unfortunately, truck accidents often result in severe injuries that require immediate and possibly ongoing medical attention. A truck accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim and handle all negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf while you recover. If your injury is so serious that you’re unable to meet with a lawyer at their office, many are willing to come to you. Have You Decided to Sue? The legal process can be complicated and overwhelming. Even more so, if multiple parties are responsible for your injuries. For example, liable parties may potentially include the driver, the trucking company, truck manufacturer, or government entities. Trucking companies have a big budget to spend on legal representation. If you decide to sue, you will need a knowledgeable attorney at trial. Texas has a comparative fault law, which can affect your amount of compensation. As long as you are less than 50 percent at fault, you can recover compensation, but the amount awarded will be reduced by your percentage of liability. Your lawyer will help you determine a strategy that will ensure you receive fair compensation, and that comparative fault laws are applied correctly. Don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Houston truck accident lawyer today.
An accident of any kind can be terrifying, but especially so when an 18-wheeler truck is involved. These types of accidents are often devastating due to the size of the truck, and in some cases the weight of its cargo. If you or someone you love is ever hit by an 18-wheeler, it’s important to know what to do after. What to Do Immediately after the Accident Having guidance after an 18-wheeler accident is not only best for your health, but will also help you obtain the best results for your accident claim. Self-Check and Call 9-1-1 The highest priority is your wellbeing. Ensure you are not in any immediate danger, then call 9-1-1 and stay in your vehicle until emergency responders arrive. If you are in a dangerous situation, try to move to the side of the road. Check on your passengers and if they are injured, try not to move them and wait for first responders. Exchange Driver Information Get the most information you can about the truck driver and the company they work for, including: Name, address, and phone number for the people involved in the accident Insurance information and policy number Vehicle registration card Name, address, and phone number of the company the trucker works for. 18-wheeler year, make, model, color, and license plate number VIN number of the vehicle. It’s usually on the lower left front windshield and/or on the inside of the driver’s door. If you are immediately transported to the hospital, the police officers who arrive on the scene will file an accident report that should contain the above listed information in it. Document the Scene Write down the exact location of the accident, street names, and address, as well as the contact information for any witnesses. If you are physically able to, take photographs of: The accident scene and surrounding area from every direction and angle Any skid marks on the road Each vehicle involved in the crash and its damage The trucker’s drivers license ID Your injuries. If you have a dashcam, make sure to save any video footage. All of this information can eventually be used as evidence when it comes time to prove liability and obtain compensation. Contact an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney Take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer in Houston. They will walk you through the next steps and advise you on what you need to do to obtain the compensation you will need for medical bills, to fix your vehicle, to cover lost income, and for any other accident-related expenses. Why 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents Often Happen in Texas The most common illegal actions that result in 18-wheeler accidents are: Distracted Driving: often due to talking on a cellphone, texting, eating and drinking, watching TV, or surfing the Internet. Violating hours of service requirements: if a trucker spends too many hours on the road, he may become drowsy, inattentive, or even fall asleep behind the wheel. Reckless driving: some truck drivers use drugs or alcohol while on the road, which can result in aggressive or unsafe driving maneuvers, or traveling over the speed limit. Improper maintenance: truckers must ensure that all parts of their vehicles, trailers, and cargo are in proper working order before beginning a journey. Overloading the trailer, improper fasteners, thinning tires, broken mirrors, and other maintenance problems can all lead to an accident. Poorly trained drivers or lack of experience. Trucking companies may engage in negligent hiring practices to get truck drivers on the road. For example, failing to perform background checks, drug testing, and adequate driver training. Speak to an Experienced Houston 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer If you or a loved one is hit by an 18-wheeler truck in Texas, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Contact Milano Legal Group so we can help you get your life back together. Call (713) 489-4270 or message us online to schedule a free consultation today.
After a car accident, figuring out how to handle medical bills is often a tremendous concern. Unfortunately, you will bear the responsibility for paying your medical bills, but only at first. If another party is at fault for your accident, they are responsible for paying your treatment. However, their insurance company is only going to make one payment to you once your claim is resolved, rather than reimbursing you on an ongoing basis for every appointment or procedure. Potential Sources of Payments for Your Medical Bills You are responsible for your medical bills after a car accident, but that doesn’t mean the payments have to all come out-of-pocket. There are a few potential sources that may cover your treatment. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage PIP is the most common source of payment for medical bills in Texas. It is a form of auto insurance coverage and will pay for your medical bills up to your policy limits. It will also pay for other things like lost wages and other non medical costs. Auto policies in Texas will automatically come with PIP, unless you inform your insurer in writing that you are opting out. Health Insurance Personal health insurance coverage is also a common source of payment for medical bills. It can be used on its own, or to cover the remaining expenses after your PIP has reached its limit, but you will still have to pay for any deductibles or copayments. Oftentimes, people make the mistake of not wanting their health insurance provider to cover their bills that arise from a car accident. However, more often than not, you should have all of your medical bills go through your health insurance provider if possible. Doing this can save you a lot of money in the long run. Even though your health insurer is entitled to recoup the payments made on your behalf from your settlement or judgement, your attorney can negotiate how much will come out of your award. Medical Payment Coverage (Med Pay) Med Pay is similar to PIP, as it is an optional form of auto insurance coverage, but it only pays for your medical bills after an accident. It does not come with stipulations, meaning it will cover fees from any licensed doctor, ambulance, hospital, etc. The one restriction is your policy limit. Policies often range from $1,000 to upwards of $100,000, but it will depend on the type of coverage you bought. Any costs for treatment beyond your coverage limit will be your personal responsibility. When to Expect Payment for Your Medical Bills Resolving your case with the at-fault party can be a long process, especially when it comes to obtaining payment for medical bills related to your injury. How quickly you recover payment will depend on the severity of your injuries and your requirement for ongoing care, as well as whether you settle outside of court or take the case to trial. Settling fast, however, might mean you will receive an amount of compensation that is 60 to 70 percent less than what you might be offered if your case makes it to trial. Speak to a Highly Qualified Houston Car Accident Attorney It can be incredibly frustrating to have to deal with medical bills after being hurt in a car accident that someone else is responsible for. To discuss your options and for help with your claim, call (713) 489-4270 or contact Milano Legal Group online. We offer free consultations, schedule one today.