Experienced Central Texas Personal Injury Law Firm
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Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you need an attorney who understands the complexities of personal injury law. Attorney Jorge Vela has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of individuals who have been harmed through no fault of their own.
With years of experience and a deep understanding of the legal system, he is able to navigate the complexities of personal injury cases, whether they involve car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall incidents, or any other type of injury. If you or a loved one has been harmed and are seeking justice, contact the Law Office of Jorge Vela for a consultation today.
Austin Personal Injury Attorney
Many serious injuries are preventable, especially those caused by another person's negligence.
These injuries can arise from motor vehicle accidents, accidents occurring on another person’s property, or even a dog bite. Those who suffer from them are often left with hefty medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Anyone who suffers a personal injury shouldn’t simply move on with their life. If you suffer serious injuries in such a situation, you deserve compensation for your damages. The best way to seek that compensation is with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Austin.
A Trial-Ready Lawyer Fighting for Your Rights
At the Law Office of Jorge Vela, we know the financial, physical, and emotional toll personal injuries can take on injured parties and their family members. We are here to represent your claim and stand up for your rights. You can count on us to explore all possible avenues of injury compensation on your behalf.
What Damages are Compensable in a Personal Injury Case?
No matter what type, personal injury claims have two essential factors; liability and damages. Liability refers to legal responsibility. For example, suppose an employee at a business causes a slip and fall injury. In that case, both the business and the employee could be held legally responsible for the resulting damages.
Damages refers to the amount of money that would need to be paid to the victim of an accident in order to be made whole (or compensated). Some example of damages could be:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Physical impairment.
- Mental health issues.
- Loss of love, care, and companionship.
- Reduced quality of life.
- Future pain and suffering.
Financial compensation for personal injury is based in part on the victim’s damages. In the legal system, receiving money for damages fixes or makes up for the harm that the liable party caused.
No amount of money will ever rewind the clock and make it as if someone’s injury never happened. However, receiving compensation to cover injury-related expenses and other losses is the next best thing. The money an injury victim should receive depends on the types and amounts of damages they suffer due to their injuries, as well as other factors.
Texas Personal Injury Laws
While similar, the law surrounding personal injury claims varies from state to state. Being familiar with a particular state’s laws can help protect you if you have been injured by someone else’s negligent actions. They can also give you an understanding of the potential amount of damages that you may be entitled to if your lawsuit is successful.
Vehicle Insurance Requirements
Texas requires its drivers to have minimum amounts of liability insurance. This helps protect everyone on the road. Drivers who don’t carry the minimum amount of liability insurance face harsh legal and financial penalties.
Liability insurance coverage pays to repair damage to another driver’s car, not your own. It also pays the other driver’s and their passenger’s medical and other expenses. Texas law requires drivers to carry liability coverage of at least:
- $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person
- $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage
This is also known as 30/60/25 liability insurance coverage.
Modified Comparative Fault
Unfortunately, sometimes injured parties play a role in their own injuries. Texas is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if the injured party is more than 50 percent to blame for their injuries, they can’t recover anything at all.
In some states, accident victims can still recover some compensation if they are over 50 percent at fault, but not in Texas. This makes working with a seasoned personal injury attorney that much more crucial. Insurance companies are quick to blame other claimants, especially if it helps them escape having to pay for the accident altogether.
The good news is that your attorney can work towards showing how the other party has more liability so that you can still recover compensation for your damages.
Texas Personal Injury Statue of Limitations
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries. The statute of limitations is a strict legal deadline. If you suffer a personal injury and need to file a lawsuit, you have two years from the date of your injury to do so.
If your lawsuit isn’t filed within the statute of limitations, you no longer have legal recourse to seek compensation for your injuries. It’s crucial to note that claims against the government typically have a shorter statute of limitations.
Other factors can change the filing deadline for your case. However, when you hire experienced Austin personal injury attorneys, they will be fully aware of any deadlines that apply in your case and ensure they are met.
An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights, gather evidence, and pursue fair compensation. Don't delay, contact a personal injury attorney today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.
How the Law Office of Jorge Vela Can Help You
The attorneys at the Law Office of Jorge Vela could help you in many ways if you or someone you love were recently injured in an accident. We will:
- Compile evidence
- Investigate your accident
- Determine liability
- Identify all sources of compensation
- Attempt to negotiate a full and fair settlement
- Be trial ready
- Maximize your recovery
In addition, we work on contingency fees for personal injury claims. This means you owe us nothing upfront to represent your claim.
When and if we secure compensation on your behalf, whether in the form of a settlement or a court award, we deduct our fees from there. You owe us nothing if we don’t secure payment for your claim.
Reach Out For Help Today
If you are looking for accident lawyers in Austin to help you file a personal injury claim, look no further than the Law Office of Jorge Vela. For your convenience, our staff and attorneys speak both English and Spanish.
If you have questions about personal injury claims or are ready to get your injury claim started, contact us online or call us at 512-537-1237. We are available 24/7. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can help you get your life back on track after an injury accident.
Frequently Asked Questions
The steps you take after suffering a personal injury accident can impact your personal health as well as your financial well-being and your injury claim. For example, taking the wrong actions or skipping over others could cause you not to receive compensation for your injuries or not receive as much as you should have. Not getting the medical care you need could lead to more severe injuries or complications.
The specific steps of what to do after an accident can vary depending on the situation; however, they are generally as follows:
- Call local law enforcement to make a formal report of the accident. Your legal counsel will need a copy of their report to help in their accident investigation.
- Seek medical care: Your health and well-being are of top priority. Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after any injury accident. This might mean going to the hospital via ambulance at the urging of paramedics at the scene or seeing your own personal care physician the next day. From a legal standpoint, it’s imperative that you have your injuries documented right away.
- Document what happened: Take notes, even on your phone, about what happened leading up to the accident. Be as specific as possible; your attorney can sort out what may or may not be significant. You should also take notes about your injuries, their healing, treatments, and your pain levels.
- Complete an incident report: If your injury occurred on a property such as a mall, grocery store, movie theater, or even a government building, report the incident to a manager. If possible, you should also complete an accident or incident report. Your attorney can also use this report as evidence in your claim.
- Get witness information: If there were any witnesses to your accident, try to get their names and contact information. Your lawyer can contact them at a later date to provide helpful information to your case. If you complete an incident report, you can include that info in there as well.
- Speak to an attorney: Before you speak with anyone else regarding the incident, you should contact an attorney so they can advise you of your rights. You may even want to take this step before you talk to the insurance company. Either way, you should speak with one as soon as possible after your accident. They will also help guide you through the process of filing a claim. At the Law Office of Jorge Vela, we are available 24/7 to take your call, so give us a call today.
- Contact the insurance company: You’ll need to report the incident to your car insurance company (for motor vehicle accidents) and the other person’s insurance for other incidents. It’s best to do this as soon as possible as some car insurance companies have provisions about how long you can wait to inform them of any accidents.
You likely have a valid personal injury claim if you suffered a serious injury resulting in damages due to another party’s negligent, careless, or intentional actions. Typical necessary factors in a personal injury claim include:
- Duty: The other party owed you a duty of care. For example, stopping at a stop sign.
- Breach of duty: The other party failed to adhere to that duty of care, thereby breaching their duty.
- Proximate cause: The other party’s breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries.
- Damages: Your injuries caused your compensable damages.
If your case includes all of these points and your personal injury lawyer has evidence to prove them, you will likely have a successful personal injury claim.
Also called economic damages, special damages have a pre-determined value. Their value can’t be debated since it’s established by receipts, invoices, and other factual documentation. Special damages include:
Medical Care Expenses
Accident victims need to consider all the medical care they have received due to their injury. If they need continued medical care, they should also calculate these expenses into their damages.
Medical care expenses can include:
- Ambulance services
- Emergency room care
- Physician and specialist visits
- Hospital stays
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Lab work and other diagnostic tests
Lost Wages and Income
Some personal injuries keep injured parties from returning to work right away or keep them from being able to work in the future. If this is the case, then they are entitled to seek damages for lost wages and other lost earnings. Lost wages should be calculated starting from the date of the injury through the current date.
If they are still unable to work or limited in their ability to earn wages as they did before their injury, they should be calculated for as long as they may be unable to work. Bonuses, tips, or commissions also count under damages for lost wages.
All other injury-related expenses incurred should be included when calculating the value of compensatory damages.
Out-of-pocket injury-related costs can include:
- Gas, parking, and hotel expenses for traveling to medical appointments
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Medical equipment (crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, slings, braces, or respirators)
- Replacement household services such as those for housekeeping, grocery shopping, childcare, pet care, and yard work while the injured party is physically unable to accomplish them due to their injuries
- Any other costs you incurred due to the injury
- Future out-of-pocket expenses
Special damages can also include repairing and replacing any lost or damaged property. For example, suppose your wedding ring was destroyed in a dog bite incident. In that case, your damages should cover the cost of replacing or repairing your ring.
Other examples of property that might become damaged or lost in a personal injury incident or accident include:
- Cell phones
- Other electronic devices
- Motor vehicles
General, also referred to as non-economic damages don’t come with a bill or a receipt like economic damages do. However, there’s no denying a connection exists between the at-fault party’s actions and the injured person’s general damages.
Depending on the specifics of an injury claim, general damages can include:
- Pain and suffering: The real physical pain and discomfort experienced at the time of the accident and suffering resulting from injuries treatments
- Disfigurement or scarring: The embarrassment or humiliation because of severe scarring or an amputation
- Physical impairment or disability: For example, not being able to care for yourself after a brain injury or being unable to walk independently due to a spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Mental anguish, including feelings of distress, fear, anxiety, depression, trauma, or grief
- Loss of consortium: Also sometimes called loss of affection or companionship, it’s the loss of marital, parental, or other benefits of meaningful close relationships
- Loss of enjoyment of life: When an injury keeps the victim from the enjoyment of everyday activities, recreational pursuits, exercise, traveling, hobbies, and family traditions, among many other things
Since non-economic damages can’t be established in the same concrete way that economic damages can be, they can be challenging to prove. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a qualified lawyer representing your claim so that you can recover fairly for your non-economic damages.
If the personal injury victim suffers some type of permanent disability, they should be compensated accordingly for both special and general damages. In these cases, it’s imperative to have a skilled personal injury attorney on your side.
Suppose someone acted intentionally to cause injuries or with extreme disregard for your safety and well-being. In that case, you are entitled to ask the court for punitive damages. You can ask your attorney if punitive damages might apply in your case.
Sometimes referred to as exemplary damages, these typically only apply in extreme cases with representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer. For example, if a drunk driver caused an accident that led to a paralyzing spinal cord injury.
Unfortunately, personal injury settlements don’t involve punitive damages. Court’s reserve punitive damages for cases involving the willful, malicious, oppressive, fraudulent, or reckless behavior of the at-fault party. Although much less common, courts use punitive damages to deter the at-fault party and others from behaving in similar ways in the future.
Personal injury cases can arise from many different types of situations, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Scooter and bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability—such as a slip and fall
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
Most Common Injuries
Personal injuries come in many different types and can be serious or even catastrophic. Some of the most common personal injuries arising from various circumstances include:
- Broken bones
- Other soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI), which can cause paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Emotional and mental injuries such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)