Is My Injury Serious Enough to Need a Lawyer?

The Law Office of Doug Goyen is a personal injury lawyer who handles personal injury cases.

Many major injuries caused by someone else's negligence are obviously serious enough to need a lawyer - death, paralysis, serious burns, injuries requiring surgery, disabling injuries, and disfiguring injuries are all examples of the types of obvious injury that requires the help of an experienced lawyer.

What about other types of injuries? Injuries such as whiplash, strains, sprains, partially torn ligaments, etc. These are injuries that insurance companies often call "soft tissue" injuries. Often, insurance adjusters speak of soft tissue injuries with disdain, as though they aren't real injuries. Just as a reminder for the insurance adjuster, a stroke and heart attack are soft tissue injuries.

Personal injury lawyers are used to dealing with soft tissue injuries, as well as other types of injury as listed above. There are so many variables involved in determining whether you have a case or not, that it is best to actually call so we can ask you about your claim or case, so we can evaluate your need for a lawyer on your case.

Personal injury involves negligence or wrongful acts that cause injury, harms, losses, or death to individuals. In these situations a person or family of that person typically suffers financial harms from the injury that has been caused - things such as lost income, medical bills, copays, deductibles, property damage to automobiles, or damage to other property . . . these are some of the examples of direct out of pockets expenses and losses that people go through in a personal injury case. Determining what costs and expenses you can and cannot have reimbursed is why people need to consult an accident and injury attorney when they have been harmed by someone else's wrongful acts or negligent conduct. Based on how it happened, the lawyer can help you determine if there is someone who should be held responsible for the harms caused. In addition to direct out of pocket costs, you may also have a claim for other personal injury harms and losses. Harms and losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and disability are all examples of harms that are caused where it is the law that you are to be compensated for the harm caused. Not all personal injury cases involve all of these damages, and even where a person might believe that they have suffered one of the above, not all cases are entitled to reimbursement without the proper documentation or evidence of such harm occurring. You must know the proper evidence and personal injury law to use to present your harms in order to be compensated for them. If your injury occurs in the DFW area, or North Texas, you will need a lawyer who understands how claims are being handled in this area, and how courts are interpreting personal injury law in the area. Doug Goyen is a Dallas personal injury lawyer and will know the evidence to look for and present to make sure you receive full compensation for your harms and losses, and other damages involved. Experience: Doug Goyen has worked as a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer on behalf of those who have suffered personal injury since 1998. He has handled thousands of cases in that time. Prior to becoming an attorney, Doug Goyen worked at GEICO, Travelers-Aetna, and GM's fleet insurance as a claims adjuster - from 1989 until 1997 - handling personal injury cases on behalf on insurance companies. . . (continued) . . .

Dealing with the Liability Insurance Company: When trying to negotiate your personal injury claim, you must take into consideration the insurance company you are dealing with, and why that insurance company acts the way they do, and why the insurance company feels like it can get away with treating people so poorly. Who Are You Dealing With?: You are dealing with a liability insurance company. First you have to understand what liability insurance is, and what it says in Texas. This involves an understanding of personal injury law. Liability insurance typically has language that says that the insurance company will "pay for what you become legally liable for" due to whatever type of policy it is (driving for automobile, doing business in commercial policies, etc.). Obviously there are exclusions - they don't cover everything. But most important is the language itself - "what you become legally liable for". How do you determine if someone is legally liable? By a judgment, that is how, using an accident and injury attorney, and if you are in the Dallas area, you need a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer. In other words, if you want to force the insurance company to pay you - you need a judgment against the person they are insuring. You don't sue the insurance company, you have to sue the person who was the driver, or the company that caused the injury, once you prove that the insured person or company is "legally liable" then the insurance company can be forced to pay. Typically most insurance companies don't force you to file a lawsuit prior to negotiating with you. They will often try to settle the case without you needing to go to litigation. But if they have decided that they want to get out of your case cheap, or want to use and excuse not to pay, there is nothing you can do about it other than file a lawsuit . . . (continued) . . .

If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence or wrongful acts, there are several steps you should take to ensure that financially you aren't the person stuck with the bill for the bad behavior of someone else (in addition to contacting a Dallas personal injury lawyer if you are in the Dallas area). You need to: 1) Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all people involved, and any witnesses - including ID's. 2) Call the police if you are injured due to someone else's bad actions. A report needs to be made, and if your injury is serious, you will need their help in gathering all identifying information. Police will need to investigate to see if there was any crime committed in their opinion. A good report will have all identifying information on parties and witnesses that the officers were able to talk to. There may be drawings and a the officers record of any statements that were given by those involved, or witnesses to the incident. 3) Take photographs (or have someone take them on your behalf) of the scene, of any damage to property, of any injury, of the people present - including people involved in committing the negligence or wrongful act. 4) Get medical attention for your injury. 5) Get copies of any and all reports that were made. 6) Get documentation of anything you are out of pocket (lost wage forms from your employer, estimates or bills for the repair of any property damage, estimates or bills for the replacement of any property that was totally destroyed, photos). 7) Keep names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses who can testify about how your injury has changed you from before the occurrence, and after the occurrence. These type witnesses should be your spouse, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, church members, or other people you see day to day. Doctors are good at giving the "technical" language of what your injury is, but only people you know can testify about "how" this injury has changed you. You can testify about this too, but remember, if you go to court - and you don't have other witnesses to back up what you say about how the injury has changed you, then depending on your testimony . . . (continued) . . .

An accident and injury attorney will understand that insurance companies are a business. They intend to make a profit. You typically cannot expect the people you deal with to go out of their way to try and understand your point of view. You must force them to understand. You must understand personal injury law and what law applies, and what venue you are in (this is why you likely need a Dallas personal injury lawyer when an injury is in the Dallas or North Texas area). Insurance companies intend to be competitive with their competition. Economic laws cause businesses to attempt to gain the highest profit possible in order to compete with other companies in the same business. With insurance companies, this means paying as little as they can on any injury claim. One of the tactics used is to ensure the injured person that "everything will be taken care of". You assume that this means they will pay the bills. You later learn that what they meant was that they would "take care of" denying your claims once you present the entire claim to them. You also find out later that because you waited to contact an attorney, that the insurance company took many steps to protect themselves from paying you or your claim while you placed trust in them, assuming they were going to do what was right. What you think is "right" and what an insurance company thinks is "right" are not the same. You think it is right for the insurance company to put you back in the same financial condition you were in prior to the injury happening. The insurance company thinks it is right to pay as little as possible . . . (continued) . . .

Damages Often Recoverable in Personal Injury Cases Include the Following:

Past and future medical bills, past and future lost earning capacity, past and future lost income, past and future physical impairment, past and future disfigurement, past and future mental anguish, past and future pain and suffering, property damage, loss of use of your property - such as rental car bills, storage, total loss of property, diminished value of property, loss of body member (arm, leg, . . .), loss of body capacity (hearing, eyesight, . . . ), loss of consortium (spouse, parental, child/filial), loss of services, emotional/mental trauma (bystander injury), prenatal injury, exemplary damages, prejudgment interest, attorney's fees, and court costs.

Personal Injury Areas We Help With Are:

Auto Accident and Injury Cases, Personal Injury Cases, 18 Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Injury Accident Cases, Motorcycle Accident and Injury Cases, Wrongful Death Cases, Pedestrian Injured by Automobile Cases, Slip and Fall & Premises Cases, Workplace & Constructions Injury Cases, Dog Bite Injury Cases, Bicyclers Hit by Automobile Cases .

By Doug Goyen,