Is My Injury Serious Enough to Need a Lawyer?
The Law Office of Doug Goyen’s personal injury lawyers in Dallas handle personal injury litigation and claims on behalf of those injured by negligence.
Often people think their injury is minor and do not think about getting a lawyer. Sometimes those minor injuries are more serious than the person realizes. If you are wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for a minor injury?”, the answer is maybe. You definitely should consult with a lawyer, because you may have a situation where you definitely should have an attorney representing you – depending on your situation.
We often receive cases where a person had an accident or injury several months in the past. When asked why they did not get a lawyer sooner, they reply that they thought their injury was too minor – but that the injury just never went away. They go to a doctor, who eventually sends them for diagnostic studies, and they discover that the injury is actually more serious than they realized and requires extensive therapy or even possibly surgery to heal.
Most, if not all, major injuries that are 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.
Injuries such as whiplash, strains, sprains, partially torn ligaments, etc., are injuries that insurance companies often call “soft tissue” injuries. They can sometimes be deceptive. Starting off with minor pain, but then building up over time to being very painful.
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 cases. There are 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.
Financial Damages from Personal Injuries: Personal injury involves negligence or wrongful acts that cause injury, harm, losses, or death to individuals. In these situations a person or family of that person typically suffers financial losses 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 are why people need to consult an 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 damage caused. In addition to direct out-of-pocket costs, you may also have a claim for other personal injury harms and losses.
Other Damages from a Personal Injury: Damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and disability are all examples of ways people are injured where the law is that you are entitled to be compensated for the damage caused, even though there is no bill or receipt for the damage 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 damage occurring. You must know the proper evidence and personal injury law to use to present your damage claims 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 personal injury attorney in Dallas 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 attorney 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 of insurance companies.
When trying to negotiate your personal injury claim, you must take into consideration the insurance company you are dealing with.
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 an 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.
If you want to force the insurance company to pay you – you need a judgment against the person they are insuring in Texas. You don’t sue the insurance company in most liability cases (with some exceptions in certain situations), 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 a lawsuit prior to negotiating. Many will try to settle the case without needing to go to litigation. But if they have decided that they want to get out of your case cheap, or want to use an excuse not to pay, there is nothing you can do about it other than filing a lawsuit.
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 personal injury lawyer). You need to:
1) Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all people involved, and any witnesses – including ID.
2) In many circumstances is appropriate to call the police if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, such as in an auto accident, assault, or a dog attack.
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 the officer’s 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 types of witnesses should be your spouse, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, church members, or other people you see day to day.
8) Hire a lawyer as soon as possible to help investigate and gather the evidence you need to prove your claims.WHY YOU NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER
An accident and injury attorney will understand that insurance companies are a business. They intend to make a profit. You typically cannot expect insurance companies to go out of their way to try and understand your point of view. You must force them to understand. Additionally, you must understand personal injury law and what law applies, and what venue you are in.
Insurance companies tend to be competitive with their other competitors (other insurance companies). 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 to delay or even avoid payments 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.
You need someone fighting for you for your claim. Call the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100. We can get started on your case immediately.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com
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