Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer - FAQs and Info

Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100 to discuss your case with our personal injury lawyer.

Personal Injury:

If you are reading this, you likely need a Dallas personal injury lawyer. Our Dallas office handles personal injury and accident cases throughout the North Texas area.

Personal injury cases occur when someone has acted “negligently”, and that negligence causes someone to be injured. Most personal injury cases are the result of automobile accidents, premises liability cases, work related injury, or a dangerous product/service of some sort. Your injury may cause lost income, medical bills, lost earning capacity, pain & suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, among other issues. Your attorney can help you determine the value of this loss. The injury you have suffered due to the accident can be far beyond just the financial damage done.

Many people don’t realize that the insurance company who represents the wrongdoer doesn’t jump forward to pay these out of pocket expenses. The insurance company will usually not pay a dime of the expenses without obtaining a full release first. This puts the person who has suffered an injury at a disadvantage because they don’t know if they will need future care, or how much that future care will cost.

Our Dallas personal injury lawyer – Doug Goyen – usually gets involved in cases due to an insurance company refusing to pay fair amounts in their settlement offers to an injury / accident victim. Most victims of injury need assistance in locating who is liable for the injury, how to recover the money for their towing, rental bills, income lost, & medical billing. Following is our guide to personal injury law:
Guide to Personal Injury Law:

Personal injury is defined as an injury to you physically, mentally or emotionally. It only involves injury to your actual personal body – not your car or other property. Cuts, bruising, strains, broken bones, lacerations, or any serious injury are what the law deems a personal injury. You may have mental / emotional / psychological injury also – this type injury must be due to the trauma of the incident in question. Proving the negligence of the person causing the injury is a large part of recovering for personal injury in accidents. If you can prove negligence, and that your injury was caused by that negligence, you can pursue your case against the responsible party, business or their insurance company.

Representing Yourself:

If you choose to represent yourself, you will need to call the insurer. They will have an adjuster who will want to record what happened in the accident. They will ask leading questions – trying to lead you into saying something that they can use to deny your case. You must use caution when speaking to these adjusters – they will use the information you give them against you.

Insurers are also known for trying to make what is called “first call settlements”. This is a practice of an insurer to offer some nominal amount ($250-$750) to settle your injury claim immediately during their first phone call that they realize you might be hurt. The reason they do this is that insurers know that your injury may take several days for the symptoms to fully develop. If they can settle out cheap, before your full injury surfaces, they can avoid paying the true value of your claim.

Trying to evaluate your own injury claim’s value is difficult. You must take multiple factors into consideration. The type of impact, type of injury and cost for treatment, lost income and reasons for it, and loss of ability to do your normal activities.

The pros for not hiring an attorney is that you don’t have to pay an attorney’s fee. The cons are that you likely do not have the experience and knowledge to know the true value of your case or how to effectively negotiate in order to get the top offer for your injury claim.

When Do You Need to Hire an Attorney?:

Do not be lulled into complacency by the insurance company. They do not want to pay your injury claim. They will usually string you along by making statements that lead you to believe the “case will be taken care of” once you are done with your treatment. Which to you means they will pay for everything. To them it means they will deny your injury claim or only pay a fraction of it’s value once you are done treating. By this time they have usually laid a trap for their unwitting injury victims.

Often, the insurance company is willing to deny your claim and defend a lawsuit. So if you have a serious injury, you need a lawyer preparing you and your case for this potential outcome. If you handle your case with an eye towards possible litigation – with an attorney helping you guide your way through the traps and pitfalls, your case will be well prepared for a lawsuit, which will force the insurance company to consider that you will have your evidence together for trial and be able to present a strong case. This makes insurance companies much more willing to give a fair offer of settlement. If you don’t prepare your case for a lawsuit, the insurance company is encouraged to treat your case poorly, because they will see that your case is not ready for lawsuit, and you will not be able to present evidence to prove your case at trial, which means they will offer much less than the true value of the case. So in other words, if you want to settle your case with the least likelihood of actually going to trial, have an aggressive, strong personal injury attorney prepare your case for you – the insurance companies are much less willing to take on a willing and “prepared” opponent. If, on the other hand, you don’t prepare your case for the possibility of litigation, your case is much more likely to actually go to trial, because the insurance company will treat your case like dirt, because you are no threat to them. Its much like the old saying about avoiding war, the more powerful your military, the less likely anyone will want to mess with you. The same goes with settlement. The more powerfully you prepare your case, the less likely the insurance company will want to treat you poorly. You need a lawyer to do this.

If you wish to handle your personal injury claim yourself, you will need to learn terms and research some areas involving personal injury claims. You need to know how to define negligence, proximate cause, how to calculate damages, strict liability, how can you determine negligence in certain situations, what is the value of your vehicle or other property damaged, was there any other cause of the accident that can be blamed, etc.

If your claim is small, minor injury, with little in the way of medical bills, and you have completely recovered to the point that there is no way any future symptoms from the injury would resurface, then you could probably handle the claim yourself unless there was just a plain denial by the insurance company – in which you then would need an attorney to file a lawsuit to prove liability. But if liability is clear, and you have a very minor injury with minimal medical bills, you should be able to negotiate a settlement without the aid of a Dallas personal injury lawyer.

If your injury is more serious, or if you have continuing ongoing problems, or if you are scheduled for a procedure such as surgery in the future due to the injury, you likely need to hire a strong and aggressive personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can assist you in determining if there will be problems in proving your injury was caused by the accident, obtain the necessary documentation required to prove your injury, quickly gather information needed to resolve your claim as soon as possible, perform all negotiations, and if needed your personal injury lawyer will be able to take your case to trial.

Often, insurance companies use the following defenses in trying to avoid paying your personal injury claim:

You caused the accident or at least part of it (so we are only paying part of your claim), but even if we did cause the accident the accident was too minor or was not the type of accident that could have caused the injury you are claiming, but even if it was the type of accident that could cause the injury, your injury was preexisting or you had some preexisting issue that makes your injury not the insurance companies responsibility, but even if you had no preexisting injury or condition your doctors charged more than what was reasonable, but even if your doctors did not charge unreasonable amounts you tricked your doctor into believing you were injured by faking your symptoms, your doctor over treated you and had you come in too many times so we are not paying for that over treatment, you skipped appointments and came into the doctor too few times and if you had just followed your doctors orders you would have been healed by now (see, they can get you for treating too much or treating too little, they will have an excuse for everything), there are too big of gaps in time in your treatment which means that you must have done something else to have hurt yourself during that gap in time and now you are just trying to blame it on this accident. . .

The insurance adjuster’s excuses for not paying your claim can go on and on – the excuses insurance companies come up with for not paying personal injury claims are endless. Attorneys are used to these excuses and know how to present your claim in a way that is as solid as possible, and obtain larger settlements than unrepresented people typically obtain. If you have an injury that is serious, hire an attorney to help you with your personal injury case.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us online or call a Dallas personal injury lawyer at our office in Dallas at (972) 599-4100 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@gmail.com