Personal Injury Law – How Soon Do You Have To Contact An Attorney

Personal Injury Law – How Soon Do You Have To Contact An Attorney

One of the reasons why personal injury cases can be so complicated is because there are significant differences between state laws. Every state has its own laws that apply to personal injury cases. There are crucial differences in how these laws work, and what they mean for people who have been injured.personal injury law - expiration of time to file

Statutes of Limitations

The amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit is limited. Every state has a statute of limitations that creates a type of legal ticking clock. Once you have been injured, that clock begins counting down. Unless you act before that clock reaches zero, you are prevented from filing a lawsuit.

The amount of time you have differs significantly depending on the state in which you live. In some states, you might have as long as six years to file a personal injury lawsuit, while in other states you could be limited to a single year.

Damage Caps

Another significant difference between states when it comes to personal injury laws is how much damages people are allowed to recover.

Non-Economic Damages

Many personal injury lawsuits involve non-economic damages. These types of damages are possible when a person suffers an injury that isn’t easily given a dollar value. Non-economic damages include compensation for emotional distress, pain, and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or loss of the ability to engage in sexual relations, known as loss of consortium.

When it comes to these types of non-economic damages, many states have a maximum recoverable amount. Though this amount differs significantly, it can range from about $350,000-$700,000.

Fortunately, states usually have exceptions that allow injured people to exceed the maximum limit, or eliminate it completely, in some circumstances.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages can apply in cases where someone’s wrongful action was so egregious that state law allows for damages that serve solely to punish the intentional behavior.

Like non-economic damages, punitive damages can also be limited. Depending on the state in which you live, the maximum punitive damage award might range between $250,000 to $10 million.


Who is responsible for compensating you for the harms you suffered? The answer to this question will depend entirely on the state in which you live.

Let’s say that you are injured in a car accident. Three other drivers were involved in the accident, and each is partially at fault. You suffer $100,000 in damages. Depending on the state in which you live, each driver might be responsible for only a portion of those damages (several liabilities), each could be held responsible for the entire amount (joint liability), or the group of defendants could be held equally responsible for the entire amount but have the right to sue each other to recover the share for which the others are responsible (joint and several liabilities).

Of course, knowing what the differences are and understanding how they might apply to your situation is something that only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you do. To find out how your state laws apply to an accident you may have been part of, contact a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

This Blog was posted By The Carabin & Shaw Law Firm. principle Office in San Antonio, Texas

Got Questions After An Accident

Got Questions After An Accident, Our Attorneys Can Help

The attorneys at our Personal Injury Law Firm are pleased to provide the following answers to questions our lawyers frequently encounter as they help people recover compensation when they have been involved in a car or truck accident or other harm as a result of another’s negligence. At our Personal Injury Law Firm, you can Trust us for Justice. If you have other questions or need legal advice and representation in a particular personal injury or wrongful death matter, please contact our office for a free accident lawyers

What should I do if I have been in an accident?

First, attend to the medical needs of yourself and others, including calling 9-1-1 and performing first aid if you are qualified. While waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, including driver’s license and insurance information. If there are any witnesses present, try to get their names and contact information, and record a brief statement of what they say they saw. If possible, take photographs of the scene, including the damage to vehicles and property and your own physical injuries.

In the case of a motorcycle accident or other serious collision, the driver of one car or truck may walk away, but the motorcycle rider or other driver may not be conscious when the police come to survey the scene and make a report. If this was the case with you, be sure, and obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible. If the other driver provided a statement to the police and you didn’t, the report may contain biases or inaccuracies that you will want to correct. Your attorney can help you obtain a copy of the report and proceed accordingly.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Some lawyers will meet you in the hospital or visit you at home if you are not well enough to travel. It is important to bring in a lawyer early so that he or she can begin the process of gathering evidence from the scene before it disappears and witness statements before memories fade. Having legal representation will also help make sure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance company before you have had a chance to realize what your costs and damages are from the accident.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

In most cases of personal injury, including wrongful death, you have up to two years from the date of the occurrence to file a suit. In the case of medical malpractice, you have up to two years from the date the injury was discovered, such as when a foreign object like a clamp or sponge was left inside the body following an operation.

If you fail to file within the statute of limitations period, you risk being barred forever from filing a suit and recovering damages for your injuries. While two years may sound like a long time, it can actually pass by very quickly. Initially, you will be very absorbed with your own physical recovery, and then you will find yourself dealing with mountains of paperwork and trying to get your house and your life back in order, and perhaps returning to work. If you are dealing with an insurance company, they may seem like they are going to settle but allow negotiations to drag on in hopes that the limitations period passes without any legal action being taken by you.

Your lawyer will not immediately file a lawsuit in most instances. Usually, it is best to wait until your doctor declares you are medically stable so that we have a good idea about what your current and future medical costs and other damages are. Still, it is important to have an attorney on board who can begin preparing a case right away for trial or eventual settlement and to make sure that the statute of limitations or any other important deadlines is not missed.

Do I need a lawyer if the insurance company is offering to settle?

Absolutely. Insurance companies often offer a settlement very quickly after the accident. If you are unrepresented, they will make an offer that may sound good but is actually far less than your case is actually worth. If, on the other hand, you are represented by an attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases and has a track record of successful results, the insurance company is much more likely to make a serious offer and not try to take advantage of you.

Hiring an attorney does not mean that you will have to take your case to court. In fact, the vast majority of cases do settle without a trial. However, experience has shown time and again that hiring an attorney and preparing a case for trial is the best way to achieve a maximum settlement from the insurance company, regardless of whether this settlement comes without having to file a lawsuit or on the eve of trial.

How long will my case take?

As mentioned earlier, a lawsuit will likely not be filed or any settlement talks finalized until you have reached a stage where the doctor says you are medically stable, meaning that you have improved pretty well as much as you are likely to. This is likely to be several months, but it of course differs from case to case. Once a lawsuit is filed, there is a discovery process where depositions are taken and evidence is gathered from the other side, and motions are made in court before the actual trial. If your case goes to trial, it may be a year or more from when the accident happened, but the trial itself will probably only take a few days. Your lawyer can advise you in the meantime on how to take care of your medical bills and other expenses while your case is pending. Handling your case the right way often takes time, but this is the best way to maximize your recovery.

How much is my claim worth?

The answer to this question depends upon factors unique to your case, including the nature and extent of your injuries and damages, and the level of culpability of the negligent party. You are generally entitled to recover for your property damage, your present, and future medical expenses, lost wages from time missed from work or a future diminished earning capacity, and damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress. Contact our office for a free consultation with one of our attorneys, and we will try to give you an estimate of how much your case may be worth.

This blog was posted by Ford and Laurel Attorneys Laredo, Texas

Personal Injury Lawyers » How Social Media Can Be Used Against You

Personal Injury Lawyers » How Social Media Can Be Used Against You

What You Post to Facebook Can be Used to Lessen the Value of Your Auto Accident Claim

In this article, we will discuss how defense attorneys use various forms of social media to mine for evidence that could be used against you in an automobile accident case.

The job of an attorney extends beyond helping his or her client understand basic black letter law; it also involves protecting clients from weak defense arguments, as well as tangential issues that could overrun a personal injury lawsuit. Essentially, your lawyer is supposed to help you win your case – a duty that requires much more than recitation of the law.

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Personal Injury

Lawyers must protect their clients more than ever before, and some of the most significant hazards are forms of social media. What a client says online, or does in public, can be used by the defense to devastate a lawsuit, and permanent records of any detrimental information could prove to be the end of your case. Sometimes, all defense attorneys can do is hope that you screw up, giving them a chance to claim that your injuries either came from another source, or simply weren’t as bad as you described them to be. More info here@

We would like to explain to you just how negative social media can be for your personal injury lawsuit. Part of your pursuit of justice requires not giving the defense an out, so by knowing what not to do while online, you will give yourself a major opportunity to win a contested claim and reap the compensation you so rightfully deserve.

An Overview of Social Media

Put broadly, social media includes any and all technological platforms by which people communicate and interact with one-another, usually via online and mobile sources. Despite the fact that advanced technology has been used for communication and interaction since the birth of Morse Code, it was not until the late 1990s that its use became widespread. Nowadays, 21st century interaction involves millions of people connecting all over the world, providing for an intricate web of social relations without people ever setting foot in the same room.

Social media takes on more forms than just the typed word. Nearly anyone reading this article should know about the popular “profile” website Facebook, which is dedicated mostly to text comments; however, other websites are dedicated to other forms of media, like YouTube’s emphasis on video, or Instagram’s focus on pictures. Essentially, if it can be recorded or preserved, then there is a form of social media for it. personal injury law
This permanence can be positive for your daily life in most instances, but it can also be very dangerous in a personal injury case. As you may also know, Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and since its debut in the late 1990s, the business has expanded in new, almost unforeseeable ways. One of these unanticipated developments is Google Cache, which essentially records multiple versions of the same pages. This means that if you post something publicly, and then edit it later, both the original comment/picture and its revision will be available for anyone to see. As we will explain in the next section, this can be lethal to your case. Check this website @

How the Defense Uses Social Media Against You

Because social media is both common and permanent, what you project on Facebook, Twitter, and any other frequented website can be damning to your personal injury claim’s success. One way the defense can use this against you is to take statements out of context. In general, it is a very poor idea to discuss your imminent or ongoing legal matters on a place of public record, such as Facebook or Twitter. This is because you could say or type one thing, mean something entirely different, and yet still be considered an untrustworthy source of information. For instance, if you were to get rear-ended by an 18-wheeler, and then later go onto Facebook and make a sarcastic wall post, saying that you are “feelin’ fine,” then it is not unlikely that the defense would exploit this. Although this most likely does not apply to your case, some people have even outright contradicted the defendant’s potential liability via social networking websites.

Furthermore, pictures and video can be just as harmful to your personal injury lawsuit as unwise comments. In one case managed by another local law firm, a client was struck by an 18-wheeler and the trucking company’s liability was nearly indisputable. However, the client had a photograph of himself on Facebook scuba diving which happened to be his weeks-long profile picture. Although this photo was eventually taken down, it remained in Google cache, and this picture was used by the defense. Their implication was that this scuba diving occurred after the accident and that he had not really sustained any injuries as a result of the wreck. In actuality, the scuba diving occurred prior to the incident; yet because of this image the trucking company and insurance provider had an “out” to payment, and have kept the case in litigation for several months.

Our Law Office Can Represent You

Yesteryear, personal injury plaintiffs’ worst fears were of claims adjusters and investigators stalking them, attempting to take pictures and make recordings that would be used to tear down their cases. Nowadays, with the power of the internet right at your fingertips, personal injury plaintiffs do the job for investigators, making incredulous remarks and posting media that could almost certainly wreck their cases. At our law office, we are ready to advise you in all matters regarding social media, as well as becoming your sole mouthpiece in all case-related issues.

With the rise of new media, claimants of damages have more pitfalls than ever before, but with us by your side, you can hopefully avoid these obstacles. If you or a loved one were the victim of a recent personal injury accident, and you would like to learn more about the options ahead of you, call us. Calling us is free of charge and our line is open 24 hours a day, so feel confident in making the call. More information here @