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The Hart Law Firm

Our Attorneys Have Over 25 years of Experience, and Are Here to Answer All Your Questions After an Accident

You must be overwhelmed with questions after your Dallas car wreck.  Why not get the answers from a Texas board-certified personal injury attorney?

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  • What types of compensation can I receive from the negligent driver who caused my auto accident?

    Once you have received the immediate medical treatment you need after a car crash, the reality that you will be off work for months or longer recovering from your injuries without any income may sink in. The next burning question could be how to pay for your expensive medical treatments and how to replace the wages you have lost and will lose. Fortunately, you may be able to make the negligent driver who caused your collision pay for these losses and more.

    Types of Compensation You Could Be Entitled to in a Texas Car Accident Case

    You need to understand the types of compensation you could recover to know what your case is worth and also to collect the documentation you will need to prove that you really are entitled to the amount you are requesting. Damages that are recoverable in these cases include:

    • Medical expenses. This includes the bills you incur for doctors, hospital stays, ambulance, chiropractors, and physical, cognitive or mental health therapists. Expenses you may not think of are travel and lodging expenses if you must travel for medical care, assistive tools like crutches, wheelchair, or shower or toilet special seats, and in-home medical and non-medical care.
    • Lost wages. Your lost wage claim includes much more than the back pay and future wages you will have lost. Be certain to include any commissions, profit sharing, benefits, vacation and sick time, and other perks of your job that you are missing out on. If you are unable to return to your former job or are permanently disabled due to your injuries, you could be entitled to damages for your lost earning capacity to compensate you for the long-term losses you will suffer.
    • Personal property damage. This includes the cost to repair your vehicle, towing costs, car rental fees, and replacement or repair costs for property in your vehicle.
    • Pain and suffering. You are entitled to compensation for the physical pain and emotional—or psychological—distress caused by your injuries. How insurance adjusters calculate these damages can be complicated, and you need an experienced car crash attorney who can help you value these more intangible but very real injuries.
    • Loss of enjoyment. These damages compensate you for the loss of enjoyment in the day-to-day activities—such as hobbies, recreational activities, interests, friends, and family—that you can no longer enjoy due to the long-term consequences of your injuries.
    • Loss of consortium. If your injuries affect your level of affection, intimacy, or sexual relationship with your spouse, you could be entitled to damages for these losses.
    • Wrongful death. If a close family member died as a result of the crash, family members could receive compensation for their losses—including loss of the enjoyment of the accident victim—through filing a wrongful death action against the negligent driver.

    Were you injured in a car wreck caused by another driver? Was a family member killed? Our experienced and compassionate legal team is here to take the burden of negotiating your settlement off your shoulders. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.488 to schedule a free case evaluation. The Hart Law Firm proudly represents injured victims throughout Texas including Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, North Richland, Arlington, Irving, Grapevine and Bedford.

  • Can The Insurance Company Spy on Me After A Texas Car Accident?

    If you were injured in a Texas car accident, there's a lot to worry about, including the progress of recovery, how to pay your monthly expenses, and when you'll receive the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. You might also be concerned if you see a strange vehicle parked down the street from your house, following you to the doctor's office, or cruising along as you run errands. Could the other driver’s insurance company be spying on you? Sadly, yes.

    Why Would the Insurance Company Spy on You?

    Insurance companies for negligent drivers do not always engage in surveillance. They must hire a private investigator to do it, and this is an expensive task. If a victim suffered minor injuries and is only off work for a short period of time, the insurance adjuster usually decides not to do this. However, the insurance adjuster may feel there is probable cause for surveillance for the following reasons:

    • To learn more information about you and the true nature of your injuries
    • To poke holes in your believability by showing you doing activities you claim you are too injured to do
    • Because your damages are serious and the amount of compensation you could be entitled to—especially for pain and suffering—is a large sum
    • Because you claim to have a serious, long-term condition, but your medical records do not support this assertion

    When Will the Insurance Company Engage in Surveillance?

    The insurance company will most likely not engage in surveillance immediately after you make a claim. They do not have enough information about the wreck and the extent of your injuries to justify it. Key times that an adjuster could order surveillance include:

    • Before your deposition. An insurance company may hire a private investigator shortly before your deposition, which is when the insurance company’s attorney asks you questions that are transcribed into a written statement that can be used against you in court. The belief is that surveillance may reveal damaging information about your activities that can be used to discredit you in the deposition.
    • Before your trial. If your case does not settle, the insurance company could be worried about the amount of money it may have to pay you and could engage in surveillance as another attempt to discredit you.

    The bottom line is that the negligent driver's insurance company could spy on you at any time during the course of your case, so be prepared. As long as you are honest about what happened and how badly you were injured, surveillance should not hurt your case.

    If you or a family member was injured in a Texas car accident caused by another driver, we urge you to speak with an experienced legal team regarding your rights. The Hart Law Firm represents clients injured in car crashes throughout Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Colleyville, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving as well as across the entire Dallas Fort Worth area. Contact us online or call us directly at 817- 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.

  • What is the time period to sue the negligent taxi driver who caused my taxi accident?

    If you were injured in a taxi cab accident, you may not know what to do or who to turn to in order to obtain the compensation you need to pay for your mounting medical bills and the wages you are losing while you are off work recovering from your injuries. This could be especially true if you are in Dallas or Fort Worth on business or a vacation. Your first step should be to contact a local experienced taxi accident attorney who can explain your legal rights and knows the statute of limitations to sue the negligent taxi driver and the taxi cab company.

    What Is the Statute of Limitations?

    The statute of limitations is the time period you have to file a lawsuit against the taxi driver and taxi cab company. In Texas, there are different statutes of limitations for different legal claims. For example, the time period to sue for a breach of contract claim could be different than for a personal injury case. You must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations or you would lose your right to pursue your claim for compensation. If you tried to sue after the statute of limitations expired, it is likely that the judge would dismiss your complaint.

    The Statute of Limitations in Texas Taxi Cab Accident Cases

    The time period to sue for your taxi accident case is the same as if you had been involved in another type of vehicle accident. You must file your lawsuit within these time limits:

    • Personal injury. Two years from the date of your accident.
    • Property damage.  Two years from the date of your accident.
    • Wrongful death. Two years from the date of your family member’s accident.

    What happens if you did not realize you suffered injuries for a long time after your taxi crash? In some cases where a person suffers back, neck, or head injuries, he may not experience symptoms for months after the wreck, and his condition could worsen over time. If this is your situation, you may fall into an exception to the strict time limit to sue. You could have two years from the date you should have reasonably discovered your injuries to pursue your claim.

    Do not delay in contacting an attorney after your accident. Even if you are afraid you waited too long to sue, you want to discuss this with a local taxi accident attorney who can advise you on your legal options. Start an online chat today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced taxi accident legal team.

  • Should I purchase car insurance from the rental agent when I rent a car?

    If you are going on a business trip or vacation and are renting a car, you will certainly be asked this question: Do you want to purchase insurance to cover your car rental? If you say no or hesitate, the salesperson will probably warn you of the dire consequences of not buying it and how you could owe thousands of dollars if you got into a crash. You know you do not want to drive a rental vehicle without insurance. However, the car rental could add $15 to $30 to your daily rental fee, which can add up. Fortunately, you may already have other insurance to cover possible losses.

    Two Insurance Policies You May Already Have

    You may already have an insurance policy that will cover you if you get into a wreck in your rental car. Two sources to investigate include:

    • Your vehicle insurance policy. Your own automobile insurance policy could provide insurance coverage for your rental car. You could have the same coverage and deductible as if you were in your own vehicle. Check your policy before renting a car.
    • Your credit card. Many major credit cards, like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover provide some insurance coverage if you get in a crash in a rental car. However, there may be significant restrictions on vehicles and limitations on what damages they cover. So check this with your credit card company before you leave for your trip.

    If another driver in a rental car caused your crash, you will need to look to his automobile insurance company and credit card as well as any car rental insurance policy to compensate you for your injuries. These cases can be more complicated with the multiple parties that could be responsible. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.

  • Could the trucker’s allergies have contributed to causing my truck accident?

    If you were injured in a truck accident and it was allergy season, one of the causes of your wreck could have been the trucker’s allergies. Truckers who suffer from seasonal allergies are at greater risk of causing a crash due to the sheer number of hours they are on the road and the inherent dangers when driving a massive truck weighing 10,000 pounds or more.

    Four Ways Allergies Could Cause a Truck Accident

    Anyone who has allergies knows that they can cause a person to have a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and fatigue—throughout the day and night. Truckers suffering with allergies may drive carelessly or recklessly for the following reasons:

    • Truckers can become distracted by blowing their noses, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing—with their eyes and minds off the road. In addition, they are less alert when their symptoms cause them to become drowsy.
    • The antihistamines a trucker may need to take to control his symptoms could make him too drowsy to drive.
    • Some decongestants could disrupt the trucker’s sleep patterns and lead to sleepiness when he’s driving.
    • Truckers are allowed to drive for 11 hours a day without a break or sleep and already cause crashes because of this. The drowsiness caused by allergy symptoms or medications could increase the risk of a crash, making the truck driver even more sleepy and less alert.

    If you were injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you prove the trucker’s negligence or recklessness and obtain the compensation you could be entitled to. Call us at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.

  • Do I have a case against the other driver if I was partially at fault in causing my car accident?

    If you were partially at fault in causing your car accident, you could still be entitled to compensation for at least part of your lost wages, medical bills, and emotional trauma from the other driver under the comparative negligence law in Texas. Your recovery might be substantial, so don’t let your own beliefs about your level of fault stop you from pursing a claim for the money you need while you heal from your injuries.

    How Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Recovery

    Texas follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. It allows an injured victim to recover a portion of damages if he was partially at fault in causing his crash. Comparative negligence in Texas works as follows:

    • If the victim was less than 51% at fault in causing the collision, he would be entitled to compensation. However, the amount of his recovery would be reduced by the percentage of his fault in causing the crash. For example, if a victim was 25 percent at fault in causing a wreck, he could receive a recovery of 75 percent of the damages he was entitled to.
    • If the victim is 51 percent or more at fault in causing a collision, he would not be entitled to any recovery.

    Even if you were negligent in some way—for example, if a brake light wasn’t working when you were rear-ended or you turned your head for a few seconds to talk to your child—your negligence could have played a small part in what caused the crash. You need to consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can advise you on how your own actions could affect your settlement. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation where we’ll be happy to explain this to you.

     

  • Who is responsible for my injuries in an open-door motorcycle accident?

    Occupants of vehicles in Dallas or Fort Worth open their vehicle doors all the time without looking for a motorcyclist who could be near them. When a motorcyclist crashes into a door of a vehicle that opens suddenly, he can suffer life-altering injuries—like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and amputation of a limb—or die. Fortunately, there may be more than one party responsible for compensating the victim for his injuries.

    Potentially Responsible Parties in an Open-Door Accident

    Motorcyclists get injured by other motorists opening their vehicle doors for a variety of reasons. Depending on the cause of the accident, there may be more than one party potentially responsible for the injured victim’s injuries, including:

    • Driver of the vehicle who hit the rider. This person could be liable if he or one of his passengers hit the motorcycle.
    • Passenger of the vehicle. If a passenger of a vehicle opened his door and caused the accident, he could be responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
    • The employer of the driver. If the driver was driving a taxicab, business vehicle, or a truck, the employer of the driver could be liable for compensating the motorcycle rider.
    • The driver of the illegally-parked vehicle. A driver of a vehicle who parked illegally could be responsible for the victim’s injuries if his illegal parking contributed to the crash by shielding the motorcyclist from seeing an oncoming hazard.
    • Manufacturer of the vehicle. The manufacturer of the vehicle who hit the rider could be liable if a defect in the vehicle contributed to the crash.
    • Manufacturer of the motorcycle. The manufacturer of the motorcycle could be responsible if a defect in the motorcycle at least partially caused the crash.

    If you have been injured in an open-door motorcycle accident, it is important to contact an experienced motorcycle attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Fill out our online form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn how we can help you.

  • Can the black box in the other driver’s car help prove he was negligent in causing my accident?

    If the other driver’s vehicle has a black box, it could help you prove that he was negligent in causing your automobile accident. It could also help you if you were a passenger in a taxicab and the driver caused an accident. A black box, also known as an event data recorder (EDR) or an electronic control module (ECM), is a device installed in a motor vehicle that records technical vehicle and occupant information for a short period of time before, during, and after a vehicle wreck.

    However not all vehicles have them yet. In 1994, manufacturers of Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac began installing black boxes in their vehicles to collect data on how their vehicles performed in crashes. Since then, many more manufacturers have begun installing them, with almost all the new vehicles sold in 2013 having one. As of September 1, 2014, every new vehicle sold must contain a black box.

    How the Other Driver’s Black Box Could Help Prove His Negligence

    While the black box only records data for seconds, this information could be critical in defeating the other driver’s claim that he was not at fault in causing the crash. A black box could record the following helpful information:

    • The vehicle’s speed
    • The depth of the accelerator pedal
    • The force of the impact
    • The steering angle
    • Whether airbags were deployed
    • Whether the brakes were applied
    • Whether seat belts were used

    The information from the black box requires a forensic download that follows manufacturer specifications to ensure no data is lost. A specialist would be needed to accurately interpret the information, but this could prove to be invaluable in showing that the other driver caused the collision.

    If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to help you obtain the black box data and any other documentation of your claim before it is lost. We represent car accident victims throughout the Dallas Fort Worth area including Colleyville, Irving, Euless, Grapevine, North Richland and Arlington. Contact us online or call us directly at (817) 380-4888 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Can an insurance company follow and watch me after my accident with a truck?

    A victim of a truck accident may be surprised to learn that someone from the trucking company’s insurance group is following him after he pursues his claim for compensation. Surveillance is a common practice insurance companies use to prove a victim of a crash is not really hurt as badly as he claims. This is legal, but there are limits to how much surveillance is acceptable. For example, the insurance company cannot tap a person’s telephone or peek in his window at home to videotape him.

    Four Tips About Insurance Company Surveillance Strategies

    The goal of an investigator is to catch a victim performing day-to-day activities he claims he cannot do because of his injury. It is important for a truck crash victim to understand some of the insurance company’s surveillance strategies. Here are four important tips about these strategies:

    • Insurance companies will likely use surveillance if the victim suffered more serious and permanent injuries than if the victim’s injuries were not major, and his recovery period was a few months or less.
    • Insurance companies for both the trucking company and the victim could use surveillance. Their investigators may take photos, audio, or video of an injured person while he is out in public places.
    • Insurance companies often use surveillance immediately before and after a victim’s deposition. However, an investigator may watch or follow the victim at other times as well.  
    • Insurance companies may hire investigators who will use more than one vehicle when engaging in surveillance, so it is not as obvious to the victim that he is being followed.

    If you have been injured in an accident caused by a trucker, you could be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Call us at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced and compassionate legal team.

     

  • Can I sue my non-subscriber employer for my slip and fall accident at work?

    If an employee slips and falls at work and is injured, he can sue his non-subscriber employer for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. His employer may claim that he has to file a premises liability lawsuit like a normal slip and fall victim. But in Odom v. Kroger Texas, L.P., the Federal Court in Texas decided otherwise. The Court ruled that a worker injured in a slip and fall accident can sue his non-subscriber employer under negligence as he would if he were injured in other types of workplace injuries.

    How Suing Under Negligence Could Help An Employee’s Slip and Fall Case

    There are a few reasons why it could be beneficial for an employee to sue under negligence rather than a traditional premises liability claim. Two reasons that this could help an injured worker’s case include:

    • What employees must prove. In a negligence case, the injured employee must prove that the non-subscriber employer was negligent in failing to provide a safe workplace and that this was the cause of his injuries. In a premises liability case, a person would need to prove that the employer had actual or constructive knowledge of a condition that caused an unreasonable risk of harm, that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the risk, and that the person was injured because of the condition. It could be easier for an injured worker to prove negligence than premises liability.
    • The defenses the employer can raise. A non-subscriber employer is barred from raising contributory negligence or assumption of the risk in an injured worker’s negligence case, but could raise such defenses in a traditional premises liability case. Being able to sue under negligence could be a huge benefit for an injured worker. Even if he was 90 percent negligent in causing his injuries and the employer was 10 percent at fault, the injured worker could be entitled to 100 percent of his damages in a negligence case. This might not be true in a premises liability case where the employer raised contributory negligence as a defense.

    A worker injured on the job can suffer very serious injuries from a slip and fall accident, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, fractured hips, and internal organ damage. Fortunately, if he is forced to file a lawsuit against his non-subscriber employer, he will not have to defend against some defenses that could reduce the compensation he might be entitled to.

    Have you been injured at work where your non-subscriber employer’s negligence caused your accident? Our experienced legal team is here to help you. Start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.

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