Texas Accident and Injury FAQs
When you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn for reliable and timely information. It’s natural to have many questions, and the legal team at Parker Law Firm is here to provide the answers and facts you are looking for. Browse our FAQs and learn about common accidents, compensation, and how an attorney can help. If you don’t see your question, don’t hesitate to reach out to our attorneys. Take a moment and fill out our online contact form to hear back from a knowledgeable and experienced legal team.
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Should I call the police after a car accident?
If another driver hit your vehicle but there was limited damage and no apparent injures, you may be tempted not to call the police. You may think it would be sufficient to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, hoping he’ll be cooperative when you need to get paid for your minor damages. However this is almost always a mistake. It’s important to contact the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
Reasons You Should Contact the Police Following Any Car Crash
Right after an accident, the police can provide help on many different fronts. They can call for medical care for any injured victims, as well as investigate the crash and document the cause of it. Even if you don’t believe you’ll need to make an insurance claim, you want to contact the police for the following reasons:
- Hidden injuries. Symptoms of some injuries, including traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries and mild internal bleeding, can take days or longer to develop. Once you start experiencing them, you could discover that your injuries are much more severe than you initially thought. Some of these injuries can be caused by a “minor” accident. You want to strengthen your potential claim for compensation by contacting the police immediately after the crash.
- Incorrect insurance information. The negligent driver could provide you with incorrect or expired insurance information. Although he might give this information to the police, too, the officer will be able to provide you with accurate contact information for the driver and witnesses, investigate the crash and write a report. You will need this information if you have to file a claim.
- Changed story. As part of his investigation, the police officer will take the other driver’s statement, as well as your own. It will be harder for the negligent driver to change his story and claim that you were at fault if he gave a statement at the accident scene.
- Expensive property damage. Vehicle repairs are expensive, and yours may cost more than you think. Depending on how long it will take to complete the repairs, you may need to rent a car. If you later decide to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company or your own, it will be helpful to your claim to provide the adjuster with a police report.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a car accident, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney before accepting any settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance company. To be certain that you receive what you deserve, call the Parker Law Firm to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to get your questions answered and discuss your options for compensation.
Do Insurance Companies Generally Defend Against Personal Injury Claims?
Typically, insurance companies will put up numerous defenses and contest any claim at every possible junction, even in rear-end collision cases. You will often see a defense asserted that you stopped too quickly and that it is your fault they ran into the back of your car. We see that all the time, even in traffic light cases where someone plows through a red light. They will try to argue that no; it was you that blew through the red light. Usually, there is no witness there, but if there is you have to rely on their interpretation of the facts or the events caught on traffic light cameras.
But past that, they will start to argue that your damages and injuries are not real or that you somehow malinger and you missed your doctor’s appointments. That is why your injuries have not progressed or healed the way they should have or that somehow this was a pre-existing injury and not something new from the accident. So yes, we see defenses asserted by the insurance companies in almost every single case.
Why is it Helpful to Understand the Defense Mechanisms Employed by Insurance Companies in Auto Accident Claims?
It is helpful to know and understand what defenses may be raised by insurance companies. We can anticipate what might happen ahead of time and try to head it off if we have the right information. For instance, we always make certain that our clients follow up with their doctor’s appointment and receive the recommended treatment so we can avoid the defense arguing that somehow you have not followed up or that you show gaps in your treatment process. For instance, if you have a bad back and it hasn’t bothered you for years, and then all of a sudden you have a flare-up. The event that caused the injury prior gives us a chance to go back and check prior medical records for this injury. We can demonstrate that this is not a pre-existing injury but may be an aggravation of an existing condition.
Likewise, if we even sense that there may be some type of a defense concerning liability, we can gather those facts early on in the process. Having been in this business for 30 years and representing folks who have been injured by the negligence of others, I know and understand from each individual case what I can probably expect from the defense, and it gives us an edge on trying to beat those defenses at the outset.
What are the Common Tactics of Defense for a Car Wreck Case?
The defense will first try to contact for a statement even before you retain an attorney. That is probably the single biggest mistake that someone can make when they give a statement to the other person’s insurance company. You would think that they just want to get the case resolved and that they are very nice and helpful, but in reality what they are trying to do is get you committed to certain facts and the extent of your injury so they can use that against you later. Oftentimes they will ask you to give them authorizations for your medical records, but that is not limited in time or scope.
They can even go back and retrieve your pediatric records if they think it is necessary and if it will help their case. You never want to do that. The other issue is that they will oftentimes make you think that they are going to negotiate and pay your bills. It can be several months if not years before you realize that they are not going to do that. What they try to do is wear you down so that you finally just give in, throw in the hat so to speak, and take whatever they offer you. Every time the insurance company acts, it is because they are trying to defeat you and your claim. This is a well-known tactic that they use over and over again, and that is why it is so critically important to get legal assistance as soon as possible.
How Can an Injured Person Defend Their Claim Against an Insurance Company?
First and foremost, never talk to an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer with you. They are not there to help you, and they are not there to be your friend. They are there to minimize and or defeat your claims. Secondly, do not give them authorizations to get all of your medical records. If you have been in a car wreck and you have been injured, what difference does that make? If you give them authorization, they can obtain any and all of your medical records from any healthcare professional. Thirdly, do not let the insurance companies drag this on for months or possibly even years.
There are statutes of limitations that apply in all states. But besides the statute of limitations, witnesses and evidence will fade out. The likelihood of filing a witness or filing a witness who is willing to get involved evaporates over time. If there is some type of digital evidence, it may be rewritten, destroyed or concealed. It is so critically important to start early in this process because the insurance companies are starting early on their end gathering evidence and materials to defeat your claim. It is critical that you do too, either on your own or by hiring a board certified personal injury trial lawyer.
For more information on defenses used by insurance companies, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling The Parker Law Firm at (817) 503-9200 today.
How common is it for insurance to deny storm damage claims?
In Texas after a storm, the insurance company typically will not deny the entire claim. What they usually do is deny parts of the claim based on your insurance policies. For several years now, insurance policies in our state have been the type that do not cover anything except what your specific policy covers. Due to policies we have in Texas, there are few parts of your home that may be covered. For instance, in a tornado where the roof has blown off or if it was penetrated, the insurance company may take the position that they will pay for the roof, but they are not going to pay for the water damage that may happen to the inside of your house as a result of the roof damage.
There are some questions as to whether or not the rain was windblown or if entered the roof through an open-access area. There are very technical details where insurance companies will try to hang their hat to justify not paying part or any of the claims. Another example that we often see is when dealing with hailstorm damage. They will say that the hailstorm came in from the northwest, therefore we are only going to cover the north and west slope of your wall since the east and the south slope did not get damaged. That is not necessarily true. This is an area where they may try to deny the claim. Likewise, they may say, “We are going to pay for this roof or part of the roof, but it may be a type of shingle that cannot be matched.”
The insurance companies have a responsibility to replace it with light parts, but they cannot match it if they have to replace everything. Those are the typical areas where they normally will deny part of the claim as opposed to the entire claim. The list of what they will and can deny is as long as your imagination can fathom.
What Actions are Illegal for Insurance Companies When Dealing With Property Damage?
There are numerous actions that are illegal for insurance companies. We recognize that common law means just that. They have an absolute obligation to deal with you in good faith and fair dealing, and on top of that, we have statutes that provide that they cannot deceive you in any kind of way or give you false or misleading information. They also cannot barter with you by saying, “Okay, we’ll recognize that part if you take a lower value for this part.” They must properly investigate any and every claim.
We sometimes see cases where they will not even come and look at the house; they will just deny the claim outright. That is probably going to be in bad faith on their part because they did not properly investigate the claim. There is another statute that we call the prompt pay statute. This says that once they recognize the claim, they have a duty to pay that claim in a timely fashion, and there are actually time periods set forth in the statute. Failure to pay those claims in a timely fashion, once recognized, can subject them to penalties and interests in attorneys’ fees.
Is There a Statute of Limitation for Claims Against Insurance Companies in Texas?
Yes, as the law stands currently, the time period for bringing calls of action against the insurance companies is two years from the date that the claim was denied. However, insurance industries over the last few legislative sessions in Texas have fought hard to change that law, and I expect that we will see a continued effort in upcoming legislative sessions. They are trying to change the law to say that you must file your claim within two years of the date of the incident as opposed to the two years from the date of the actual denial. It can be very problematic if you have water damage on an inside wall that does not manifest itself for quite some time. Oftentimes it may take months if not years for internal damage to surface.
Likewise, people may not honestly know that their roof has been damaged by the hailstorm for some time. It is important that the time period run from the time in which the insurance company denies the claim because if you have just two years from the date you made the claim, then the insurance company could wait two years and one day to deny the claim. Then it would be too late for you to file the claim. Right now the law is very much in the consumer’s favor, but just know that the clock is always ticking on these types of claims. Also be aware that the insurance industry is trying hard to make the time period even shorter in the future.
Additional Information on Storm Damage Claims in Texas?
The No. 1 thing that you can do in any storm is document not only all the damage but also all of your conversations with insurance adjusters. Many times insurance companies will run you through several adjusters in an attempt to wear you down. Each adjuster will visit the site and will want to start the process all over again. Always document your conversations. Better yet, you should record them. This way you will have documentation of what each adjuster has said and possibly offered. However, if you do suffer damage, Texas law provides that you must mitigate. That means you must try to remedy the damage so that no further damage occurs even before you receive a resolution with your insurance company.
For example, if you have a hole in your roof, you need to take appropriate actions to get it patched so the damage is as minimal as possible. The last thing I would add is that you hire reputable and competent contractors to assist you with the storm damage. Those people are going to be instrumental in your claim and pursuing the claim if necessary against your insurance company. Steer clear of hiring some fly-by-night contractor who overinflates the need for the repairs and then when you need them to come and help you against the insurance company, they can’t be found. So if you’ll document, photograph, mitigate and hire good people, you are working toward protecting yourself.
For more information on Storm Damage Claims in Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 503-9200 today.
Will Automated Cars Cause More Or Fewer Dallas/Fort Worth Accidents?
Although California gets to be the testing ground for Google’s automated car, the technology, if successful, could soon be coming to the Dallas/Fort Worth highways. The hopes are the car’s advanced technology will make the nation’s highways safer; something Texas could use as it ranks highest in the nation for yearly traffic fatalities.
The car’s sensors, cameras and computer programs enable the vehicle to operate safely in a variety of conditions with no input from the driver. Advocates of the cars say that the cars will even allow the visually impaired to drive since the vehicles will do all the “seeing” for the driver.
Advocates also claim that the cars will reduce accidents since the sensors and programs can respond much more quickly than human drivers and are not prone to human error. Some believe the cars will eliminate distracted driving, since owners will be free to text and engage in other activities while the vehicle drives for them.
Developers state that the cars have been undergoing tests for years and the only accident in 300,000 miles was a minor rear-end crash that could be prevented in the future by installing heat-seeking technology in the trunk to detect approaching cars.
Critics remind advocates that technology is imperfect and computers and computer programs develop glitches or crash unexpectedly. Drivers in an automated car may not to watch the road and notice a problem in time to prevent an accident.
Time and further testing will tell whether these cars make the roadways safer or more hazardous.
When Your Child Is Seriously Injured Or Killed At Daycare
Placing your child in daycare is a difficult decision that many working parents must face. It’s hard enough taking time away from your child, but worrying about their safety adds an extra emotional burden.
In-home childcare is the fastest growing sector in the industry today, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total child care industry. Despite being at a home, thousands of children are injured, and some killed, in their childcare setting each year.
Of course, the occasional bumps and bruises are inevitable due to falls or incidents that are commonly associated with clumsy toddlers who are learning to crawl, walk or run well. Too often, though, children are injured so seriously that they require treatment from a hospital. Even worse, serious injuries can sometimes be fatal.
Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control tell us that approximately 4.2 million injuries were recorded for children ages one to four from 2001 to 2002. During that same time period, over 3,000 children in this age group died as a result of injuries sustained while in the care of a child care center or individual. The majority of these deaths were preventable injuries that could have been avoided had the following issues been addressed:
- Workers received proper training and education
- Environmental safety measures were put in place
- Utilization of safer products in the care environment
- Stricter laws to ensure child safety
It is vital that the professionals in this industry improve existing safety hazards that could endanger the life of a child. As parents whose number one concern is our child’s safety, there are safety issues to be aware of as well. Some dangerous issues of note:
- Children left unsupervised – Infants, toddlers, and children of all ages should always be in a caregiver’s sight.
- Dangerous Adult-to-child ratio – There are laws that specify how many children one adult is allowed to supervise at a time. Often, child care centers will be out of ratio, and can lead to many injuries.
- Uneducated or Untrained Staff – One of the most important safety measures that can be addressed is caregiver training and education. Each staff member should be trained in CPR and first aid procedures, as well as proper health and safety policies.
- Medications Administered Improperly – When a caregiver administers medication to your child, it is extremely important that the correct amount of medication is given to avoid poisoning and other unforeseen side-effects.
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – This serious syndrome is increasing at day care centers today. Your infant’s caregiver should know that babies need to sleep on their backs, and on firm bedding that is void of fluffy blankets or toys that can become choking hazards.
- Poisons and Toxic Substances within Reach – Child Care Awarereports that accidental poisonings are the leading cause of injury and death among young children. Cleaning supplies and medicine should be out of reach from children at all times.
- Unsafe Playground Equipment and Recalled Products – Products used by caregivers are often times not tested to ensure child safety. Manufacturers are not required to do this, and children are harmed or even killed as a result. Playground equipment is particularly concerning because it most frequently causes children physical harm.
There are many other safety concerns that caregivers must recognize. These include food safety, child illnesses, emergency planning and practicing, and background checks for employees and the state licensing of the child care home or facility.
As parents, we do the best we can to make sure the environment we place our children in and caregivers we place them with are top notch. Even then, injuries or fatalities occur when caregivers fail to honor procedures and standards they are required by law to follow. If your child becomes seriously injured, or is killed because of negligence on the part of a child care center or an individual you have entrusted your child with, you can receive compensation for your devastating loss. Parker Law Firm provides Complimentary Strategy Sessions that allow the client and firm a chance to fully analyze your particular situation and determine whether you have a case against a negligent caregiver. You can rest assured that Parker Law Firm will fight aggressively against child negligence and those who are responsible for harming your child.
What’s My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Many factors go into the determination of what a personal injury claim is worth, just as there are a number of factors that make it possible to assign blame. Ideally, the two work together to present a strong claim for personal injury so you may be reimbursed for your physical injuries, as well as property damages.
The insurance adjuster for your vehicle insurance company will give you the best estimate on your losses for property damage. As he or she works with the police and other insurance adjusters, blame can be ascertained — it’s not always assigned in totality to one person, sometimes there are mitigating circumstances.
The total value of your losses will include property damage, current and future medical bills, any belongings in the vehicle that were lost or ruined, a possible loss of consortium and wages, and any other loss that can have a dollar value placed on it. This number is then multiplied by a percentage of blame that is yours, which will then give you an estimate of the value of your claim. For example, if the value of your claim is $17,000 and you share 5 percent of the blame for the accident, it decreases your claim value by $850.00; so you would receive $16,150. Since you were 5 percent liable; however, your claim will be further reduced by 5 percent of the claim amount of the driver of the other vehicle. If there claim was $30,000, then can sue you for $1,500, which will reduce your claim’s worth to $14,650.
The last deduction for your claim will be the attorney’s fees.
Parker Law Firm is committed to giving individuals dealing with injuries, or facing life-threatening or lifestyle-challenging situations, a voice. Call us today at (817) 503-9200 or email us at [email protected] to receive the personal professional attention you deserve.
What’s Behind Hit and Run Accidents in DFW?
Most people couldn’t ever imagine leaving the scene of an accident, but hit and run accident levels are on the rise across the country. According to authorities, there are four main reasons why at-fault drivers leave the scene of a traffic accident in the Dallas/Fort Worth area:
- The driver has no insurance. This is fairly common, as there are many uninsured and under-insured drivers and when one of these drivers causes an accident, they flee the scene of the collision because they fear the costs of having to pay for the accident. Quite often as well, the drivers are not even licensed to drive.
- The driver panics. A lot of drivers panic after being in an accident. Being in an accident is frightening and some drivers are simply unsure of what to do. Texas law is very clear, however. Failing to stop and offer assistance and exchange information after a vehicle accident is a crime.
- The at-fault driver is wanted by police or has a record. In many hit and run accidents the driver who leaves has a criminal record, is driving a stolen car, or is otherwise wanted by police. In these cases, the driver hopes that if the authorities cannot find them, they will not be charged for the accident and for any other crimes.
- The driver is driving under the influence. In many cases, a driver who is driving under the influence doesn’t even realize he or she has hit someone, and will leave the scene of an accident. In other cases the driver knows he’d face an additional charge of a DUI, but it will be harder to prove intoxication if the driver cannot be found at the time of the accident.
What Is Bad Faith Insurance?
Property and casualty Insurance exists to protect you and your loved ones from the financial devastation that can follow a severe weather-related event. When you choose an insurance company, you enter into a legally binding agreement that gives you coverage to protect you and your investments from damage and extreme financial loss. So what happens when you are confronted with a loss and your insurance company fails to meet their end of the deal? Or they offer less money than the extent of your damaged property? Or they fail to respond to your claim in a timely manner? All of these instances are examples of insurance bad faith and they all violate the Texas Insurance Code. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always act in good faith, and it can be confusing to understand whether or not your insurance company is attempting to manipulate you. Luckily, the Parker Law Firm is here to help you determine whether or not your insurance company is trying to take advantage of you. Below are some examples of bad faith insurance practices.
An insurer may be acting in bad faith if…
- Your insurer misrepresents your policy in any way. This includes the terms, the benefits and the advantages of the policy.
- Your insurer fails to affirm or deny coverage of your claim in a timely manner.
- Your insurer fails to pay a covered claim as a result of failing to properly investigate liability and damages based upon all available information.
- Your insurer fails to attempt in good faith a prompt, fair and equitable settlement in which the insurer’s liability is clear.
- Your insurer makes false statements regarding your previous payments on the policy.
- Your insurer misrepresents a material fact as it relates to your claim.
- Your insurer fails to explain policy limits and applicable provisions or exclusions in a timely manner.
- Your insurer refuses or delays a settlement offer under applicable first-party coverage on the basis that other coverage may be available or that third parties are responsible for the damages suffered.
- Your insurer uses illegal and fraudulent investigative techniques.
- Your insurer fails to offer fair evaluation of damages within a reasonable time upon receipt of claim.
Protect Yourself with the Parker Law Firm
The bottom line of insurance bad faith cases is this: your insurance company is attempting to mislead you so that the company can save money on your claim. How can you protect yourself from bad faith insurance practices? Contact the Parker Law Firm following an accident, natural disaster, or any other incident that requires insurance coverage. Insurance Bad Faith can be a difficult complication to deal with, but when you work with our firm, we will do everything in our power to protect your rights and conclude your case swiftly. If you have questions or concerns about your eligibility to file an insurance bad faith claim, do not hesitate to contact a Bedford lawyer from our team to discuss your potential case and schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session. At the Parker Law Firm, people matter, and we will fight your insurance company for every dollar of policy protection to which you are entitled.
Who Can Be Held Liable In A Dog Bite Claim?
Typically, in a dog bite claim, the owner will be held liable. However, there can be occasions where a son or a daughter may own a dog and they are living with their parents. While the parents may not be the actual owner of the dog, the fact that they allow the dog to be at their home may create liability on behalf of the home owner when they don’t actually own the dog.
What Might Be Scenarios Where The Owner Of The Dog Isn’t Held Liable?
An owner of a dog might not be liable for a dog attacking someone else if the owner did not know nor should they have known that the dog had vicious tendencies. There are cases where for whatever reason, a dog who has been well-behaved, well-mannered and never really shown any aggressive tendencies acts out for some reason or other. In those situations, the owner of the dog may not be liable because Texas does recognize what we commonly refer to as the “first bite is free” rule. This means if the owner didn’t know the dog’s dangerous propensities, then he won’t be liable for the first bite.
Is There Any Sort Of Comparative Fault In Dog Bite Cases?
In some cases there can be comparative fault in a dog bite case. For example, if a person provokes the animal or is teasing it or even trespasses onto the pet owner’s land, all of those facts can be seen as provocation, comparative responsibility or fault on part of the victim and that would minimize or even eliminate liability on the part of the dog owner.
What Types Of Damages Can Be Sought In A Dog Bite Claim?
The type of damages that are available in a dog bite claim, first and foremost, are for the medical care incurred in having the bite treated. That could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the bite. Additional damages available are for lost wages, for permanent scarring or impairment and also for any muscle or tissue damage and that won’t heal properly. Future medical bills that will be incurred in the way of reconstructive surgery or plastic surgery to help with scarring as well as for mental anguish from the incident may also be available.
Can Bystanders Or Witnesses File Claims For Mental Anguish?
Bystander recoveries in dog bite claims in Texas are difficult. The law is rather tough but in essentially, if there is a very close familial proximity and relationship, then there could be a claim for a bystander recovery. Usually this is seen in a type of a claim where a mother sees her young child mauled by a dog. The maul would require the mother to actually have experienced and viewed the incident as opposed to walking up on it or being called later. In Texas, there has to be the closeness of a relationship such as a mother and child, but also the bystander has to have been in the proximity of the dog bite incident itself; meaning they experienced witnessing, seeing, hearing the dog bite actually occur.
Can Someone File An Injury Claim If Dogs Attack Other Pets?
A claim can be filed if a dog attacks someone’s pet. However, Attorney Brad Parker finds that it would probably be hard to find an attorney to take that claim in Texas. Whether it’s wrong or right, the law is that a pet owner can only recover the value of their animal and most pets are obtained for free or for a few hundred dollars. If that animal is injured, there may be a claim to recover the cost of treating injuries but if the pet is killed, the amount of recovery is going to be limited to what the value of that animal is. Unfortunately, Texas law says an individual can’t recover for emotional loss; only for the value of a pet.
Is The Amount Of Damages Dependent Upon The Severity Of Injuries?
The amount of recovery is always guided by the severity of the injury but it can also be guided by the level of disregard of the oppressiveness of the dog by the owner. In other words, there are people who know that they are raising pit-bull terriers and they don’t treat them well. They train dogs to attack and don’t take appropriate action to ensure that the animal is restrained from being able to get to other people. That level of conduct subconsciously can and does play a role in the culpability of the person who owns the dog.
Damages are to be limited by the actual damage suffered by the person who was bit: current and future medical bills, mental anguish, impairment, pain and the suffering and other types of factors. Future medical expenses for cosmetic surgery are also taken into account if the bite resulted in scarring. The Parker Law Firm has had cases where young girls have been bitten by dogs in the face or on the arms or on the legs and they ensure that the cost for future plastic surgery or scar revision is factored into a settlement. The same is done where there may be muscle or tissue damage that needs addressing at some point in the future as well.
For more information on Liability In A Dog Bite Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 503-9200 today.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Dog Bite Claim In Texas?
Like all personal injury cases in the state of Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the actual act in which to file a lawsuit. However, you should never wait that long to begin the process of the claim. There are going to be witnesses and other evidence that needs to be gathered early on in order to have a stronger claim. As time goes by, memories fade, people move and different things happened that can make pursuing the claim more difficult. Therefore, the need to seek legal counsel and advice early is highly recommended.
What Type Of Insurance Pays Out On A Dog Bite Claim?
Typically, a homeowner’s insurance policy for the dog owner pays the damages in a dog bite claim. There are certain policies that specifically exclude animal attacks but those are rare and usually only in situations where the insurance company knows that the homeowner is housing a dangerous dog.
If the homeowner does not have adequate insurance or any insurance at all, the next things to look at for compensation are assets. That can be a very problematic issue in and of itself. However, in majority of cases the homeowner’s insurance is going to be responsible for paying out on a claim in a dog bite case.
What Sort Of Information Or Evidence Is Used In A Dog Bite Claim?
The single most important information that can be obtained in a dog bite case is evidence or information concerning the dog’s dangerous propensities in the past. In Texas, there is a “first bite is free” rule. In order to prove a case, you need to demonstrate that the dog owner knew or should have known of dangerous propensities or aggressiveness on part of the dog. In that regard, neighbors, other people who frequently walk the block, maybe family members, others who have seen the dogs loose in the neighborhood or have experienced aggressiveness of the dogs are extremely important. It’s critical to preserve that evidence to pursue the case.
Other forms of evidence including as pictures, medical bills, communication with the neighbors and those types of things are also very important. However, first and foremost in any lawsuit, the most important thing is the evidence that establishes the dangerous propensities of the dog and the owner’s knowledge of those propensities.
How Difficult Is It To Prove The Damages In A Dog Bite Claim?
The difficulty involved in proving damages in a dog bite claim all depend entirely on the case itself. The more time that elapses from the time of the dog bite to retaining counsel, the more difficult it is going to be to prove the case. With the lapse of time memories fade, people move and the willingness to be involved dissipates. Attorney Brad Parker has seen cases where immediately after the dog bite, the witnesses were more than willing to come forward, give statements and provide testimony. Over time, however, the witnesses became less inclined to help out in that regard. It’s extremely important to try and gather this evidence and seek counsel as early as possible.
Can Someone Negotiate A Dog Bite Claim With Insurance On Their Own?
It may be possible to work with the insurance company by yourself, if you have minor injuries sustained from a dog bite. However, if someone has suffered any kind of significant injury, that’s not going to be true. The rule in Texas is going to be the “first bite is free”.
In Attorney Parker’s experience, every dog owner has always claimed, “I had no idea my dog was mean”. All dog owners want to take the position that their pet isn’t dangerous. Therefore, the insurance companies take the position that they are not going to pay on the claim.
Keep in mind, insurance companies are in the business to make money. They do not make money when they pay out money on a claim. They try to minimize or even eliminate the claim completely. Unless you have the assistance of an attorney to help you through this process, they are going to try to take advantage of it and stonewall you at every turn.
How Does An Attorney Assist Someone In A Dog Bite Claim?
With more than 4.7 million dog bites occurring annually across this country, you can see that this is a serious problem. At the Parker Law Firm, they have handled numerous dog bite cases. That experience has shown, that early intervention by a lawyer who is board certified in personal injury trial law is necessary to get the very best result possible.
There are a whole host of things that need to be done in order to pursue the case to the best of its ability and to preserve the evidence that’s there including: taking witness statements; taking pictures; contacting the insurance companies and doctors; obtaining medical records; contacting animal control and local authorities, just to name a few.
With over 30 years of experience in handling personal injury claims involving serious dog bite cases, the Parker Law Firm welcomes the opportunity to visit with and outline your rights and the remedies that might be available to you.
For more information on Statute Of Limitations For Dog Bite Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 503-9200 today.