Houston Personal Injury Attorneys
Houston is one of the largest, most populous and cosmopolitan cities in the nation. It is, in fact, in the top five metropolitan statistical areas in the United States, with 7 million people calling this area home. Houston offers plenty to do for residents and visitors alike. In the Theater District, you can see live entertainment, visual arts and performing arts all year long. The Museum District offers the Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, Space Center Houston and more. There are parks and aquariums, zoos and amusement parks, nature walks and the best in modern amenities.
Of course, people in Houston get hurt just like anywhere else, and when you get hurt in an accident that’s someone else’s fault, you have rights and deserve compensation. That’s where a qualified and experienced Houston personal injury lawyer comes into the picture.
Houston Personal Injury Attorneys
When you get seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless, careless or deliberately malicious acts, it’s a scary time. You feel angry and betrayed. You’re unable to work, but those medical bills just keep piling up. You may be having trouble maintaining your basic relationships because you’re depressed, anxious and suffering from mood swings. All you really want is to get well again.
That’s where the Houston personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Philip M. Gommels, PLLC, come into the picture. We’re here to help you get justice for what’s happened to you. While no attorney can guarantee you success upfront, we’ll work hard every step of the way to fight for your rights and give you the best shot at significant compensation for what you’ve suffered. We’ll take on the hard part and fight for you so you can focus on the important task of putting your life back together.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive?
Your injury attorney in Houston can’t tell you without talking to you exactly what kind of compensation you’ll get or what your case is worth. In general, however, there are a wide range of compensatory damages that those who get hurt by other people can often receive.
The first, and arguably most important of these, are for your medical bills. You can get a lump sum designed to cover the bills you’ve already incurred and those you are expected to incur in the future. These can include doctor’s visits, medical procedures, physical therapy, medicine, surgery and even transportation to and from your appointments.
Next, you can often collect compensation for lost wages if you’re unable to work. This includes wages you’ve already lost and your potential future earnings potential had you not been injured, assuming you continued on the same logical career path.
Next are the invisible damages you’ve suffered. These are less easy to value but are no less important. They are often lumped into “pain and suffering.” These damages include things like emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, mood swings and other harm that can’t be so easily seen. They also include damage to your relationships like loss of consortium, loss of comfort and support, and even general loss of enjoyment of life.
Sometimes, though usually only in the very worst cases like deliberately malicious acts, you can be awarded punitive damages. These aren’t intended to compensate you for anything specific but are rather intended to punish the other person for what they did.
How Is My Case Valued?
The first step in valuing your case is to sit down with us for a discussion and evaluation of what happened, the injuries you’ve suffered and the bills you’ve incurred. After that, we’ll look at the two main categories of damages. The first is known as “special damages.” These are the things we can easily put a dollar amount to. They include property damage, your medical bills, your lost wages and compensation, and the like.
The second category involves those invisible pain and suffering damages we’ve discussed. These are known as “general damages.” Because general damages can’t be easily valued, attorneys and insurance companies often express them as a multiplier of your special damages. Everyone has their own formula and process for valuing these things, however, and for business reasons they’re rarely revealed.
How Are Cases Negotiated?
When we put your special and general damages together, we will then come up with a full value that we can use to issue a demand letter to the insurance company. The insurance company will then pick apart our offer and issue a lowball counteroffer, outlining why ours is wrong in their opinion. We’ll then start a process of back-and-forth, give-and-take until we come up with an acceptable figure that satisfies everyone. The process can take a long while, so we always advise patience.
Most cases are settled out of court, and you won’t have to appear to testify. Sometimes, however, negotiations hit a wall and we do end up having to go to court. Even if this happens, you can rest assured that your Houston personal injury attorney at The Law Office of Philip M. Gommels, PLLC, will fight for you every step of the way.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is the heart and soul of every personal injury case. At its core, negligence basically means that someone else’s irresponsibility caused you to get hurt. Breaking it down further, though, it means that in order to get compensated for your injuries, we need to be able to demonstrate three factors.
First, we have to show that the other party (the defendant) acted in a way that was so irresponsible that no reasonable person would act the same way under the same circumstances. This is known as the reasonable person standard.
Second, we need to demonstrate that their irresponsibility, whether through recklessness, bad decision making or deliberate actions, was the “direct or proximate” cause of the accident. That means that had the defendant not acted as they did, the accident wouldn’t have happened.
Finally, we have to show that you got hurt as a direct result of the accident.
These three factors may seem simple, but they can be very difficult and complicated to prove when it’s important. This is because Texas uses a concept called modified comparative negligence. What this means is that if you’re found to be partially responsible for what happened, your settlement can be reduced by a like amount.
So, if your case is worth $100,000 and you are found to be 20% responsible, you can only receive $80,000. Worse, if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you can’t receive compensation at all. That’s one reason why it’s so vital to have the services of an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer in your corner to give you the best chance at maximum compensation.
Get Your Free Case Consultation
Have you suffered an injury that someone else caused? These can include, but may not be limited to:
- Car, truck and motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Work-related injuries
- And others
If you’ve been hurt and are in need of help-seeking compensation, the Houston personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Philip M. Gommels, PLLC, is here to help. There’s absolutely no cost for your consultation, and if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything at all! That means you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Call us at 713-529-3900 to get started today!