5 Things an Attorney Needs for a Valid Injury Claim

Thursday, September 26, 2019

An injury claim goes through the civil justice system to try to obtain financial compensation for an accident victim. An injury claim is something an injured party can file against one or more parties for allegedly causing the harm in question. After a car accident, for example, a victim may be able to a personal injury attorney to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver for damages.
A lawyer will search for certain elements required for a valid injury claim when a client comes to him or her for assistance. The client will schedule a free consultation, ask questions about his or her accident and explain what happened to the lawyer. Then, the attorney will determine if the accident victim has a case by looking for a few main elements.

Filing Before the Deadline

A lawyer must file a personal injury claim before the state’s deadline, or statute of limitations, for a valid claim. The courts in Texas do not allow many exceptions to the statute of limitations. They are very strict in which cases they hear and which they deny. In Texas, the time limit on a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident or discovery of an injury. A lawyer must file a claimant’s personal injury lawsuit within two years or forfeit the right to demand compensation at all.

A Defendant With a Duty of Care

Identifying the defendant is one of the first tasks necessary for an injury claim. The defendant is the party the victim blames for the accident and injuries. A defendant could be a physician, driver, property owner, product manufacturer, employer, criminal and/or other parties. Naming a defendant may take an investigation of who or what caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Many injury claims involve more than one party sharing fault for the incident.
Once the attorney identifies the defendant, the next task is to gather proof the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care at the time of the accident. A duty to exercise reasonable care is something the defendant may have owed the plaintiff according to the circumstances or relationship. A doctor, for example, owes special standards of care to his or her patient. The defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care at the time of the accident for a valid claim. Many attorneys hire expert witnesses to help establish the defendant’s duty of care during injury claims.

Proof of Negligence or Breach of Duty

The second element of proof needed for a valid injury claim is negligence. The legal doctrine of negligence is the foundation for most personal injury claims. Proving negligence means to show the defendant breached his or her duty of care to the plaintiff, causing the accident and injuries. A breach of duty could be any act of negligence, careless, disregard or intent to harm the defendant exhibited toward the plaintiff.
The lawyer will also need to establish a causal relationship between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s accident or injury. Negligence alone is not enough to prove a defendant’s liability for damages. The defendant’s negligence must have been a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s damages. Otherwise, the defendant may not be liable for the accident. Causation is an important element a lawyer must prove in any injury claim.

Evidence of Damages

Finally, an attorney needs proof of a victim’s damages for a valid injury claim. Even if the defendant had been negligent, this would not be grounds for a claim unless the victim suffered specific damages as a result. Damages can refer to any economic or noneconomic losses the victim experienced because of the defendant’s breach of duty of care. Texas civil courts allow victims to file lawsuits for both or either type of damages.

  • Physical injuries
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Lost quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Property damages
  • Punitive damages

Proof of a victim’s damages can come in the form of hospital bills, health care receipts, lost wage documents, pay-stubs, photographs, property repair quotes, interviews with witnesses and testimony from the plaintiff him or herself. Documenting the types and values of a victim’s damages is a necessary part of any injury claim in Dallas.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:37 pm

What Is a Blue Form Crash Report | Texas

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Blue Form Crash Report – Texas, is a nickname for the standard Driver’s Crash Report in Texas (CR-2). It is a form you may see after you get into a car accident. The Blue Form Accident Report is something you may have to file with the Department of Transportation (DOT) if the police do not fill out an official CR-3 crash report on your behalf. The CR-3 is a more complete form that comes after a full crash investigation. If the police do not use this form, however, it may be up to you to submit a Blue Form crash report – Texas instead.

What Is a “Blue Form?”

The Blue Form is Texas’ Driver’s Crash Report. After a car accident that causes personal injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damages, the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident will need to call the police from the scene of the crash. However, the Blue Form is something the driver of the vehicle must complete and sign after any accident. Someone else may only complete the form for the driver with a valid reason, given in writing. The form has several parts.

  • Location of the accident
  • Date of the accident
  • Vehicles involved
  • Damage to property
  • Injuries
  • Driver’s statement of what happened
  • Signature

The driver should fill out the Blue Form as completely as possible. The driver’s statement does not require the driver to admit fault or to speculate about who caused the accident. It simply asks for the driver’s side of the story. Once completed and signed, the driver can print the report and mail it to the Texas DOT’s Crash Records Department. For assistance filling out a Blue Form, a driver can call (844) 274-7457.

Blue Form Crash Report Texas

Can I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for My Case?

It is a common misconception that a Blue Form crash report in Texas will help an insurance claim. Although it can be useful to document an accident, its main purpose is to help the DOT keep track of collisions. The CR-2 has no authority. It is not an official police report of your accident. An insurance company does not have to believe what is on the Blue Form or use it to validate your claim. Instead, an insurer will generally conduct its own investigation to determine fault for an auto accident.
If you get into a car accident that injures you, contact a Dallas car crash attorney to take care of processes such as documenting your damages and negotiating with an insurance provider for you. Hiring a car crash lawyer can strengthen your injury case. Your car crash lawyer will know how to build your case for its best odds of successfully achieving a settlement. If an insurance company refuses to treat your claim fairly, your lawyer can take your case to trial in Texas. Hiring a lawyer can allow you to focus on healing while a legal professional handles your claim.

Should I Use a Blue Form for an Injury Case?

In most cases, the police will submit a different form, the CR-3, on behalf of crash victims. If the police fill out a CR-3, you will not need to use a Blue Form after an accident. The Blue Form is only necessary if for some reason you do not call the police or the police decide not to write up a police report. The police may tell you from the scene to fill out a CR-2 rather than giving you a police report for various reasons. You should use a Blue Form to report a car accident to the DOT even if it did not cause significant property damage, injuries or deaths.
The purpose of a Blue Form is to document your car accident for the DOT for statistical reasons. It allows involved drivers to record the details of the accident while they are still fresh in their minds. The DOT wants to know anytime a crash occurs, even if the police do not need to file a CR-3. Submitting the Blue Form to the DOT in lieu of a police report can help the department track the number and locations of accidents in the state.

Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Today

At Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. we offer a free consultation in which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how to proceed.

With 14 years of experience, Texas Board Certification, a client-centered practice focused exclusively on personal injury law, the highest possible AVVO rating, more than 50 jury verdicts, and membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

You will incur no attorney fees, court, or legal expenses unless you recover. Time to file is limited by state law, so contact us today at (214) 225-5818 to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can protect your right to a monetary recovery.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:57 am

Could You Report a Reckless Semi Truck Driver?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Semi truck drivers have high standards of care they must obey behind the wheel. Like other drivers, they must follow roadway rules and speed limits. They must also meet federal guidelines for safe and prudent driving. A negligent, careless or reckless semi truck driver could endanger everyone else on the road. If you notice reckless driving behaviors from a truck driver in Dallas, report the driver to the authorities. Reporting a reckless semi truck driver or unsafe rig could prevent a catastrophic truck accident. If you have been hurt by a careless big rig driver speak to a Dallas truck accident lawyer.

How to Report a Truck Driver for Endangerment or Reckless/Dangerous Driving

Reckless driving exceeds the parameters of negligent driving. Driver negligence is unintentional. A truck driver may not notice he or she is exceeding the speed limit or not paying enough attention to the road. Reckless driving, on the other hand, demonstrates a marked lack of regard for the consequences of the driver’s actions. A reckless truck driver shows a wanton disregard for the safety of others. Reckless or dangerous driving can include texting and driving, tailgating, excessive speeding, weaving through traffic or illegal passing.

Reckless endangerment is even more serious than reckless driving. It is when a truck driver engages in conduct that creates a significant risk of serious injuries or death to others. Reckless endangerment is a crime in Texas and most other states. Examples of reckless endangerment by a truck driver can vary from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to operating a truck without being qualified to do so. As a motor vehicle driver, if you notice a truck driver that may be guilty of reckless driving or reckless endangerment, you can report the driver to the authorities.

If the truck driver appears to be putting other people’s lives in danger, call 911 to report a safety emergency. Keep your distance while you describe the situation and give the police information such as the truck’s license plate number. If it is a nonemergency situation, contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) directly. You may complain online or over the phone at (855) 368-4200. The DOT can send officers to detain the truck driver or otherwise investigate the situation. Reporting a reckless truck driver could prevent a serious or deadly accident in Dallas.

Preventing Semi Truck Accidents

It is largely up to the trucking company and its drivers to prevent semi truck accidents. They are the parties responsible for ensuring the safety of its big rigs, as well as its drivers and other employees. A trucking company must follow strict standards of care during procedures such as hiring drivers, training them and testing for drugs. The trucking company is also in charge of fleet maintenance and repairs. Any breaches of duty within these standards could contribute to a semi truck accident.

As a passenger vehicle driver, you could also have the power to prevent a semi truck accident. Stay alert and pay attention while driving around Dallas. A truck driver could exhibit signs of negligent or reckless driving prior to causing an accident. If you notice a truck driver drifting between lanes, weaving through traffic, speeding, ignoring roadway rules, falling asleep behind the wheel or otherwise driving recklessly, report him or her to the correct authorities. You may be the reason the police revoke the driver’s commercial license or penalize the trucking company, taking the dangerous truck or driver off the road.

You should also report any noticeable equipment or truck maintenance problems. If the truck appears in a state of disrepair, with worn-out tires, for example, report what you see to the DOT. Give the truck number during your phone call to help the DOT track down the correct semi truck. Unsafe equipment or a truck in poor condition could ultimately cause an accident. Poorly maintained big rigs or reckless drivers always bear reporting in Texas. Talk to a Dallas personal injury lawyer if you have been endangered or hurt by a reckless driver.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:48 pm