Slip and Fall Dangers at Local Stores in the San Antonio Area

Monday, January 24, 2022
In the San Antonio area there are thousands of walk-in stores – This includes retail stores, grocery stores, convenience stores as well as more generalized walk-in places such as lobbys and shopping malls. At any given time there could be a slip and fall danger in these places. These dangerous areas may be from employees mopping without the proper warning signs or accidental spills by other customers. In any case, it is the responsibility of every store to identify and clean up any slick areas that may cause people to fall and hurt themselves. San Antonio Slip and Fall LawyerIn most cases we can’t expect a store owner or their employees to immediately. One example is if a customer spills a drink on a tile floor. Then another slips on that spill shortly after. It’s likely the owner nor employees is even aware of the danger, let alone had time to get supplies to clean up the spill. The requirements to seek compensation for slippery or dangerous conditions in a store is that the owner or employees knew about the hazard a reasonable time before the slip / fall happened. This is where there is room for interpretation and the details of your particular case need to be reviewed. For example, many stores in San Antonio such as Wal Mart, Target, Costco, etc often have greeters at the front door. These people should be able to identify a spill or dangerous area fairly quickly in that area. However, in other parts of the store such as in side isles that aren’t necessarily monitored it could take some time for anyone to know there is a spill. This is why it’s important to have an experienced slip and fall lawyer for your case.

What Should You Do If You Slip at a Store and Hurt Yourself?

As with all injures irrelevant of the nature, please get necessary medical treatment. Particularly with falls, you might twist your ankle or wrist (for example) with minimal discomfort initially, but deeper injuries to bone or tissue might present days to weeks later. The store you fell at will likely be responsible to reimburse you for any costs due to getting your injury checked out and treatment you receive. However, they may not be forthcoming about this and hope you or your insurance pays for your medical care. This is why it’s important to have a San Antonio slip and fall attorney review your case. Nearly all personal injury attorneys in San Antonio and Texas will review your case for free and not charge anything unless you are reimbursed for medical expenses, time away from work and long-term pain.

Why Contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, PC?

Many slip and fall lawyers in the San Antonio area will negotiate with the store’s attorneys and come to a settlement agreement. While this is easier for the attorney it’s not necessarily the best option for someone who was injured in a slip and fall accident. Aaron H. Herbert and hit team of lawyers, paralegals and other legal professions are trial lawyers. This means if we believe we can get you a better outcome by going to trial, we will. In addition, Aaron is a board certified trial lawyer in Texas so you can start your case with us knowing you will receive the best legal representation possible. Only about 2% of all Texas lawyers are board certified, and we have two on our staff. Call, Email or chat with us 24/7 to start your case review
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 8:50 am

What Happens if You’re in a Car Accident With No Insurance in Texas?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Liability auto insurance is a legal requirement for drivers in all 50 states. It is an assurance that a driver has the financial ability to pay for a car accident. Operating a motor vehicle without the required amounts of insurance in Texas is against the law. If you get into a car accident without insurance, you could find yourself in legal and financial trouble – even if you were unaware that your insurance coverage had lapsed.

A Ticket and Fine

The most common consequence of getting into a car accident without insurance is receiving a traffic ticket and having to pay a fine. A police officer will cite you for unlawfully operating a motor vehicle without the required liability insurance at the scene of the crash. If this is your first offense, the fine in Texas is around $350. If this is not your first offense, the fines can increase to a maximum of $1,000.

Temporary Loss of Your Driving Privilege

You are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle until you purchase at least the minimum required amount of car insurance. In Texas, the minimum requirements are currently $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance, plus $25,000 in property damage coverage. You must show the Department of Motor Vehicles proof that you have purchased the required insurance to regain your driving privileges.

The Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If this is not the first time that you have received a traffic ticket for driving with no insurance, the state also has the right to suspend your driver’s license. The suspension could last as long as two years as part of your sentence. Although you may qualify for a hardship license to continue driving to necessary places, such as your job, a suspended license otherwise means that you cannot operate a motor vehicle.

Additional Fees

According to Texas Transportation Code Chapter 708, driving without insurance authorizes the state to charge you additional administrative fees on top of the base fine. These additional fees can add a maximum of $250 per year in surcharges to the fees that you must pay to renew your driver’s license in the three years following the ticket for driving without insurance.

Increased Insurance Rates

Getting a ticket for driving without insurance can lead to increased insurance rates when you do purchase a policy. In many cases, when you apply for coverage, having the offense on your driving record will cause the price of the auto liability policy to increase.

Paying Out-of-Pocket for the Car Accident

Texas is a fault-based car accident state, meaning the driver or party at fault for causing the crash is financially responsible (liable) for paying for related medical bills and property repairs. Having a car insurance policy saves you from having to pay for a car accident out of your own pocket. You could face a personal injury lawsuit brought against you by the accident victim(s) if you don’t have insurance.
If the victim wins the lawsuit, the courts have the right to force you to pay for the crash, even if this means liquidating your assets or garnishing your wages. Even if you were not at fault for the car accident, you could encounter issues with crash recovery if you don’t have insurance. The other driver’s insurance carrier could use this against you to reduce your payout, depending on the circumstances.

Ask an Attorney for Legal Assistance

It is important to obey Texas’s insurance laws by purchasing and maintaining an adequate amount of motor vehicle insurance as a vehicle owner and operator. Getting into a car accident without insurance can have many negative consequences and lead to thousands of dollars in costs coming out of your pocket. If you get into this situation, contact a car accident lawyer in Dallas for information about your legal options.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:02 am

How to Reject and Respond to a Low Insurance Settlement Offer

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

An accident can cause significant injuries to a victim, leading to expensive medical bills and other related costs. The value of a personal injury claim can be substantial to pay for all of a victim’s past, present and future losses. An insurance company, however, may do everything that it can to limit a victim’s payout, as insurers are for-profit organizations. Here’s what to do if you receive a low insurance settlement offer for your personal injury case.

Be Prepared for a Low Offer

You are already completing the first step by learning more about your rights as a plaintiff. The more you know about what to expect from the insurance process, the more prepared you will be. Know that the insurance company that you deal with after an accident – even if it is your own insurer and you have never missed a payment – is not on your side. Insurance companies look out for their bottom lines more than their clients. Keep this in mind throughout the claims process.
Be prepared for the insurance company’s first settlement offer to be low. This is a tactic that insurance companies use for two reasons: to set the bar low with the expectation that the client will negotiate for a higher amount, and to minimize a client’s payout if he or she does not know how to negotiate. Being prepared for a low settlement offer can prevent you from accepting it, as well as allow you to stay calm and take the correct steps to submit a counteroffer.

Consider Your Options

While it is true that an insurance company’s first offer is generally low, it is still important to take your time and consider the offer against the hassle of countering it and negotiating. Learn what your case is worth by calculating all of the expenses related to your accident, as well as estimating how much you will continue to spend in the future. Then, look at the language of the insurance policy to determine its limits.
You should also consider whether the insurance company has given you a valid reason to decrease your payment. Determine how much more you would need from the insurance company to feel like you have been made whole financially. Weighing all of this against the steps you will need to take to negotiate for a higher offer can help you decide what to do next. Advice from an attorney can also help you make the right choice.

Submit a Formal Counteroffer

If you wish to negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement offer, reject the offer correctly. You or your personal injury lawyer will need to draft a formal business letter that makes a case for your counteroffer. Your letter should be clear and concise. It should state that the settlement offer is unacceptable and give an acceptable figure. It should explain why your counteroffer is reasonable and appropriate, giving reasons and explaining your losses and demands. It can also refute the reason the insurer gave for its low offer.
Your counteroffer should be professional. It should not be angry or accusatory in tone. To work toward a reasonable settlement agreement with the insurance company, your counteroffer should be less than your initial demand. This will show the insurance company that you are willing to compromise. It is difficult to say how many counteroffers your case will need to reach an amount that you believe is fair for your injuries and losses. You may never reach this amount, and may need to either accept the settlement or take your case to trial.

Get Assistance From an Attorney

It is important to work with an attorney for assistance rejecting and responding to a low insurance settlement offer. This is a delicate phase of your claim. Once you accept an offer, you cannot reopen your case. Rejecting the offer in the wrong way, however, could make the insurance company less likely to work with you to achieve a reasonable settlement. A personal injury lawyer in Dallas can help you communicate with an insurance company in the most effective way possible.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:27 am

What to Do if Someone Won’t Share Insurance Information at the Scene of an Accident

Monday, January 17, 2022

Emotions can run high in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. Both drivers may be feeling the effects of adrenaline, as well as stress, tension and frustration about the situation. Some drivers may react to a car accident by getting defensive or hostile. This can result in a driver refusing to share his or her insurance information at the scene of the accident. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. You can still get the information that you need even if the other driver does not cooperate.

Is a Driver Legally Obligated to Provide Insurance Information?

Drivers often exchange information at the scenes of car accidents. This is the easiest way to resolve issues, such as who will pay for property damage. Many states even make it a legal requirement to stay at the scene of a car accident until certain information has been exchanged. In Texas, Section 550.023 of the Transportation Code states that all drivers must exchange the following information after a car accident that results in property damage, injury or death:

  • The operator’s name and address
  • The registration number of the vehicle being driven
  • The name of the operator’s motor vehicle liability insurer
  • The driver’s license, if requested and available

In addition, a driver is legally obligated to provide any injured person with reasonable assistance, such as calling 911 and requesting an ambulance or transporting the person to the nearest hospital. Note that the requirement to exchange information still exists if a driver hits a parked car. In this case, the driver must leave the required information in a note that is placed in a conspicuous location on the car. If the other driver refuses to obey this law, do not take it upon yourself to force him or her to comply. Instead, let the police handle it.

What to Do if the Other Driver Refuses to Give You Insurance Information

Ideally, the other driver at the scene of your car accident will be willing to cooperate and give you his or her name, contact information and insurance information. The other driver should also let you see his or her driver’s license, if you ask. Unfortunately, you cannot control how other drivers will react to car accidents or your requests for information. You may come across a driver who refuses to share information with you. In this scenario, take the following actions:

  1. Stay calm. While a lack of cooperation by the other driver is not the best-case scenario, it will not interfere with your insurance claim if you take the correct steps.
  2. Report the car accident to the police. The other driver will be much less likely to refuse to give information to a law enforcement officer. You can then obtain a copy of the police report to get the driver’s information later.
  3. Write down everything. Even if the other driver refuses to give you any information, you can still write down your observations, such as the make, model and color of the other driver’s vehicle; its license plate numbers; and eyewitness information.
  4. Get a copy of the police report. In the days following your accident, call the police department in the county where the crash took place and give them your police report number to obtain a copy. This report should have the other driver’s insurance information.
  5. Call your own car insurance company. Call your own car insurance provider to report the accident right away. Follow up to give them more complete information once you get the other driver’s insurance carrier and policy number from the police report.

From there, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Dallas to explore your legal options. Your lawyer can help you get the information that you need about the other driver involved in your car accident, including his or her insurance information. Then, your lawyer can take over the insurance claims process on your behalf to pursue fair financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance company for your injuries and expenses.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:38 am

What Is the Attorney-Client Privilege?

Friday, January 14, 2022

When you retain an attorney, you become protected by something known as the attorney-client privilege. This is a legal principle that applies to both criminal and civil cases. In simple terms, it is a guarantee that what you say to your attorney remains confidential – it stays only between the two of you. Attorney-client privilege encourages clients to openly share information with their attorneys without fear of it getting back to opposing counsel, allowing the attorney to provide effective legal representation.

How Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Work?

Attorney-client privilege automatically applies when an attorney is communicating with a client or potential client. This includes during free case evaluations, in most cases. In general, the individual must be speaking to a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice for attorney-client privilege to apply. Speaking to someone who happens to be an attorney at a cocktail party, for example, would not create attorney-client privilege.
The attorney-client privilege applies to conversations with personal injury lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, employment lawyers and all other types of attorneys. The communication in question must be kept only between the client and the attorney, however; no third parties may overhear the conversation, or else the attorney can no longer guarantee attorney-client privilege. This is because the confidentiality between the two parties has been broken by the third party.
When kept only between the client and the attorney, all types of communication are confidential under attorney-client privilege. This includes text messages, emails, letters, voicemails and verbal communication. After a client agrees to work with an attorney – he or she “retains” the lawyer and signs a contract – all information passed between them is safeguarded by the attorney-client privilege.
The attorney-client privilege is typically stated in plain terms in the attorney’s contract, but it may also be created by oral agreement. Even without a written or oral agreement, however, the attorney-client privilege can exist any time a client talks to a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice with the assumption that it is in confidence.

How Is Attorney-Client Privilege Used?

Attorney-client privilege works by preventing the attorney from diverging information against his or her client. When the opposing party in a case is trying to learn more about the subject at hand, such as during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney-client privilege prevents the defense lawyer from questioning the plaintiff’s attorney. Any privileged information between the attorney and his or her client is not discoverable. This makes it possible for a client to speak freely and openly with his or her attorney without fear of the information being given to the opposing side.
Likewise, if questioned about what a client said to his or her lawyer, the client cannot legally be compelled to answer. A client cannot be forced to testify regarding private matters communicated to his or her attorney in confidence. If the client wishes, however, he or she can waive the attorney-client privilege. It is the client’s privilege, not the attorney’s. This means the client has the right to waive the privilege if desired, but an attorney cannot. This is generally only done when the client wishes to have a third party present.

Are There Exceptions to Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorney-client privilege is not without exception. There are circumstances where an attorney is ethically compelled to disclose information given to him or her by a client to the appropriate authorities. For example, if a client admits plans to commit a crime that has not yet been committed, this information may have to be given to the authorities. Admitting an intention to commit fraud during the current claim is also an exception to the rule. In addition, the specific laws regarding attorney-client privileges can differ from state to state. The best way to understand this privilege in your personal injury case is by asking your attorney.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:48 pm

What Are Some Tips to Prevent Workplace Slips & Falls?

Friday, January 14, 2022
Workplace accidents are one of the most common causes of injury. This type of incident causes 15% of all accidental deaths—second only to motor vehicle accidents. The greatest number of fatal falls occurs in the construction industry, but virtually every industry has this risk. The health services and retail industries have the highest number of nonfatal slip and fall accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rules employers must follow to prevent slips and falls, and the best way to protect yourself is to be proactive.

Pay Attention While You Walk

A second of inattention can lead to a catastrophic slip and fall accident, especially if you work from great heights or with dangerous equipment. Texting and walking, for example, can result in falling down a flight of stairs, slipping on an obvious spill, or tripping over an obstacle. Your employer has a duty to take measures to ensure employee safety and reasonably prevent hazardous situations in the workplace. However, you also have a duty to pay attention to where you are going. In Texas, the jurisdiction of modified comparative negligence means if the court finds you more than 50% at fault for a slip and fall accident, you will not receive any compensation. If you’ve been injured after falling on unsafe conditions contact a slip and fall attorney in San Antonio

Wear the Proper Equipment

Ignoring your employer’s dress code or workplace regulations will only result in your own personal injury. Rules are in place to protect you from accidents such as slips and falls. Often, a slip and fall accident results from loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface. Wear appropriate shoes for your job, with non-slip bottoms and the right type of heel to prevent this kind of accident. If you work in the construction industry, wear the proper harness or other equipment to protect yourself in the event of a fall. The right equipment can mean the difference between life and death in a dangerous industry.

Keep Your Facility Clean

It is up to an employer to create and enforce good housekeeping practices, but as an employee, you must always strive to keep your workplace facility clean and clear of hazardous obstacles. A cluttered workplace is a trip and fall risk, where an immobile or moveable object on the ground comes in contact with a person’s foot, ankle, or shin. Keep the workplace clear of dangerous obstacles, and follow protocol when there is a spill. Mark the area clearly with a warning sign until you can clean the spill. A sloppy workplace is a recipe for disaster, especially in high-risk industries.

Report Hazardous Circumstances

If you notice anything in your workplace that stands out to you as a slip and fall hazard, report it to your employer immediately. It is your employer’s duty to remedy dangerous environmental circumstances, such as an uneven sidewalk or an icy parking lot. [RELATED: Can You Sue for Falling in a Parking Lot?] If your employer knew of the dangerous situation and did nothing to prevent a slip and fall accident, the courts would find him or her at fault. If your employer reasonably could not have known about the hazard, the case will settle differently. Notify your employer about a dangerous spill, poor lighting, obstacles in aisles or walkways, or other hazardous situations so he or she can take the proper steps to remedy the problem.

Stay Vigilant

Many slip and fall accidents are entirely preventable with the proper foresight and attention to the job activity. Do not assume your workplace is safe. Instead, be proactive about your safety and take steps to ensure you will not be the next victim of a serious slip and fall accident. If you do suffer a slip and fall injury, get in touch with a personal injury attorney right away to discuss your case and investigate your workplace.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:10 pm

Can a Low-Impact Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

A car accident is a disaster that can give a victim injuries that may never fully heal, such as a traumatic brain injury or paralysis. While it is obvious that a high-speed or high-impact car accident can cause serious injuries, many people don’t realize that low-impact accidents can, as well. Even a collision referred to as a “fender bender” can give drivers and their passengers severe injuries. This is why it is critical not to talk about your injuries with an insurance company until you’ve seen a doctor.

How Can a Low-Impact Accident Lead to a Severe Injury?

If a car accident of any caliber exerts gravitational forces against a driver or vehicle passenger, the human body may not be able to withstand them – resulting in hard-tissue or soft-tissue injuries. A common example is a whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. A low-impact accident can still be enough to cause major injuries, including brain injuries, from the body being thrown around the car or from blunt-force trauma. For example, even a minor collision could break a window, resulting in lacerations. It could also trigger the airbag, which can cause bruising, facial injuries and skin irritation.
Pre-existing injuries and conditions can increase the odds of a low-impact crash resulting in serious injuries. A motor vehicle driver who already had a slipped disk in his or her back, for example, may suffer a more severe back injury in the low-impact crash than an ordinary driver would have. A rule known as the Eggshell Skull Doctrine states that a defendant must take a plaintiff as-is – meaning the defendant must pay for the plaintiff’s full injury, even if a pre-existing condition made things worse.

Low-Impact Accidents and Delayed Injuries

The advice given to car accident survivors is not to answer any questions about their injuries until they’ve been to a hospital or doctor; specifically, not to answer questions asked by an insurance company. This is because many car accidents, including low-impact accidents, inflict injuries that have hidden or delayed symptoms. You may not notice that you have bleeding in your brain from a head injury right away, for example, until enough time passes that it causes noticeable symptoms. Saying that you are not injured can make it more difficult to change your answer and recover financial compensation from an insurer if you discover injuries later.
Delayed injuries that a low-impact car accident could inflict include whiplash, back injuries, brain injuries, pulled muscles and nerve damage. If you get into a low-impact crash, such as a low-speed rear-end collision, do not assume that you are uninjured just because you initially feel fine. Your injury may have delayed symptoms, or your adrenaline may be masking the pain. When asked about your injuries, say that you cannot answer these questions until you’ve seen a doctor. Then, go to a hospital without delay.

Do You Need an Attorney After a Low-Impact Crash?

Personal injury lawyers do not only represent victims with serious injuries. If a low-impact accident gave you minor injuries, you may still benefit from hiring a lawyer to represent you during the claims process. If the car accident gave you injuries that qualify as serious, however, such as injuries that will give you long-term symptoms, a disability, or permanent scarring or disfigurement, it is especially important to contact a car accident attorney in Dallas.
Without an attorney representing you during a serious injury claim, a car insurance company may take advantage of you in an attempt to save money on your payout. The insurer may claim that you could not possibly have suffered such a serious injury in a low-impact car accident, for example, or it may try to blame your injury on a pre-existing condition. An attorney can help you protect your rights and best interest during the claims process after a low-impact crash.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:11 pm

How Personal Injury Mediation Works

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Personal injury mediation is a type of pretrial conflict resolution, also known as alternative dispute resolution or ADR. It is an opportunity for both parties involved in a personal injury case to resolve the issue by reaching a settlement rather than going to trial. Sometimes, mediation is a legal requirement before a case can proceed to trial. Knowing what to expect during personal injury mediation can help you prepare for this process as an injured party.

When Is Mediation Used?

A simple personal injury case that involves only minor injuries may reach a settlement without needing any form of conflict resolution. The plaintiff and the defendant’s insurance company may be able to negotiate a settlement agreement between themselves – especially if the plaintiff is represented by an experienced attorney as the negotiator. If negotiations fail, however, a logical next step is mediation.

Where Is Mediation Held?

Mediation is not a court trial. It generally does not take place in a courtroom or even a courthouse. Instead, mediation is often held at a neutral location, such as at an attorney’s office. It is more informal than a personal injury trial, although you should still act professionally. Your lawyer can help you prepare what to wear, how to act and what to say during mediation.

Who Attends Mediation?

Mediation is generally attended by both parties involved in the personal injury case, their attorneys (if desired) and a mediator. In some cases, the defendant may opt not to attend mediation and to send his or her defense attorney to the meeting on the defendant’s behalf. Mediation is not open to the public and does not involve a judge or jury.

What Is a Mediator?

A mediator is an unbiased third party whose job is to help the other two parties resolve their legal dispute. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not have the power or authority to render a resolution or create a court order at the end of the meeting. Instead, the mediator is only there to facilitate conversations and negotiations between the two parties, in the hopes of reaching a resolution.

What Are the Steps of Mediation?

Like all legal processes, mediation follows the same general steps from case to case. While it is less formal and often less stressful than a personal injury trial, mediation can still be daunting if it is your first time. In general, you can expect the following steps during personal injury mediation:

  1. First, the mediator will introduce everyone who is in attendance and explain their roles in the case.
  2. Before mediation begins, the mediator will pass around a document that everyone must sign. This is an agreement to keep everything that is said and negotiated at mediation confidential.
  3. Once mediation begins, the plaintiff’s lawyer will make the opening statement and provide any supporting information or evidence. This will be followed by the defense attorney’s opening statement.
  4. Both parties will separate for the second half of mediation, typically going into two different rooms. The mediator will visit each room, going back and forth to carry information and try to resolve the conflict.
  5. Mediation does not have to end in a resolution. Mediation can end with a settlement agreement, an agreement to continue negotiations or the case going to trial.

Your lawyer can help you know what to expect from mediation during your specific personal injury case. A lawyer can represent you during mediation so that you do not have to go through this important meeting on your own. Finally, a lawyer can tell you what to do and what not to do during mediation to help your case.

Do You Need an Attorney for Personal Injury Mediation?

Throughout the legal process, including personal injury mediation, the defense attorney will have the defendant’s best interest in mind – not yours. The best way to stand up for your own rights during mediation is by hiring a lawyer to represent you. If you are curious about mediation during a personal injury case in Dallas, contact an attorney from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for a free consultation. We offer mediation representation services.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:20 pm

What Is a Personal Injury Settlement Agreement?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A personal injury settlement agreement is one possible way to end a personal injury claim. It describes an agreement made between the plaintiff (the injured party) and defendant (the liable party) to end the case with the agreed-upon resolution. Settlements have many benefits for both parties – which is why most personal injury cases in Texas reach settlement agreements. There are some circumstances, however, when it is better not to settle as an injured accident victim.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is reached after negotiations between the plaintiff and the defendant, or the defendant’s insurance company, in a personal injury claim. First, the insurance company will analyze the claim and investigate the accident it involves. If the insurance company accepts liability for the accident, it will then offer the plaintiff a settlement to resolve the dispute.
The plaintiff has the choice of accepting the agreement as-is, negotiating to try to obtain a higher amount, or rejecting the settlement and taking the case to trial. If the insurance company rejects the claim, on the other hand, a settlement agreement won’t be reached, and the plaintiff may have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit, instead.

What Are the Advantages of a Settlement Agreement?

There is a reason why the vast majority of personal injury claims reach settlement agreements. Settlements come with many benefits that personal injury trials do not have. Some of the most common advantages are:

  • Privacy. A settlement agreement can be kept private, while a personal injury trial is open to the public and will go on public record.
  • Control. It is up to both parties whether or not to agree to the terms of a proposed settlement. If a case goes to trial, on the other hand, both parties surrender control over the final outcome, or verdict, to a judge or jury.
  • Cost. Reaching a settlement agreement, even if it involves mediation or arbitration, is cheaper than taking a case to trial. A trial requires court costs, higher attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses.
  • Time. The average personal injury settlement agreement takes around three to six months from start to finish (although some take much longer). A personal injury trial, on the other hand, has a timeline of about one year. A trial must wait until the courthouse has an open date.

Overall, a personal injury settlement agreement is cheaper, faster and generally more lucrative for both parties. This does not mean, however, that accepting a settlement agreement is always in your best interest as a plaintiff.

When Should You Reject a Settlement Agreement?

There are circumstances where accepting a settlement could mean receiving less money than you deserve for your case. Insurance companies are known for putting their bottom lines over client recoveries. This can mean a settlement offer that is inadequate for your injuries and losses. If you accept the first settlement offer without consulting with a lawyer, you may never be able to renegotiate or receive a higher amount – even if you find out later that your injuries require more medical care than you initially knew.
It is important to speak to an attorney before signing anything from an insurance company, especially a settlement agreement or a Release of Liability Waiver. If an attorney believes that you could collect more financial compensation through a personal injury trial, he or she may recommend that you reject the insurance company’s settlement offer. A personal injury trial could end in types of compensation that are not available with a settlement, such as money for your pain and suffering. There is no guarantee that you will win the case, however, if it does go to trial.
For more information about the personal injury settlement process, or advice about whether to accept a settlement, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for a free consultation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:52 pm

What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Trucking can be a fun career, but it can also be a dangerous one. Large trucks will do more damage if their drivers make a mistake, and the industry often makes headlines for teamsters who drive sleepy or otherwise impaired. While some common causes of these incidents involve smaller vehicle recklessness, the actions of truck drivers often play a role, too. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents to understand and watch for:
  • Driver error. Humans make mistakes, and when your job involves driving on the roads for hours at a time, the likelihood of making a mistake increases. However, professional companies train drivers to understand and avoid the common causes of driver error accidents. Companies often eliminate some of them, for example, by restricting cell phone use on the road and taking other measures to lower the risk of distracted driving accidents.
  • Equipment failure. Drivers need to carefully and regularly maintain trucks that spend day in and day out on the roadways. Professional drivers are responsible for running through checklists before and after they get on the road each day. Faulty parts and improperly maintained equipment are common causes of many accidents. Tire blowouts and other debris flying out from a truck can have deadly consequences for vehicles following behind.
  • Lack of sleep. Like airline pilots, truckers are expected to maintain strict schedules to move their cargo. While federal and state regulations have reduced the amount of time a driver can travel on the roads continuously, some still experience a lack of sleep from tight schedules. Driving while tired is a form of impairment that can cause accidents just as easily as driving while intoxicated. Some research has even suggested that driving while tired is more dangerous than driving under the influence.
  • Bad weather. Once again, those tight deadlines can present problems for truck drivers. If they continue to drive in dangerous conditions, they may face reduced visibility and traction and truck instability – all of which can contribute to a dangerous accident. Since large trucks take significantly longer to come to a stop than regular vehicles, truckers must drive carefully in inclement weather to avoid causing a multi-vehicle accident or sliding off a bridge/road.
  • Poor loading. Semi trucks need balance to navigate the roadways properly. If a load is improperly distributed in the trailer, it can cause fishtailing and turnover accidents on the roadways. Every truck needs to follow a certain loading standard developed specifically to minimize imbalances in the trailer.
  • Drugs and alcohol. You’ll notice that drugs and alcohol are pretty far down on the list. Professional truckers who work for large companies have to follow strict guidelines regarding drugs and alcohol. Some are regularly tested, and many companies have a zero tolerance policy. A trucker who gets caught drinking once may find him or herself out of a job and without a good referral or recommendation to go to a different company.
The size of trucks can make small errors turn into deadly accidents. Technology is helping trucking companies overcome some of the common causes of accidents with advanced systems and enforcement requirements, but we’re still a long way from foolproof safety measures. In the meantime, give trucks plenty of extra space on the roadways to avoid the consequences of their mistakes.

Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys

If you’re involved in a trucking accident in or around San Antonio, The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert can help you hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions. When teamsters fail to operate their large equipment in a reasonably safe manner, you can hold them and their companies liable for the damage caused. Contact our truck accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:01 am