Many serious, life-altering accidents did not have to happen. Because of another party’s negligence, you may now be dealing with pain, disability, and the financial burden resulting from an injury that keeps you off the job. An inability to work during your recovery means you may struggle to pay your rent or mortgage or feed your family.
A San Antonio personal injury attorney at the Patterson Law Group will hold those responsible for your injuries liable and fight for you so that you may receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
San Antonio, Texas Personal Injury Statistics
Not surprisingly, the majority of personal injury cases involve motor vehicle accidents. San Antonio has the third-highest motor vehicle accident rate in the Lone Star State. There were more than 34,000 crashes in 2020, with over 100 people losing their lives.
These numbers do not tell the personal stories of lives changed forever due to someone’s negligence. Recently, a man was killed after a pipe fell from a semi-truck and hit him on West Military Drive. On West Avenue near Basse Road, a motorcyclist was injured after a collision with a vehicle threw him off his motorcycle.
One man died and another was seriously injured after a head-on crash with a semi-truck near Bulverde Road and Wurzbach Parkway. These types of tragedies take place nearly every day in San Antonio. A personal injury lawyer can help the injured or the next of kin of those killed receive some sort of justice.
San Antonio’s busy highways and growing population contribute to its high accident rate. The worst intersections in San Antonio for motor vehicle collisions include:
- Highway 151 and Loop 410
- Bandera Road and Loop 1604
- Loop 1604 and Highway 281
- Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue
- IH10 and Loop 1604
The Key Elements of a Personal Injury Case
It is not enough to simply accuse the defendant of being responsible for your injuries. As the plaintiff, you must prove your claim.
A personal injury case consists of four key elements. Your personal injury attorney must establish the following:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care – A duty is a legal obligation to act in a certain way or not act in this way. This duty establishes that any “reasonable person” would have done something or not done something to avoid causing the plaintiff’s foreseeable injuries.
- Breach of duty – By failing to act, the defendant breached their duty of care.
- Proximate cause – The failure to act caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Had the defendant acted differently, the accident or incident would not have happened. That proximate cause would have been something a reasonable person would know could result in the accident that occurred. For example, a driver going a great deal over the speed limit is not only breaking the law but should know that excessive speed could cause a serious motor vehicle crash.
- The accident caused the plaintiff to sustain damages.
In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a civil case, the standard is the less strict “preponderance of the evidence.” The bottom line is that in a personal injury case, you must prove that you were injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness.
Types of Cases We Handle in San Antonio, TX
At the Patterson Law Group, our primary focus is on personal injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. The types of cases we handle in our San Antonio personal injury practice include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Drunk driving
- Slip and fall injuries
No matter the case, try to collect as much evidence at the scene as possible. That includes taking photos and videos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and your injuries. Always call the police immediately.
If you are seriously injured, an ambulance should take you to the emergency room. Even if you think you escaped the accident relatively unscathed, go to the hospital or an urgent care center right away. Many injuries, even serious ones, are not apparent due to the adrenaline rush the body may experience after a crash. Failing to seek prompt medical attention not only harms your health but may affect the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit.
Common Types of Injuries
Injuries in motor vehicle accidents and other personal injury cases range from those that eventually heal to the permanently disabling. Common types of injuries include:
- Back or neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs or digits
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Potential Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Compensation, or damages, in a personal injury case are divided into economic and non-economic damages. Calculating economic damages is relatively straightforward. Such damages include:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Loss of services–the loss of the injured person’s ability to care for their home or children
Determining the amount of non-economic damages is more subjective. Such damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
In rare cases, punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, may be awarded. The jury may award such damages to punish a defendant who engaged in grossly negligent or malicious conduct. Under Texas law, punitive damages are capped at twice the amount awarded in economic damages as well as the same amount awarded in noneconomic damages. However, the cap on noneconomic damages is $750,000.
Texas uses a proportionate responsibility form of comparative negligence. If you are found partly at fault for the accident causing your injury, you may still recover damages but the amount is reduced by your proportion of fault. For instance, if a jury awards you $100,000 in damages but finds you are 20 percent at fault, the amount is reduced by that percentage to $80,000.
You cannot recover damages if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. This is one of the reasons why it is so crucial to have an experienced and highly capable attorney on your side who can counter the false narratives of insurance companies that will try to twist the facts to put the majority of the blame on you. Patterson Law Group will marshal the facts to make sure the at-fault party is held accountable for the full extent of their negligence.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Case in Texas?
The time limit for filing a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the incident. If you miss that deadline, the court will refuse to consider your case, although rare exceptions apply.
That is why it is crucial to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible after your injury. While you must focus on recovery and dealing with the related aftermath of the accident, waiting too long to discuss your claim with an attorney often means valuable evidence is lost.
How a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Never agree to an insurance settlement before speaking with a skilled San Antonio personal injury attorney. An insurer’s business model is paying out as few claims as possible. Insurance companies want to settle quickly for a low amount. Once you agree to a settlement, you cannot reopen your case. It does not matter if you discover that your injuries were far more serious and disabling than originally thought.
A San Antonio personal injury lawyer knows the fair value of a settlement given your specific circumstances and long-term prognosis. We will investigate your case thoroughly and negotiate with the insurance company. Such an investigation includes:
- Reviewing police and medical reports
- Collecting evidence
- Obtaining available surveillance video
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Consulting experts
In some cases, we may hire accident reconstruction specialists to analyze how a motor vehicle crash occurred.
We can also help you deal with repair shops, car rental companies, and other accident-related issues you cannot handle while recuperating from a serious injury.
Contact a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know was seriously hurt in a San Antonio motor vehicle accident or suffered any type of serious injury due to another party’s negligent, reckless, or deliberate behavior, you need the services of an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney at Patterson Law Group.
Contact our San Antonio Office today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation. Se Habla Espanol.