How Are Damages Calculated In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Texas law provides that when you are injured as a result of a third parties’ negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for those injuries and the damages sustained. Texas law provides for five areas of recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit: (1) medical bills, (2) lost wages/loss of earning capacity, (3) physical pain and mental anguish, (4) physical impairment and (5) physical disfigurement. Each of these damage categories has a past and a future component. The past component accounts for damages from the time of the injury-causing event until the time of trial. The future component looks at the remainder of your life after trial. The five categories can be separated into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Personal Injury Economic Damages

Let’s start with the economic damages. These are medical bills and lost wages/loss of earning capacity. An injured person is allowed to seek recovery of past medical bills that have been paid or are still outstanding. You are also entitled to seek any future medical treatment that is necessary and related to the injury-causing event. Next, you can seek the wages you lost if you missed time from work. You can also seek a loss of earning capacity in the future. For example, if you were working as an engineer making $100,000 per year and your injuries leave you unable to work again, you are entitled to compensation for the future wages you lost.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are a bit trickier. These damages include physical pain and mental anguish, physical impairment and physical disfigurement. These damages are unique to each individual and there is no mathematic equation to arrive at the number, as is the case with the economic damages listed above. Physical pain and mental anguish accounts for the physical and mental injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence. This includes the pain associated while recovering from injuries and the emotional toll as a result of injuries. Physical impairment is an injured person’s inability to do what they could do before the injury-causing event. An example of a physical impairment would be if an injured person enjoyed running marathons in her free time but is injured and unable to run again. Lastly, physical disfigurement relates to a physical change in the body. Examples of this are scarring, burns or amputations.

Expert Legal Representation

If you have been injured as a result of a third parties’ negligence, it is vital that you contact the attorneys at Perdue & Kidd immediately so we can fight to get you every dollar you deserve under Texas law.

So, you’ve been in an accident. Your phone is ringing off the hook. The insurance adjuster is offering to put money in your pocket but it will require you to sign a release dropping all the claims you have stemming from the accident. If you have found yourself in this situation, you’re likely trying to decide whether you should hire a car accident attorney before signing anything. The answer to that question is simple, yes. You should never sign any document from an insurance company following a car or commercial truck wreck without talking to a personal injury attorney.

Insurance companies today are master manipulators. They have come up with very clever jingles that are in their commercials. “Like a good neighbor…” and “You’re in good hands”. These companies go out of their way to manipulate the general public into thinking they will treat you fairly. Unfortunately, the reality is that these insurance companies do not and will never have your best interest in mind. Furthermore, they are in the business of making money and the main way they do that is by denying valid claims or getting injured people to accept far less for their injuries than they deserve.

You Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney if:

  • You’ve suffered serious injuries
  • You’ve suffered long-term or permanent injuries
  • The insurance company refuses to pay you the value of your claims.

What is a Serious Injury?

See a doctor immediately following a car crash even if you are not immediately experiencing pain symptoms. Many muscular and neurologic injuries do not manifest for 24 to 36 hours after a crash. In addition,  here are the most common serious injuries incurred after a car accident:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Muscle and Tendon Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Herniated Vertebral Disks
  • Neck and Back Injuries
  • Broken Bones

The insurance adjuster’s job is to get you to accept as little money as possible in exchange for signing a release. The insurance companies will go out of their way to tell you that you don’t need an attorney. They will tell you an attorney will only complicate things. That is true, An experienced personal injury attorney will complicate things but not for you as the injured person; an experienced personal injury attorney will complicate and make things difficult for the insurance adjuster.

When you find yourself in a situation where you get involved in a wreck and you’re injured by negligence of someone else, ask yourself this: do I want the insurance company to take advantage of me?  If your answer to that question is “no”, then you need to call a personal injury attorney who will fight to ensure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.

If you were injured in a car or commercial vehicle wreck and want the compensation you deserve from the insurance company, call Perdue & Kidd. Above all, the experienced attorneys on staff know the tricks and games of the insurance adjusters and will fight to protect your rights.

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Before 2009, no one had ever heard of Uber or Lyft. Fast forward ten years to 2019, Uber and Lyft are two of the most prominent companies worldwide. Since Uber began in March 2009, statistics show that Uber Technologies, Inc. provided 4 billion rides in 2017 alone. To date, Uber has provided nearly 10 billion total rides worldwide since it was founded. Likewise, Lyft, which started in June 2012, averages over 1 million rides per day worldwide. With that much traffic on the road, unfortunately, vehicle crashes inevitably happen.

Policies Protecting Riders

1954.051 of the Texas Insurance Code requires that ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to carry liability insurance. However, the amount of insurance provided depends on the situation. This is based on if the Uber/Lyft driver is currently available for rides versus on a trip. If the driver logs onto the company’s app and is only available for rides, Texas law requires that the Uber/Lyft provide $50,000 worth of liability coverage per person and $100,000 worth of liability coverage per incident. Once the driver has accepted a ride and while the trip is ongoing, Texas law requires that Uber/Lyft carry $1,000,000 worth of a liability insurance. This insurance coverages protects both the riders in the Uber/Lyft vehicle and other drivers on the road who may sustain injuries from the negligence of an Uber/Lyft driver.

Importantly, Texas law also requires that Uber/Lyft provide Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage for its drivers. This coverage protects the Uber/Lyft driver in the event that they sustain injuries from negligent third party. Furthermore, that third party either: 1) does not have enough liability insurance to cover the damages of the Uber/Lyft driver or 2) has no insurance to cover the damages of the Uber/Lyft driver.

What To Do After a Ride Sharing Crash

If you are a passenger in an Uber/Lyft, involved in a vehicle crash caused by an Uber/Lyft driver, or if you are driving a vehicle for Uber/Lyft and you’re involved in a crash because of a third person’s negligence, you’re protected by the above mentioned liability insurance. However, it is extremely important to remember, the insurance companies for Uber/Lyft are not your friends. It is their job to get you to settle your claims for as little money as possible. Do not sign any paperwork with an insurance company or adjuster. Seek the consultation of an experienced personal injury attorney.

If you experienced a crash caused by the negligence of an Uber/Lyft driver, call the experienced attorneys Perdue & Kidd immediately so we can help you preserve your rights following the crash and help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

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Technology is evolving every day, and because of that, the world we know is constantly changing. Since 2000, technology has made our lives easier, from shopping online to having groceries delivered to our homes. That was no different in 2009. That year, Uber Technologies, Inc. began in California. This ridesharing idea served as a competitor to cab companies but with more drivers and fewer wait times. In 2012, Lyft started their operation, which is a similar company to Uber.

Since 2009, these companies have taken off. According to Tech Crunch, a website dedicated to the tech industry, in 2016, Uber provided roughly 5.5 million rides daily. Uber has reached five billion completed trips since its inception. As of 2017, Lyft provides about 1 million rides per day.  With so much ride sharing traffic on the roads, unfortunately, it leads to human error, car crashes and ride sharing injuries.

What The Law Says about Ridesharing

Texas state law requires that riding sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft carry automobile liability insurance policies to protect its customers and third parties who may suffer ride sharing injuries by one of their drivers. Once a driver turns on their Uber or Lyft application and can accept rides, Texas law requires these companies to carry liability insurance. Once the driver accepts a ride and until the ride is complete, Texas requires the companies to carry substantially more liability insurance coverage. This is good news for people injured by the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver.

What to do if it happens to you?

So what do you do if you get hit by an Uber or Lyft driver or in a crash while using these ride-sharing apps? First, your physical well-being is most important. If you need medical attention and have the ability to call an ambulance, do so. This is the most important issue.

Uber Accident

Second, if you have the ability, call Perdue & Kidd, and one of our attorneys will respond to the scene. It is probable that the driver of the Uber or Lyft will contact their insurance company after the crash. An insurance representative will show up to the scene of the crash. The insurance representative is not there to treat you fairly; the insurance representative is there to ensure the insurance company will pay as little amount of money as possible towards your potential ridesharing injuries and medical fees. It is imperative to have someone there representing your best interest. If you do not have an attorney from Perdue & Kidd at the scene, remember to never give the insurance company for Uber or Lyft a recorded statement. The law does not require this, and they will only use it against you in settlement.

Next, if healthy enough to do so, begin taking photographs and videos of the entire scene. Photograph the damage to your car and the Uber or Lyft driver’s car that caused the crash. Also, be sure to get the driver’s name and which company the driver is driving for. Such pictures, videos, and information can be important pieces of evidence that can help assist you in getting maximum value for your personal injury claim.

Ridesharing Attorneys

In addition to taking pictures, obtain the names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the crash. In the legal world, uninterested witnesses who have no ties to the case can be very important. Insurance companies will expend a significant amount of time and energy attempting to discredit your recollection of the events leading up to the accident. Thus, witnesses can reinforce your testimony to assist in holding the driver and company financially and legally responsible.

If you or someone you know has had a ridesharing injury because of the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, contact an attorney at Perdue & Kidd immediately. We are waiting to represent you in your claims against either of these companies. Contact us now online or call us at 713-520-2525.

We have all experienced it, driving down the freeway in Texas only to see an 18-wheeler struggling to keep its massive rig in a single lane. Thoughts fill your mind: what happens if this truck loses control? How can I get ahead of this 18-wheeler before the situation takes an unsafe turn? These are normal concerns. Unfortunately, massive 18-wheelers cause wrecks on our Texas roads on a regular basis. So, what do you do if you find yourself in a an 18-wheeler crash?

First and foremost, your physical well-being is the most important issue. These big trucks can cause severe injuries. Call 911 if you have the ability to do so. It is vital that you get checked out by medical professionals to ensure your safety.

Second, call Perdue & Kidd, and our attorneys will respond to the scene of the 18-wheeler crash. The driver of the big rig will contact his or her insurance company immediately following the crash. The insurance company will send a representative to the scene of the crash. Insurance representatives do not care if you get treated fairly; the insurance representative is there to ensure the insurance company will pay as little money as possible towards potential injuries and medical fees or property damage to your vehicle. Having someone present and representing your interests is important. If you do not have someone at the scene of the accident from Perdue & Kidd, remember never to give a statement to the truck driver’s insurance company. The law does not required to do so, and it will only be used against you by the truck driver’s insurance company.

Document The 18-Wheeler Crash

Next, if healthy enough to do so, begin taking photographs and videos of the entire scene. Photograph the damage to your car and the truck that caused the crash. In particular, take a picture of the driver-side door of the truck. The driver-side door has important information on it, such as the truck’s Department of Transportation number. Also, be sure to get the driver’s name and the company the driver is driving for. Such pictures, videos, and information can be important pieces of evidence that can help assist you in getting maximum value for your personal injury claim.

In addition to taking pictures, obtain the names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the crash. In the legal world, uninterested witnesses who have no ties to the case can be very important. Insurance companies will expend a significant amount of time and energy attempting to discredit your recollection of the events leading up to the accident. Thus, witnesses can reinforce your testimony to assist in holding the driver and company financially and legally responsible.

Experienced 18-Wheeler Lawyers

You may be wondering, who is liable for your damages–the driver or the company? The answer is both. The driver of the big rig is at fault for his or her own negligence in causing the crash  (i.e., distracted driving, failure to yield, improper encroachment into another lane, etc.). However, the company for which the driver is employed is also at fault. Federal regulations impose a responsibility on the company, and the company is liable for the negligence of the driver.

If you or someone you know has already been injured by an 18-wheeler crash, contact an attorney at Perdue & Kidd immediately. We are waiting to represent you in your claims against the truck driver and the trucking company.

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