Articles Tagged with Dallas County Personal Injury Attorney

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guestandgray-300x300At Guest and Gray, we understand that customer service and client satisfaction is key to our success. Keeping clients happy is business 101. However, it is easier to do that when you are genuinely happy to provide the service. It is easier when you have a top notch team in place that has been working together for years. It is easier when you care about the service you are providing. When people come to my office, they are hurting. They are worried about their medical bills as well as their light bills and putting food on the table for their family. Here at Guest and Gray, we do not lose sight of that fact. We focus our personal injury practice locally in the Rockwall, Kaufman and Dallas county areas. Why? because we care about this community and the people in it. We care because we live here. You are our neighbors. What a cool job to get to fight for your neighbors when someone has negligently harmed them!

It is a job with a lot of responsibility. Many local Rockwall, Terrell, Forney and other local residents come see me every week and tell me the story of how they have been injured and how that has affected them and their families. Accidents don’t just hurt the person, it hurts their families too. It effects everything they do. Spouses and parents have to spend additional time caring for an injured family member. Watch them receive treatments in the hospital. The worst is when a loved one has been lost due to an accident. That is truly a life-changing event for that family.

It is our goal to show this community the other side of personal injury attorneys. Not the side you see on TV that brags about cherry-picked cases where the clients have received large sums of money. Yeah, we have those but you are not just a dollar sign to us, and we hope we are not that for you either. The law only provides so much remedy to an injured party and the end result of each case is a cash-payout, but our goal is to make sure that you are brought back to where you were or as close to that as possible. We look at every avenue of recovery. Every angle.

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photo courtesy: inforney.com

via inforney.com: KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — One person was killed and three others were injured early Friday morning after an 18-wheeler swerved to miss a cow on State Highway (SH) 34 in a rural area between Terrell and Kaufman in Kaufman County, Texas.

The accident occurred around 4 a.m. when the 18-wheeler, a United Van Lines moving truck driving southbound on SH 34 swerved to miss a cow in the road. The 18-wheeler overturned, crossed the northbound lane, and struck a line of trees and a barbed-wire fence.

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via nbcdfw.com:

A school bus driver and bus monitor were hospitalized Wednesday morning after their bus was involved in a chain-reaction crash, officials say.

A Duncanville Independent School District bus was heading northbound on U.S. 67 near Keist Boulevard when a vehicle apparently rear-ended the bus, pushing it into another vehicle, said Lori Barager, a district spokeswoman.

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Scales-300x132Guest and Gray, P.C. is proud to be considered the largest and highest rated law firm in Rockwall and Kaufman counties. Our personal injury attorneys, Scott Gray and David HagEstad fight for their clients on a daily basis. We are proud to fight for you.

Our Rockwall and Kaufman County personal injury lawyers are experienced in litigating both automobile and motorcycle cases. It is important to note that although the laws that apply to both types of motor vehicle, there are key differences in how to present each case. The key difference is that motorcycle accidents often result in more serious injuries and even death. This means that more often than with a standard automobile, we are pursuing wrongful death claims or claims that involve debilitating injury to the injured party in motorcycle accident cases.

The claims processes are the same, once you have received any and all necessary medical treatment, make sure that you file a claim with your insurance, as well as the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you have any secondary or supplemental coverage, be sure to file a claim with them as well. This will result in the insurance companies making a determination of who is “at-fault” in the accident and at that time it is simply up to the injured party to present their case to the insurance company about how much the insurance company needs to pay.

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Crash-on-80-300x129Truck accidents have become what seems like an every day occurrence here in the Eastern Dallas-Fort Worth area. Rockwall and areas to the east along interstate 30, such as Royse City, are growing at a rapid pace. Along the highway 80 and I-20 corridors respectively in Kaufman county is developing from Forney to Terrell with new businesses springing up in the area on a weekly basis. On top of that, Rockwall, Forney and Terrell are also seeing a housing boom. Especially Forney. That brings construction traffic with cement trucks, work trucks, delivery trucks and everything else.

Growth is one thing, but the fact that the Texas’ economy and the National economy are both doing well means that shipping of products to market is also increasing to meet the demands of consumers. That compounds the issues here in Rockwall and Kaufman counties. Not only are we seeing massive growth, but our two counties fall within major trucking corridors. We have interstate-30 heading northeast through to Arkansas, highway 80 heading east Texas and Louisiana, and highway 20 which stretches straight through to Florida and is the single largest trucking corridor in Kaufman county. Kaufman county also has highway 175 to the southeast towards east Texas and Cedar Creek Lake and beyond. All told, hundreds of thousands of vehicles pass through Kaufman county highways each day and much of that traffic is big rigs carrying all sorts of products and equipment to their destinations here in Rockwall and Kaufman counties and all throughout the country.

That being said, here is a quick primer on the 4 things you need to know about trucking accidents:

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personalinjury3-300x201It happens all the time. The typical scenario is where a person enters a store and due to some sort of defect in the premises or a condition on the property, a person slips or trips and falls and becomes injured. In this sort of case, who is at fault? Well, it is not quite as easy as it sounds.

If the store allowed a dangerous condition or defect in the premises to exist, they had actual knowledge of the defect on the premises or a dangerous condition, and failed to correct it, or they had reason to know that a defect or dangerous condition existed and failed to take corrective action, then you will have a viable claim for damages after a slip and fall accident.

So What is a Dangerous Condition or Defect?

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pain-and-suffering-1-300x227Here at Guest and Gray, that is a common question when talking to new and potential clients. Pain and suffering is a real thing. It can be the pain from recovering from a broken arm, but also the suffering you feel as your body tries to heal. So, if you have been injured in a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, and it was not your fault, you are likely going to be able to recover for not only your injuries sustained in the accident but also for the pain and suffering associated with those injuries. David HagEstad and Scott Gray, our Dallas, Forney and Rockwall county personal injury attorneys are well versed in the area of pain and suffering and have successfully obtained favorable settlements for our clients over the years and have put together this short guide to help you understand the process of recovering monetarily for your pain and suffering.

How Much is My Pain and Suffering Worth?

The funny thing about Texas law is that there is no set method for calculating pain and suffering in any given case. It is determined on a case by case basis. Some firms may try to get you to click their website because of a calculator they supposedly have to determine how much you should get for you injuries. Those are likely not going to be accurate because no attorney can ever guarantee how much you should get in any given case. This is especially true early on when the full extent of your injuries, and the overall time period of your recovery, are still unknown. However, as experienced personal injury attorneys, we can tell you that the two main indicators of pain and suffering that you should be aware of are the extent of your injuries and the amount of your medical bills. These key indicators will help guide us in determining a fair dollar figure for your pain and suffering, i.e. calculating your pain and suffering.

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Personal-Injury-Law-300x149Between Soap Operas and the Price is Right, the other consistent day-time TV you see are personal injury attorney’s yelling at you about they will “get them the compensation they deserve” for their injuries in between scenes of car crashes and people looking strangely well groomed to be in a hospital bed after the aforementioned accident. I love those commercials. The acting is about as good as the Soap Opera episode it runs in between.

All jokes aside, the biggest hiccup that occurs between clients and attorneys is the concept of compensation. Many clients expect that since the accident was clearly not their fault, they should just get the money. Although that is quite often how it works, you have to “prove up” your damages, either during the claims process with the insurance company or by introducing admissible evidence of damages in court once a case has been filed.

Once a case has been filed, a party seeking recovery of past medical expenses must pay very close attention to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (TCPRC) §41.0105 that says, “in addition to any other limitation under law, recovery of medical or health care expenses incurred is limited to the amount actually paid or incurred by or on behalf of the claimant.” Easy enough, right? Actually paid and incurred means expenses that have been or will be paid and excludes the difference between such amount and charges the service provider bills but has no right to be paid, e.g., amounts that have been written off. Ahmed v. Sosa, 514 S.W.3d 894, 895-896 (Tex. Ct. App.–Fort Worth, 2017).

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I find that  potential clients here in North Texas are quick to use phrases like “negligent” and “gross negligence” because they’re terms used quite often in TV shows to portray the negligent acts of another person. However, knowing how to use the word correctly in a sentence and knowing what the term means according to the law are two different things. The point of this article is to shed light on the legal meaning of the term “gross negligence”. Adding the modifier “gross” to the legal term “negligence” denotes a greater level of negligence than your standard negligence claim. When you say someone was “grossly negligent”, the hearer assumes that the other person acted absurdly under the circumstances. The hearer is right and the law would support their conclusion, as long as you can prove the behavior was absurd at the time of the accident. This is the key distinction between the common meaning of a word and its legal meaning. To the hearer, it means what it means according to its commonly understood definition. However, in this case, the legal meaning given to gross negligence shows how you go about proving the behavior was absurd. As we will see, gross negligence is defined by the Texas Practice and Remedies Code (TPRC) and provides a blue print for proving a gross negligence claim.

Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, “gross negligence” means an act or omission (1) which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and (2) of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.

The first prong of the gross negligence test focuses on the objective nature of the defendant’s conduct. A plaintiff may objectively prove gross negligence by proving that under the circumstances of the accident, a reasonable person would have realized that his or her conduct has created an extreme degree of risk to the safety of others. “Extreme risk” required for a finding of gross negligence turns upon the likelihood of serious injury to the plaintiff. This extreme degree of risk threshold is significantly higher than the objective reasonable-person test for negligence. Essentially, we must show that the person had some level of understanding that their actions were risky and involved danger not only to himself but to the public at the time of the accident.

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Insurance-Claim-PictureThe insurance company is not your friend. I feel like I say this to every potential client, and I get the same response “they’ve been really friendly so far.”

Then we get into the claims process and get down to brass tacks and the client quickly realizes that, had they gone into this without an attorney, what would have been considered “fair” by the insurance adjuster’s definition would have been much different and less zeros on it.

Case in point, I was speaking to a friend recently I had not seen in nearly a decade and it came up that he had been involved in an 18-wheeler accident a few years back. He told me how he had tried to go it alone for a while against the insurance company, in part because they seemed to be on his side and they accepted liability right away. He was hurt pretty bad in the accident and required shoulder surgery and weeks of rehabilitation.  However,  in his initial meeting with the insurance company’s adjuster, they offered him $1,500. He said he couldn’t believe it and as he said it, he seemed to think that I should be surprised too, but I wasn’t.