Articles Tagged with Rockwall Personal Injury

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Litigation-imagesIt is a virtual guarantee. If you are injured in an accident, not only are you going to be dealing with an adjuster who works for a potentially billion dollar insurance company like Progressive or State Farm, but you will also have to deal with the fact that the insurance company also has teams of lawyers working for them as well. If there is even a possibility they can deny your claims, they will. They also will take a calculated risk making you low-ball offers thinking you will take it just to get some bills paid.

Do not allow yourself to become a victim of the insurance company. They will smooth talk you and act like they are working in your best interest. They may even tell you that “this is how it is always is” or that your claims are “worth less than this” but more likely than not, they are trying to get one over on you. Remember, they work these claims for a living. This is their job. The goal of the adjuster and the insurance company attorneys is to limit liability for their own clients and the insurance company. It is not to make sure that you are taken care of. In fact, they do not even owe a duty to you at all. Their duty is only to their own insured (the at-fault driver).

That is why it is so important for you to speak with and hire an attorney when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. The odds can be stacked against you. You need someone who fights the insurance company on a daily basis. When an attorney comes into the fold for you, the insurance company will take notice. At Guest and Gray, we fight on a daily basis to get our injured clients the compensation that they deserve and the insurance company will know that. We have been helping clients in the Dallas, Rockwall and Kaufman county areas for years. You are already dealing with the pain of recovering from an accident, so do not let yourself be taken advantage of by the insurance company and their smooth talking lawyers. Hire dedicated personal injury lawyers who fight for their clients everyday.

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gavel1-300x169Rockwall and Kaufman counties are major trucking routes with highways such as Interstate 30, Interstate 20 and Highways 80 and 175 passing through those counties respectively, along with other major highways intersecting them. Commercial trucking accidents are some of the most severe and potentially fatal types of accidents imaginable. An 18-Wheeler truck loaded with thousands of pounds of cargo can weigh upwards of 40,000 tons, or 80,000 pounds. That is a massive amount of destructive force which is why trucking accidents often result in debilitating, life-altering injuries and even death.

Truck Accidents Can Be Fatal

Data from the US Department of Transportation shows 2,485 passenger vehicle occupants died in “large truck accidents” in 2014. The most deaths happened in 1979, when 4,226 people in passenger vehicles died in large truck accidents. That’s a 41.1% drop from 1979, which represents good progress, however, the number of deaths per accident has risen. This is true despite increased federal regulations on trucking companies and truck drivers, respectively. Quite often the cause of trucking accidents is due to a trucking company forcing drivers to violate federal regulations and drive for longer periods of time without sleep than allowed by law, truckers going against their own companies rules and regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines, and driver fatigue or equipment failure.

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Litigation-imagesHave you been injured in an accident in Rockwall or Kaufman county? At Guest and Gray, P.C., we take all of our Rockwall and Kaufman county personal injury cases on a contingency basis. This means that there is no fee until we recover. We feel that this is the best possible way to ensure that all of our clients are able to receive the same great legal service regardless of ability to pay. Additionally, we know that our personal injury clients have often been severely burdened by the cost of their injuries, loss of income, or the loss of a loved one.

We also feel a deep sense of connection to our community. We want to protect the citizens of Rockwall and Kaufman county from negligent drivers and deep-pocketed insurance companies who do not have the victim’s best interests at heart.

DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS

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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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Scales-300x132Guest and Gray, P.C. is the largest full service law firm in Kaufman and Rockwall counties. One of the main areas of our practice is personal injury and wrongful death. Our very own Scott Gray is a Texas SuperLawyer in personal injury and is the highest rated personal injury lawyer in Kaufman and Rockwall counties with a perfect 10.0 rating on AVVO.

Wrongful death cases are some of the most procedurally complex and emotionally difficult cases to handle. Our wrongful death attorneys know that this is a very personal and difficult time for a family who has lost a loved one in an accident. We handle each wrongful death case with a personal touch and a dedicated attorney and staff is assigned to each case. At Guest and Gray, our clients are not just another number or file and our clients know that we are truly here for them. Why? Because the case represents the loss of human life and it is our goal to provide justice in the only way that the civil law provides: monetary relief. That fact, can seem very impersonal by simply trying to obtain money for the life of a lost loved one. However, often times the person who has died is a family provider, a young person who had a long life ahead of them, or a caretaking mother and because of that, the family that remains often will suffer a financial hardship as a result of their loss. Medical bills and loss of income are some of the main causes of financial hardships and it should not be left to the family to bear the brunt of those burdens. The responsible party should be made to pay for those losses and it is the goal of Guest and Gray, P.C. to help put the family back in a place where they can continue to focus on their own recovery during this difficult time.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was not their fault, you need the help of an attorney to help secure the financial relief that you need during this very difficult time. It is often quite difficult for a family member to make insurance claims with each responsible party and then try and negotiate a settlement because, lets be honest, how do you assign a value to a loved one’s life? At Guest and Gray, we know that it is impossible. Life is priceless. However, insurance companies may try to take advantage of the fact that you are not able to push hard for your recovery and try to pay you the least amount possible. You may not be a number to Guest and Gray, but to the insurance company, this is just another claim to add onto a pile of other claims and their goal is to pay the least amount possible. Do not let them get one over on you. That is insult to injury. Literally.

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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.