Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Take My Case? Here’s What They Look For

It’s a common misconception that personal injury lawyers are desperate for work. 

Personal injury lawyers would like to help you, but the truth is that not all cases are built equally. They know this better than anyone.

There are several factors that personal injury lawyers consider when choosing to take or deny a case. Below, we’ll be covering 5 of the most common of these factors.

  1. The Difficulty of A Case

At the end of the day, personal injury lawyers will likely turn down cases that they feel are unlikely or almost impossible to win. The reason for this decision can be based on legal, moral, financial, and/or reputation grounds. Here’s how:

  • Legal – If a personal injury lawyer proceeds to file a case that he or she knows (or should know) has no merit, there is a possibility that they will get sanctioned by the court. They may also face lawsuits from the opposing side for costs and fees they had to pay in relation to the lawsuit.
  • Moral – A personal injury lawyer may feel immoral and unethical in their practice if they decide to take a case that they can’t win. This may be due to a lack of experience, a lack of resources, or just the case itself being built on shaky grounds.
  • Financial – A personal injury lawyer and their team will dedicate a lot of time and resources to your case. If your personal injury lawyer works on contingency (meaning they get paid only if the plaintiff wins), they may opt to choose cases that they know they can win.
  • Reputation –  No one wants to be known as someone that loses a lot. This is especially the case for personal injury lawyers. If a personal injury lawyer already has a poor track record, they may opt to only take on easier cases to boost their reputation.
  1. A Personal Injury Lawyer’s Current Resources

Sometimes, a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, Texas may already be juggling several cases at once. 

Processes like court filings, hiring expert witnesses, paying stenographers for depositions, and document copying need to be done for each case. If a personal injury lawyer believes that they do not have the time or resources (e.g. their team) to take on another case, they will reject yours – regardless of the contents.

  1. If a Person of Interest Is Already Being Represented 

There are ethical guidelines that personal injury lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, and the rest of the country abide by. One pillar of the ethical codes is to avoid any conflicts of interest. This means that if the other party is already being represented by the particular personal injury lawyer, they will have no choice but to reject your case.

  1. The Potential of Your Claim

If the potential compensation is too small, it may not be worth your personal injury lawyer’s time or energy. This is even if you are likely to win. It is important to remember that the potential of your claim is tied closely to the insurance of the defendant. If the defendant has no insurance or very low policy limits, or limited assets, going to court won’t really matter.

  1. Particular Type of Case

Some personal injury lawyers may choose to practice in only one specific niche or injury type. In these cases, they’ll only accept clients that have been in a situation that meets their requirements. Types of cases include (but are not limited to):

  • Product liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Industrial accidents
  • Animal-related
  • Specific injury types (e.g. traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, slip and falls, etc.)

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We’ll be upfront and say that we can’t promise a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio, Texas that’ll take your case. What we can promise is an easy way to present your case to hundreds of lawyers near you.

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The 5-Minute Guide to Workers’ Compensation Settlements

People spend a large chunk of time at work, and this means the potential to experience workplace accidents. Workplace accidents are an unfortunate part of business life, and they can get costly. Hence why companies are often required to have what’s known as workers’ compensation.

If you aren’t familiar with workers’ compensation, this blog post will point you in the right direction. Below, you’ll find an overview of workers’ compensation along with how the settlement process goes for these cases.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides medical care and/or cash benefits to employees that get sick or injured as a direct result of their job. This insurance is not deducted from an employee’s payroll, and the premium fee is paid solely at the expense of the employer. Workers’ compensation aims to protect both employers and employees:

Employers are protected from liability for on-the-job illness or injuries, and they are safeguarded from facing most on-the-job lawsuits.

Employees are protected because they are guaranteed medical treatment, wage replacement, and/or permanent disability compensation in the event of serious injury or illness. Death benefits are also provided to the employee’s dependents in the case of fatal injury.

Is Workers’ Compensation Required?

As of 2022, every state but Texas legally requires that businesses provide workers’ compensation to their employees. Even if workers’ compensation is not legally required, it is still in the interest of most companies to provide it for protection purposes.

Common Examples of Workers’ Compensation Accidents Claims

Though workers’ compensation covers a wide array of accident types, some accidents are more common than others. The most common workers’ compensation injuries are as follows:

  • Slip & falls
  • Overexertion and muscle strains
  • Being struck by equipment and falling objects
  • Crashes and collisions
  • Contusion
  • Lacerations
  • Punctures
  • Sprains

Is There a Limit to Workers’ Compensation?

All commercial liability insurances have a cap on the amount of compensation that can be distributed. But, workers’ compensation works a bit differently. To understand the limits to workers’ compensation, we first need to understand Part A and Part B of the system. 

Part A: Employee Benefits

Part A of workers’ compensation protects employees and their families in the case of serious or fatal injury. Employees are protected for a variety of needs including medical treatment, rehab programs, and long-term compensation if necessary. If you’ve been injured as an employee, know that employee benefits generally offer no limits or exclusions.

Claims can not be declined or denied unless the employer has evidence to prove that fraud has been committed.

Part B: Employer Benefits

Part B of workers’ compensation addresses employer liability, and unlike Part A, this part of the policy does have limits. Part B aims to protect employers by covering the cost of legal defense and other lawsuit-related expenses in the event that an employee files a lawsuit. Any money awarded to employees on a monthly basis – because of injury – is also covered in Part B.

The cap on Part B of workers’ compensation depends on the premium that the employer pays.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Once you’ve taken care of your immediate situation and have been treated for your injury, there are 5 steps to file a workers’ compensation claim. The steps are covered below.

Step 1: Report Injury to Employer

It’s important that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Time limits vary by state, but expect the deadline to be around 30 days. Failing to report your work-related injury to your employer within your state’s deadline could void your injury from being compensated.

Step 2: Recieve Workers’ Compensation Paperwork From Your Employer

Once you alert your employer of your injury, they will provide you with the paperwork to fill out. Complete the paperwork and return it back to your employer. Unless mentioned otherwise, your employer is responsible to submit the paperwork to the insurance company.

There are also some specific procedures that are required by some states. To stay informed, we recommend speaking with a personal injury lawyer or visiting the website of your state’s workers’ compensation agency.

Step 3: Wait for an Approval or Denial

Once the insurance company conducts their research, they’ll either approve or deny your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance company is required to tell you their verdict 2 to 4 weeks after the paperwork is sent.

If your claim is approved, you’ll start receiving the benefits you requested. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. This is usually the time to get a personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyer in San Antonio involved in the situation.

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In the event that your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, there is still hope! We don’t want claimants to feel discouraged and to lose out on the workers’ compensation that they deserve.

We want to help. Browse LegalStream’s free personal injury lawyer directory today, and find the lawyer that’ll help you get compensated in just a few clicks. Hundreds of personal injury lawyers in San Antonio are ready to help.

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I Fell in the Store, What Should I Do?

Falling might seem like fun and games when it happens in cartoons. In real life, it’s usually a whole different story. Stores, restaurants, and other public establishments have an obligation to keep you safe from danger when you’re on their property.

 If you believe this was not the case, you may file a personal injury claim. I fell in the store, what should I do? In the event you fall, here are the steps to take so you can be financially protected.

  1. Prioritize Safety First

Always prioritize your safety first. Assess whether the injury is serious and if medical assistance needs to be called. Be mindful that even if you aren’t in immediate pain, be cautious and take it slow. You may have sustained serious damage that you are not yet aware of

  1. Identity What Caused You to Fall

Whether it was uneven flooring or a spill on the floor – the important thing is to identify what caused you to fall in the first place.

  1. Document All Potential Causes of Your Fall

The more evidence you have, the more likely you’ll receive compensation. Use your phone, and take pictures of the accident scene. Were there signs warning you of the danger? How big was the spill on the floor? Were there electrical cords haphazardly placed on the ground? Even if you aren’t sure if something is evidence, it’s the safer bet to snap a picture of it to potentially use later.

  1. Get the Contact Information of Those Present During the Fall

If there were witnesses to the actual fall, this is usually a good sign. These witnesses may testify on your behalf, so make sure to get their contact information. If there are no witnesses, but someone walks by after you fall, it’s still helpful to get their information too.

  1. Report the Accident to a Store Manager

If possible, speak to the store manager directly and report the fall. If they aren’t around, speak to a general employee and request the store manager’s contact information. Regardless of whom you to, it’s critical for an official report to be made. Demand that the store document how and why you fell, and the injuries you sustained.

If you leave the store without speaking to an employee, you risk not having a record of your fall. Having no formal report means it’ll be much harder to negotiate with the store’s insurance company and ultimately get compensated.

Advice: If the store manager attempts to resolve the issue then and there, do not take the bait. The store is looking to avoid having to face bigger penalties and aims to get details that will work in their best interest. Remember, anything you say could be used against you.

  1. Request Store Security Footage of Your Fall

Your fall may have been caught on security footage. This is a piece of supporting evidence that will likely work to your advantage and provides an objective view of what really happened.

  1. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you sustain a serious injury as the result of a fall, contact a personal injury lawyer near you! You may be entitled to compensation. 

A personal injury lawyer in San Antonio will work with you to gather evidence and build a strong testimony to maximize the amount of compensation you receive. Because slip accidents are common, the majority of personal injury lawyers will have the experience to help you win!

Use LegalStream’s Personal Injury Directory For Free. 

If you’ve been injured because of somebody else’s fault, it can be very frustrating. Having to go through the claims process can be complex, and finding the perfect lawyer can be overwhelming. LegalStream aims to change all of this. 

Our online directory is an easy resource to help find the best personal injury lawyer in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. You can even present your case right through our directory. Good luck, and we hope you get the compensation you deserve.

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How to Fill a Claim for an Uber or Lyft Accident in San Antonio, Texas

There’s nothing more infuriating than getting into an accident while taking an Uber or Lyft ride. Your plans for the day get pushed back or delayed indefinitely, and there’s a chance that you’ll sustain serious injury.

If you’ve been in an Uber or Lyft accident in San Antonio (or anywhere else) – know that there are ways to get compensated. There are caveats to filing a claim for an Uber or Lyft accident, so we want to make things clear.

Below you’ll find:

  • How Common Are Uber or Lyft Accidents?
  • Steps to Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident
  • Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After An Uber or Lyft Accident?
  • How Much Compensation Can You Recieve?
  • Will Uber and Lyft’s Terms of Service Prevent You From Filing?
  • What is the Deadline to File a Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?

How Common Are Uber or Lyft Accidents?

Being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident is thankfully not that common, but it also isn’t particularly rare. 

According to research conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University, app-based driving services like Uber and Lyft account for a 3 percent annual increase in traffic-related fatalities since their introduction in 2011. This equates to roughly 987 deaths per year. In the case of a fatal accident, you – as a loved one – can pursue a lawsuit against the driver or the ride-share company itself.

Of course, the amount of non-fatal Uber or Lyft accidents is far higher in frequency. Uber and Lyft drivers are not immune to car accidents, and sometimes it may be the fault of another driver. Regardless of fault (if it’s not your own, at least), you may be entitled to file a claim and get compensated.

Steps to Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident

If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, follow the steps below. These steps will ensure that you gather the proper evidence and build a strong case for yourself:

Step 1: Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. If people are injured, it is important that you call 911 and wait for help. Do not try to move anyone or provide assistance unless you are trained to do so. If you hurt yourself, aim to get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Step 2: Call the Police

Even if no one is in need of immediate medical attention, it is important that you still contact the police. Dial 911, and wait for a police officer to arrive at the accident scene. The reason we recommend having a police officer on the scene is so they can create a police report. This report summarizes the officer’s investigation, and will most likely need to be included with your claim.

Make sure to get the name of the responding officer and an incident report number so that a copy of the report can be requested when ready.

Step 3: Get Contact Information of Others Involved in the Accident

To stay in communication, it’s important to get the contact information of all parties involved. This includes your rideshare driver, the driver in the opposing car, and any witnesses that may be able to testify to what happened. Make sure to note all driver’s license plates in case you need to search for records.

Step 4: Gather Evidence

Look for concrete and potential evidence, and make sure to document it. Examples of evidence include photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and the damages that you sustained. If you don’t know if something is evidence, we suggest still documenting it just in case it works in your favor.

Write down everything that happened as soon as you can. Having the most accurate notes will come in handy, and may be helpful when speaking to a lawyer.

Step 5: Report the Accident to Uber or Lyft

Rideshares like Uber and Lyft want you to report accidents to them. To report an Uber or Lyft accident, you can either 1) contact the company directly through the mobile app or 2) submit an accident reporting form available directly on their respective websites.

In the case of serious injury, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer first.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After An Uber or Lyft Accident?

If you choose to do so, you can legally file a rideshare-related personal injury claim without a lawyer. But, it’s not the best choice most of the time. Why? Companies like Uber and Lyft will have legal teams dedicated to minimizing your compensation, so it’s important to have a professional on your side. 

Rideshare personal injuries are complex because it involves several different parties and rules. If you don’t know these rules, you may find yourself liable and potentially lose out on the compensation you deserve.

If expenses are a concern, we recommend seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio that works on contingency. This means that a personal injury lawyer will charge you if and only if you win your case, with them taking a percentage of the winnings.

How Much Compensation Can You Recieve?

The amount of compensation you receive will be influenced by the fault party in your accident, and the insurance that they carry. Almost every rideshare-related accident will be the fault of either the Uber or Lyft driver or the opposing driver in the at-fault vehicle.

If Your Uber or Lyft Driver is At Fault

If the Uber or Lyft driver is currently clocked into work and an accident occurs, that company’s insurance may pay out. Here’s what you can expect in terms of compensation.

If you’re injured when the driver is picking up passengers or during the ride, Uber and Lyft will provide up to $1 million in liability coverage. In some states, the same companies will offer uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UMI) and comprehensive and collision insurance for drivers who maintain the coverage on their personal auto insurance.

Note that you may also be entitled to compensation if you are injured by a Uber or Lyft driver without being inside the car. If a Uber or Lyft driver is clocked in and injures you while waiting for a ride request, here is what you can get compensated for in 2022:

  • Up to $100,000 in bodily injury per accident (maximum $50,000 per person)
  • Up to $25,000 for property damage

Note that we’ve emphasized Uber or Lyft drivers that are specifically clocked into work. If you are in an accident with a Uber or Lyft driver that isn’t on the job, your compensation will be influenced by their personal insurance instead. 

If the Other Driver is at Fault

If the opposing driver is found to be at fault and negligent, their personal insurance may pay for accident-related losses.  In the case that the other driver is at fault, the case becomes similar to if you got injured while in your own car.

However, the caveat is that if the at-fault driver is under/uninsured or you are the victim of a hit-and-run situation. In these situations, some states will require that Uber or Lyft take responsibility and offer compensation instead. This compensation will vary from state to state.

Will Uber and Lyft’s Terms of Service Prevent You From Filing?

Signing up for any rideshare requires that you agree to a Terms of Service (ToS). Uber and Lyft don’t prohibit you from seeking compensation through their insurance, but you can’t file a lawsuit directly against Uber or Lyft – at least in the traditional sense.

Uber and Lyft’s terms of service require riders to resolve most legal disagreements with that company through binding arbitration. This means that you agree to settle any disputes in front of an arbitrator who decides the outcome instead of a formal court. There are exceptions to the arbitration agreement which include:

  • Claims brought in small claims court
  • Claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment
  • Claims related to the loss of certain intellectual property.

What is the Deadline to File an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?

Uber or Lyft accident claims do not have a specific time frame beyond what’s expected for other personal injury claims. If you’ve been caught in an Uber or Lyft accident in San Antonio, Texas make sure to file within 2 years (Civ. Prac. & Rem Code, Title 2, Ch. 16, Sec. 16.003). 

If you live in a different state, the statute of limitations – the amount of time before a party can be no longer liable – ranges anywhere between 1 and 6 years. Of course, the sooner you file your claim, the greater the odds of receiving a higher compensation package.

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Finding the perfect personal injury lawyer in San Antonio can be stressful. We get that, and we’d like to lend a hand. Browse LegalStream’s personal injury lawyer directory of 100+ lawyers and present your case right on our platform! We want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

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Can I File a Personal Lawsuit Claim Without a Lawyer?

Being injured because of someone else’s negligence is never good. The process to claim compensation can be expensive, and in order to cut costs, many wonder: can I file a personal lawsuit claim without a lawyer? Legally, yes. You have every right to represent yourself and file a claim.

But, it’s important to understand that representing yourself is far from easy. The duties of a personal injury lawyer are pushed onto you, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into. 

This blog post will take you through the personal injury claim process, and what you’ll need to do if you want to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer. To help, we’ve broken this post into these sections:

  • What is a Personal Injury Claim?
  • Assessing What Compensation You Are Owed
  • The Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim
  • Pros and Cons of Filing a Claim Without a Personal Injury Lawyer
  • How to Pay for a Personal Injury Lawyer Without Risk

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims are filed when one person (which would be you, if you’re filing) is injured, and someone else is responsible for that harm. The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to seek monetary compensation that is paid through the responsible person’s insurance company. The most common areas of compensation include paying for medical bills, pain and suffering, and ongoing medical expenses.

But, here’s a common misconception about personal injury claims that you need to know. Sustaining an injury isn’t enough to pursue a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are only filed if you sustain damages that meet the threshold of a “serious injury”. 

This threshold varies from state to state, but are usually those that have a profound and long-lasting impact on you and your family. Examples of a serious injury include:

  • Severe scarring or disfigurement
  • Injury resulting in loss of bodily function
  • Injury resulting in loss of use of limb, organ, or any other body part
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

It’s worth noting that these are just examples. A personal injury claim can be filed even if you don’t fit into the above scenarios, provided that they fit into your state’s definition of a serious injury. 

Being injured because of someone else’s negligence is never good. The process to claim compensation can be expensive, and in order to cut costs, many wonder: can I file a personal lawsuit claim without a lawyer? Legally, yes. You have every right to represent yourself and file a claim.

But, it’s important to understand that representing yourself is far from easy. The duties of a personal injury lawyer are pushed onto you, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into. 

This blog post will take you through the personal injury claim process, and what you’ll need to do if you want to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer. To help, we’ve broken this post into these sections:

  • What is a Personal Injury Claim?
  • Assessing What Compensation You Are Owed
  • The Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim
  • Pros and Cons of Filing a Claim Without a Personal Injury Lawyer
  • How to Pay for a Personal Injury Lawyer Without Risk

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims are filed when one person (which would be you, if you’re filing) is injured, and someone else is responsible for that harm. The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to seek monetary compensation that is paid through the responsible person’s insurance company. The most common areas of compensation include paying for medical bills, pain and suffering, and ongoing medical expenses.

But, here’s a common misconception about personal injury claims that you need to know. Sustaining an injury isn’t enough to pursue a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are only filed if you sustain damages that meet the threshold of a “serious injury”. 

This threshold varies from state to state, but are usually those that have a profound and long-lasting impact on you and your family. Examples of a serious injury include:

  • Severe scarring or disfigurement
  • Injury resulting in loss of bodily function
  • Injury resulting in loss of use of limb, organ, or any other body part
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

It’s worth noting that these are just examples. A personal injury claim can be filed even if you don’t fit into the above scenarios, provided that they fit into your state’s definition of a serious injury. 

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you have considered filing your personal injury claim on your own, we’d like to advise against it. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best choice you can make because you need to consider the long-term and the overall compensation package.

 Personal injury lawyers are great because they have the experience and skill set to create an evidence-packed claim that offers compelling testimony of your losses. In the end, you’ll receive a greater compensation package – offsetting whatever fees or costs you may have paid.

But, that leads to another question: how much will it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at something known as a contingency fee – a form of payment that personal injury lawyers receive in lieu of traditional per-hour services.

What is a Contingency Fee?

Some jobs are paid hourly, while others are paid through a pre-determined yearly salary. Contingency fees are neither, and are quite specific to personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyers. For personal injury lawyers, a contingency fee is a sum of money that is only paid if you end up winning your case.

How is this sum of money determined? There are two variations of the contingency fee model that you should be aware of. The more common is known as a contingency fee arrangement and the other is known as a contingency hourly arrangement.

  • A contingency fee arrangement means that you’ll provide a percentage of your compensation package – if you win – to your personal injury lawyer. If a claimant wins approximately $90,000 and the contingency fee percentage is set at 33% – you’ll receive $60,000 while your personal injury lawyer receives $30,000.
  • A contingency hourly arrangement means paying an hourly amount to your personal injury lawyer if they win your case. If you win your case, your personal injury lawyer charges $200 per hour and they work for 10 hours, you’ll be paying them $2,000 in total.

In both contingency fee arrangements and contingency hourly arrangements, you won’t need to pay at all in the case you lose. After entering either of these agreements, costs such as court filing fees, paying for copies of medical records, expert witness depositions, and more are usually covered.

In the case of a win, your personal injury lawyer will receive a check from the defendant or their insurer. Before sending the check to you, your personal injury lawyer will deduct whatever fees they are owed for their services. It is important to receive a note describing how much they withheld. from the check and why.

How Much is A Contingency Fee?

The size of your personal injury lawyer’s contingency fee is influenced by whether you settle the case before or after filing a lawsuit. Pursuing a formal lawsuit in court will require more work from your personal injury lawyer, and thus, a larger piece of the pie. Here’s how contingency fees are usually broken down:

  • Settling before a lawsuit – The personal injury lawyer will usually get a third of the settlement amount. Most personal injury claims will resolve before litigation, meaning that this 33% percentage is what most plaintiffs will end up paying.
  • Settling after a lawsuit – Once a lawsuit enters the equation, the contingency fee will go up to 40%. Note that the percentage might be slightly higher or lower and that it depends on the personal injury lawyer that you’re working with.

If you find yourself working with a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio that utilizes a contingency hourly arrangement, it’s helpful to know that most lawyers will charge between $100 to $400 an hour. Most personal injury cases will require 8 to 12 hours of work.

How are Contingency Fees and Rates Documented?

Per the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 1.5. states that contingent fee agreements must be in writing and signed by the client. As a client, it is important that you take the time to read through contingency agreements carefully. This written agreement will cover the percentage or hourly rates that you are expected to pay, along with other obligations if applicable.

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Contingency models are great because they are risk-free for personal injury victims. We’d also like to do our part and connect you with personal injury lawyers in San Antonio that can meet your legal needs. 

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Can I Sue Someone Who Kills or Injures My Pet?

We all know that a dog is a man’s (or, anyone’s really) best friend. So can a cat, fish, or bird, and the list goes on. We love our little pals, and it’s really heartbreaking if something bad happens to them. 

It’s even worse when we suspect our pet’s suffering to be needless and caused by another person or their animal.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you may be wondering: can I sue someone who harms or kills my pet? The short answer is yes. Depending on your specific case, you may be able to receive compensation in a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

In this blog, we’ll dive into who to contact and what you’ll need in order to get justice and compensation for your pet.

Which Type of Lawyer Do I Need to See?

If you would like to file a claim against someone who kills or harms your companion animal, seek out a lawyer experienced in:

  • Animal law
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage (an animal is considered “property” under the law)

Any of these lawyers can guide you through your animal-related claims process. 

This includes alerting you of deadlines and timeframes, and local laws that influence your situation. They’ll also assist to fill out your claim, and work towards getting you compensation for the situation.

What Compensation Can I Get?

When looking at compensation for the death or harm of a companion animal, it tends to vary state-by-state. As a general rule, here are the forms of compensation available in most states:

  • The cost of treatment for an injured pet
  • In the case of death, the “market value” cost to replace your pet
  • Non-market value costs based on an animal’s special skills or qualities (e.g. breeding animals, service animals, etc.)

Two other forms of compensation with special notice include the sentimental value of the animal and the emotional distress caused to the owner. 

The legality of both forms of compensation varies by state, but most states are starting to open up their compensation criteria beyond just economic value (e.g. Plotnik v. Miehaus in California). At the moment, Texas does not offer compensation on the grounds of sentimental or emotional harm.

How Long Do I Have to File a Court Action?

For all types of claims – excluding a claim against a government agency – you will almost always have at least one year from the date of harm to take action. 

This extends to all states, and you really shouldn’t have a problem provided that you file a claim (with supporting evidence) within this one-year period.

Should I Press Charges Against Someone Who Kills or Harms My Pet?

While our common instinct may be to press charges and try to seek justice for our pets, know that pressing charges may not be the best financially smart option. Considering lawyer fees and court costs, you may lose more money than you recover.

If possible, work with a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio that works on contingency. 

The key to understanding whether or not you should press charges is usually based on three factors:

  • The value of your pet
  • The amount of evidence you have
  • The maximum compensation limits by state

The Value of Your Pet

It’s hard to think of your precious pet in terms of just numbers, but remember that the court tends to view pets as property. As such, it’s important to understand the “market value” of your pet that can be recovered in the case of death. Here are factors that influence the market value of your pet:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Overall health
  • Training/Intelligence
  • Replacement cost (as seen on the current market)

Tip: Make sure to ask for your pet’s medical records, and have documents related to your pet on hand. You and your lawyer will need to provide the relevant documents to justify the value of your pet that appears on your claim.

The Amount of Evidence You Have

The same situation can be awarded a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars based on the amount of evidence you have. If you have strong evidence that someone purposely or willingly neglected or harmed your pet, the court will likely compensate you for more.

The Maximum Compensation Limits by State

All states have a maximum limit in regards to pet-related compensation. If offered, this is separated into economic and non-economic values. This is a topic that a lawyer will likely inform you about when having your initial meeting. 

If you would like to learn about the maximum compensation rules in your state, you can also visit your state’s official website.

In most cases, a lawyer will let you know if the case is worth taking on in terms of cost and reward.

Find a Personal Injury Lawyer With LegalStream

More than anything, we want you to get justice and find closure. Compensation won’t reduce your suffering, but it can help you financially recover what has been lost. LegalStream hosts the largest personal injury lawyer directory in San Antonio and other states. We’re also completely free!

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7 Benefits For Choosing LegalStream to Manage Your Personal Injury Case in San Antonio

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are almost 410,000 reported personal injury cases being filed per year. That’s scary stuff.

It’s frustrating to know that the situation wasn’t your fault, yet you still gain the hassle of filing a report to get compensated. LegalStream makes getting justice and compensation easier for lawyers and – of course – claimants. 

Below are the 7 benefits of LegalStream that we stand proudly behind.

  1. Free for Claimants

Claimants are people who have been wronged and would like to file a claim. They can browse through LegalStream’s large directory of personal injury lawyers in San Antonio and reach out to any of the 100 — and growing — lawyers on our platform. 

LegalStream is free and will remain 100% free for claimants because we want to help you get the settlement you deserve.

  1. Research Made Easy

LegalStream’s directory of personal injury lawyers helps make research easy. It only takes a few seconds to input your location and search criteria. Then, click search and scroll through the results.

If you’d like more information on the personal injury lawyers on your page, all you need to do is click on their name. Once you do, you’ll get:

  • Firm name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Specialty
  • Professional license number
  • Bio/Mission statement

you work with a lawyer, you’ll likely need to send them sensitive and personal information. If that makes you nervous, you can rest easy with LegalStream! 

LegalStream follows secure HIPAA compliance, which means that we adhere to all legal standards to keep sensitive patient data safe. When you send documents over our HIPAA-compliant user portal, your information won’t end up in the wrong hands.

  1. Ability to Present Your Case Quickly

Setting up an appointment and attending that meeting just to find out things aren’t compatible – it’s a waste of time for you and your lawyer.

With our “Present Your Case” feature, claimants fill out a simple questionnaire to send to the lawyers that they like. Each personal injury lawyer that received a questionnaire will look over your case, and see if they’d be a good fit to take you on.

  1. Unites Communication With Lawyers and Healthcare Providers

Ever call an attorney who’ll refer you to a doctor who then refers you to another doctor? It’s infuriating. If only there was a way for you, your personal injury lawyer, and health provider solution in San Antonio to communicate. Enter LegalStream.

All updates from lawyers and medical specialists are tracked live, so miscommunication becomes a thing of the past. Your personal injury case is important to you, so we want you to stay in the loop as well.

  1. Never Lose Important Documents Again

Picking up your phone to call your lawyer. Going to your email to confirm a Google calendar meeting. Heading to your fax machine to send over a document. You and your lawyer are bound to lose important paperwork if you keep switching platforms like this. 

With LegalStream, you communicate, upload, and store important documents all on one centralized platform. This makes the often confusing claims process less confusing!

  1. Streamlined Lawyers to Meet Your Needs Faster

We guarantee our lawyers and healthcare specialists can help you reach a resolution faster than anyone you’d find on Google. Why? Professionals in our directory understand our process and leverage our systems to make things simple for you. It only takes 6 steps to get everything you need:

  1. Verify who you are by creating an account
  2. Upload case documents in our HIPAA-compliant portal
  3. Preferred lawyers will review and take your case
  4. Your lawyer will connect you with preferred medical specialists
  5. Upload medical records and assisting case documentation
  6. Appointments for treatment within 48 hours

Don’t think it could be this simple? Try our platform, and you’ll find out.

Try LegalStream for Free

Contrary to popular opinion, filing a personal injury claim doesn’t need to be complex. We don’t want claimants to feel discouraged and to lose out on the compensation that they deserve. So, we’ve made the process easier.

Present your case today, and try LegalStream for free!

 

COVID Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Is it Possible to Win?

Between now and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – the United States has seen 92,493,791 cases of the virus and 1,052,935 deaths. Everyday people have filled out at least 1,000 wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19.

In the case that you’d like to file a wrongful death lawsuit related to COVID-19, we’d like to offer insight on this topic. Is it possible to win a COVID wrongful death lawsuit? The short answer is yes, but there’s more to consider.

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • Examples of COVID-19 employer neglect
  • Examples of COVID-19 nursing home neglect
  • A note about workers compensation in Texas
  • Current COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits 
  • Should you file a COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit?
  • Wrongful death documents needed to file a claim
  • How a lawyer can help with your COVID-10 wrongful death lawsuit

Examples of COVID-19 Employer Neglect

Regardless of what state you’re from, the legal expectation for employers is that they keep their employees safe. The most common type of COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit is one where an employee gets COVID-19 at work because there were a lack of procedures in place to protect them. Examples include:

  • Failure to provide personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves, shields, and sanitizers
  • Failure to screen employees for possible COVID-19 infection
  • Failure to inform employees about infected co-workers
  • Failure to implement social distancing practices
  • Enforcement of policies that contradict the concerns of official health organizations
  • Improper sanitization of equipment and spaces

Examples of COVID-19 Nursing Home Neglect

Since the onset of the pandemic, nursing home populations have especially been at risk of casualties related to COVID-19. Many nursing homes were unprepared, and some intentionally cut corners when it came to safety protocols. If you know of a nursing home that failed to implement any of these procedures, they may be liable for the death of a loved one:

  • Close common areas
  • Enforce hand sanitizer and hand washing procedures
  • Provide personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves, shields, and sanitizers
  • Provide COVID-19 safety training to caregivers
  • Quarantine infected residents
  • Disinfect the facility
  • Screen caregivers, employees, and visitors for COVID-19

A Note About Workers Compensation in Texas

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides benefits to employees that suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has been included on this list of illnesses.

If your loved one resided in Texas and did not opt out of the workers’ compensation system, you can not legally sue the third party for neglect. Instead, you must file on your loved one’s behalf through the workers’ compensation system. 

However, note that there are certain exceptions that may allow you to sue. This includes intentional negligence, certain types of accidents, or injuries caused by third parties like construction and equipment manufacturers

In the case that your loved one did opt out of workers’ compensation before starting their job, they (and thus, you) still have the right to sue regardless of exemptions. If this is the case, get in contact with a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio.

Current COVID-19 Wrongful Death Lawsuits to Watch

If you believe a loved one has wrongly died due to COVID-19 negligence, you aren’t alone. Thousands of cases have been filled since the start of the pandemic, and we’d like to bring attention to some. This section will look at different claims, with the goal of helping you become better informed on pressing COVID-19 charges.

Gutierrez vs. Publix Super Markets Inc.

Gerardo Gutierrez was a 70-year-old Publix deli counter worker who died after allegedly contracting COVID-19 from an infected co-worker. The family of deceased Gerardo Gutierrez filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the supermarket chain forbade their employees from wearing face masks and using gloves in the early stages of the pandemic.

At the moment, the case is still ongoing. Earlier in 2021, a Florida judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit per Publix’s request.

Iniguez vs. Aurora Packing Company, Inc.

This is a unique case that shows how complex COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits can go. 

Erika Iniguez, who is the administrator of the estate of Esperanza Ugalde, now deceased, filed a lawsuit against the meatpacking company that employed Ugalde’s husband – Ricardo Ugalde. The claim argues that Ricardo Ugalde contracted COVID-19 due to workplace negligence, and in turn, he infected his wife who later died. The Kane County Circuit Court has since dismissed Iniguez’s lawsuit with prejudice.

New Jersey to Pay Millions Due to Alleged Gross Negligence

While not a specific case, New Jersey’s Murphy Administration agreed to settle 119 veteran negligence claims for 53 million dollars in January 2022. The Murphy Administration admits that their negligence had contributed to the deaths of more than 100 veterans within their several state-run veteran homes. Several more claims are being filed in regards to this issue.

Should You File a COVID-19 Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

As you can see, there have been different outcomes to the COVID-19 cases that have so far gone to trial. Truthfully, we can’t guarantee that you win your case – as each case is different – but we believe your cause could be worth fighting for. 

The key factor that the law looks at is intent. To the law, it’s not enough if your loved one just contracted COVID-19 at work. There had to be direct, provable policies and actions (or negligence) in place within the workplace that lead to the COVID-19 contraction, and then death. 

Note: This may be something that a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer can help you assess during a free consultation.

Wrongful Death Documents Needed to File a Claim

While you may need specific documentation based on the terms of your claim, we’d like to cover the general paperwork that you’ll need. Some of these documents may take time to process, so you’ll want to obtain them soon so they can be attached with your claim. 

Documents you need include:

  • A death certificate and any police reports
  • Evidence of a relationship between the victim and the negligent party
  • Tax returns and family records
  • Medical records

A death certificate and any police reports

The death certificate of your loved one can provide accurate information on the time and cause of death as examined by a coroner. If you happened to file police reports in relation to COVID-19 and the negligent party, these police documents should also be submitted with your claim.

Evidence of a relationship between the victim and the negligent party

In order to file claims for negligence, there must be a relationship between your loved one and the negligent party.

In the case of a nursing home COVID-19 wrongful death, it could be as simple as the staff owing the residents a duty of care to do everything in their power to keep residents safe. In the case that the negligent party is an employer, your loved one’s most recent pay stubs, earning statements, and bank statements should suffice. 

Tax returns and family records

To calculate the value of your wrongful death claim, you and/or your lawyer will need to estimate the financial and emotional impact of losing your loved one. For example, if the victim was the head of the household and was the primary source of income, that holds your claim accountable for more compensation. 

Tax returns are the primary document used to determine financial losses. For emotional losses, spouses can claim loss of consortium, and children (and other dependents) can claim loss of parental support. Records of grief counseling and therapy related to wrongful death should also be submitted, if applicable.

Medical records

If your loved one spent time in the hospital after contracting COVID-19 or suffered from any sort of medical malpractice, you need to secure copies of their medical records. These medical records show a clear picture of what happened to your loved one as a result of an employer or other party’s negligence.

If you believe a doctor’s actions killed your loved one, then it is important to request a full autopsy to determine if a medical error was to blame.

How a Lawyer Can Help WIth Your COVID-19 Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you’d like to work with a lawyer to file your COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit, here are potential ways that a lawyer can help you. They may:

  • Help you identify possible acts of negligence in your case
  • Inform you of your choices and offer advice
  • Calculate financial and emotional compensation that you may be entitled
  • File your lawsuit and complete paperwork on your behalf
  • Defend you and your loved one’s rights in the lawsuit

Use LegalStream to find a Lawyer to Represent You

We can’t promise you that your COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit can win, but we know that each case is worth fighting for. If you believe your case can win, we want to help you look for the best personal injury lawyer in San Antonio to represent your case. 

LegalStream’s online directory is completely free to use and can connect you to both personal injury lawyers and healthcare solutions in San Antonio. We wish you luck.

Present your case today!

Common Personal Injury Claims and How LegalStream Can Help

It’s bad enough when you get injured because of a negligent third party. It’s even worse when you bear the responsibility to go through the frustrating claims to get compensated. So, what’s the solution?

As Apple’s trademarked saying goes, there’s an app for that. In this post, we’d like to highlight 5 common personal injury claims and how LegalStream is the app for that.

5 Common Personal Injury Claims

Since these claims are quite common, most general personal injury attorneys in San Antonio will have enough experience to help you with these cases. The 5 personal injury claims that attorneys fill out the most include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Product liability
  • Premise liability
  • Slip & fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice

Motor vehicle accidents

Car accident claims are the most common personal injury claim that gets filed in the United States every year. Note that accidents with other motor vehicles occur too. This includes boats, motorbikes, airplanes, buses, and so forth. Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of drivers driving under the influence or carelessness.

Find yourself in a motor vehicle accident, and you want to be compensated? There’s an app for that! We recommend using a free service like LegalStream to find a personal injury attorney in San Antonio in just a few minutes.

Product liability

Reputable companies and businesses have strict guidelines to ensure that their products are safe before they reach the market. But, accidents and oversight can still happen. Product liability means that defective products reached consumers, and those defects caused harm or damage. If a consumer is harmed as the result of the product, it would make the distributor or manufacturer liable.

Premise liability

Premise liabilities are those that happen on another person’s property. This property extends beyond just a house and can include malls, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and so forth. Most premise liability claims are filed because of dangerous conditions or faulty equipment that the victim wasn’t aware of within that premise.

Slip & fall accidents

Slip and fall accidents are way more dangerous than they originally seem. These accidents can cause damage to areas like the neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and even the head. In fact, slips and falls are common culprits of brain injuries and hip fractures which both require immediate medical attention.

Need to connect to attorneys and health provider solutions in San Antonio? There’s an app for that. LegalStream creates a 3-way communication channel to connect you to attorneys and health provider solutions in San Antonio so that you get the appropriate medical help as soon as possible.

Medical malpractice 

Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician or nurse that deviates from acceptable norms of practice and causes harm. Examples include surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, prescription errors, and improper treatment. Most medical malpractice claims are brought up because healthcare professionals failed to deliver competent care, either intentionally or by mistake. 

Note: When submitting medical documents for your claim, make sure the website or client portal you are using is HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliance means that your sensitive health data is safeguarded and protected. There’s an app for that. If you’re using LegalStream for your case, know that our portal is 100% HIPAA compliant.

We’re LegalStream – There’s an App for That

keep calm there is an app

Need to find and connect with attorneys and healthcare provider solutions in San Antonio? There’s an app for that. LegalStream is that app in case you haven’t caught on. In all seriousness, we’re proud to make the claims process easier and free.

Start by browsing LegalStream’s online directory of personal injury attorneys in San Antonio, and reach out directly through the platform. 

Present your case!

 

P.S. Legal wanted us to add that “There’s An App for That” is a registered, legal trademark of Apple Inc, and it’s use here is not intended to promote a sale, as our platform is completely free to all claimants who chose to use it.”