Killeen Personal Injury Attorney Michael Grossman
To say that Killeen is a fast growing city is an understatement. Since the year 2000, Killeen has almost doubled in size. While this rapid growth is welcome by most in the community and provides greater opportunities for local residents, it does come with a cost.
Even growth half as slow as that experienced by Killeen is enough to stress the infrastructure of any community. Add to that an influx of new business, not all of them honest, and what you end up with is a recipe for more people suffering injuries.
While some of these injuries are the result of accidents, a fair number are the product of someone else’s negligence. When people negligently injure someone else, the law holds them accountable for their actions and allows victims to obtain compensation for their injuries. In our experience, the law is consistent with the values of Killeen and Temple residents, particularly holding people accountable for their actions.
In this article, Killeen personal injury attorney Michael Grossman discusses what kinds of accidents people can recover compensation for as well as some of the things they should look for when hiring a personal injury attorney.
Questions answered on this page:
- What kinds of accidents for the basis of most personal injury lawsuits?
- What qualities should I look for in a personal injury attorney?
- Do I need an attorney to obtain compensation?
Common Areas of Personal Injury Law
Contrary to what some tort reformers may have you believe, obtaining compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is not just about finding someone with deep pockets and trying to “pin the blame” on them. Such a caricature distorts the field of personal injury law, portraying it as something akin to the Wild West, where personal injury attorneys are the villains wearing black.
The plain fact of the matter is that personal injury law is older than the United States, with its roots in English common law. The idea is that absent a written law, we still owe one another a duty to be careful in certain situations and make sure no one gets hurt. Over time, the Texas Legislature has had its say by refining the common law with specific rules that our elected representatives see fit to implement.
It still remains that based upon what a person or business is doing at a particular moment, they have obligations to engage in safe behavior and not injure other citizens. When they do, the law allows victims to pursue compensation through personal injury lawsuits.
Common grounds for lawsuits include:
- Car Accidents:
This is the type of personal injury scenario that most people are familiar with. There are literally hundreds of thousands of car accidents in Texas each year. Thankfully, the vast majority of car accident victims have only minor property damage and no injuries. However, insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing injuries and ignoring other rightful damages claims, like lost wages.
For claims involving property damage, there is rarely a need to retain a lawyer, however if there are substantial non-property injuries, it is best to consult an attorney about your case.How To Tell When a Car Accident Injury or Fatality Is Caused By a Defect Read More >
- Truck Accidents:
While not as common as car accidents, commercial truck accidents come with their own unique challenges. The first is that commercial trucks are required to carry at least $1,000,000 of insurance if they operate in Texas, meaning that the stakes are so high for an insurance company that they will never admit their client’s responsibility.
The strong-arm tactics that insurance companies employ in these situations, including tracking estranged family members to dig up dirt on the victim, data mining their social media sites, and other behaviors are par for the course when dealing with commercial truck insurers. The only way to fight back is with an experienced truck accident attorney who knows their games and how to beat them to get the compensation that victims so desperately need.
- Drunk Driving Accidents:
Few types of personal injury accidents are as frustrating as drunk driving accidents. While in any personal injury case, the accident could have been prevented, in drunk driving accidents the only things that stopped the accident from being prevented was the selfishness and stupidity of the drunk driver, coupled with the greed and indifference of an alcohol provider.
The second part of that equation is crucial in getting victims all of the compensation they are entitled to. Many attorneys will sign up a drunk driving case and only pursue the insurance company of the drunk driver. They never even bother to inquire about where the drunk driver got their alcohol. This is a shame, because Texas law holds alcohol providers who unlawfully serve drunk patrons liable for the damages that result from that alcohol service. Essentially, inexperienced personal injury attorneys let these bad actors off the hook entirely.How the trucking industry stacks the deck in their favor Read More >
- Dram Shop Law:
This area of the law is related to, but not exactly the same as the dram shop provisions that affect many drunk driving cases.
Put most simply, Texas law holds alcohol providers responsible for injuries that occur as the result of unlawful alcohol service. This is known as dram shop law. While many dram shop accidents involve drunk driving accidents, dram shop provisions also cover those who suffer injuries due to property defects, fights, or other injuries that result from a bar continuing to serve an obviously intoxicated person.
While dram shop law offers a powerful incentive for alcohol providers to play by the rules, it is a rigorous, detailed oriented field of law. There is no such thing as an easy dram shop case, which is why many law firms will not accept these cases in the first place. More worrisome for victims is that many attorneys who known nothing about dram shop cases will take on these cases in the hopes of bluffing their way to a quick settlement. This rarely works out in the client’s best interests.
Luckily, the Killeen personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have handled literally hundreds of these cases. Few firms in Texas can claim have successfully handled as many cases as our firm. In this area of the law, experience can make all of the difference.
- Workers’ Compensation:
Work accidents are particularly confusing in Texas, since two parallel systems are in place to deal with work-related injuries. The more well known is the workers’ compensation system. This is a no-fault benefits plan, which employers pay into and it provides modest benefits for employees in the event that they get injured on the job.
While workers’ compensation may sound like a straight-forward proposition (and it is for most workers), problems arise when benefits are improperly denied or mishandled. These problems usually have two sources. First, the law permits certain limited defenses that allow insurance companies and employers to deny benefits to injured workers. Most of these exceptions deal with situations where the worker inflicted their own injury, were engaged in horseplay, or weren’t really working at the time of the injury.
The second area where problems arise comes when insurance companies improperly deny treatment. Insurance companies have a vested interest in making sure that costs are kept as low as possible, which can lead to short cuts in treatment. When this occurs, there are systems set up to dispute the insurance company’s ruling within workers’ compensation. These are meant to be navigated by injured workers without the help of attorneys, but the problem is that insurance companies will have attorneys preparing their arguments. In these instances it can make sense to get an attorney just to level the playing field and bolster your chances of success.
- Non-Subscriber Work Accidents:
The other system for injured workers in Texas is referred to as the non-subscriber system. In Texas, employers are given the choice of whether or not they want to participate in the workers’ compensation system. Those who opt-out are referred to as non-subscribers. Opting out saves employers the cost of paying for workers’ compensation insurance, but it also increases their potential liability if their negligence causes a workers’ injuries.
Unlike the workers’ compensation system, employees of non-subscribers are not guaranteed benefits in the event they are injured on the job. Instead, they are free to pursue a work injury claim against their employers. In fact, pursuing such a claim is the only way to compel an employer to provide compensation if you have been injured due to their negligence.
While this system imposes a larger burden on the injured worker, it also raises the possibility that an injured worker can recover the full amount of their damages, which is never possible under workers’ compensation. To pursue this type of claim it is imperative to retain an attorney with experience in this area of the law, like the Killeen personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices.How Employers Often Get Away With Negligence In this article, we explain how work injury law has morphed over the years to protect employers and what can be done about it...Read More >
- Bus Accidents:
While many people might be inclined to think that bus accidents are similar to car accidents and truck accidents, the fact is that they can be even more complicated. Buses are generally required to have more insurance than even commercial trucks, which brings the same problems that recovering from a commercial truck policy have.
However, bus accidents get even more complicated, since many buses are run by government entities. This means that the Texas Tort Claims Act applies to these cases. This act limits the amount of money that can be recovered when suing a government entity, in addition to imposing extra burdens and filing deadlines on injury victims. This creates a need for injury victims to act more quickly than they would in other personal injury lawsuits. In fact, in some instances, injury victims have as little as 45 days to put the government on notice that they intend to sue them.
In such a complex environment it is absolutely imperative to have an attorney who knows the law and knows how to act quickly in order to preserve your right to recover compensation.
- Premises Liability Law:
The law imposes on property owners a duty of care, designed to protect visitors to a property. When the property owner fails in this duty, they can be liable for any ensuing injuries. This area of the law is known as premises liability law.
While these accidents are often mocked in the media as “slip and fall” accidents, the fact is that such accidents have as much merit as any other personal injury lawsuit. For victims of such accidents, the compensation they need is every bit as important as it is for someone who is injured by a drunk driver.
The real problem with this area of the law, and why it requires an attorney to pursue a case, is because it is very fact specific. The duty a property owner owes is based upon a reason for a person being on the property. Grocery store shoppers are owed far more consideration than a burglar would be. Arguments over how to classify a visitor are often at the heart of a premises liability case. The difference between being able to effectively argue why a person was on a property and why they are owed a certain duty of care can be the difference in a victim being compensated or receiving nothing.
Finding the Right Killeen Personal Injury Attorney
We know that many people do not have a lot of lawyers in their circle of friends. This can make the task of finding the right personal injury attorney for your case seem daunting. Most people don’t even know what to look for, they just know that they need to file a lawsuit and they need someone to help them.
The biggest piece of advice we can give anyone looking to hire an attorney is to find someone you feel comfortable working with. If something doesn’t feel right, shop around, there are plenty of lawyers out there. Sadly, many attorneys feel that people get injured to give them a living, not that they make a living by helping injured people. One of the biggest ways this manifests itself is that many attorneys hate to return phone calls, hate to answer questions, and generally feel that you should be grateful that they agreed to help you in the first place.Myth - Insurance Carriers Must Pay Accident Victims This is not how insurance works at all. In this article, we address the myth and explain how insurance policies actually do work...Read More >
Another key to finding the right attorney is to not be afraid to ask about their courtroom experience. For most people, their personal injury lawsuit is the biggest legal case of their lives, they have the right to feel confident that their attorney can win the case, should it go to trial. An attorney who can win in the courtroom is also fantastic leverage when negotiating a fair settlement. When defense attorneys know that your attorney won’t go to trial, they tend to make lower offers of compensation, because your leverage is reduced. The opposite is true when your attorney has a track record of convincing juries, like the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices.
Lastly, find an attorney who will explain things to you in plain, simple, English. Far too many attorneys hide behind the complexity of the law. This may make them feel empowered, but it prevents the client from being able to give effective input concerning big issues, like whether or not to accept a settlement offer. If you don’t understand what your attorney is trying to tell you, you need to find another attorney. If you can’t understand the attorney’s contract to be hired on as your attorney, you should look for another lawyer.
At Grossman Law Offices, we believe that when a law firm is looking out for their clients’ best interests, you only need a single page contract that essentially says, “You’ve hired us, you can fire us, and here’s what we charge.” Many firms have contracts that run 7, 8, even 20 pages. We don’t know what other law firms need with those extra pages, but we’re pretty sure whatever is in there is in their law firm’s best interest, not yours.
Ultimately, a lawsuit is a partnership, where you, the injured, are the senior partner. Whether the case is successful or not will not change most attorney’s lives, but it will have a dramatic impact on yours. We encourage everyone to shop around, do their homework, and only work with an attorney who they feel like they can trust to work on their behalf.Why The Law Holds Bars Accountable For Drunk Driving Accidents Read More >
If you think you might need and attorney, give us a call.
It may seem like circular logic, but the only way to know if your case needs an attorney is to call and speak with one. The law can be both complex and very fact dependent, meaning there are no hard and fast rules about when you need an attorney. One thing that you should know is that many people are surprised when they call Grossman Law Offices and we tell them that they shouldn’t need an attorney for their case.
We give this advice fairly often, because if you’ve been offered fair compensation, or can get it without an attorney, it’s a waste of your precious compensation for you to hire an attorney. At Grossman Law Offices we believe that an attorney should have to work for a living just like everyone else. That means getting clients more compensation than they could get on their own. If we can’t do that, we don’t sign up a case. We’re not in business to get a cut of someone else’s money, we’re in business to practice law.
If you’ve been injured and think that Killeen personal injury attorney Michael Grossman can help, you can call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (254) 781-4086. All consultations are free and without obligation.