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Midland and Odessa Personal Injury Attorney Michael Grossman

People who come to Texas, with their pre-conceived Hollywood notions of what Texas is like are often disappointed when they are in Dallas, Houston, or Austin, because those towns are not what comes to mind when people think of Texas. Sadly, for those folks, the place they really had in mind was Midland and Odessa, the real heart of Texas.

With small-town values in relatively large cities, the oil industry, and people who make a living by making things, Midland and Odessa epitomize Texas values. Another area where Midland is the embodiment of Texas values is when it comes to seeking justice for those who have been injured by another’s negligence. In legal circles, Midland has an unfair reputation as being a tough place to get justice for injured victims. We believe that this reputation is completely undeserved.

What many other attorneys fail to realize is that while the folks in Midland don’t take kindly to their legal malarkey and showmanship, we believe in justice just as much, if not more so than people in any other part of Texas. The big difference in Midland is that folks want evidence of wrongdoing more than they want a good show before they order someone to hand over their hard-earned money to those who have been wrongfully injured.

In this article, award-winning Midland personal injury attorney Michael Grossman explains what the law says about compensating injured victims and how his approach to legal practice has been helping the injured in Midland and Odessa get justice for over 25 years.

Questions answered on this page:

  • How do I get compensation for my injury?
  • What types of compensation are available to me?
  • Do I need an attorney to get compensation?

What exactly does Texas law say about your injury?

Many people are surprised to learn that the law does not automatically force those whose negligent injures another person to pay that person compensation. In fact, the only two ways that a person or business can be forced to pay compensation for the damages that they have caused are a jury verdict or a negotiated settlement.

The only way to obtain a jury verdict is with a personal injury lawsuit. To have a valid personal injury lawsuit three conditions must be met. They are:

  • The defendant owed the injury victim a duty
  • The victim failed in their duty
  • This failure caused and resulted in the victim’s injury

Those three conditions may make a personal injury lawsuit seem like a simple matter. Of course, reality is that these cases are much more complex. However, when they are broken down step by step they are much easier to understand.

Midland personal injury attorney Michael Grossman

The Victim Was Owed a Duty

This element of an injury lawsuit is meant to ensure that the person who is pursued for compensation is the correct person. For instance, suppose that a person drowns in a crowded pool that has a lifeguard on duty.

In theory, anyone at the pool could have potentially saved the drowning victim, preventing their death. However, the other people who were at the pool at the time have no legal duty to the drowned person. It wouldn’t make sense to sue someone else at the pool just because they had more money than the lifeguard or the pool operator.

Since lifeguards are hired to ensure that pools are safe for swimmers and to intervene in dangerous situations, the lifeguard has a duty to make sure that people do not get injured. Therefore, in this situation, most likely the lifeguard and their employer would have some liability for the accident.

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The victim failed in their duty

This is perhaps the simplest step. In our hypothetical situation, the lifeguard has a duty to look after people at the pool and if someone dies that is a compelling bit of evidence that they failed in their duty.

An example of when someone may have owed a duty but did not fail in that occurs in many construction accidents. Employers have a duty to ensure that their workers have a safe work environment. Suppose that a company is getting a delivery from an outside vendor and an employee is struck, did the employer fail in their duty?

The answer is likely no. While the employer had a duty to provide a safe work environment, this duty is not blindly applied. The question becomes could a reasonable person foresee that a third-party would come along and hit the employee? In most instances, the answer to this question is no. However, if there had been safety issues with third-party vendors in the past, then an argument could be made that the employer failed in their duty. Like much of personal injury law, it is very fact specific, which means that no two cases are exactly the same.

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The failure of the duty resulted in a person’s injuries

This element presupposes that injuries occurred. One reason that personal injury cases receive a lot of bad press is that many cases are filed when no actual injury occurred. Luckily, most of these lawsuits are dismissed before they ever reach a jury.

Up until this point, what we have established is that someone owed a duty and they failed in that duty. While it can be scary or frustrating when these conditions are met, (picture a car that runs a red light, but doesn’t hit anyone), unless someone is actually injured there is no personal injury case.

At Grossman Law Offices we get a lot of phone calls from folks who have been in minor accidents, but suffered no injuries, yet they still wish to file suit. In almost all of those cases, we advise the potential client that they should be thankful that they weren’t hurt, but they really don’t have a personal injury lawsuit.

This is because the only means that civil law affords victims to hold wrongdoers accountable is money. Without an injury, or damages that require money to make the victim whole, the legal system does not have a remedy. If there is no remedy, there is no case.

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That’s great, but do I have a case?

As we mentioned before, personal injury law can be very fact specific. If you have been injured and you suspect another person’s negligence is the reason for your injuries, there is no need to try and figure out if your case meets the necessary elements of a personal injury lawsuit before reaching out to an attorney. In fact, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, without experience in the law, many people are not in a position properly evaluate the legal merits of their case. Heck, even lawyers can make mistakes either understanding or applying the law. Secondly, the evidence needed to prove the elements of your case starts to disappear, get lost, or degrades immediately after your accident. The sooner an attorney is involved, the more evidence can be gathered and preserved.

Since evidence is the loudest voice in personal injury law, involving an attorney as soon as is practical is vital to maximizing your chances of recovering compensation.

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What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover?

Knowing how to recover damages for your accident is only half of the battle. Of equal importance is knowing what damages can be recovered. One of the basic facts of life when you are in a lawsuit is that the defense is not going to help your cause. This means that even if they know you are eligible for certain damages, they will not tell you. That is one of the main reasons that people with attorneys recover more compensation after accidents than people who do not have them.

Under Texas law, the available classes of damages are clearly defined. For simplicity’s sake, it is easiest to group them as economic and non-economic damages. Both types of damages are equally legitimate, their difference lies in how the damages are calculated. In many respects economic damages are priced the same way as bread, whereas non-economic damages are like trying to place a value on love or friendship.

Damages are economic damages if they can be priced independently in a market. Just like you can go to a grocery store if you want to know the price of bread, economic damages can be independently calculated by parties who aren’t in the lawsuit. For instance lost wages can be shown with pay stubs and time cards. Medical costs can be proven with bills. Even things like the loss of spousal services can be shown by pricing the cost of having household tasks performed by an outside company. Other economic damages can include loss of future income and property damages.

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The problem with these type of damages isn’t that they cannot be properly valued, but many defendants find it easier to ignore them when making settlement offers. It is almost unheard of for clients without attorneys to receive compensation for the loss of spousal services, such as cooking, cleaning, and yard-work. However, for many, including the disabled and the elderly, these services are vital and can only be replaced at considerable cost.

If insurance companies ignore a few categories of economic damages, you would think that they have never heard of non-economic damages. While recognized by the law, proving non-economic damages such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium is a sobering task, even for most attorneys.

The key to recovering non-economic damages is providing a rational basis for your demand. We have all read news stories about people asking for seemingly ridiculous pain and suffering damages, in what appears to be a dubious lawsuit. Experienced attorneys know to expect this kind of reaction when requesting non-economic damages.

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The key to recovery and convincing the jury of the merit of your demands for compensation is to take an abstract concept and make it more concrete. Defense attorneys will try and paint non-economic damages in terms of a callous, greedy plaintiff placing a price on a loved one’s life or health.

Experienced personal injury attorneys will re-frame the issue by asking a simple question, “How much would someone have to pay you to endure the injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of the loved one that my client has had to endure?” Seen in this light, compensating victims for what they have endured becomes a matter of justice. The basis for compensation is not an arbitrary demand, but a need for justice and compensation that most juries can empathize with.

The biggest rule for damages is that you never get what you don’t ask for. This is just one of many reasons that clients who do not have attorneys often receive 4 to 5 times less in compensation than those who hire legal representation. When a person is trying to overcome a serious accident, every dollar becomes crucial to their recovery.

Need some advice? Our attorneys are available to talk 24/7, completely free of charge. Type in your number, click "call me", and we'll be on the phone in no time.
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Grossman Law Offices: Experience you can trust.

Personal Injury attorney Michael Grossman has been practicing in Midland and Odessa for over 25 years. During that time he, and the other lawyers at Grossman Law Offices, have represented literally thousands of injury victims in Midland and throughout Texas. Unlike many other firms, personal injury law is all that Grossman Law Offices does. By concentrating on this specific area of the law, Michael Grossman and his attorneys have an unparalleled grasp of how the law works in the real world.

The types of cases Midland personal injury attorney Michael Grossman most commonly handles include:

Other areas of personal injury law that Grossman Law Offices also deal in include train, bus, and aviation accidents, as well as injuries caused by defective products. If you’ve been injured in another type of accident, feel free to inquire about whether or not it is a personal injury case.

Midland personal injury attorney Michael Grossman fights for you

For most people who have been injured by another’s negligence, their personal injury lawsuit is the single biggest legal case they will ever be involved in. When the stakes are this high, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows not only the law, but Midland as well.

Midland personal injury attorney Michael Grossman has spent over a quarter of a century fighting for the injured. He knows how important it is for your financial well-being to receive compensation for your injuries. An injury doesn’t have to ruin your life. Begin the process of recovering, both physically and financially by calling us at (432) 203-0229. We answer the phone anytime, day or night.

If you’ve been injured in Midland, you may be interested in these related articles:

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