Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
How to Find the Best Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
Over 400,000 people across the US file personal injury claims each year. This may sound like a high figure, but it’s nothing compared to the 31 million Americans that seek medical treatment annually. If you have been injured recently, it’s normal to feel scared and helpless. Thinking about the next steps can be challenging and stressful, but a Houston personal injury lawyer can help you get fair and just compensation. This is true regardless of how you were injured. If another party was at fault for what happened to you, financial assistance is available for medical bills and more. Here, we’re going to talk about the things you should consider when you hire a lawyer to take on your case. Read on for information on how to find the best lawyer to assist you during the settlement process.
Understand the Different Types of Personal Injury Lawyers
“Personal injury law” doesn’t cover just one type of case. It is an umbrella term that encompasses all types of legal proceedings pertaining to someone being injured as a result of third-party liability. It is also called “tort law.” After being injured, an individual may open a personal injury (PI) case if another party was at fault for the injury. This fault is usually a result of negligence. For example, a business may be responsible for a customer’s slip and fall injury if they failed to place warning signs for wet floors. If someone slips and hurts themselves in a wet area with no signage, they can sue because proper precautionary measures were not taken to protect them. An employer that fails to rope off hazards is responsible for someone’s injury if a broken machine within that area malfunctions. If they do not properly train employees, they also may be held responsible. Car accidents usually have an at-fault party that failed to follow traffic laws. These drivers might be defendants in PI cases. These are just a few classic examples – the possibilities are nearly limitless. If you can prove that your injury was preventable if reasonable precautions had been taken, you have a valid PI claim. Because there are so many diverse scenarios, there are also multiple types of personal injury lawyers. It’s important that you choose one that has expertise in cases like yours. An attorney with the right experience will know the ins and outs of your situation and the laws that may help you gain compensation.
Car accident lawyers are one of the most common types of tort attorneys. They deal with claims relating to injuries sustained in auto accidents. If you have been hurt in a car wreck, you need to first call 911 and tend to your injuries. After that, however, calling a lawyer is essential. Car crash lawyers will help you prove that the other driver was responsible for your injury. They will assess the scene of the crash, look at diagrams, and take eyewitness accounts. They will also look at security or road camera footage if available. This will help them create a case that will gain your compensation.
Note that there are many different types of compensation that you may be able to obtain from a car crash settlement. Some include:
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Disability payments as a result of the injury (temporary or permanent)
- Money to cover medical expenses
- Pain and suffering damages (in some cases)
You can obtain similar settlement types in any personal injury case depends on the specifics of your situation. These types of compensation are not specific to auto accident injuries.
Semi-truck accident attorneys are similar to car crash injuries. However, they specialize in laws relating to semis. Since the rules of the road are slightly different for semi-truck drivers than commuters, a specialized attorney is a good choice. However, they are the same as car crash cases in many ways. After gathering evidence, your hired lawyer will negotiate with the semi-truck driver’s insurance company. This insurance company will pay the compensation, so they will want to lowball you.
An experienced lawyer that has won cases similar to yours can negotiate a higher price so that you get a fair settlement. |The process for a settlement in any tort case is similar to gaining semi-truck accident compensation. Whether you’re experiencing auto accident injuries or premises liability issues, this is the process that you can expect to undergo after hiring a reputable attorney.
“Premises liability” means that an owner has the implicit responsibility of making their property safe for visitors, employees, and residents. If the owner of the property fails in that mission, someone might be injured. If an accident occurs and you are hurt, opening a premises liability suit is the best way to get compensation. Many premises liability cases come from crumbling stairs, exposed hazards, sanitation issues, poor signage, and slippery floors. However, there are other causes as well. Blunt objects falling, sharp-object-related trauma, and machine-related injuries all may fall under the premises liability category.
Attorneys in these cases will prove that:
- The injured party took reasonable precautions to avoid getting hurt
- The premises owner did not take reasonable precautions to reduce hazards
The more at fault the property owner is, the more compensation you will receive. If you did not take care and keep yourself safe, you may still be entitled to compensation, but it may be lower. You will never know your due unless you hire a Houston personal injury lawyer that specializes in premises liability. These attorneys know safety codes and what property owners need to do to stay up to these standards. They can identify violations, examine every nook and cranny of a building, and assess hazard readiness to get you the most money possible.
Dog bite injuries can be premises liability cases if a property manager fails to leash or train their dog. However, they more often than not are simply their own type of case. These scenarios require specialized dog bite attorneys
Claims aren’t exclusively made against landlords. You also can sue the dog’s owner or homeowners association after a dog bite. Houston personal injury lawyers who have seen hundreds of dog bite cases can help you figure out who the at-fault party is so that you can quickly begin the path to compensation. Many people who suffer from dog bites also face disfigurement and scarring. In addition to other common compensation types like medical bills and lost wages, you may also be entitled to money because of disfigurement.
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Workplace accidents/worker’s compensation
- Purposeful assault (where fault comes from action rather than negligence)
- Wrongful death
What to Look For in a Tort Lawyer
Expertise within your specific niche is the first thing to look for in an experienced personal injury attorney. After all, if you hire someone that practices the wrong kind of law, you’ll get someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of your case. They also probably will never have worked with relevant insurance companies before and will find negotiations challenging. Someone who knows your claim’s specific legal area will not face these challenges. They will ultimately reach a better settlement. However, this is far from the only thing that you should look for when hiring the best lawyer for your case. You will also need to consider where, when, and how your chosen attorney operates.
There are several reasons that each lawyer only operates within specific practice areas. For one thing, the best legal cases take place face-to-face. If you can’t meet with and interact with a lawyer, you’re unlikely to form a connection that leads to the best available compensation. There are also more practical reasons that attorneys operate regionally. Laws differ from state to state. In some cases, they may even differ between various cities or counties. If you were injured in or around Houston, it’s critical that you specifically look for a Houston personal injury lawyer. These attorneys will have the chance to meet up and talk about your case. You can easily explain to them what happened in person. You also will have the chance to establish trust by seeing their office, certificates proving their credentials, and more. Local Houston attorneys will be able to determine what happened more easily as well. They’ll have easy access to the site of the injury, camera footage, and eyewitness accounts. Since all of this evidence is critical when proving fault, you will have a stronger case. They also will know the ins and outs of the law at the site of the injury. This helps legal proceedings move along smoothly since there will be no differences between the laws they know and the laws where you were injured. Everyone will be on the same page.
You never want to hire an attorney who has fewer than 10 years of legal experience. It may sound like a way to save money, but you ultimately will likely lose funds. This is because inexperienced newcomers are unlikely to get as much compensation as possible in your specific scenario.
- Accurately determine how much compensation you can/should receive
- Know how to talk with insurance adjusters to reach a fair settlement
- Understand the language used during negotiations
- Know how to avoid traps that insurance agents may try to weave
- Have interacted with insurance companies/agents before and may already know those that they’re negotiating with This all makes the settlement process smoother and more effective. Newcomers do not have the experience necessary to negotiate this effectively.
When you hire a lawyer with more experience, you also invest in someone who knows local judges. Though only 3-4% of personal injury cases go to trial, it’s critical that you hire someone who knows the ins and outs of the court system. If your case does go to court, they can help you in the best possible way. A newer attorney may never have gone to court before and find themselves in over their heads.
A High-Quality Education
Attorneys need to pass the bar exam in their state in order to be able to practice there. This is yet another reason that hiring someone in Houston is important! A lawyer can also pass the bar in multiple states. Patrick O’Hara, for example, has passed the state bar in Louisiana and California as well as Texas. Make sure that the attorney you choose didn’t just pass the bar, but also graduated from a reputable law school. Ivy league law schools are classics, but private universities like Pepperdine in LA are also top-notch educational institutions. When you’re considering hiring a lawyer, look into their educational background. Do some research and learn more about the university that they graduated from. This will give you an idea about the quality of their education so that you can make a more informed choice.
Awards and Accolades
Awards are not the only measure of success, and there are many good lawyers who have not yet received any accolades. However, earning awards and recognition is a surefire sign of quality. You don’t want to ignore it altogether. Look into the accolades that a lawyer has received before hiring them. If they are widely renowned, you can generally rest easy that you’re making a good choice.
Payment Based on Winning
Payment methods for lawyers aren’t one-size-fits-all. Attorneys can take payment in a variety of ways. Some of them mean that you pay regardless of the case outcome:
- A fixed fee for your specific case (to be paid either upfront or in installments)
- An hourly fee for time spent working on your legal issue
- A down payment up-front and additional fees for future costs and services (called ‘retainer fees’)
However, reputable personal injury lawyers won’t take payment unless they win. This is called a “contingency fee.” The lawyer assisting you only makes money if you win the case. In these situations, you and your local personal injury attorney will agree on a percentage of your winnings that will go to the lawyer. This agreement will be transparent and take place before the case begins. There are no hidden fees. This isn’t just good because it means that you won’t be forced to pay money that you don’t have. It also means that your attorney will have personal motivation to put their all into your specific case. After all, if they don’t win, they don’t get paid anything. It saves money and ultimately leads to better case outcomes.
Payment method matters with tort lawyers, but rates also are important to look into. As we brushed on earlier, you don’t just want to choose someone with low rates because you don’t want to pay. An attorney is an investment, and you want someone who can win. A 10% contingency fee on low compensation will still get you less money overall than a 40% contingency fee on significantly higher compensation. Still, you want to select an attorney that looks reasonable. Don’t choose someone with a high contingency fee if they don’t have the experience to back it up. Compare and contrast various fees to determine what’s reasonable. Do your research and learn about average rates. You don’t want to be scammed or jilted.
Transparency and Communication
Contingency fees are made up-front because transparency is critical in an attorney. You need a lawyer that you can communicate with. This means someone who is:
- Accessible at multiple times of the day
- Quick to get back to you
- Willing to explain legal proceedings to you
- Excited to update you about changes in negotiations
- Willing to inform you about your case status
- Forthcoming about whether new information changes the probable compensation amount
- Always willing to take time and answer questions
These are all signs that you can have a good working relationship with the lawyer assigned to your case.
A Personable Demeanor
Speaking of forming a good professional relationship with your lawyer, you want to hire someone that you actually like. You won’t be best friends with your attorney, but you will spend a lot of time talking with them about your case. Lawsuits are stressful and working with someone you dread talking to will be even more anxiety-inducing. Make sure that your attorney is personable and kind in addition to being forthcoming. You want someone you’re comfortable communicating with regularly. It will make your case more challenging if you are trying to avoid conversation or don’t think that your lawyer cares about your best interests. This may sound like a minor consideration, but it makes a world of difference.
How to Find the Right Houston Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
But how can you find an attorney that does meet all of the most important criteria?
Knowing where to look can be a challenge, but it’s easy to find several options if you know where to start. Luckily, there are several online services that can help you find lawyers that operate within the specific niche of your case.
Talk to Friends and Family
There are a few situations where you might begin your search by talking to friends and family. If you know someone who has been involved in a personal injury case, they may be able to refer you to a good attorney. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to use the same lawyer as them. It just means that they likely found some tort lawyers during their own search that they’re willing to talk to you about. You can ask for their research and use their findings as a starting point for your search. After all, getting started is the most difficult step in the process of finding a lawyer. This can get you over the hurdle.
You also may want to talk with any attorneys that you know personally. If you have any lawyer friends or family members, they may be able to point you in the right direction. There are no situations where someone you know personally should be your lawyer. This is true even in the unlikely event that they practice in the specific area of tort law that you need. It would be a massive conflict of interest. However, they may be able to refer you to good law firms in your area. They have more knowledge of the system and they might have friends and associates that can help.
Look Into Referral Services
If you don’t have any friends who can point you in the direction of reputable lawyers, that is okay! Hope isn’t lost. Online referral services exist to help people find attorneys in the specific personal injury category that they need.
Using these services is a good idea even for those who get recommendations from those around them. They’re professionally made and have all the information you’ll need to begin your search.
These referral services come from the local Houston bar association. The website will list the names of many different legal professionals. The list will be arranged by legal specialty so you can easily find a tort lawyer that works on cases like yours.
Note that different referral services work differently. Some will list any attorney that has good standing with the local/state bar indiscriminately. Others will perform background checks and only list lawyers with good experience and credentials.
In either case, it’s up to you to research the available options. This is the only way that you can make an informed decision. However, referral services are a great starting point for those who don’t know where to begin.
Regardless of where you begin your search, you’ll eventually find it easy to set up a list of attorneys that you might consider working with. In fact, it might be so simple that you wind up with an overwhelmingly long list of lawyers to contend with! Once you have about 10 possibilities on a sheet of paper or in a word document, it’s time to perform some deeper research. There are several reasons that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations:
- They let you see what previous clients had to say
- They give insight into what it’s like to work with a specific attorney/firm
- They show whether or not their experience/credentials are legitimate
- They give concrete information and real anecdotes about their experiences
In short, they let you know what to expect! You can usually begin reading reviews on the law firm’s official website. Any reputable institution like O’Hara will have some of its top testimonials listed on its website. While you’ll want to continue your research to ensure that you’re not just getting biased information, this is a great jumping point. You can click links on those testimonials and get redirected to other review websites. You also may want to check out top lawyer review websites like the Better Business Bureau, NOLO, Lawyers.com, LegalMatch, and FindLaw.
Schedule Consultations and Appointments
At this stage of the process, you’re done with preliminary research. You should only have 3-5 remaining options for potential attorneys. From here on out, the process will be much less daunting because you won’t be juggling so many options. It’s time to schedule consultations with your remaining potential attorneys. This will let you talk to someone at the firm and get a feel for what they can do. You’ll get to know the attorney you’ll be working with to ensure transparency and a good rapport. Most top-notch legal professionals will offer free consultations to potential clients. If a personal injury law firm insists on a paid consultation, that’s a sign that you should look elsewhere.
Good attorneys are excited to take on new prospects and will delight in the challenge of learning about your case. You can schedule consultations on the attorney’s official website. When you’re done browsing, choose a date and time that works for you. Some consultations will take place on video call platforms like Zoom. There is nothing wrong with this convenient option. However, if possible, an in-person consultation is likely the better choice. You can get all of your questions answered effectively and learn more about the attorney. You can also see the practice and boost your confidence in its legitimacy and reputation.
Ask the Right Questions
Your virtual or in-person consultation is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions about your potential lawyer. You’re going to want to first ascertain that they meet the qualifications that you’re looking for in a Houston personal injury attorney. Ask about their practice areas, experience, education, payment method, rates, and communication methods. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You’re going to want to use this time to dig deeper and learn more about the person that you might be hiring. Asking the right questions is vital when gauging whether or not an attorney is a good fit for your case.
Can I See Documentation of Your Credentials?
Most attorneys aren’t lying when they talk about their education and bar exam results. However, asking for documentation to verify their legitimacy can afford you peace of mind. It might sound weird or even rude to ask someone to see their diploma or legal certification. But don’t worry- it isn’t. Any lawyer worth their salt will have them on hand (if not displayed on their wall). They’ll be happy to talk about their experience and credentials with you. If they refuse to show you these documents, that’s a sign that they’re not going to be transparent with you even if they are telling the truth. If your attorney’s website says that they have won any awards, you can also ask them to share those with you. They’ll be happy to reminisce about their accomplishments. It’s a great icebreaker in addition to affording you peace of mind.
What Is Your Rate of Wins to Losses?
If an attorney gets compensation for their client, that constitutes a “win.” Ask your potential lawyer for the percentages of how many times they have won a settlement vs how many times they have lost.
Many attorneys will even be happy to show you a chart, graph, or analytical set that shows how often they win cases.
However, personal injury cases are somewhat murky when it comes to “wins” and “losses.” In some situations, the lawyer might win the case, but negotiations might not have gone as well as they had hoped. You can ask your lawyer about this, too, and see how well they tend to do in situations like yours.
Ask them about cases that are specifically like your own. If you were involved in a T-boning accident, ask your attorney how much they won for other auto accident clients that were T-boned. The more specific the information is, the better.
Have You Taken On Specific Cases Similar to Mine?
No two cases are alike, but some are more similar than others. Ask your prospective attorney about the cases that they’ve dealt with most similar to yours. Determine how much compensation they were able to win from those cases.
You also may want to ask about their methods in those scenarios. How did they manage to prove fault? What was the process like and how did they communicate with the client throughout it?
Answering these questions will give you a better idea of what to expect during the settlement process.
How Much Compensation Can You Get Me?
This question goes hand in hand with the previous one. You also may want to ask what the maximum amount of compensation available in cases like yours is. Then, ask whether or not the maximum is realistic. It likely is not since insurance companies want to lowball you and require negotiations. Your attorney will be able to give you an educated guess about the range of money you can expect from your settlement. Note that this value will never be absolute or guaranteed. It’s an estimate based on prior knowledge and past cases. Your lawyer will turn up new evidence and information as they investigate your case, and those changes will alter the probable amount that you can expect. Regardless, this is still a good question to ask. It can help set your mind at ease so you know that financial compensation is available for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Who Will Be Handling My Case?
In some legal practices, the attorney that you consult with will not be the person handling your case. There are many reasons for this, the main one being that you need to be assigned to a Houston personal injury lawyer with expertise in your case’s area. You should ask the person at your initial consultation whether they will be the one handling your case. If they are, the decision of whether or not to work with the firm will be easier. You’ll already have a feel for what to expect from the attorney-client relationship.
However, if not, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You will likely be paired with a more niche expert or someone with experience in cases like yours. Ask who will be assigned to your case so that you have all the information. You can then research that specific attorney online. In many cases, you also might be able to request a meeting with them personally. Talk with the person you’re consulting with about what options are available.
How Much Time Will You Dedicate to My Case?
Almost every lawyer takes on multiple cases at once. That’s to be expected, and it doesn’t mean that they’re not going to pay adequate attention to you. It’s just important that you know how much they’ll be able to focus on your case ahead of time. Ask how many cases they take on at once. More importantly, though, ask about how many hours they plan to dedicate to your case. Make sure that they’re also on call and accessible regularly in case you need any assistance. Ensure that they know you are a priority and you expect professionalism and dedication.
Do You Want to Take On My Case?
Here, we’re going to talk about the things you should consider when you hire a lawyer to take on your case. Read on for information on how to find the best lawyer to assist you during the settlement process.
We have been involved in personal injury law cases, where millions of dollars have been in dispute. We have represented clients across the country from California to New York. We have a successful record battling insurance companies and big
Look Into O'Hara Law Firm
We at O’Hara know that our Houston personal injury attorneys are the best in Houston. However, it makes sense that you wouldn’t just take our word for it. Bias is a real and legitimate concern, and it’s important that you do your own research. Comparing multiple options is important when looking for an attorney. You can make a more confident and informed decision about whether or not your hire is a good fit. However, there are many amazing benefits available when you do choose O’Hara.
Our attorneys meet all of the qualifications we have discussed for a top-notch tort lawyer. We also are more than happy to schedule a consultation and answer all inquiries related to your unique situation. Additionally, we have multiple practice areas within personal injury law. Whether you have a semi truck accident-related injury or a dog bite disfigurement, we have someone ready and able to help you. The bottom line is that we understand that every case is different, and every injured individual will have unique needs. Tort cases aren’t one-size-fits-all. Our core differentiator is treating every client with a personalized approach to get the compensation that they need. Practically, this means a lot of communication between you and our team. It also means that we will develop a strong attorney/client relationship and make justice a priority. We aren’t just knowledgeable and efficient during the settlement process, but we’re difficult to intimidate both during negotiations and in court. Personal injury takes many forms, and the people involved in tort cases do, too. Attorneys also come in many shapes and sizes, and O’Hara offers some of the best in Texas.
Get Legal Help Today
Finding the right Houston personal injury lawyer for your case may sound like a challenging task. However, when you work with O’Hara’s legal team, compensation is closer than it sounds.
Our experts who practice personal injury trial law are committed to pairing you with the perfect attorney for your case. That lawyer will then listen to the specifics of your situation and collaborate with you to file a personal injury claim. You’ll know what’s happening every step of the way as we fight for you to get your due.
We look forward to hearing more about your unique situation. to schedule a free consultation so that we can lighten the stress of post-accident proceedings.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Choose the O'Hara Law Firm
A catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another person or company often creates a multitude of concerns for accident victims such as: How will I pay the medical bills? How will my family survive while I am unable to work? How long will it take to heal? Is there a way to get compensation for my injuries? We have helped hundreds of clients deal with these serious concerns.
We understand that most clients have not hired a Texas personal injury attorney before. We take the time to explain the legal process to clients and inform them how we will work to recover compensation for their injuries. The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. There is no fee unless we are able to obtain compensation for your injuries.
After an injury, it is important to preserve evidence. Surveillance video may be erased, accident scenes may change and companies may destroy evidence. We will guide you and help you protect your claim.
The O’Hara Law Firm is dedicated to serving clients suffering physical, mental, and emotional trauma from catastrophic injuries. If you have an injury because of someone else’s wrongdoing, do not wait. Contact us today!
DO NOT SUFFER ALONE
Next Steps after a Car Wreck
We have the passion, skill and knowledge to obtain the best results for our clients. We understand the importance of seeking justice and preventing similar tragedies from occurring in the future. We will work diligently, devoting whatever time, effort, and resources necessary to protect our clients and make sure they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.
We handle numerous types of personal injury cases, which include, but are not limited to:
Car accidents (motor vehicle accidents)
Oil rig injuries
Drunk driving accidents
Trip, slip, and falls
Railroad crossing accidents
Maritime & offshore injuries
Please contact us at O’Hara Law Firm today for a free, no-commitment consultation. We want to hear your story and help you on your road to recovery. We truly care about our clients and will aggressively represent them to ensure that they receive the recoveries they deserve.
If you have high medical bills or extended lost wages due to an injury that was no fault of your own, a personal injury law practice may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. We strive to provide appropriate representation by giving your case our full attention every step of the way. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, impairment, disfigurement, and more.
Convenient Legal Service
When you come for legal assistance, our best personal injury lawyers will do their best to help you collect compensation for medical bills, mental anguish, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Life does not stop being busy when injuries occur, so we have flexible appointment availability for your convenience. We are available to provide legal support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in our Houston, Texas law office.
We have been involved in personal injury law cases, where millions of dollars have been in dispute. We have represented clients across the country from California to New York. We have a successful record battling insurance companies and big businesses on behalf of our clients. We have the experience and skill needed to handle your case, no matter the size or scope. If you are not sure his services are right for your needs, we will provide an insightful consultation to help you make the right decision. Please call today to schedule an appointment.