Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about estate planning or the probate process? Do you need to know more about family law in Dallas? Are you wondering if you have a personal injury case? Are unsure if you need a lawyer?
The Ashmore Law Firm, PC provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about estate planning, probate law, family law and personal injury law. Please select a category from the box below to narrow your FAQ search.
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How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge for Their Services?
Personal injury lawyers generally work on accident and injury claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that they charge as their fee a percentage of the recovery obtained for the accident victim, typically between 25 to 40 percent, but personal injury attorneys only get paid if they win your case or get your case settled. If there is no recovery, then you owe the law firm nothing, which makes it possible for anyone, regardless of their financial status, to hire a skilled attorney to represent them in an injury claim.
What are Statute of Limitations on My Injury Case in Texas?
Statutes of limitations are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit or how long the state has to prosecute someone for committing a crime. These time limits depend on the legal claim or crime involved in the case, and they're different from state to state.
- The time period begins on the date your claim arises or occurs.
- Once the statute of limitations has expired, you likely will be unable to successfully pursue a lawsuit regardless of the merits of your claim.
Here is a list of a few statutes of limitations in Texas:
- Contract : 4 years
- Fraud: 4 years
- Legal Malpractice: 2 years
- Medical Malpractice: 2 years (but before 10 years from the date of the act or omission)
- Personal Injury: 2 years
- Product Liability: 2 years (but before 15 years after date of the sale)
- Property Damage: 2 years
- Slander: 1 year
- Trespass: 2 years
- Wrongful Death: 2 years
Be aware the laws are subject to change at any time. You are able to check the most current Texas laws here.
If you believe you have a claim, it’s important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
What is Contributory Negligence?
In Texas, being in any way at fault is known as the law of contributory negligence. Texas and most other states will "compare" the negligence between two people and apportion damages appropriately.
What should you expect from a lawyer BEFORE you make an appointment for a consultation?
Before you make an appointment with any lawyer, you should ask them to send you their package of written information, which should include the following:
1. A sample fee agreement.
2. A listing of sample verdicts, settlements and testimonials from former clients.
3. A full written explanation of the steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
4. A written assurance that they carry errors and omissions ("malpractice") insurance in the amount of at least $100,000 (you’d probably be surprised to see how many lawyers carry NO insurance.) Ask for this representation in writing.
5. A full explanation of fees and costs, the difference between the two, and how the percentage fee is calculated.
Do I Need an Attorney Before I Settle a Personal Injury Case?
In certain instances, we do recommend you contact an attorney when settling a personal injury case. There are things that the insurance companies will not tell you about. For example, a potential client contacted us that had already settled their case, but it turned out that the insurance company failed to let them know that the settlement money was needed to pay the health insurance company first. They ended up with nothing from the settlement.
BUT, if you have a small injury case, you may not need an attorney. In fact, our office does not even accept cases where there’s little or no property damage and the injuries are minor. Why not? Because in the small cases, the attorney fees and costs might leave little or nothing for you after your medical bills are paid, and we don’t believe that would be fair to you. If your case is small and you would like to try to handle it yourself, with our advice, we may charge a small consulting fee and assist you, if that’s what you want. This may save you thousands!
No matter how big or small you think your injury case is, a qualified personal injury attorney can help you figure out the correct way to handle it. Please call our office at 214.559.7202 for additional information. There is no charge for a consultation and we generally work on accident and injury claims on a contingent fee basis.
What Exactly is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury, car accident or wrongful death case is any type of claim where a person has been injured or killed due to someone else’s carelessness. If the only damage in your case is that your car got banged up, then you don’t have a personal injury case. But, you may have a property damage case. We do not handle property damage cases, but there are many lawyers who do so. If both you and your car have suffered an injury or damage, respectively, then you have both a personal injury and a property damage claim. In those circumstances, either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will usually take care of the property damage claim.
If someone’s negligence causes the death of another, then this is called a "wrongful death" claim. The law in each state or jurisdiction differs significantly regarding what can be recovered in a wrongful death case. You need an attorney who understands the specialized wrongful death laws in Texas.
I was hurt while walking down an isle at a shopping store because of debris on the floor. Can I sue?
It depends upon the specifics of the situation. If you can prove that the debris was left on the floor of the store for a sufficient amount of time or that the unreasonably dangerous condition was caused or created by store employees, you may be able to sue. Consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more.
I have developed health issues that I believe are related to prescription medicine I took. Is there anything I can do?
Many medications that are now off the market have undergone class action law suits based on ill effects. Consult with a personal injury attorney to find out if you are eligible for damages.