Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys Ready To Serve You
When you’ve been hurt in an accident in Dallas, TX, dealing with an insurance or legal claim can range from inconvenient to a nightmare. It’s challenging when you can’t predict how an insurer will respond. What do you do if they deny your claim? What if they push a settlement offer you think is low?
The best way to prepare for the unexpected and fight for what your claim is worth is to hire Dallas personal injury lawyers. Austin F. Hartley is a compassionate and skilled Dallas, TX personal injury attorney used to tackle unique and complex cases. He draws on years of success to build effective strategies and demand max compensation for his clients.
Why Hartley Law Firm Is Right for You
Austin is an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney who focuses on his clients’ needs. He’s a Dallas native who believes in treating each of his clients with kindness and respect. You’ll never feel like just another case file sitting on his desk.
After practicing as an associate in larger law firms, Austin branched out on his own. As a solo practitioner, he can offer your case the time and attention it deserves. He’ll create a custom strategy for your matter and never rely on a one-size-fits-all approach.
While a vast majority of injury victims settle their matters before trial, you may need to take your claim to court. Austin has significant litigation experience. He won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit to better your chance of success. If he’s unable to achieve a fair settlement, he’ll prepare to argue your case before a jury. Going to trial doesn’t have to be intimidating when you have aggressive representation.
A Strong Track Record
You have your pick of a Dallas personal injury lawyer, which is why it’s important to review a lawyer’s client testimonials and case results. You want to be represented by someone who is respected by their former clients and the legal community. During your initial consultation, ask us about the results we’ve achieved in similar cases. Our firm’s goal is to win you every penny you deserve.
“Austin Hartley is the best personal injury lawyer my family has ever had, from the get-go he has made our family case personal and surprisingly easy for us to handle because he has handled almost all of it. He works very quickly and has been up-front with our case. He’s very knowledgeable and informative and has made us feel at ease. Thank you for making this experience smooth and giving us peace of mind.”
– Paula C.
What Is the Timeline for a Personal Injury Case in Dallas?
The personal injury claim process in Dallas begins with gathering evidence to evaluate the strength of your claim. After your information is ready, you usually file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. If the other party isn’t covered by insurance, you may not file a claim anywhere just yet.
You then continue to gather evidence about your case. Throughout this time, you can negotiate with the other party to try and reach a settlement. Usually, this begins with sending a demand letter.
If the other party’s offer isn’t good enough and negotiations stall, you can officially file your case in court. This often encourages the other party to reconsider and offer a better settlement. If those terms still prove unacceptable, you can go to trial to prove your case. If you win at trial, the jury will decide how much in damages to award you.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Time is of the essence when filing a personal injury claim. The insurance policy may set a time limit for filing claims, as does Texas law. An experienced attorney can help you investigate your claims as thoroughly and efficiently as possible to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Statute of Limitations in Dallas
In Texas, you must file a court claim within two years of the date of the incident. In plain English, this means you must file your court case within two years of the date you were injured. The statute of limitations sets the timeline for everything that comes before filing in court.
Documentation and evidence required
Before you ask the insurance company for the compensation you deserve, you want to build the best case possible. That means investigating what happened and gathering documents to prove how much your claim is worth. If you have a personal injury attorney, they will handle this portion of your claim.
Evidence typically includes the following:
- Medical records,
- Expert medical opinions,
- Wage statements,
- Witness statements,
- Statements from the injured person, and
- Statements from others affected by your injury.
The exact evidence you’ll collect varies based on what type of claim you’re filing and any unique circumstances in your case.
Negotiations and Settlement Discussions
After gathering your evidence, you start negotiating. Insurance companies want to save money by paying you as little as possible. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer negotiate on your behalf often makes a huge difference in what offers you receive.
Presenting a demand letter
Once you have a good idea of what your claim is worth, it’s time to present a demand letter. The letter outlines your legal claim, how much compensation you’re requesting, and why you’re owed that amount. Except in extraordinary circumstances, you wait to send the demand letter until you reach maximum medical improvement—meaning you’ve recovered as much as your doctors expect you to from your injury. The only exception is if your doctors believe you may improve beyond the statute of limitations deadline.
Negotiating a fair settlement
Now the real negotiating begins. In virtually every case, an insurance company will start with a lowball offer. Your personal injury attorney can call out this behavior for what it is: an attempt to take advantage of people who don’t know the value of their claim.
Having your lawyer’s assistance to get a thorough understanding of your case and the law puts you in the best position to get a fair settlement. We advise you on what amount is fair based on our experience, but we never accept a settlement you don’t agree to.
Litigation and Trial
If the other party refuses to come to fair terms, the next step in the personal injury claim process is to file a lawsuit in court. Sometimes, just filing is enough to scare the other party into settling. Other times, the looming threat of trial inspires a better settlement offer. Until the end of the trial, you’re always free to accept a settlement offer you consider fair.
Initiating a lawsuit in Dallas
To begin the formal lawsuit, you file a complaint with the appropriate court. This complaint will likely look like an expanded demand letter. It will usually also have a greater focus on the applicable law.
After you file the complaint, the other party can respond through an answer. There, they lay out the facts and legal standards from their point of view. They can also file a counterclaim to argue you owe them damages.
Court proceedings and trial preparation
Next comes a new investigative phase called discovery. You may take depositions, send interrogatories for the other party, consult with new experts, and do an even deeper dive into the evidence. Ideally, this preparation inspires the other party to back down, but if it doesn’t, we won’t back down, either.
Preparing for a trial doesn’t have to be painful. We’ll walk you through each phase in advance, practicing any testimony you need to offer until you feel comfortable. We also help any other witnesses prepare and ensure the trial stays focused on holding the other party accountable and getting the compensation you are due.
How Our Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Here’s how we can help:
- Reviewing your situation and explaining whether you have a strong legal claim;
- Independently investigating the accident and gathering evidence about what happened;
- Reviewing all the evidence to build your claim;
- Depending on the circumstances, taking steps to protect evidence we can’t get to right away;
- Guiding you in collecting evidence of your physical, emotional, and financial injuries;
- Unless we receive a settlement offer first, sending a formal demand letter to the at-fault party and their insurer;
- Explaining your rights and options and letting you decide what happens in your case;
- Challenging an insurance company’s inaccurate conclusions;
- Appealing if an insurance company denies your claim;
- Negotiating for the best possible settlement; and
- Preparing to take your case to court if that’s what’s necessary to win.
The fundamental advantage of hiring a Dallas, TX personal injury lawyer is a better chance of resolving your claim in your favor and maximizing your compensation. While we can never guarantee a specific result to a case, it’s true that having a Dallas personal injury attorney can help you win more than you would without one.
What You Should Do After an Accident
If you were hurt in an auto accident or any other type of incident, see a doctor right away. You can go to an emergency room for immediate care in Dallas, TX, or see your regular doctor. It’s vital that a doctor thoroughly examine you to look for injuries. You could be suffering from a more severe injury than you realize.
The next step is to tell your insurer, if applicable. If another driver hit you, tell your auto insurance company. You don’t have to notify the other driver’s insurance. It’s best if you avoid giving a statement or answering any questions until you’ve spoken with a Dallas personal injury lawyer.
What you need to do next often depends on the type of incident and your injuries. For example, if you slipped and fell, we recommend setting aside the shoes you were wearing. Because the best next steps vary, give us a call and set up your free, no-risk consultation. Once we know more about your story and potential claim, we can guide you.
Prepare for Your Free Consultation
After scheduling a free consultation, we ask that you take a few steps to prepare.
Write down your story
You don’t have to worry about your skills as a writer. But it’s important to record what happened with as much detail as possible.
Get a copy of the police accident report
When the Dallas police respond to a crash, they file an accident report. You can request a copy of the report in person or through the mail for a small fee. But don’t worry if you don’t have a copy of the report at the consultation. We can get that for you.
Copies of your medical records and other paperwork
An initial review of your injuries and medical records can give us an idea of what your case is worth. If you’ve received letters or documents from an insurance company or another person or business involved in the accident, bring them with you too. Never sign anything before talking with an attorney.
If you don’t have all of this, don’t worry. Bring us whatever information you can.
Let Hartley Law Firm fight for your compensation when you’re recovering from:
- Broken bones,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Whiplash and neck injuries,
- Back injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Nerve damage,
- Internal organ damage, and
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Always see a doctor after an accident and follow their instructions. It helps to thoroughly document your injuries. Consider taking pictures throughout your recovery or keeping a journal of your experience too.
Personal Injury Damages in Dallas, Texas
Prospective clients often ask how much their claim is worth. The answer is that it depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, your expenses, and insurance policy limits.
Typically, you can demand compensation for your:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Scarring and disfigurement,
- Physical limitations,
- Reduced quality of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
These are compensatory damages. There’s also a kind of compensation known as punitive damages. But they’re available in rare cases. To win punitive damages, we’d have to prove the at-fault party acted recklessly or maliciously.
It’s common for the at-fault party to try and point the finger at you. If they blame you for causing the accident, that brings up Texas’s comparative negligence theory. The judge or jury deciding your case will have to assign each party a percentage of fault, adding up to 100%. If you’re somewhat at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage. But if you’re 51% or more at fault, you can’t recover compensation.
Winning a Personal Injury Claim
When someone harms you in an accident, it’s up to you to bring a claim against them. Unfortunately, you have the burden of proof. You must establish that the other party did something wrong and should be held responsible for your injuries.
In most personal injury cases, you’ll have to prove negligence. There are four parts to this:
- The other party owed you a duty of care (a standard of behavior);
- The other party breached their duty of care;
- The other party’s breach was the direct and proximate cause of the accident; and
- You suffered an injury.
Often, the other party’s duty of care is to act like a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances. But the duty of care varies depending on the situation and the person’s relationship to you, which is why it helps to hire a legal practitioner. We have years of experience establishing negligence during insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
It’s important to know that there are time limits if you want or need to file a personal injury lawsuit. You have two years from the accident date to file. But remember, this statute of limitations is just for filing a lawsuit, not for an insurance claim. You need to begin the insurance claim process immediately.
Call a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
Hartley Law Firm in Dallas, Texas is waiting for your call. If you’re ready for someone to help you after a serious accident, contact our Dallas personal injury attorneys online. The initial consultation is free, and there are no upfront fees. We don’t get paid unless we win.
Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:
- Wrongful Death
- Bike Accidents
- Head and Brain Injury
- Burn Accident Injury
- Bus Crash Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Worksite Accident Injury
- Dog Attack
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Oil Field Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Commercial Litigation