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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Settlement Vs. Trial: Which Is Right For You?

By | Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

How do you determine if you have a personal injury case?

Under Texas law, there are many categories of personal injury damages that allow an individual or multiple individuals to initiate a lawsuit.  For example, wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip or trip and fall, lack of security, work-related injuries, boating accidents, and auto accidents.  If another party contributes to the injury of a person in any way — directly or indirectly, they may be at least partially liable for those injuries.  This is the basic premise of a personal injury claim.

Obviously, there are times when it is difficult to tell who or what may have caused an incident that led to injuries.  This is when thorough investigation of all the facts of the incident must be done.  Skilled personal injury attorneys know how to uncover details and leave no stone unturned.  Injury cases are not easy to pursue in most cases.  And so, an injury attorney must be adept at finding hidden facts and extracting information from unlikely or unwilling sources.

The first thing that many people ask is, will I need to go to trial?  The truth is, in Texas and anywhere in America, the majority of personal injury claims are handled through settlement.  Trials are very costly and time-consuming. Both sides of an injury lawsuit are motivated to resolve the case without going to trial.  There are advantages and disadvantages of going through the legal trial process.

Sometimes, the plaintiff in the case may question why their injury attorney is pushing for a settlement.  Why don’t we take this case to trial?  Can’t you potentially get more compensation from a trial? Well, the truth is, trials are risky. Our McAllen, Texas injury firm shares with you here: the differences between settlement and trial.

Benefits of Settlement

It’s less risky than heading to court (you could lose and get zero)

It’s less expensive (less time on the part of the attorney/law firm)

It’s less time consuming and can happen faster, whereas trials can drag out over a year or more

It’s not as hard on the plaintiff and their loved ones – not as emotionally and physically draining as a trial in court

Get your life back to normal sooner/ Move on sooner

As you can see, a settlement is a sure thing – money in hand.  And if a trial outcome is uncertain, your injury attorneys will recommend accepting a reasonable settlement.

It typically takes a year, or longer for a court date to be set for a trial.  So if you are holding out for that, it means waiting longer to be compensated for your expenses, which may still be ongoing.  Now consider that juries are individuals, with their own thought processes and belief systems.  What seems obvious to you, or fair to you, may not be obvious or fair to them.  You can choose to go to trial and risk LOSING.

Now, if your case is worth millions and your settlement offer is $650,000, then your injury attorney may decide that the trial is the only way to go.

A skilled injury lawyer evaluates each case

Obviously, your personal injury attorney wants to be successful.  He or she wins when you win.  So your lawyer will review all the details of your settlement with you and guide you in deciding whether accepting the amount is the right decision.  Often, injury attorneys counter the settlement offer with an offer you WOULD accept, when the defendant’s offer is too low.

It pays to ask your injury attorney questions at the beginning of your case, to get their thoughts on potential settlement.  Note that sometimes, even the most experienced lawyers sometimes call on outside help, by consulting mediators or facilitators to help resolve a settlement.  When all attempts at mediation and settlement fail, then an injury case goes to trial. 

Benefits of a Trial

Possibility of receiving a higher/the highest possible amount for your claim

A chance to document all details of your claim (for the record)

The ability to appeal the decision

As you can see, wise legal counsel is critical in any type of wrongful death, auto accident, or injury claim.  Tijerina Law Firm serves Mcallen and Brownsville, Texas, helping the injured seek justice and compensation. We welcome all inquiries and offer free case evaluations.


Class Action Lawsuits – Noteworthy Cases

By | News, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Class Action Lawsuit” on the news and in the media, but most people don’t have a clear understanding of them and how they can protect your rights. 

By definition a Class Action Lawsuit is…

Charges advanced in a court by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a large group of others who have a common interest.

There have been class-action cases that changed history. Most people are aware of civil action lawsuits as seen in the movies Erin Brokovich and A Civil Action. These are cases where a group of people – for example, the residents of a small town or workers in a certain plant – are suing a large company in a civil action that is also a class-action.

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There have been Supreme Court decisions that originated as civil lawsuits; in the state of Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes, a Tennessee law was challenged. This law made it unlawful to deny “divine creation” (Adam and Eve) and teach the theory of evolution. This law was called the Butler Act. Scopes was a biology teacher who, encouraged by the American civil liberties Union, agreed to teach evolution to his classes. Many subsequent civil action lawsuits followed and the Butler Act was eventually repealed in Tennessee in 1967.

Another notable case involved a massive civil settlement of $333 million in 1996. The case was brought by the residents of a California town called Hinkley. Pacific Gas and Electric Company was found to have knowingly dumped wastewater into the ground in this area. This wastewater contained chromium 6 — a known carcinogen. Interestingly, a new class-action was filed in 2011 because it was found that the chromium had been spreading, and in the end, Pacific Gas and Electric Company purchased some of the homes and properties in the town.

Another interesting case that affected US history is the Lois E Jensen versus Eveleth Taconite Company. This lawsuit was brought in 1988 and was the first sexual harassment class action suit in America. Lois Jensen along with 14 other female coworkers employed by the Taconite EVTAC mine in Minnesota presented that they were subjected to intimidation and extreme physical harassment from male coworkers and also supervisors of the mine.

The attorneys with the mining company managed to delay the case for a decade but the day before the jury trial was to take place, they settled and provided monetary damages to the group of women.

An example of a very large sum class-action was the Nortel Networks case that was settled in 2006. This class-action lawsuit was brought by investors who held stock in Nortel Networks, which at the time was a major supplier of fiber-optic equipment to new, up-and-coming Internet companies. You may remember the Internet bust – when that happened, sales drastically declined. The company created fake accounting entries that showed equipment sales that were not actually happening. This was uncovered and investors won their lawsuit to the tune of 2.4 billion.

Another big time class-action was settled in 2005 for the amount of $2.5 billion. This one also involved investors. Those who invested in AOL Time Warner stock brought the suit alleging that Time Warner had falsely shown revenue generation. What the company was doing was moving money around between accounts in the form of advertising transactions over a period of four years. They were designed to look like income when in reality it was just money shifting from one area to another. These false earning statements constituted fraud and the investors won their class-action lawsuit.

These types of cases are fascinating and we will share more of them in an upcoming article. As your McAllen personal injury attorney, we represent victims of big company negligence and recklessness. Call Tijerina Legal Group to discuss your class action lawsuit.

Source of some case information: InfoLaw


A Short History Of The U.S. Court System – Part 2

By | Court System, Law, Uncategorized | No Comments

Not many people know that when the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court was created as a compromise – middle ground between states’ rights advocates and Federalists. In the first 10 years of operation, the Supreme Court only decided about 50 cases. The founding fathers did not know how greatly it would be used and needed. But in the years of 1801-1835, under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court would prove to be a major aspect of the United States Court System, as it became more involved, more united, and more productive.

During the meetings of the very first Congress for our country, congressmen worked to outline a workable national judiciary that would follow the constitution yet still address their concerns. Again, the Federalists and Anti-federalists made their arguments. The law that emerged from this debate was the Judiciary Act of 1789.

Under this historic act, a three-part judiciary was established:

1) A Supreme Court, consisting of a chief justice and five associate justices (and would meet in Washington, DC)

2) Three circuit courts, each having two justices of the Supreme Court and a district judge; and

3) Thirteen district courts, each presided over by one district judge.

The middle tier of this new system — the U.S. circuit courts — acted as the principal trial courts in this newly adopted court system. Each justice was assigned to one of three geographical circuits, and attended the appropriate meetings within the districts of that circuit. The term “circuit riding” came about at this time. Judges usually spent more time on their circuit court duties than their district court duties.

bald-eagle-portrait-white-tailed-eagle-adler-38998As the ratification process of the Constitution was underway, many citizens voiced fears about the power of an independent federal judiciary. They felt it could threaten state courts and restrict some civil liberties. So, the Judiciary Act responded accordingly, to bring these concerned citizens some reassurance. It allowed state courts to exercise concurrent jurisdiction over many federal questions. It also required federal courts to select juries according to the procedures used by the district’s state courts. Lastly, it guaranteed the right to trial in the district where the defendant lived.

At the same time that debates and decisions were underway involving the Judiciary Act, Congress was discussing the Bill of Rights, and this legislation provided still more assurances that the federal courts would respect certain liberties such as trial by jury.

It became clear that the three-tiered court system was being developed and accepted by the U.S. citizens. And so, we have a multi-tiered federal court structure that operates in conjunction with state courts—an arrangement conceived in 1789 that is still in place today.

Tijerina Legal Group is proud of our country’s history and heritage, and takes the upholding of justice very seriously. We serve McAllen, Brownsville, and surrounding areas of Texas. Contact your dedicated McAllen personal injury attorney to speak with someone committed to your legal rights.


Explanation of the Lemon Law in Texas

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Does the new car you recently bought have a major issue? Is it the second or third time that you have had to get it repaired for the same issue?

Although you may be frustrated, you have options besides sending the car back in for repair.  Specifically, you may be covered under either (a) the federal Lemon law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) or (b) the Texas Lemon Law. These laws are designed to protect consumers when buying a new car and who are tired of having the same issue replaced multiple times. Read More


A Property Owner’s Responsibility: Security and Your Rights

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You hear about it in the news – someone is robbed, mugged, attacked. They could receive a few scratches or be very seriously injured. Obviously the attacker is responsible. But who else is at least partially responsible? Possibly the property owner. These crimes are typically committed in parking lots, at apartment complexes, in stores or other retail establishments, and other “public” places. So if this happened to your loved one, what are their rights? Read More