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Auto Accident Do’s and Don’ts

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

Auto accident attorney, McAllen - Tijerina Legal FirmSuddenly a car appears out of nowhere, and it is heading straight for you. You swerve and slam on your brakes and then there is a sickening crashing sound. Both vehicles come to a stop. You are shaken and your heart is racing. What you do now?

First, check yourself for injuries and make sure you are not bleeding anywhere. If you are, try to wrap or cover the bleeding area immediately. If you have passengers in the vehicle with you, you should check them for injuries as well. Quickly scan the vehicle for any dangerous signs like sparks, flames or leaking liquids. You may need to exit the vehicle very quickly. If you cannot open a door try the other doors or get a window down. It is wise to keep something in your car that you can break a window with should you ever be unable to get a window down.

As skilled injury attorneys serving McAllen Texas, Pigeon Forge and Knoxville, we see our share of auto accident victims. And it’s important to occasionally remind the friends of our firm that what they do when they are in an accident directly affects the outcome of their insurance claim and potential lawsuit. You not only need to know what steps to take for safety and for your own well-being, but also what steps to take to improve your chances of a successful insurance claim.

We of course hope that you will never be in an automobile accident. But motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car and scooter crashes and SUV rollovers unfortunately happen every day.

If anyone in either vehicle is injured, an ambulance should be called immediately. And no matter how small the damages to your car(s), the police should be called also. The police report is necessary if you are going to pursue any claim. Pain and injuries can show up a day or even several days after an accident.

Immediately record the information from the other driver — their name, license tag number, address and insurance company. If they flee the scene, call the police immediately and the police will attempt to capture them.

Whoever is able should take pictures right away of the scene—the position of all the vehicles and any debris or items around you that could have contributed to or affected the outcome of the accident. Do not move your vehicle and ask the other parties not to move their vehicle either, unless of course your accident was simply a very light fender bender, or if your vehicle is posing a hazard to other drivers.

If you are injured and unable to stand up/move around and take pictures, ask a bystander or spectator if they would take pictures for you. It is important that you do not speak to the other driver or any of the passengers in the other vehicle. Speak only to the police officer who arrives on the scene. If you are capable, immediately take notes about what happened. Estimate the speeds of both vehicles and note any conditions or situations at the scene of the accident such as debris on the road, and inoperable traffic light, a speeding driver, construction, etc. Anything you can think of should be noted. Insignificant details can become important later. When the police speak to you, be honest and forthcoming. It is to your best interest.

Never agree to settle the dispute privately, as you will regret this later. Our attorneys have seen time and time again when accident victims come to our law firm and wish to pursue a claim after the other party failed to cooperate and failed to pay them the amount that they verbally agreed to. This is why reporting the accident to the police and speaking to legal counsel is important. It helps to ensure that everything is handled properly and that you receive what should rightfully come to you.

From the scene or immediately after you leave the scene, you should contact your auto insurance company. Our attorneys advise that you do not make a recorded statement. It is simply too soon. You need to assess injuries and damages before you agree to anything. The insurance representative will attempt to have you record a statement and they try to wrap things up quickly, before you know what you are doing. Don’t let this happen to you. We have seen physical conditions develop days or even weeks after an accident.

We advise you not to sign any documents for the insurance company — do not accept any payments. You have legal rights that you may be unaware of, and speaking to a scheduled injury attorney can help your case.

In the weeks and months after the accident, keep all receipts and record all activity pertaining to the accident. Make sure you keep all of your medical records and all paperwork from every doctor visit or other practitioner visits such as chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, MRIs, etc.

To summarize: don’t move your vehicles, don’t talk to the other driver, don’t say anything to anyone around the accident scene except the police when they arrived. Always wear your seat belts and always keep your auto insurance paid and up to date. It is extremely wise to carry uninsured motorist coverage because many accidents happen with the other driver had no or insufficient coverage. As your car accident attorney, McAllen, the Tijerina Legal Firm welcomes your questions anytime.

History of the U.S. Supreme Court – Part 1

By | News, Personal Injury | No Comments

Us Court History - Tijerina Legal FirmAs personal injury attorneys, we are dependent on our court system to deliver justice to those who harm – or would harm – others. Our United States court system is vast and complex but it is also worthy of appreciation and respect. Despite its flaws, it is a far more effective and democratic justice system than most other countries have in operation. And, it is also a distinct part of our unique American identity.

Our multi-tiered judiciary protects individual rights through the supremacy of the federal courts and the work done by the state courts. This balancing act is not just happenstance. It is the result of countless hours of discussion among our country’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, to name a few. Read on to learn more about the history of the United States court system.

HOW IT BEGAN

To appreciate how our modern legal infrastructure works, it’s a good idea to first understand the origins of our national court system. Our courts came about due to three historic events:

The Constitutional Convention in 1787, the development of the United States Constitution itself (ratified in 1788), and the First Congress in 1789.

Four years after the end of the Revolutionary War, The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia took place. More than 50 delegates at this meeting undertook a fierce debate about how to frame the Constitution and how to structure a national justice system.

Excerpted from the National Archives and Records Administration: Those who did not attend included Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and, John Hancock. In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution.

At this gathering, delegates fiercely debated how to frame the proposed U.S. Constitution. They also set out to structure a national judiciary.

There were two distinct groups in opposition regarding how the Constitution should be crafted. The Federalists were strong proponents of a mighty, powerful national government. They were suspicious of the parochial prejudice of state courts. Federalists and their supporters believed that the federal judiciary should consist of trial courts, appellate courts, and one supreme tribunal.

The Anti-federalists supported states’ rights. They feared that a dominant federal judiciary would destroy/undermine the states’ authority and that the federal government would be too powerful. They felt that the state should have both trial and appellate courts, and that the supreme federal court would exist to hear final appeals.

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it addressed this disagreement, but not in full. It sketched out a federal court system in general terms, and introduced a distinctly American concept—the Supreme Court.

Article III of the Constitution begins, “The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

Note that President George Washington chose the very first Supreme Court justices. More on these essential, landmark decisions and activities regarding our courts will be shared in Part 2 of this article.

The Tijerina Legal Group, McAllen personal injury lawyer welcomes your inquiries, and is proud to share this fascinating information about how our incredible justice system developed.

Understanding Texas Personal Injury Law

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

Personal injury issues can arise from various types of conduct and/or sources. Most people are familiar with personal injury cases being brought due to automobile accidents; however, personal injury lawsuits and claims can be filed by all types of individuals who are harmed emotionally and/or physically by another person or entity.
Personal injury actions can be brought due to medical malpractice, slip and fall, construction accidents and many other types of incidents. Read More

Common Types of Injuries That Can Occur After an Accident

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

Roadway crashes can lead to a number of things, most obviously motor vehicle damages. However, depending on the nature of the accident, drivers and their passengers might incur injuries that vary in severity. Anyone who has sustained injuries from an automobile accident is encouraged to speak with a knowledgeable McAllen catastrophic injury lawyer right away to ensure all legal rights and options are preserved. Read More

Steps to Take After an AccidentSteps to Take After an Accident

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

The steps you take (or fail to take) after an accident can have serious consequences on your ability to recover just compensation for your injuries. For instance, if you share too much (or not enough) information with your insurance company, you may harm your ability to get the most out of your coverage. Similarly, if you neglect or wait too long to seek medical treatment for your injuries, you could jeopardize your ability to recover financially. Read More

Texas Truck Accidents: Why Do They Occur?

By | Personal Injury, Truck Accidents | No Comments

These days, large freight carriers and other commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, are a major presence on the same roads that are routinely occupied by much smaller passenger vehicles. That said, commercial truck drivers certainly should be aware of the special situations that can arise with respect to the large vehicles they operate. Still, automobile drivers on the road also need to be aware and use caution while in their presence. Read More

Neglience accident cases: a brief overview

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

A common legal theory often used to prove fault in auto accident cases is negligence. Many people who are considering suing someone for their injuries and damages may hear the term used when they visit a McAllen accident law firm to learn more about their legal rights, but they may not fully understand what negligence means and how it can help them in their effort to obtain just compensation for their injuries. Read More

Consumer Recalls – Product Liability

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

When someone is injured due to a product that is faulty or dangerous, this is known as a Product Liability lawsuit. These lawsuits stem from poorly manufactured, unsafe, unlabeled or mislabeled products – like a gas grill that leaks and catches fire; a faulty tire that explodes on the highway; a helmet that pops off because the strap was faulty – you get the idea. Read More

Injured on the Job? Know Your Rights

By | Blog, Premises Liability & Workers Compensation | No Comments

You’ve worked a long day, loading shelves with supplies in your employer’s warehouse. Your coworkers are exhausted, too. Your arms ache and you don’t quite get a big box in place when your arm gives out and it falls on you, hitting your shoulder and landing on your foot. Your shoulder is badly bruised and your toe is smashed. You can’t work anymore today and may be out for several days. You just suffered an on-the-job injury.

There were a total of 3,063,400 cases of nonfatal injuries at the workplace in 2010 – plus others that were not recorded. When injuries keep you from working, they cause financial troubles for you and your family. So you begin the process of applying for worker’s compensation. How else can you pay your medical bills?

If this were to happen to you tomorrow—what would you do? It’s important to know your rights.

Texas is an at-will employment state. So for employees, this is not ideal and a difficult standard to live with. At-will employment means that an employer can fire any employee at any time, without any specific cause. Exceptions are:

  • Discrimination based on age, sex, gender, race, religion or disability (civil rights)
  • Serving on a jury
  • Voting
  • Pursuing one’s rights to worker’s compensation

 

The guidelines below should help you define and determine your eligibility for compensation, as well as the immediate actions to take after an injury. But of course it makes sense to speak to a workers compensation attorney for the best advisement in your situation.

Worker’s Compensation Eligibility

Note that seniority is irrelevant when it comes to on-the-job injuries. Even if you just started working somewhere yesterday, your are eligible for worker’s compensation if you are injured. Any injury sustained while performing job-related tasks, which impairs your ability to work, qualifies you to receive worker’s compensation regardless of time served with the company or full or part-time status.

Next step after an injury occurs

From the moment you are injured at work you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability—also known as TTD. You cannot be dismissed from your job for applying for this, nor can you be fired for taking any other legal action, such as hiring a lawyer or filing a workers compensation claim.

Keep good records

To protect yourself after sustaining an injury at the workplace, you should immediately start recording details. Don’t hesitate to report an injury to your supervisor, and obtain medical assistance right away (at least within 30 days of the injury to be eligible for benefits).  You can apply for workers compensation after missing three consecutive calendar days from your job.

Medical treatment

Employers are responsible for providing prompt medical treatment when there is an injury. But note that your employer has the right to select the treating physician. If the employer fails to provide treatment within seven days of the notice of injury, an employee can select their own physician at the employers cost.  Workers compensation laws protect you so that you are not responsible for any medical costs incurred while treating your on-the-job injury.

Workers Compensation claim filing

The elements of a workers comp claim can be tricky. It’s in your best interest to utilize an attorney who is knowledgeable about work-related injuries, costs and compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer who handles workers comp cases, such as our law firm. Your rights come first – and your employer may not feel the same.