Car Accident Claims In TexasCar Accident Claims In Texas

Car accidents occur all the time. Many citizens have either been involved in an auto accident or we know someone who was hurt in a car wreck. Many of our our friends, neighbors and family members have endured pain and suffering as a result of a  car accident. Any car accident has the potential to cause severe injuries to the accident victim including soft-tissue injuries, back and neck injuries, bruising, loss of limb, broken bones, scarring, disfigurement, permanent physical disability and even death. Car accident insurance coverage is often available and can be utilized to pay for an auto accident victim’s pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills and loss of quality of life. In the event that the victim was killed in a car accident, the auto accident victim’s family could be entitled to receive money damages as compensation for the emotional and financial losses they have suffered including the loss of companionship, the loss of support and the loss of consortium.

A car accident may involve numerous complicated legal topics including: comparative negligence, stacking of policies, subrogation rights, bad faith, minimum insurance coverage requirements and uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM – UIM) coverage issues. If you are not familiar with these topics and need to explore your legal options, you can consult an attorney. Our firm can assist in the evaluation of your auto accident claim. One of the important points to discuss is the filing time for your auto accident. A car accident complainant has two years from the date of the car wreck to file a lawsuit. The filing time is different in other states, so you should consult a local attorney.

If you or a family member were hurt in a car wreck, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your car accident liability case and possibly increase the settlement or jury award available as compensation. These steps include the following: You should report the car accident to the police. If the accident report shows that the other driver was issued a citation for a traffic violation, this may establish liability and make your case stronger if you have to go to court over your vehicle accident. You need to get the names and addresses of anyone who was a witness to the vehicle collision. Do not discuss the auto accident with anyone at the scene of the car wreck except for the Police who are investigating. As soon as possible, have pictures taken of your injuries and of the car damage. These pictures will be useful if your car accident claim does not settle and you have to go to trial to recover for your injuries. Also, you need to keep track of any receipts and documents related to your car accident because these documents will be used to support your claim when an attorney makes a demand on the insurance company for the settlement of your auto accident claim for damages.

Seek immediate medical care after the accident if you feel you were injured in any manner. Be sure to report any injury (no matter how slight it may seem at the time) to the police, paramedics, doctor, hospital or any other health care provider. Be very specific with the injury symptoms you are describing and do not leave anything out regardless of how slight it may seem at the time. This is because a slight symptom could indicate a serious injury and your doctor cannot give you an informed medical opinion if you held something back.

Be aware that the adjuster for the insurance company may try to convince to settle your car accident claim without using a  personal injury attorney. You should use caution because the adjuster’s main objective is usually to get you to accept the lowest amount possible for the settlement of your personal injury claim. A friendly phone conversation with an insurance adjuster might hurt your auto accident claim. The adjuster could try to get you to say you were at fault for the auto accident. The insurance adjuster could try to get you to agree that your injuries were not severe. If this happens, you can tell the insurance adjuster: “I’m just not ready to discuss the accident at this time.” Remember that no matter how friendly the insurance adjuster or investigator seems, that person works for the insurance company. An  attorney works for you and represents your interest. Using an attorney to settle your car accident claim could increase the amount of your accident settlement.

If you or a family member were involved in an auto accident, you can get free legal advice and personal injury information in an initial consultation with an attorney in our firm. We provide legal services for auto accident claims and other personal injury cases throughout the area.

 

Loss Of Chance DoctrineLoss Of Chance Doctrine

Under this doctrine, the injury to be redressed by the law is not defined as the death itself, but, rather, as the decreased chance of survival caused by the medical malpractice. Herskovits, 664 P.2d at 487 (Pearson, J., concurring); see also Note, Medical Malpractice: The Right to Recover for the Loss of a Chance of Survival, 12 Pepperdine L. Rev. 973 (1985) (authored by Patricia L. Andel). Of course, the plaintiff or injured person cannot recover merely on the basis of a decreased chance of survival or of avoiding a debilitating illness or injury; the plaintiff must in fact suffer death or debilitating injury before there can be an award of damages. Additionally, the damages are to be discounted to the extent that a preexisting condition likely contributed to the death or serious debilitation. Specifically, “[t]he amount of damages recoverable is equal to the percent of chance [of survival] lost [due to negligence] multiplied by the total amount of damages which are ordinarily allowed in a wrongful death action.” McKellips, 741 P.2d at 476.

By defining the injury as the loss of chance of survival, the traditional rule of preponderance is fully satisfied. In cases in which the plaintiff prevails, it can be said that the medical malpractice more probably than not decreased a substantial chance of survival and that the injured person ultimately died or was severely debilitated. Specifically, in order to create a question of fact regarding causation in these cases, the plaintiff must present evidence tending to show, to a reasonable medical probability, that some negligent act or omission by health care providers reduced a substantial chance of survival given appropriate medical care. In accord with other courts adopting this view, we need not now state exactly how high the chances of survival must be in order to be “substantial.” We will address this in the future on a case by case basis. There are limits, however, and we doubt that a ten percent chance of survival as referred to in the example in the dissenting opinion would be actionable. Survivors of a person who had a truly negligible chance of survival should not be allowed to bring a case fully through trial. Perhaps more importantly, in cases where the chances of survival were modest, plaintiffs will have little monetary incentive to bring a case to trial because damages would be drastically reduced to account for the preexisting condition.

Intoxication And The “Intentional Acts” Exclusion ClauseIntoxication And The “Intentional Acts” Exclusion Clause

Regardless of the insured’s intoxicated state, the act of striking another is intentional, that such an act is not a covered occurrence under the policy in question here, and that such incidents are subject to a properly drafted “intentional acts” exclusion clause. Consequently, we hold that the liability insurer in this instance is under no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in connection with an action seeking damages stemming from the insured’s intentional infliction of bodily injury, even when the insured was intoxicated or believed he acted in self-defense.

The insurance agreement in this case obligates State Farm to defend and indemnify the defendant in connection with actions brought against him for damages caused by an “occurrence.” The policy defines the term “occurrence” as an accident resulting in bodily injury. Although the policy does not define the term “accident,” a common definition of the term is “a happening that is not expected, foreseen, or intended.” In addition, the policy contains exclusionary language precluding coverage for bodily injury or property damage “(1) which is either expected or intended by the insured; or (2) which is the result of willful and malicious acts of the insured.”

This court dealt with a similarly worded insurance policy. This court observed that “‘intent’ or ‘intention’ denotes a design or desire to cause the consequences of one’s acts and a belief that given consequences are substantially certain to result from the acts.” Applying this definition of intent, we concluded that a homeowner’s liability insurance policy did not cover the insured’s actions of fatally shooting his wife and two of her friends, despite a claim that the insured did not intend his actions because he acted in a psychotic fit of rage. We also noted that the insured’s “supposed inability to control his acts [was] not the same as an inability to intend his acts.”

We take this opportunity to extend our holding and reject appellants’ argument that the dependant was unable to act intentionally as a result of his voluntary intoxication. Whether he thought he was God or his evil master is of no matter because he admittedly struck the victim in the eye with the desire of getting away from him. This is a non-accidental intentional act even if he did not intend to harm him. Thus, we conclude that his act of striking the victim is not an occurrence under the insurance policy and is excluded from coverage under the policy language concerning intentional misconduct. In this, we recognize his claims that the intentional-acts exclusion does not apply because, given his advanced state of intoxication, he did not intend to injure the victim and that, because he believed he acted in self-defense, his conduct was not malicious. We reject this line of argument because the exclusion properly dovetails with the reasonable construction of the policy that an occurrence requires an accidental event. Accordingly, State Farm is not obligated to defend or indemnify the defendant  with respect to any judgment obtained against him by the victim.

Applying this court’s holding, we conclude that . . . notwithstanding the claim that he was too intoxicated to intend the acts and resulting injuries to [the victim], the intentional-act exclusionary clause applies to negate coverage.