FAQ - Helping Clients Navigate the Legal System
Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C. attorneys and staff understand that entering into a lawsuit is not an easy decision. Therefore, we would like to help guide you through the process, to make it as painless and as clear as possible, and to answer any questions you might have. Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience and have represented thousands of clients in complex civil law suits from catastrophic injuries to defective products, to mass torts, to business litigation. Here are a few frequently asked questions that we have answered over the decades. For further questions and specific concerns, please contact Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C. attorneys and staff at 866-539-2648 or 254-633-2813 .
How do I choose the right lawyer?
Getting a recommendation from someone you trust is often the first step to finding a lawyer. But don't stop there. It is critical to check the credentials of an attorney as well as to see the attorney's past record of success. It is also important to have a consultation with the attorney, which often will be free of charge, in order to meet him or her face to face and decide whether you are comfortable with this person.
Isn't it unethical for a lawyer to call me or visit my home uninvited?
Yes. Rule 7.03 of our Texas Rules of Professional Conduct specifically prohibits lawyers from calling or visiting individuals the lawyer doesn't know and who have been injured or may have a claim. If you have been contacted by telephone or in-person by an attorney, you should report them to the State Bar of Texas at www.texasbar.com. In your time of sorrow or grief, you do not deserve the added pressure of an unknown attorney hassling you. Instead, you should choose an attorney only when you are ready and you should ask people you trust what lawyer they would hire.
What are compensatory damages?
Compensatory damages are also called actual damages. They compensate the injured individual and his or her family for their injuries, losses, and damages.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party for their intentional wrongdoing or reckless behavior. Punitive damages are sometimes recovered in addition to compensatory damages.
What is a contingent fee basis?
A contingent fee basis is an arrangement that affords individuals who have been injured or seeking damages, such as those resulting from an auto accident or a defective product case, to obtain legal representation even if they do not have money to pay a lawyer at the outset of a case. In such a case, you do not pay legal fees unless and until you win, and then the lawyer receives a percentage of your recovery as his or her fee. If you lose your case, there would be no legal fee at all for the lawyer.
Who can sue on behalf of a loved one?
Parents and children, as well as spouses can sue in certain circumstances for the wrongful death on a loved one.
What is negligent behavior?
Negligent behavior is when a person does not use reasonable care of the same degree of care that a reasonable person would use in the same situation. If a court of law finds that an individual was negligent in causing an injury or death, that person or company can be held liable for their actions.
If I have been injured, what can I expect to receive to compensate me for my injuries?
The types of damages available vary depending on the type and facts of each case. Every case is different. However, a plaintiff is normally entitled to receive past and future compensation for:
- Lost Earnings
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
A plaintiff may also be entitled to receive compensation for loss of future earning capacity, disfigurement, as well as other types of consequential damages.
What should I do if I have been injured in a vehicle accident?
If you can, it's important to get all of the other driver's information, such as a license number, insurance, license plate number, name, address, and phone number. It is also important to get medical attention for your injuries even if at first they do not appear serious. Finally, don't wait too long to call an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case.
Why are trucking accident cases different from regular automobile cases?
In addition to questions that arise in a standard automobile accident, trucking cases implicate additional issues regarding trucking safety, logbook compliance, truck maintenance records, truck driver education and training and whether the truck owner negligently hired the driver.