Social Media: How It Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

Social Media: How It Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

Social media, or the use of computer-mediated technologies to facilitate the creation and sharing of information, career interests, ideas, and other forms of expression, is a relatively recent trend. What’s more, its prevalence has increased as a result of easy access to Internet services by smartphones. People love sharing their day-to-day and extraordinary experiences with their friends, relatives, and even complete strangers. It gives people a sense of community with their neighbors and a larger, global network of individuals. However, its very novelty can present a problem.

As new trends and technology emerge, people adapt to how they affect life in general. While posting to Facebook and Twitter can be socially fulfilling, social media posts are being used increasingly in legal cases. For example, divorce attorneys can use the social media presence of the opposition to make a spouse look better or worse in a child custody or alimony proceeding. Similarly, in personal injury cases, insurance companies who do everything in their power to avoid paying as much as possible use people’s social media sites to disprove their injury claims.

For example, let’s say a woman breaks her leg in a severe car accident. She files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company because she needed to visit the emergency room, have her broken leg treated, and needs several physical therapy sessions once her leg heals. Additionally, she’s an athlete, meaning she can no longer work. Therefore, her claim includes recompense for her lost wages. The insurance company disputes her claim and, in front of a judge, presents the court with a social media status she posted a few days ago, where she’s smiling and laughing with her friends. The insurance company asserts her injury isn’t as severe as she claims because she’s not actively suffering from her broken leg.

It’s an extreme example, but there have been similar cases before. If a personal injury case involves seeking compensation for pain and suffering or for loss of enjoyment of life, the attorneys representing an insurance company will carefully comb the claimant’s social media pages for any evidence showing any ounce of happiness.

The problem with this tactic is that most people’s posts to social media site are carefully tailored snippets of life. They usually aren’t gritty, real life depictions of how an individual is feeling at the moment. If someone is feeling isolated and alone, they aren’t going to show a photo of themselves on Facebook. Likewise, deep depression is unlikely to be captured by a status update or a Snapchat video. A person who is so severely injured they can no longer hike like they used to isn’t going to post a photograph of himself or herself staying at home. People usually try to present their best selves online, the best versions of their lives.

If you were recently injured and you plan on filing a personal injury claim, do yourself and your case a favor and stay off of social media. You don’t want an insurance company to take a status update out of context or use a photograph as a piece of evidence against you. Make sure you also contact an experienced Katy personal injury attorney who can talk you through the claim, negotiation, or litigation process.

Our firm has more than 35 years of legal experience seeking justice for people who were harmed through careless mistakes or negligence. Adams Law Firm wants to ensure you are able to pay for your medical bills, future medical bills, and rehabilitation. If your injury causes you to miss work, we also don’t want your quality of life to suffer as a result. When you contact us, we will go over the facts of the case as well as answer any questions about the process that you might have. Contact our compassionate legal team today.

Recovering Compensation for Preexisting Injuries

A large number of personal injury clients have had some type of injury in an earlier part of their life. But when you are injured again – whether you have a new injury or find that your old injuries are hurting again – can you still recover compensation? The law says yes, people can recover compensation if the accident aggravated a pre-existing condition or if the accident caused a new injury that is unrelated to the prior injury.

Aggravation of Old Injuries

A preexisting injury is considered “aggravated” if:

  • You suffered an increase in temporary or permanent disability
  • You needed additional medical treatments for your injury
  • You needed a change in the course of your current medical treatment

Ways to Strengthen Your Claim If You Have Preexisting Injuries

Preparing a claim that involves a preexisting injury can be complicated in many ways. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your claim, it is important that you gather all your medical documents, undergo evaluations from your physicians, and contact an attorney if you need help.

If you are seeking compensation and have a preexisting injury, here are some tips to improve your claim:

  • Always disclose your prior injuries to your doctor and attorney: Make sure that you inform your doctors and your attorney about your injuries so they can provide the right treatment and representation for your case.
  • See a doctor: Immediately following your accident, you should have a doctor evaluate your condition. A doctor will be able to tell you if your injuries are related to the accident and whether it is related to your preexisting injury.
  • Continue treatment: Missing treatment or failing to see a doctor will hurt your claim. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s orders and follow through with your doctor’s treatment plan.
  • Talk to an attorney: An attorney can evaluate your claim and help you prepare a strong case. As trained professionals who work on claims day in and day out, an attorney can protect you when dealing with insurers.

If you need help filing a personal injury claim, talk to our team of experienced Katy injury lawyers at Adams Law Firm. We are dedicated advocates who work hard to help our clients recover full and fair compensation for their injuries. Our team has experience dealing with insurers and representing clients who have had prior injuries. Learn more about your case and your options today.

Common Holiday Injuries and How to Avoid Them

With the holidays just around the corner, many people are busy finalizing their holiday plans, decorating their homes, and getting their gift shopping done in preparation for the upcoming festivities. Unfortunately, untimely accidents and injuries will hamper this time for many. From car accidents to holiday decorating mishaps, injuries tend to spike during the holiday season. To minimize your chances of spending the holidays in the emergency room, it is important to keep safety in mind and beware of the following common dangers:

  1. Car accidents: When considering the hordes of holiday travelers, slick roadways, and increased alcohol consumption due to holiday gatherings, this time of year is the most dangerous time to drive. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 25,000 people are injured in alcohol-related car accidents every year during the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. To minimize your risk of injury, never drink and drive, always practice defensive driving tactics, eliminate all distractions, and make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before embarking on a holiday road trip.
  2. Falls: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 5,800 Americans receive treatment for fall-related injuries sustained while decorating their homes for the holidays, with many of these injuries involving ladders. If you plan on getting on a ladder to accomplish your holiday decorating this year, be sure to only use it on stable ground, ask for assistance when you need it, and never stand on the uppermost rung.
  3. Electrical shocks: Shocks are another common injury associated with holiday decorating. Faulty lights, overloaded circuits, exposed wires, and frayed extension cords are responsible for an average of 5,000 indoor and outdoor electrical shocks each holiday season. Never use damaged light strands or extension cords, always follow manufacturer instructions, and only use lights that have been properly safety tested.
  4. Sports injuries: Some families use holiday family gatherings as an opportunity to host fun sporting events to gain bragging rights for the New Year. Unfortunately, many of these good-natured competitions turn sour due to broken bones, pulled muscles, concussions, or even more serious injuries such as spinal cord damage. If a family football, softball, or other match is on the agenda for you this year, be sure to always wear proper safety gear and avoid overexertion.
  5. Choking: From guests scarfing down holiday meals as quickly as possible to curious children putting small objects in their mouths, it comes as no surprise that choking is one of the greatest holiday hazards. Taking your time when eating, keeping an eye on small children at all times, and making sure your home is “baby-proofed” can help to protect you and your guests from harm.

Get Adams Law Firm on Your Side

Unfortunately, no amount of planning or precautions can prevent an accident caused by another party’s negligence. If you or a loved one should suffer an injury caused by a defective product or another person’s carelessness, our Katy personal injury attorneys at Adams Law Firm can help you seek compensation for your suffering. Backed by 35+ years of proven legal experience and an AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, our team of skilled advocates have what it takes to ensure your rights are guarded.

Call (800) 559-0593 or contact our office online today to discuss your legal options.

Do the New Features in Today’s Cars Distract Drivers?

From voice-enabled commands to Bluetooth wireless phone systems, new cars these days come packed with “smart” technology that is supposed to make performing small tasks while driving easier. For example, steering wheels can now do more than just control the direction of a car. Many come equipped with multi-button interfaces allowing drivers to control everything from the A/C to the radio. While these new features often entice potential buyers, are they really making the roads any safer?

Unfortunately, distracted driving is becoming an increasingly dangerous issue and the myriad of new features in cars may only be adding to the problem. While these new features may make small tasks more manageable, it may also mean drivers may perform them more frequently. Furthermore, some studies have shown that any diversion of a driver’s attention may constitute a risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of accidents involving distracted driving increased 10% from 2012 to 2013.

Why Is Distracted Driving so Dangerous?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration breaks distractions down into three categories: visual, cognitive, and manual. Stimuli in any one of these categories which diverts a motorist’s attention away from the task of driving can constitute a substantial danger. For example, many drivers may assume that because they are keeping their eyes on the road that it is safe to use a car’s voice-enabled commands. However, the cognitive distraction can reduce their overall focus on the road. The more frequently drivers perform these task, the greater the danger to everyone on the road.

When drivers look over to change the radio, enter a destination in a navigation system, or enable a phone’s Bluetooth, they are not paying attention to the road. Even if this is just for a moment, it can take a driver a substantial amount of time to fully readjust to driving. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), this re-adjustment time can be as great as 27 seconds.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call (800) 559-0593

If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe that the other driver may have been distracted, contact our firm and let us know what happened. At the Adams Law Firm, we possess more than 35 years of legal experience and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in past cases. Our legal team includes an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. When your future and health are on the line, let our Katy personal injury attorneys fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Do you have questions about your car accident? Request a case evaluation with our firm and get the answers you need.

How Long Will My Personal Injury Claim Take?

The length of a personal injury claim is largely dependent on the gap between how much money you require to cover your damages and what the insurance company is willing to pay. While a victim can accept a settlement as soon as it is put forth, early settlements are likely to offer less money. You will have only one chance to claim monetary compensation for your damages and accepting an offer too early can leave needed funds on the table. Below, our blog reviews several factors which can influence the overall amount of time the personal injury claims process may take.

  1. Liability is disputed: In some cases, there may be overwhelming evidence in your favor and the responsibility for an accident is clear. Most cases, however, will not be straight forward and one or more conflicting stories will often exist. It may be difficult to get an insurance company to pay the full value of your claim if the responsibility for an accident remains unclear.
  2. Your damages are disputed: The opposing attorney or insurance company may claim that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. For example, if you did not visit the doctor immediately, or the treating physician does not conclusively link your injuries to an accident, your claim may be undervalued.
  3. Your damages are extensive: Typically, the larger the claim, the longer it will take to settle. At the end of the day, the insurance company is a business that must take profits into account. An insurer will investigate each aspect of your claim and may be looking for any area in which they can justify a reduction in payment.
  4. Medical injuries are not immediately apparent: One reason why it is critical to visit a doctor after any accident is that certain injuries can take days or even weeks to fully present symptoms. It can take even longer to get a complete picture of how injuries will affect you in the months and years after an accident. Will your potential income be affected? Will you have a reduced quality of life? These questions can be difficult to answer.
  5. A case goes to trial: Perhaps one of the largest factors in determining the length of your claim is whether your case goes to trial. When the negotiation process breaks down completely, litigation may be the next step. While a courtroom battle can add months to the length of your claim, it may be necessary when an insurance company is not willing to pay a fair amount for your claim.

Injured in an Accident? Call (800) 559-0593

Frustratingly, there is no universal formula to determine how long the negotiation process will take until a fair settlement is reached. However, if you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, the Adams Law Firm can help you to efficiently navigate the claims process and avoid common pitfalls. Our attorneys possess more than three decades of legal experience and are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. If you have questions about your case, get in touch with our Katy personal injury attorneys and discover what our firm can do for you.

Request an initial case evaluation today and tell our firm about your accident.

6 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Personal Injury Claim

Nobody expects to be injured in a sudden accident. Depending on the circumstances, if it can be proven that your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party in pursuit of compensation for your losses. Unfortunately, seeking compensation is oftentimes much easier said than done, especially for those who have never dealt with the legal system before. If you are considering filing a civil lawsuit against a negligent party, it is important to be prepared for what is to come and avoid certain mistakes which can negatively impact your chances of recovering a fair settlement.

Common mistakes to avoid when filing a personal injury claim include:

  1. Leaving the accident scene too quickly: Be sure to gather as much information as you can at the scene of your accident and document all relevant facts that may have caused your accident. Take photographs and write down the names and contact information of any witnesses. Staying at the scene is especially important for car accident cases. Leaving before it is deemed appropriate to do so can potentially be seen as a “hit and run” and expose you to criminal consequences – even if the other driver was at fault.
  2. Not seeing a doctor promptly: No matter how severe or seemingly minor your injuries may be, seek a full medical evaluation as soon as you can after your accident. Some injuries, particularly those sustained in car accidents, can have delayed symptoms which may not surface until days or weeks later. Seeing a doctor will not only allow you to identify all injuries you have sustained, but it will also be crucial in allowing you to prove that your injuries were indeed the result of your accident and not some other cause. Likewise, it is also extremely important you follow your doctor’s orders and adhere to all prescribed treatments.
  3. Waiting too long to file a claim: Personal injury claims are subject to a “statute of limitations,” or a legal timeframe dictating how long injured parties have to file a claim. If this time limit expires, you could lose your ability to file altogether.
  4. Not documenting important information: As mentioned above, the more information you have related to your accident and the losses you sustain as a result, the better your chances are of securing the compensation you deserve. Keep records of all medical invoices, prescription drug receipts, lost wages, and correspondence with healthcare providers and insurance companies. It is also wise to keep a diary documenting your pain levels and the ways in which your injuries have impacted your life.
  5. Accepting the first offer: In many cases, a defendant’s or insurance company’s initial settlement offer will be far less than what you actually deserve to cover all of your damages. While you may feel pressured to settle as quickly as possible, in reality you have plenty of time to negotiate and wait for a better offer. Settling too quickly can be costly, as it can cause you to be financially responsible for any remaining expenses not covered by your settlement.
  6. Not hiring a personal injury lawyer: Individuals who attempt to handle their own personal injury claim are often taken advantage of by insurance companies and end up recovering far less than they would have with the assistance of an attorney. You need a personal injury lawyer on your side who can handle negotiations on your behalf and ensure your rights are protected.

Board Certified Katy Personal Injury Attorneys

Your chances of securing fair financial recovery after an accident are oftentimes only as strong as the attorney by your side. If you have been injured at the hands of a negligent party, the experienced Katy personal injury lawyers at Adams Law Firm can provide the steadfast and aggressive representation you need to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Having represented the rights of injured clients for more than 25 years, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.

We proudly offer free initial consultations for all personal injury clients. Fill out an online form or call us today at (800) 559-0593 to schedule yours.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

One of the most frequent questions our clients ask is, “How much is my case worth?” The short, and sometimes frustrating answer is, “it depends.” In practice, there are numerous factors which go into the estimation of a settlement and each case will have unique factors. Generally, the compensation available to victims is dependent on the loss they have suffered as a result of the accident. While metrics such as hospital bills can be measured, other aspects, such as pain and suffering, are harder to quantify. Just as a doctor is needed to accurately diagnose injuries, only a lawyer can review a case to estimate its worth.

Factors Which Can Influence Monetary Compensation

  1. Pain and suffering: A major factor in personal injury cases, pain and suffering can refer to the physical and mental anguish experienced as a direct result of an accident. While pain and suffering is a key component of a claim, there is no definite method for deriving an exact monetary value. A personal injury attorney can be vital in representing you and communicating the precise nature of your injuries as well as how they have affected you.
  2. Medical expenses: Costs from medical expenses can quickly pile up and should be factored into your total claim. This includes initial costs such as hospitalization, equipment, and medication, but also future medical needs. While it can be difficult to predict exactly how wounds will heal, injuries can commonly require prolonged rehabilitation, therapy, and prescription medications.
  3. Lost wages: An accident can impact your income in more ways than may be immediately apparent. Initial damages can include lost wages from missed work as well as future time off. Some injuries may prevent individuals from continuing their line of work, such as if a musician loses part of all of the functionality in their hands. This can forever affect your livelihood and reduce overall earning capacity.
  4. Diminished quality of life: Damages which directly affect your quality of life can be difficult to quantify. While these damages are generally associated with more severe injuries, most people who experience the trauma of an accident may experience a loss of enjoyment in their daily activities. Typically psychological in nature, this can include aspects such as anxiety and depression.
  5. Property damage: Every accident has the potential to damage your personal property. In cases of slip and fall accidents, this may include clothes, jewelry, and cell phones/smartphones. In cases such as car accidents, property damage can be significantly more severe. The overall value of any property can be augmented when it was a needed part of your daily life, for example, if you need your car for work.
  6. Gross negligence: While most damages are awarded as a means to compensate victims for their pain, suffering, and loss, it is also possible to be awarded punitive damages. These are additional damages intended to “punish” the negligent party for their actions. Not every claim will qualify and to seek punitive damages, the victim must show clear evidence that gross negligence took place. This typically applies to cases of exceptionally severe injury or where accidents were caused by exceedingly negligent acts.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Located in Katy, Texas

If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you will have only one opportunity to seek compensation. Our Katy personal injury attorneys have more than 35 years of legal experience and can help you to discover the maximum value of your claim. When you work with our firm, your team will include an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. When you need top-tier legal representation, look no further than Adams Law Firm.

Call (800) 559-0593 and learn about your potential compensation.

Attorney Adams Speaks at the Texas Trial Lawyers’ Annual Convention

Attorney Adams from our firm, Adams Law Firm, is one of the board members for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and was a featured speaker at the annual two-day convention. He spoke to the other trial lawyers about 18- wheeler accidents and how to successfully defend and represent clients in this type of injury case. 18-wheeler crashes are serious and can result in devastating injuries. The size of the vehicle has much to do with the injuries and results of the crash. At the two day convention event, Attorney Adams addressed “Effective Communication in Discovery and Trial” when it comes to 18-wheeler accidents. Nearly 300 lawyers were present at the convention and learning from the speech that Adams presented.

He is a board-certified lawyer in personal injury trial law and has ample experience dealing with these types of accidents in court. Attorney Adams is also board-certified in civil trial law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy- he knows how to communicate and defend in court. Adams Law Firm is dedicated to representing injured victims in their accident cases. We fight to obtain the maximum possible compensation for our clients while holding the negligent party responsible for the injuries. If you have been injured in any type of accident, we can fight to recover damages for your medical expenses, vehicle damage, rehabilitative costs, pain and suffering, lost income and much more. Team up with an attorney who is on the Texas Super Lawyers® list and chosen as a Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers. Contact our firm today for the high-quality and experienced personal injury representation that you need!

Check out the press release about the convention and the speech that Attorney Adams gave, by clicking here!

Welcome to the Blog for the Adams Law Firm

Were you involved in an accident that left you facing serious injuries? Was the accident preventable? You may be entitled to receive compensation. At the Adams Law Firm we stand ready to provide our clients with outstanding legal representation in their time of need through dedication, experience and trusted legal counsel. We have served the Katy, Texas community for over 35 years and we may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you need as well. To better serve our clients, we recently launched our new website and this corresponding blog. This blog will be updated periodically to provide valuable information to clients and residents as well keep you up-to-date on news pertaining to Texas personal injury laws. Check back soon and contact the Adams Law Firm team today to schedule your free case evaluation with a trusted attorney as soon as possible.

The Adams Law Firm Difference

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Double Board Certified

Attorney Will Adams has fulfilled and maintained the rigorous requirements to become a certified expert in both personal injury and Civil Trial Law.

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Top Personal Injury Lawyers
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Recognized as leaders in the field, we have been voted top lawyers in personal injury law for the Houston area. We are known for skilled, dedicated advocacy.

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AV Preeminent®

Our firm has garnered this top peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell® due to a reputation for meeting the highest standards in ethics and legal excellence.

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Top 10 Trucking

Our lead trial attorney has been recognized as one of the top litigators in all Texas, known in the legal community as a leader in the personal injury field.