Understanding the Basics of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Law Firm of Roger "Rocky" Walton, P.C. has been practicing exclusively in the area of personal and bodily injury law since 1987. Since 1994, Rocky Walton has been a board certified specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Less than 3% of Texas lawyers can claim to be specialists in personal injury trial law.  

We handle many kinds of injury law, as long as the injury was due to the intentional act, fault of another or the dangerous nature of the product or premises.  We accept injury cases from all over Texas as long as the case meets our criteria for being a catastrophic injury or wrongful death case.  We accept cases outside Texas as long as the injured party is a Texas resident. 

If the case involves catastrophic bodily injury or death, we accept car accident cases, car/truck collisions, boating accidents, dog bites, airplane crashes, motorcycle cases, school bus wrecks, train crashes, dangerous medical devices, bad drug cases, drunk driver cases, texting cases, pedestrian cases, dram shop cases, wrongful death cases, sexual assault cases, hazing cases, carbon monoxide poisoning, passenger claims, injury or death claims against the government, dangerous premises cases, and on the job third party claims or non workers compensation injuries.  We are experienced in traumatic brain injury cases, RSD injuries, spinal injuries, and other injuries.  Even if the case was an intentional act, there may be employer liability or substantial assets to cover the damages.  If there is a life insurance policy that will not pay death benefits or accidental death benefits, we may be able to help.  If a lawyer was negligent in handling a personal injury or wrongful death claim, we will consider making a professional negligence claim against the lawyer.   

Our requirements for accepting a new case are (1) death or catastrophic injury, (2) intentional or negligent conduct, and (3) insurance coverage or substantial unencumbered assets from which to collect the judgment or settlement. 

Most of our clients have trauma type injuries, such as spinal injuries, broken bones, joint injuries, brain injury, and internal injuries.  Many of our clients have permanent injuries and will suffer from those the rest of their lives.  Some of our clients must use a cane, walker, or wheel chair for the rest of their lives.  

You can tell that the people at this office really enjoy helping people. They always try their best to do what they say they will do and are always honest. - Sicily B.

Our clients suffer catastrophic bodily injuries and are entitled to damages.  These include damages for medical expenses in the past and future, lost of earning capacity for the past and future, impairment for the past and future, disability for the past and future, disfigurement for the past and future, pain and suffering for the past and future, mental anguish for the past and future, and other damages. 

About 75% of our cases settle without the necessity of filing suit.  Only about 5% of all our cases actually go to trial, because usually the insurance company makes a reasonable offer just before trial that is acceptable to our client.  That means that about 95% of our cases settle rather than have the jury decide.

If we are unable to settle before litigation, we file a civil suit against the individual that is responsible.  We are not allowed to sue his/her liability insurance company.  If the case goes to trial, we are not allowed to tell the jury that the party even has insurance.  If the case is against our client’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage then we are allowed to sue the insurance company. 

The party that files the suit is called the plaintiff. The suits are usually filed in State Court rather than Federal Court.  The plaintiff has the burden of proving that the other party was at fault and more at fault than the plaintiff, by a preponderance or majority of the evidence.  He also has to prove that the fault or negligence is what caused the injuries and that the event and the injuries were foreseeable.  If the jury determines that the plaintiff was mostly at fault, the plaintiff will not receive any damages. 

The case does not have to be decided by a jury.  However, either side can request a jury and that is usually done by the insurance company of the defendant.  In District Court, there will be 12 jurors and the plaintiff must convince at least 10 out of 12 jurors to answer the questions his way.  In County Court or County Court At Law, there are six jurors and the plaintiff must convince at least five of the jurors. 

Sometimes people come in to hire us when it is too late to make a claim.  In Texas, the deadline to settle or file suit is normally two years.  However, there are exceptions.  If the injury happened in another state, the Statute of Limitations would be determined by the law of that state.  Also note that if the claim is against a government entity, you must give notice of the claim according to the laws of that entity, which may be anywhere from 30 days to six months. 

Call Law Firm of Roger “Rocky” Walton, P.C. now at (817) 429-4299 or toll-free at (888) 762-5988 for a free case evaluation. We handle accident cases in Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth,  Mansfield, and Texas.