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Personal injury litigation arises when a person has suffered harm due to the acts or omissions of another. The person causing the harm may act in a negligent, reckless or intentional manner, or may sell or provide defective goods or services. Mr. Steidley almost uniformly represents the injured party on the basis of a contingency fee.

General categories include:

Personal Injury – Serious or Catastrophic

Learn More

When real tragedy strikes you or your loved ones, all your attention and energy centers around providing or receiving the appropriate health care. The last thing you are probably concerned with are the legal ramifications of the event. This is as it should be.

Unfortunately, the folks on the other side of the situation are often insurance companies or corporate institutions, and the only thing they are thinking about is how to minimize the financial harm. The early days and weeks after the incident are often critical with respect to gathering evidence, protecting against the “disappearance” of evidence, and obtaining witness identities and statements.

It may also be true that individuals or families are not sure about what to do with the myriad of related issues that arise after a catastrophe. Decision making might be impaired due to an entirely understandable but overwhelming emotional response. The type and kind of decisions that you are presented with may be so foreign or unusual to you that it is hard to make a confident decision.

At times like these it is often very helpful to have a very experienced advocate and a counselor on your side who is available to address important matters that don’t seem so important to you in the present moment. A good technical lawyer is a sound resource, and one who has over four decades of experience is even better. Ultimately the tragedy may be played out in front of twelve people who weren’t there and preserving and presenting the truth is vitally important.

The types and kind of compensation available in the case of serious injury may include medical bills and hospitalization costs, therapy, lost wages in the past, future earnings, physical pain and mental suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement, future medical costs.

Legal Malpractice

Learn More

Lawyers stand in a somewhat unique position with respect to their clients, and have one of the highest duties recognized in the law. A lawyer is required to put the interests of his or her client over their own. In the handling of a legal matter the lawyer is required to act reasonably with respect to the client’s interests and can be held accountable if they fail to do so.

A lawyer is not required to be perfect, and in the usual case no specific guaranty can be made concerning a result. In hindsight everyone can make better decisions. Nevertheless, lawyers are held to a particular standard of care, and if they breach that duty, can be required to compensate their former client for any harm that is suffered.

In addition, lawyers must comply with ethical rules. One example is when a lawyer represents multiple clients in the same case, and obtains a global settlement of all claims. The ethics rules required the lawyer to obtain the consent of all the clients to the overall settlement and to the details of the settlement with each individual client. Failure to follow this rule may require the lawyer to return all or part of the fees charged in the representation.

Consumer Fraud or Deceptive Trade Practices

Learn More
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (“DTPA”) was enacted on May 21, 1973 and is designed to protect consumers from injuries or damage they sustain due to false, misleading, or deceptive business practices. A consumer can be an individual or a company within certain statutorily defined parameters. Providers of goods and services are obligated to tell the truth about those goods or services, and not make false promises or representations. In addition, the DTPA outlaws that taking advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience, or capacity of a person to a “grossly unfair degree.” These types of shenanigans can be involved in the sale or repair of products or other goods, and in some cases applies to “products” that are financial, such as insurance policies, annuities, other banking/financial services.

The DTPA requires a specific notice to be forwarded prior to suit. If the wrongful action is performed knowingly, the statute provides a penalty above and beyond the actual damages suffered, and also has a provision for the recovery of attorneys’ fees.

Professional Negligence

Learn More
All professionals are required to perform their profession in a reasonable and prudent manner. There are recognized standards of care for doctors, dentists, accountants, engineers, architects, pilots, and any other profession that requires particular expertise. In order to prevail in such a case, it is required that an expert witness in the particular field, with the appropriate experience and knowledge, testify that the professional failed to exercise appropriate care under the circumstances. Usually the client provides the information necessary, and the lawyer then has one or more experts review the matter to determine if there is a viable case.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Learn More
Perhaps the most common manner in which people are injured in a way that allows for compensation from the responsible party or their insurance company. When an accident occurs, once any immediate health concerns are addressed, it is important to take down good information. In the age of the cell phone camera, one can take a picture of the appropriate insurance card, the vehicles in the accident, and if you can do so unobtrusively, of the other driver.

A police report should be prepared, which will be done as a matter of course if police officers are summoned to the scene. Even if the accident appears minor, it is essential that you get all the pertinent information. It is usually helpful for the person involved in the accident to go to the police station shortly after the accident to file a report. This will validate important information about the accident for any insurance company that is involved.

It is highly advisable that you obtain a doctor’s examination after any accident in which you feel there may be a possible injury. Some injuries do not manifest immediately. Whiplash or significant muscle trauma often does not present significant pain or limitation of motion until the day after the accident. If possible, see your primary care physician or chiropractor soon after the accident and of course if you are in immediate pain, go to the emergency room.

You are obligated to cooperate with your own insurance company, but in some circumstances you and the insurance company are not on the same side. For example, if the other motorist is uninsured or underinsured, something you may not know right away, your own insurance company will become the “insurer” for the other driver. Of course it is important to advised the insurance company about the accident, but it does not hurt to have advice about how to deal with their questions.

There is more than one type of coverage on most auto insurance policies, so you may have rights even when you might not think you have. For example, in a hit and run incident your policy may pay as if the other driver did not run, and had insurance. You may also have casualty loss benefits that pay for medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. A short conversation with an experienced personal injury lawyer can answer most immediate questions.

Construction Accidents

Learn More
Construction site injuries are a known feature of almost any construction project, due to the nature of the work, and the haphazard manner in which many sites are managed. In any given year as many as 350,000 U.S. workers are injured, thousands of them fatally, in the construction industry. happen on a regular basis and are oftentimes quite serious. Many of the men and women involved in construction accidents suffer life-changing injuries. Accidents are to some degree inevitable in this industry, but the frequency and seriousness of accidents is often affected by negligent management or the failure to follow the policies in place designed to protect construction workers.

There are as many ways for men and women to be injured in construction as there are trades performing tasks. The most common injuries are spinal being those to the neck or back, which can be caused by trips, falls, equipment failure, vehicle mishaps, collapse of a structure or trench, failure of a safety belt or harness, or being struck by falling objects. While head protection is often provided, a significant number of workers suffer traumatic head injuries, which may impair their physical or mental abilities for life. Workers may also be exposed to electrocution, burns, chemicals, noxious odors or fumes, and even explosions.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a construction site accident, good advice is to meet with a Board Certified trial lawyer in a timely fashion, so that your rights are fully protected. At The Steidley Law Firm your consultation is free, and you have no obligation of any kind.

Wrongful Death

Learn More
When a tragedy takes a loved one, Texas law provides for recovery of damages for a small group of relatives, called beneficiaries. Those entitled to seek compensation for this grievous loss are the parents, the spouse, and the children of the person who has died. The law requires that all of the beneficiaries participate in the same suit, but it does not require that they all have the same lawyer to represent them. If there are multiple lawyers involved, it is vitally important that they cooperate, so that those lawyers who may not be Board Certified with decades of trial experience do not inadvertently harm the overall case.

As with any catastrophic event, the attention and focus of those intimately involved is often on the immediate concerns of family and friends, as one would expect. Obviously not every death is associated with some other party who is at fault and who owes compensation, but it is prudent to consult with knowledgeable and experienced counsel about this possibility. There is no charge for this at The Steidley Law Firm or at other highly reputable and ethical law firms. Whether the answer is immediately apparent or requires further investigation, time may be of the essence.

In addition to a possible action for recovery against responsible parties, there are often issues presented concerning insurance policies, or perhaps benefits that are associated with the deceased person’s employment. In some cases it is important to have an estate on file with the probate court to protect assets and resolve any problems that may arise among the relatives of the departed. All of these questions can be asked and answered, typically without expense. In most circumstances it is best to follow the old adage “sooner rather than later.”

Products Liability

Learn More
Products liability in Texas is what is known as a strict liability offense. This means that negligence does not matter. If there is a defect in the product and the product led to harm, then the manufacturer of the product, and perhaps others, may be held responsible for compensatory damages in a court of law. Some well known examples are the exploding Ford Pinto, Asbestos, or the drug Thalidomide.

One types of products liability is the manufacturing defect, where the design is good, but something goes wrong in the manufacturing process. Another is a defective design, where the basic design is faulty. A third type is a marketing defect, where the warnings or instructions that accompany the product are either wrong or insufficient. In this type of litigation it is often essential that the product be maintained, or some aspect of the product.

Oil Field Injuries

Learn More
Severe injuries are very common in the oilfield. Head and brain injuries are not uncommon including concussions, skull and facial fractures, and facial lacerations which may lead to permanent neurological damage. Neck and back injuries are common and may arise due to poor working conditions or support equipment, or the lack of proper training and safety precautions. Explosions, equipment failure, and unsafe conditions sometimes occur, often with very serious consequences.

Burns and the loss of limbs manifestly alter the future for the injured worker. The loss of arms, legs, hands, fingers, and toes can occur because of the equipment used, and the need for training and experience in operating that equipment. Even lesser injuries to various parts of the body can be painful, and can limit the worker’s ability to perform the job.

If any of these occur, the prudent course is to obtain a complimentary understanding of your rights from a highly competent trial lawyer.

General Categories include:

Personal Injury – Serious or Catastrophic

Learn More

When real tragedy strikes you or your loved ones, all your attention and energy centers around providing or receiving the appropriate health care. The last thing you are probably concerned with are the legal ramifications of the event. This is as it should be.

Unfortunately, the folks on the other side of the situation are often insurance companies or corporate institutions, and the only thing they are thinking about is how to minimize the financial harm. The early days and weeks after the incident are often critical with respect to gathering evidence, protecting against the “disappearance” of evidence, and obtaining witness identities and statements.

It may also be true that individuals or families are not sure about what to do with the myriad of related issues that arise after a catastrophe. Decision making might be impaired due to an entirely understandable but overwhelming emotional response. The type and kind of decisions that you are presented with may be so foreign or unusual to you that it is hard to make a confident decision.

At times like these it is often very helpful to have a very experienced advocate and a counselor on your side who is available to address important matters that don’t seem so important to you in the present moment. A good technical lawyer is a sound resource, and one who has over four decades of experience is even better. Ultimately the tragedy may be played out in front of twelve people who weren’t there and preserving and presenting the truth is vitally important.

The types and kind of compensation available in the case of serious injury may include medical bills and hospitalization costs, therapy, lost wages in the past, future earnings, physical pain and mental suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement, future medical costs.

Wrongful Death

Learn More
When a tragedy takes a loved one, Texas law provides for recovery of damages for a small group of relatives, called beneficiaries. Those entitled to seek compensation for this grievous loss are the parents, the spouse, and the children of the person who has died. The law requires that all of the beneficiaries participate in the same suit, but it does not require that they all have the same lawyer to represent them. If there are multiple lawyers involved, it is vitally important that they cooperate, so that those lawyers who may not be Board Certified with decades of trial experience do not inadvertently harm the overall case.

As with any catastrophic event, the attention and focus of those intimately involved is often on the immediate concerns of family and friends, as one would expect. Obviously not every death is associated with some other party who is at fault and who owes compensation, but it is prudent to consult with knowledgeable and experienced counsel about this possibility. There is no charge for this at The Steidley Law Firm or at other highly reputable and ethical law firms. Whether the answer is immediately apparent or requires further investigation, time may be of the essence.

In addition to a possible action for recovery against responsible parties, there are often issues presented concerning insurance policies, or perhaps benefits that are associated with the deceased person’s employment. In some cases it is important to have an estate on file with the probate court to protect assets and resolve any problems that may arise among the relatives of the departed. All of these questions can be asked and answered, typically without expense. In most circumstances it is best to follow the old adage “sooner rather than later.”

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Learn More
Perhaps the most common manner in which people are injured in a way that allows for compensation from the responsible party or their insurance company. When an accident occurs, once any immediate health concerns are addressed, it is important to take down good information. In the age of the cell phone camera, one can take a picture of the appropriate insurance card, the vehicles in the accident, and if you can do so unobtrusively, of the other driver.

A police report should be prepared, which will be done as a matter of course if police officers are summoned to the scene. Even if the accident appears minor, it is essential that you get all the pertinent information. It is usually helpful for the person involved in the accident to go to the police station shortly after the accident to file a report. This will validate important information about the accident for any insurance company that is involved.

It is highly advisable that you obtain a doctor’s examination after any accident in which you feel there may be a possible injury. Some injuries do not manifest immediately. Whiplash or significant muscle trauma often does not present significant pain or limitation of motion until the day after the accident. If possible, see your primary care physician or chiropractor soon after the accident and of course if you are in immediate pain, go to the emergency room.

You are obligated to cooperate with your own insurance company, but in some circumstances you and the insurance company are not on the same side. For example, if the other motorist is uninsured or underinsured, something you may not know right away, your own insurance company will become the “insurer” for the other driver. Of course it is important to advised the insurance company about the accident, but it does not hurt to have advice about how to deal with their questions.

There is more than one type of coverage on most auto insurance policies, so you may have rights even when you might not think you have. For example, in a hit and run incident your policy may pay as if the other driver did not run, and had insurance. You may also have casualty loss benefits that pay for medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. A short conversation with an experienced personal injury lawyer can answer most immediate questions.

Legal Malpractice

Learn More

Lawyers stand in a somewhat unique position with respect to their clients, and have one of the highest duties recognized in the law. A lawyer is required to put the interests of his or her client over their own. In the handling of a legal matter the lawyer is required to act reasonably with respect to the client’s interests and can be held accountable if they fail to do so.

A lawyer is not required to be perfect, and in the usual case no specific guaranty can be made concerning a result. In hindsight everyone can make better decisions. Nevertheless, lawyers are held to a particular standard of care, and if they breach that duty, can be required to compensate their former client for any harm that is suffered.

In addition, lawyers must comply with ethical rules. One example is when a lawyer represents multiple clients in the same case, and obtains a global settlement of all claims. The ethics rules required the lawyer to obtain the consent of all the clients to the overall settlement and to the details of the settlement with each individual client. Failure to follow this rule may require the lawyer to return all or part of the fees charged in the representation.

Professional Negligence

Learn More
All professionals are required to perform their profession in a reasonable and prudent manner. There are recognized standards of care for doctors, dentists, accountants, engineers, architects, pilots, and any other profession that requires particular expertise. In order to prevail in such a case, it is required that an expert witness in the particular field, with the appropriate experience and knowledge, testify that the professional failed to exercise appropriate care under the circumstances. Usually the client provides the information necessary, and the lawyer then has one or more experts review the matter to determine if there is a viable case.

Oil Field Injuries

Learn More
Severe injuries are very common in the oilfield. Head and brain injuries are not uncommon including concussions, skull and facial fractures, and facial lacerations which may lead to permanent neurological damage. Neck and back injuries are common and may arise due to poor working conditions or support equipment, or the lack of proper training and safety precautions. Explosions, equipment failure, and unsafe conditions sometimes occur, often with very serious consequences.

Burns and the loss of limbs manifestly alter the future for the injured worker. The loss of arms, legs, hands, fingers, and toes can occur because of the equipment used, and the need for training and experience in operating that equipment. Even lesser injuries to various parts of the body can be painful, and can limit the worker’s ability to perform the job.

If any of these occur, the prudent course is to obtain a complimentary understanding of your rights from a highly competent trial lawyer.

Consumer Fraud or Deceptive Trade Practices

Learn More

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (“DTPA”) was enacted on May 21, 1973 and is designed to protect consumers from injuries or damage they sustain due to false, misleading, or deceptive business practices. A consumer can be an individual or a company within certain statutorily defined parameters. Providers of goods and services are obligated to tell the truth about those goods or services, and not make false promises or representations. In addition, the DTPA outlaws that taking advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience, or capacity of a person to a “grossly unfair degree.” These types of shenanigans can be involved in the sale or repair of products or other goods, and in some cases applies to “products” that are financial, such as insurance policies, annuities, other banking/financial services.

The DTPA requires a specific notice to be forwarded prior to suit. If the wrongful action is performed knowingly, the statute provides a penalty above and beyond the actual damages suffered, and also has a provision for the recovery of attorneys’ fees.

Products Liability

Learn More
Products liability in Texas is what is known as a strict liability offense. This means that negligence does not matter. If there is a defect in the product and the product led to harm, then the manufacturer of the product, and perhaps others, may be held responsible for compensatory damages in a court of law. Some well known examples are the exploding Ford Pinto, Asbestos, or the drug Thalidomide.

One types of products liability is the manufacturing defect, where the design is good, but something goes wrong in the manufacturing process. Another is a defective design, where the basic design is faulty. A third type is a marketing defect, where the warnings or instructions that accompany the product are either wrong or insufficient. In this type of litigation it is often essential that the product be maintained, or some aspect of the product.

Construction Accidents

Learn More
Construction site injuries are a known feature of almost any construction project, due to the nature of the work, and the haphazard manner in which many sites are managed. In any given year as many as 350,000 U.S. workers are injured, thousands of them fatally, in the construction industry. happen on a regular basis and are oftentimes quite serious. Many of the men and women involved in construction accidents suffer life-changing injuries. Accidents are to some degree inevitable in this industry, but the frequency and seriousness of accidents is often affected by negligent management or the failure to follow the policies in place designed to protect construction workers.

There are as many ways for men and women to be injured in construction as there are trades performing tasks. The most common injuries are spinal being those to the neck or back, which can be caused by trips, falls, equipment failure, vehicle mishaps, collapse of a structure or trench, failure of a safety belt or harness, or being struck by falling objects. While head protection is often provided, a significant number of workers suffer traumatic head injuries, which may impair their physical or mental abilities for life. Workers may also be exposed to electrocution, burns, chemicals, noxious odors or fumes, and even explosions.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a construction site accident, good advice is to meet with a Board Certified trial lawyer in a timely fashion, so that your rights are fully protected. At The Steidley Law Firm your consultation is free, and you have no obligation of any kind.