Archives for the month of: May, 2015

Many people who are injured, whether as a result of a car wreck, medical malpractice, or otherwise, focus on the negligence of the person who injured them, believing that this is all that they must prove in order to recover damages. Unfortunately, negligence is only part of what must be proven. What some do not realize is that they must also prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their injury. To do this, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence was a cause that was a substantial factor in bringing about the occurrence or your injury, and without which cause such occurrence or injury would not have occurred. Furthermore, the plaintiff must establish that the act or omission complained of was such that a person using ordinary care would have foreseen that the occurrence or injury, or some similar occurrence or injury, might reasonably result therefrom. In some instances, causation is not very difficult to prove. For example, the defendant runs a stop sign, hits you, and you suffer a broken arm as a result of the collision. In some instances, however, causation can be problematic. For example, the defendant runs a stop sign, hits the plaintiff, and the plaintiff is later diagnosed with a bulging disc. However, the plaintiff is 80 years old, has had 3 back surgeries, and was diagnosed before the wreck with degenerative spine disease. That plaintiff will need a medical doctor who can testify that the bulging disc was caused by the accident and not the prior medical condition of the plaintiff. Because the issue of causation is so important, do not put off consulting with a qualified personal injury trial attorney to assist you in determining if you have a claim. Therefore, please feel free to contact me at 940.891.0003 to set up a cost-free consultation to discuss your case. I look forward to visiting with you next time. Brian T. Cartwright, Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law, AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, Shareholder, Alagood Cartwright Burke PC.

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Medical expenses are a recoverable damage sought in the vast majority of personal injury cases, whether it involves an automobile accident, medical malpractice, or some other type of personal injury claim. To recover past medical expenses, a plaintiff must establish: (1) the amount of medical expenses that were paid (either by insurance, the plaintiff, or anyone else), or, if not paid, were incurred and still outstanding; and (2) that such expenses were reasonable at the time and place of service and were for necessary medical care. To do this, the plaintiff can call an expert witness to the stand; however, this can often be an expensive proposition because experts often cost a lot of money. Fortunately, the Texas legislature enacted a law that, if followed, helps personal injury victims avoid such expense. Chapter 18 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code establishes a procedure for plaintiffs to obtain an affidavit from each medical provider who treated them that sets forth both the amount of past medical expenses paid or incurred by the plaintiff, and the reasonableness and necessity of such expenses. The plaintiff must serve the defendant with a copy at 30 days before the date on which evidence is first presented at trial. If the defendant does not file a counter-affidavit within the time specified by the legislature which contests the affidavit the plaintiff served, the plaintiff can rely upon the affidavits as proof of the medical expenses that were paid or incurred, including the amount, reasonableness and necessity. If you have been injured by a defendant, please contact me at 940.891.0003 to set up a cost-free consultation to discuss your case, including the past medical expenses that you might be entitled to recover. I look forward to visiting with you next time. Brian T. Cartwright, Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law, AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, Shareholder, Alagood Cartwright Burke PC.