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Steven C. Laird
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Steven Laird’s Answers

8 total

  • How do we ask to get information on the semi insurance?

    my uncle was in an accident with a petroleum semi that was carrying a some of their pipe equipment. the semi hit my uncles vehicle by going into his lane

    Steven’s Answer

    Get a copy of the police report. The name of the insurance company should be on the report, although the amount of insurance will not be stated. You can also go to www.safersys.gov and get more information about the trucking company, including whether they carry the federally required $750,000 liability limits. If they carry more than that, the site will not necessarily tell you that. Having handled such trucking cases, I can assure you that the insurance company has already had either investigators or lawyers, or both, already looking at the case to see how it can be defended. You uncle may want to consider consulting with a lawyer to see what rights he has. Have him ask the lawyer about board certification, how many 18 wheeler cases has the lawyer handled, and how many trucking cases has the lawyer actually tried to a jury verdict (not just handled or settled). The area of law involving the trucking industry involves both state and federal laws, as well as industry standards.

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  • How does becoming disable due to a car accident adds value to your case?

    October 5th,2011 my husband was rear eneded by a dr. pepper commercial vehichle while sitting in traffic. Dr. pepper asmotted to 100% at fault. Our car was totaled. He has multiple levels of disc protrusions. He had therapy, epidural injections an...

    Steven’s Answer

    The most important aspect of your question has to do with the fact that your case will only have one recovery. That means that every issue must be taken into account for any long-term or permanent consequences to both your husband and your family. What is the long-term prognosis from the main treating physicians? Will future medical care and expenses be likely? How will this affect your family? Even though Dr. Pepper has indicated they are at fault now, I have seen many such cases where the defendant company changes its position once an experienced and competent lawyer points out the true value of the case after proper preparation. Please don't get lulled into a sense of false security by being told one thing now by an adjuster, only to find a different position being taken at a later time. For example, were there witnesses? Have they been contacted, and are they still in the local area? Did the driver make a statement to the investigating officer? Has the officer been interviewed to confirm this? I point out these questions because it has already been almost a year since the collision.
    The medical, impairment, mental anguish and lost income part of the case is certainly going to be critical, but the picture needs to be put together in a way to convince the insurance carrier to recognize the full value. You shouldn't take for granted that the carrier will simply recognize your family's loss and do the right thing. The carrier will only do the right thing when the case is prepared properly with the necessary evidence and witnesses, both fact and expert witnesses.
    Your husband's disability is a significant part of the case, but it is only one part of the case. A case like the one you involving your family has many moving parts to it. What you and your husband want to achieve is a fair and full value for your case. The worst scenario is having a lawyer who only obtains an amount that is less than the true value of what your family deserves. This happens far too often. Your family will only have one opportunity to maximize the true value of this unfortunate situation. You will no doubt be invited to hire any number of lawyers. For your family's benefit, please do some further research than simply relying on some of the answers given in a setting like this. Check out backgrounds, experience and results of lawyers who handle these types of cases. Ask how many actual jury trials the lawyer has had. What type of results has the lawyer actually had. Is the lawyer board certified in one or more areas of practice? If you have the opportunity, ask the judges in the area about lawyers who you are interested in. Location of the lawyer (if in Texas) should not be a factor if the lawyer truly has a statewide practice. Review the important information from their websites. Remember, you should choose the lawyer; the lawyer shouldn't choose you.
    I wish your family the best of luck. I can appreciate the effect such an event has on a family, having represented clients in this type of case for over 30 years. Do your research, and don't be afraid of asking the hard questions.

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  • My husband was involved in an auto accident a week ago. Car was totaled and he received a concussion he has been in ER twice.

    Is an attorney recommended? He had a really Ho edifice stroke about 15yrs ago. This worries me for the future ascfar aschis health is coancerned.

    Steven’s Answer

    The general rule is that the more serious the injury, the more likely you'll benefit from hiring a lawyer. Since your husband suffered an earlier stroke and has now suffered a concussion, you'll need to get medical opinions as to whether the new injury aggravated his prior condition. In any event, needing to return to the ER twice already indicates his condition needs to be carefully evaluated from both a medical and legal standpoint. Your husband's age and overall health will also need to be taken into consideration. For example, how active was he before this injury? If you live in Denton County, it is a very conservative area. The medical information needs to be put together in a way that takes that into consideration. Different counties have different demographics, and generally different juror attitudes towards these cases. We practice in Tarrant and all of the surrounding counties, and are very experienced in some of the more conservative counties like Denton. Dallas jury pools, for example, are generally quite different than Denton or Tarrant, even though they adjoin each other. Most people don't appreciate the subtle differences between counties. Has your husband seen a neurologist? If so, is it the same neurologist who saw him before? What type of testing has been done so far, and what has it shown? What type of treatment or prognosis has been given, if any? How is your husband feeling now? What type of symptoms does he have?
    These are just some of the questions that will need to be addressed.
    So, I would simply say again that the more serious the injury, the more likely your husband would benefit by consulting a lawyer who's experienced in these types of cases. Please note that there is a two year statute of limitations with these types of cases. We hope your husband is doing better.

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  • What's the most important thing to look for when hiring a personal injury attorney?

    I'm going to need to hire a personal injury attorney, and was wondering what the best thing to look for it, to make sure I'm getting a good one. .

    Steven’s Answer

    If your case is in Texas, you will want to ask if the lawyer is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. You should also ask how many personal injury jury trials the lawyer has tried in his or her career. Ask the lawyer what types of personal injury cases he or she has handled, and what type of verdicts has the lawyer obtained for the clients. Ask if the lawyer will be handling the case himself or herself, instead of someone else in the firm handling it. Ask if the lawyer has ever had a grievance filed against him or her. Be sure that the lawyer is not going to refer the case out to another lawyer, as many advertising lawyers on TV and in phone books do just that. Ask how the lawyer anticipates the case will be developed and the amount of time that is expected to conclude the case. Don't let a lawyer pressure you into signing a contract just because you've made an appointment. Make sure you feel comfortable about the lawyer you select. Remember, you should select the lawyer. The lawyer shouldn't select you. Good luck.

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  • Had back surgery done 7 months ago my MRI. Shows my disc is worser than before surgery.can I sue her for malpractice?

    I have proof that my disc was better before surgery. Now I have worst pain ever and my leg and foot go numb.

    Steven’s Answer

    Perhaps the real question is whether it would be worthwhile if you could find a qualified and experienced board certified lawyer to handle the case. Since tort reform in Texas in 2003, medical malpractice cases have become even more expensive and procedurally difficult. Court interpretation of the law has primarily benefited the healthcare provider. A qualified medical expert is required to prove the case, but that may be the least difficult part. These cases have always been notoriously expensive to investigate and pursue. If health insurance paid any part of the bills, they will probably be entitled to reimbursement if you get a recovery. Out of the same recovery comes attorney's fees and expenses. Add to this equation the fact that during the last 20 years juries have given the benefit of the doubt to the healthcare providers, siding with them about 75% of the time. Medical malpractice companies take this into account when evaluating a case for settlement. These case now need to have fairly strong evidence of negligence with substantial damages likely from a jury to be able to be pursued. It's not fair, but it is a combination of the law and cultural attitudes in Texas that frames this picture. Each case is different, but these are some considerations that must be taken into consideration. If your surgery occurred in Denton, that's a very conservative county on top of everything else. There is a strict two year statute of limitations from the date of the claimed negligence in the case you are describing. Finding a good medical malpractice who has lots of experience is getting more difficult in Texas everyday. Our firm still reviews many such cases, but we now primarily handle other types of serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, such as trucking cases. I truly hope your condition improves.

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  • Should I sue for slander/libel?

    4 year relationship, since day one she has kept detail records of our relationship, If i called her, she took picture of caller ID, If I text, she backed up to email etc.. During the 4 years she has told ALL of my friends that I am abusive and has...

    Steven’s Answer

    Libel/Slander has a shorter statute of limitations in Texas--one year. Please bear in mind that not only does one have to prove libel/slander, but the amount of damages caused as well. These are often difficult cases. Also, the entire extent of your relationship with her would be subject to being discovered/exploited, as well as possibly other areas of your background. Yes, her lawyer could legally explore much in your background based on your claims. Depending on the evidence, that may help and/or hurt you. Additionally, the potential amount of damages needs to be weighed in light of the attorney's fee and expenses. Does she have independent wealth in case there is no insurance coverage for the claimed action? Insurance may not ultimately cover any damages, although it might still provide a defense lawyer for her. Any insurance contract potentially covering a judgment would have to be examined, and that would probably only be able to be obtained after filing suit. There may be as many practical considerations as legal issues involved. Good luck with this. You should give strong consideration to whether pursuing such a case would be worthwhile under the circumstances, even if you could find a lawyer willing to go forward with it.

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  • What are our rights

    My wife went to the dentist, they told here she needed fillings and crowns, told her it was $1200 worth of work. She said go ahead do it. By the time they were done our bill was 4300. Plus the idiot dentist FORGOT to put in one of the temp crowns ...

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    This type of situation occurs all too often. Your question involves a practical consideration as much of a legal issue. A healthcare liability claim like this is still governed by the medical malpractice statutes in Texas, which require expert testimony from someone qualified in the same healthcare area to prove the case. Many cases that have evidence of malpractice may be cost prohibitive to pursue due to the expense of retaining a qualified expert, as well as the costs of the litigation itself. If health/dental insurance paid for any of the care, the carrier will also likely be entitled to be paid back from any recovery in accordance with the policy language in the contract. These types of cases have been made much more difficult, both legally and practically, to pursue since tort reform was passed in Texas in 2003, along with court interpretation of these laws. Each case is different, but a projection of the costs and potential recovery should be made by an experienced lawyer at the beginning of the case to help determine if pursuing the case would likely be worthwhile for the potential client. If there is a recovery, contingent attorney's fees, expenses, and health/dental insurance reimbursment comes out of that one recovery. Without reviewing the specific case, it's difficult to detemine how viable a claim may be. Jury verdict results on these types of cases have changed significantly in favor of the healthcare providers during the last 20 years, and malpractice insurance companies take these statistics into account when evaluating claims for settlement purposes. These types of cases have a strict two-year statute of limitations from the date of the claimed negligence. I hope this helps give some information about how an experienced lawyer should help you assess your situation. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is obligated to investigate the complaint you sent, although the Board does not provide monetary compensation.

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