Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been injured in an accident because of another person or business’s negligence, you will no doubt have many questions about the process and about matters related to your case. Filing a lawsuit for a personal injury claim can be very daunting and confusing, and you may wonder if you are entitled to damages for the personal injury you have sustained as the result of another person, business or entity’s negligence.

This website is intended to help you gain a better understanding about the personal injury claim process. However, it is no substitute for consulting with an attorney who can better answer your specific questions.

Contact Ben Bronston & Associates at 713-CALL-BEN or (713) 225-5236 for a free consultation to address your personal injury questions. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including the Greater Houston area,and surrounding communities. Contact our offices today to learn more.

Houston, Texas Personal Injury Claim FAQ


Do I have to pay for my initial consultation?

No, the attorneys of Ben Bronston & Associates only get paid if they obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf.


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I don’t have insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. How can I see a doctor?

We have a large list of doctors throughout Texas who will accept a letter, called a Letter of Protection (LOP), from us advising they will get paid after your get paid from your settlement or judgment.


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Do you help with property damage issues?

Yes. Most lawyers will not help you with this aspect of your case because they don’t get paid for it. However, at Bronston & Associates we help our clients with all aspects of their claim, including property damage.


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How do I know if I actually have a case for a personal injury claim?

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, maliciousness or carelessness, you likely have a personal injury claim, and are probably entitled to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, physical disfigurement or impairment, pain and suffering, and/or loss of enjoyment of life. In certain cases, you may also be eligible to recover punitive damages, or punishment damages, if the other party acted maliciously or intentionally.

When proving a personal injury claim, your attorney must show you sustained some measureable injury because another person had a duty to act or not act in a certain way, and they actually or proximately breached that duty.


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How long will my case take to settle?

A personal injury lawsuit can settle in a short period or long period of time depending on a variety of factors. For example, the amount of damages can affect how long the case will last, in addition to disputes over who is actually at fault in the case and what percentage each party is at fault in the case. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have been injured so they can help you receive the damages you are entitled in the shortest period of time.


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Is there a minimum personal injury judgment or settlement amount?

No – in most cases, there is not a minimum amount for a personal injury judgment or settlement amount. However, there may be a maximum judgment amount allowed, such as in many medical malpractice cases in Texas.


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How is my injury valued?

An injury in Texas is valued by medical expenses or actual financial expenses, which are known as economic damages, and my non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, future medical expenses, loss of wages, and/or physical impairment or disfigurement. Additionally, in certain cases, if the individual who caused the accident acted with malice or acted intentionally, you may also be entitled to exemplary damages, or punitive damages, which are meant to punish the actor.


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Will a prior injury affect the value of my claim?

Maybe – the individual who caused your injury is only liable for the harm or damage they caused you, not for an injury that was pre-existing. However, if you can prove the offending party exacerbated your previous injury, you are entitled to damages for the degree they worsened your injury.


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How are damages for “pain and suffering” determined?

Pain in suffering is not determined by a specific formula in Harris County, but is different for every case. For example, pain and suffering may include future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment or disfigurement, or loss of future wages. Since there is no set formula to determine damages for pain and suffering, the amount of these damages are often disputed by both parties in a claim for personal injury.


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Why do I need an attorney if it’s obvious the other party was at fault?

The amount of damages are always disputed in personal injury claims, even if it is clear the accident was the result of other party’s negligence. Therefore, it is important to hire a skilled personal injury attorney to help you receive the damages you deserve for your injury.


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Who do I file my lawsuit against – the insurance company or the other person who caused the accident?

If your claim for damages is not settled, you would file a lawsuit against the party who was negligent – not the insurance company. For example, a premises liability lawsuit would be filed against the store owner or the person in possession of the premises. A car accident personal injury lawsuit would be filed against the other driver who negligent, not their insurance company.


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What should I do if I was a car accident and the other driver was at fault, but I was underinsured or uninsured?

Under Texas law it does not matter if you did not have insurance when you were injured in a car accident as a result of the other driver’s negligence.


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Why should I avoid talking to an insurance adjuster if I’ve been injured in a car accident?

The insurance company is taking your statement for their benefit, not to help you recover what you deserve for your injuries. You are not even required to give a statement to the insurance company. Before you give the insurance company any kind of statement, it is important to first consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who will correspond with the insurance company on your behalf. Even though you intend to be open and honest about the accident, the insurance company is liable to misconstrue what you say and twist it to make it beneficial for their side.


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Can I meet my attorney?

Yes. The attorneys of Ben Bronston & Associates will meet and talk to all of their clients if requested by the client.


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If I’m unable to come to your office, can you come to my house?

Yes. The attorneys of Ben Bronston & Associates will travel to the home of potential clients if they are unable to come to the office.


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What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (CPRC) § 71.004, certain family members are allowed to seek financial damages from the negligent party responsible for the death of their loved one. CPRC § 71.002 states that liability for wrongful death exists if a person’s death is the result of an individual, association of individuals, joint-stock company, or corporation’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.


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What is the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action?

Whereas a wrongful death lawsuit provides compensation for the family members immediately affected by the loss of a loved one, a survival action is filed under the Texas Survival Statute, CPRC § 71.021, and is designed to be the personal injury claim that the deceased person would have filed had they survived their injuries. A survival action is brought by the deceased person’s legal representative, heir, or estate, but the beneficiaries of the wrongful death lawsuit and the survival action are frequently the same.


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Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person can file a wrongful death lawsuit or one or more of those individuals can file the lawsuit for the benefit of all. If none of those individuals entitled to file the wrongful death lawsuit have begun the action within three calendar months after the death of the injured individual, the deceased person’s executor or administrator is allowed to do so unless requested not to by all those individuals.


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What types of compensation can be recovered in a wrongful death case?

The types of compensation that can be recovered varies from case to case, some of which depend on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. Compensation may include:

  • Expenses associated with the death, such as funeral costs
  • Lost advice, care, counsel, and support that would have been provided by the deceased
  • Lost benefits
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering
  • Punitive damages or exemplary damages in some cases

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How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

The statute of limitations generally requires that a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death. However, there are exceptions for certain cases (such as medical malpractice deaths) in which a family does not learn and could not have learned about a party’s negligent behavior until a later date.


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What if the victim was a child who was not born alive?

CPRC § 71.001(4) notes that the deceased may include an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.


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What is the difference between a murder and a wrongful death?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case, but a murder is a criminal case. Civil lawsuits are fired by relatives of the victim, but criminal charges are filed by government prosecutors. There are also two different burdens of proof required for these cases. In a civil case, the negligent party’s guilt only needs to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. In a criminal case, the accused individuals can only be found guilty when the charges have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Murders may result in wrongful death lawsuits, but not all wrongful deaths are murders.


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Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit if my brother or sister was killed?

No. Texas law unfortunately does not allow siblings to file wrongful death claims for the death of a brother or sister.


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How does a wrongful death lawsuit work for divorced parents, adoptive parents, stepparents, foster parents, and grandparents?

Divorced parents are allowed to file lawsuits for the wrongful deaths of their children, and adoptive parents can file claims for the deaths of their adopted children. However, stepparents, foster parents, and grandparents are not accepted relations to the deceased in wrongful death lawsuits.


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Does a settlement need to be shared by all family members?

Yes, damages are divided among the eligible surviving family members. The court typically divides assigns these damages in proportion to the injuries they suffered as a result of the wrongful death.


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How much will it cost to pursue a wrongful death claim?

The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Ben Bronston & Associates provide legal services on a contingency fee basis. As part of our No Fee Guarantee, this means that you do not pay anything unless we successfully obtain a settlement from your wrongful death lawsuit. Contact our firm today at (713) 225-5236 or send us an online message to have our wrongful death lawyers review your case.