FAQs

General

General

How much is my case worth?

This is the most common question in personal injury cases. No two cases are identical. Some key variables are sex, age, weight, height, prior injuries, pre-existing conditions, pain threshold, severity of injuries, number of injuries, types of injuries, medication required, type of therapy and frequency, permanence of injuries, degree of disability, type of disability, amount of work loss, the physician’s final diagnosis and prognosis, and there are many others factors which contribute to our overall evaluation of your claim’s Settlement Value.

Our lawyer deals aggressively with insurance companies. She will fight for your case in order to obtain the maximum compensation for your car accident. She will fight until she gets the last cent that the company owes you.

Why should I hire the attorneys at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian?

Our attorneys stand out among the rest for many reasons. Some of those reasons include:

  • Caring attorneys
  • Conveniently located in Houston inside the 610 Loop
  • Focus in personal injury cases
  • Effectively settle personal injury cases
  • Fight to obtain maximum settlements
  • Available 24/7 hotline & offers free consultations
  • Offer transportation to our office
  • Have qualified employees eager to help with your case
  • Provide aggressive, honest and vigorous legal representation
  • Background in biology and human sciences
  • Have a no fee pledge; we do not get paid unless we recover for you
  • Fully Bilingual-Spanish speaking attorneys

What is negligence?

Negligence is a term commonly used in personal injury law that refers to any type of reckless, careless, or wanton action that results in the injury or death of another. For example, when a driver is inattentive and causes an accident that is negligence, or when a person text messages while driving and causes an accident, that may also be considered negligence. Similarly, if a property owner is aware of a dangerous condition on his premises, but fails to take appropriate action to remedy the dangerous condition and a guest or patron suffers an injury due to the dangerous condition, the property owner will be considered negligent and will be held liable for paying damages.

Where can I find information about the responsible party’s insurance company?

You can find information relating to insurance companies in Texas through the Texas Department of Insurance.

How long do I have to file a claim?

The statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury in most cases. You have to either settle the case or file a lawsuit to protect the statute of limitations.

How much do your services cost?

Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis on personal injury cases. You will not be required to pay any attorney fees unless we are able to recover a settlement. Once a settlement is recovered, we will take a percentage of your settlement as a form of payment.

How long will it take to complete my claim?

If the settlement negotiations take their usual course, a settlement may be reached within NINETY (90) days after we receive your physician’s final report. Most cases are resolved within a year. However, if the responsible party is unreasonable in settlement negotiations and you demand a jury trial, it may be 3 to 4 years. (Approximately 10% of our cases).

What types of compensation can I seek in my claim?

You may seek monetary compensation for the following claims:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress
  • Future medical care
  • Future earning potential
  • Other claims

How do I know if I need a lawyer after an accident?

A personal injury claim can turn out to be quite a complicated matter to resolve for most people. A lawyer will help you to effectively navigate through the maze of documents, hearings, statements and bills. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a lawyer to make sure you are doing the right thing.

Auto Accidents

Auto Accidents

I’ve been involved in a car accident. Do I need an attorney?

If you or someone in your vehicle has been injured, it is in your best interest to contact a competent attorney. Many car accident injuries get worse over time, especially if you don’t seek medical care after the accident occurred.

What if the other driver is uninsured?

Generally, the worst drivers are also the ones who don’t bother getting automobile insurance. Usually automobile insurance offers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. It reimburses you for your injuries when you are in a car accident with someone who does not have insurance. You need an attorney to help you navigate through this process against your own insurance company. We get you a just and full compensation for your losses.

If I was injured in an auto accident in which both the other driver and I were partially at fault, can I still make a claim?

Depending on the percentage of liability that is designated to your own actions you may still be able to recover in an accident case if you are partially at fault.

What are my options if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance?

We recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer before accepting any offers to settle. Insurance adjusters are highly trained individuals. You need to fight fire with fire and get the help of an experienced lawyer to fight for you and to get you every penny you have coming to you. It is highly advisable to seek legal help immediately after involvement in a car accident. Our attorneys are ready to help you, contact us now.

Will I get a good settlement for my auto accident if I work with the insurance company myself, instead of getting a lawyer?

In order to settle with the insurance company you have to understand your rights and the claims you can make. You have to have a thorough understanding of how much your case if worth. You should consult an attorney so you understand the law and the compensation that you deserve. It is our advice to always consult with an attorney before accepting any offers to settle.

What do I have to tell an insurance company? Do I have to give a statement about the accident?

Never allow an insurance adjuster to take your statement unless you have consulted with an attorney. It is important that you are not misinterpreted or misunderstood.

What should I do if I am injured in a car accident in Houston, Texas?

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, you know the rapid pace at which a crash occurs. What seems like a normal day is interrupted by a heap of twisted metal and a fury of shattered glass.

In Harris County alone, 41,706 drivers were injured in car accidents in 2013. Of those injuries, 11,928 were considered serious. While these statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation paint a grim picture of local roadway danger, many are still unaware of the appropriate actions to take following a crash.

If you have been injured in a car accident, take the following actions:

  • Get immediate medical care for your injuries.
  • Gather evidence.
  • Take pictures of the scene of the crash. (Most people use their cellphones to take pictures, or have a disposable camera in their glove box for such emergencies.)
  • Take pictures of your injuries.
  • Get witness information. (This includes name, phone number, and their recollection of the accident.)
  • Call the authorities.
  • File a police report.
  • Contact an experienced Houston car accident attorney.

Taking these steps can help you collect evidence from the scene in the event that you need to file a claim. If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, you may have the right to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress
  • Future medical expenses
  • Future earning potential
  • Other claims

The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Texas is two years in most cases. However, if you have been injured in an accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.

If you have more questions about the steps you should take following a car accident, contact our Houston office today. Our staff is 100 percent bilingual, and will help you find the answers you and your family are looking for.

If an insurance company sends me a check after my accident, should I accept it?

It is not a good idea to accept a check or sign anything related to a car accident claim without first having a knowledgeable Houston car accident lawyer review it. It is not unusual for the at-fault driver or his insurance company to offer you a check within a few days of a car crash, but it is not always the best option for you to accept this offer just to settle your claim quickly.

Why do insurance companies make an offer quickly after a crash?

Insurance adjusters bet on the fact that most people want to deal with the aftermath of a car accident as quickly as possible so they can pay their medical bills, repair or replace their vehicle, and get back to their life as it was before the crash. People don’t normally wish to spend weeks or months stressed out about a car accident insurance claim.

Knowing this, insurance adjusters may reach out to car accident victims within days of an accident and make a settlement offer. They know this quick solution is tempting to you — they also know it could save their company thousands of dollars.

If you accept this check, they may have you sign a release form, you may be waiving all rights to collect any more compensation for your accident injuries or other damages.

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How can it hurt me to accept a check after a Houston auto accident?

These early settlement offers usually occur before you are certain about the severity of your injuries, and certainly before you know the full value of your claim. This means, if your injuries worsen or have complications weeks or months later, you could end up paying thousands out of pocket.

Your best bet is to call a Houston car accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash, and wait until your injuries stabilize before considering a settlement offer.

We have extensive knowledge of how insurance companies and adjusters try to reduce the amount they pay out. We can handle all communication with the insurance adjuster and help you understand the full value of your damages. We protect your rights, prevent the insurer from taking advantage of your desire for a quick resolution, and negotiate a settlement that gets you the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.

How can a lawyer protect me from an unscrupulous insurance company?

We sometimes see auto accident victims who need surgery, ongoing medical care, or even long-term nursing care, but they agreed to accept a payment from the insurance company early on in their case. Unfortunately, that person may have waived rights to recovery.

We want to prevent you from finding yourself in a similar situation. Even if we have not met to discuss your case yet, it pays to give us a call and let us review any offer from the insurance company before you sign anything.

We know the games the insurers play, and how they trick victims into giving up their right to fair compensation. You want us on your case as early as possible, fighting for the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Call The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian for a free consultation.

At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we can help protect you from the tricks and tactics employed by insurance companies to reduce how much they pay you for your claim. This includes early settlement offers, forcing you into recorded statements, and claiming you are partially at-fault for your own injuries.

Call our Houston office today at 713-842-9492 to learn more about how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

When your friend wrecks your car: What Happens?

Your friend’s insurance covers the damage if your friend wrecks your car, right? The answer is more complicated than you probably realize. There are quite a few things to consider if you loan your car to someone else who wrecks it. Below, we discuss what you can expect if your friend borrows your car and causes an accident.

Whose insurance pays out if a friend causes a crash in my car?

Your liability insurance offers the primary coverage for any accident caused by the person behind the wheel of your car. Although it might seem counterintuitive, this is true even if your friend is driving at the time of the crash, and you were not in the car.

A number of factors determine how much your insurer will pay. This includes:

  • The specific language of the policy
  • Whether you gave your friend permission to drive your car
  • Whether there is shared fault between your friend and other motorists

Will my friend’s insurance company pay for any of the damage done?

If your friend has his own auto insurance policy, it should provide the secondary coverage for any injuries or property damage he causes. This means his policy may pay out to cover any damages above and beyond the limits of your policy.

It is important to know that there are maybe some limits on this type of coverage, and you need to check your policy before allowing your friend to drive your car or before driving anyone else’s vehicle.

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How can I repair my car if my friend crashes it?

If your friend causes the accident, you will need to rely on your collision coverage to repair or replace your damaged vehicle. Many people do not carry this type of coverage, which could leave you in a difficult spot. You can attempt to file a claim relying on your friend’s policy, ask your friend to pay for repairs, file a lawsuit against your friend to collect the damages or pay to repair your car out of pocket.

Of course, if another driver causes the accident and damages your car, her liability insurance policy should cover your property damage costs.

Could I be personally liable for an accident my friend caused?

If a friend caused an accident while driving your car, your insurance should pay out to cover the medical bills, lost wages, and property damage of the victims. Occasionally, though, you could be personally liable for the full amount. You may hear this referred to as owner’s liability or negligent entrustment, depending on the exact circumstances of your case.

This type of situation is rare, but may occur when:

You Excluded the Driver from your Insurance

Some people exclude family members or others living in their household from their auto insurance policy to save money. If you then loan that person your car, your insurance may not pay out if he causes a crash.

The Driver Is Unlicensed, Incompetent, or Irresponsible

Never loan your car to someone you know to be irresponsible, incompetent, or unlicensed. Your insurance company may deny your claim and/or the victims can file a lawsuit against you for negligent entrustment.

The Driver Is Drunk or Intoxicated

If you know someone is drunk or under the influence of drugs — or has a habit of intoxicated driving — and you loan him your car, you are maybe putting your financial future at risk. You could be liable for any injuries or property damage he causes while driving your car.

A Vehicle Defect Caused the Crash

If there is an issue with your car that could cause an accident, you need to take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Loaning it to a friend when it has a known issue means you could be responsible for any injuries that occur because of that issue.

To figure out the best way to approach this situation, call Hilda Sibrian.

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Do I need to call a lawyer after a friend wrecks my car in Houston?

Navigating the insurance claim process after a friend wrecks your car is a complicated process. There is no one-size-fits all answer because every car insurance policy is different. Give us a call as soon as you can after a Houston accident, and we can help you understand your liability policy, its limits, and how much you can expect your friend’s insurance policy to pay out.

Calling us early in the process is especially beneficial if you believe you might be in a situation where personal liability could fall on your shoulders. We can act quickly and aggressively to protect your assets and help you navigate the auto insurance claims process.

You can reach The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today by calling 713-842-9492.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

What is meant by personal injury?

Personal injury is a term that means that a person has suffered an injury, whether the injury is physical or mental, as a result of another person’s negligence. Personal Injury revolves around cases that involve: auto accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, slip & fall accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, etc.

What types of damages can I recover for my injuries?

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness, you can recover damages for your medical bills, on-going medical treatment expenses, any necessary adaptive equipment, lost wages, future lost wages, decreased quality of life, property damage, and pain and suffering.

What are the steps I should take after I am injured in an accident (auto, construction, slip and fall, etc.)?

If you have been injured in an accident you should take the following steps:

  • Get immediate medical care for your injuries;
  • Gather evidence;
  • Take pictures of the scene;
  • Take pictures of your injuries;
  • Get witness information;
  • Call the authorities;
  • Make a police report; and
  • Contact our office for further instructions at once

How should I be keeping track of my medical expenses?

It is very important that all of the costs of your injuries and medical problems are documented to ensure that these expenses can be recovered. For example, you could keep a log of medical bills, repair bills, days of work missed, etc. By seeking our legal representation, you will benefit from complete, competent, and caring guidance as you journey through this difficult process.

What are my legal options if I am injured in an accident that was not my fault?

If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault you have the right to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Property damage;
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress;
  • Future medical expenses;
  • Future earning potential; and
  • Other claims

How long after my accident do I have to file a personal injury claim in Texas?

If you are involved in an accident you should file a claim immediately. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in the State of Texas is two (2) years in most cases. After that, you may lose rights to recovery.

What do I have to prove to win my personal injury case? How hard is this to do?

In order to prove your case you must first prove that liability rests with the other driver or responsible party. Witness statements and police reports are often instrumental in proving liability. The evidentiary standard used in civil cases is preponderance of the evidence. Once you get through the hurdle of proving liability you will then have to prove up damages. Some damages may be proven by medical bills and records, expense receipts, pictures, witness statements, estimates of repair, etc.

How long does a typical personal injury claim take? What is the process?

A personal injury case may take up to two years or longer to resolve if it is not litigated. This means that the statute of limitations on a personal injury case is two years for most cases. If the case is litigated then it may take longer than two years. The initial process will involve proving liability. Upon liability being accepted by the other party then property damage should be resolved. Once property damage is resolved the bodily injury portion should be examined closely. It is important to understand all claims that can be made under the law in the state of Texas. Consult with an attorney so you can be advised of your rights.

How much is my personal injury case worth? What factors affect the amount that I receive?

Properly evaluating the worth of a case takes the skill of an experienced lawyer. There is no simple calculation. The value of your case will depend on the following among other things:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Body type
  • Impact level
  • Direction of impact
  • Vehicle make
  • Injury
  • Diagnostic testing/Diagnosis
  • Venue-County in which impact occurred
  • Areas of the body that were affected
  • Type of vehicle that impacted you
  • Witness statements
  • Factors affecting the credibility of witnesses
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Aggravating factors
  • Punitive or exemplary damages
  • Other factors

How much is my personal injury claim worth?

After suffering an injury, many questions run through your mind. How did this happen? Who is responsible? How can I make ends meet if I am forced to miss work?

Our personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we often find that people want to know how much their claim is worth.

This question, as you can imagine, is a difficult one to answer accurately. Every situation is different, involving different injuries and circumstances. Properly evaluating the worth of a case takes the skill of an experienced lawyer. There is no simple calculation. A personal injury case will depend on the following variables, among other things:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Body type
  • Impact level
  • Direction of impact
  • Vehicle make
  • Injury
  • Diagnostic testing/diagnosis
  • Venue or county in which impact occurred
  • Areas of the body that were affected
  • Type of vehicle that impacted you
  • Witness statements
  • Factors affecting the credibility of witnesses
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Aggravating factors
  • Punitive or exemplary damages
  • Other factors

You may seek monetary compensation for the following claims:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress
  • Future medical care
  • Future earning potential
  • Other claims

As you can see, it is extremely difficult to even estimate what a claim may be worth. If you have spoken with an attorney that has given you a concrete number, it is worth questioning how they arrived at such an estimate.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian to speak with one of our attorneys. Our staff will be honest and thorough when examining the details of your claim. We will discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury, address your concerns and questions, and provide a safe arena for you explore your legal options.

Do not try to simply bear the burden of your injury alone. Reach out to our Houston office today.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

What are the differences between an at-fault vs. not-at-fault motorcycle accident?

Warm weather months promise more motorcyclists sharing the road. The added motorcycle traffic along with the average distracted driver creates a high-risk scenario for motorcycle-involved accidents. Motorcycle accidents prove to be especially dangerous, as a driver has very limited protection by design, putting him or her at a much higher risk for injury than those driving a passenger car. Motorcycle laws can be confusing, and finding proper legal help after an accident can be even more challenging. The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian is here to give you the legal help you need post-accident.

What is a Not At Fault Motorcycle Accident?

The outcomes of a motorcycle accident can be devastating, but they are not always the driver’s fault. Common factors that lead to motorcycle accidents include drivers of passenger cars making dangerous left-hand turns in front of motorcycles. These accidents account for nearly 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents. In addition, dangerous road conditions account for 25 percent of accidents involving motorcycles.

Common causes of not-at-fault motorcycle accidents include:

  • Hit-and-run
  • Rear-end
  • Failure to yield
  • Limited visibility
  • Stop sign accidents
  • Driving under the influence

When traveling via a higher-risk method of transportation, most motorcyclists are aware of the added pressures; they remain ready to adjust to their surroundings to compensate for distracted and careless drivers who may not pay attention to motorcyclists. Even so, choosing a higher-risk form of transportation doesn’t mean you should be willing to suffer the consequences of negligent drivers so readily.

Common injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include:

  • Head injuries
  • Road rash
  • Muscle damage
  • Biker’s arm
  • Leg injuries

These injuries can be decreased in severity by using protective gear while riding a motorcycle, but sometimes even the most extreme precautionary measures are not enough. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motorcyclists are more than 35 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than those in passenger cars and five times more likely to be injured. More than 11 percent of all roadway accidents in the U.S. involve a motorcycle.

Though motorcyclists can take many precautions to minimize their risk of accidents, it’s important to know what to do in the event that one does occur. Motorcycle accidents are handled different than a standard car accident. It’s necessary to seek help from an experienced attorney that understands the complexity of laws surrounding motorcycle accidents and figure out how to best handle your specific case. Since motorcycle crashes are more likely to result in serious injury or death, the costs associated with motorcycle accidents are often much higher and may require a longer duration of representation while the victim is undergoing extensive medical treatment. These factors increase the importance of getting a just settlement for your damages.

At-Fault Motorcycle Accidents

Victims of negligence of a motorcyclist also need representation. Motorcycle accidents can occur as a result of an inexperienced or reckless driver, putting passenger vehicles at a higher risk of colliding with the poorly controlled motorcycle.

Common causes of at-fault motorcycle accidents include:

  • Following too close
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Inexperience riders

Texas is a 51 percent fault state, meaning that any fault in an accident totaling 51 percent or more makes you the at fault party in an accident. This makes it even more important for sufficient legal representation to get every last detail of the accident accurately represented. Additionally, Texas laws are not clear on lane-splitting, a potentially dangerous practice where motorcyclists ride between vehicle lanes. The complexity of these laws make it essential to have someone representing you who knows how to navigate the legalities of motorcycles on the road.

The confusion of motorcycle accident laws includes possible cause of motorcycle accidents by malfunction of the bike. Malfunction of a motorcycle is possible and a very real cause of accidents, though it accounts for less than 3 percent of accidents. Motorcycles are designed for capabilities in addition to roadway riding. Lack of operating experience can increase the risk of these untouched functionalities causing havoc.

Common malfunctions resulting in motorcycle crashes include:

  • Brake failure
  • Faulty tires
  • Fuel system issues
  • Dangerous design
  • Manufacturing defects

Getting your motorcycle closely inspected for any of the above listed malfunctions post-accident can make a huge difference in accident investigations. It’s imperative to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you find a trusted inspector in the event that malfunction is a suspected possible cause of an accident.

Since motorcyclists have higher vulnerability to fatal injuries, family members are often left to grieve the loss of their loved one, as well as deal with the legal mess left behind. Having an attorney to take care of it all for you gives you the time you need to readjust to life post-accident and get the settlement you and your family member deserve.

Dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster can be a pain. The insurance adjuster is more concerned with saving money for the company than giving you just compensation for your injuries and other damages. If you aren’t careful, your dealings with the insurance companies can prove more damaging than productive. That’s why it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney before settling for any type of settlement.

To get the best representation from someone who will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today. Compensation far outreaches costs to recover your vehicle. Settlements can be sought to include compensation associated with medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Before you accept a settlement from the insurance company make sure you talk to Houston motorcycle accident attorney Hilda Sibrian to make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve. Hilda is a dedicated personal injury lawyer available 24/7 and doesn’t get paid until she recovers a settlement for you.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

A loved one was killed in an accident. What are my legal options?

In the unfortunate event your loved one is killed as result of someone’s negligence you have the right to file a claim for wrongful death.

Dog Bites

Dog Bites

I’ve been seriously injured by dog bite. What are my legal options?

Your legal options under the law are to seek compensation from the dog owner or in some cases the care taker of the animal. You can seek damages including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress
  • Future medical care
  • Future earning potential
  • Other claims