Your Rights

Austin Texas Personal Injury Attorney

Get to Know Your Rights – visit or call the understanding staff at Pastrana & Garcia Law Firm in Austin, TX for legal advice and aid. We are always standing by help you – your citizenship doesn’t matter!

In Texas, when someone suffers a physical injury, or their property is damaged, they have sustained what is commonly referred to as a “personal injury”. Our laws allow the injured person to be “made whole again” by receiving compensation for the damages caused by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts. Personal injury law is also called “tort” law. While special interest groups in the United States have tried to tarnish this well-intended area of law, it has been part of the fabric of society since our country’s founding over 200 years ago.

Our legal systems, State and Federal, have tort laws to protect those who have suffered a personal injury. Personal injury laws require three things to be present before one may recover for their personal injury: there must be a legal duty between the one who committed the wrong and the injured person; there must be a violation (or breach) of that duty; and the injured person sustains a personal injury because of that breach. When all three elements take place, a personal injury, or tort, has occurred.

Our system of laws demands that citizens must not harm others. This means that not only should people be safe from harm, but their possessions also. Whenever someone else harms you or something that belongs to you, they become liable to answer to the tort laws governing the situation. Liability can be caused by intentional acts, or torts, or by negligence. An intentional act is one intended to cause harm or injury. In other words, the person committing the act wants to harm you. A negligent act occurs when someone fails to take reasonable and appropriate action, and you are harmed as a result. For example, if someone who becomes upset with you burns down you house, that is an intentional tort (as well as also being a criminal act). On the other hand, if someone fails to look in their mirror and moves into your lane, thereby hitting your car, that is a negligence tort. In the first case, the wrongdoer wanted to cause an injury; in the second case, the wrongdoer did not want to injure you but failed to take the reasonable and appropriate action to prevent injury. In both cases, the wrongdoer had a duty not to injure you or your property, because our laws create that duty. The duty was breached by the intentional and negligent actions of the wrongdoer, and damage to your person or property resulted.

Another form of personal injury law covers strict liability. Strict liability means that there is responsibility for the injuries caused, whether or not negligence was involved. This area of law is usually applied to situations where the activities are, themselves, abnormally or inherently dangerous. This area of law encompasses the area of product liability. Manufacturers of products are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that their products are safe when used as directed. If someone is injured by a product, under the terms of strict liability, they do not have to prove intent or negligence. They only need prove that the product was defective through no fault of their own, and that harm was done.

Once a personal injury has occurred, the wrongdoer has the legal obligation to make the injured person whole, or, in other words, to pay for the damages the wrongdoer caused. The term “damages” means the amount that is owed to you to compensate you for your loss. Damages can be agreed upon by you and the injuring party, through insurance settlements, or by other means. But often the damages offered to you may not fully compensate you for your loss. This is especially true if you have suffered physical injury and have not been able to work. Personal injury law is the mechanism for determining who is in the wrong, or in other words, who is “liable”, and what the liable person should have to pay for the damage caused.

If you are the suffered a personal injury, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. First, make sure that you seek proper medical attention to protect your physical health. Make sure you follow up with the proper authorities to report the event and the injury. And, contact your own insurance company. If you believe your injury was caused by the carelessness or intentional act of another, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss your rights. You should call as soon as it is convenient to do so and avoid discussing the matter with strangers and/or insurance representatives who are not from your own insurance company. You should be cooperative with the police, your own treating physicians, and your own insurance company. Most personal injury cases are covered by a statute of limitations, which means that you only have a certain period of time in which you can file a lawsuit. If you have a personal injury case that you would like us to review please call our toll-free number or email us, and we will provide you a free consultation. We stand ready to meet with you and discuss your personal injury claim.

Know Your Rights

Working in the state of Texas can pose a risk to your health. In a study conducted by the AFL-CIO, a national union of workers, it is mentioned that on an average day in 2004, 152 workers died as a result of personal injury and illness, and 11,780 resulted in injuries on the job. Generally, workers who are injured while working have the right to be protected by law. For example, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits that cover their medical expenses, a portion of income while they are unable to work, and disability benefits if they are unable to return to work.

But companies in the United States try their best to avoid liability to workers who are injured while on the job. And for undocumented immigrant workers, who are the most vulnerable in the United States, the battle for justice when injured while working is even more difficult. Many employers regard these workers as disposable. They consider them good enough to work for lower wages than American citizens, and make them work under often dangerous conditions, but are easily disposed of if they are injured on the job.

Statistics show that Hispanic employees, in particular, face more hazards on the job, compared to other groups of workers.

Although there may be limitations on protection under federal law, in a court judgment in Texas, it was recently determined that any limitation found in federal law does not prevent the state of Texas from compensation for damages, including damages for loss of capacity. to earn income, for an individual who is not legally in the United States.

Texas law provides protection to the injured worker, and he will be entitled to receive those benefits and compensation payments that any other American citizen is entitled to receive.

¿Qué debe hacer cualquier trabajador si resulta lesionado en el trabajo?

1. El trabajador debe informar a su patrón inmediatamente de la lesión.
No espere. Muchas veces, los patrones argumentarán que la lesión no ocurrió mientras la persona estaba trabajando. Al notificar a su patrón (a traves de su supervisor), usted los limita en su versión para decir que no fue relacionado en el trabajo.
3. El trabajador no debe firmar ningún documento que su patrón le pida, si no entiende lo que se dice en dicho documento.

Muchas veces, un patrón le pide a su empleado que renuncie a sus derechos, a cambio de pagar la cuenta del hospital. Esto puede dificultar que en un futuro, el empeado puede recibir atencion medica, o alguna compensacion.

Let Pastrana & Garcia use his decades of experience to help you with your accident case.
2. Busque tratamiento médico tan pronto como sea posible.
No espere a ver si su patrón estará de acuerdo con pagar sus cuentas médicas. Si el patrón ha comprado una póliza de seguro de compensación de trabajadores, la cuenta será pagada usualmente por el seguro. Sin embargo, muchos patrones en Texas no compran seguro de compensación. Pero, sin embargo, a pesar de que muchos patrones no compran ese seguro, cuentan con otros tipos de seguro que cubren los gastos médicos. Pregunte a su patrón si ellos tienen tal seguro. Y aunque el patrón no tenga seguro del todo, es todavía importante para el trabajador que un médico professional examine su lesión.
4. Consulte a un abogado.
Considere consultar con un abogado a fin de reviser la causas de su accidente y daños personales para determinar si tiene derecho a compensación alguna. Esto resulta especialmente importante si el trabajador va a estar ausente de su trabajo por algún tiempo, y tiene gastos personales y de familia que atender. Muchos abogados proporcionan consulta gratuita a los trabajadores lesionados, para aconsejarlos sobre sus derechos laborales. Aunque este artículo no se ha elaborado para proveer una lista completa de los derechos que un trabajador indocumentado tiene, solo brinda un conocimiento básico de sus derechos en el estado de Texas.