Why Using Small Claims Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Why Using Small Claims Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Sometimes, people who have been injured in an automobile accident or who have suffered a personal injury want to take their case to small claims court. Small claims courts have become quite popular in recent years, in part, because of the many television shows that feature small claims cases. Yet despite what you might have seen on television, small claims court may not be your best option. When it comes to personal injury cases and actual small claims courts, there are a number of issues you need to consider before you decide to take your case to your local small claims court.personal injury lawyers

Small Claims Judgment Limits

The most important thing to realize about small claims courts is that they have specific limits. Every state allows for small claims courts, and all of these courts have specific monetary limits that apply to them, though this amount differs between states. For example, if you sue someone in an Arizona small claims court for personal injury, the most you can win is $2,500. If you bring a similar case in the state of Texas, the most you can win is $20,000.

Small Claims and Personal Injury Cases

Unless the injury you suffered is very minor, your personal injury case is likely worth much more than the small claims court maximum limit. If you choose to bring your case to small claims court you can only win the maximum amount allowable by law. If you have suffered injuries and have sustained damages worth more than the maximum allowable amount, you won’t be able to recover the higher damages, even if you win.

Small Claims and Attorneys

The vast majority of state small claims courts allow plaintiffs to have an attorney with them to represent their interests. Only a small number of states, such as California, don’t allow plaintiffs in small claims court to be represented by an attorney.personal injury law

However, just because you can have an attorney for your small claims court case, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find one who will represent you. Because small claims judgments are limited, the chance that an attorney will help you with your case is similarly limited. Attorneys need to be compensated for their time, and the amount of money you have to spend in a small claims case will be limited.

Further, many personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer doesn’t get paid unless you win your case. When that happens, the lawyer will take a percentage of your winnings as his or her fee. But, because small claims cases only have limited judgment amounts, the amount you can win will almost never be worthwhile from the attorney’s point of view.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer

Before you decide to take your personal injury case to a small claims court, it’s very important that you speak to a personal injury attorney in your area. Only an attorney who has experience with a personal injury case can give you advice about your legal options and tell you what your best course of action will be.

Personal Injury Law – Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Personal Injury Law – Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

A Motorcycle traffic accident can be a very traumatic experience for those involved regardless of the severity of the crash. Injuries and fatalities bring a heightened sense of trauma. It is important that you know what to do before you are involved in an accident to be sure that you are taking the appropriate and necessary steps.motorcycle accident attorneys

There are several extremely important things that you must remember to do immediately after a motorcycle accident. Valuable evidence and witness collaboration may be crucial in determining the cause of the accident and can often be lost if not documented properly and accurately.

The following are crucial steps to take that will be helpful to you in the event of an accident.


File a report with the police, sheriff, or highway patrol to legitimately document the motorcycle accident.
Obtain all appropriate information from the other drivers involved, such as name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number, and driver’s license number. 
Document the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses. 
If you have a camera, take photographs of the accident scene including any vehicle damage and any injuries to all parties. 
Note the time of day, weather conditions, driving conditions, road construction, and other relevant information about the environment. 
Make sure you go to an emergency room or see your doctor as soon as possible. Describe all of your injuries and do not leave anything out. Even an injury that may appear to be minor at the time can lead to severe complications in the future. 
Call an experienced and reputable personal injury – motorcycle accident law firm to protect your rights. 
Inform your insurance company of the accident but never discuss the accident or any injuries to any other insurance company. Refer all inquiries to your attorney. 
Never volunteer any “theories” about the circumstances surrounding the accident. Never agree to sign any statements regarding the accident without first referring to your attorney. 

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, motorcycle product defect, or unsafe roadways or hazards, you need to hire an experienced motorcycle injury attorney to protect your rights. bike crash law

The attorneys of our firm are experienced and accomplished personal injury lawyers handling motorcycle injury cases for clients in Texas. Call today for your free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.

We have been awarded the highest ranking a law firm can be awarded, signifying that the lawyers have reached the best heights of professional excellence and are recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accidents

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accidents

Q. How do you know if you have a good case?

A: The only real way to know if you have a good auto accident case is by talking to an experienced attorney. Most lawyers who are worthwhile offer a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case and will tell you whether your case has merit or not. There is no obligation to you whatsoever for this free personal injury consultation. Some will even just let you email them. Search around but don’t just choose anyone. Take the time to ask questions of at least 2 to 3 attorneys.car accident attorneys

Q. What if you can’t afford legal fees?

A: Most attorneys take these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning if they don’t win your case, you don’t owe anything. Their fees are higher if they go this route but it is a percentage of what they collect on your behalf. This gives you some protection in that if you lose, you end up paying nothing. But many of these cases are a slam dunk too so ask different attorneys what their fees are. At the end of the day balance out the fees and your level of comfort with each attorney to make a wise decision on who to go with.

Q. How much is your claim worth?

A: It’s virtually impossible for an auto accident attorney to answer this question before investigating your case. They may, however, be able to give you a likely range based on the facts and merits of the circumstances surrounding your accident. Your attorney should absolutely fight to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you’re legally entitled to. You should never just let the insurance company and their team of lawyers determine the value of your claim. Their goal will ALWAYS be to keep the amount they pay you as low as possible. Many different factors go into determining the value of any given claim. This includes how serious the accident was, how severe your injuries are, whether your injuries are permanent or temporary, whether or not you support others with your income, the price of hospital and medical treatments, pain, and suffering, whether negligence played a role, and so on.

Q. Your insurance company rep says you don’t need a lawyer. True?

A: Well of course they’re going to tell you this! Their job is to keep the payment to you as low as possible. They are desperately hoping that you are totally ignorant as to what you’re entitled to under the law. And above all else, they do not want you to have a lawyer. Many times a lawyer will get you abundantly more money than what the insurance company initially offers an uninformed victim. Look out for yourself and hire a good auto accident attorney. Not just a money-grubbing slimy lawyer, but someone who’s fair and honest and wants to see you receive what you’re entitled to. Ask for and check an attorney’s references before hiring them.

Q. The other person caused the accident and they don’t have insurance. Now what?

A: Many times your own insurance or other insurance, like worker’s comp, may cover you for your injuries. An experienced lawyer will always give you every available option to get fairly compensated for your claim. car accident lawyers

Q. If you don’t have health insurance how will the medical bills get paid?

A: Again you really need an attorney for this matter. Sometimes your medical bills may be paid by the person who caused the accident or even by the state. There are too many options. Get a professional opinion before you get stuck with a huge bill!

Q. Your medical bills, and not to mention the /A.)/Google map/loss of income, are way more than the insurance coverage of the other driver. And that person has no other money to pay you. So what’s the point of hiring an attorney?

A: It’s definitely almost always a mistake to accept any settlement offered without consulting a real auto accident attorney. In the event that the other driver’s insurance coverage is less than the value of your claim, you absolutely may be able to get more monies from your own insurance company. And no, they can’t raise your rates for that! I’ve done this myself and it’s worth it. However, if you settle the claim beforehand, you will probably lose your right to pursue these claims. Talk to an experienced auto accident lawyer first.

Q: How soon after an accident do you have to file a claim? Is there some kind of time limit?

A: It can differ from state to state. It’s really important to consult with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose any of your rights.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Texas, you need an experienced auto accident attorney. We certainly wish you all the best and hope you recover from your accident completely! Take care.

Our Main Office:

Carabin Shaw P.C.
630 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215