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Frequently Asked Questions

Knowledgeable Beaumont Personal Injury Attorneys

The days and weeks following any type of accident involving a personal injury or wrongful death can be emotionally draining, confusing, and physically painful. Understanding the basics of personal injury cases can help to reduce the stress and anxiety you may be facing. For further assistance, it is important to get the professional opinion of our Beaumont personal injury lawyers at Dugas Law Firm.

Call us at (409) 226-0990 to discuss your unique matter and how we can help you pursue justice for you and your family.


    • Do you have an attorney who you can trust?
      Talking to an attorney about your situation can be one of the best ways to know whether or not you have a solid case, and what to expect as you move forward with the lawsuit. Choosing a firm and a lawyer that you trust is one of the best things that you can do. By doing a free consultation, you can discuss your options and make sure that you find a lawyer that will help you get the full compensation that you deserve.
    • Do you want the case to go to trial or be settled out of court?
      Once you have decided that you would like to talk to a lawyer, there are a number of other factors that will help to determine the outcome of your case. Would you want to reach a settlement through mediation or would you be willing to go to court? Settling the case outside of court can be less time consuming, but there may be other advantages to going to trial. 

      By considering how you want the case to go, you will be better prepared to find an attorney and to present your ideas when you meet with him or her for your consultation.

    • What are the circumstances of the accident?
      As you think about whether or not to contact a lawyer regarding your accident, think about the circumstances of the case. Contemplate the details of the accident, including any negligence, injustice, or other factors. Ask yourself whether these things merit further consideration by the offending party.
    • Has the injury cause you serious financial damage, mental or physical distress, or impaired your ability to work and enjoy life?
      Whether or not you have been compensated for your immediate healthcare after an accident, your injuries may extend beyond the cost of the initial care. If your life has been negatively affected in ways that will last, you may be entitled to further compensation. 

      Serious physical or mental injury can result in an accident, which can impair your ability to participate in activities that you once did. Not only can this permanently decrease or inhibit your income, it can also greatly lower your overall quality of life. By hiring an attorney to take your case to court, you can receive recompense that will help ease financial burdens as you continue to live with the injuries that you have received.

    • Have you been injured as the result of another person or company's intentional/accidental negligence?
      There are certain standards of conduct that companies are expected to follow. For example, companies that hire drivers are responsible to ensure that their employees have current licenses, good driving records, and that they drive responsibly. If you were involved in an accident that was caused by an employee who was not trained or eligible to drive, the company could be held responsible for allowing that person to be on the road. Because of the company’s negligence, whether it was intentional or accidental, others were involved in an accident. 

      When driving, an individual has acted negligibly if they have acted contrary to the manner in which a reasonably prudent person would act under the same type of circumstance. This, of course, is barring the possibility that a majority of people would act negligibly in certain circumstances. For example, the majority of people in a given community may run through traffic lights that have just turned red, but running red lights is still considered to be unsafe and illegal.

    • What type of damages can I receive in my personal injury case?
      You may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage (to your vehicle, for instance), physical or mental disability, trauma, anguish, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, and more. Other out of pocket expenses that you were required to pay due to the injury may be covered as well, such as parking fees, transportation fees, and more.
    • What are contingency fees and how do they work?
      Not everyone can afford a lawyer when they run into a difficult legal situation, especially if they are also facing high medical bills. Contingency fees allow the injured access to the justice system. Once your case is taken on, you will sign a written agreement with our firm outlining what the contingency percentage will be. The fee may differ based on whether your case is concluded through a settlement or a trial. At the end of the legal process, you will receive a statement showing funds collected, deductions made to it, and your net result. We take our legal fees from your settlement, so there are no upfront costs to you.
    • Will I have to take my case to trial?
      Not necessarily. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. After investigating your case and determining the best path to seek a fair result, our Beaumont personal injury attorney will determine whether litigation is necessary. Litigation has its risks and may take much longer than a settlement, however, Attorney Clay Dugas is Board Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has handled over 250 jury trials in his 40+ years of experience. While there is nothing wrong with settling out of court when it meets your needs and is in your best interests, our firm will stand by your side and protect you through trial.
    • What are the elements of a personal injury claim? Who is liable?
      A legal claim for compensation can be made against the party or parties who were responsible for causing harm due to negligence or wrongdoing. To pursue compensation, it must be proven that a “duty of care” was not fulfilled and it resulted in physical or emotional harm. In these cases, you may be owed monetary damage which the at-fault parties must pay. Responsible parties can include other driver in a car crash, medical personnel who failed to properly care for you or a loved one, trucking companies, manufacturers, insurance agencies, and other corporate entities.
    • Your Financial Needs:
      Very often if an accident or injury has been very debilitating it will result in high medical bills and a loss of wages. This will frequently result in a strong financial need becoming present in the plaintiff. While it is unfortunate this too must be considered whenever a settlement is being evaluated. Can you and your family financially risk passing up a sure thing for the possibility of more? What happens if the case continues to drag on? Will you be able to pay your bills and hold out or should you take the settlement and get the money sooner rather than later?
    • The Timeline:
      Another huge factor for whether or not to accept a settlement is the timeline involved. A suit might go on for years if appeals and other legal wrangling occurs. As a result this can further increase legal fees, disrupt daily life, and cause a continual emotional reliving of painful experiences. 

      In many cases, a plaintiff may decide that it is worth it to just accept the settlement and move on with their lives. On the flip side, however, many people feel more vindicated by getting to tell their story in court and may even find that the slower timeline allows them an extra opportunity to work through their feelings and get closure. Thus it is important to consider your own feelings and situation in regards to the timeline.

    • The Climate of Juries in Your Area:
      Though the legal system strives to be as impartial and fair as possible, that doesn’t alter the fact that different judges and juries have different opinions about how much a case is worth. If you know that juries in your area tend to be conservative and offer low judgments then that should definitely impact your decision about whether or not to accept a settlement. By the same token if you know that juries in your area tend to be very liberal and offer very high, generous judgment then that should also be a factor in your decision.
    • Where the Liability Rests:
      Very often there is no black and white answer about what happened and who is to blame. It is very common for there to be many potential sources of blame when it comes to an accident or injury. For instance, part of the blame might rest on the injured party themselves. It is also not uncommon for a third or fourth party to also share a small portion of the blame. 

      The reason this matters is that if it is decided that a portion of the liability rests with other people or entities, then that can significantly reduce the potential size of a monetary judgment, or even make the court rule against the plaintiff completely. Thus liability and where all it rests must be carefully considered when a settlement presents itself.

    • The Strength of Your Case:
      This is certainly one of the biggest factors to consider if you have been presented with a settlement offer. Obviously no one wants to reject a generous settlement offer, go to court seeking a larger payment, and then end up losing the case and getting nothing whatsoever. One the other hand no one wants to settle for a tiny fraction of what their case is worth if they know that it is airtight.

      It is important to remember that no outcome is ever definite. Even really solid cases lose sometimes, and even really weak ones occasionally work. That is part of what the uncertainty of trial is all about. So much comes down to the particular judge and jury involved. Nevertheless, a plaintiff must carefully weigh the strength of their case, as best they can with the advice of their attorney and others involved, against the settlement offer that they receive.

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