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Below you will find answers to the most commons FAQs related to the variety of areas of law we practice at The Carlson Law Firm on a daily basis. If you cannot find an answer to your specific question, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will be glad to answer your question or schedule a free consultation regarding your legal concern.

The issues surrounding these types of legal matters cases can seem overly complicated, and even scary to some people. There is no need to feel that way. The Carlson Law Firm is here to help you, and your loved ones.

Answers To Common Personal Injury Questions

If you have been injured or have a loved one who was injured or killed because of the action or inaction of a person or entity, you may have a personal injury claim. You may benefit from the expertise of an attorney who understands the laws and governing personal injury claims and who is confident in dealing with insurance companies and defense attorneys. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

What is a personal injury claim?

A personal injury claim involves an injured person (plaintiff) and the person or entity responsible, or liable for the injury (defendant). Successful claims can allow victims to recover monetary compensation for the damages that resulted from the incident which caused injury. When these injuries result in death, the survivors of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against the party liable for the accident.

What is my claim worth?

The value of your case is based on many factors. For example how badly are you hurt, who is at fault, and how much insurance is available to pay for your injuries. Early in the process it is often impossible to estimate the value without first finding out the full extent of your injuries. Our experienced team of attorneys will fight to get the most for your claims.

I was in an accident that resulted in damages to my vehicle. What can you do?

Our office does not represent for vehicle damages. It is our opinion that it would not be fair to take a fee from this type of settlement based on the fact that insurance companies only consider the amount of damages or total loss.

Should I talk to the insurance companies if they call?

Because you are pursuing an attorney, we would recommend that you only discuss your vehicle damages, and simply let them know you are seeking an attorney to represent you in regards to your bodily injuries.

How long will it take to reach a settlement?

Everyone’s case is different. The fact of the matter is there can be no answer to this question until we have completed the investigation of your claim and you have completed treatment for your injuries. Once we complete our investigation, we can make a determination as to the amount of the defendant’s liability, if any. After that, we must obtain all information concerning your lost wages, medical expenses, any full or partial disability, life changes and prognosis. It is only after you are released from all of your doctors that we are provided with your final prognosis. The average treatment could take six months to a year, depending on the extent of injuries.

Why should I pay an attorney to handle my case?

Because we work on contingency, you don’t have to pay us unless we recover money for you first. The insurance company has an army of adjusters and lawyers on their side, why would you want to fight them alone? According to the insurance industry’s own calculations, folks who are represented by an attorney get paid 2 – 3 times more for their cases than people who handle their cases themselves.

Answers to Common Medical Malpractice Questions

Medical malpractice is a specific type of personal injury that deals strictly with professional negligence on behalf of doctors, physicians and other medical professionals. These types of claims are incredibly serious, as they call professional ability and ethics into question. When medical professionals fail to exercise the necessary care, their patients will most likely suffer. Provided below are answers to some common questions regarding this area of practice.

Who is the defendant in a medical malpractice case?

In a medical malpractice case, the defendant is the health care provider. For example, if a patient sustained an injury during surgery, then they may be entitled to bring a lawsuit against their surgeon as well as the hospital at which that surgeon was employed. The defendant will not be the same in every case, however, it is not uncommon for medical malpractice lawsuits to be filed against a single physician as well as the entire hospital or medical office.

How long can I wait to file a medical malpractice case?

As in any type of personal injury claim or lawsuit, there is limited amount of time in which you can file. This time limit is referred to as the “statute of limitations” and for most medical malpractice cases that time limit is two years. Typically, this means that a plaintiff has two years from the date of their injury in which they can file. In some circumstances, plaintiffs have two years from the date their injury was discovered in which they can file.

How common is misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are two types of medical malpractice. It is important to distinguish between difficult-to-diagnose diseases and misdiagnosis due to medical error. The frequency of misdiagnosed illnesses then depends on the definition of misdiagnosis. For example, cancer is a commonly misdiagnosed disease in the United States according to a recent Harvard study. This may not be considered malpractice if the cancer was particularly rare or in its very early stages, but can be considered malpractice if doctors failed to stick to cancer screening guidelines.

What is the difference between a surgical error and a complication?

There are two main reasons why a patient might be injured during a surgical procedure: surgical errors or surgical complications. Certain surgical procedures are known to have a high risk for complication and negative side effects. If a patient was properly warned about the risks of the procedure and then suffered the negative side effects, this would likely not be considered medical malpractice. A surgical error is an avoidable complication caused by carelessness on the part of the surgeon.

Is there a limit on how much money I could recover?

The answer to this question depends on whether you are speaking of economic damages or noneconomic damages. In the United States, there are “caps” otherwise known as limits on the amount of noneconomic damages that an individual can receive in a medical malpractice claim. Noneconomic damages is a term that refers to “intangible harms” that patients suffer as a result of medical negligence. This can include emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other things. These caps are highly controversial.

Answers To Common Family Law Questions

What does family law entail?

Family law is a general term used for cases that involve any aspect of divorce, annulment, custody (including emergency orders), protective orders, child support (including attorney general proceedings), child protective services (CPS), adoption, termination of parental rights, prenuptial agreements, post-marital partition and exchange agreements, domestic relations orders (DRO), and more.

How long does a divorce or custody case take?

Every case is different. It depends on what is in dispute, the needs of the parties, the needs of the children, the availability of the court, and the availability of witnesses. An average contested divorce or custody case can take 18 months.

I see forms for these cases online, why should I pay an attorney?

Because custody and distribution of property/debts is not something you want to get wrong. Unfortunately, we often see clients come to us after entering their own orders with “buyer’s remorse” or needing us to fix an issue with the order. Once an order is entered, it can cost you significantly more money to fix an issue, than it would have cost for us to represent you in the original case.

Can I just ask the court for a court-appointed attorney?

Typically, no. The only cases where you are entitled to a court-appointed attorney (assuming you meet the income requirements for one) are child protective services (CPS) cases, when your parental rights are being terminated, or when there is a possibility of jail time (i.e. for failure to pay child support).

How much does a divorce or custody case cost?

Please call us at 254-526-5688 to schedule a free consultation.

What counties do you practice family law in?

Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Milam, Williamson, and Travis.

My prior orders are from outside of Texas, but I want to modify them here, can I?

This depends on some very specific facts. Generally, jurisdiction for a case follows the residence of the child, but please schedule a free consultation so we can accurately assess your case.

My prior orders are from a different county than where the children reside now, can I move them?

This depends on some very specific facts. Generally, jurisdiction for a case follows the residence of the child, but please schedule a free consultation so we can accurately assess your case.

Why can’t my children tell the Judge who they want to live with?

Generally, the rule is the children must be at least 12 to speak with the Judge. However, a Judge is not necessarily bound to rule in accordance with the child’s preference. Furthermore, even if the child is 12 or older, it may not be a good idea to have the child speak with the Judge. There are also other methods to demonstrate the child’s choice to the Judge. Since each case is different, we can help you determine what is best for you.

How do I know which attorney/law firm I should hire?

Hire someone you feel comfortable with and will help you understand not only your legal position, but also the practical implications of the same. Additionally, be sure you understand the attorney’s fee structure and how/what you will be charged for.

Answers to Common Criminal Law Questions

What does criminal law entail?

Criminal law is a general term used for cases that involve any criminal charge (including tickets, misdemeanor offenses, and felony offenses), any arrest, investigation by a police or governmental agency prior to an arrest, charges filed against you, occupational licenses, requests for early release from probation, non-disclosures, expunctions, and more.

How much does it cost for you to represent me in a criminal case?

Please call us at 254-526-5688 to schedule a free consultation.

What counties do you practice criminal law in?

Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, and Fort Hood Federal Magistrate Court.

How do I know which attorney/law firm I should hire?

Hire someone you feel comfortable with and will help you understand not only your legal position, but also the practical implications of the same. Additionally, be sure you understand the attorney’s fee structure and how/what you will be charged for.

Is there a limit on how much money I could recover?

The answer to this question depends on whether you are speaking of economic damages or noneconomic damages. In the United States, there are “caps” otherwise known as limits on the amount of noneconomic damages that an individual can receive in a medical malpractice claim. Noneconomic damages is a term that refers to “intangible harms” that patients suffer as a result of medical negligence. This can include emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other things. These caps are highly controversial.

Do I really need an attorney?

Generally, yes. An attorney is going to look out for your interests, review the evidence, answer your questions, and ensure you get the best result.

I have a court appointed attorney, should I hire a different attorney?

Again, it is important you feel comfortable with your attorney and like you are getting your questions answered. Having a criminal charge or investigation is a stressful time. The attorney should help ease those concerns, not enhance them.

How long does a criminal case last?

It depends on the evidence presented by the prosecutor if there is missing evidence, availability of witnesses, your availability, your attorney’s availability, and the court’s availability.

The police want to talk to me, should I meet with them?

No. The only reason a police officer would want to meet with you during an investigation in which you are not a victim or witness, is to get you to confess. Schedule an appointment with our office today.

How do I find out if there is a warrant out for my arrest?

You can call a professional bail bondsman, the police agency investigating the offense, and/or the court in which the case is pending. You can also find some warrant information by going to texasfailuretoappear.com.

What if I cannot afford the bond?

Your attorney can request a hearing with the court to reduce your bond amount. Contact us today.

What will you do, as my attorney?

We review all evidence and ensure the evidence is complete. We ensure your rights weren’t violated, that the state can prove their case, and advocate on your behalf. We will also file motions to reduce the bond, suppress evidence, and other documents as necessary.

Answers To Common Bankruptcy Questions

Bankruptcy is a complex situation and something you really don’t want to experience on your own. At The Carlson Law Firm, we make sure you’re protected and guided through the process from the beginning to the end. Our firm is available to review your situation and we can create a plan to ensure that your bankruptcy is effectively executed and works for all involved.

Should I file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

You may qualify for Chapter 7 if your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income, your income is less than the median family income in your state, or you do not have a lot of assets that you wish to keep. You may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief if your monthly income exceeds your monthly expenses. Under Chapter 13, you make a “plan” to repay your debts over a maximum of 60 months.

Who notifies the creditors and bill collectors?

After the bankruptcy petition is filed, the court mails a notice to all the creditors you’ve listed.

Will the bankruptcy stop bill collectors from calling?

Yes. The bankruptcy will temporarily stop all actions that a creditor can take against you, your property, and assets.

Can I use bankruptcy to stop foreclosure on my home or to stop other actions by creditors?

Yes, actions against your assets or property will stop immediately (although it may be temporary).

Can my employer fire me for filing bankruptcy?

No. The Bankruptcy Code prohibits private employers from discriminating against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition.

Will I have to go to court?

You will be asked to attend a meeting of creditors with your attorney. The purpose of this meeting is to give the bankruptcy trustee and the creditors an opportunity to appear and ask you questions about the bankruptcy schedules that list the financial facts relevant to your bankruptcy petition. An experienced bankruptcy attorney from The Carlson Law Firm will be there with you and can do most of the talking.

Does the spouse of a married person also have to file bankruptcy?

No. In some cases where only one spouse has debts, it may make sense for only one spouse to file. Both spouses are responsible for the debts acquired together while they are married. If you file for a bankruptcy on these joint debts, your creditors can pursue your spouse for payment. If you are living together, it may be wise for you to jointly file for bankruptcy. If the debt belongs to you alone, the creditor cannot pursue your spouse for the debt after you file for bankruptcy. Before you make a decision on whether the debt is a joint debt or yours alone, you may want to ask an experienced bankruptcy attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm.

How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit record?

For a period of 7 to 10 years. However, you can begin rebuilding your credit immediately after receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

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