R. Michael Smyrl - Attorney At Law

office (713) 947-0001
fax (713) 947-9113

3009 Strawberry
Pasadena, TX  77502

Frequently Asked Questions

Check back often as we will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions you may have about your case.

Q: How much is my case worth?
A: The value of your case is a function of liability and damages.

Liability: In Texas we have a form of "comparative negligence". If you are a driver of a vehicle and are involved in an accident with another vehicle the negligence of each driver is "compared" to each other to determine liability. For Example: if the other driver is 100% at fault then you recover 100% of your damages. If you are 51% at fault you don't recover any of your damages. For you to recover the other driver must be at least 50% at fault.

Damages: Personal Injury damages normally consist of the value in dollars and cents of the loss a person incurs for Physical Pain and Mental Anguish in the Past and Future; Disfigurement in the Past and Future; Physical Impairment in the Past and Future; Loss of Earning Capacity in the Past and Future and Medical Care expenses in the Past and Future. Does this tell you the value of your case? No, it does not. I have been handling Personal Injury cases for the last 34 years and have found that if you were to litigate the same case to a jury 10 different times you would get 10 different amounts of damages. Evaluating a Personal Injury Case in my opinion is an art that you develop over years of litigation experience. There is no formula that gives you the answer. The art is to have an educated opinion as to the range of damages that a jury would award in a similar case and attempt to maximize your settlement in accordance with that knowledge.

Q: Should I make a statement to the other driver's insurance adjuster?
A: NO! If you give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance adjuster you may unintentionally open your mouth and insert your foot. It will be very difficult for your attorney to repair the damage when you decide you need legal assistance.

Q: Should I take pictures of the damage to my car and the bruises I sustained?
A: Yes! A picture of your injuries and damages is worth a 1000 words. Especially to a Jury.

Q: If I sign a Release will this affect my case?
A: If you sign a release on the entire case then your case is normally finished.

Q: Will the other insurance company check my background if I file a claim for bodily injuries in an accident?
A: Yes! Insurance companies have enormous databases that they can check to see if you have been involved in a pervious claim. Their Attorneys love to get you under oath and impeach you in front of a jury when you have previously denied a past claim or injury.