Frequent Personal Injury Legal Questions

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How much does a personal injury attorney cost?

Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that all fees for legal services provided are only collected after an award or settlement has been secured on the client’s behalf. In other words: There is generally no out-of-pocket cost for hiring an attorney in a personal injury claim. Payment is contingent upon the outcome of the case—the attorney's fees are a percentage of the recovery. No recovery, no fee.

Contingent fee amounts are typically in the range of 33.33% to 40% of the total recovery to the client, whether secured through a trial judgment or negotiated settlement agreement.

  • Passionately committed to seeking justice for clients
  • Over 40 years experience fighting to level the playing field for victims
  • Focused on using the most advanced, cutting-edge trial techniques to secure victory in personal injury cases

How soon should I file a lawsuit?

You may need to file a lawsuit after a personal injury incident. The best action to take as soon as possible after any incident is to consult an attorney who specializes in personal injury for advice on how to best proceed in recovering damages.

It's essential to act quickly in scheduling an initial legal consultation because there may be important deadlines—such as statutes of limitations or notice requirements—that, if missed, will limit or prevent you from recovering your potential damages.

 Specifically regarding statutes of limitations: Texas allows two years for the filing of a lawsuit regarding tort claims through the state's civil court system.

Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault for my injuries?


In Texas, there is a negligence threshold of 51 percent. This means: If you are found to be up to 51 percent responsible for the accident in question, you may still be able to recover monetary compensation for your injuries and/or other damages—based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party.  If you are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you cannot recover damages.


"I was very satisfied with how my case was handled from start to finish and would readily recommend CMZ Law to a friend or loved one—they’re the best!"
~ Andrew C.

"The attorneys and support staff at CMZ are both professional and courteous through every step of the claims process. All of my questions and concerns were handled in a kind and professional manner, and I was regularly informed of new details."
~ Michele G.

What should I look for when hiring a personal injury attorney?

There are many attorneys in Texas, which makes it difficult to choose the right one to represent you in your personal injury case. Simply going through the Yellow Pages of the telephone book and seeing all the names is enough to give you a headache.

So how can you streamline the process and make it easier? Below are some suggestions for the qualities to look for when retaining a personal injury attorney to pursue your legal claims.

  • Note which type of personal injury claims the firm has experience litigating. An attorney who mainly handles slip-and-fall cases will not be the best choice for injuries sustained in a refinery blast.
  • Talk to your friends and relatives about their past legal experiences in similar situations. Skilled attorneys who treat clients fairly and compassionately will come well-recommended.
  • Check with the local and state bar association to learn whether an attorney has a history of complaints filed against him or her from disgruntled clients or others.
  • Are the support staff at the law firm friendly and helpful? Can you count on them to relay important messages?
  • After you have narrowed your search to a few attorneys and firms, schedule free consultations with the top three. Do you get a good first impression from the candidates? Make sure you feel able to honestly communicate with your attorney, as he or she will be working closely with you on your case in the coming months.

When seeking a personal injury attorney, there are certain qualities and qualifications that he or she should have. There are plenty of attorneys out there, making it difficult to choose. Below are some tips to find the best attorney possible.

  • What type of cases do they handle the most? If the attorney mainly handles product liability cases, and your case is a slip and fall, this is probably not the best choice.
  • Is there a rapport between you and the attorney? While it is certainly possible to receive adequate representation from an attorney with whom you have not established personal compatibility, remember that you and this person will be working together for months, or even longer in complex cases. You want to at least like him or her.
  • Are the firm's support staff — paralegals, secretaries and receptionists — friendly and helpful? These are the gatekeepers between you and your attorney, and many of your dealings will be with them. Rude, dismissive staff reflect badly upon the firm and its attorneys.
  • What is the ratio of cases that are actually litigated versus those that are settled? It is a fact that most personal injury cases wind up with out-of-court settlements, but if the attorney has a very low ratio of litigated cases, he or she may actually lack courtroom skills that are required to win.

The bottom line when choosing a personal injury attorney is that you want to select the most qualified legal professional that you can to handle your case. Call the professional legal team at Chandler, Mathis & Zivley for a free, confidential assessment of your personal injury case.

Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC
601 Sawyer, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77007 | Phone: 877.739.7744

207 E. Frank St., Suite 105, Lufkin, TX 75901 | Phone: 800.657.2230 | Phone: 936.632.1304

Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC has offices located in Houston and Lufkin Texas and serves clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.
*Principal office in Lufkin, Texas

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601 Sawyer, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77007
| Phone: 877.739.7744
207 E. Frank St., Suite 105, Lufkin, TX 75901
| Phone: 800.657.2230
1329 N. University Drive, Suite D-5, Nacogdoches, TX 75961
| Phone: 936.305.5155

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