Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Brooks T. Harrison—Attorneys At Law, PLLC is a full-service personal injury, criminal defense, family law firm servicing South Texas, Houston, and Galveston concentrating on civil litigation in both state and federal courts nationwide.

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The devastating aftermath of an industrial explosion is an experience we do not wish on any worker or family member. It is highly encouraged that you do not hesitate to get the involvement of an experienced plant explosion lawyer at a time such as this to explain what you are facing and to give you a better understanding of the process that you will have to go through. Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law is fully aware of the confusion that often surrounds these types of claims and we are prepared to go the distance in our efforts to provide accessible and honest assistance when it is needed most.

While there are many different causes of plant explosions, it is unfortunate to say that most of these are preventable and can be noted as human error. For example, the failure to follow OSHA safety regulations or to have proper risk management strategies can all cause scenarios that overtime can build up to the actual explosion occurring. In some situations, it may be as simple as failing to get up-to-date equipment.

The very first thing that you do regardless of anything else is to immediately seek medical attention. Even if you feel "fine," you could be experiencing the adrenaline and not be fully aware of injuries. In some cases, the injuries could manifest weeks later. You need to make sure that you take care of yourself by seeing a medical professional. After that, it is important to get the involvement of a knowledgeable industrial accident attorney to help you assess the situation and determine whether or not you have a claim.

Not every injury that is sustained from a plant explosion will be physical in nature. Over the years, the true effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have begun to be noticed and have made a significant impact on the community. If your spouse has a severe case of PTSD after an explosion, you could have grounds to file a claim and seek to recover damages. The best way to know for sure is to consult Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC.

It entirely possible that after you have been involved in an industrial accident that your union will recommend a lawyer for you to hire. You do not have to work with that attorney. In some cases, this is a helpful referral, but it is not mandatory. "Union firms" get a lot of business by working closely with the unions and their relationship may not be to your advantage. Do your research and hire a lawyer that you're comfortable working with - not just what the union is pressuring you to do.

In some cases, if you see a doctor other than the one that is chosen by your workers' compensation insurance carrier, your benefits may be terminated or you could be suspended for what is known as non-compliance. This, however, is not to say that you cannot seek a second opinion - it may just come out of pocket. To determine the best course of action and what is best for your claim, talk to a lawyer who will be able to explain your state specific laws and how they affect your choice in doctor.

In some cases, toxins that are released from a plant explosion can cause contamination to the groundwater and the dirt in a local community. In these cases, residents can suffer from long-term exposure to possible carcinogens and can later begin to suffer from the affects. If you feel this is your case, it is highly encouraged that you get the involvement of a local attorney to help you pursue a case. This will be complicated because of the complex statute of limitations, but it is not an impossible case to pursue and should be done as soon as possible.

Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC will not ever interfere with the attorney-client contractual relationship between you and your current attorney. We will only be able to ethically discuss your case once you notify your current attorney in writing that you no longer want him or her to represent you on your case.

A "local counsel' is an attorney hired to assist the primary attorney with a case outside of the primary attorneys home county. The "local counsel" should provide the primary attorney with expertise of a particular court's policies and rules as well as local knowledge regarding the attitudes of the community. Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC often serves as "local counsel" in Galveston and Harris County courts. "Local counsel" fees depend on the amount of involvement and do not affect the amount of the fee paid by the client.

Generally, the plaintiff can expect to have his or her deposition taken by the defense attorney(s). This means that the attorney(s) representing the parties sued in your lawsuit will have the opportunity to ask you questions under oath before the case goes to trial. Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC attorneys make sure that you are fully prepared and familiar with the process before it begins. An attorney will be with you for your entire deposition to ensure that the deposition is conducted in a fair and proper manner.

Interrogatories are usually the first discovery tool used in a case. They are questions presented by one side to the other which must be answered under oath within a period specified by the court's procedural rules. Complete and accurate answers are very important in response to any discovery question, and the attorneys and staff at Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC will work with you to make sure everything is handled properly.

An expert witness is an individual who has some specialized knowledge in a specific area that the common person does not have. In many cases handled by Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC, expert testimony is required by law. Experts do charge for their time and expertise in any given field. However, like all other legal costs, the firm advances these expenses and you do not reimburse Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC until and unless recovery is made in your case.

Your attorney will negotiate the best possible settlement of your case and recommend to you whether or not to accept the offer under the circumstances.

Generally, Yes, with exception in only very extreme cases and circumstances based on medical necessity.

Each and every case is different. The length of your trial depends on many factors, some of them include the number of witnesses to testify, the number of parties to the suit, number of exhibits to introduce into evidence and the court's schedule.

This question cannot be answered before the case is investigated and each case must be evaluated on an individual basis. Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC is experienced in evaluating cases and will give their opinion after a full investigation has been completed. However, an exact dollar amount or a guarantee will not be given at any time.

Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC takes all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not bill our clients by the hour for legal representation. The firm only gets paid its fee and reimbursement of expenses when a recovery is made in your case. If no recovery is made, no fees or expenses are paid.

When it is time for you to go to the courthouse, we will make sure you know where to go, how to get there, and where to park.

As a general rule, it is best to dress in such a way to show respect for the court. This usually means a suit or coat and tie. However, in some counties, slacks or pants and a clean, pressed shirt are acceptable. Jeans, shorts, tank tops, t-shirts and sandals should NEVER be worn to court.

No. You may ONLY speak to your attorney, except when testifying and when asked a question by the judge.

Everyone except the court's bailiff is prohibited from speaking with the jurors. This includes offerings of food, drinks, gum, sweaters, coats, and the like, and applies to everyone – all parties, attorneys and their assistants, witnesses, spectators, etc.

It depends. If your case has been settled, your settlement can be paid only after the settlement papers have been signed and the funds have been deposited into a trust account. If a law suit must be filed, it may be 18 months or more before a settlement can be achieved or a jury award obtained. Even then, the losing party may appeal the jury's decision, which may mean it will take longer for you to receive your award.

Sometimes, but in very limited cases. Some clients prefer to have their settlements paid in one lump sum, while others prefer to receive their settlement checks monthly or yearly. Feel free to consult with Brooks Harrison – Attorneys at Law, PLLC on this issue.

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