WHY DO SERIOUSLY INJURED TEXANS HIRE JOE?
REPUTATION. EXPERIENCE. RESULTS.
Joe Stephens is a double board certified personal injury attorney with 30+ years of settling and trying serious injury and wrongful death cases.
RECEIVE PERSONAL ATTENTION
TO YOUR ACCIDENT OR INJURY CASE
JOE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU TO
PROTECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
NO LEGAL FEES UNTIL
JOE WINS YOUR CASE*
WHY DO SERIOUSLY INJURED TEXANS HIRE JOE?
REPUTATION. EXPERIENCE. RESULTS.
Joe Stephens is a double board certified personal injury attorney who has recovered millions for clients in his 33 years of settling and trying serious injury and wrongful death cases.
HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT & WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU
THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
At The Stephens Law Firm, we are committed to delivering personalized legal services for our accident & injury clients. As a car accident attorney in Houston with more than 30 years of experience, Joe Stephens is renowned for his assertive and results driven approach. Joe's focus is on ensuring each Houston car accident victim is awarded the settlement amount that is deserved based on the harm & losses suffered by the victims.
When your personal injury lawsuit demands an auto accident lawyer that will stand by your side and defend your rights, you can depend on The Stephens Law Firm.
Joe Has Successfully Handled Hundreds of Houston Car Wreck Injury Cases
Joe Stephens has litigated and negotiated hundreds of cases for auto injury victims in Houston, TX. He has the skill and legal dexterity to negotiate or litigate your auto accident case to a successful result. He is well regarded by other injury attorneys in Texas and his colleagues at the Harris County Courthouse where he is known for his outstanding track record for injury settlements.
Joe Delivers Results for Houston Auto Accident Victims Just Like You
Attorney Joe Stephens consistently obtains newsworthy settlements and jury verdicts in Houston and across Texas. He works for the ordinary person and the insurance companies know his reputation for winning motor vehicle accident cases. As such, most auto insurance companies would rather pay his clients top dollar settlements than risk going to trial and getting “leveled” at the court house.
Joe has represented clients across Texas in many types of injury and wrongful death cases, including truck wrecks, major collisions, and DWI cases. However, it is very important to know that your case value will be determined solely on its merits and that is why you need to hire Joe. Past results mean nothing when it comes to Joe’s determination to help you. He will get to know you, will thoroughly investigate your case, and will not only advise you what your case is worth, but will do everything ethically necessary to get Justice for you.
Joe Wrote the Books on Texas Auto Accident Injury Litigation!
As an accomplished accident attorney, Joe has authored several books that each detail different aspects of the typical Texas personal injury lawsuit: “A Survivor’s Legal Guide,” “The Texas Accident Bible” and “Hiring the Right Injury Lawyer.” A founding principle of The Stephens Law Firm is that anyone dealing with a personal injury or wrongful death case deserves access to high-quality legal advice. If you've been involved in an accident in Texas, these books are a great resource. Joe has made these books available for free to the public, simply contact his office to request your copy.
The Houston Injury Lawyer Auto Insurance Companies Fear
An Experienced Houston Car Wreck Attorney Helping Injury Victims Get Maximum Compensation
Meet Joe Stephens
A Houston Wrongful Death Lawyer & Million Dollar Advocate
Joe Stephens is among the few personal injury attorneys in Houston, TX who has been selected as a Million Dollar Advocate. He has successfully tried or handled hundreds of serious injury and Houston wrongful death cases at trial and on appeal including cases involving auto accidents, DWI injuries, and 18-wheeler accidents. His practice has focused on handling auto injury & wrongful death lawsuits for over 30 years. He is double board certified by Texas and National Boards to handle personal injury and civil trial litigation.
Mr. Stephens has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer for well over a decade. He has authored three popular accident claim books, and is AVVO rated 10/10. He has frequently appeared on CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC as a legal commentator or to discuss his courthouse victories, including the infamous “Clara Harris” wrongful death auto case where she ran over her husband and killed him. Most of his cases, however, are for the ordinary person who has been wrongfully injured due to another motorist or 18 wheeler trucking company’s negligent conduct.
If you've been injured, The Stephens Law Firm will be glad to provide you a FREE CASE EVALUATION. If Mr. Stephens takes your case, you only pay for his services out of your recovery. If there is NO RECOVERY, you OWE NOTHING for his services and expenses*.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
CAR WRECK INJURY CASES IN HOUSTON
- Do you have total expected medical bills and lost wages (not just out-of- pocket expenses) of at least $5,000?
- If a car wreck caused your injuries, is there visible property damage to your car?
- Was the accident someone else’s fault?
- Did you get prompt medical treatment after the accident?
- Have you followed the course of treatment recommended by your doctor?
- Did the accident happen less than 18 months ago? (the statute of limitations in Texas is 2 years)
If you can answer YES to each of these questions you need to hire an injury lawyer. Contact our law firm for a free consultation today. Sometimes the best advice you can get when you are thinking about a lawsuit is that you do not have a claim that can be won. If that is true, we will tell you. We’ll also tell you when we think you are better off handling a claim yourself – without an attorney. But, if your case passes our test and we accept it, you can be assured that you will receive personal attention. We will represent you aggressively, keep you up to date on what is happening in your case and give you advice as to whether you should settle your case or go to trial. We will explain all fees and costs to you fully before we start working on your case. Together, as a team, we will decide on the best approach for your case.
We don’t rely on a high volume of cases generated by massive TV and Yellow Page advertising. We don’t claim to handle every type of lawsuit under the sun. We don’t want to. We don’t need to. Each year, The Stephens Law Firm accepts a limited number of injury and accident cases from the hundreds of people who ask us to represent them. We are not a “TV advertising personal injury mill.” We do not allow paralegals and assistants to negotiate your case with the insurance company. Fewer cases mean more time for you and, we believe, better results overall.
Car accident victims often aren't sure if they need to hire an attorney or not. I would advise reading one of my FREE books. Some claims can be handled by you, others require a lawyer. Generally speaking, you should hire an experienced injury lawyer if you feel that you have been hurt and need medical attention of any kind. Injuries that last more than a day or so can be serious and you do not realize it. An insurance adjuster knows this and will try to get you to say that you are not hurt too bad, knowing that many times small injuries turn out to be far more serious injury than you, or the doctors first realized. While you are recovering, the insurance company are gathering evidence against you.
If you've been in a car wreck you need to collect the following evidence:
- Document every single detail of the accident while it is still fresh in your memory.
- Get pictures of anything you think may be of importance.
- Get as much information as possible on the person/company that is at fault – address, phone, insurance policy, driver’s license, etc.
- Get names and contact information for all witnesses.
- If the police where involved, get a copy of the car accident investigation report.
- Keep track of all medical providers you have seen for the injury.
- Keep all medical records and bills you receive.
- If someone passed away, obtain the death certificate.
Immediately, even if you are only a little sore on the day of the accident. Even a small impact causes the occupants to sustain several thousand pounds of force, and most folks feel like they have been run over by a train 48 hours after the accident. If you “tough it out” and don’t go see a doctor, or go to the emergency room, you won’t have medical documentation shortly after the accident. The insurance company will likely dispute your contention that the accident caused your injuries. They do it almost every time, even when it is quite obvious that you have suffered injuries from a wreck. It is important that you continue to see the doctor every time that you hurt so that he can document your injuries, and do the proper testing.
The claim process is almost always the same regardless of what insurance company you are negotiating with. Usually an insurance adjuster calls wanting a person to give a recorded statement, to answer questions, and to sign some forms. Ignore the adjuster for now! Gather witness names, take photos of the scene, the car, and your injuries. Obtain the police report. Go to a doctor and get regular medical care if you have been hurt. You can take notes and get names of possible witnesses. Even take photographs. If a police report is filed, be sure you get a copy. Once you are able, contact an experienced Houston car accident lawyer to represent you.
Certainly, you can handle your claim if you have minor injuries where hiring an attorney is often unnecessary. Most Houston car accident lawyers do not accept small injury cases - there simply isn't enough money involved. After an injury attorney spends the money to investigate your claim, pay for copies of your medical bills and records, and charge a fee, you will not end up with much if anything.
What I recommend you do if you have minor injuries, or a small property damage claim is to deal with the insurance company yourself. The key is to document everything. Send them all the bills, all the records, provide witness statements, or at least their names, and phone numbers. Take some pictures of your injuries if you are bruised or cut. And most importantly, keep going to the doctor–if you are in pain–so that the medical doctor or chiropractor can document your injuries. Finally, send proof of your lost wages. Gather some check stubs, and a note from your employer and doctor to verify your lost time from work. You will be able to collect a little money in return for a release of your claim from the insurance company. They only make one lump sum payment, so be sure you are healed before signing the release.
To find out more about the claims process you can get read my free guide on how to handle a car accident claim without a lawyer.
No! Never give a recorded stated to an auto insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters want to take your statement in order to lock in your story. It seems like that is fair, doesn’t it? You want to tell them so they can understand that the other person or company is at fault in causing your injury, don’t you? Well, regardless of how nice this adjuster seems, or how convincing they may sound that you must give the statement, you need to know that you are dealing with a person intent on securing only half of the truth. They are trained to put words in your mouth, and ask you to agree with it. They are trained to ask follow up questions in a manner that will insinuate that you could have done something to avoid the incident. They are trained to minimize the effect of your injuries, and trained to make you feel like you are a “wussy” if you are still hurting with these “sore muscles” and “soft tissue” injuries.
But you say, I am pretty smart, and I can deal with this situation. The problem is that you have not been trained in the methods the adjuster uses. Regardless of your answer, the adjuster will come back with follow up questions that help them achieve their goal to minimize the insurance company’s risk, or eliminate your claim. You expect to be as savvy in dealing with an adjuster just the same as someone could not be expected to do your job nearly as good as you can. A good lawyer will not allow you to give a statement (some of the guys you see on TV don’t follow these practices). There is no requirement that you give the statement to the third party insurance adjuster. Hopefully, the lawyer you hire will visit with you in great detail, will completely understand everything about the accident, and will be able to put things in context. He will provide the adjuster all the information they need to know, and most importantly will do it in a fashion, form, and manner that will protect you from the insurance adjuster’s unfair practices. If the case is tried to a jury, your claim will not be destroyed because of the fact that the insurance adjuster has a statement that presents things in a false light, with everything taken completely out of context.
If YOUR insurance company wants a statement you do have a duty to cooperate. But a good car wreck lawyer will impose conditions related to the giving of the statement which will protect you. I prefer that my clients provide a deposition and this serves as the “statement request.”
Just because you were hurt doesn’t mean you are entitled to compensation. Not all car accident victims have a viable claim. The evidence must show that someone’s negligence caused you to get hurt. If the evidence doesn’t show the other party was negligent, you lose. If you sue the wrong person, you lose. If you wait too long to sue, you lose. If you had an injury BEFORE the accident, then you are only entitled to be compensated to the extent your injury is now worse.
In Texas, if you were in any way at fault, you do not necessarily lose. This is known as the law of comparative negligence. This means that if the “other guy” was 99 percent at fault and you were 1 percent at fault, then you are entitled to recover 99% of your losses. However if you are more than 50% at fault, i.e. 51% the law says you do not get to recover anything.
Before we accept your case, we must be confident that your actions were not the only cause of the accident.
Also, in Texas, except in extraordinary circumstances, you cannot sue your employer for negligently hurting you if the employer carries worker’s compensation insurance. If the employer’s gross negligence results in death, the family can sue, but these cases can be hard to win. I.e. it has been said that it is easier to uphold a murder case in the Appellate Courts than to get them to uphold a “gross negligence” case.
Sometimes, several persons or companies are at fault, and a jury gets to decide the percentage of blame against each. If one company such as an employer is to blame, but cannot be sued, the jury can apportion fault among the others in most circumstances.
PIP is personal injury protection coverage offered by your car insurance company. All insurance policies have $2,500 of protection unless you rejected it in writing but your insurance coverage may be much higher than that. It is provided even if you were at fault. It pays your medical bills, and 80% of documented lost wages. If you were not employed, it will pay for your essential services that you performed at home, like household duties. You will need to provide an estimate of your total hours you cannot do essential services, and a note from your doctor to collect.
Yes, you should notify your insurance company of the claim immediately, even if it is not your fault. You may have benefits that you don’t know about and are entitled to through your own vehicle insurance claims like medical, towing or car rental expenses. Also, if the person who was at fault doesn’t have insurance, or had a lapse in insurance, you may have coverage for the full extent of your injuries under your own policy.
It is often quicker to go through your own insurance company to get your car fixed. Yes, you will pay the deductible up front but your insurance company should get that back from the other insurance company and reimburse you.
Not all car accident lawyers have the same experience, skill, and determination to win your case. If you've been involved in an automobile accident, the law offices of Joe Stephens will handle all the following for you:
- Investigate the injury claim
- Talk to the witnesses of the accident
- Document your injuries
- Gather all your medical records and bills
- Document your lost wages
- File your injury claim
- Handle everything with the car insurance company
- Help you handle health insurance claims for any medical treatment
- Evaluate your damages
- Investigate and negotiate all lien holders who have a right to any portion of your recovery
- Settle your claim
- If the claim cannot be settled, I will take your case to trial
The Stephens Law Firm takes cases in Houston and across Texas involving personal injuries, automobile accidents, or wrongful death on a contingency fee basis. This means that if there is no recovery, you owe me nothing for my services. In criminal cases and family law cases, I am required under law to charge for my time. For this cases I do accept major credit cards.
In personal injury, auto accident, or death cases, The Stephens Law Firm will advance the expenses of the case and we will be paid back by you when there is a recovery.
I personally review all cases that we receive; however, we are not a large law firm and I am not able to help all of the people who ask for and need my help. If your car accident injuries are severe enough to warrant a reasonable settlement, and if I feel confident that I can win your case, then I will offer to help. If I feel I'm unable to represent you for any reason, but I believe you may have a valid case, I will gladly refer you to one of the many excellent attorneys that can handle your case.
The value of each case is different and must be evaluated separately. As a top rated vehicle accident attorney in Houston, I take a great deal of time to come to a proper evaluation of your case. The Stephens Law Firm has been evaluating cases and representing people for years. However, you must know that there is never a guarantee of any recovery.
Usually, civil cases are tried within 1 to 1 1/2 years. In criminal and family law cases, it varies widely.
Yes, if there is a trial, you must be present.
During the course of your case you will most likely have to give a deposition. A deposition is a statement that is given under oath before a certified court reporter. When your deposition is taken we will be there to represent you.
Typically, once a case is settled documents must be exchanged between both parties of the lawsuit. This process usually takes 30 - 45 days, but can take longer if your case involves special circumstances.
Yes, no case is ever settled without your expressed consent. Whenever settlement negotiations are initiated by either party you will be informed and it is only with your full participation, advice, and consent that your case is settled.