In this informative episode of “Legal Aid: Your Personal Injury Resource,” your host Ankita is joined by the incredibly knowledgeable and passionate guest, Natasha. Together, they delve deep into the world of legal aid and how it serves as an essential resource for those facing personal injury cases.
Personal injuries can happen to anyone at any time, and understanding your legal rights and options is crucial. Ankita and Natasha explore the fundamental aspects of personal injury law, shedding light on the significance of seeking legal aid during challenging times.
Guest: Natasha S. Walker
Natasha S. Walker is the principal attorney at The Law Office of Natasha S. Walker in Houston, Texas. Her practice focuses on personal injury law from car accidents, slip and fall cases, to major trucking accidents. Natasha believes in providing her clients with compassionate legal representation.
Ankita is a dynamic professional with a passion for legal tech, social media management, and podcasting. With a keen eye for the intersection of law and technology, Ankita has carved her niche in the ever-evolving world of legal tech. Her expertise in harnessing cutting-edge technology to streamline legal processes is second to none.
As a social media manager, Ankita brings her creative flair to the digital realm, crafting engaging content and strategies that resonate with audiences across platforms. Her knack for storytelling and digital marketing has propelled brands to new heights.
Ankita’s true calling, however, lies in the world of podcasting. With a real knack for captivating storytelling, she hosts and produces insightful podcasts that delve into the intricacies of law, technology, and societal impacts. Her podcasts have garnered a dedicated following, making her a respected voice in the legal tech community.
Ankita’s journey continues to inspire, as she combines her passions to bridge the gap between law, technology, and the digital landscape.
Ankita: Today we have got something extra special just in time for the Halloween season.
I’m your host Ankita and I’m thrilled to introduce you to a distinguished attorney with a wealth of experience in the field of personal injury law. Our guest is a true expert in her own right.
Allow me to present Natasha S. Walker, a personal injury lawyer who is known not only for her extensive knowledge and impressive track record but also for her genuine passion for helping those in need. Natasha, thank you for joining us today. To kick things off, let’s start with Halloween. Halloween is all about fun and costumes and candy but sometimes things get you know take a dark turn. What are some of the most common personal injury cases you have seen related to Halloween festivities?
Natasha: So yeah, Halloween is supposed to be all fun and parties and hanging out and in all of the celebration the most common situation that comes to mind is making poor choices with regard to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and that’s usually because maybe we have you know someone who is just behind the wheel of a vehicle and they’re just in an intoxicated state and it leads to a dangerous vehicle accident. Motor vehicle accidents can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved passengers included and it’s just not the type of thing you want to be dealing with during Halloween. You know your family, your friends, and then you’re in the hospital perhaps dealing with a very unlikely incident.
Ankita: Okay, so like you must have seen a few cases this season. Would you like to share some? So you mean related to Halloween or just personal injury in general? Yes, personal injury cases must have happened in this season or any season which you know you would like to share and there are certain things that our audiences might not be aware of.
Natasha: Yeah, so some things to keep in mind is for instance if you’re at a friend’s house and you’re celebrating and then you happen to get hurt or injured a lot of times the owner of that home will have some sort of coverage that could cover your injuries and cover your losses. That’s something to keep in mind but also to be mindful of where you are in your surroundings because this is not always just a straightforward you know solution to making sure that your injuries are addressed because there may be some back-and-forth with insurance companies and filing claims and also dealing with the disrupted relationship that you might have with friends and family as to having to seek their insurance for a claim. You know and so that might kind of disrupt that relationship as well. So just want to be aware of what you’re doing, and what others are doing around you and you want to make sure that you’re taking all the proper steps to ensure that you’re not inebriated when you leave and if so you have a designated driver or your friends and family know where you are at all times that sort of thing.
Ankita: Okay, Completely noted. I actually feel that our audience would be you know more aware of what you told me. So moving forward, how about Halloween parties? They can get pretty wild. Can host be held responsible for accidents or injuries that occur at their place?
Natasha: Well, so yes, maybe no. It just really depends on whether the host of the party is the owner of the property. So whatever happened at the location, why it happened, what caused you to know what were the events that led up to the cause of that incident happening, were there injuries, was someone actually hurt or was it just a situation that was just kind of you know a challenge to deal with. So what you’re thinking about here is premises liability which can be viewed and interpreted differently depending on your jurisdiction. So it depends on what state you live in and so I practice in Texas. So generally speaking the landowner, so whomever does own that property may be the one who’s held responsible. So it just kind of depends on how it happened, you know what the owner was aware of, if there was any negligence, things like that. So you want to just kind of know who all might be involved and who all you might need a contact.
Ankita: Okay, so a property owner can be someone who would be responsible while a personal injury case depends on the situation.
Natasha: Right, depending but yes.
Ankita: Okay, also for our listeners who want to stay safe this Halloween, what are some most practical tips they can take to avoid personal injury cases?
Natasha: Some practical things you can take, I would start with making sure what coverage you have. So for instance, if you’re going to be you know driving your car or going to a party and you have friends with you, You know what your coverages are, know what insurance you have, and know what the claims process is like. One other thing you will want to do to stay safe is to drink responsibly. So if you are drinking and if your friends are drinking, make sure that you’re aware of what you know what your limits are so to speak. Knowing how much you can consume without becoming you know impaired. Yeah, so because accidents can happen just kind of unpredictably like you can’t just expect an accident to happen. It just usually happens because maybe there was some inattention or maybe there were some steps you didn’t take ahead of time to try to prevent it. So you just want to make sure that you’re knowledgeable about your insurance, knowledgeable about the people you’re with and you’re taking responsibility for the things you’re doing before you get behind the wheel.
Ankita: Okay, like as you told me about the coverage of your insurance and everything, how does the law differentiate between legitimate scare tactics and situations that cross the line into negligence or harm? So how does the law view negligence?
Natasha: Well, so negligence can be considered a legal theory. So when one party is going after another party for injuries that they may have sustained in a personal injury case, they’re looking to deal with a certain level of care. And so that’s like a standard of behavior that people are kind of expected to you know proceed with and abide by. And so that’s like a reasonable standard in Texas. But it’s sometimes more than just being negligent for the act of it. Sometimes it’s not doing anything at all, which can be negligent like having no action or lack of an action. And so it really just depends on how an injury happened to a person to determine if others are possibly liable or could have done something to not you know not have an incident occur in the first place. So when it comes to haunted houses you’re thinking okay people are going to haunted houses and they’re signing up to be scared on purpose. Well, so a lot of times when you go to these places they’re going to have you sign some sort of waiver or something that would limit their liability if you were ever to be injured or hurt in some way, which could ultimately limit any damages that you try to seek later. So you want to be careful about that because things you do like that you kind of do at your own risk.
Ankita: Okay and like Natasha you told me that you should also keep the like your what is your insurance coverage and everything in mind before indulging into any parties or sort of thing. What if someone doesn’t have an insurance coverage? What kind of compensation or damages can someone typically expect to receive for a personal injury related to Halloween’s incidents or for instance just normal personal injuries?
Natasha: Yeah, so I guess it just depends on the type of personal injury that you experienced. So I can give the example of automobile accidents because that one is probably the most straightforward I suppose. You can think of automobile accidents as one person driving their vehicle, another person driving their vehicle and both vehicles have separate coverages attached to them. But say in a situation where these vehicles collide on a highway or roadway and one of the parties doesn’t have coverage. Well, say the party who doesn’t have coverage is also the party who was at fault for that accident. The other party then could go after their own insurance and by that you just you’re really just filing a claim assuming that that person knows that they have what’s called uninsured motorist coverage. They could still get their damages paid for by their own insurance company. The insurance company would then compensate them and then go after the at-fault driver individually or they would go after whomever is the owner of that vehicle. So the situation I suppose depends on what’s happened and who was driving the other person’s car to know if there is an opportunity there for the insurance company to go after them later.
Ankita: Okay someone is injured at a haunted house attraction like you mentioned it before. What steps should they take immediately following the incident and how they can protect their legal rights and not just haunted houses like any personal injury case whether it’s Halloween season or it’s not what are the basic first five steps if you number what should one take?
Natasha: So if you’re at a haunted house and you’re injured you’ll want to probably make a report. I think that’s important and so that’s just letting someone know you know finding an operator finding you know a manager or someone who’s in charge there and making a report like an incident report and doing that as soon as possible. So what you’re doing by making that report is putting the haunted house company or organization the entity the establishment the premises you’re putting them on notice that you’ve been hurt and you’ve been hurt on their property. So that gives them notice and then it gives them also an opportunity to communicate with you about what they can do to help you get better or to address your injury. The next thing you want to do is to get some medical help. So whether that’s going to the emergency room or you know going to the doctor or something like that you want to make sure that you have a doctor or some licensed physician have a look at you medically to see that you’re okay and if necessary and if it leads to it you may need to also file a police report if it’s you know escalated to something where you think you need that record.
Ankita: So Natasha if we have like if someone wants to notify their own lawyers during a personal injury case like they are involved in some injury or some accident is there a specific step or a procedure to notify the lawyers or to like the first three steps someone should take who wants to notify their own lawyer?
Natasha: Well so to notify your lawyer you’re just calling them so you just contact them either by phone or by email a lot of times you know a personal injury lawyer will have some sort of online platform so a website you can go to their website and fill out a contact form and you just kind of let them know the gist of what happened you know you were involved in an injury and you need some help you need some legal guidance regarding your case. So they’ll investigate the case that you have going on which is what I do so when clients call and they have an injury case I’ll collect information from them and I’ll go and investigate and determine you know the likelihood of them being able to pursue a claim and then helping them along the way.
Ankita: Okay so just closing off our podcast would you want to you know give some tips or some like you want to tell some information that our audience won’t be aware of?
Natasha: So a lot of times people aren’t aware that they for one have some level of recourse when they’ve been injured and then sometimes you think that you can manage an injury on your own without going to the doctor and so I would just advise that you still go to the doctor and get checked out because there may be something else there may be something that you’re you’re missing even if you’ve been in the medical field at all you’re not going to see or observe things you know as you experience them personally versus having a physician actually do an exam on you so it’s always a good idea so you just want to go to the doctor even if it’s just to get cleared I think that’s always advisable and then you know making a police report if necessary you definitely want to do that you don’t want to miss that step.
Ankita: Okay so thank you so much for telling us so much information and I am sure that our audience will be thrilled to have this podcast live. So Natasha we will be concluding this podcast thank you so much for joining us today and if our visitors want to reach you how can they connect with you?
Natasha: Yeah so my law firm is the law office of Natasha S Walker I’m based in Houston, Texas. My website is www.pipinjuryfirm.com and PIP is for the personal injury place so I do practice personal injury in Texas. My phone number is 346-627-2227. Thank you.
Ankita: Thank you so much Natasha for joining.