This is the fourth post in our series on the handling of Fort Worth, Texas pedestrian accident cases. Our last post discussed determining whether a pedestrian was hit due to distracted driving. It is important that your attorney investigate the driver’s conduct as it can impact how the jury apportions fault. In this post we will discuss another important topic – determining damages when one has been seriously injured. Proving damages is a complicated process and it is important that you retain an attorney experienced in handling such matters.
An injured pedestrian’s financial compensation will be made up of multiple parts. First, one will be entitled to medical expenses incurred as well as wages which have already been lost. Second, and highly important, is the fact that a victim may also recover for future medical needs which stem from the accident as well as future lost earnings. Future medical needs may include surgeries, return doctor visits, rehabilitative therapies, cosmetic surgeries required to repair scarring, etc. Future lost earnings can include amounts for work which will be missed as well as lost wages if the victim is unable to return to their career. The victim will also be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and inconvenience caused by the accident.
Experts will often be necessary to provide damages in pedestrian cases which involve serious injuries. Medical professionals will be called upon to testify as to what future procedures are required, the basis for believing that such procedures are necessary, as well as to the victim’s prognosis. Economic and vocational experts will be called upon to testify as to the extent of a victim’s future economic harm, the victim’s ability to earn a living in the future, as well as to what other jobs the victim may be able to perform if they have become disabled. Laypeople cannot offer opinions on such topics as these are areas which require training in economics and other complex areas.
As we discussed in our post on what Fort Worth residents should expect while treating for a personal injury, a demand for payment will not be sent to an insurance company until damages can be calculated. Making a demand for payment before all expert opinions have been offered, and the victim’s future is more clear, can result in one accepting a settlement which is less than what they should be entitled to. Once your attorney has a reasonable estimate of your damages then they will request that amount from the insurance company. Should the matter not settle then damages will be requested from the jury.
When selecting a pedestrian accident attorney it is important that you select a firm which handles major injury cases and in which the lawyers have substantial experience. You should also determine whether the attorneys are board certified and whether the firm employs a full time investigator. Finally, you should determine whether the firm is large enough to advance court costs and whether the office can devote multiple attorneys to your case. These things are crucial as pedestrian cases can quickly become complicated. This is true whether you were injured in counties including Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, and Wise as well as Fort Worth, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Arlington, Keller, Grand Prairie, and Dallas.