Given the complexities and unique issues surrounding right of way accidents, it is imperative to retain a personal injury law firm with the resources necessary to fully investigate your case. In this article, we will discuss what one should expect while their lawyer is working with the other party’s insurance company. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
In a typical car accident case, the injured party will be contacted by the responsible party’s insurance company very soon after the accident. The insurance adjuster will attempt to ascertain the level of the victim’s damages and begin settlement conversations. In the case of an intersection crash where there is an ongoing dispute about which driver is responsible, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to simply deny coverage altogether. When one has been seriously injured and has suffered significant damages this can be devastating. To preserve your rights to adequate compensation, it is essential to involve Fort Worth personal injury counsel as soon as possible to deal with the other party’s insurance company.
When a settlement cannot be reached with the defendant’s insurance company, the case will proceed to litigation and culminate in a trial. Victims should be aware that not all law firms will litigate a personal injury trial. Some firms limit their engagement to the settlement negotiation process. Their role is solely to manage the discussions with the insurance company. In the context of intersection accidents, this may be a very short engagement in light of the insurance companies’ frequent denial of coverage. If the parties are not able to reach a settlement and the case must proceed through the litigation process, these types of firms will withdraw from the representation. For obvious reasons, this can leave the client in a precarious position. Clients should clarify the firm’s willingness to litigate before retaining counsel.
Once retained, your lawyer will work directly with the insurance adjuster. Before making a settlement demand, counsel will gather evidence about the accident, the injuries sustained, and any property damages. This information will help establish the defendant’s liability as well as potential damage calculations. Information such as accident reconstructionist reports, witness statements, photographs, police records, medical records and other expert advice will be reviewed to determine possible damages. If the injuries are serious, the victim’s medical prognosis may take significant time to ascertain. Negotiations may be put on hold until the full extent of the injuries are known. Once all relevant information is available, counsel will send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company. This letter will include the calculation of damages and evidence supporting the claim. The adjuster and attorney will negotiate the terms of a settlement. If they are unable to reach an agreement on the amount of damages, then the victim’s lawyer will file a lawsuit against the defendant.
It is important to realize that the process described above may take a significant period of time. Depending upon the seriousness of the injuries suffered in the accident, it may be necessary to involve experts to ascertain the total liability. Hiring an attorney with substantial resources willing to handle your case until its conclusion will help ensure that a victim is not accepting a hasty settlement offer from an insurance company. If you are injured in a car accident in Fort Worth or in other areas of Texas, we suggest working with a law firm with multiple attorneys and experience in personal injury law. We also suggest hiring an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.