This is the next post in our series on the handling of Fort Worth, Texas pedestrian accident cases. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one were hit by an oncoming car. It is crucial that you contact counsel sooner, rather than later, in order to ensure that your rights remain fully protected. In this article we will discuss what the victims of such accidents can expect while treating for their injuries. If you are in need of assistance then contact a lawyer immediately.
A pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries to the victim. These injuries can include brain damage, spinal damage, and other disability. The extent to which such injuries have impacted the victim’s future must be reasonably determined before a settlement demand can be sent to the defendant’s insurance adjusters. “Reasonably determining” a victim’s damages means being able to determine the extent to which the victim will require future treatment, medications, and therapy, as well as the cost of such care. It also means being able to calculate the extent to which the accident has impacted a defendant’s ability to earn a living. The fact that the victim may have to treat for some time, before such determinations can be made, means that there may be a significant period in between the time of the injury and the time at which a demand can be sent to the insurance carriers.
A victim’s attorney, after being retained, will immediately contact the defendant’s insurance carriers. The carriers will then deal with counsel directly. Counsel will also have the victim sign a HIPA release early in the representation. This will allow counsel to communicate directly with the victim’s physicians, to receive documentation of the treatment, and to receive regular updates as to their situation. While the victim is treating, they’re lawyer will conduct a full investigation into the matter. This investigation will include visiting the scene of the incident, obtaining any and all accident reports, interviewing eyewitnesses, etc. Once the victim’s damages can be reasonably measured then counsel will send a settlement demand to the carrier. This demand will state the amount of money which the victim is requesting, the basis for the amount requested, and documentation supporting the claim. Such documentation will include proof of the defendant’s liability as well as proof of the damages sustained.
The victim’s attorney will then negotiate back and forth with the insurance adjuster. If a settlement cannot be reached then a lawsuit will be filed on the victim’s behalf. The process described above is a reason why we suggest that victims retain a Fort Worth pedestrian accident lawyer with the resources necessary to see a case through to completion. If a Plaintiff’s attorney accepts a “quick settlement” then they may not receive full compensation for their future losses. By retaining experienced counsel, one helps to ensure that their rights remain protected. In addition to substantial financial backing, we suggest that the firm you retain be one which employs multiple attorneys who are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.