This is the next post in our series on the various stages of a Fort Worth, Texas personal injury case. Our last article discussed what accident victims can expect while treating for their injuries. It is important that victims allow the treatment portion of a case to run its course and that they not accept a “quick” settlement. In this article we will discuss another important topic – what victims can expect during the “summary” stage of a matter. If you need assistance then it is vital that you contact an experienced lawyer immediately.
The “summary” stage of a personal injury case occurs between the time at which your future medical prognosis can be ascertained and the time at which your counsel begins negotiating with the defendant’s insurance carriers. During this time, your counsel will accumulate all of your medical records and documentation of your lost wages. A vocational expert, and possibly an economist, will generate reports as to how the incident has impacted your ability to earn a living in the future. These reports will include estimates as to what you could have expected to earn, had the injuries not occurred, and the amount (if any) that you can expect to earn with your future prognosis. These calculations will also include any costs required for possible retraining or education that may be needed if you are forced to leave your current field of work.
Once all of the above-mentioned information is compiled then a “demand letter” will be sent to the insurance carrier. This letter will state the reasons for which the defendant should be found liable for the accident, a breakdown of the dollar amount which you are requesting, the basis for the financial request, and all documentation supporting the calculations. Negotiations with the carrier, which is a topic we will discuss in our next article, will begin after the demand letter has been sent.
When selecting an injury attorney it is important that you choose a firm with significant financial resources. This is due to the fact that medical and vocational experts can be very expensive and your counsel will be required to pay those costs up front. If your representative does not have the money needed to cover these costs then it is possible that you will not receive the compensation to which you are potentially entitled. When selecting counsel, make sure you ask them about their financial position and their ability to cover costs.
If you have been harmed through the negligence of another than contact a lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to their having significant resources, we suggest that you retain a firm with experienced attorneys and which employs its own full-time investigator. This is true whether you were injured in Fort Worth, Dallas, or elsewhere in Texas.