Car Accident and Injury Lawyer
Throughout the history, every human society has been more or less governed by some recognized set of laws. Societies enforce laws not only to control human behavior but for settlement of disputes among its members. A car accident and injury lawyer can facilitate this. Modern invention of cars have brought a easing effect on human kind, but it has caused a lot of problems in human life as well. Fatal auto accidents have become of fact of life. Now, who is at fault? Who deserves compensation? Who should be brought to justice? These are the issues dealt with under personal injury law.
Compensation: – A car accident and injury lawyer should be focused on your compensation. Compensation may include payment of medical bills, lost wages, property and other damages like pain and suffering. Mostly car accidents are dealt by insurance companies, yet if there is a major injury or death is involved a lawsuit may be necessary for settlement. Handling a lawsuit without a car accident and injury lawyer is a mistake, due to the complexity of the law. If one is involved in an accident he/she may be entitled to certain compensation depending upon the laws of the state. Some states guarantee payment of basic injury and property damages without any legal requirement of fault determination under no-fault insurance laws. On the other hand some states have enforced fault-based laws which focus on compensation to the aggrieved party from the party at fault.
Insurance Claims: – If one is in state with no-fault insurance law, one must contact a car accident and injury lawyer to see what laws apply to your situation or what damages are covered. In states with fault-based laws such accidents are settled through auto accident insurance claims. An insurance claim may be complicated or simple depending upon the nature of the accident. If fault is clear and there are no personal injuries, insurance companies avoid a thorough investigation and pay the property damages. In case accident is complicated and includes personal injuries, more than one drivers and fault is not established, insurance companies prefer to go for a through investigation and evaluation of circumstance in which accident happened. Insurance adjuster will first comb through the insurance policy of the claimant for assessing the liability of the insurance company. For this, he may conduct interviews and have meetings with witnesses and parties involved. At this point, having a car accident and injury lawyer to look after your rights is essential. An adjuster may review police reports, medicals documents and expenses incurred due to accident or he may contact the doctor and police even, if he feels the need. Once insurance adjuster has assessed the damages caused due to accident, he will typically send a settlement offer letter. A good car accident and injury lawyer knows how to present your case in the best light to maximize your chance to win your case. A settlement offer is damaged which insurance company agrees to pay after the adjuster’s investigation of accident and circumstance surrounding the accident. Without a car accident and injury lawyer, your chances at getting a settlement are lower. It may be all, it could be part and it could be nothing. If one is confidant and knows what he can claim, one can send a demand letter detailing damages claimed. A demand letter can be sent either prior to a settlement offer or even after settlement offer is made by the insurance company.
Car Accident and Injury Lawyer
Injury Lawyer: – A car accident and injury lawyer provides legal assistance or representation for claiming damages in case of injury in an accident. In the United States, a car accident and injury lawyer must pass a written bar-examination and in certain cases, a written ethics’ examination as well. Examination criteria differ from state to state but mostly car accident and injury lawyer need to have a four years bachelor’s degree and a degree in law from an accredited law school. Other exams which car accident and injury lawyer are required by most of the US states include, Multi-state Bar Examination (MBE), the Multi-state Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and a state bar exam. Some states require another exam, the Multi-state Performance Test (MPT), as well. Once qualified, as with other types of legal professionals, car accident and injury lawyer may choose to start a single exercise or be a part of a small, mid-size, or large law company as an affiliate. Individual car accident and injury lawyer may also be owners of a law firm or make the effort to be an associate.
A car accident and injury lawyer offers a number of advantages to prospects, such as more personal interest and a one-on-one working connection between the attorney and the consumer. A car accident and injury lawyer is also more willing to take on lesser situations and often have reduced charges and expenditures. Typically a car accident and injury lawyer charges are based on a number of factors, which may involve the work invested on a situation, the result of a situation, the problems of a claim, the experience and popularity of the car accident and injury lawyer, and the costs associated with the situation. There are several standard payment alternatives a car accident and injury lawyer may offer his/her customers. These alternatives involve concurrent charges, on per hour basis rates, flat rates, and retainers. A contingency fee is a prior design between attorney and customer in which the attorney gets a set amount of the amount of damages granted to the complainant in a situation. In most cases, financial restoration is obtained through agreement or trial. Generally, when a car accident and injury lawyer takes a situation on a contingent fee, a customer has no responsibility to pay his/her car accident and injury lawyer a fee unless the situation is efficiently fixed. Most injuries attorneys work on a concurrent fee basis.
When does one need a car accident and injury lawyer? – There may be number of reasons one may need an injury lawyer. Few such reasons are explained below.
Long-term or completely limiting injuries. This can actually be the situation in a wide range of injuries, but usually what happens is that these injuries end up making you with injuries that can significantly impact your actual rights or in some situations your overall look for years. In order for them to be regarded long-term the injuries have to last for over a year or even completely. In this form of incident it is often very challenging to determine how much the damage is actually value. So to get the most out of this form of declare you are going to want to seek the services of a attorney to help you.
Car Accident and Injury Lawyer
One may need a car accident and injury lawyer if one is completely unaware of laws applicable to the accident or if damages and injuries caused are huge and serious and involve a number of parties like automobile companies, other drivers, govt. agencies etc. Since generally injury lawyers prefer to take case on contingency fee, it will be a good get rid of the litigation involved by hiring the car accident and injury lawyer. Mostly lawyers do not take any fee if he decides to take contingency fee. Lawyer takes an agreed percentage of damages paid, if case gets resolved in favor of his client.
One other reason which may push one to hire a car accident and injury lawyer is refusal of the party at fault to pay the damages or by his/her own insurance company or the insurance company the other part.
If accident causes a wrongful death, it’s wise to hire a car accident and injury lawyer.
You Really Need A Car Accident Lawyer These Days
The road is full of cars and the more cars are on the road, the more likely a person can get hit by a vehicle or there is always a possibility that he can get caught in an accident whether he’s crossing the street, whether he’s driving a car or whether he’s just sitting at the back of the bus. Accidents do happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Once you’ve stepped out of your house, you are prone to it. You can be lucky enough if you have reached your destination without a scratch or a dent on you.
That is why, you really need a good car accident lawyer whenever you are involved in some mishap on the road because even with an excellent constitution, justice is not an automatic thing and more often than not you will need to fight to get it, you will need somebody to stay at your side who is well-versed with the said justice system and will always try to help you get out of the situation you’re in, whether you’re the victim or the person in-fault.
It is a reality that you have to accept and face and appreciate the fact that so many things can go wrong in your pursuit to get paid after a minor or horrific car accident which harms you in a bad way both physically and financially. A good experienced lawyer knows that time is of essence in collecting the right evidence from the scene of the accident before it vanishes forever. As what they say, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. A car accident lawyer will prove to court that you are not the one who provoked or started the accident and if you really are the one, he will help you make an appeal or whatever it is that will make everything easy for you.
It is reported that every year, there are more 4 million car accident-related injuries suffered and sadly in most cases the accidents could have easily been avoided. There are many reasons why accidents do happen and they can range from using cell phones while driving, crossing the street on a non-pedestrian lane, DUI or ‘driving under influence’, not following or ignoring traffic signals and signs and generally, reckless driving.
An excellent car accident lawyer will need to quickly identify the real cause of the accident and then goes to prove on a court what really happened. If the lawyer cannot do this, then high expectations of compensation will remain but just another hopeless dream.
The car accident lawyer that you are about to hire should be very observant and very keen and attentive to so many things especially where serious injury has occurred that could compromise the livelihood of the victim for the rest of their lives and will depend on the kind of compensation that they will get from that accident. The lawyer has awareness that inadequate compensation will mean a life of hellish misery for the victim.
That’s why, you need to find a good car accident lawyer and so as not to make you waste a lot of time and money looking for the best one, it’s best to search for them online. Right now, lots of lawyers have their own websites so they can cater to a lot of people who needed their help.
The Do’s And Don’ts For Injured Victims
Information That Is Crucial To Your Case
Frequently Asked Questions
The Legal Process
THE DO’s AND DON’Ts FOR INJURED VICTIMS
Do contact our firm immediately following your accident. The advice you receive in an initial interview may be extremely helpful in the days following the accident.
Do notify our firm if you have changed your address and/or telephone number, or employment – including changes in salary, duties, or job title.
Do take pictures of any damage to your vehicle before you get it repaired. Use color film and take a whole roll of pictures.
Do save all medication bottles, casts, braces, and any other items from your doctor.
Do give your attorney any pictures and videos of the accident or accident scene that you or anyone else has taken for you.
Do obtain and save all receipts itemizing any and all expenses you incurred as a result of your accident. Be sure that receipts are dated and contain legible and complete vendor identification.
Do inform your attorney of anything you think has a bearing on the case, including extensive medical treatment or hospitalization.
Do not give any statements – written, recorded, or oral – to anyone concerning your accident or injuries without first consulting our firm.
Do not admit fault or offer any opinions about the cause of the accident.
Do not speak to anyone other than your attorney about your accident or case.
Do not wait to visit a doctor if you are injured. At your visit, do not hold back any information about the location and severity of your pain.
Do not make any false or incorrect statements about prior injuries to any doctor who may treat or examine you. If you don’t remember past information, say so.
Do not ignore your doctor’s advice.
INFORMATION THAT IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR CASE
Keep Detailed Records
Record the following information on an ongoing basis to maintain an accurate account of the suffering that you have endured.
Lost work time and wages.
Expenses resulting from your injuries (i.e., transportation, home care, etc.)
Pain and suffering.
Your physical limitations.
Taking the time to collect and record accurate information may have a positive effect on the outcome of your case. Copies of checks and receipts of payment, as well as the above records, will be very helpful when you may be asked an insurance company or attorney to recall your pain, physical disabilities, and any out-of-pocket expenses including medication.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Be sure to do what your doctors tell you and show up for all appointments. By missing a doctor’s appointment, you are saying to the doctor and to the insurance company that your pain doesn’t matter or affect you too much.
It is very important for you to work hard to get well and to go to all of your appointments. These appointments can serve as evidence of your pain and rehabilitation. If you are in pain and you do not see a doctor, the insurance company and the jury will not believe that you are having pain.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Should I Hire your firm As My Attorneys?
Because we believe in what we do and what we do makes a difference in the lives of our clients and in the world in general.
We are concerned for our client’s well being — this is why we have chosen to work for plaintiffs (the injured parties) and plaintiffs only. We don’t and never have represented insurance companies or corporations. We only represent people who have been injured or taken advantage of by insurance companies or both. We are concerned that our clients receive the medical care they deserve and recover physically from their injuries, as well as recover emotionally and economically. We care enough to tell our clients the truth about what we can and cannot do to help them. We care enough to devote ourselves fully to each client’s case. We know the law and know how to use it for our clients’ best interests.
What Our Staff Members Say:
“I recommend people to hire us because we are responsible, work as a team, we care about people and most important of all we know what we are doing.”
“We are a very dependable and professional law firm. We know how to handle business.”
“We give the advice clients need for their lives, not their case and fight hard to carry out the decisions our clients make about the matters we are hired to accomplish.”
“I recommend that injured people hire us to represent them because we are committed to providing them with the best outcome of their case.”
If you are looking for a committed, resourceful and compassionate law firm to advise and representatives to help you hold a responsible person accountable for your injuries, you should choose our firm as your personal injury attorneys.
What Should I Expect A Personal Injury Attorney To Do For Me?
You should expect your personal injury attorney to be an educator, an advisor, a communicator, a representative, an advocate, he/she should be your “Champion”.
Your attorney should educate you about your rights, the legal basis of your claim and the damages you are able to recover.
Your attorney should advise you throughout the process of recovery (physically, emotionally and economically) as to what to expect and how to best care for yourself throughout the recovery process.
Your attorney should be an effective and honest representative for you. After all, he is your voice in your dealings with the defendants and their representatives.
Your attorney should be an effective advocate in the pursuit of your rights.
Your attorney should be your “Champion”, your “David”, your “Robin Hood”, educating, advising, advocating and fighting for you. Someone you are proud of.
Why Should I Hire An Attorney To Assist Me In Resolving My Personal Injury Claim?
Higher net recovery to you, an experienced guide on your side, relief from worry. An insurance industry research institution studied personal injury claims processed by the injured person alone, verses personal injury claims handled by attorneys. They determined that those represented by attorneys had a higher net recovery to themselves (more money in their pocket after attorney’s fees and costs) than those without attorneys.
An experienced personal injury attorney provides you the advantage of a skilled professional who will provide you the benefit of his experience and insight to equal the playing field when dealing with insurance companies and the major corporations of the world. Hiring a personal injury attorney allows you to focus on your recovery from your injuries while your attorney focuses on holding the responsible person accountable for your injuries.
How Does Your Law Firm Charge Attorneys’ Fees?
We only work on a contingency fee, meaning that if we do not win, we do not get paid. Injury victims cannot afford to pay an attorney by the hour. Our contingency fee is in line with other top-quality lawyers who handle serious personal injury matters. There are no up front costs or fees with us.
Who Is Going To Pay Up Front For All Of The Costs And Expenses Of My Case?
Costs must be advanced during the case to hire experts, conduct discovery and prepare for trial. We advance all costs and we say so in our retainer agreement. The client is responsible for reimbursing the costs when the case settles. If we don’t recover money for you, you will owe nothing.
What Happens If We Lose The Case?
You are not responsible for any fees or costs.
What Is The Value Of My Case?
Because every case is unique and different, it is impossible to tell immediately how much money, if any, you will recover in connection with your case. In cases of serious injury, the ultimate recovery is often related to the amount of insurance coverage available, the nature, extent, and duration of your injuries, and the assessment of liability. We feel it is our primary duty to obtain an amount of money which will fairly and justly compensate you for your injuries. We will make every effort to do this by locating all sources of money. We will advise you of our evaluation in this regard.
In general, most states allow recovery of damages for the following elements of damage:
The nature and extent of injury, including whether the injury is permanent, and the amount of disability.
Medical expenses, including past bills and future expenses that are reasonably considered to be incurred. This may include mileage to and from the doctor or hospital.
Wage loss, past and future and loss of capacity to earn a living.
Pain and suffering, including your motor vehicle and other items of personal property.
Loss of consortium for your spouse, past and future.
Why Does It Take So Long To File A Claim?
We cannot make your claim until after the doctors have given us reports stating exactly what your medical condition is and what they expect it to be in the future: in other words, until you have reached “maximum medical improvements”. Many times the doctors will be very slow in making these reports. We may even, on occasion, ask you to contact your doctor to speed up this report.
If we try to settle your case before your medical condition is stabilized, you may lose money that you might be entitled to for a condition that did not show up until after your case was settled. It is important to know that your case will not be settled until the damages have been determined and all investigations to determine who is liable have been completed.
It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take several years to complete a case. One of the most difficult requests we make of you is to have patience. Our firm will work as hard and fast as possible to settle your case quickly.
Who Should I Talk To About My Case?
Do not discuss your accident with anyone except your attorney and your doctors. If your own insurance company wants to talk about your case before they pay your medical bills, please refer them to your attorney.
Remember that any necessary information from employers, schools, or other persons will be obtained by our firm. Also, you should not sign anything for anyone else until you check with you attorney first.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Insurance?
If you were hit by an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist, you may be eligible for benefits under your own policy or the policy that covered the vehicle you were in. Many insurance companies have special provisions if you desire to proceed against the uninsured motorist provision of the policy. In most cases, you will be able to collect for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc., in the same way as if the driver that hit you did have insurance. We ask that you provide us with a complete copy of your own insurance policy in force at the time of the accident.
What Is Subrogation?
If any insurance company pays some of your medical or other expenses arising from your injury, the law provides “subrogation” which means that the insurance company stands “in your shoes” and can recover from the liable party some or all of the amounts paid on your behalf. If this is the case, they usually are required to pay their proportionate share of the attorney’s fee and costs in connection with the recovery. This is handled on a case-by-case basis.
What Should I Do About Medical Liens?
Some of our clients are involved in an accident where there is no medical payments insurance, worker’s compensation or private health insurance. In such cases, your doctor will expect to be paid by you at the conclusion of this case. Often they will require you to agree, in writing, to have us pay them directly from the proceeds you receive. State laws sometimes permit health care providers to file a “lien” which must be paid out of the proceeds of your case. If your doctor asks you to sign what is often called a “lien letter”, be sure to contact our office. In some cases, it may not be appropriate for you to sign such an agreement.
What If I Choose To File Bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you should know that you may lose all rights to your personal injury case. The Bankruptcy Court can take over your case, settle your case and give your settlement money to your creditors, and you will receive nothing. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before filing bankruptcy.
What About Claims That Are Filed Against The Government?
Any injury claim, whether it stems from a car collision or other event that involves the government, is subject to special rules. The governmental entity involved may be the state, a city, a county, local government, or the United States. Generally, a Notice of Claim must be filed with the appropriate governmental agency very soon following your injury. If you believe that the government may be involved in your case, please notify us immediately.
THE LEGAL PROCESS
First Steps In Representing You
Your initial interview with our firm will help us gather general information about your case. We will guide you on what you should and should not do, and give you necessary materials to help you. Then, you will be asked to sign certain authorization forms to allow us to obtain your medical records and other pertinent information.
Our firm will contact the person who was responsible for your injury and/or the insurance company, and notify the parties that you have retained us as your attorneys. We will also contact all of the doctors and hospitals involved in your care to obtain your medial chart and billing information.
Filing A Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit, our firm will obtain your permission and explain to you why we believe a lawsuit should be filed. The decision to file a lawsuit should be made by your attorney with your input. Filing a lawsuit may be necessary to obtain adequate monetary compensation for your injury.
Settlement is always possible and is a common alternative to filing a lawsuit. In fact, only a small percentage of cases make it to trial.
Going To Trial
The following are the steps necessary to bring the case to trial.
Pleadings are the documents parties file in court that form the basis of a lawsuit. This is intended to be general information only. Each case is unique.
Complaint or Petition – A lawsuit is filed against an opposing party by filing a document in court known as a complaint or petition. The person who brings the action is the plaintiff – you. The person against whom the action is brought is the defendant. The petition is a statement of facts alleging the names of the parties and alleging why the conduct of the defendant entitles the plaintiff to recover damages.
Summons – Once the plaintiff’s petition is filed, a “summons” is issued to be served on the defendant by an officer of the Court, usually a Deputy Sheriff or process server, informing the defendant that suit has been filed and that a response must be made within a given period of time or a judgment will be taken against him.
Answer or Motion – The response filed by the defendant is called an Answer, which is prepared by the attorney for the defendant. Alternatively, if a defense attorney feels there is a fatal flaw with the lawsuit a motion to dismiss the complaint or to strike portions of the complaint may be filed.
Once an action is filed, both sides have a right to “discover” facts concerning the opposing party’s case. Normal discovery proceedings include written interrogatories, depositions, production of records, and sometimes medical examinations.
Interrogatories – Each side may serve written questions on the opposing party, called “interrogatories”. You are required to answer these questions within a prescribed period of time, in writing and under oath. We will serve interrogatories on the defendant in your behalf, and the defendant will serve interrogatories on you, which you must answer. Our firm will assist you in preparing your answers.
Depositions – Used to learn as much as possible about the other side’s claim or defenses, a deposition collects information, under oath, that is transcribed in a statement which may be used by either side in a lawsuit. It has the same effect as testifying under oath. Those present are the parties concerned, their lawyers, sometimes an additional witness or two, and a court reporter who records the questions and answers. The lawyers normally agree in advance where the deposition will be held. It is usually in the office of one of the lawyers. You are required by law to give a deposition. This is not something in which we have a choice. Because of this, we will need your full cooperation. Prior to the deposition, our firm will go over the facts of the case with you and answer any questions you might have.
YOUR DEPOSITION IS OFTEN
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR CASE.
It is important that you be prepared well in advance of the deposition date.
In giving a deposition, there are a few rules to follow:
a. Always tell the truth, even if it hurts your case.
b. Answer only the questions. Do not make any voluntary statements or speeches.
c. Think before you make any answer to any questions. If it concerns a matter about which you do not know, or a detail you do not remember, you may so state. However, once you have stated that you do not know or remember, it’s hard to change your testimony at trial.
d. Always be polite. Frequently the other attorney will ask you many questions which will seem to you to have no bearing upon the case. Nevertheless, it is your duty to answer these questions, notwithstanding the fact that they may irritate you.
e. Never conceal prior injuries or prior illnesses. Remember, the other side has the means of obtaining such information.
There are occasions when the parties submit the dispute to “mediation”. The parties meet with an independent third person, usually an experienced lawyer or retired judge, who assists the parties in arriving at a settlement. The results are not binding. It is informal, and less expensive than a trial. If that is an option to your case, your lawyer will discuss it with you.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one as the result of a car accident, you need the advice of an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer. Call our firm today for your free consultation.
Our firm has been awarded the highest ranking a law firm can be awarded, signifying that the lawyers have reached the best heights of professional excellence and are recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.