If you recently suffered injuries in an accident that a negligent individual or entity caused, you may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with that negligent party's insurance company. As part of that claim or lawsuit, you can pursue monetary recovery not only for your accident-related medical expenses and lost earnings but also for your suffering, inconvenience, and ongoing pain and mental distress.
When it comes time to file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit after your accident, you want the best possible attorney or law firm in your corner, aggressively advocating for you every step of the way.
A good car accident lawyer in San Antonio can gather important evidence to prove your case, negotiate with insurance company representatives aggressively, and file a lawsuit on time if litigation becomes a necessary step in your case. A capable lawyer can also represent you at all litigation proceedings, such as depositions or civil jury trials.
Finally, a qualified personal injury attorney can answer all your legal questions and address all your concerns in the case.
Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize the monetary compensation you deserve to recover for all your accident-related losses, making you whole again after your accident.
Injuries That Result from an Accident
Victims of serious accidents that result from the negligence of others may suffer extremely serious injuries that leave them incapacitated and out of commission for a significant amount of time.
The injuries that an accident victim suffers typically depend upon the specific accident circumstances, the force involved in the accident and the body parts affected in the accident.
Some of the most frequent injuries that accident victims suffer include open lacerations, cuts and abrasions, eye injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, soft tissue whiplash injuries, broken bones, rib fractures, scarring, disfigurement, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, facial contusions, and full or partial spinal cord injuries.
Upon suffering one or more of these injuries in an accident, always seek the medical treatment that you need as quickly as possible so that you can get better.
For instance, you may need to consult a medical specialist, such as a neurologist or orthopedist, or meet with your primary care doctor. Additionally, depending on your injuries, a medical provider might recommend that you undergo a significant medical procedure, such as surgery, to correct your injury. Following a serious medical procedure, you might also need to submit to physical or occupational therapy.
By completing your medical treatment regimen, you increase the chances that you will make a full recovery. Additionally, by treating your injuries, you show the at-fault party's insurance company that your injuries are indeed serious and that they warrant favorable monetary recovery via settlement or litigation.
In the meantime, your personal injury attorney can begin obtaining copies of various documents to use in your case. These documents may include medical treatment records, medical bills, witness statements, photographs of injuries and property damage, and lost-wage documentation from your employer showing the dates and times that you missed work after your accident.
After you complete your medical treatment, your attorney can submit all these documents to the insurance company as part of a settlement demand package. The adjuster will then evaluate the claim and might make you a settlement offer to resolve your case out of court.
Common Personal Injury Monetary Damages
To recover monetary compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the insured accident victim must satisfy several legal elements:
- They must show that the individual or entity at fault owed them a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances. For example, if the accident victims suffered their injuries in a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, it is a given that the other driver owed them a duty to operate their own vehicle in a careful, safe, and prudent manner under the circumstances. The other driver also had a duty to follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations.
- In a personal injury case, the injured accident victim must establish that the other party violated their duty of reasonable care. For example, in the context of one of the above-referenced motor vehicle accidents, the at-fault driver might have violated the traffic law, engaged in distracted driving, exhibited road rage, or operated their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- An accident victim must establish that their accident was a direct result of the other party's negligent behaviors.
- The accident victim must show that as a direct and foreseeable result of their accident, they suffered at least one physical injury.
To establish these legal elements of a personal injury case, your lawyer can retain one or more experts who can testify on the witness stand or draft a report supporting your case.
For example, a medical provider who treated you can draft a report stating, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that one or more of your injuries are permanent and/or that they are causally related to the subject accident.
Additionally, if the at-fault party's insurance company is disputing that their insured caused the accident, then your attorney may retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can shed some light on how the accident actually happened and who you can hold responsible.
An accident reconstructionist can make this conclusion after reviewing police reports, going to the accident scene, speaking with witnesses, and reviewing any available video camera footage.
Qualities of a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you want the best possible attorney by your side every step of the way.
First of all, not all lawyers handle personal injury cases regularly. Ideally, you want a lawyer on your side whose main practice area consists of personal injury law.
You also want a personal injury lawyer who handles your specific type of case. For example, if you suffered your injuries in a slip-and-fall accident that occurred on someone else's premises, you want an attorney on your side who regularly handles premises liability claims.
Additionally, you want an attorney in your corner who has a good track record of success, not just with settling personal injury claims but also with litigating them in the court system.
Ideally, you want a personal injury lawyer who regularly takes cases to trial and binding arbitration proceedings and who knows how to aggressively advocate for accident victims in a courtroom setting. Insurance companies also tend to look unfavorably upon attorneys who settle all of their cases out of court.
Finally, you want a lawyer on your side who has a clean, ethical record. To find out more information about a prospective personal injury attorney, you should look at your state's bar association website. You can also check for online reviews of the attorney to find out what previous clients have said about them.
When selecting a personal injury attorney to represent you in your case, it is a good idea to ask prospective attorneys questions and to listen carefully to their answers. Once you retain a lawyer to represent you, they can file a timely claim or lawsuit on your behalf and work to secure the favorable compensation you need for all your injuries.
Ways an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer May Help
During a personal injury claim or lawsuit, a good personal injury lawyer can handle each aspect of your case and work to maximize the monetary damages you receive for your injuries.
First, your lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of your case with you and gather important documents that may later serve as evidence in your case. Your attorney can also retain a medical provider or other expert who can draft a report or testify at a discovery deposition or jury trial on your behalf.
Next, your lawyer can submit a settlement demand package to the at-fault party's insurance company. This demand package will include important documents, including medical records and bills, for the insurance company to review.
If the insurance company has a settlement offer on the table, your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations and communications with adjusters on your behalf.
Frequently, settlement negotiations take time before the parties reach a resolution. This is because insurance companies do not have an incentive to settle your case and pay you the compensation that you truly deserve. Rather, insurance companies are most interested in keeping as much of their money in-house as possible so that they can distribute that money to their shareholders.
A personal injury lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company adjusters in your case by highlighting the strength of your case, pointing to favorable evidence, and downplaying any case weaknesses. Additionally, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with litigation if the adjuster refuses to increase their settlement offer meaningfully.
The litigation part of a personal injury case begins when your lawyer submits a lawsuit to the court system. However, once your attorney files a lawsuit in court, they do not have to stop negotiating your case.
Rather, in most personal injury cases, the parties continue settling long after the case is in litigation. Most personal injury cases ultimately settle out of court because the parties want to avoid expert fees and other significant costs frequently associated with litigation.
During personal injury litigation, your lawyer can answer written discovery questions from the defense attorney, called interrogatories, on your behalf. They can also prepare you for a discovery deposition and anticipate the types of questions that a particular defense attorney may be likely to ask you in your case.
Your lawyer can also represent you at all litigation proceedings that go forward in your case, such as a civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding.
If your case goes to a civil jury trial, the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues in the case. Specifically, they may decide the amount of monetary compensation to award you for your personal injuries.
At a binding arbitration hearing, however, the parties may introduce evidence and testify out of court before a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator then awards the accident victim appropriate monetary compensation within certain preset parameters.
Your attorney can weigh the pros and cons of your case so that you can make an informed and intelligent decision about how best to proceed.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Accidents caused by the negligence of someone else may lead to traumatic injuries and damages for the victims. To recover the monetary compensation you need after your accident, contact a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
Under the state statute of limitations, accident victims must file a lawsuit within two years of their accident. Otherwise, they risk jeopardizing their eligibility to collect monetary recovery for their injuries.
A personal injury lawyer can act quickly on your behalf by filing a timely claim or lawsuit seeking the monetary recovery you deserve. Your attorney can then handle all the legal aspects of your case in pursuit of the fair monetary damage award you need.