There are many ways an individual can be injured on a daily basis. Many times these injuries have lasting effects and negatively impact a person’s life for many years after the event. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence then the law may offer you recourse against a specific individual, company, or entity.
In most cases, these negligent parties are represented by large insurance companies whose number one goal is to save their company money by denying or minimizing your injuries. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you have an advocate on your side in such circumstances. Escobar Law has attorneys that are experienced and knowledgeable in personal injury law, from something as catastrophic as death or 18 Wheeler wreck to something as commonplace as a car accident or slip & fall. The law entitles a person injured due to someone else’s negligence the right to recover and be compensated for; medical bills incurred, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering (past and future), and mental anguish.
After the collision, it is important that you document what occurred. If you are injured and require emergency care, or if it is a collision where at least one car is disabled or heavily damaged, you should call 911 and have a police officer come out and make an accident report. I can’t tell you how many times the at-fault party at the scene takes responsibility for what happened but when it comes time to talk to his insurance company, concocts some other version of what occurred and places you at fault. With this in mind, whether the police come to the scene or not, it is important that you take pictures of the vehicles, the scene, and see if you can get the contact information of any possible witnesses. By law, it is required that all the parties involved exchange their information, as well (Drivers License, Address, Phone Number, and Insurance Information).
If you are injured or suspect you may be injured, it is imperative that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who are trained to find reasons to deny your claim or minimize your injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in getting immediate treatment for your injuries and also in obtaining the maximum award for your injuries. Many times the insurance adjuster will tell you, “if you are injured, go to the doctor and we will pay for it,” but when you present your medical bills to them, they will only pay for part of it. One thing you must never do is allow the insurance company to take your recorded statement. They will use the recorded statement as an opportunity to trip you up and confuse you to make it seem as if you are unsure of what happened, so they can deny liability or use it against you later to devalue your case.
The damage to your vehicle (property damage) will be the first thing to be settled. You can legally settle the vehicle damage portion of your claim separate from your bodily injury claim. Legally, the insurance company is required to repair your vehicle or if the damage is significant enough, pay for the fair market value of your vehicle. Also, in the time it takes them to either fix or pay out your vehicle, you are entitled to a rental vehicle that they will directly pay for or reimburse you for.
Depending on the severity of the collision, you may not feel pain immediately after the collision. This is usually due to the rush of adrenaline that your body typically produces from the excitement of the traumatic event. If you feel immediate and unbearable pain, then it is important that you go to the nearest emergency room. If your pain does not come until hours after or the next day, then it is important that you seek treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Our law firm will be able to refer you to a doctor for treatment nearest to your home or your work. These doctors will treat you without any out of pocket expense to you. They will be paid at the end of your case from the settlement proceeds. This ensures that you will receive medical treatment based on your injuries and not what you can afford.
Once your medical treatment is concluded, then the demand and negotiation stage of your case commences. At this point, our firm will compile all your medical records, bills, loss wages documentation, and gather facts concerning your pain and suffering. Once we have all this documentation, we will prepare a demand package detailing all these items and arguing the value of your case. The insurance company will evaluate all of the documentation and arguments presented and make a counter-offer. From here, we will negotiate back and forth until we reach a settlement amount that is in your best interest and approved by you. Typically, more than half of all cases settle in this manner, without the need of filing a lawsuit.
If your case cannot settle, typically due to the insurance company not offering a reasonable offer of settlement, then our firm will advise you to file a lawsuit against the defendant insured. It will always be your decision whether to settle or file suit. Upon your approval to file suit, we will file suit and prepare your case for trial. Our firm believes that if we are going to file suit, we do so expecting to present our case to a jury. We will depose all necessary witnesses, request all relevant discovery, and file all needed documents with the court in a timely manner. Along the way, there will be multiple opportunities to settle your case before a trial is needed and typically most cases settle without ever going to trial. But if a trial is required, we will be more than ready.
Your day in court! If your case could not be settled in all the previous phases for whatever reason, then a trial will settle the dispute. At trial, we will present your case to a jury and seek the maximum award allowed by law. We will make sure to put on testimony from witnesses, the doctor(s) who treated you, and sometimes we will bring in an expert doctor to testify on your behalf. This expert doctor, through their knowledge and expertise, will educate the jury regarding the seriousness of your injuries and their ramifications for the rest of your life. Trials can be uncertain but they can also be very advantageous. They are opportunities to hit the “home run” and punish insurance companies for their unfair settlement practices.