According to a survey, traffic in Houston is considered the worst in the state of Texas. It’s never easy dealing with the physical and emotional impact of being involved in a car accident. Making matters worse, victims of an accident often feel overwhelmed by what he or she should do after an auto accident.
After being in a car accident you may not see or feel physical injuries right away due to shock, but most victims do feel the effect of the accident days later. It’s important to receive medical attention immediately to ensure there are no internal issues that must be addressed. Further, visiting a hospital, or preferably an urgent care center, will document your potential injuries and will prevent the insurance carrier from stating your injury or injuries were not caused by the accident.
In the event of an accident, there may be bystanders who may have witnessed the accident occur. These witnesses could give details that may be missing in a police report and help explain what he or she saw to help further explain the cause of the auto accident.
When you are involved in a car accident, the process of recovering your compensation for the losses incurred requires an investigation. During an investigation, your legal team will locate all available insurance coverage and evidence that document your injuries and the negligence exhibited by the adverse driver. Below are the steps taken when investigating:
The investigator gathers information about the accident and specific details that occurred; they investigate the accident’s location. Investigators will examine the location as well as the exact time the accident took place. Other factors that are considered at the time the accident happened would be weather conditions, and who informed the authorities when the accident occurred.
With present-day technology and the existence of security cameras on most street corners, we are often successful in obtaining video evidence of what actually occurred. Further, locating a witness who might have cell phone footage of the incident would also help the case.
Once a case reaches a certain point, your attorney may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. At this point, your personal injury attorney will hire professionals who will go over all the information that has been gathered from your legal team and investigators. When a case goes to trial, these qualified experts will speak on behalf of the client to present their expert opinion to a jury.
Experts are used to show what injuries a client received from the car accident and why he or she required a surgical procedure or may need such in the future. This is how we document future medical costs. Also, experts will be able to prove how much force, the distance traveled, the speed the at-fault party was doing, and the direction they were coming from.
This will be important because when explaining to a jury they will need as much detail as possible explaining how the client was injured and some of the long-term medical issues he or she will experience as a result of the accident.
This will also prevent the insurance company from ever saying that the victim did not require surgery or will not need such in the future.
At the scene of a car wreck, law enforcement will respond to investigate and identify the at-fault driver. Law enforcement will take statements from both parties as well as try to identify any witnesses that saw the accident occur. Upon their investigation, usually, a citation is given to the at-fault driver, and on occasion, an arrest will be made if the offense is outstanding. The attorney will get this citation and review the details to see if it can be used as evidence.
Once you as the victim have hired an attorney, the law firm will collect all medical bill statements on behalf of the client. Your attorney will arrange for you to meet with medical professionals to assist you with your treatment. During those visits, the medical facility will receive a Letter of Protection (LOP) while you have an active lawsuit.
Once a claim has been filed there are many different factors that go into what type of compensation someone will receive. Attorneys will need to be able to show proof that their client had bodily injuries from the auto accident and the pain and suffering from those injuries. Other factors that will be taken into consideration are as followed:
After consulting with a lawyer, papers will be signed stating you are being represented by a law firm to handle all legal matters pertaining to your auto accident. Thereafter, a letter will be sent to the insurance company letting them know you have hired legal counsel and all matters will be directed to the law firm and you wish the insurance company speaks with your legal team about your auto accident. Below are the steps taken during the process of an auto accident claim:
A claim will be filed on the client’s behalf to the insurance company. The claim will contain information that has been gathered throughout the investigation, including all medical treatments the client is undergoing as well what bills the client has received thus far in the process.
During the process, your legal team will be in contact with an insurance adjuster who is handling the auto claim. This is where negotiations begin. Your legal team will be sending additional information to the adjuster showing continued treatment and if additional treatment from a specialist is needed.
An experienced law firm will know how to handle adjusters and prevent low settlement offers. Adjusters also know when dealing with experienced law firms they will need to work harder.
Adjusters will send settlement offers throughout the course of these negotiations. Your legal team will have a solid number in mind that will be in the best interest of the client. Your attorney will speak with you throughout the negotiation period and explain what has been offered and what he or she thinks is best for you as the client. This can be a long process, but we will assure all clients we have their best interest in mind and will work hard to get the compensation they deserve.
A lawsuit will be filed when the adjuster and your legal team have exhausted all negations and can’t reach a settlement. The client will be notified that a lawsuit will be filed due to the adjuster not agreeing to the terms that have been presented by the law firm.
Once a lawsuit has been filed, the insurance company will assign a legal firm to represent them. The insurance company legal team has 30 days to respond to the petition. The defendant’s lawyer may also file an answer to” general denial’.
This is a standard legal answer; hence you should not be worried. This means that the defendant wants to be presented with the evidence of your liability claims. Our attorney will be well prepared when it comes to responding to such issues.
This is a phrase with strict rules and procedures, and both parties are required to follow the rules. We get to this phase if the court fails to dismiss the case. The court is presented with motions and answers; from this, it will decide whether to continue or dismiss the case.
At this stage, the lawyers have hectic work as they will go deep into the investigation to gather evidence. Both lawyers will have to have evidence supporting their claims. The evidence may include camera surveillance, interviews from witnesses, digital evidence, and physical evidence. To obtain this, some procedures need to be followed.
The defendant party may also have the above requests presented to you. All you have to do is be well prepared and respond to such requests to avoid the penalties. For instance, if you do not respond to the request for admission in time, the court will be forced to believe that you have acknowledged the statement presented as true.
This will automatically mean that you give up your defense claim. Since the situation may be so delicate, you need to have a lawyer who shows commitment when it comes to responding to the request. Also, the lawyer should be competent in a manner that they can get work done on time.
During the discovery phase, we have deposition, and this is a simple procedure that involves a session of questions asked by the council that the witness must answer. The questions are directed to the other party or a witness who is usually under oath. In the courtroom, a court reporter oversees recording statements made by the witnesses or the parties involved.
It is crucial to have your attorneys during the deposition process; your lawyers will be able to advise you on what to speak about. Questions asked at depositions may include a person’s background.
After the two parties are done with their findings that may include the documented request and the depositions, any of the parties may file motions for summary judgment. In most cases, one of the parties may note that there are no important facts in dispute. Therefore, a motion for summary judgment is employed by the court as it plays a role in avoiding unnecessary trials.
A court usually grants a party a summary judgment in cases whereby the other party has been convicted for a crime, and the evidence cannot be disputed. From this, there would be no other questions of liability.
The two parties may decide to settle the issue using a different method— mediation. This involves a third party who could be a lawyer or a former judge. The mediators are known to have special training; this will help make the parties get to sound decisions while negotiating.
For mediation to occur, it requires the parties to be in a room together with their lawyers and the mediator. Both parties can air out their claims. This helps the mediator to determine how the parties may resolve their differences. If the two parties come to an agreement, it marks the end of the case.
The mediation process usually starts with both sides and their attorneys together in the room with the mediator. If the mediation does not bear fruits, all the parties are advised not to use the information discussed against each other. The information discussed in the mediation room should not leave the room.
Failure to come to an agreement during mediation doesn’t mean that the negotiations should stop. Your attorney can continue with negotiations until the trial ends.
Even if mediation sessions are unsuccessful, your attorney can continue to engage in settlement negotiations with the other party until the end of a trial.
The first part of a car accident jury trial is jury selection, which is also known as the voir dire in the legal world. During this phase of the trial, both attorneys and the judge may ask potential jurors in the courtroom, called the “jury pool.” Selecting the right jury is essential to any personal injury damage lawsuit. However, the jury selection process can be complex—even for attorneys!
Our attorneys know how to use necessary strikes (which can be peremptory strikes or strikes for cause) to make sure you have a strong jury. The jury any experienced personal injury wants is most likely to be sympathetic to their client’s injuries and rule in their favor.
The judge and the lawyer come to an agreement concerning the jury selection. Once this is done, the lawyers are given a chance to speak up in front of the jury. Once the lawyers and judge agree on a selected jury, both the parties can make a statement. This is the period when the attorney does not have to make an argument on their cases.
After the two parties give out their statements, they will also have to present the evidence to the jury and provide an argument on the other party’s claims. The plaintiffs’ lawyer presents their statement first; this process involves the lawyer questioning the chief witness who makes an appearance to give evidence. The following process takes place:
After all the above steps taken by the plaintiff’s lawyer, the defendant’s lawyer also gets to present their case in the same manner.
The attorney may ask the witness questions during the direct and cross-examination. The lawyers are free to ask the witness questions about evidence. They are supposed to be equipped with statements and evidence that are in line with the rules. During the presentation, the attorneys should not hesitate to dispute the statements that violate the rules.
The judge gets to interpret the law to the jury. This interpretation is in connection with the proceeding case. After the jury hears all the evidence, the judge will read the jury instructions, which informs the jury of the law relating to the case. The attorneys can present a final statement to the jury before they go to the jury room for further discussion. When the jury reaches a judgment, they get to read it in the courtroom.
Pusch & Nguyen is conveniently located in both southeast Houston on Gulf Freeway and southwest Houston on Bellaire Boulevard. We also have investigators that can come directly to you. Our goal is to be accessible to our clients and make this as easy as possible. We are community-focused and our principal lawyers call Houston their hometown.
Call us today! We would be honored to represent you and protect your legal rights.