Each personal injury claim is unique. However, the personal injury claims process in Laredo, TX, for your case shares similar steps to other cases. When you file a personal injury claim, you can expect the process of pursuing a claim to include the following stages. Contact Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers in Laredo, TX for more information about your rights after an accident or injury.
When you hire a Laredo personal injury lawyer, your attorney thoroughly investigates your claim. The attorney identifies the cause of your injury and who is responsible. A personal injury lawyer also gathers evidence to prove the legal elements of your claim.
Many personal injury cases are based on negligence. However, strict liability, intentional torts, and other wrongful acts could be the source of your claim. As the injured party, you have the burden of proof in a personal injury case.
Medical Treatment for Injuries
While your attorney investigates your claim, gathers evidence to prove your case, and files insurance claims, you focus on receiving medical treatment for your injuries. Prompt medical treatment is a key element of a personal injury case. Delays in medical treatment could give the other party grounds to dispute your claim.
It is important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Doing so increases your chance of making a full recovery. However, prompt medical care also helps avoid allegations of failure to mitigate damages.
The duration of your recovery is a significant factor in how long it takes to settle your personal injury case. Your attorney waits until you reach maximum medical improvement to pursue a settlement. Until you complete treatment, it is impossible to know the extent of your injuries and damages.
Calculating the Value of Damages
Personal injury claims include compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Your attorneys carefully document your damages to maximize how much your case is worth. Examples of damages in a personal injury case include:
- Medical bills and expenses, including rehabilitation therapy, nursing care, and medications
- Loss of income, including decreases in earning capacity and future lost wages because of permanent impairments
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as personal care and household services
- Pain and suffering damages, including physical discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life and diminished quality of life
- Scarring, disability, impairments, and disfigurement
- Long-term nursing and/or personal care
If you sustain permanent impairments or disabilities, your attorney may work with various experts to determine the cost of future damages. Experts your attorney may retain include economists, medical specialists, life care planners, financial professionals, and vocational experts.
Settlement Demand Package and Settlement Negotiations
The settlement demand letter sets forth the details of your personal injury claim. Information included in the demand package includes:
- Facts of the case, including copies of accident or incident reports
- Detailed description of your injuries, including copies of your medical records
- An analysis of the legal grounds for holding the other party liable for your damages
- Discussion of your damages and the value of your claim
- Documentation of lost wages, medical expenses, and other financial losses
- Photographs of your injuries
Your attorney sends the settlement demand package to the insurance company. The company could take several weeks to review the information and respond.
In many cases, the company makes a counteroffer for a lower amount, which begins back-and-forth settlement negotiations. You could accept the counteroffer or counter with a higher amount.
Your attorney discusses each settlement offer, the merits of the offer, and your legal options. They offer you their advice based on handling thousands of personal injury claims. Ultimately, the decision of whether to accept a settlement offer is yours.
Settlement Agreement and Disbursement of Proceeds
If you accept a settlement offer, your attorney prepares a settlement agreement outlining the settlement terms. A final settlement agreement ends your claim. You give up the right to file a lawsuit or pursue other causes of action related to this incident.
The insurance company sends a check to your lawyer. After the check clears, your attorney pays outstanding medical liens, attorneys’ fees & costs, and disburses the remaining amount to you.
Litigation and Trial
Many personal injury cases in Texas are settled through negotiations with the insurance provider. However, if a fair settlement is impossible, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Litigation could take more than a year to complete, and compensation for damages is not guaranteed. Therefore, your lawyer will discuss all legal options and the pros and cons of each option to allow you to make an informed decision on whether to accept a settlement offer or proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
Experienced Laredo personal injury attorneys offer free consultations so that you can get more information about a personal injury claim. The best way to protect your rights is to understand your legal options.
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