Ask An Accident Lawyer Podcast: Episode 20
By Roxell Richards, Esq
This seems to be a popular question asked on google. However, it’s also important to know these questions so you can understand the process and set expectations for yourself and the lawyer you plan to work with. This will save you frustration and unnecessary headaches. Please grab a pen and paper and let’s rock and roll. If you know me, you know I am a straight shooter. So let’s go!
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY CAR ACCIDENT?
As with most clients that walk through the door, this is likely a traumatic time for you. This the first time you have been through something like this. The first thing I tell my clients is to seek medical help. We are lawyers and not doctors. Your health and safety are first and foremost. Take care of your health and let’s make sure you are okay. Then once you can, seek out the help of a lawyer in which you can ask these questions!!
HOW WILL YOUR ACCIDENT LAWYER REPRESENT YOU?
This is so important because you need to know about this process. This process although simple to use is one that is structured and rule-bound. You should know the rules of the game and make sure your potential accident lawyer will tell you about how this process works in your jurisdiction. For example, here in Texas and Califonia, both are jurisdictions wherein I am licensed, it is very important to understand the pre-suit process and the suit process. Both require different strategies in order to maximize getting you the most money. At my office, here are some of the steps your pre-suit car accident claims will go through:
- Filing your property claim
- Filing your bodily injury claim
- Facilitating your medical treatment
- gathering all of your medicals
- witness and fact gathering
As you can see, it is detailed. You should know what each step thoroughly entails. You will also know if your lawyer is a good fit for you.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY CASE?
Here is what you can do: listen, cooperate and be quiet about your case. Literally. I don’t mean to come off abrasive. However, please do not go posting or talking about your case. Trust me, insurance adjusters are very hip to social media. They will use everything they can use to diminish the value of your claim, so why help them? Here are my 2 cents. Cooperate with your potential lawyer and trust your lawyer to handle your claim if your gut is telling you to. If your potential lawyer calls you and requests information, because he or she needs to investigate and research prior to taking your claim, please give it to them. Lastly, listen to your potential lawyer. They have experience and know the law. Please don’t go talking to your friends and then running back to your potential lawyer what your friend told you. Your friend is not an expert. Your lawyer is. You will be paying them to help you so let them do their job!
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD I GIVE MY LAWYER?
Please give your potential lawyer everything relevant to your accident and tell your potential lawyer everything. I know at my office we give our client a ton of paperwork to complete. Why? Because the devil is in the details. I use each and every piece of information to help my client and or decide if I want to represent them. Please do not think for one minute you should not give your potential lawyer or tell your lawyer everything.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE MY LAWSUIT?
This varies. However, here in Texas and California, you have two years to file your car accident lawsuit. However, there is a lot that could happen in between that time. Sit back and Chill! You will need to focus on updating your lawyer about your medical treatment and giving your lawyer all the information you can about how this accident has affected your life.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SETTLE MY CLAIM?
This could vary. As I stated in the question above, it could take as little as 3 months or it could vary up until 2 years. I know I have settled claims in as little as a month and then I have settled claims in 3 years after I filed suit the year prior. If your claim is in pre-litigation, you have until 2 years to file your lawsuit and then when you file your lawsuit, there is a different process. Once the suit is filed, it could be another 1 to 2 years before you received a trial date. You should know the process and have the lawyer explain it to you.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I GET?
This depends on your set of facts and this could vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Here in Texas, when we seek damages on behalf of our clients, these damages are categorized into economic and noneconomic damages. Furthermore, damages in which you are entitled to seek could vary if you are married or not. For example, In Texas, economic damages are:
- past and future medical expenses, and
- past and future loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are things like:
- past and future pain and suffering
- past and future mental anguish
- past and future disfigurement
- past and future impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
I hope this helps. If you are someone are looking for an injury/accident lawyer, please keep us in mind. Remember I am available to help you nationwide. Please book your free consultation now by clicking the button below or call today at 713-974-0388.