In our previous blog posts we discussed what happens after your car accident. We mentioned that lawyers of both sides will do a deposition to take statements from you, from the at-fault driver, witnesses and medical examiners. Then those depositions get transcribed and reviewed by the lawyers. So what’s next?
Once both sides have their depositions, it’s possible that there will be a trial, if of course both sides feel that they have a solid case.
Going to trail isn’t something to be taken easily. It’s a big decision that you need to discuss with your personal injury lawyer. Your attorney should be honest with you and tell you what are your chances if the case does go to trial and what are the good and bad sides of it.
The reason why this needs to be considered carefully is because a trial can be an expensive and time-consuming process. But if a trial is what it will take for you to get the best out of your recovery and not pay anything out of your own pocket, then your personal injury lawyer will be there to help you and guide you through the process.
Negotiations with the other side will keep on going, but your lawyer will also dedicate a significant amount of effort to prepare for a trial that should give you the best chances for success.
A settlement is something that can occur at any stage of the process. Reaching a settlement is actually beneficial for all parties involved, but you should only settle if the offer you get is what you want.
If you’re not the cause of the accident and you have no part in the injuries, then you should have the obligation to bare any costs for your recovery. The goal of your personal injury lawyer is to get you every dollar you deserve.
Once a sides presents a settlement offer you will have to discuss it with your attorney. Your attorney will give you his honest opinion and whether he thinks that the offer is fair or not. The final decision on accepting or refusing the settlement offer is entirely up to you.
Accepting a settlement offer means that your case will be closed and you probably won’t be able to file another claim for this particular accident. Since this closes the loop on your car accident case it really important to carefully review the settlement offer and make sure that it covers everything you will need for a full recovery. When it comes to settlement offers, you should know that they should cover:
- Medical bills, both present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Rehabilitation costs
The recovery process could be long, depending on how severe your injuries were. If the recovery process is longer, then you will need extended hospital stays, even more than one surgery which means that you will be away from work for quite a while. It is also possible that you might not return to work in the same capacity as before.
Accepting this can be difficult, especially if we take into consideration that this might result in financial difficulties, stress and problems for your family. So working closely with your attorney who is fully aware of your needs and how those injuries might affect you in the long run is key. He will be able to closely determine the settlement that will compensate you.
Brain damages caused by a car accident can sometimes affect you for the rest of your life which means that there will be recurring costs aside from the initial treatment. These recurring costs might include prescriptions, returning visits to the doctor, therapy and rehabilitation.
Avoiding car accident trial
After a car accident, the most important thing is to focus on your physical recovery. Trials can be added unnecessary stress that you don’t really need. And even though settlements are a relatively quick and good solution to a car accident case, sometimes a trial is necessary because the at-fault party is refusing to offer a fair settlement.
There are millions of cars on US roads every day, which results in extreme congestion and of course more accidents.
Those that were unfortunate to be involved in a car accident, need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side to work on getting compensation for their injuries, so they don’t have stress on how the bills will get paid.
Paying the bills should be the last think you need to worry about and instead of that you need to focus that you get the necessary medical attention and put all your energy on getting physically well. With an experienced lawyer, car accident victims can stop worrying about the legal stuff and focus on their recovery.
What exactly is a car accident deposition?
After your file a personal injury claim for your car accident, there is a discovery process and a deposition is an integral part of that process. Through the discovery process, a lawyer from every side asks every side a series of questions for documentation and records. This is actually a really important part of the discover process because it often leads to settlements. Did you know that the majority of civil cases actually settle out of court?
A settlement is something both parties want, because trials can take too long and can be quit costly. However, though discovery, both parties get together to share information and will hopefully be able to negotiate a settlement.
So to put it simple, through deposition, both sides of the car accident get to ask questions to witnesses, experts and victims about what happened. Every deposition has to be recorded, although it’s not a trial.
Depositions are important because it provides your personal injury lawyer the necessary information what happened and what a witness remembers or witness says about the accident and the circumstances.
Unlike trials, depositions are less formal. But, they are recorded by a court reporter, and in case there’s a trial, your statement can be used in the process. Depositions are usually done at an attorney’s office or some other, neutral location.
Questions asked during a deposition are broader, unlike in the courtroom where the questions are quite narrow is cope and specific. Objections to certain questions are allowed, although that might not exempt you from providing an answer. Later on, if the case goes to trial, the judge can strike the question (and answer) out of the record.
Just like in the courtroom during trial, you are also under oath during a deposition, although in a less formal setting.
After a car accident deposition
You should know that there’s no specific path to the process after a car accident claim. However, usually after a deposition, the process will go through several other stages.
The standard procedure of a court reporting program is that the court reporter must record all court sessions and proceedings. This also include the ones that happen outside of a courtroom e.g. depositions. Transcripts of your depositions are important because you can be sure that no one is misquoting you. Furthermore, this allows your personal injury lawyer to review what everyone said and to make sure that they have all the information they need.
Transcripts can sometimes take time, especially if the deposition took too long. So don’t be surprised if your attorney gets the copy of the transcript only weeks after the deposition.
Reviewing the transcript
Once the court recorder completes the transcript, he/she will provide a certified copy to both attorneys. For the next few weeks, both attorneys will carefully review the transcript, checking if your statements are correct and collect additional information they might missed during the deposition.
Car accidents sometimes cause serious injuries. In 2018 nearly 1000 people died in a car accident. Even though not ever car accident has a fatal outcome, but they can significantly impact your life.
Independent medical examination is quite common after a deposition. This is because one side believe that the other side’s doctor is presenting the injuries as more severe than they really are to get a larger sum from the insurance. So getting an independent medical exam is quite common, and it is usually requested by the insurance company.
Once you’re through will all the technicalities, you will need to sit down with your personal injury attorney and discuss your options. Your attorney will tell you whether you case is weak or soli, good or bad, and basically provide a realistic evaluation of your case.
If necessary, the attorney might add additional witnesses to your case.
Based on one of the previous reports from NHTSA, about 5,000 people die every year in traffic-related pedestrian accidents. And several of these are actually caused by car crashes.
But over the years we’ve seen the number of pedestrian deaths rise above 5,000 and more than 129,000 pedestrians seek medical attention in emergency room. Despite the fact that the number of traffic fatalities is decreasing, the number of accidents involving pedestrians has remained the same.
Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are dangerous and in the majority of cases they are deadly, so it’s important to understand the risks involved. In order to prevents these accidents from happening, we need to know how they occur so we could figure out a way to avoid them.
Pedestrian accidents – Common causes
Pedestrian accidents are mostly caused by traffic accidents, whether it’s with a car, truck or motorcycle. In these type of accidents, pedestrians are more likely to be killed than the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
50% of pedestrian accidents are cause due to alcohol consumption according (by the pedestrian or the motor vehicle driver) to the research done by the CDC. So both should be extra responsible on the road.
Some of the most common reasons for pedestrian accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving (when the driver is distracted either using the phone or texting)
- Reckless driving
- Bad weather conditions
- Not following traffic laws
- Reckless driving
Who is at risk of pedestrian accident?
To put it simply, everyone who is walking on or near a roadway can be a victim of a pedestrian accident. However, there are some that are at much greater risk than others. CDC has released some findings according to which people who are 65 years or older are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. And another data shows the 1 in 5 children younger than 15 years that were killed were also pedestrians. So according to this statistic children and elderly adults are actually facing higher risks of being killed in pedestrian accidents.
If you or someone you know was involved in a pedestrian accident, Schenk and Podolsky can help. Contact us today and seek legal advice.
Even though being in a car accident is scary and devastating, but the accident itself is rarely the end of the story. After a car accident you will most likely be overwhelmed with phone calls from insurance agencies and the police which certainly adds a bit more stress to the whole situation of losing your car.
Depending on the state you live in, you might be entitled to receive compensation for the pain and suffering due to your accident. Some courts even state accident law are mostly focused on making the accident victim whole by ‘forcing’ the person at-fault pay.
But with all the things happening around the accident, how can someone know if they are treated fairly or not? Is there a way to know that the compensation offered will be sufficient?
After an accident, many accept only a portion of the compensation they are entitled to. And there are rarely situations where the person at-fault or the insurance company will offer a sum that will really make the victim whole.
Diminished value of your vehicle should be included into the compensation. We all know that cars that were in accidents or have an extensive repair history have a lower value. And this is something you can now check with a few clicks.
Some car dealership managers will diminish the value of your car by almost 30% after a simple frame damage repair. This means that if your car’s value is $20,000 you could ‘lose’ about $6,000 in value.
Diminished value claim
Claims for diminished value should be made as soon as possible. Just like with all other claims after a car accident, there is a certain statute of limitations. For Arizona, the statute of limitations is 2 years. So this means that the victim of the car accident has 2 years (after the accident) to submit a diminished value claim in order to be compensated for his/her loss. But there is one thing you need to be aware of.
When you’re dealing with settlements after your car accident you need to be aware that these settlements usually contain an exclusion clause which prevents you for making additional claims such as diminished value. So if you don’t file a claim upfront, you won’t be able to later on.
That’s why it’s important to handle all claims upfront and a skilled and experienced attorney will be able to help you with this. If you’ve been in an accident recently and would like to file a claim and be compensated, contact Schenk Podolsky and let us help you.
Fatal auto accidents are something we often hear about on the news, and the reports sometimes make us wonder – is the number of accidents going down or up?
The laws of texting while driving, additional enforcement on drinking while driving and the variety of safety measures should really make a difference.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) the answer is yes, but it’s a bit complicated. The number of fatalities in automobile accident has dropped by 2.4% compared to 2018.
Unlike automobile accidents, truck accidents are on the opposite end of the curve and have increased by 0.9% in a recent year. Most of the time, in truck accidents, the ones that suffer in the collision aren’t truckers, but other drivers and passengers that they hit.
From the automobile-related fatalities 62% of fatalities were drivers and passengers of cars and small trucks. Only 3% of fatalities were commercial or large vehicles.
Trucking fatalities – Common causes
The American economy is switching towards home deliveries and shipping. This not only increases the number of products that get moved around, but also puts a bigger pressure on truckers to make deliveries on time.
Alcohol-related collisions have decreased in 2018 which means that the most common causes of trucking accidents are actually:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor driver training
- Poor truck maintenance and
- Reckless driving and speeding
Increase safety on the road
Even though the number of tricking accidents is growing, there are certain things you can do in order to reduce the risk:
- We should all practice defensive driving
- Drivers should avoid being next to or directly behind (tailgating) large trucks or in their blind spots.
- Practice the 3 second rule.
- Be diligent in wearing your seatbelt – Not sure if you know but more than 85% of survivors of car accidents were buckled up.
- If you see any form of reckless or irresponsible driving, like texting, you see that the driver is tired or he is doing anything else that might jeopardize your life or the life of someone else…don’t hesitate in calling the police.
Everyone should do what they can in order to support the implementation of the national polities and increase the safety on the roads. Keep in mind that trucks are normally 25 times heavier than regular cars so truckers should pay extra attention to driving responsibly and ethically.
If you were hit by a large truck
If you or your loved one was in an accident involving a truck, you’re most likely going through a challenging time. Trucking accidents, since they are more severe than car accident, can leave pretty severe injuries and disabilities that turn your life upside down.
Accidents that involve trucks and big rigs are most of the time complicated and can mean a lot of complicated and convoluted paperwork. So having a skilled and qualified personal injury lawyer is required.
If you need counsel regarding a personal injury claim from a car or truck accident, contact us today.