After you or a loved one suffers harm from a bus accident, you may decide to file a civil suit in pursuit of compensation for the accident. While this is a recommended step, it also calls for attention to the civil legal process, including how to win your case. Therefore, you want to partner with a skilled and highly experienced personal injury attorney to help you implement the best strategies for your personal injury case. You increase your chances of a favorable case outcome, amounting to reimbursement of all losses, pain, and suffering you incurred. At G. Dallas Horton& Associates, we provide the best personal injury services to all clients who have suffered from bus accidents, helping them prepare adequately for their cases. We are also equipped to represent you either in court or before an insurance adjuster, aiming to provide the best legal support you can access. Hence, if you or a loved one is seeking compensation after involvement in a bus accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, we recommend partnering with us for excellent guidance on how to win your case.
Important Factors to Consider and Apply to Help you Win Your Case
Based on the importance of winning your case to helping you rebuild your life, you and your personal injury attorney should develop a list of important factors to consider. In doing so, you will avoid worrying about elements that may be irrelevant or inconsequential to your case. Upon deliberation with your attorney, you should consider these important factors that often prove useful in helping claimants win their cases:
1. Identify Potential Defendants in Your Case
Doubtless, your case would be unfounded if you sued the wrong parties as defendants or if you are unable to establish who is a suitable party to hold liable. Hence, establishing the parties you hold answerable for the bus accident you were involved in is among the first objectives. Not only will you have more clarity on the credibility and strength of your case, but you will also understand the legal perspectives in holding persons accountable in civil cases.
An excellent point to start your identification process would be recounting the facts of the accident to your personal injury attorney. You should try to remember all involved parties, regardless of how small their presence seems to have been in an accident occurring. Thanks to the facts you provide, your attorney can narrow down to a few parties who are answerable in court or owe a liability to issue insurance payouts.
You should also remember that defendants in a personal injury case vary depending on the case circumstances. For example, some cases may have the bus driver as the main defendant, while others may point to the local road maintenance authority for neglecting road conditions. Alternatively, third-party drivers on the highway may also blame the collision. Thus, receiving legal assistance during this stage is important to help you explore all possible options of persons to hold accountable.
2. Receive Medical Treatment After the Accident
Your health should always come first despite the urgency of wanting to follow up with other parties involved in the bus accident. Therefore, you want to seek medical attention soon after the collision occurs, even when you appear or feel okay. This is crucial for various reasons that may contribute greatly to a successful case outcome.
Firstly, seeking medical attention ensures that no underlying conditions or effects of impact will trigger health complications for you in the future. For example, undermining the need to see a health professional after an accident may mean that your mental wellness goes unchecked. Subsequently, you may have to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in disorientation. Your physical health may also be jeopardized, particularly if any internal bleeding or blood clots are undetected.
Secondly, having medical records to show that you suffered harm and are aggrieved is vital in your personal injury case. It forms a justifiable basis for your claims, including the medical expenses spent in recovery after the accident. Thus, failure to produce medical records may water down your case, making it more difficult to convince a presiding judge or insurance adjuster why you should receive compensation.
3. Record any Details and Footage Related to the accident
Recording and gathering evidence soon after the accident is also recommended, as it makes it easier to prepare for your case in later stages. You may be severely injured or disoriented after the bus accident; you can also request any relevant evidence after contacting your attorney or other involved accident victims.
If you are present at the accident scene, you can use your cell phone or camera to record the impact of damage to yourself and your property. This is especially relevant if you are a motorist whose vehicle has been damaged significantly.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the relevance of the information you collect at the accident scene, as your attorney will help you verify and filter important details later on. Hence, all you need to do is try your best to collect other parties’ contact details, photographs of the accident scene, and specific damage details. Thanks to this, you do not have to worry about making requests to obtain evidence from parties whose cooperation is not guaranteed.
4. Meet With Your Attorney As Soon As Possible
Contacting your personal injury attorney as soon as possible helps you ease the burden of undertaking all responsibilities yourself. This is because you are likely to be injured or distressed by the bus accident, meaning that you may be unable to complete subsequent legal requirements accordingly.
By contacting and retaining your lawyer, you allow them to take over the matter and provide assistance backed by legal procedures. Moreover, their experience handling accident cases means that they can anticipate various outcomes and prepare for them in advance.
For example, your attorney can help you trace the insurance company servicing the defendants so that you do not have to delay your claims due to a lack of information. On top of this, your lawyer can use their contacts to undertake investigations surrounding the accident for a credible record of events.
5. Consider All Damages You Suffered When Preparing Your Claim
Once you establish the course of your case and are ready to present your claims, you will need to factor in all damages suffered. Doing this increases your chances of success because you will have grounds for each claim and sufficient evidence to support them.
Some common claims presented by most bus accident victims include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and wrongful death claims. When including medical expense claims, you want to ensure all original receipts and doctors’ reports. Imaging documents and medical bills are available as proof of your costs. You can also present prescription receipts, especially if your medication contributed to your expenses.
Further, calculations on the loss of wages should be accurate to the timeframe you will be unable to work, multiplied by your daily, monthly or annual income. Your lump sum figure does not appear to be arbitrary before the judge or insurance adjuster handles your case. Furthermore, having the records beforehand will also help you establish whether your claims are truly substantiated or if you will need to adjust some costs.
6. Factor in Any Future Recurrent Expenses from the Accident
When considering the claims to present during case preparation, you should also factor in any recurring and future costs arising from the bus accident. This element is overlooked by many claimants, as they often pursue a settlement for their current expenses.
However, the hidden costs may create additional challenges in your life, especially if they relate to medical needs. Ultimately, you may find yourself in a disadvantaged position when the lump sum awarded to you depletes.
Therefore, you should consider recurrent costs like continuous treatment procedures and home care services. For example, if you or a loved one sustained serious injuries that resulted in paralysis, you may need to receive home care from a professional who will look after you and help you undertake various activities.
Moreover, recurrent medical processes like physiotherapy may also add to expensive bills over the years, so you should have them in mind when preparing your statement of claim.
7. Inform Your Attorney of What You Consider a Low Offer on Settlement
If you choose to consider a settlement from the defendant’s insurance company, it is best to have a minimum monetary figure to serve as the threshold. This is important in avoiding manipulation from insurance adjusters who may undermine knowledge in personal injury cases.
Since you will be working with a personal injury attorney, you can disclose your terms to them to ensure that they understand the minimum threshold as they negotiate on your behalf. Setting your minimum offer for settlement is a great way to help you increase the chances of a successful outcome.
How Your Personal Injury Attorney Helps You Win Your Case
Having understood the important factors to consider and implement towards the success of your case, you also want to understand the exact steps your attorney will undertake on your behalf. The information lets you know whether the case is on track and the chances of receiving the compensation you are looking for.
Moreover, knowing what to expect from your attorney can help you determine whether your current lawyer is handling the matter adequately. Ultimately, this may make a positive or negative difference to your case, depending on how they conduct themselves. Your personal injury lawyer should therefore assist you in winning your case in the following ways:
They Will Establish Negligence Resulting in the Bus Accident
When determining the most suitable defendants in your compensation case, your attorney should also check whether the proposed party acted negligently. This is because negligence is the primary factor contributing to many civil wrongs. Hence, most courts or adjusters require the claimant to prove that the defendant was negligent.
Four main elements must be present to show that negligence contributed to the bus accident you were involved in. Firstly, your attorney should prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. This duty may be imposed by a rule of law or general conduct that is measured by a reasonable man’s standard. For example, public bus operators have a duty to ensure that all seats in the bus have seatbelts.
Secondly, your attorney should show that the defendant breached this duty, meaning that they contravened it by acting carelessly or with undue regard to people’s wellbeing. Proving a breach of duties can occur in various ways, depending on the case in question. For example, a breach may have occurred if a bus driver exceeded their speed limit on the highway. Alternatively, a breach may arise if other road users drive recklessly, resulting in a bus collision.
Thirdly, you will need to show that the breach in question was the primary cause of the accident affecting you. Causation elements often require your attorney to show that the accident would have been unavoidable if the defendant had acted or omitted to act in a certain way. Since this element is based on several assumptions, you can expect the defense to raise issues to discredit your attorney’s presentation. Nevertheless, conducting due diligence beforehand will help prevent the defendant from blindsiding you.
Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered damages. Your attorney handles this element by consolidating all evidential sources showing financial and health-related difficulties arising from the bus accident.
As mentioned, heavy reliance on medical records and receipts will be useful in strengthening your case. Nevertheless, calling on witnesses who can explain how different your life has become after the accident is also acceptable. You can therefore weigh your options and determine the best approach to take.
Communication Maintenance Between the Defendant’s Insurance Company and Court
Although you may be actively involved in your case, keeping up with communications from the defendants, their insurance company, and court correspondences may be tasking. Hence, your attorney steps in to handle all relevant communication by ensuring they reply on your behalf within the required time.
Maintaining communication is essential, as it protects you from unknowingly violating time restrictions. In the absence of proper follow-ups, you may lose the chance to present your case altogether due to time limitations, especially in litigation cases. Having your lawyer following up is, therefore, an advantage.
Although your attorney handles most correspondences, you should note that you are free to provide your input if you need to. For example, if you want to disclose the minimum amount you will accept as a settlement, you can do so by requesting your lawyer to include it in the drafted statements.
Drafting and Sending of Legal Claims and Agreements
Drafting requirements can also overwhelm you, especially if you lack prior experience. This is because you need to satisfy multiple requirements in the statement of claim and your responses. Your personal injury lawyer is adequately skilled in drafting, making them the best option in handling these requirements.
While your attorney maintains the mandate to draft claims and agreements, you should ensure that your views and concerns are considered. As an aggrieved party, your attorney is working to help you attain your desired outcome; monetary compensation. Thus, without your input, your expectations may be unmet.
Your attorney should send you all the prepared drafts before finalizing them and submitting them to the relevant parties. Upon receiving them, you want to go through them keenly, as you may identify several shortcomings that require rectification. Notifying your lawyer of any recommended changes should then follow for a properly drafted document to issue.
Application of Legal Skill During Negotiations
While most people perceive negotiations as everyday conversations that require you to convince the other party of your position, legal negotiations require additional skills. For example, positional bargaining is often discouraged as it does not create an amicable environment for a fruitful outcome. Hence, your lawyer will need to apply extra skills to help obtain the best settlement agreement from an insurance adjuster.
Further, since most adjusters are trained to prioritize the insurance company’s needs over yours, they are often prepared to undercut you. Their negotiation tactics may also be intimidating to someone who has never engaged with them before. On the other hand, your personal injury lawyer will have handled several negotiations, giving them the competence and skills necessary to reach a favorable case outcome.
Conducting an Independent Investigation on the Accident
Reliance on details from third parties about the bus accident may not be helpful for you, as some details may be inaccurate. Ultimately, using unverified sources to build your case may undermine it because you will be unsure of the exact events leading to the incident. This may affect you if you were unconscious immediately after the collision or were too confused about establishing what was going on in your environment after the incident.
Having your personal injury lawyer conduct independent investigations will be helpful for you, as you can trust their findings and obtain evidence to support them. For example, your lawyer can hire an expert accident impact assessment officer to estimate the damage caused to your vehicle after the accident. Thanks to their input, you can better quantify the monetary compensation you would require from the defendants.
Additionally, dealing with insurance adjusters may make it difficult to establish an insurance company’s coverage policy with third parties, as the adjusters may try to undercut you. Thus, your lawyer can contact the company directly to ensure the rates and percentages you are working with are accurate. In return, you will avoid receiving less compensatory damages than expected.
Timely Evaluation of Emerging Issues
Additionally, dedicating time and resources to a case will inevitably increase your chances of success, especially in litigation. While you may be genuinely interested in keeping up with emerging issues, some matters may be beyond your scope, meaning you will require a legal opinion. Leaving these responsibilities to your lawyer will prevent you from being overwhelmed while also ensuring that your attorney will be dedicated to ensuring all issues are addressed on time.
Assessing and Verifying Collected Evidential Sources
Some evidential sources may seem important but may be irrelevant to your case. Having your lawyer verify your evidential sources and establish whether they will help in case presentation is recommended, as it saves you the time and money you would otherwise spend in preparing the evidence.
Upon obtaining information, you can contact your attorney immediately to establish whether pursuing it would be useful. Afterward, you will be better positioned to build on the evidential sources for a better chance of success.
How You Can Help Increase the Chances of a Successful Case Outcome
Your participation before and during your case is highly beneficial, as you are the main party affected by the bus accident. Therefore, your input should be the first consideration for your attorney and other involved professionals to make. You can therefore help to win the case by:
- Providing Your Attorney With All Relevant Documents and Information
- Engaging in Open and Honest Discussions About the Accident
- Maintaining Open Communication Between You and Your Lawyer
- Remaining Patient and Open to Multiple Potential Case Outcomes
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Doubtless, the harm and financial losses you may face after being a victim in a bus accident may cause a significant change in your life. For example, permanent paralysis, loss of lives, and loss of income sources are common outcomes that leave accident victims with multiple challenges. Therefore, presenting your case to seek compensation is valid, and the presiding judge or insurance adjuster will be keen to hear why they should side with you. Notably, adequate preparation and a proper understanding of what to do to help you win your case are crucial, as it helps you build credibility. At G. Dallas Horton & Associates, you will have access to a team of highly dedicated and skilled personal injury attorneys who apply high legal expertise to each assigned case. If you have suffered loss after a bus accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, you can expect to receive great legal input and support from us. For more information, contact us at 702-820-5917.