This is the next article in our series on handling Rochester, Minnesota pedestrian accident * cases. Our last post discussed what a pedestrian victim should expect while receiving treatment for injuries. Because of the serious injuries most pedestrian victims suffer, it’s usually the case that some time must pass before a claim can be submitted to the driver’s insurance adjusters because a victim’s medical care must be completed, permanency of injuries established and prognosis ascertained. In this article we will discuss another important topic – what to expect from the litigation process. Litigating such matters is complicated, which is why we strongly recommend that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney. Our lawyers have handled many pedestrian cases and we are ready to assist you.
Rochester pedestrian accident victims must obtain evidence of the defendant’s fault
Filing a lawsuit on behalf of a victim allows her lawyer to gather evidence about the driver’s negligence. The process by which litigating parties share information is called “discovery.” Discovery in these types of cases typically focuses on establishing the defendant’s fault. Requests for Production are a tool used to obtain records about the defendant’s cell phone records, social media information, and histories from various video platforms. This data can be used to show whether the defendant was texting or talking on the phone while driving, whether he was updating social media while behind the wheel, or even, in the most bizarre of cases, watching a video on Netflix while driving his car. Discovery is also used to obtain the defendant’s prior driving record and evidence of maintenance to his vehicle. These records can reveal important facts such as whether the driver has a history of being cited for moving violations or whether his brakes were worn and in need of repair.
Plaintiff’s counsel also can use discovery to obtain information from parties other than the defendant. If a witness shot a video of the incident with her cell phone or there are witness statements that need to be collected, these pieces of evidence, as well as a host of other information, are gathered through discovery. If there is a dispute as to liability, this kind of evidence is crucial to reaching a favorable settlement or prevailing at trial. It is important that Rochester pedestrian accident victims retain counsel who are experienced in gaining all information relevant to the case.
Rochester pedestrian accident cases will conclude at a trial if no settlement is reached
If a settlement cannot be reached, the claim ends up in at a trial. We have previously discussed the process of attending a car accident trial. All the same concepts involving car crashes apply to pedestrian claims. One point that cannot be stressed enough is to hire a Rochester pedestrian accident lawyer with the financial resources and professional connections necessary to retain and fully utilize any required expert witnesses. Retaining a firm without the resources necessary to hire the necessary experts will likely result in a victim obtaining less than the full amount of compensation to which he is entitled.
Our firm has recovered more than $125 million on behalf of victims and we are ready to assist you.
Besides Rochester, we serve the following major southeast Minnesota cities: Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, and all outlying communities, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.
*A note about language:
Federal agencies involved in traffic safety have banned use of the word “accident” for more than 20 years, and with good reason. However, we use the word “accident” on our website, even though we know it has implications that run contrary to our professional thinking and training, because we recognize that “accident” is the word most commonly used in online searches when people are looking for help after being injured in a crash. If you’d like more information about this topic, please see our blog, “Car Accident or Car Crash?”