Then we get into the claims process and get down to brass tacks and the client quickly realizes that, had they gone into this without an attorney, what would have been considered “fair” by the insurance adjuster’s definition would have been much different and less zeros on it.
Case in point, I was speaking to a friend recently I had not seen in nearly a decade and it came up that he had been involved in an 18-wheeler accident a few years back. He told me how he had tried to go it alone for a while against the insurance company, in part because they seemed to be on his side and they accepted liability right away. He was hurt pretty bad in the accident and required shoulder surgery and weeks of rehabilitation. However, in his initial meeting with the insurance company’s adjuster, they offered him $1,500. He said he couldn’t believe it and as he said it, he seemed to think that I should be surprised too, but I wasn’t.
Ask anyone who has lived in Forney for a while and they will tell you how much Forney has changed. It doesn’t matter if you have lived here one year, five years, or your whole life. Forney is not a little town anymore. Some places, like old downtown, still retain that small-town feel, but the modernization of Forney is well under way. Take a drive down 741, 548, Broad Street, 1641, or if you dare, highway 80, and you will see new houses, new businesses, and new faces.
Let’s face it, Forney is growing. Growth is great. It is good for local businesses and residents alike. It seems like once a week we hear about another press release from the City Council approving a new business or development coming into Forney. Just yesterday, the Forney City Council approved a waiver for Eno’s Pizza Tavern, a local restaurant chain with its original hangout spot in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District. Pretty excited about that.
However, as a personal injury attorney, I have a different outlook on growth and how it impacts local residents. The first thing I think about when I hear about new business or development projects, is the impact it will have on traffic, and more specifically, the increased risk of accidents. Let’s just face it, Forney’s roads were not made for the amount of use they currently receive. If you do not believe me, try driving down FM 548 at 6:30 p.m, or 3:30 p.m, or between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Lets just say, your gas mileage will suffer if you go that way during those times of day. They just will.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Stower’s Doctrine. Its got moxy. The Stowers Doctrine is as Texan as they come. From the Stowers Doctrine flows the Stowers Demand, a powerful settlement tool in personal injury practice.
But what is a Stowers Demand, exactly? Where does it come from? What does it do? Well, ask any attorney who deals with insurance companies on a regular basis and they will tell you it is a lifeblood of a personal injury practice. In our practice here in the Forney, Rockwall and Dallas area, once damages have been reasonably calculated, we always send a Stowers Demand to the insurance company. It is quite possibly the single most powerful pre-trial tool a personal injury attorney has to maximize settlement dollars for their client.
What is a Stowers Demand?
The answer is simple, but to understand importance of the work they do, and the value they bring to their clients, you must understand a little more about the process of handling personal injury claims. It is no cake walk, even for experienced personal injury attorneys.
Notifying Insurance Companies and Establishing Communications Between the Parties
A personal injury attorney will notify the insurance providers of the claim for injuries and that the injured party is represented by counsel. This is true whether it is a motor vehicle accident, boating accident, commercial vehicle accident, or even slip-and-fall. These providers must be provided “notice” of the claims being made by the injured parties that were caused by their insured. In addition to notifying the at-fault parties insurer, the injured party will need to notify their own insurer of the possibility of any claims under their own UM/UIM in the event that the other party has no insurance or carries insufficient coverage to pay for the damages that have been suffered.
Matthew Roberts, a 35-year old Decatur police officer was injured in a crash late Thursday night involving the driver of an 18-wheeler arrested on charges of drunken driving, police said.
The officer was parked on the shoulder of the southbound lanes of U.S. 287, just south of FM 51, in Wise County, which is about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said.
Drunk driving is a problem across the United States. According to the national highway traffic safety administration, in 2014 approximately 9,967 people lost their lives in drunk driving related accidents across the country. That accounts for nearly 31% of all traffic fatalities.
In our office, we have both experienced personal injury attorneys and experienced DWI attorneys. We see DWI client after DWI client that comes through the door that received a DWI after leaving a bar where they became obviously intoxicated and the bar or restaurant let them go out into the public knowing that they presented a danger to themselves and others.
This is a huge problem here in North Texas. Just look at recent news stories from the last few months. We have countless late night fatality accidents involving allegedly drunk drivers, and some of them were either leaving a bar or restaurant where they had been served alcohol to the point of intoxication. Alcohol related accidents are not just a new phenomenon, in fact we are closing in on 30 years of dram shop liability in Texas for bars, restaurants and others who are licensed to serve alcohol in the state of Texas.
via CBSDFW.COM: – A husband and wife were killed Tuesday night when an alleged drunk driver who ran a red light and struck the motorcycle they were on, police said.
According to CBSDFW.com, the crash happened around 8 p.m. on the service road of State Highway 121 at Plano Parkway.
The couple has been identified as Jeremy and Stephanie Byington, both age 42, of The Colony. They died at the scene.
The Statistics Are Astonishing
Every year I check to see what the statistics for drunk driving in the state of Texas once they are released by Texas Department of Transportation. As of today, the 2015 records are not out yet, but if the 2014 numbers are indicative of what 2015 numbers will be like, the numbers will be simply astonishing.
In 2014, there were 925 fatal alcohol related crashes, and 1702 accidents that involved injuries that produced critical injuries, in the state of Texas. Of those accidents, 1,041 Texans were killed, and 2,328 people were left with permanent debilitating injuries.