Reaching Out to the Opposing Party in the Dog Bite Case
In this dog bite case, the attorney reached out almost immediately to the opposing party. The lawyer did this to make sure the defendant was aware of the client’s claim. An attorney does this by sending a letter of representation to the homeowners seeking insurance information and the name of their insurance carrier. In Texas, a person can lose their liability insurance coverage if they do not cooperate with their insurance company in defending the claim. Cooperation is defined as making sure the insurance company is informed about any potential claim so the insurance company will have the opportunity to defend it. The lawyer also will try to find out if the third party is represented by an attorney, so the two lawyers can discuss the case. In this case, the other party’s insurance company was the first point of contact.
Requesting Documents from the Opposing Party
A lawyer usually will request paperwork or documents from the opposing party when they first inform the party of the client’s claim, but most people will not cooperate with an opposing lawyer at that point. There are cases in which a lawyer is concerned that someone may destroy evidence, so the lawyer would send them a spoliation letter to help prevent it. Texas laws prohibit destroying documents after receipt of a spoliation notice if they are potentially critical in a civil lawsuit. Obtaining this information is crucial to building an effective case.