How does the personal injury claim process work?

You might wonder when serious accident claims turn into Texas accident lawsuits. There is a process that personal injury claims go through. We’ll explain how the process works.

What’s the first step in the injury claim process?

The first step involves speaking with a lawyer who can evaluate your accident. The attorney will consider the cause of the accident, the extent of your injuries and what your prospects are in a claim. The initial consultation with accident lawyers for case evaluations are typically free of charge.

What happens next?

After your accident lawyer determines you have a valid claim, the next step is to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. Accident attorneys have the experience necessary to recognize when the settlement offer is fair and also when the insurance company’s offer is too low. If they can’t reach a fair settlement, litigation is next.

What steps do Texas accident lawsuits go through?

Accident lawsuits go through the following steps:

  • Filing. The lawyer will determine what courts have the legal right (called jurisdiction) to hear your case. In addition, they would decide which court is most likely to be favorable and maximize your recovery. The attorney would file an official document to begin the case. The document would claim that the other driver was at fault and why the court should award you money.
  • Discovery. Discovery is the process for exchanging information and evidence with the other person’s lawyer. The purpose is gather facts about the case.
  • Depositions. Depositions involve questioning witnesses under oath prior to the trial. Through depositions, attorneys gather more evidence for the case.
  • Mediation. Before proceeding to trial, courts typically order parties in an accident case to mediation. A neutral person, called a mediator works with both parties to see if they can reach a settlement.
  • During trial, the lawyers will both present evidence and argue their side of the case. At the conclusion, either a jury or judge will decide the outcome. Some cases are bench trials where the judge decides the case. Other trials are by jury, and the jury reaches a determination.

At any point during a trial, the two parties can meet outside of court, negotiate and reach a settlement.

Do you need help determining whether you have a case?

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz handles personal injury cases nationwide. In addition, our firm also has successfully represented victims statewide—from the San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth area to western and southern Texas. We also represent clients from Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana long with other states. Arrange a free consultation today to evaluate your potential case.