Accidents can happen when you least expect them. And sometimes, by reason of these unfortunate events, bodily injuries arise.
When these injuries result from someone else’s negligence or fault, it may be necessary to pursue legal action—a personal injury case.
However, going through the legal process can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start.
It is complex, but pursuing a personal injury claim for economic damages often involves careful navigation of legal intricacies. So you need competent legal representation to recover damages and get the proper financial compensation you deserve.
This article will go through the important steps in filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas.
What You Should Know About Personal Injury Cases
The most common types of personal injury claims cases in Texas can arise from a car accident or medical malpractice. These also include workplace accidents or ordinary slip-and-fall incidents due to someone else’s negligence or fault.
Unfortunately, these accidents cause more harm than just physical injuries and property damage. You also have to consider the impact of each accident on the mental state of the victim. And don’t forget the possibility of lost wages due to the inability to go to work because of the injuries sustained.
At that point, the pain simply goes beyond the physical suffering and economic damages.
If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury because someone else made a mistake or did not do their job properly or otherwise their fault, you might have a cause of action.
Here, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
While this article will serve as a clear roadmap, you will still need the help of a legal professional. That way, you have a better chance of success in seeking redress for a wrong or obtaining the compensation you deserve.
It is important to remember that each personal injury case is unique. The circumstances may differ from one person to another. With that, there may be specific legal requirements to suit each scenario.
So, it is still advisable to consult an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer who can give appropriate legal advice tailored to your circumstances.
Seeking Medical Assistance Is a Crucial Step for a Personal Injury Case
The first few minutes after a car collision or a slip-and-fall accident are crucial.
You must seek medical attention ASAP if you suffered an injury after an accident. The longer you wait for appropriate medical care, the more your injuries could get worse.
You must still see a doctor even if you think you don’t need medical care. Even if you think you’re not hurt in the accident. Why? Because some symptoms don’t appear right away.
In addition, you must obtain medical records to pursue a compensation claim. These medical records are essential evidentiary matters in building a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas
Personal injury cases in Texas can push through until the rendition of a final judgment by the court. The decision may be favorable to or against the plaintiff. The court may grant the damages prayed for or award even more if favorable.
There is also the possibility of an appeal. The losing party may elevate the case to the higher court to reverse the judgment in his favor.
Indeed, traditional litigation can be lengthy. And expensive too.
On the other hand, these cases could end up in a settlement. This would be the ideal scenario. The plaintiff and the defendant agree to terminate the case and settle out of court.
Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
Have you decided to hire a personal injury attorney to help you pursue a personal injury case in Texas?
Here are a couple of factors to consider before engaging the services of a lawyer.
- Does the lawyer have extensive experience in personal injury lawsuits?
- How much does he charge?
- What services are covered by his legal fees?
Most engagements with personal injury attorneys start with an initial consultation where you discuss your case.
This stage is also a feeling-out process to determine if you and your lawyer are a good fit.
Before your first interview, list things you want to discuss or present to the lawyer. This may include the following:
- A summary of what happened which led to you suffering from personal injuries
- All documents in your possession, which you can use to pursue your case; these include police reports, medical bills, receipts, etc.
- The possibility of obtaining the maximum amount of damages sought and recover financial compensation at its fullest
- Your questions for the lawyer
What Can You Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawyer
You want a personal injury attorney genuinely interested in your legal conundrum—someone who can give you the best legal advice for your situation.
Often, the best recourse is to avoid court action.
Out-of-court modes of resolving these disputes, such as mediation or compromise, provide a more convenient option to settle the matter. These options are inexpensive and flexible compared to the traditional litigation route.
So, it helps to have an attorney open to these alternatives.
A good lawyer will also give you frank legal advice and an honest assessment of your case. He will tell you the strong and weak points of your case.
In addition, you will appreciate a personal injury lawyer who will communicate with you effectively the developments of your case, or at least his candid estimation of how your case will proceed.
Gathering Your Evidence
Ensure to keep the medical records, receipts, and other evidentiary matters. These key pieces of evidence will help you establish your personal injury claim and the liability of the person at fault.
You also want to gather pictures or videos of the accident whenever you can. There may be a camera somewhere that captures the unfortunate event. So, it is crucial to secure copies of those.
To recover compensation, you must request all medical, billing, and other records. These documents can show the court how much pecuniary damage you have sustained and your physical injuries.
Securing these evidentiary matters can impact how much compensation the court will award in your favor.
Settlement of a Personal Injury Case
Keep an open mind about entering into a settlement for your personal injury claim.
Sometimes, a successful personal injury claim doesn’t happen in court; it can also take place outside the courthouse.
Entering into compromise agreements is an inexpensive way to avoid a lengthy court battle. Plus, there’s less stress when you try to end the legal dispute while still obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Look for a Houston personal injury lawyer who is open to an out-of-court settlement. Have him reach a compromise agreement before pursuing a lawsuit.
An out-of-court settlement is attractive if you want to receive compensation as soon as possible, especially if you’re struggling to pay your monthly bills because you’re out of work due to your injuries.
Once a compromise agreement is finalized, you may be required to release the defendant from liability. So be sure to secure the compensation you deserve for the losses sustained and the pain and suffering you endured. But aim for an above average personal injury settlement so account for unforeseeable expenses related to the physical pain, emotional distress, property damage, and other financial losses you suffered.
Resolving Personal Injury Claims Disputes Through Mediation
Mediation is another option to resolve disputes outside of litigation.
With the help of a mediator, the parties to a dispute can work out a mutually beneficial solution.
Mediation encourages open communication that paves the way to finding common ground between the parties.
This is an excellent alternative if you want to avoid full-blown litigation.
Moving Forward with a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Of course, if you and the defendant can’t agree on a compromise agreement, you can move forward with a lawsuit. You must file a personal injury case in court to seek redress for a wrong and obtain compensation.
Expect a protracted and expensive court battle. There are the attorney’s fees, which take a big chunk of the total litigation cost. You will also be paying the docket and other court fees.
Pursuing personal injury cases for the purpose of obtaining compensation is a daunting task.
But with the right legal guidance, you better understand the process and the necessary actions to take. From securing evidentiary matters to knowing fair compensation, you can navigate the complex realm of personal injury law.For a client-focused, effective legal representation, get in touch with O’Hara Law Firm. Our Houston car accident lawyer will work to get the best outcome for you. Call 281-919-2073.