Personal Injury Claim Process in Texas: A Step-by-Step Guide
The injury claim process in Texas begins with your phone call. After receiving medical attention, you must notify the insurance carrier within 72 hours of being treated. If you fail to do so, you could lose your ability to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
You have to make the first step in selecting an accident attorney by calling one of several companies that specialize in helping people find legal representation. They are called "law firms," but most of them don't actually practice law; rather, they represent clients in court. These attorneys handle everything from filing paperwork to negotiating settlements.
Choosing an accident attorney who specializes in your type of accident is important because laws differ from state to state and even from county to county. Using a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the specific laws that apply to your case will be to your advantage since he'll be able to help you navigate the complex system.Preparing for the Consultation
The consultation with a personal injury attorney is usually a 30-60 minute meeting. During this initial meeting, the attorney will ask questions regarding the facts surrounding your case. This includes asking about your injuries, how the accident occurred, what caused it, and what happened next.
You are free to discuss anything during this meeting, including the amount of money you believe you deserve. However, keep in mind that the attorney cannot make any promises or commitments without seeing all of the evidence.
If you decide to hire an attorney, he/she will likely request copies of medical records, police reports, insurance policies, and photos of your injuries. If you do not provide these items, the attorney will not be able to represent you.Paying Your Attorney: How it Works in Texas
Personal injury cases are often referred to as tort claims. This refers to the fact that the injured party is suing someone else for damages. In many states, including Texas, there is no cap on what an individual can recover in a lawsuit. If you are successful in winning your case, you could end up receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and even punitive damages.
In addition to compensating you for your injuries, your lawyer will likely help negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies involved. When negotiating a settlement, your attorney will try to come up with a fair amount based on the severity of your injuries and the extent of the defendant’s liability.
Your attorney will typically charge a fee for representing you in court. However, he or she will probably ask you to cover some of the costs associated with the case, such as filing fees, depositions, expert witness fees, etc.
The fee structure varies depending on the type of case, the jurisdiction where it takes place, and the size of the firm. Some firms charge flat rates, while others charge hourly rates.Fact-Finding
The next step in the process is fact-finding. This involves gathering as much evidence as possible about the accident. You want to make sure that the facts are correct. If there are any discrepancies, it could impact how much money you receive from the insurance company.
If you don't know what to do, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC will take over the case from the very beginning and make sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other losses due to the accident. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultationSettlement or filing suit
The next step in most personal injury cases is to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for causing your injuries. If you do not file a lawsuit within six months of being injured, you lose your ability to sue. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may still be able to recover damages. In addition, some types of claims, such as medical malpractice, require that you wait longer than six months.
If you decide to go forward with a lawsuit, you must hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. You want someone who knows how to handle insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals. You also want someone who understands the law and can help you navigate the legal system.
Your attorney will notify the defendant(s) of your claim and may try to reach a settlement agreement prior to filing a lawsuit. However, depending on the details of the case, a Texas attorney may first try to settle out of court to protect both parties interests. This may be especially attractive to you if you are struggling financially and cannot work or pay bills because of your injuries.
A settlement will allow you to receive compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It will also allow the lawyers to get paid.
You may be required to sign a release form, which releases the defendant from liability. Once the settlement is finalized, the money will be deposited into an account controlled by the court. The court will hold the money pending further action in the case. At that point, the court may order the money distributed to you.The Discovery Process
The discovery process begins once you are sued. You will receive a summons and complaint via certified mail. If you do not respond within 30 days, the court clerk will enter a default judgment against you. Once the lawsuit is filed, the statute of limitation starts running again.
If you think that you can beat the clock, don't. The statute of limitations runs continuously during the litigation process. So even though you might believe that you have plenty of time left to settle out of court, the clock keeps ticking away.The Final Decision
The process of reaching a settlement begins with step one: negotiation. Step two involves gathering information about the case and determining what issues are most important to each side. Steps three and four involve brainstorming ideas and developing strategies for resolving those problems. And finally, step five: the actual resolution.
Mediation is a third way to resolve disputes outside of litigation. Mediators help parties come to agreements that benefit everyone involved. They do this by encouraging open communication and helping people understand each other better.
A mediator does not make decisions for you; rather, he or she helps you find solutions to your problem. This might mean working out a compromise where you agree to disagree, or it could mean finding a mutually acceptable solution.