Accidents can happen anywhere. You may be on your way to work, running errands or shopping in a local store. Perhaps you are with family or friends, spending time on hobbies or recreational pursuits. You may even be on vacation, or in the process of traveling to meet family.
One minute you are going about your business, and the next minute, you find yourself suffering a personal injury that has the potential to undermine both your health as well as your financial stability.
Your injury may require ongoing medical care and treatment. Your ability to work and support your loved ones may be in jeopardy.
At The Schoel Law Firm, we understand the serious ramifications that accidents and injuries can have on nearly every area of your life. We also know that these “accidents” are often not an accident at all but instead the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct. Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses as well as for your lost wages and pain and suffering.
How does a personal injury lawsuit work in the state of Texas?
The following is some basic information on personal injury lawsuits in Texas, and how we can help guide you through the process.
BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF FILING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
Your first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is to schedule a free consultation with our office. At this first meeting, we will get the details regarding your injury and the circumstances under which it occurred. We also will advise you on the best way to proceed in your case and give you an estimate as to the types of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may be entitled to the following damages under Texas law:
- Economic damages –These damages compensate you financially for the actual losses you suffered due to your injury. They include medical and hospital expenses, lost wages and property damages.
- Non-economic damages –These damages compensate you for pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement.
- Exemplary damages –These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for particularly reckless or negligent conduct. They are also called punitive damages.
Once we agree to work together, the process of gathering evidence begins. Our experienced staff will diligently work behind the scenes to determine who or what was responsible for your accident occurring, and who can be held accountable for the damages you have incurred. They will:
- Take your statement and the statements of any witnesses to your accident
- Gather medical records and any police or incident reports
- Consult with experts to determine the causes of your injury and your prognosis for recovery.
This evidence will serve a crucial role in our pursuit of compensation for you. It will be the basis for all litigation and settlement negotiations.
FILING YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
We generally contact the parties responsible for your accident and file a claim with their insurance company. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, we may be able to negotiate a claim settlement with the insurance company based on the evidence we have collected on your behalf and any investigations conducted by our legal team into your accident.
It is always important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before making any statements to an insurance company and prior to accepting a settlement offer.
The Texas Insurance Code prevents insurers from engaging in bad faith practices. Still, insurance companies are businesses. Like any business, their goal is to make a profit. One way they can accomplish that profit is by denying or undervaluing claims.
In dealing with an insurance company on your own, your claims adjuster may use your statements to deny your claim or attempt to get you to settle for far less than what your claim is worth.
Our staff has the training and experience you need when dealing with insurance companies. We will negotiate with the insurer on your behalf, protect your rights and work to pursue the maximum amount available in a settlement.
FILING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT IN TEXAS
If the insurance company for the at-fault party fails to make a reasonable settlement offer, it may be proper to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Under Texas law, you have two years to file a legal claim against an at-fault party in a personal injury case. This is called the statute of limitations. We use this period to seek a pre-lawsuit settlement and, if needed, to file the proper documents in state or federal court.
As part of filing your case in court, our personal injury lawyers will:
- File a complaint in court –You will be named as the plaintiff. The at-fault party will be named the defendant.
- Serve your complaint –The complaint must be served on the other party (or parties), along with a summons to appear for a court date.
- File pre-trial motions –These motions can seek court orders that compel discovery of evidence, including getting documents and witness statements. In many cases, a motion for summary judgment is filed, seeking a resolution of the case without the need to go before a jury.
- Attend pre-trial hearings –The defendant may make a settlement offer as opposed to having the case heard in court. We will thoroughly review any offers with you and advise you on whether the offer is fair and reasonable and in your best interest to accept.
- Presenting your case to a jury –We are skilled trial lawyers who will put on a highly prepared, professional case to the jury, seeking a judgment for you. In some cases, a trial is held in two stages: Liability and damages. If a party admits liability, a trial may focus only on damages.
- Resolving post-trial matters –After a jury verdict is entered, either side may file motions or appeals with a higher court. We can see your case through any post-trial proceedings.
COLLECTING YOUR SETTLEMENT OR JUDGMENT
By having our experienced personal injury lawyers representing you, you can be assured we will use all of our legal knowledge to pursue the maximum settlement or verdict amount for you and your family.
Once a settlement or verdict is reached, we will help to ensure that you receive your funds. We will assist in settling any liens against your settlement, help disburse funds to the appropriate parties and guide you through tax implications of your award.
You can count on us to seek the maximum amount you deserve for your injuries and losses. We will also work hard to make sure your settlement or judgment gets paid in a legal and timely manner.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS TODAY
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers today. At the Schoel Law Firm, we provide aggressive legal representation to people injured in personal injury accidents. We can advise you on how to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain or suffering.
Before speaking with an insurance company, call or contact us online today. Serving the entire State of Texas, we provide trustworthy representation for your personal injury case.