Personal Injury Claims and How They Work
After being injured in an accident, facing the prospect of a personal injury lawsuit can be incredibly daunting. Even though it may be the last thing you want to think about after an injury, well behind recovering and getting back to work, it is vital to start thinking ahead to a potential lawsuit as soon as an accident occurs that is caused by someone else’s negligence. Whether you were injured in a car accident, in a workplace mishap, in a slip-and-fall on someone’s property, by a defective product, or in some other manner caused by the negligence of another, it is important to be ready and prepared from the outset. An experienced Houston personal injury attorney can help guide you through the system and make sure that you are as prepared as possible from the beginning of the process through bringing claims, negotiating a settlement and, failing that, going to trial. Below is a look at the process involved in pursuing a personal injury claim in Texas.
Investigating your personal injury claim
If you were injured in an auto accident, there are specific steps you will want to follow, including speaking with the police, filing an accident report with the DMV, and contacting the insurance companies for both you and the other driver(s). More generally, your first step should be retaining an experienced Texas personal injury attorney who knows Texas law.
Your attorney will help you with the initial fact-finding process, during which you and your attorney will investigate the circumstances of the accident that led to your injury. This includes speaking with people involved in the accident and other witnesses, speaking with your employer if relevant, photographing and otherwise documenting the scene of the accident, seeing your doctor and collecting all relevant medical records, and generally collecting as much information as you can regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident. You can use this information, with the help of your attorney, to begin negotiations with the at-fault party (or their insurance company) to see if you can reach a settlement before bringing a lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury claim in court
Assuming the party responsible for your injury or their insurance company do not offer a reasonable settlement, it may be time to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Texas law gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will use this time to try to settle the claim pre-lawsuit and to prepare the necessary documents to file the suit.
Your personal injury attorney, with your assistance and input, will file and serve a complaint explaining your claim; file pretrial motions regarding discovery, witness statements, and summary judgment seeking to win on certain issues or win the case outright, where appropriate; attend pretrial hearings and continue to negotiate a possible settlement; argue the case before a judge or jury; and resolve post-trial matters such as motions or appeals to a higher court.
Speak with an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact Houston, Texas personal injury attorney Charles J. Argento & Associates. During a free initial consultation, we will evaluate your potential personal injury claim as well as your options for obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and damages. As your Houston personal injury lawyer, Mr. Argento accepts no legal fees until we recover on your behalf.