Personal Injury

What is the Personal Injury Case Process in Texas?

Posted by admin on December 10, 2018
What is the Personal Injury Case Process in Texas?

According to the 2018 Annual Statistical Report from the Texas Judicial Branch, 50,623 new motor vehicle injury and damages cases were filed in the state between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018. In addition to the newly filed Auto Accident Attorney Lawsuits in Austin Tx, there were 1,098 newly filed medical malpractice cases, 404 products liability cases, and 10,804 newly filed lawsuits that involved other types of personal injury claims.

Many personal injury claims are settled before formal lawsuits are filed, meaning that the number of newly filed tort claims in the state last year represented a fraction of the total. However, formal complaints may be filed when injury victims are unable to reach favorable settlements so that they can litigate their matters through the court process. 

If you have suffered an injury or have lost a close family member because of the actions of another person or entity, you may have legal rights to recover damages. It is important for you to understand the personal injury claims process so that you know what you might expect.


Need an attorney or try handling a claim on your own?

You are not required to hire an attorney to handle your personal injury claim. Texans are able to negotiate with the insurance companies on their own and to file tort lawsuits pro se, which means without legal help. However, it is crucial for you to get legal help as early in the process as possible. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003 for personal injury claims. This is a deadline within which a lawsuit must be filed. In addition to helping you to meet your statutory deadline, an experienced personal injury lawyer, Austin, TX, such as Trent Kelly or Jim Terry might be able to obtain a more favorable outcome on your behalf than you could obtain on your own.

When you have chosen an attorney who has agreed to accept your claim, you will then need to sign a representation and fee agreement. Most injury lawyers accept cases on a contingent-fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay a retainer up front. Instead, your attorney will receive their payment if they reach a successful resolution through a settlement or a verdict by taking a percentage of the total that you receive.

Texas Legal Personal Injury Demand Letter

Your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party. This letter will outline the reasons why the company should settle, provide a description of the severity and extent of your injuries, and make a demand for an amount to reasonably settle your claim. If the insurance company agrees to pay your demand, the claim will be resolved without filing a formal lawsuit. The company may instead dispute or deny your claim. If this happens, your lawyer may file a civil complaint in court to commence a lawsuit on your behalf.

What happens if the insurance company won’t settle?

If the insurance company does not make a reasonable offer of settlement, the attorneys at Terry & Kelly may file a case in court on your behalf. The lawyers may then draft a formal civil complaint in which you are named as the plaintiff and the other party or parties are named as the defendant or defendants. This will then be filed in court, and the court will issue a summons. The complaint and summons must then be properly served on the defendants. After the defendants are served, they have a short time period within which they must file their answers.

After the reply to your lawsuit has been filed, the lawsuit will proceed into the discovery phase. This period can be lengthy. Both sides will be required to exchange the evidence that they have, and they may continue conducting investigations with the help of experts, interrogatories, and depositions. Pre-trial motions may be filed by your attorney and the defense lawyer.

During the discovery period, the negotiations will continue. Most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations before they ever reach trial. However, if your case is not resolved in a settlement, the attorneys at Terry & Kelly may fight for your rights by litigating your case in a jury trial.

Contact the experienced lawyers at Terry & Kelly

Being injured in an accident because of the negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions of another person or entity can be devastating. If you have suffered an injury, getting legal help is important so that you may protect your rights. The Austin Personal Injury Lawyers at Terry & Kelly are dedicated to helping injured victims to recover compensation that fairly compensates them.

Schedule a free consultation and case analysis by calling (512) 910-2000.

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