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Personal Injury

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted by Trent Kelly on March 28, 2022
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim. The personal injury claims process can be complicated, and it is important that you have a knowledgeable Austin personal injury lawyer advocating for you at all times. 

Motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and defective product malfunctions can all lead to serious and debilitating injuries. Common injuries sustained in these types of accidents include bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, traumatic head and brain injuries, and internal injuries, to name only a few.

Personal injury claims involve a process that can become complex if you do not have qualified legal representation on your side. TK Injury Lawyers can handle your personal injury case from beginning to end and pursue all of the monetary compensation and damages that you need. 

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a case filed in civil court by someone who has been harmed physically or financially due to another person’s or entity’s negligence. The person who has been injured and files the case is referred to as the “plaintiff,” and the people he or she sues are referred to as the “defendant(s).”

There are many accidents that can lead to a personal injury case, each with its own legal questions and issues. At Terry & Kelly Injury Lawyers, we have experienced personal injury lawyers who help our clients in filing their cases and in ensuring they get the maximum compensation they deserve.

 

When You Might Have a Claim?

The law of personal injury provides that if a person or entity causes an accident or does something that results in injury to another person, then that party can be held responsible for the injured party’s losses within a certain time period.

Compensation can be a monetary sum intended to make the injury victim as a whole as they were before the accident occurred. This compensation is also referred to as “damages”. You cannot succeed in a personal injury case unless you can demonstrate that you have damages arising from the injuries.

Damages is only one of the “elements” of a personal injury lawsuit – the others are duty, breach, and causation. These are all technical requirements, and our lawyers can evaluate whether your case meets them.

If the elements of personal injury are met in your case, then you can expect to obtain compensation for your injuries, which will include but not be limited to the following:

  1. Doctor and/or specialist visits
  2. Present and future medical bills
  3. Emergency room visit
  4. Hospitalization
  5. Physical and rehabilitative therapy
  6. Mental and emotional therapy
  7. Repair or replacement of damaged property
  8. Court fees and other legal costs

Physical injuries you can sue for include but are not limited to:

  1. Loss of limb
  2. Disfigurement
  3. Scars
  4. Loss of mobility functionality

Mental injuries in a personal injury lawsuit include but are not limited to:

  1. Emotional trauma
  2. Pain and suffering
  3. Mental anguish
  4. Loss of cognitive abilities
  5. Loss of companionship and enjoyment
  6. Loss of emotional control

 

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

 

1. Filing a Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is usually filed with the insurance company for the at-fault person or entity. However, if that individual or entity did not have insurance coverage in place at the time of your accident, you might be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. This type of scenario often arises in motor vehicle accident cases where the at-fault driver does not have insurance.

Once you file a claim with the insurance company, the adjuster assigned to your claim will review all of the documentation and decide whether or not to accept liability for the accident. In some cases, especially where a motor vehicle operator was drunk or intoxicated at the time of the accident, liability is clear. At other times, however, liability may be disputed.

If the insurance company accepts liability in your case, it will usually make an initial settlement offer. Initial settlement offers are usually very low, and they are not likely to fully compensate you for all of your injuries sustained in the accident. Insurance companies make these low offers to try and see if they can resolve the case quickly and cheaply.

 

2. Filing a Lawsuit in Court

In some personal injury claims, a lawsuit will need to be filed against the at-fault person or entity. This usually happens when the insurance company refuses to offer you the full and fair compensation that you deserve for your injuries.

Just because you file a lawsuit, however, does not mean that your case will ultimately go to a jury trial in the court system. In fact, most personal injury cases settle long before a jury trial ever happens. During litigation, your attorney will continue to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in hopes of reaching a favorable settlement.

During the discovery phase of litigation, the parties will exchange documents, and the defense attorney may take your deposition. If the case does not settle after deposition, the parties typically have two options. The first option is to take the case to a jury trial and allow the jury to decide all the disputed issues in the case. The other option is to pursue alternative dispute resolution, at which time a mediator or arbitrator will help to facilitate settlement discussions (mediation) or decide the disputed issue of damages in the case (arbitration).

 

3. Do I Need an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer?

Many people wonder whether they need to call a personal injury attorney. It is important to know that even a simple case involving a minor injury can quickly become a serious one. If you accept an offer from the insurance company that is too low, you may end up being stuck with costs and losses that could have been avoided if you had an experienced lawyer representing you.

Even when there are serious injuries, many victims make a mistake and quickly accept an offer of settlement from an insurance company without having an experienced personal injury lawyer help them with the decision. This can leave you with extensive financial losses that are not covered.

 

Speak to an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The skilled legal team at TK Injury Lawyers can help guide you through the personal injury claims process. For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an Austin personal injury attorney, please call today at (512) 910-2000 or contact us online for more information.

 

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