When should I file a personal injury suit?
There are many different scenarios that may result in an individual filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. If you were injured in a car accident or on someone else’s property, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages. In many cases, accidents result in huge hospital and doctor bills, cost for medications, and long-term rehabilitation. Additionally, chances are you may not be able to work following an accident. So, what do you do? One option is filing a lawsuit to obtain the justice you deserve.
The term “lawsuit” can be intimidating to many people. The legal system is complex and often unforgiving, which is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Texas. Not only will we offer our expertise and help you better understand your rights, but we will ensure all documents are filed in a timely manner. Before filing a personal injury claim in Dallas, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind which will be discussed below.
When Your Attorney May Want to File Suit
One of the questions we get asked the most is, “when should I file the lawsuit?” First, a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate if the adjuster is low balling the value of the case or taking too long to offer you a fair settlement. This has become the norm nowadays with greedy insurance companies trying to avoid paying out claims. You are not in good hands with Allstate. Allstate’s sole purpose is to make money, not protect you.
What Should You Expect During the Litigation Process?
Once a lawsuit has been filed, it is important that you understand the process. First, litigation can be long and uncertain. There is no way to properly evaluate or determine how much money you will recover right after suit is filed. To help ease your mind and give you a clearer picture of what to expect, it is important you understand the following timeline and the steps of the lawsuit process:
- Interview with lawyer – The first thing that will happen when you believe you have a valid claim is to meet with the lawyer. This interview is absolutely free and no risk to you. Everything said will be confidential, so you have nothing to lose. During this interview, an attorney from Shamieh Law will ask you the questions like the following:
- The specifics of the accident, including any injuries you sustained
- Did you go to the hospital or have paramedics treat you?
- What are the body parts that hurt you?
- Did you break any bones or required to undergo surgery?
- Did the police prepare a report? Were there any witnesses who saw the incident?
- How the accident and injuries have impacted your family (financially, physically, and emotionally)
- Have you missed any work due to the incident?
- What family members can testify on your behalf to support your case.
Keep in mind: the list above is a sample list and any follow-up questions will depend on how you answer the questions above.
- Where to file? Once the initial and any follow-up interviews have been conducted, we will make a decision on where to file your case. Some counties in Texas are more favorable for you to file suit in. For example, we have found that juries in Dallas County award more money than Denton County. Adjusters know this as well, so they will evaluate your case differently depending on where the suit is filed.
- Discovery phases – As soon as the case has been filed, we will begin the discovery stage. This is the point at which we start to collect evidence about your case, including talking to any witnesses and looking into a possible settlement. Further, depositions take place during this time. A deposition is a sworn statement under oath where the attorneys for all the parties can ask you questions about what happened and what injuries you sustained.
- Mediation – is an attempt to settle the case. A mediator is typically an attorney who is paid money to negotiate with both sides. Nothing at mediation is admissible at trial. Typically, it is been our experience that 50 to 60% of cases settle at mediation.
- To settle or not to settle – Finally, the million dollar question. Do you settle or go to trial? The majority of cases are settled before going to trial because there is a lot of risk at trial. There is a lot of uncertainty at trial because you are allowing 12 strangers (jurors) to decide the fate of your case.
The Benefits of Filing Suit
Whether your case is settled out of court or goes to trial, there are numerous advantages of filing a lawsuit. Perhaps the biggest risk is that you may receive less than the initial settlement that was offered, but in many cases you receive more money. Insurance companies often try to get people to settle out of court, which is why they work very hard to get you to accept a settlement and give up your right to take legal action. By turning the insurance company down, it means you and your lawyer believe you deserve to be compensated more than what they are offering you. This is certainly a risk, but the reward is often much greater.
To learn more about filing a personal injury claim in Dallas, please contact Shamieh Law today. We have discussed the timeline for filing a car wreck settlement in a previous post, which will give you a better understanding of how long you have to pursue legal action after an accident. To learn more about the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer or to discuss your case, please contact Shamieh Law today.