How long it takes to settle your Texas car crash lawsuit generally depends on the complexity of your case and whether or not fault is being contested. For example, a multi-vehicle collision involving a commercial vehicle will likely take longer to settle than a crash involving two vehicles as there is more evidence to gather and liability may not be immediately apparent.
What Steps Will My Attorney Take to Build My Case?
As soon as you contact Thomas J. Henry, your attorney will begin taking steps to preserve and gather evidence for your claim. The early stages of your case are often the most crucial as the quality of evidence and the ability of witnesses to accurately recall your crash can diminish rapidly.
When investigating your case, your attorney will have one goal – to gather all the evidence necessary to verify how the accident happened and establish who was at fault. They will gather photographic evidence, witness statements, and official reports and may file a temporary restraining order to preserve any evidence that is at risk of damage, destruction, or tampering.
In addition to information about the accident itself, your attorney will request information from your doctor concerning your injuries. Once your doctor has determined that your physical condition is stable, your attorney will begin assembling medical reports, records, and bills. They will also seek out employment records in order to evaluate damages related to loss of wages and loss of earning potential.
When Can I Expect Settlement Negotiations to Begin?
Settlement discussions are not likely to begin until both your attorney and the defense have completed their pretrial investigations and the discover process. As part of discovery, your attorney and the defense will likely solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, and may request sworn testimony be given under oath, known as a deposition.
It is very rare for an insurance company to engage in serious settlement talks prior to completing the discovery process. If your case is particularly complex or involves a commercial entity, the defense may even wait for your attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing potential settlement amounts.
In extreme cases, the defense will not engage in settlement talks until they have filed a motion for summary judgment, more commonly known as a motion to dismiss the case. If the motion is granted, it means your case is over; over, if the court denies the motion, this can be used as leverage in future negotiations.
What If a Settlement Amount Cannot Be Agreed Upon?
If your attorney and the defense cannot agree upon a fair settlement or if the defense continues to challenge liability, then your case will go to trial – and if your attorney has not prepared accordingly, then your claim to compensation could be in jeopardy.
At Thomas J. Henry, we treat every case as though it will go to trial. This way, if trial becomes necessary, has already gathered the evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim before a jury or judge. It is important to understand that trials take time – as such, patience is key. While there is little that can be done to speed up the litigation process, there are ways to use this time to your advantage. While your case is pending, your attorney will coach you on court room procedures and how to handle questioning and cross-examination. They will also continue to review evidence for new opportunities to improve your claim to compensation.
Thomas J. Henry has been successfully trying cases against large companies for the past 30 years and has built a reputation by securing record-breaking jury verdicts. With a team of more than 100 attorneys ready to represent injured clients at a moment’s notice, we have the money and the resources to fight and win against even the largest trucking and insurance companies.