Whether or not you will have to go to court for your Texas auto accident case is dependent on the facts of your case, including how clear liability for the accident is and whether or not the adverse driver’s insurance company is willing to offer a fair and reasonable settlement.
While most auto accident cases are settled without the need for trial, it is important that your attorney treats every claim as though it will be tried to verdict.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Settle My Texas Auto Accident Case?
Generally, hiring an attorney will help guarantee that any settlements offered by a company in a Texas auto accident claim are fair and cover all of your injuries and losses. When you approach an insurance company without an attorney, the insurer has little incentive to play fair. They know more about law than you do, and they have the money and resources to chip away at your claim.
As soon as you contact Thomas J. Henry, your attorney will begin taking steps to preserve and gather evidence for your claim and will begin working with the insurer on your behalf. 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 Discussions to Begin?
When settlement discussions begin often depends on the size and complexity of a case. Larger cases or those involving commercial vehicles may progress further before negotiations begin as neither side wants to appear overeager or desperate to resolve a matter.
Once a personal injury lawsuit has been filed, both your attorney and the defense’s attorney will begin pretrial investigations. This is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys will begin gathering evidence and may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions. It is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.
If your case is particularly complex, the defense may wait for the plaintiff’s attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.
In other cases, the defense attorney will not want to settle a case until they have filed a motion for summary judgment, also known as a motion to dismiss the case. If the court grants the motion to dismiss, it means the case is over; however, if the court denies the motion, a good personal injury attorney will see this as a potential point of 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.