Before You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
To protect your legal rights and give you the best chance of prevailing in a personal injury case, consider taking the following steps:
Promptly Seek Medical Help
After getting hurt, call emergency medical help to the accident scene or see a doctor soon after the incident. Getting a prompt medical diagnosis can help to discover any underlying injuries and safeguard your well-being. Moreover, a medical report documenting your injuries can be essential for an insurance claim and lawsuit.
Document the Accident Scene and Gather Evidence
If possible, start gathering evidence while still at the accident scene. Take photos and videos of the hazard that caused your fall or the damaged vehicles in a car accident. Ask witnesses and other drivers for their contact information. Witness statements can be critical evidence in a lawsuit.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, speak to an experienced lawyer to understand your options. While hiring a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim may be scary, it is crucial to maximizing your legal damages. The Ammons Law Firm has decades of experience handling all types of personal injury lawsuits, and we can help you understand how to move forward in your specific situation. Our attorneys can assess the strength of your case and help you decide whether pursuing a lawsuit is in your best interests.
If you move forward with a personal injury lawsuit, our attorneys can develop a legal strategy and guide you through the entire legal process.
Negotiate a Settlement
You may be offered a settlement once the insurance company concludes its investigations into your accident. Unfortunately, most insurers focus on preserving their profits and want to pay as little as possible. They may even use manipulative tactics to deny or minimize your claim.
Rather than negotiating with an adjuster or insurance company on your own, let an attorney handle all communication to ensure you are treated fairly. If the insurer refuses a fair settlement, our attorneys can take them to court.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you can’t recover a fair settlement from an insurance company or at-fault party, our personal injury attorneys may advise you to move forward with filing a lawsuit. Here are some steps in the personal injury lawsuit process:
1. Filing a Summons and Complaint
The complaint outlines the facts of your case, including when and how your accident happened, the scope of your injuries, and the compensation you seek. The defendant then has a set time period to respond to the complaint.
2. The Discovery Process
During discovery, both parties exchange evidence and other information related to the case, which can include:
- Medical records
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Expert witness opinions
Discovery allows each side to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. Settlement negotiations are common during this phase.
3. Mediating a Personal Injury Claim
Before trial, personal injury cases may involve a mediation process. Mediation involves a neutral third party (the mediator) helping to resolve the dispute by facilitating a mutually agreeable resolution for the plaintiff (the injured person bringing the suit) and the defendant. Statements made by either side at mediation are confidential. During mediation, your attorney will be advocating on your behalf.
4. Preparing for Civil Trial
Your case may proceed to trial if a settlement cannot be reached during discovery or mediation. Trial preparation involves jury selection, the preparation of legal arguments, and obtaining expert witnesses.
5. Trial and Verdict
At trial, both parties argue their positions and present supporting evidence before a judge and jury. Witnesses may testify, and expert witnesses, if involved, will provide their opinions. After both sides have made their arguments, the jury deliberates and eventually delivers a verdict.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit doesn’t mean your case automatically goes to trial. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, most personal injury claims are resolved out of the courtroom. However, initiating a lawsuit may be an excellent way to break a negotiation deadlock and motivate an insurer to offer you a fair settlement. It is important to note that a settlement can be reached at any time in the litigation process, including on the day of trial.
The Ammons Law Firm Helps Victims Get Justice
A significant injury can change your life forever. If another, whether a person, corporation, or government entity, caused your accident and injuries, you need an attorney to fight for you. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be crucial for holding a wrongdoer accountable and recovering a fair settlement.
The Ammons Law Firm can be here for you during the most difficult time in your life. We have helped hundreds of clients recover the compensation they needed to move forward. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation to identify your next best steps.
Our Houston personal injury lawyers are prepared to fight for you. Call us at (281) 801-5617 or contact us online for help filing a claim for your personal injury case.