Personal injuries can inflict not only physical and emotional trauma but also induce financial stress. In such cases, legal recourse becomes vital. This article delves into the nitty-gritty of personal injury cases in Texas, outlining the processes, considerations, and potential outcomes of such lawsuits.
Understanding Personal Injury
While car accidents remain the most common form of personal injuries, the term encompasses a broader spectrum. Personal injury cases could arise from various situations where an individual’s negligence leads to harm to another. These include slip and falls, medical malpractice, oil field accidents, product liability, accidental drownings, wrongful death, and much more.
Role of Insurance Companies
It is important to note that insurance corporations, like any business, are profit-driven. Their primary goal is to minimize the payout per claim to maximize their own profit. Therefore, it is advised to be cautious while dealing with insurer offers.
Role of a Lawyer
Experienced personal injury lawyers at The Wilhite Law Firm can significantly increase the chances of success. They can guide you through the complex legal process, helping you avoid any mistakes that might jeopardize the case.
Settlement vs. Trial
Statistically, over 95% of cases conclude outside of court, primarily through settlements. However, accepting an insurance company’s offer might result in a significantly lower compensation than what you are rightfully owed. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a seasoned attorney to negotiate a fair settlement.
Medical Consultation Post-Injury
Prompt medical consultation is crucial for a successful personal injury claim. It allows for the documentation of injuries in medical records, which serves as substantial evidence for claiming damages.
Evidence like witness testimonials, photographs of the accident scene, and medical records play a pivotal role in strengthening your case.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, the time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. Failing to adhere to this deadline could result in losing the right to pursue the claim.
Legal Fee Structure
Most law firms operate on a contingency fee basis. They charge a percentage of the settlement or the award, only if they win the case.
Filing the Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits in Texas are typically considered civil court cases and hence, are filed in a civil court. The plaintiff can choose the jurisdiction for filing the lawsuit, which could be significant for the case’s outcome.
Response from the Defendant
Post filing of the lawsuit, the defendant has the right to respond to it within 21 days. The responses vary from filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit to filing a counterclaim.
If the case goes to trial, the process involves several stages including jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony and cross-examination, closing arguments, and jury deliberations. The verdict is the jury’s final decision on liability and damages.
If the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant can either pay the damages or appeal the case to a higher court. If the jury rules in favor of the defendant, the plaintiff can also choose to appeal the case to a higher court.
This comprehensive guide provides an overarching understanding of personal injury cases in Texas. However, it is always advisable to consult with a legal professional to navigate the intricacies of your unique case.