You do not have to go to court after a car accident in Texas. Insurance companies settle most car accident cases before trial based on the weight of the evidence and the story it tells. However, if you cannot agree to terms with the at-fault driver or their insurer, you might have to take your case before a judge and jury. This is why you should hire a personal injury attorney like Domingo Garcia that has a track record of winning verdicts when insurance companies fail to offer a fair settlement.
How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit After Car Accident in Texas?
You generally have two years from the accident date to file your personal injury lawsuit after a car crash, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. However, the statutory filing deadline can fluctuate based on several factors.
For example, if the injured party is a minor or the at-fault driver leaves the state, that could affect the filing deadline. Thus, when you hire a Texas car accident lawyer, they will be sure to file your case well within the allotted time.
What Happens If I Miss or Misunderstand the Filing Deadline?
If the statute of limitations expires, you will be forever barred from bringing a lawsuit or recovering any money settlement for your injuries. If you attempt to file a car accident lawsuit after the filing deadline, the at-fault driver’s insurance company attorney will request its immediate dismissal. The judge will likely grant this request, and you will have no further legal recourse to compel the at-fault driver to compensate you for your personal injury.
So, avoid the costly risks of noncompliance. Instead, let a personal injury lawyer in your area file your lawsuit. The faster you consult an experienced car accident attorney like Domingo Garcia, the better your chances are for a successful personal injury settlement.
What Happens If My Case Goes to Court?
Taking your case to court is like negotiating an insurance settlement—a complicated multi-step process. It typically involves the following:
- Your attorney will draft and file your lawsuit
- The at-fault driver’s representatives respond to your suit
- Each side evaluates the accumulated evidence
- Each side conducts depositions and interrogatories
- Each side continues negotiations during discovery
- Each side argues its case before a judge or jury
- The jury renders its verdict
- The losing side could appeal the decision
Even while your attorney argues your case in court, you could still settle it since reaching a settlement agreement is possible until the jury delivers its verdict.
What Happens During Settlement Negotiations?
The settlement process can mean going back and forth with the at-fault parties’ insurance representatives. Your lawyer will start by assessing your financial damages and ensuring their validity. From there, your attorney will do the following:
- Draft and issue a demand letter
- Weigh each monetary offer and its pros and cons
- Explain the reasonableness of each offer you receive
- Work out the final details of the settlement agreement
- Disburse your final settlement amount to you
Your lawyer will handle the offers and counteroffers—they might exchange several rounds with the at-fault party’s insurer—that come as a regular part of the process. The final decision to accept or reject a settlement is yours, so you play an essential role in the timeline. However, your lawyer will ensure you have the information you need to make a well-informed decision.
Is Compensation the Same With a Lawsuit Versus a Settlement in Texas?
You can recover compensation from the at-fault driver by proving the legal elements of negligence—duty, breach, causation, and damages. By doing so, you qualify for economic and noneconomic damages via settlement or verdict. In addition, if your family lost a loved one in the accident, you are also entitled to compensation for your loss.
What Are Economic and Noneconomic Damages After a Car Accident?
Economic damages are tangible and typically have documentation that supports their monetary value. They include medical bills, lost income, future lost earnings, treatment-related travel expenses, property repair or replacement costs, and diminished property value.
Noneconomic damages are intangible and reflect the psychological toll the accident has had on your life. Your lawyer will help you substantiate the value of your pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, disfigurement, impairment, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. Where applicable, your family can also recover various wrongful death damages.
Call for Your Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a recent car accident in Texas, a personal injury lawyer from Domingo Garcia can help should you have to go to court. Our team will explain the settlement negotiation process and the steps we will take to resolve your case. We’ll also explain what happens if your case goes to court and the likelihood of this happening.
Unfortunately, going to court after a car crash in Texas can feel daunting – so can negotiating for a fair and appropriate settlement. Our car accident lawyer can help you build a strong case for compensation and fight hard in either case. Learn more by contacting our team today at no cost or obligation.