When you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence and face the financial consequences that come with that injury, it is natural to want to collect compensation for your damages as quickly as possible. Your medical bills stack up, and your income goes down because of missed time at work. If you cannot recover fully, you may never earn as you did before the incident or return to work at all.
Wolf Law, PLLC can help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. While it is not possible to promise exactly how long your personal injury lawsuit will take, we can promise to work tirelessly in your best interests. Our attorneys will dedicate themselves to seeking justice and a substantial settlement or trial verdict for you as swiftly as possible.
Factors Affecting a Personal Injury Lawsuit’s Timeline
The timeline of a personal injury lawsuit depends on several factors. Some cases are simply more complicated than others and require more time for investigating and determining the at-fault party or parties.
When a claim involves more than one at-fault party, these parties fight to prove the “other side” is to blame, slowing down your lawsuit’s movement through the process.
Most personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, which means both sides–you and the at-fault party–ultimately come to a settlement agreement through negotiations and without going to trial. Some negotiations move more swiftly than others. For example, you may have mountains of convincing evidence supporting your case and, if you partner with Wolf Law, PLLC, an attorney highly skilled at negotiating. In these situations, the at-fault party is more likely to agree to a fair settlement amount more quickly.
There are cases when the at-fault party refuses to “come to the table” or make a reasonable offer. Further, Texas personal injury law follows a modified comparative fault system, which means victims can only sue if they are less than 50% responsible for an accident causing their injuries. If eligible to file, they can see their compensation reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault. If the at-fault party sees the opportunity to raise evidence of your fault, they will take their time finding that evidence and put up a fight during negotiations.
If your case goes to trial, the court’s schedule will affect the timeline. Once you have a court date, there is no guarantee the judge will not have an emergency or schedule change, and your date will get pushed back. Unfortunately, trial delays happen frequently, adding to your lawsuit’s duration.
Phases in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
Though the unique factors of a case affect how quickly it concludes, personal injury lawsuits follow a general timeline. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Wolf Law, PLLC will work to navigate your case through each step in the process efficiently.
Personal injury claims are prompted by an accident or injury-causing event. For example, you may have a motor vehicle crash, experience a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, sustain a dog bite, or be injured by a defective product. Whatever the incident, gather as much evidence at the accident scene as possible. Take pictures or videos, get contact information from witnesses, and make an official report with the police or property supervisors or managers, as applicable.
See A Doctor
If your injuries require emergency medical attention, do not move until help arrives. However, even if you do not require emergency attention, you should still seek professional medical care within hours or a day of the incident. If you delay care, you risk worsening your injuries and putting your potential lawsuit at risk. The at-fault party can use your delay as evidence that your injuries are not as bad as you have made them out to be or that they only got worse because you put off treatment.
Connect with the team at Wolf Law, PLLC promptly. It is best not to speak with the at-fault party or that party’s representatives without first speaking with an attorney. Better yet, have your attorney handle all communication with those entities to avoid saying too much or having your words used against you. Once you have secured legal representation, your lawyer will take care of the rest.
Investigate The Accident
Your lawyer will carry out a comprehensive investigation of the accident. Wolf Law, PLLC knows what to look for and how to find it. We also have connections with experts and other resources offering critical insight. Throughout the investigation, your personal injury attorney will pinpoint the cause of the accident, identify the at-fault party, gather evidence, and determine the value of your losses.
Evidence may come from witness testimony, police reports, consultations with your medical team and other medical professionals, statements from your caregivers, and other relevant sources of information.
Demand and Negotiate
Victims often do not recognize the extent of the damages they sustain from an injury. While the immediate effects are obvious, anticipating the costs of future care and income loss or other related expenses can be difficult. Putting a dollar amount on pain and suffering is another challenging task. Sadly, victims often underestimate or overlook serious losses.
An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer like Julie Wolf will account for every aspect of your losses and calculate a settlement demand covering them all.
Once calculated, your attorney will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s representatives. The at-fault party will (or should) respond with a counter-offer, typically lower than your demanded amount, and negotiations will be underway.
The personal injury attorneys at Wolf Law, PLLC will negotiate fiercely on your behalf. Should negotiations prove successful, the Texas Insurance Code establishes the at-fault party’s insurance company must pay the settlement money within five days of the agreement.
File A Lawsuit
If negotiations are not productive and you choose to take your case to trial, your attorney will file a lawsuit. Since the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Texas is two years, it is likely your attorney will file suit even before negotiations begin, ensuring the deadline is met and sending the at-fault party a message that you are ready to go to court.
Go To Trial
Cases can settle even after you have filed a lawsuit and during any steps leading to the trial:
- Discovery: Both sides exchange information and evidence. This phase can also include depositions and requests for additional information.
- Mediation: Sometimes, courts order the opposing parties to meet for a mediation conference to attempt to settle their dispute without going to trial.
- Pretrial motions: Parties can file motions to dismiss the case or for a summary judgment to resolve particular legal issues before entering the courtroom.
- Trial: Each side presents their evidence and “side of the story” to the judge and / or jury.
- Verdict: The judge or jury renders a decision. If the decision favors you, the plaintiff, the court will specify the amount of your compensation.
- Appeal: If either side disagrees with the verdict, they can appeal the decision, requesting to bring the case before a higher court.
Aggressive, Attentive, and Ready to Get to Work
Though personal injury lawsuit timelines vary, one thing is certain: prompt connection with Wolf Law, PLLC can get you closer to a conclusion. Do not wait to secure a partnership and get your case moving. The Texas personal injury attorneys from our experienced and award-wining legal team are ready to give your case the attention it deserves and will work aggressively for the best possible outcome.
Contact us through our online form to schedule your free consultation today.