Accidents and injuries happen every day. If you get injured in an accident such as a car crash or slip and fall, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the party at fault. Preparing for the personal injury lawsuit process can make the experience easier for you and your family. Discuss your specific case in more detail with a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio today.
Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney
The first step is finding the right personal injury lawyer to represent you. Although not every personal injury claim needs an attorney, hiring one could help you achieve the best possible outcome. It is especially important to consult with an attorney if you have serious or catastrophic injuries that will impact you for the foreseeable future. Schedule a free initial consultation with one to three of your top choices in San Antonio. Then, ask each lawyer questions about your case and the legal process to learn what to expect.
If the lawyer offers his or her representation and you decide to hire the lawyer, he or she will help you with the complicated claims filing process. Filing a claim in Texas requires filling out and submitting the required court documents by the state’s statute of limitations. This is a deadline of two years for filing most personal injury claims. Your lawyer can take care of the complex filing process to make sure you fully and correctly fill out the paperwork the very first time. This can ensure a more efficient legal process.
Next, your lawyer can investigate your case and search for evidence to collect. Evidence is proof the defendant was at fault for your accident, such as photographs, videos, eyewitness statements, police reports, accident reports, medical records, cell phone records, and testimony from expert witnesses.
Your lawyer will need to find and present enough evidence to prove that the defendant more likely than not caused your accident and injury. This is the burden of proof for all personal injury claims. A lawyer can make it easier to preserve and collect the evidence you need to win your case.
The discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit is an opportunity for both sides of the case to learn from each other. Both parties request information in the form of written or oral statements, questionnaires, requests for evidence, or depositions. Many questions answered during the discovery phase are done so under oath. Discovery can make a personal injury case fairer and more efficient by establishing basic facts as agreed upon to be true by both parties.
Pretrial Motions and Hearings
Before your personal injury case goes to trial, your lawyer will go through pretrial motions and hearings. Pretrial motions are legal documents filed by your attorney for a certain purpose, such as a motion to suppress evidence or dismiss part of a lawsuit. Pretrial motions may lead to pretrial hearings, in which a judge will listen to arguments from both sides of the case to determine whether or not to approve the motion.
Settlement negotiations and mediation are the last opportunities to reach an agreement with the defendant to avoid going to trial in Texas. Your attorney can negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf to fight for the best possible financial outcome. An insurance company is more likely to offer a fair settlement when speaking to an attorney. With a successful settlement, your case will end here. If the insurance company refuses to offer an adequate settlement, you will go to trial.
Personal Injury Trial
If your case has to go to trial, your lawyer can guide you through the legal process. Your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will give opening statements, present evidence, and interview witnesses on the stand before a judge and jury in a courtroom in San Antonio. Then, the jury will determine whether or not you met your evidentiary burden of proof. If so, you will receive a judgment award to pay for your injury and losses. If not, your lawyer can help you appeal the jury’s decision.
Learn more about the personal injury lawsuit process by contacting Hill Law Firm today.