The amount of time that it takes for a personal injury lawsuit to settle will depend upon a number of different important factors. Simpler cases, the ones that have one victim, less severe injuries, and where the other party is clearly liable, are likely to settle in a much shorter time.
More complex cases, the ones that involve complicated injuries, multiple parties, and where the other party is denying liability, will take much longer.
Personal injury lawsuits may be over in as little as 6-9 months, but the majority of cases fall into the 12-24 month timeframe. This is one of the reasons why it is extremely important to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer, as they will be the ones responsible for pushing the case through the entirety of this period.
Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC – Speak to an experienced attorney about your personal injury lawsuit today!
If you have been involved in an accident in Texas, you are entitled to make a claim if the accident was caused by the negligent behavior of another party. Personal injury cases help victims recover damages such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages and also allow you to pursue compensation for the pain you have been through and the mental trauma and emotional suffering you have been subjected to as a result of your injuries.
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, we have a long history of successfully representing accident victims in the Greater Houston area. We have a deep understanding of how personal injury cases work and we can draw upon our many victories in cases similar to yours to give us an advantage when it comes to building the best possible strategy on your behalf.
We do not just fight for our clients. We educate them, taking the time to ensure you are informed in regard to your rights and how the case is progressing. Our approach to building a confidence-inspiring attorney-client relationship is unrivaled and allows us to understand our clients, and the pain, suffering and trauma they have been through.
If you have been in an accident that was your fault, you should always seek legal counsel immediately.
Our phone lines are always open, and our team is standing by, ready to help.
Contact us at 936-251-5246 to schedule a free consultation today.
Factors to Consider When Determining How Long It May Take to Settle Personal Injury Claims in Texas
Here are some of the important factors that can influence the length of your claim.
If you have been injured in the accident, you will need to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement so that your attorney can calculate your medical expenses accurately. If your treatment is going to require a lifetime of treatment, or at least a long period of treatment, they may decide to speak to a medical expert who can estimate what that period may look like costwise, however.
Unable to Agree on a Settlement
Once your attorney has calculated your damages, they will begin negotiating with the other party and their insurance company to try and pursue a settlement figure. If the other party is not cooperative, denies fault or refuses to negotiate a settlement, your case will take longer as you will need to bring a lawsuit against them.
Unable to Agree on Liability
In certain cases, the other party may decide to fight the accusations of liability entirely. This will drag your case out as your attorney will need to seek strong evidence that proves the other party’s liability.
The Experience/Reputation of Your Attorney
Never underestimate the power that a strong reputation can have. If the other party knows you are represented by a skilled personal injury lawyer, one that is skilled in litigation, they may be wary about allowing the case to move to the courtroom. If they lose these cases, not only does it cost them the settlement, but they will also have to fund the court costs.
In some cases, they may decide to offer a settlement figure, simply because you have an attorney behind you that has a strong reputation.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Liability/Negligence?
Your attorney will need to prove that negligence occurred in order to prove liability lies with the other party. Most personal injury cases begin with your attorney asking important questions. These questions give them a good idea of whether or not they will be able to prove the four elements of negligence.
If your attorney can prove the following four elements, you may have a case:
Duty of Care
Perhaps the most important element to prove is that the other party owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner that protects another individual or individuals from harm.
There are a number of legal reasons why you would take a duty of care on. Here are some examples.
- All road users automatically assume a duty of care to any other user of the road. This includes pedestrians, other drivers, and any passengers.
- All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients. They must follow the standard medical practices and act with all due care and attention.
- All owners of private property assume a duty of care to anyone who may be on their property. In some cases, this can even include trespassers.
- All product manufacturers owe their customers a duty of care.
Breach of Duty
The next element to prove is that the person who owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident breached it with their negligent behavior. Negligent behavior is any behavior that can be seen as different from how a reasonable individual would act if placed in the same situation with the same duty of care.
Breaching a duty of care can happen through action, the omission of action, or by acting without the due care and attention the situation deserves. Here are some examples:
- A negligent act would be driving while using your mobile phone and causing an accident. A reasonable individual would not be using their phone behind the wheel.
- An omission of an act would be a store owner who fails to put up a wet floor sign after they have mopped the floor and someone slips on the wet floor.
- A lack of due care and attention could be if a doctor has failed to monitor for conditions that they should have monitored.
The third element is proving causation and this means your attorney will need evidence that the accident directly caused your injuries. Proving this usually requires your attorney to find reports from paramedics at the scene or from the hospital in the aftermath of the accident that documents your injuries.
Finally, your attorney will be expected to prove that the injuries you have suffered have directly led to the damages you have incurred as a result.
If you are unsure about the four elements of negligence in regard to your case, don’t worry, your personal injury attorney will be able to advise you and will take over the responsibility. They will take over the investigation and evidence collection and will examine your case in relation to the four elements of negligence.
What to Do After an Accident to Protect Your Chances of a Fair Settlement
Here are the steps you should follow in the aftermath of an accident to protect yourself and to give your personal injury lawyers the best chance of winning a favorable outcome in your personal injury claim.
Prioritize Your Own Safety!
The very first step is to do everything within your power to prioritize your own safety. To begin with, this means checking yourself over for injuries. Take stock of any pain you feel. If you feel pain in your head, neck, back or shoulders, you should remain still and await medical assistance. If people try to move you, do not let them.
If your injuries allow it, move to safety if you are still in danger.
Call For Help!
If anyone on the scene has suffered any injuries whatsoever, you must call for an ambulance immediately. The ambulance team are the only ones truly capable of addressing the injuries at an accident scene. Some injuries can lie hidden or masked by adrenaline and shock, becoming much more serious if they are not addressed immediately.
The ambulance team will also file an accident report, including an unbiased view of what happened and important details, such as the names of those involved and what happened. This can be accessed by your attorney and used as evidence for causation.
If the accident involved a criminal act or happened on the roads, you should always call for the police to attend the scene. They are trained to make traffic accident scenes safe for others and they will address the criminal aspect of the accident. It becomes especially important to call the police if you suspect there was a driver under the influence involved. The police will carry out BAC blood alcohol tests or test for drugs, and these test results are exceptionally strong pieces of evidence.
If there were any witnesses involved, you should speak to them immediately and ask them for their contact details and, if they are willing to give it, a quick statement that you record or write down. Taking a statement is a great way to ensure they remain reliable.
While your health is always the top priority, evidence is a cornerstone of any personal injury or Texas car accident case and if your injuries allow it, you should try and collect as much as possible.
Photographs and videos are powerful evidence so we recommend recording a video of the accident scene and talking over the top, recording what happened in your own words. This creates a piece of evidence that will be extremely strong in your case.
Go to the Hospital
If your accidents did not lead to you requiring an ambulance, you need to get yourself to a hospital for a check-up immediately. Personal injury law is clear, you will need to prove causation in your negligence case, and without medical attention and medical records stating your received medical help close to the accident, the other party may argue your injuries were not caused in the accident.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Following an accident, the sooner you get in touch with a skilled personal injury lawyer, the better. Their job becomes much easier if you give them as much time as possible to investigate, build your case, and calculate your damages.
If you already have an attorney in mind, you should call them at the scene if possible. They may send their own investigative team to the accident to collect evidence and they will advise you on what to say and do, and what not to say and do.
If you have never had the need for a personal injury lawyer before, you will need to do your research and decide who to hire. Make sure you take advantage of the free case consultation that most personal injury lawyers offer to ask important questions.
Make sure they have victories in similar cases to yours under their belts as this ensures they know what they are doing.
Damages You Might Look To Recover in a Personal Injury Claim
One of the most important jobs that a personal injury lawyer will carry out for their clients, is the accurate calculation of their damages. Your damages come in two forms, economic and non-economic.
Your economic damages come with bills and invoices and have cost you or will cost you a physical sum of money.
In the state of Texas, you are entitled to claim back all of your medical expenses when you have been injured through no fault of your own. This means that all medical bills you have had to pay, and all medical bills you may have to pay are recoverable.
If you are going to require long-term treatment, your attorney may need to speak to a medical expert to accurately judge what long-term treatment costs may look like so they can pursue it in your claim.
Loss of Income
One of the most immediately worrying damages that an injury victim will suffer, is a loss of wages while they take time off work to receive treatment and recover. You should not be left out of pocket for lost wages that are not your fault, and your attorney will seek to recover these losses.
Your attorney may also need to consider what a lifetime of missed earning potential might look like if your injuries are so severe that you might not be able to work again, or at least in the same capacity.
Calculating your economic damages is usually relatively straight-forward. Your non-economic damages on the other hand, are much more complex as they are subjective. There are no clear rules on what these damages are worth; they are subjective. This means it will be down to your attorney to place a value on these damages and this is where a skilled and experienced attorney with many victories under their belt will be much better equipped to deal with this.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are often the most substantial of all your damages and are designed to compensate you for physical pain, mental suffering and emotional losses.
They will also consider any loss of enjoyment of life you have suffered. If you can no longer play baseball on the weekends, ride your motorbike or carry your baby daughter on your shoulders, you deserve to be compensated for the loss of enjoyment in your life this is gonna cause.
In the most extreme cases, a victim of a personal injury accident may lose their life and in these situations, the loved ones may claim for wrongful death damages. These damages compensate the families and loved ones of victims and cover funeral bills, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Texas Personal Injury FAQ
As you can see, there are a huge number of variables and factors that affect how long a personal injury lawsuit will take to settle or complete. Your best way of moving through the process smoothly is to seek the help of a skilled, reputable personal injury lawyer, one that can assist you in calculating your damages and investigating what happened.
Under the laws of Texas, you have the right to choose your medical provider following an injury. The only exception to this is if you have been injured at work. In this case, you may have to use your workplace-approved healthcare provider.
Houston Injury Lawyers – A Law Firm Dedicated to Fighting Personal Injury Cases
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, we dedicate our professional time to fighting on behalf of accident victims. We are passionate about helping victims seek the compensation that may be owed to them.
We work on a contingency fee basis, allowing us to pursue compensation for victims without the need for up-front fees. We only take our fees if we win your case, directly from your settlement and never from you personally. This means you can pursue justice with confidence and security.
Take advantage of our free consultation today. We can evaluate your case, answer your questions and advise you on your best course of action. There are no strings attached. If you want to walk away afterward you are free to do so, and at least you will be better informed than you were when you walked in.
Speak to an attorney today at 936-251-5246.