Getting into an auto wreck can be a life-altering experience. There is usually the risk of suffering catastrophic physical injuries along with emotional distress. They also cause a multitude of financial losses as the injured victim seeks treatment and adjusts to a new way of life. Fortunately, car accident victims in Texas have a unique opportunity to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost income, diminished quality of life, and loss of income-earning ability among others by filing a car accident lawsuit.
When filing a claim, you expect that the party at fault will offer a settlement soon. But unfortunately, this is usually not the case. Many insurance companies are in the business of making profits at the expense of deserving victims. Hence, you should expect a fight from insurance adjusters as they deny your claim or offer a lowball settlement that is not in line with your losses. When negotiations fail to yield a fair settlement, you can always proceed to court. The Brazoria County car accident trial process entails seven major phases:
After establishing that you have a legitimate claim, your attorney’s first job is to properly file your case in court. This entails writing a petition that lays out all your allegations against the other party. For example, it may explain the reason for your petition, what the other party did, the harm you suffered, and the type of outcome you want in regards to your losses. It’s also through this phase that court fees and legal paperwork are filed. The petition is then forwarded to the party you are accusing.
The other party, now called the defendant, will usually have a month or so to answer your allegations. This time frame allows your attorney to locate them and serve the complaint in a manner that can be verified. It also allows the defendant the time to prepare their answers, either accepting or denying your allegations. The papers will contain the dates and location, so the defendant will know where and when to show up in court.
Through the pre-trial stage or discovery, attorneys from both sides will have a chance to exchange evidence and relevant information to help make their case. It is through discovery that your attorney gets to know the strengths, weaknesses, and loopholes in the defense. Discovery during a Brazoria County car accident trial process may take weeks or months depending on your case as it allows both sides to prepare adequately in case the case reaches a full trial.
As part of the discovery, both parties will also have a chance to cross-examined relevant parties such as eyewitnesses. Depositions may happen out of court but are made under oath. Traditionally, the process involves the parties being deposed, attorneys representing the plaintiff and defendant, as well as the person administering the oath. A transcriber will record all the depositions made even if the deposer is not in court in person. For example, arrangements can be made to allow for video conferencing, telephoning, or other means deemed suitable. In case they are needed in person, a subpoena may be issued.
Expert witnesses are unique and very crucial parties in a trial. Their input in your case can greatly affect the outcome. Unlike eyewitnesses, their statements and testimonials are made from a professional point of view. Since they did not see the accident happen, they use their skills and experience in a specific field to help establish more facts about your case, and how you may have been affected. Expert witnesses may include economists, engineers, mental health experts, and doctors.
Before reaching the final phase of the Brazoria County car accident trial process, both parties will be allowed one more time to reach an agreement out of court. A court-appointed mediator will be appointed to help both parties compromise. If no mutual outcome is attained, the case proceeds to trial.
An appointed judge or jury will listen to both parties as they make their opening and closing statements. Arguments will be made and evidence tabled in court. Working with a trial-tested auto wreck attorney simplifies the process for you as it can be very complex. Afterwards, the jury will make deliberations and table their findings. The judge will make a ruling, denying or accepting your claim, at which point the Brazoria County car accident trial process ends.
Negotiating a settlement with insurance companies is one thing, but proceeding to the Brazoria County car accident trial process is entirely different. You need competent legal representation to make a successful case. You should retain our undefeated car accident attorneys today. Contact us to discuss your case.