Every year, over 2 million motorists are involved in car accidents in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Out of this number, at least 50,000 suffer severe injuries, while others involve fatalities. If you find yourself in a car accident in Sugar Land, there are several steps you can take to protect your interests. The majority of these accidents are caused by negligence and a disregard for road safety rules. Consequently, the responsible party can be held liable for the damages and injuries you sustain by filing a car accident claim in Sugar Land.
However, the filing process can be complex, especially when multiple parties or insurance policies are involved. In such cases, it may be challenging to determine who is to blame for the accident. By following the correct procedures immediately after the accident occurs, you are taking the necessary steps to safeguard your legal rights. These procedures include calling the police, seeking medical treatment if necessary, and contacting a car accident lawyer in Sugar Land.
Filing a car accident case in Sugar Land involves several stages and legal procedures that must be followed. Due to their complexity, these cases can take months to years to reach a settlement or court verdict. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial as it ensures the protection of your interests as the victim and helps you effectively present your case. Your lawyer will handle court hearings, prepare and file the necessary legal documents, and represent you by presenting the evidence to the opposing party. The process of filing a car accident case in Sugar Land can be divided into three major phases:
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Being involved in a car accident does not automatically mean that you should immediately file a lawsuit with the court. Instead, you and your lawyer may engage in a fact-finding mission to determine liability and assess damages before involving the court. The success of your case will depend on various factors that need to be addressed prior to filing.
The pre-litigation phase comprises several elements, including:
As you will notice, your lawyer will first attempt to negotiate a fair resolution with the insurance company before pursuing legal action in court. If negotiations do not result in a satisfactory outcome for your case, you will proceed to the next phase.
During the litigation phase, your car accident lawyer will formally file your petition with the court and serve the paperwork on the defendant. To ensure acceptance by the court, your petition should include specific information, such as the defendant’s identity, the appropriate jurisdiction for the lawsuit, and the amount of damages sought.
The litigation phase encompasses everything from filing the lawsuit to the trial and appeal:
By filing a formal lawsuit, you will draft a complaint, pay court fees, and prepare the necessary legal paperwork. While you have the option to file a lawsuit on your own, it is crucial to have an experienced car accident lawyer to avoid mistakes that could lead to case dismissal and the loss of potential compensation.
During the discovery phase, the plaintiff, defendant, and their respective lawyers exchange information, documents, and other evidence. Each lawyer will request written answers to questions and document production from the opposing side. Expert witnesses may also provide reports and undergo deposition examination. Additionally, you may need to respond to a series of interrogatories posed by the defendant.
While witness interviews are conducted in the pre-litigation phase, deposition testimony involves more detailed cross-examination by your lawyer and the opposing lawyer. The parties involved will also provide deposition testimony. Expert witnesses, such as doctors, biomechanical experts, and police officers, will be questioned regarding their reports and the basis for their conclusions.
Not all car accident cases have to go to trial. In fact, a case can be settled through negotiations before or after entering litigation. However, during the litigation phase, parties are more inclined to attempt settlement. The court may also require the parties to participate in mediation, where a third party facilitates negotiation.
While not all car accident cases proceed to trial, some do, depending on the cooperation of the insurance company in settling your case. Sometimes, presenting your claims before a jury of your peers is the most effective way to evaluate your case. The jury will render a verdict for or against you based on how well your personal injury lawyer presents the case. Hence, it is crucial to have qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys with trial experience to effectively present your case to the jury.
At Lone Star Injury Attorneys, our team of car accident lawyers in Sugar Land will provide comprehensive support at every stage of the legal process. We are committed to representing our clients’ best interests and go the extra mile to ensure their needs are met. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started.