Over 2 million motorists are involved in car accidents in the United States every year, with at least 50,000 suffering severe injuries leading to loss of life according to the Department of Transportation. If you find yourself in a car accident, there are various steps you should take to protect your interests. The majority of these accidents are caused by negligence and a disregard for road safety rules, making it possible to sue the responsible party for damages and injuries sustained.
However, the filing process can be complex, particularly when multiple parties or insurance policies are involved. In such cases, determining fault may be challenging. By following the correct procedures immediately after the accident, you are taking the necessary steps to safeguard your legal rights. These procedures include contacting the police, seeking medical treatment if necessary, and consulting with a lawyer regarding the process of filing a car accident case in Missouri City.
Filing an auto accident case in Missouri City involves several stages and legal procedures that must be fulfilled. Due to their complexity, your case may take months or even years to reach a settlement or court verdict. Hiring a local personal injury lawyer is crucial to protecting your interests as the victim and ensuring proper presentation of your case. Your lawyer can handle court hearings, file the necessary legal documents, and present evidence on your behalf to the opposing party. The filing process typically consists of three main phases in the area:
Being involved in a car accident does not automatically mean filing a lawsuit with the court right away. You and your lawyer may conduct a fact-finding mission to determine liability and assess damages before involving the court. The success of your case will depend on addressing various factors before filing your claim.
The pre-litigation phase involves several elements, including:
It’s important to note that your lawyer may attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company before resorting to court proceedings. If negotiations fail to resolve your case, you can proceed to the next phase.
During the litigation phase, your auto accident attorney will formally file your petition with the court and serve the necessary paperwork on the defendant. To ensure acceptance by the court, your petition should include specific information, such as the defendant’s identity, the rationale for filing the lawsuit in that particular court, and the amount of damages being sought.
The litigation phase encompasses everything from filing the lawsuit to the trial and potential appeal:
When filing a formal lawsuit, you will draft a complaint, pay court fees, and prepare the required legal documentation. While it is possible to file a car wreck lawsuit on your own, it is crucial to have an experienced Missouri City attorney to avoid mistakes that could lead to case dismissal and a missed opportunity for compensation.
During the discovery phase, the plaintiff, defendant, and their respective attorneys exchange information, documents, and other evidence. Each attorney submits written questions and requests for document production to the opposing party. Additionally, expert witnesses may present their reports and undergo deposition examinations. It is also likely that you will need to respond to interrogatories, a series of questions from the defendant.
Witness interviews are conducted in the pre-litigation phase, but deposition testimony allows for a more detailed cross-examination by both your attorney and the opposing attorney. The parties involved will also be subjected to depositions. Moreover, expert witnesses from both sides, such as doctors, biomechanical experts, and police officers, will be questioned about their reports and the basis for their conclusions.
Car accident cases do not necessarily have to proceed to trial. In fact, a case can be settled through negotiations before or after litigation begins. However, throughout the litigation process, the parties are more likely to engage in settlement discussions. The court may also require the parties to participate in mediation, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiations between the parties.
Not all car accident cases proceed to trial, but some do. The outcome often depends on the willingness of the insurance company to settle your case. However, in certain situations, it may be advantageous to have your claims evaluated by a jury of your peers. The jury’s verdict, influenced by the effectiveness of your personal injury lawyer’s presentation, will determine the outcome in your favor or against it. This underscores the importance of engaging qualified local injury attorneys who possess trial experience to effectively present your case to a jury.
At Lone Star Injury Attorneys, our team of auto accident lawyers is dedicated to guiding you through every step of filing a car accident case in Missouri City. We strive to provide exceptional representation that prioritizes our clients’ interests. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started.