- About Us
- Practice Areas
- Areas Served
- Contact Us
Get A Free Consultation(832) 449-8230
- About Us
- Practice Areas
- Areas Served
- Contact Us
We’ve all seen countless TV ads for car accident lawyers, but does that mean you actually need one for your accident? Why not just handle it yourself and save the money you’d spend on a lawyer?
Well, personal injury lawyers handle car accident cases for those who have been injured due to another driver’s negligence. They are experienced with the entire claims process, as well as insurance companies’ tactics to pay out as little as possible. Additionally, they are familiar with the best doctors in the area, so if you’re experiencing pain, they can refer you to a doctor to examine you and set up a treatment plan for your injuries.
In short, your lawyer will gather the necessary evidence and present your case to the negligent driver’s insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will file your case in court and handle the legal proceedings. If your case does need to be filed, it can take months or even years longer to resolve. However, many cases are able to be settled without the need for court involvement.
So, while you technically could handle your car accident case on your own, having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can greatly increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer will send out letters to both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company to inform them that you are initiating a claim. After you have completed your medical treatment, your lawyer will collect all bills and records from each of your providers. Additionally, the lawyer will request the police report, camera footage, property damage estimates and reports, and anything else that may be useful in presenting your claim. All of these pieces of evidence will be compiled into what is known as a demand package. The attorney will also write a detailed cover letter to the insurance company, explaining what happened, whose fault it was, and the damages incurred.
In addition to the medical bills, damages may include lost wages, pain and suffering, and any permanent damage to your body. At the end of the demand package, the lawyer will make a demand for what the insurance company should pay. Once the insurance company receives the demand package, an insurance adjuster will contact your lawyer and make an initial offer to settle the case. However, this offer is often low. Your lawyer and the adjuster will engage in negotiations where your lawyer will reduce their demand and the adjuster will increase their offer. Eventually, the adjuster will reach a point where they are not authorized to offer any more money.
At this stage, you have the discretion to either accept or reject the offer. Although your lawyer will provide you with a recommendation, the ultimate decision rests with you. Some attorneys may pressure their clients into accepting a low offer because they are reluctant to take on the work involved in filing a case in court. The quality of an offer is subjective, but many lawyers determine its worth based on what a local jury is likely to award.
If a similar case is expected to receive a significantly higher award from a jury, then it is best to reject the offer and file the case in court. However, if the offer falls within the range of what a jury is likely to award, then it is a wise decision to accept the offer at this point. Filing a case in court necessitates careful attention to state rules.
Civil litigation can be a complicated process with several stages, deadlines, and documents to file. Although the complete rules and procedures can be found in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, let’s focus on the key points. The lawyer begins by filing a petition with the court, which clearly explains what happened in the accident, who is at fault, and the extent of the damages. The Defense typically responds with an Answer, denying everything that the Plaintiff is alleging, including the damages.
The next stage is discovery, where each party provides all the evidence they have to the other side. Both sides send interrogatories, a series of questions, and request for the other side to produce relevant documents. If any request is improper, the party being requested may object and refuse to respond. The parties may also conduct oral questioning of the other party, known as a deposition. After the discovery process ends, the parties are ready for trial. They select a jury, present their evidence, and either a judge or jury decides who is at fault and the damages awarded. The judge enters the final judgment, which details whether the Defendant (usually through their insurance company) owes the Plaintiff any money. The Plaintiff will use that judgment to enforce payment from the Defendant.
The short answer is yes, you can handle your personal injury case on your own, even represent yourself in court. However, the process can be complicated and time-consuming. A mistake or a failure to collect specific evidence could potentially result in not receiving any offer at all. Nonetheless, if you are familiar with the legal process, you may be able to handle your case on your own.
Sometimes, insurance companies may make an offer before you finish your medical treatment. They may offer to pay for your medical bills and offer additional compensation. If you accept this offer, you will forfeit your right to sue later. It can be challenging to determine if an offer is fair without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is why Lone Star Injury Attorneys offers free consultations to potential clients, even if they already have an offer from the insurance company.
A reputable lawyer will only take on a client if they can add value to their case. In other words, they will only take a case if the client will likely end up with more compensation than they would without a lawyer. If you have already received a decent offer, and the lawyer cannot add more value to make up for the attorney’s fees, then the lawyer should advise you to accept the offer. Call our offices today to speak with a seasoned Sugar Land car accident lawyer.
Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLCN/a