If you were in a car accident, there are many ways to seek compensation from the at-fault party. A Houston auto accident lawsuit is one option that may work well for your case. Of course, every case is different, so you should discuss your options with your attorney. In this article, we’ll explore some of the general information you need to know to prepare for a car crash lawsuit.
What is a Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit?
Before we get into how to prepare for a Houston auto accident lawsuit, first we should define what a lawsuit is. A lawsuit is different from an insurance claim. With an insurance claim, you go straight to the insurance company to discuss compensation for your accident. A civil lawsuit involves filing a claim with a court of law.
Some car crash lawsuits do go to trial, but most are settled out of court, even if you have already filed a lawsuit. In fact, you can settle your case at practically any time before the jury provides their verdict. Settling is essentially solving the dispute outside of court. In a car accident case, it means you agree to take a certain amount in exchange for dropping the lawsuit and signing a form that says you won’t go after the driver or insurance company for more Houston auto accident compensation again. So, the vast majority of cases never make it to trial, or at least not to the final verdict. However, there is a chance you can go to trial for a car accident personal injury case.
Why File a Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit?
There are many reasons why you might consider filing a Houston auto accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, the most common reason is because you’re not getting anywhere with the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim. After filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, the adjuster investigates and determines whether they think they should pay for the accident as well as the amount. This is all negotiable, which you can either handle on your own, or with the help of an experienced Houston car crash attorney.
Usually these negotiations reach an agreement, especially if you have a seasoned professional advocating on your behalf. However, in other cases the insurance company may deny fault or only offer you a lowball offer. In these cases, you may need to file a lawsuit to collect the compensation you need after your car crash. Sometimes this helps show show the insurance company you mean business and get them to negotiate more fairly. Other times you may need to go to trial and have a judge or jury decide who is at fault and how much compensation you receive.
Preparing for a Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit
There are several things to do before you file a Houston auto accident lawsuit. Preparing in advance can help your case go more smoothly. Here are some things to help you get ready for a car accident lawsuit:
Hire a Houston Car Crash Attorney
If you haven’t already, now is likely the time to hire a Houston car crash attorney. While it is possible for you to represent yourself during a personal injury trial, it helps to have a professional on your side. In most cases, the insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend the other driver if you file a lawsuit. Unless you’re incredibly confident in your legal research and negotiation skills to be able to go up against a professional lawyer, you may want to get an attorney of your own to represent your case.
Investigation Before Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit
It’s essential to complete a thorough investigation of the car crash before filing a lawsuit. You want to have the facts and evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault and that you have injuries caused by the accident. Investigations can include many different things, including talking to witnesses, getting photographs, and even hiring a forensic car accident investigator to help reconstruct the accident. Not only does this give you an idea of how strong your case is, but can also be helpful for getting evidence needed for a car crash trial.
Determining a Fair Houston Auto Accident Compensation Amount
When you file a lawsuit, you need to know the amount you’re asking for. That means you need to calculate the Houston auto accident compensation you need after a car accident. Your attorney can help you come to a total figure for your car accident, as well as a breakdown of damages. This might include things like medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and pain and suffering.
Preparing for the Trial
It’s also helpful to prepare for trial in a variety of ways. For instance, discussing the process with your Houston car crash attorney or practicing your deposition so you know what kinds of questions you might be asked on the stand. This can help you feel calm and confident during the trial.
When Your Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit Goes to Trial
If your Houston auto accident lawsuit goes to trial, there are a few different phases. Knowing these phases can help you prepare in advance for your case. Here are some things you should know:
Discovery Phase of a Car Accident Lawsuit
The discovery phase of a car accident case is where both parties show each other their evidence. This includes depositions from both drivers, statements from witnesses, photographs, and any other evidence you plan to present during a trial. The discovery part of your car accident case is important, and often when the other party notices how strong your case is, they will try to negotiate a settlement to avoid court instead.
The Actual Trial
If you don’t settle out of court, then your case goes to trial. This means presenting your case to a judge and jury as the plaintiff in the case. It starts with opening statements from both lawyers before you both provide evidence and argue your case in court. Once both parties are finished providing their evidence, they each give a closing argument and the jury goes to deliberate the verdict. The verdict says who is liable in the eyes of the court and the amount of damages owed. Keep in mind that, while criminal cases typically require a unanimous vote, civil personal injury cases typically take a majority rule stance to verdicts.
Work with a Houston Car Crash Attorney with Experience – DeSimone Law Office
Fighting a car accident case can be difficult. Hire a legal team with experience to help you with your case. Our team at DeSimone Law Office offers years of experience and have helped with thousands of car crash cases. Our team isn’t afraid to play hardball with insurance adjusters to help you get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch now for a free case evaluation with our lawyers.