After a car accident, what happens if you can’t reach a settlement for your insurance claim? Or what if the other driver’s policy limits won’t cover your damages? In these types of cases, you may need to file a Houston auto accident lawsuit. Unfortunately, many people decide not to file a Houston auto accident lawsuit when they need to.
Insurance adjusters know that most people are reluctant to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Therefore, many will offer lowball settlement amounts and refuse to budge. However, most adjusters want to avoid lawsuits. Therefore, suing after a car accident may help show them it’s in the insurance company’s best interest to settle. While car accident cases rarely make it to trial, sometimes it’s the best option to receive compensation. Your Houston auto accident attorney can help you decide whether you should file a lawsuit for your case. Here is some information about car accident lawsuits and how to prepare for them:
How does a Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit Differ from an Auto Insurance Claim?
Many people aren’t sure what the difference is between an auto insurance claim and a Houston auto accident lawsuit. An auto insurance claim involves working with the insurance adjuster to receive compensation for your accident-related damages. If you agree on an amount, this is called a settlement. The insurance then pays you the amount which you can use for your damages, medical bills, and other expenses.
In most cases, your car accident claim will end with a settlement. Your car accident lawyer works with the adjuster to help negotiate for fair compensation. Therefore, there’s often no need to file a lawsuit after a car crash. However, in some cases, if negotiations don’t work and you can’t come to an agreement with the insurance company, then you may need to file a lawsuit.
By contrast, a Houston auto accident lawsuit involves the court system. During a car accident lawsuit, you and the other driver provide evidence of the car accident. Then, either a jury or a judge decides whether the other person will give you the amount you’re asking for. However, after filing a Houston auto accident lawsuit, the other driver may decide to settle outside of court. This means that you both agree to certain terms and then you drop your lawsuit. In any case, from insurance settlements to lawsuits, your Houston auto accident attorney fights for your rights and helps you throughout the process.
Filing a lawsuit can be a catalyst for the insurance company to work with you to reach a settlement amount. Insurance companies usually want to avoid the time and money associated with car accident lawsuits. Therefore, people often receive a fair settlement after filing a car crash lawsuit.
How Your Car Accident Lawyer Helps You Prepare for Your Lawsuit
Once you decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver, your attorney thoroughly looks at your case to determine how strong your evidence is. Your Houston auto accident attorney will gather evidence and information to support your claim in court. Then, they’ll help you file your complaint against the negligent driver.
After the other driver responds, then your case will go through the discovery process. During the discovery process, you and the other driver exchange information about the crash. This helps your Houston auto accident attorney learn how strong their case is and what evidence they have.
Often, this process can help you reach a settlement agreement with the other driver’s insurance, as they can see how strong your argument is. Therefore, your attorney may also negotiate with the defendant for settlement all the way up until a verdict is passed down.
If you still aren’t able to reach a fair settlement amount, then you will go to court where your attorney will make your case. While most auto accidents end in settlement, rather than a lawsuit judgement, it’s best to keep all your options open to receive the compensation you deserve.
When Can I file a Houston Auto Accident Lawsuit?
Generally, most people wait until after negotiations on their accident claim have failed to file a Houston auto accident lawsuit. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car crash. This is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for most car accident lawsuits is two years after the date of the accident. For example, if you get in an accident on September 10, 2020, then you usually have until September 10, 2022, to file a lawsuit. Therefore, you should keep this in mind as you determine your options after a car accident.
Another common question is whether you can sue an insurance company after they pay out your claim. Many people settle their claim quickly to receive compensation as soon as possible, but then realize the amount doesn’t cover their accident-related expenses. You might think it would be best to have your Houston auto accident attorney file a lawsuit against the other driver if this occurs, but this is often not an option.
After you reach a settlement amount with the insurance adjuster, you usually must sign a release of all claims form before they send you a settlement check. This form says that you cannot seek further compensation from your accident. Often, people sign this release without even realizing what it means, leaving them with out of pocket expenses. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced attorney during the claims process even if you don’t plan on filing a lawsuit.
Hire a Houston Auto Accident Attorney who will Advocate for Your Rights
At DeSimone Law Office, our experienced Houston auto accidents lawyers help you through the claims and legal processes after a car accident. We specialize in traffic accident and personal accident injury cases. When you need a lawyer after a car crash, we are here to help. We’ll even cover your out of pocket expenses until we win your case. Call us today at (713) 526-0900 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. We are here to serve you.