Waiting for answers can feel exhausting if you have an injury claim in Texas. You may seek out treatment for your injury, but you’re still on the hook to pay for your doctor bills, wages lost, and hospital bills. You still endure the pain and suffering the accident caused. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit and finding a resolution does take time. Let’s look at a personal injury lawsuit timeline and get an idea of when you will finally receive compensation. 

Step 1: Find an Experienced Attorney (1-6 months)

The first step in any lawsuit is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Many give free initial consultations so you can be sure they are a good fit for you. Your attorney is the only person who will truly be on your side during the entire experience you’re going through. 

Without an attorney, it can feel overwhelming to navigate the judicial processes. An attorney spends their working hours moving your case along, meeting deadlines for motions and petitions, and ensuring that your voice is heard. 

Step 2: Investigation (1-6 months)

Your attorney will speak with you extensively about your case and gather all relevant information including your:

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Evidence of what happened
  • Police reports

Gather all of the information you have to show that you were not at fault and that someone else is at fault for your injuries. Now is the time to help your attorney understand what happened and why you deserve compensation. Knowing all of the pertinent facts helps your attorney as they prepare for negotiations. If your injury is minor, you may move forward much sooner than 6 months.

Step 3: Negotiations (up to 2 years)

Once you have finished treatment for your injuries or understand more fully the treatments you may need for life, it is time to move forward with your case. Usually, at this point, your attorney will send a demand letter to the at-fault organization or person.

Usually, insurance companies want to settle your claim in personal injury cases. Even an individual may entertain settling with you for a negotiated amount. There is usually a back and forth negotiation process that your attorney will go through with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster or attorney. 

The demand letter is a fair representation of your losses and sets forth what you expect as a fair settlement to cover your injury-related costs and pain and suffering. Once the insurance company receives your demand letter, they can react to your demands

If they accept that their client was liable for your personal injury, they will accept your settlement terms or send back a counter-offer. These are called settlement negotiations and they may last for several months. However, patience pays off here, You do not want to accept a low ball offer just because you feel desperate. 

Work with your attorney to get the best settlement offer. Your attorney knows what a fair personal injury compensation should be in your situation. Your attorney calculates what you should receive based on accepted practices. Their experience is on your side, so ensure a good outcome by following their advice.

If the insurance company denies your claim outright or you can’t agree on a settlement, your attorney may advise you to file the lawsuit.

Step 4: File Lawsuit (File before Year 3)

Filing your lawsuit is the next logical step. This alerts the courts and the person or organizations that you are filing against. Your attorney will work with you to file the lawsuit ensuring correct details about your case. 

Statute of limitations laws for personal injury cases give you two years from your injury date to file your lawsuit in Texas’ civil court system. So, if you spend a year in the hospital, arrive home depressed, hire an attorney to negotiate, and get nowhere, you can still decide to file after 23 months have passed. The two years give you time to let your attorney negotiate and for you to heal. If the settlement agreement is not reached, you may file a lawsuit.

Step 5: Discovery (6-12 months)

After you’ve filed the lawsuit with your attorney, there is more investigation of the factors in the case. Your attorney will talk with many individuals about your case trying to gather proof to support your demand letter’s case for compensation. Your attorney will also take recorded sworn depositions from:

  • Witnesses
  • Experts
  • Medical doctors
  • Police officers

After both sides have gathered evidence and shared their findings, your attorney may again negotiate for a settlement. You may even agree to arbitration or mediation where a 3rd party helps to settle the case. 

However, if the compensation offered is unfair and your attorney recommends going to court, their experience tells them that you deserve more. After all of the negotiations and filing a lawsuit, most cases still settle, and very few make it all the way to the courtroom. 

Step 6: Trial (6 months)

A trial in Texas before a judge and civil jury can last several days, depending on your injuries and what happened. However, the judicial calendar may force you to wait several months before your trial date. Many events happen before and during a trial, including:

  • Selection of jurors (each attorney has a say)
  • Opening statements by each attorney
  • Witness and expert testimony and then cross-examination
  • Closing arguments by the attorneys 

The jury looks at everything and gives their verdict. With an experienced attorney on your side, your chances of getting fair compensation are good. 

We Can Help

At Jarrett Law, we understand what’s involved in personal injury cases. We listen to you and prepare your case for success. With our legal guidance and representation, we ensure that the negotiations consider all aspects of the case. We keep fighting for your rights, from our initial consultation to your fair compensation. Contact us today and find out how we can help you move forward with hope for your future.