A personal injury claim going to court depends on your type of case, your injuries, and the impact of your injuries on your life. Car accidents most commonly cause personal injuries, but workplace, motorcycle, truck, and sporting accidents are also common when seeking compensation for a personal injury.
Injuries from accidents can range from mild to severe with the possibility of life-altering effects. When settlement negotiations fail, your claim will become a lawsuit; that is when your personal injury claim goes to court.
What Happens When My Claim Goes to Trial?
If you and the at-fault party don’t settle, it may be better to take the case to trial. Taking the case to trial shows the at-fault party you are serious about reaching compensation. The at-fault party may then decide to compromise and ask for renegotiations, but if that does not happen, here is what to expect when you take your case to trial:
- Summons: File a summons against the at-fault party. Your attorney will help you know what court you need to file the summons in. The person will have time to respond to the summons.
- Discovery: Attorneys from each side exchange documentation and information. The attorneys do this so there are no surprises in court.
- Negotiations: As the discovery period ends, the attorneys may enter negotiations again. This is especially true if the attorney sees that one side has a stronger case.
- Mediation: All Texas cases go through mediation before moving to litigation or the actual trial. The two parties involved will meet with a mediator to try and reach a settlement. The mediator can’t pronounce judgment or give advice; they simply oversee the event.
- Settlement: This step only comes into play if both parties are truly willing to settle without going to court. If you accept a settlement, you may be asked to sign a release. The release states you have accepted a settlement, and the case is final. You can’t go back and try to ask for more compensation later.
- Trial: If mediation fails, then your case finally goes to court. A judge or a jury hears civil trials. It depends on what is requested and provided. Your case will be scheduled, but don’t be surprised if it’s rescheduled. Both sides present their evidence, and then the judge or jury decides who was at fault. The judge or jury will also decide how much you receive if the ruling is in your favor.
For a free legal consultation, call 877-239-4878
What Can I Seek Compensation For?
The exact items you will be compensated for depend on your injury and what caused the injury. Typically, there are several areas that you can receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages (from an inability to work during recovery)
- Lost earning capacity (your ability to complete your former job is no longer possible)
- Pain and suffering (mental and emotional toll)
- Lost enjoyment of life (if the injury is bad enough to alter your life completely)
Your Loncar Lyon Jenkins attorney will help you decide what compensation you should ask for and how much to ask for. Some damages are easy to compile, like your medical expenses or lost wages; those expenses have a paper trail. But damages like your mental state for pain and suffering might be more difficult to quantify but no less important.
Should I Settle or Go to Trial?
The choice to settle or go to trial is completely up to you. Your Loncar Lyon Jenkins attorney will guide you through the legal process of each. Your attorney will also make sure you understand the consequences of any decisions you make.
The choice to settle or go to trial should be based on what is best for you and what will help you receive the maximum amount of compensation. If you settle, you may lose the chance for higher compensation.
Insurance companies don’t always give appropriate compensation for pain and suffering. However, if the case goes to trial, you may be more likely to receive better compensation for your pain and suffering. Texas does not have a cap on pain and suffering damages, but be mindful of your evidence as you seek this type of damage.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins
At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we work on a contingency basis which allows you to keep your money instead of paying upfront or hourly legal fees. We will only seek payment if we win or settle your case, and our fees come out of your award, not your pocket. Call to speak with a team member and receive your free case consultation.