Texas follows a fault-based system when handling car accident cases, which requires the at-fault driver to pay for the damages that other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians suffer in a crash he or she causes. This system provides you with two main pathways to collect this compensation: filing an insurance claim, or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The lawsuit process is lengthy, and many car accident cases do not proceed to this stage. However, there are certain circumstances in which filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest, especially if you suffer from high amounts of damages.
When Does a Car Accident Case Proceed to Trial?
Sometimes, the insurance process does not end in a favorable outcome. Since it is the insurance company’s responsibility to pay for your damages, it is not in the company’s best interest to pay maximum possible compensation, and you may receive insufficient settlement offers.
The company may also deny your claim altogether, claiming you were at-fault for the accident. In situations where an insurance company denies your claim or provides an insufficient settlement, you may want to proceed to court to have a jury hear your claim and decide whether or not you deserve compensation.
In other cases, you may experience damages that are so high in monetary value that they exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Under these circumstances, your attorney may advise you to enter the lawsuit process directly, since the insurance company is not likely to pay for these damages otherwise.
Even if you do begin the initial filing process for a lawsuit, the vast majority of personal injury claims settle outside of the courtroom. If the at-fault party still refuses to settle or reach a sufficient agreement, it may be in your best interest to proceed to trial.
The Benefits of a Car Accident Trial
While the lawsuit process can be lengthy and time-consuming, entering the courtroom increases your chances of collecting maximum possible compensation. An impartial jury decides your outcome, rather than an insurance company with incompatible interests.
Filing a lawsuit and proceeding to trial during a car accident claim, while often a last resort, is an important investment for your future. You need compensation to recover from extensive injuries that require lifelong care, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and all of the other physical, financial, and emotional impacts of the accident.
In situations where the insurance company or at-fault driver refuses to accept responsibility for your damages, filing a personal injury claim is important to preserving your future recovery.
How Can an Attorney Help Your Claim?
Whether you are filing an insurance claim or want to proceed to a lawsuit, hiring a car accident lawyer to represent your claim is in your case’s best interest. Hiring an attorney can provide several benefits during both pathways to compensation.
- Both the insurance and lawsuit processes require a great deal of negotiation, and most cases settle out of court. Your attorney will advocate for your best interests aggressively during these discussions, ensuring you do not receive a lower settlement than what you need.
- The lawsuit process requires you to understand the Texas court system deeply and file several pieces of paperwork by a strict deadline. Your attorney will have handled numerous cases like yours before, and will guide you through this process so you avoid unnecessary errors or delays.
- Building a case for the courtroom requires knowledge of Texas injury law and the concept of negligence, as well as access to investigative resources you may not have. Your Houston injury attorney will use the full power of his or her network to build a compelling case for your compensation.
From negotiation skills to deep knowledge of Texas law, hiring a lawyer is paramount to achieving maximum possible compensation. If you have not done so already, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.