Ask a Car Accident Injury Lawyer: How Long Does the Process Take?

A car accident is never a pleasant experience. Not only do you lose access to your primary means of transportation, which can affect your work and home life, but you may also suffer personal injuries as a result. Medical bills and lost wages accumulate while you recover. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you might consider filing a lawsuit to get compensation. How long does this process take? Ask a car accident injury lawyer in San Antonio.

Ask a Car Accident Injury Lawyer in San Antonio: How Long Does the Process Take?

Car Accident Injury Cases May Take a Few Months to Over a Year to Resolve

There is no single timeline for car accident injury lawsuits, but most cases take at least six months to settle. Simple cases with clear evidence may be resolved in less time. More nuanced or complex cases involving other parties could take more than a year. There are several stages to a car accident lawsuit, each with its own timeline. First, you need to speak to a lawyer and share your story.
If your lawyer believes there is a solid case, you’ll file suit and begin the process. A significant amount of back and forth between you and the defendant follows. However, if you have a good lawyer and a strong case, you will likely proceed to negotiate a settlement. Regardless of the nature of your injuries, the sooner you ask a car accident injury lawyer in San Antonio for help, the faster you’ll get a settlement.

How Long Does Each Step in a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit Take?

To get a better idea of how long you may have to wait to receive compensation for your injuries, consider how long each step in the process takes. Some of these steps can happen very quickly, while others can take several months. Ideally, you will settle your case out of court. The total time could easily double if you decide to take your case to trial since courts are booked several months out.
Cars aren’t the only vehicles that can cause an accident. Visit this page to learn more about the other kinds of vehicle accidents that you can file a claim for. The following steps apply to all kinds of automobile injuries.

Initial Consultation and Documentation

The first step in any legal process is to speak to an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will meet with you to discuss the details surrounding your case. You will need to bring as many documents with you as possible to facilitate this process. For example, you should bring details about your vehicle, including the title and latest registration information, as well as your insurance policy.
Bring anything that could corroborate your version of events, including text messages or phone call logs, location tracking data, or the names of witnesses. If you have any medical bills, insurance copay receipts, or were given a citation by police after the accident, bring these documents as well. Your lawyer may ask you to get other documents before proceeding. All of this information will allow your lawyer to decide how likely it is that you’ll receive a settlement.

Filing a Lawsuit and Waiting for a Response

If your injury occurred within the last two years, then your case falls within the Texas State Civil Code’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means that you can proceed to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer will draft this document and review it with you. In the lawsuit, the other driver will be named as the defendant. The lawsuit must be filed at the appropriate court, usually the one that corresponds to the area you reside in.
Once a lawsuit is filed, a process server will attempt to reach the defendant and present them with a notification that they have been named in the lawsuit. The defendant must file an answer with the same court where the lawsuit was filed. If they do not do this, then you could automatically win your case via a “default judgment.” The defendant typically has about 3 weeks to file an answer. Your lawyer will receive a copy of the response.

Negotiating a Settlement and Receiving Payment

In most cases, the defendant also reaches out to a lawyer. The two attorneys will exchange information in a process known as discovery. The discovery process takes several months to complete as lawyers exchange documents back and forth to determine the best course of action. If the defense attorney sees that you have clear evidence to support your claim, they may reach out with an offer to settle the case out of court.
Many times the initial offer will be very low. Defendants might reach out to their insurance company to provide a settlement payment. However, since the minimum liability coverage in Texas is only $30,000, many insurance policies don’t provide enough to cover your injuries fully. Your lawyer may continue to pursue a better settlement until you are satisfied.

Taking a Case to Court

In the event that no agreement can be reached, you may consider taking the case to trial. Be aware that courts are saturated with cases and may not have a trial date available for several months or even more than a year. You will have to wait until the trial to receive compensation, and that’s if your case is ruled in your favor.

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