A Claim and a Lawsuit Can Be Different in Length
A car accident claim and a car accident lawsuit should be looked at differently when determining the length they will take in order to be closed. However, both should be handled by an experienced car accident attorney who can help maximize your claim.
Property Damage and Body Damage
When there is a car accident there is property damage to the vehicle and there may be injuries to the driver and passengers. The damage to the vehicle is handled relatively quickly because the monetary value of the vehicle can be determined by the insurance adjuster. Many attorneys do not like to handle car accidents that do not involve bodily injury because they are not as lucrative, but there are car accident attorneys who will handle this for you as a common courtesy. The Law Offices of David Kohm are one of these reputable and experienced car accident law firms.
That handles the claim portion of the car accident, now if you have been injured in a car accident you may have to file a lawsuit and these can take much longer. The reason usually depends on the severity of your injuries and how long it will take for you to recover and if you will have long term pain and suffering.
What is ‘Maximum Medical Improvement’?
Maximum medical improvement is when you have recovered to the point where medical doctors feel as though you can be released from treatment. This doesn’t mean you will stop physical therapy or other treatments, it just means that you are well enough to go back to work if you are now physically able. Typically it takes 4-8 weeks for an injured party to receive a ‘maximum medical improvement’ diagnosis from their doctor.
What is the Demand Package?
A demand package is an offer package that contains all of the medical records and expenses that can be sent to the insurance adjuster. This will take a few weeks to put together which will add to the length of recovering monies. If the insurance company does not approve of the monetary request, then you may have to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit can take substantially longer which is typically measured in multiple months and years depending on the complexity and how hard the insurance company wants to fight it. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to explain to you if a lawsuit is advisable due to what can typically be recovered and your expenses.
What is the process for accident claims or lawsuits?
In the event that the company does not settle during the initial settlement, and disputes are processed then a lawsuit becomes a strong possibility. In many cases there are disputes concerning which party was at fault, some cases are dependant upon the injured persons’ actual injuries and wages lost if work was missed. The actual litigation process differs for each case because there are in fact, many factors to consider.
What are the steps to filing and pursuing a car accident lawsuit in Texas?
The process officially begins in Texas when the attorney for the plaintiff files a petition with a court.
The plaintiff’s attorney will then typically arrange for a copy of the petition to be personally served on the defendant. This phase can take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. This time period depends upon the length of time it takes to find and serve the defendant with the petition by a constable or court sanctioned processor.
The defendant is now required to respond to the petition, and also respond to any discovery questions included with the petition, in a timely manner. The defendant’s deadline for responses can also vary, depending upon whether plaintiff’s attorney is also serving additional discover questions at the same time with the petition.
After the defendant has fully responded to the petition and initial discovery documents, typically additional discovery takes place. This is where each party requests and exchanges information that can and will be used to serve as potential evidence at trial. This discovery process also typically includes depositions of the plaintiff and defendant and witnesses, if necessary. The discovery process as described above typically needs several months to complete, but it can also be extended past a year.
In most cases courts order the parties to mediation prior to trial. Mediation is typically the best opportunity to settle a litigation matter without having to go to trial. Statistically most car accident cases settle in mediation or prior to trial. In a mediation the parties can not be forced to settle the case. However, an experienced mediator in most cases help the parties reach a settlement. If however the case does not settle in mediation then the plaintiff’s attorney will need to prepare the case for trial. Most trials in the north Texas area occur anywhere between a year and a half to three years after a lawsuit has been filed. However, occasionally a case may come to trial either before or after this time period. Since most cases settle around the time of mediation or shortly there after it is important to have an experienced car accident attorney help you with this process in order to achieve the best result.
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