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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How Long Do Most Personal Injury Cases Take in Texas? - Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

Settling a personal injury case as soon as possible is most clients' goal. Depending on the case, the person may want to get their settlement money soon before the bills keep piling up, and although this is sometimes possible, not all cases can be handled the same.


How long does a personal injury claim take to settle? The short answer is: It depends.


Generally speaking, a personal injury lawsuit could take from a few months to two-three years, depending on the circumstances. There are a few factors everyone should keep in mind when filing a personal injury claim, as they will help evaluate how much time their case could take.


This page will explain everything to know about personal injury lawsuit timelines and what people from Texas should expect when talking to a skilled Houston injury law firm.


The Timeline for a Personal Injury Claim

The Timeline for a Personal Injury Claim


The first step in understanding personal injury claims is to look at the average timeline for them. While some cases may not follow the same process, most of them will work similarly.


Here's what the usual personal injury claim process looks like:


Medical Treatment


In most cases, the victim must seek medical help before they file a personal injury claim.


A common mistake in personal injury cases is that victims wait too long before getting medical treatment, which can affect their settlement.


Medical bills often take the biggest part of a person's compensation, so the best thing they can do is get help as soon as possible, gather evidence about the treatment, and use it later with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.


Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney


Here's when the victim should contact a personal injury attorney to review their case. These experts will evaluate all the evidence the victim gathered to determine how much their case is worth.


The personal injury lawyer will also help the victim understand their local personal injury law and set realistic expectations about their case. It's important to work with an expert personal injury lawyer to ensure the best settlement possible.


Negotiating a Settlement with the Insurance Company


Most insurance companies have a big team behind them, so victims who negotiate a settlement on their own will have trouble getting a positive outcome.


It's essential to point out that most insurance companies will try to lowball their clients, as their goal is to save as much money as possible. This is where the personal injury lawyer comes in.


Lawyers will try to negotiate with the insurance company on the victim's behalf in an effort to settle the case outside of court. Many personal injury cases settle outside of court, which saves a lot of time for everyone.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, so if the lawyer isn't able to settle the personal injury case here, they will need to file a proper lawsuit and take the case to a personal injury trial.


Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit


Each state has different rules when it comes to a personal injury case, and Texas isn't the exception. Depending on the circumstances, a personal injury case can go to the trial phase one or two years after filing the lawsuit.


Personal injury lawyers can give the victim realistic expectations surrounding their case timeline, and they will also ensure they file the personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.


In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years.


Discovery, Mediation, and Trial Phase


Once the lawyer files for a personal injury case, all the parties involved will go through three stages, the discovery, mediation, and trial phases.


In the discovery process, both parties will try to determine what the other one has in evidence or arguments. Some common processes include interrogatories between the parties or depositions from witnesses.


The mediation process starts if there are issues in the negotiations between the two parties. Here, a neutral mediator will help both parties reach common ground, although neither of them is obligated to agree to the proposed terms.


Finally, the personal injury case will go to trial. Depending on the case, it could last days, weeks, or months.


What Can Slow a Personal Injury Claim Down?


As mentioned, personal injury lawsuits can get affected by many different factors, making them last longer. Here's what to expect:


Problems with the Case


A few of the factors involved in any case in Texas include liability, damages, the nature of the accident, etc. If any of these is challenging to prove, then the insurance company will be less likely to offer a reasonable amount of money for the damages. This means that the lawyer could take longer to negotiate a better outcome for their client.


If any of the victim's treatment physicians believe they contributed to the accident in any way, for example, the lawyer will have a harder time negotiating a better settlement.


The goal of every attorney is to gather as much evidence as possible to ensure the case goes smoothly. If they don't have enough evidence, then getting a good settlement may not be as easy to get.


Considerable Damages


Another factor that can slow a personal injury lawsuit down is if the accident involved severe injuries/damages. Most of the time, high-value settlements will take longer to get resolved, or they may even get delayed, depending on how complicated they are.


This is because, in those cases, the defendant may not even have enough money to cover the compensation the victim is asking for. There, the lawyer will try to negotiate an appropriate amount that fits the case.


Maximum Medical Improvement


In most cases, the most straightforward way to determine how much a case is worth is to wait until the victim reaches maximum medical improvement.


Reaching a settlement before the victim gets all their medical records and bills may cause them to pay out of pocket for some treatment options.


A physician may send a report to the insurance company or the civil court clerk explaining the victim's prognosis.


In that prognosis, the physician will create an estimate of how much money it could take for the victim to reach maximum medical improvement, which could be used when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.


What If the Victim Wants to Settle as Soon as Possible?

What If the Victim Wants to Settle as Soon as Possible?


While it's ideal for the victim to wait for as long as possible to reach a better settlement, some cases may not be ideal for waiting.


Depending on the case, the victim may want to get money quickly to make up for lost wages or other medical bills. In that case, the victim may choose to negotiate a short settlement.


The downside to this alternative is that the victim may not get as much money as they would have gotten if they had waited. Sometimes, the victim could even get below 50% of what they could have received if their case went to trial.


Another important thing to point out is that most insurance companies will do their best to settle as soon as possible, so they will probably value the case far below its true worth.


While the victim may be eager to accept that offer to get money as quickly as possible, it's recommended for them to get help from a lawyer to negotiate a better offer. An insurance company won't likely have the victim's best interest at heart; the lawyer will.


A professional attorney could help the person negotiate an appropriate amount of money to cover their expenses. While it's encouraged for the victim to be patient and work with their lawyer to receive fair compensation for all the damages caused, going for a short settlement is also an option worth considering if the bills are piling up.


In any case, the victim must talk to their lawyer to evaluate all the available options to see which one is more convenient.


Can a Lawyer Help Settle a Case Faster?


While an attorney won't necessarily speed up the process itself if it goes to trial, they can help get it settled faster. They can answer questions such as, "How is pain and suffering calculated in Texas?" These professionals will gather all the available evidence to support the victim's claims, and they will also use appropriate arguments to negotiate a better settlement offer.


With that being said, it's important to note that a complex case can still take months or years to get solved, even with the help of a lawyer. However, victims will always take more time to solve a case if they try to negotiate themselves instead of seeking legal guidance.


Anyone dealing with a personal injury case must contact an attorney to get the best shot at getting fairly compensated.


Bottom Line - Contact a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer


Going over a personal injury case alone can easily get overwhelming, especially if the person doesn't have enough legal resources to negotiate with the defendant and their insurance company.


Thankfully, that's what lawyers are for. The team at Schuerger Shunnarah is willing to "Go to War" for its clients, ensuring they get the best legal representation possible for their cases. They can advise on questions like, "What percentage do most personal injury lawyers take?"


One thing that makes the lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah special is that they work with former insurance company employees, which means they can use these companies' tricks against them.


Those interested in getting legal advice from an expert should call the people at this law firm and get a free consultation.

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