top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injury in Texas

The Texas personal injury law allows injured victims to seek financial compensation for the damages incurred following an accident due to another's negligence. However, the legal process requires the affected party to file a claim or lawsuit if they wish to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. 


While it is possible for injured victims to recover compensation under the law, they must adhere to the rules and guidelines for filing a claim or lawsuit, which can be complex and challenging to follow. 


At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we have recovered more than $1 billion in compensatory damages for our clients. We have the expertise and skills to build a strong case and advocate for the victims' rights, ensuring that they get the justice that they deserve. 


Those who are seeking help with filing a personal injury lawsuit in Dallas, Texas, should reach out to us for a free consultation. We will discuss the facts surrounding the case and guide the affected party on their rights and legal options and can advise on how to file a lawsuit for construction accident in Texas.


How to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injury in Texas

How to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injury in Texas


Pursuing civil action to seek compensation after an accident can be a tiring and time-consuming process, which is why many injured victims fail to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. Fortunately, affected parties do not have to go through this ordeal alone. 


By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, injured victims in Texas can adhere to the rules and guidelines surrounding lawsuits in the Lone Star State, increasing their chances of seeking damages. With legal help, the affected parties can also gather evidence to build a strong case and can help explain how to file a lawsuit for slip and fall in Texas.


The following are the key steps injured victims must follow if they wish to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Texas: 


Step #1: Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

While personal injury law in Texas allows the affected parties to file lawsuits without the help of an attorney, it's always in the best interest of the injured victim to seek legal assistance. 


The rules and guidelines surrounding such cases can be complex, often requiring expertise and skills to navigate. Any mistake during the civil process can adversely impact the outcome of the suit.


Besides navigating complex laws, the personal injury lawsuit process involves many hurdles that the injured victims must overcome. It's crucial to adhere to strict deadlines and fulfill the legal requirements for the case to proceed. 


Some affected parties pursue civil action without the help of a law firm to save money on attorney's fees. Legal experts don't recommend this, as insurance companies have their own lawyers representing them and protecting their best interests, which could place the victim at a disadvantage. They need someone to advocate for them and create a level playing field if they wish to make a financial recovery. 


That said, injured victims must understand that attorneys fight most personal injury lawsuits on a contingency basis. Affected parties don't need to worry about paying legal fees, as lawyers often provide services without any upfront payment. 


Instead, attorneys take a certain percentage out of the settlement money if they win the personal injury lawsuit. This makes it easy for injured victims to receive legal assistance without worrying about finances.


Another key thing to remember is that the affected parties must work with lawyers with local expertise, as laws can vary from one municipality or county within Texas to another. For example, a skilled Houston personal injury attorney would be better suited to tackle a car accident case in Space City than in Dallas, TX. 


The lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys don't charge the affected parties when pursuing personal injury cases. They provide top-notch legal representation on a contingency-fee basis and offer a free consultation. 


Plus, there is no obligation to hire, which means that an injured victim can reach out to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their case.


Step #2: Investigate the Claim 

Before the affected party can pursue a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, they must investigate their claim and prove the two critical elements of a suit: liability and damages. 


Proving Liability in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

To have a valid suit, the plaintiff must prove liability. What is it, and how can it impact the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit? 


Whether it is a slip and fall incident or a motor vehicle crash, liability refers to the legal responsibility for the accident. There are four main elements that the injured victims must prove, and these include the following: 


  1. Duty: This refers to the duty of care, which is the legal responsibility of every individual. For example, the law expects drivers to follow the rules of the road and adhere to the traffic guidelines. In a premises liability case, the property owner must exercise their duty of care by ensuring a safe environment for their customers or guests.

  2. Breach: Multiple people could be involved in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the one responsible for the accident or injuries is the individual who breaches their duty of care. A driver who fails to follow the rules of the road, for example, is not only reckless but also putting the lives of others at risk. The law discourages negligence and punishes such people.  

  3. Causation: Proving that the duty of care existed and the negligent party breached it is not enough; the plaintiff (injured victim) must also show that the defendant's reckless actions resulted in their injuries. They must establish the link between the at-fault individual's action/inaction and the affected person's injuries.

  4. Damages: The last element of a personal injury lawsuit is damages, which refers to the losses incurred (in monetary terms) due to the negligent party's reckless actions. 


An injured victim must have a valid claim if they wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. They can submit evidence, such as phone call records, medical files, police reports, and CCTV footage, to prove the defendant's negligence. 


Experienced personal injury lawyers can provide legal guidance and retrieve the necessary documentation to prove liability. They can also contact witnesses, record testimonies, and even hire reputable medical experts to provide their opinions on the victim's physical and mental health. These are all critical to the success of the lawsuit. 


Proving Damages in a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

While establishing duty, breach, and causation is detrimental to successfully fighting a personal injury claim or lawsuit, proving damages is equally important. It shows the losses incurred by the injured victim due to someone else's negligence, creating grounds for seeking financial compensation. 


There are two main types of damages that an affected party may experience after an accident, and these are as follows: 


  1. Economic damages: Also called special damages, economic losses refer to the out-of-pocket expenses incurred after an accident. These may include the following: 

  2. Medical bills (hospital fees, surgery bills, therapy costs, ambulance charges, and future medical expenses, among others)

  3. Lost wages (current loss of income and future earning potential)

  4. Property damage (repair or replacement costs)

  5. Non-economic damages: Also called general damages, non-economic losses refer to the pain and suffering incurred by the injured victim following their accident. These are subjective and may include mental anguish, emotional trauma, and loss of quality of life, among many others.


While it's easy to prove economic damages following an accident by submitting medical records and other important documentation, calculating non-economic losses is far more challenging. 


Besides determining the total compensatory damages, injured victims must also build a strong personal injury case. It's important to understand that the at-fault party and their insurance company may dispute liability and losses, and the affected party must be ready to overcome all legal hurdles.


Step #3: File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

To file a personal injury lawsuit, the injured victim or their attorney must write a formal complaint, which should include the following details: 


  • What the lawsuit is about

  • The series of incidents that led to the accident 

  • Who is responsible

  • The remedy (financial compensation) the injured victim wishes to seek


Besides submitting the necessary documents in court, the plaintiff must also serve a summon to the at-fault party. Failure to adhere to the personal injury lawsuit process can result in case dismissal, adversely impacting the victim's chances of recovering compensation. It's essential to reach out to an experienced attorney for legal help. 


Before the affected party can file a personal injury lawsuit, they must identify the relevant court with jurisdiction over that particular case. For example, those injured in Fort Worth, Texas, would typically pursue the suit in Tarrant County. However, there are some exceptions to this.


Step #4: Prepare for the Discovery Process

When personal injury cases go to court, both parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) must go through the discovery process, which involves exchanging facts, documentation, and information. 


During this stage, the injured victim, at-fault party, and their attorneys get to learn more about the case. Evidence that would typically be inaccessible prior to the lawsuit may now be available. 


As each side gains access to crucial documentation, the personal injury lawsuit process ensures transparency and fairness. There are no surprises, as all parties know the evidence available and must create a legal defense or arguments around it. 


Step #5: Participate in Mediation

Fighting personal injury lawsuits is time-consuming and costly, which is why most cases are resolved outside of the courts. Plus, losing a suit can lead to bad publicity for the insurance company. If the insurer knows that it's in a sticky situation, it will most likely negotiate a settlement. 


Before a personal injury lawsuit proceeds to trial, the civil justice system allows all of the parties involved to come to an agreement. A fair settlement can cover the victim's damages and protect the insurer from the consequences of a legal battle. This stage is also referred to as mediation. 


Prior to trial, a mediator will work with all of the parties involved to attempt to facilitate a settlement. Since they cannot order a resolution, they are only there to act as a communication bridge between the plaintiff and the defendant.  


However, it's up to the victim or the at-fault party's insurance company to decide whether to settle or proceed to trial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can work with the injured and guide them on whether a settlement is the right choice. 


Step #6: Go to Trial and Fight the Personal Injury Lawsuit

During the personal injury lawsuit process, reaching a settlement before proceeding to trial is common. However, due to disagreements or disputes, there may not be a consensus between the parties, which is why they may approach the court to resolve the matters.


When the legal institution sets the date of the trial, both parties must attend the hearing. Each side will have the opportunity to present its side of the story while providing evidence. The jury or the judge will decide the verdict, which could take some time. 


Going to trial can lead to unpredictable results. A successful personal injury lawsuit could result in significant monetary damages, potentially more than if the plaintiff and their lawyer had settled outside of court. However, defense counsel has the right to file an appeal, which could prolong the entire legal process. 


Is the Process of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Different from a Personal Injury Case?

Is the Process of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Different from a Personal Injury Case?


The process of a wrongful death suit is similar to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. However, there are some key differences between the two. 


While both types of civil action help seek monetary compensation for the damages incurred due to another's negligence, the need to file a wrongful death lawsuit can only arise after someone dies. In such situations, the surviving family members may be eligible to pursue the case. For more information, a personal injury law firm in Dallas may be able to help.


Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Complex. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Here to Help!


Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas requires legal skills, know-how, and expertise. While injured victims can seek financial compensation without the assistance of an attorney, any deviations from the process or lack of evidence may result in a case dismissal. 


At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, our personal injury lawyers are like Jedi knights fighting for the rights of injured victims in Dallas, Texas. While we cannot guarantee results, our positive track record speaks for itself. Claimants can call us for a free consultation with our legal dream team!

Comentarios


bottom of page