The Injured Party Reaches Out To An Attorney
Following the initial incident that leads to injury, the first step a plaintiff will want to seek out the legal guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Our law firm offers free consultations with no obligation to you, so we can determine if you have a case we can help you with. Our team will discuss the details of your case, collect some personal information, and ask about any interactions you have had with insurance companies or police. Once we determine if we can help you, we may decide to do an exploratory investigation. This may include determining if the defendant was insured or if they have the assets needed to cover a settlement. Once it is decided if the case is viable, Attorney Fuller will work with you to come up with the fee agreement for taking on your case. Our law firm doesn’t accept payment until after you get your money!
A Complaint Is Filed Against Defendant
Once it has been determined that you have a legitimate case, Attorney Fuller will file a personal injury complaint in civil court. This complaint will be the first document in your case and will be a clear statement that shows your intention and reasoning for beginning your personal injury claim. This will explain in broad detail your account of what happened leading up to your injury.
After the complaint is officially filed, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to locate and “serve” the defendant’s complaint. This means someone will need to physically deliver the complaint to the defendant in person so that they cannot claim they were unaware of the lawsuit they were facing. This complaint will also include a time and date that they must appear in court.
The Defendant Hires an Attorney
Once the defendant has been served they will be given time to prepare for their initial court date. Most often they will use this time to hire their own attorney. Additionally, the defendant will need to reach out to their insurance company and let them know of the complaint. The insurance company typically will then appoint and pay for a lawyer if the defendant has not already hired one. Defense attorneys are paid by the hour, not under a contingency fee agreement, so if the defendant can afford to pay out-of-pocket, a “losing” case that’s headed for early settlement is not a big deal to the attorney, who will collect pay regardless.
Pre-Trial and “Discovery”
During the pre-trial process, both the defendant and plaintiff will ask each other for evidence and witness information in a phase referred to as “discovery.” Both parties will also speak with a judge to let them know how the case will be handled moving forward. This means whether they agree to mediation or arbitration, and to set a trial date.
This part of a personal injury case can take months or even years to complete. This is because both sides will be working hard to collect the appropriate evidence and information to strengthen their case. You may end up pushing your trial date back multiple times while you continue to build your case.
Once all of these steps have been completed and both sides are ready to move out of the discovery process, the trial will begin. In most cases, you can anticipate this process taking a few days or longer. During your trial, the judge or jury will hear all of the evidence presented to them and decide if the defendant is at-fault for the injuries the plaintiff has suffered. Following a trial, either party can initiate an appeals process that can last from several months to several years. After the appeals process has been exhausted, a losing defendant will be required to pay the damages established at trial or on appeal.
Settlement Is the Most Likely Outcome
Most of the personal injury cases we take on are settled before a trial can begin. This settlement can be reached at any point throughout the personal injury claim process. Attorney Fuller will work with you to decide if a settlement is in your best interest or if pushing forward and going to trial is more advantageous for your specific case.
Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston TX
Attorney Fuller is a seasoned attorney with nearly three decades of experience representing a wide range of clients. This includes individuals who have suffered an injury due to another’s actions, individuals facing criminal charges, those who have been arrested for DWI, individuals who have found themselves in a civil litigation dispute, and those looking for legal guidance in business.
After filling out a client intake form, Attorney Lanease D. Fuller will take appropriate action in your case to help you get the results you are looking for. This includes but is not limited to gathering evidence, going to trial, and earning a settlement that is appropriate for your specific situation. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards settling your case.
LANEASE D. FULLER LAW
4615 S. Frwy St. 820
Houston, TX 77051