What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do in Dallas?

You might wonder whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer after a collision in Dallas, Texas. Since the state is considered “at-fault” for car insurance, you generally have the option to file a legal claim against the driver responsible for your crash.

An attorney can handle your claim from start to finish and aim to increase its value as much as possible. Learn more about how a car accident attorney can help with your case by reading the sections to follow.

Perform an Initial Evaluation of Your Claim

First, your lawyer needs a ballpark estimate of the value of your claim to determine whether they should offer to represent you. For this purpose, they offer free initial consultations to potential clients. 

The lawyer will ask you many questions, and they might even ask you to bring documents to the consultation — such as copies of your medical bills.

Investigate Your Claim

The next step, should you choose to hire the lawyer, is to perform a preliminary claim investigation. To this end, they may interview witnesses, obtain a copy of the police report, examine your medical records, and perhaps visit the scene of the accident. This will allow your lawyer to further refine their estimate of the value of your claim and your chances of winning. 

Your non-economic damages (for example, your pain and suffering) could turn out to be worth more than every other component of your claim combined.

Send a Demand Package to the Insurance Company

A demand letter does what you might guess it does: it notifies the opposing party of your claim, offers basic facts and arguments, and demands compensation. 

Typically, a lawyer will send a demand letter to an insurance company, not the defendant. After all, in most claims, it is the insurance company that will foot most of the bill.

Negotiate Your Claim

The next step is negotiation, unless the opposing party flatly denies your claim and refuses to negotiate. Another approach is to issue a lowball “take it or leave it” offer. If you find yourself facing either of these two scenarios, you might have to file an immediate lawsuit. 

Assuming that the opposing party is willing to negotiate, however, you should let your lawyer do the talking for you.  

File a Lawsuit

If the opposing party refuses to settle, or if the statute of limitations deadline is looming, you might have to file a lawsuit. That doesn’t mean you’ll go to trial, however—settlement negotiations can still continue even after a claim is brought to court.

Conduct Pretrial Discovery

Filing a lawsuit gives you access to the powerful pre-trial discovery procedure. This process allows you to demand evidence from the defendant in the form of testimony, written questions, copies of documents, and access to physical evidence. 

The defendant can demand evidence from you as well. They might even demand that you submit to a medical examination conducted by a doctor of their choice.

You can ask the court to sanction the defendant if they refuse to cooperate, and they can ask the court to sanction you if you refuse to cooperate. 

Participate in Mediation

If you still cannot reach an agreement, consider inviting a third-party mediator to help you reach an amicable solution. The judge will probably be pressuring you to do this, because mediated settlements reduce court dockets.

Draft a Settlement Agreement

Once you have agreed to a settlement in principle, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer can hammer out the exact terms of the agreement that will govern your settlement. Both parties need to sign before the statute of limitations deadline.

Represent You at Trial

As a last resort, you might have to go to trial. Indeed, under certain circumstances, you might prefer a trial. If you seek punitive damages, for example, you might need a trial since defendants almost never agree to settle for punitive damages. 

At trial, your lawyer can help select the jury, give an opening statement, examine and cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, file motions, give a closing statement, and perform other relevant activities.  

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney ASAP

With personal injury lawyers, consultations are almost always free of charge, and there are no upfront fees. In fact, you will pay no legal fees, ever, unless your lawyer wins money for your claim. If you win, your fees will amount to a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Dallas, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Dallas, Texas, and need legal help, contact our Dallas car accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers
2512 State St,
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-1420