Timeline of a Personal Injury Case, According to a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured as a result of another person’s negligence, you may decide to pursue compensation for your losses. You can do this by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. 

Personal injury cases are frequently brought after: 

Someone else’s negligence should not cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills or lost wages. Dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury can seem overwhelming, but knowing what to expect can better prepare you for what’s to come. 

The Personal Injury Settlement Timeline 

The Personal Injury Settlement Timeline

Below, we provide a basic timeline of a Dallas personal injury case. While not all claims will follow the same exact outline, this gives you an idea of what you may expect when resolving your legal matter.

An Accident and/or Injury Occurs

You can be going about your daily routine, and in the blink of an eye, everything changes. Accidents and injuries are unpredictable and can have catastrophic consequences. At best, you are inconvenienced by an unexpected accident. At worst, the injury becomes permanent or even fatal. 

It can be difficult and stressful to deal with an accident or injury. If you are able to, you should collect evidence immediately following an accident. Documenting what occurred can make it easier for you to pursue compensation later. 

The following are steps to take in collecting evidence after being injured in an accident: 

  • Call the police and obtain an accident report 
  • Take pictures and videos of any property damage, injuries, and the accident scene 
  • Get copies of IDs, insurance cards, license plate numbers (if it’s a motor vehicle collision), and contact information 
  • Gather witness contact information and statements 
  • Ask for copies of any incident reports 
  • Take notes regarding what occurred during the accident, property conditions, weather conditions, and other relevant information 

Collecting as much information as possible following the incident is beneficial. However, making sure that you get immediate medical attention is most important. 

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

If you are injured in an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should check yourself for injuries, but remember that some injuries may take time to appear following a traumatic event. Allow yourself to be seen by a medical professional even if you do not think you are injured. 

You may sustain whiplash or a concussion following an accident. You may not notice visible signs of these injuries, but an EMT will. Seeking immediate medical attention also helps establish a record of treatment for insurance companies that may later dispute your injuries. 

Consult a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney 

It may be tempting to attempt to negotiate with the insurance company immediately following an accident. You may think you do not need an attorney to handle your case. It is better to be safe than sorry. Contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. 

An attorney will not take your case if they don’t think you require representation. Take a moment to contact a lawyer before dealing with an insurance adjuster. At worst, you took a few minutes to have a free initial consultation. At best, you end up with a better settlement than what the insurance company would have offered you initially. 

Investigate the Claim and Collect Medical Records and Other Evidence

After you consult an attorney and hire them, they will begin conducting an investigation into your personal injury claim and review your case. This investigation involves thoroughly interviewing you about how the accident occurred, your background, your medical conditions, and any medical treatment you received. 

The interview with your attorney may seem very personal at times, but it is important to tell the truth. You should keep your attorney aware of any ongoing medical treatment that you receive. Never hide anything from your lawyer, no matter how irrelevant some details may seem to you. The more information your attorney has about you, the better prepared they will be to represent you. 

File an Insurance Claim or Demand a Settlement

Most personal injury cases are settled before ever reaching the trial stage. A trial can be expensive for attorneys to undertake and time-consuming for clients in need of compensation. However, some cases require a trial to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury lawyer will analyze the facts and determine the best course of action. 

The claim process will vary depending on the type of case you have. After a car accident, a claim will be filed with the insurance company before pursuing a lawsuit. If you slipped and fell in a store, your attorney will deal with their liability insurance carrier. If there is no insurance company involved, your attorney will send a demand letter to the party that caused your injuries. 

If the insurance company or other party makes an offer, your attorney will inform you. Your attorney may also make a counteroffer and negotiate for a higher settlement. 

A Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed

If a settlement cannot be reached, you can file a formal lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit begins the litigation process. 

PreTrial Discovery Begins

Discovery is the process in which both parties exchange information about witnesses and evidence that can be presented at trial. Both parties will submit discovery requests and make any required initial disclosures. Both sides will also respond to interrogatories and take depositions

Mediation and/or Arbitration

After evidence from discovery is collected, the parties will likely try again to reach a settlement agreement. If the attorneys are unable to settle, they may begin the mediation process. In mediation, the mediator does not have the authority to make a binding decision. Instead, they will facilitate negotiations between the parties. 

Arbitration, unlike mediation, is binding. The arbitrator, a neutral third party, will make a final decision on the settlement. 

Personal Injury Trial 

The case will go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. Trials come with uncertainty and can be a lengthy process. Before going to trial, your attorney should discuss the strategy, potential outcomes, and benefits with you.

How Can a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Help with Your Personal Injury Case?

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complicated process. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company, attempt to reach a settlement, and advocate for you at trial if necessary. Contacting the Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers can help put you in a better position to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us now at (214) 855-1420.