When you enlist the services of a Houston personal Injury attorney for your injury case, it is a good idea to bear in mind that during the case process, there are many facets of this particular area of law that needs to be covered by your attorney. Being aware of this will prepare you for the length of time that the case may be drawn out to, as it is not uncommon for a personal injury case to stretch out for up to 2 years or more.
First and foremost is the issue of settlement. Are you willing to take the first settlement offer from the insurance company? Is the offer a fair one? If your Houston personal injury attorney deems the offer to be unfair to you, the suffered party will be advised to reject the offer and fight for a settlement that is more suitable and fair.
You must be willing to put your trust in your personal injury attorney and be prepared to wait years if necessary in order to get a fair settlement. If your Houston personal injury attorney believes you have a strong case against those who have caused you bodily harm, they will work tirelessly to see it through to the end. Jorge L. Gomez, founder of the Gomez Law Firm, has litigated thousands of personal injury cases over a 15 years and has often spent 1 to 2 year periods of time working on a case to get the best result for his clients. So what happens during a case to make it last so long?
It’s important that before you do anything else, you make sure your injury is evaluated properly by a doctor to ensure that the seriousness of the injury and the effect upon the life of your family and yourself is correctly gauged. This helps in getting the settlement you deserve. Unfortunately, as doctors are not able to give their opinion on the seriousness of the injury until it has stabilized, this stage alone can take months or in some cases a year or more. It is a VITAL stage in your personal injury case preparation.
This stage alone can also last up to 6 months or more in some cases. During this period, your Houston personal injury lawyer will work with the lawyer of the opposite party to learn all about the case. Disclosure agreements are exchanged as well as information concerning witnesses and facts along with a list of all the experts involved. At this stage you will be asked to produce certain documents such as medical records, bills and insurance policies.
A deposition involves the other party’s lawyer questioning you while you are under oath in a court of law, during which time a court reporter types and records everything being said. Don’t worry about this stage as your Houston personal injury lawyer will sit down with you prior to court date and prepare you for questioning. Your personal injury lawyer will also defend you when you are faced with particularly harassing questions.
Before a case can go to trial, mediation is an often required stage that must take place with a trained mediator. Mediators are neutral and it is their job to go over the case and its details with both parties in order to help guide them to a potential settlement agreement. If no settlement is reached or if the settlement on offer is unacceptable, your Houston personal injury attorney will advise you so and suggest that you continue on to court.
This stage is the natural follow-up of the settlement process if the settlement is not reached. As mentioned before, if the settlement is not what you think you deserve, don’t accept it. Take the case to trial and a Houston personal injury attorney such as Jorge L. Gomez from the Gomez Law Firm will represent you and make sure that justice is served. Trials usually take up to six months to schedule on the court’s docket; however each trial takes around 2 days to 2 weeks.
You may still be offered a settlement during the trial, in which case you could settle immediately with the other party, or continue.
In order for you and your Houston personal injury lawyer to get the best possible settlement, it is often necessary to draw the case out over a few months. This gives you better bargaining power. However, litigation is an expensive process that sometimes bears no fruit, despite the length of time involved. Just because your case takes longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean its going to produce the required results.
One thing that is great about personal injury attorneys is that they don’t require that you pay them from your own pocket. It’s normal for other lawyers to receive legal fees upfront, however personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, whereby they receive their payment from the settlement you receive. Once the trial has ended and the case successfully concluded, your personal injury attorney will take a certain percentage of the settlement. No settlement – no pay, it’s as simple as that which means personal injury lawyers are results driven and will stop at nothing to get the right result for you.
When conducting a search for a Houston personal injury lawyer, obviously it is best to stick to your area as the attorney will be familiar with Judges and courtrooms in that area and will work more efficiently as a result. Meet with them and discuss the length of time it may take to see your case through to completion. During discussions, ensure that you request frequent updates as to the development of the case.
Upon meeting your Houston personal injury attorney for the first time, there are some issues that should be addressed immediately to save any confusion at a later date. These are:
• Time – How long will it take for experts to examine your accident and extract all the necessary evidence?
• Health Care Provider Payments – Is the personal injury lawyer able to arrange for later payments of your health care provider.
• Resources – Does he or she possess the necessary time and resources to successfully see your case through to completion?
Once you have found a Houston personal injury lawyer you feel comfortable with, be prepared to wait a substantial amount of time to see results. An experienced personal injury attorney such as Jorge L. Gomez may take months or even years to see your case through the legal system to completion.
However, despite the time taken, representation from Jorge L. Gomez is of the highest quality and will more than likely see the desired results for you and your family in Houston, Texas.