How to File a Personal Injury Case
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The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Case in Texas
Houston has one of the largest populations of any city in the country and is home to a large number of businesses, however because of the large population, thousands of personal injury accidents occur in Houston every year. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, whether it is caused by a careless doctor or a reckless driver, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices may be able to assist you in filing your personal injury claim.
What is the Process For Filing a Personal Injury Case?
After someone has been injured in a personal injury case, the first thing that they will do is hire an attorney. The attorney will get the process started by following three steps. First, the attorney will identify the legal cause of action and theory of liability. Second, he will identify the defendant and put them on notice of the claim. Finally, he will petition the proper court of the pending suit.
Identifying the Cause of Action and Theory of Liability
The first thing an attorney will do in a personal injury case is determine what the cause of action is. An attorney will do this by asking you questions about the facts of your case, as well as doing independent research to obtain any other relevant facts.
For example, imagine you were injured in a car accident by a driver who ran a stop sign. The attorney would ask you to describe the events as best as you could remember them and ask you about any injuries you suffered as a result of the accident as well as what medical treatment you had received. He would then likely visit the scene of the accident to ascertain any other relevant facts, like if the stop sign was clearly visible or hidden behind something. In this case, the attorney would pursue a negligence cause of action against other driver.
The attorney would next determine if there are any theories of liability that could be used to hold the defendant liable. For instance, if the person that hit you was a delivery driver, then his employer could be held liable for your injuries under the theory of respondeat superior.
Identify the Defendant and Put Them on Notice
The second step that an attorney will take is to identify the proper defendant or defendants and put them on notice. While this can sometimes be fairly obvious, in many cases it is an incredibly complex question that of which our attorneys can help you assess.
Imagine you are sitting at a stop light on Ewing Street and are rear-ended because the other driver was texting and failed to stop. Obviously, in this case the other driver would be liable to you, however it is not always this easy to determine liability.
For example, let’s say that the same situation occurred except that the driver who hit you was not using their phone at the time of the accident. They did their best to observe every traffic law, but for some reason when they attempted to use their brakes, the car did not stop. Who is liable in this situation?
In a scenario like this one, there could be numerous people who are responsible for your injuries. The auto manufacturer may be responsible for creating a defective product which led to the brakes malfunctioning. Or perhaps the driver had their car serviced at by a local mechanic who negligently repaired the brakes or negligently altered the braking system.
Once the all of the proper defendant have been identified, the attorney will then put them on notice of your claim. It will let them know that you were injured and that you are seeking to hold them liable for their injuries, and if necessary, take them to court and sue them.
Petitioning the Court
The final step in the process is for out attorneys to petition the proper court and give them notice of the claim. This step will be taken if after speaking with the defendant and his attorneys, they are not willing to settle and we have to file suit in court. The attorney would be able to determine whether to file the suit in state or federal court as well as then make the determination as to which specific state or federal court has jurisdiction to hear the case.
You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
This article has given a very general overview of the process involved with filing a personal injury case, however there are many more specific details that must be addressed in orde