A lawsuit is a legal proceeding initiated by one party against another in a court of law, in which the plaintiff seeks a legal remedy or compensation for harm caused by the defendant’s alleged wrongful conduct.
Process of Filing a Lawsuit in Texas:
- Evaluate the claim: Before filing a lawsuit, it is important to evaluate the claim to determine if there is enough evidence to support the case.
- Statute of limitations: In Texas, there is a statute of limitations that sets a time limit on how long an injured person has to file a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, the time limit is two years from the date of the accident or injury.
- Hire an attorney: It is recommended to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate the legal process and negotiate with insurance companies.
- Complaint: The first step in filing a lawsuit is to draft and file a complaint with the court. The complaint will outline the details of the injury and the damages sought.
- Serve the defendant: The complaint and a summons must be served to the defendant, which informs them that they are being sued and provides them with a copy of the complaint.
- Discovery: Both parties exchange evidence and information through the process of discovery, which includes depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents.
- Mediation or settlement negotiations: Before going to trial, the parties may engage in mediation or settlement negotiations to reach a resolution without going to court.
- Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties will present their evidence and arguments, and a judge or jury will determine the outcome of the case.
- Verdict and damages: If the plaintiff is successful, the judge or jury will issue a verdict and determine the amount of damages that the defendant must pay to the plaintiff.
- Appeals: If either party is not satisfied with the outcome, they may file an appeal and ask a higher court to review the decision.
Studies have shown that in general, individuals who hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them in their case tend to receive larger settlements than those who do not have legal representation. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, the average payout for a personal injury claimant who had legal representation was nearly three and a half times larger than the payout for a claimant without legal representation.
According to the Texas Office of Court Administration, there were 14,719 personal injury lawsuits filed in the state in 2020. This includes cases related to car accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and more.
Of those cases, 9,930 were disposed of, meaning they were either settled, dismissed, or went to trial. The disposition rate for personal injury cases in Texas is relatively high, with over two-thirds of cases being resolved without a trial.