When you must pursue your legal right to compensation for your injuries in a truck accident in Dallas or Fort Worth, you will most likely hear many legal terms discussed that you may not be familiar with. Two that may be used interchangeably are filing a claim and filing a lawsuit. However, these are two separate steps in a truck accident case, and it is important to understand which one you are taking.
What Is a Truck Accident Claim?
Usually, the first step in seeking compensation for your injuries is to file a claim with the insurance companies for the truck driver and trucking company. While you can file your claim on your own, it is best to retain an experienced truck accident attorney to do so on your behalf. Once a claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will investigate your accident and make a determination as to what, if any amount, to offer in settlement. Settlement negotiations would commence, and your case may be settled without the need to go to court. Filing a claim is done outside of the court system.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Dallas/Fort Worth
If the insurance company refuses to offer you what you deserve after you file a claim, you may need to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit is the filing of a complaint against the negligent parties, such as the trucker and trucking company, in a court.
Your lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations to file it expires. Once you file your complaint, your court case will be overseen by a judge assigned to the case. Litigating a case can be a lengthy process. Here are some of the stages of a lawsuit:
- Once your complaint is filed, the parties you sue will file an answer to it.
- After answers to the complaint are filed, your case will go through a lengthy discovery process. This can include answering written questions, requesting the production of documents, and taking depositions of the trucker, trucking company employees, expert witnesses, and you.
- The court may order that the parties attend a mediation or settlement conference to attempt to settle your case.
- Your attorney will engage in settlement negotiations during the litigation process when he believes that this will be helpful. Many cases settle at some point before trial.
- If you are unable to settle your case, your case would be decided at a jury trial.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a truck accident in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help. To learn about your legal options and our extensive experience in these cases, contact us online or call our office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation today.