If you are injured by another party’s negligence or intentional tort, you can pursue damages under Texas personal injury laws. While most personal injury cases settle through negotiations or mediation with the other parties, some cases go to court. Filing a complaint in civil court is the first step in the litigation process.
Litigation is the process of resolving a dispute through the court system. Personal injury claims are filed in civil court. The attorneys who file personal injury lawsuits are referred to as litigation lawyers.
What Is a Litigation Lawyer in Texas?
A litigation lawyer is an attorney who handles a lawsuit from the beginning through the end of the case. Litigation attorneys are also called litigators.
A litigation attorney representing the injured party has the role of the plaintiff’s lawyer. The plaintiff files a lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages caused by the other party.
Economic damages include medical bills, long-term care, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. The complaint might also seek compensation for pain and suffering (a type of non-economic damages) and punitive damages.
The litigation attorney who represents the alleged at-fault parties is the defense lawyer. In many personal injury cases, litigation lawyers are hired by the insurance company to represent the defendants.
A personal injury case is a civil case. Most civil cases are tried before juries. The jurors listen to the evidence presented by each party to decide whether the plaintiff proved their case “by a preponderance of the evidence.”
What Are the Qualities of a Good Litigation Lawyer?
Choosing the best Austin litigation lawyer for a personal injury case begins with knowing what qualities to look out for. When searching for a personal injury litigation attorney in Austin, keep the following qualities in mind:
- Strong communication skills
- Effective listening skills
- Experience working in Texas personal injury law
- A history of winning cases after arguing the case in court
- Good organizational skills
- Listens to you and responds accordingly to your questions and concerns
- Projects confidence and strength through a collected and calm demeanor
- Well-respected by peers and past clients
- Strong negotiating skills
When you choose a personal injury attorney, experience matters. However, don’t just look for a lawyer with experience in personal injury law. You need a lawyer who has extensive experience handling your specific type of personal injury case.
For example, if a family member died in a construction accident, choosing a wrongful death lawyer with experience handling construction accident claims would be best. Likewise, if a defective product caused your injury, search for a product liability lawyer who has handled claims involving the same or similar defective products.
What Does a Litigator Do in an Austin Personal Injury Case?
A litigation lawyer’s job begins when the client hires them to handle a personal injury case. Litigators are essential throughout the entire claims process.
Experienced Austin personal injury lawyers are aggressive negotiators and seasoned litigators. Therefore, they diligently try to settle cases for their clients through settlement negotiations. However, if the other party refuses to negotiate in good faith, the attorney is prepared to take the case to trial.
Before a litigation lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney gathers as much information about the case as possible. They analyze the evidence, current case law, statutes, and other elements relevant to the case. The attorney determines the case’s strengths and weaknesses that could impact a trial’s outcome.
Then, the lawyer develops a case strategy to demand damages from the opposing party. The goal is to obtain compensation that makes the injured victim whole again as best as possible. Based on this information, a litigation lawyer may recommend accepting a settlement or taking the case to court.
What Is the Role of a Litigation Attorney in Your Personal Injury Case?
Your litigation attorney takes numerous steps to give you the best possible outcome for your case. Your lawyer plays an intricate role in every aspect of the process. The phases of a personal injury case include:
- Meeting with a client for a free consultation
- Investigating the claim to determine how the client was injured
- Gathering evidence proving causation, fault, and liability
- Documenting damages to calculate the value of the case
- Making an initial settlement offer
- Settlement negotiations
- Entering a settlement agreement
- Negotiating payoffs of subrogation claims and medical liens
- Disbursing the funds to the client by using a new settlement check
When at-fault parties and their insurance companies refuse to settle a claim for a fair amount, a litigation lawyer may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit. If so, the steps in a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Filing a complaint and other pleadings
- Discovery phase
- Mediation or settlement negotiations
- Pre-trial motions
Each personal injury case is unique. Therefore, the timeline and process for your personal injury case might include additional steps.
Remember, personal injury cases are subject to Texas statutes of limitations. Therefore, your time to file a lawsuit is limited. Contacting an Austin personal injury lawyer for advice as soon as possible is in your best interest.