Representing the Rights of Injured Individuals Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos
Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos

How Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Work?

lawsuitThousands of car accident claims are filed in San Antonio every year. Depending on your case, claims can be handled very quickly with a car accident settlement or they can be more time consuming. In some cases, it is necessary file a car accident lawsuit in a San Antonio court. Because the legal process can be confusing, here is a brief overview of the timeline for a typical car accident lawsuit that actually ends up in court (few actually do):

  • Free initial consultation. This consists of the first meeting between a qualified personal injury attorney and the injured party. Usually, after assessing the strength of your case and completing any medical treatment, lawyers and insurance adjusters attempt to settle your auto accident claim. If no settlement can be reached, your case may warrant the filing of a lawsuit.
  • Filing of the lawsuit. This involves your attorney assembling the necessary paperwork and filing the documents with the proper court in the right jurisdiction (such as Bexar County). The suit outlines your case and names the defendant(s), who receives a summons from the court.
  • Preliminary motions. After the defendant files a response, the two sides meet to discuss what are known as preliminary motions. These include motions to change the venue, judge, or jurisdiction in the case. They must be decided by a judge who will then set a trial date.
  • Mediation or settlement talks. Usually, the plaintiff and defendant engage in informal settlement talks in an effort to reach an agreement without going to trial. Sometimes, a judge will order the two sides into mediation, which consist of formalized or structured settlement talks. It’s important to note that settlement talks can occur at any time during the auto accident lawsuit.
  • Discovery. This is the phase of the lawsuit where both sides gather evidence and documentation surrounding the accident and its aftermath. During discovery, the plaintiff is generally required to answer questionnaires and/or submit to a deposition, which is where defense lawyers can ask direct questions of the plaintiff (but not in a courtroom).
  • Pretrial motions. These motions focus on different issues than were discussed as part of the preliminary motions. Pretrial motions center around the admissibility of evidence, certification of expert witnesses, and other components of a case that are to be presented at trial.
  • Jury selection. On the date of the trial, plaintiff and defense attorneys will choose a jury who will ultimately decide the case. Sometimes, this step is omitted if the judge will issue the verdict.
  • Trial. This is the phase with which people are most familiar. Both lawyers give opening statements, witnesses give testimony and are cross-examined, evidence is presented. Then the jury hears closing statements from the attorneys and juror instructions by the judge before retiring to deliberate and reach a verdict.
  • Verdict. This is the decision reached by a judge or jury. Many times, the negligent driver is ordered to pay money to the plaintiff.
  • Appeals. If either side is dissatisfied with the verdict, they can try to appeal it to a higher court. If the appeal is granted (and there must be a good reason for this to occur), then the trial court proceedings are reviewed by a higher court.

It is not uncommon for an attorney to reach settlement with the insurance company before a car accident lawsuit is filed. In many cases, attorneys can acquire substantially greater amounts than the insurance company will offer the injured driver directly. Therefore, it is important to seek representation from an experienced accident attorney at the very begging of the claim process.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a car or truck accident in San Antonio, contact our office for a free, initial consultation.

Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C.

1844 Lockhill Selma Rd #102
San Antonio, TX 78213
Phone: (210) 308-8811
Email: info@sanantonioaccidentlawyer.com

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I was in a minor car accident when I first moved to San Antonio. I wasn’t sure if I needed a lawyer but I eventually contacted theLaw Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C. and I’m glad I did. I highly recommend this firm! A.W. - Online Review
★★★★★
Mr. Ramos (Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C.) and his staff were GREAT!! I went to their office after a major car accident, and I was not getting anywhere with the insurance company, He and his staff helped me [get] way more than what I was offered by the insurance company its self. N.G. - Online Review
★★★★★
The people at the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C. couldn’t have been any more helpful. Their friendly service team has so much knowledge to offer when it comes to seeking legal advice in a variety of different subjects. They come highly recommended if anyone is looking for any sort of help! M.C. - Online Review
★★★★★
Mr. Ramos has secured a spot as one of the best trial attorneys in San Antonio. His extensive knowledge of the law, ability to connect with jurors, and his admirable reputation among both judges and attorneys make him an absolute asset to the legal community. If you have the opportunity to retain him as legal counsel, consider it a huge privilege. Daniel J. Palmer - Lawyer in San Antonio, TX
★★★★★
Mr. Ramos and his staff are very diligent and effective in litigating personal injury claims and other torts. His representation of clients have resulted in successful outcomes. I myself will refer any cases that will require litigation and a greater expertise. Jesus Vargas - San Antonio, TX Attorney