Pursuing a legal claim can feel overwhelming, and that’s why your attorney at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law guides you through every step of the process, offering compassion, professionalism, expertise, and trustworthiness. Our approach keeps your interests at the center of decision-making and ensures that you are regularly contacted and kept up to date on your case, and that your questions and concerns are addressed. We have an established reputation for excellent service, and we will strive to earn that in your case.
While the exact timeline and steps in each case vary, here is a general summary of the process you may expect. We encourage you to discuss any questions about this or anything else with your attorney. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
STEPS FOR THE LEGAL PROCESS
click on each step to take you to a detailed process
You are seriously injured, or your loved one is killed in a catastrophe. This incident may occur in a car or truck crash, workplace accident, fire, explosion, fall, medical treatment, or another event that started out as a normal day but turned into the worst day of your life.
STEP 2: CONTACT
You reach out to our law firm through a phone call, website form, online chat, or email. We have a team that will respond immediately via phone, text and/or email. The team will gather injury information, answer basic questions, and forward the information to our lawyers.
STEP 3: ASSESSMENT
We evaluate your case and determine the best way to help you.
STEP 4: RETENTION
If we accept your case, you hire us as your attorney. You sign a written agreement via mobile device, email, or in person. We work on a contingent fee in personal injury and wrongful death cases – you only pay if there is a recovery, and the fee is a percentage of the amount recovered. The details are set out in the Power of Attorney, and we will answer all of your questions about the agreement.
STEP 5: YOUR TEAM
Your case will be assigned to one lead attorney who will handle your case. Within 24 hours of hiring our firm, you will meet your attorney by telephone. Your attorney will provide you his/her direct phone number. Your lawyer will be your primary point of contact for the firm – not a receptionist or secretary. Your attorney will call (or videoconference with) you at regular intervals while your case is pending – at least once a month. You will direct any questions or concerns directly to your attorney. When you call your attorney, if you get voicemail, your call will be returned promptly. If your call is urgent, you can press “0” and ask for help. The legal assistant assigned to your case will be able to assist with many questions. Other staff members will be here to serve you, or summon your attorney in the event of an emergency. Judge Bryant and the firm’s attorney-COO are also here to help with your case.
STEP 6: COLLABORATION
You will work hand-in-hand with your attorney to answer questions about your daily life and provide first-hand information about the accident, your injuries, your personal history, and other relevant subjects. We ask you to send us pictures, paperwork, and other information that will be catalogued into your case file. The more we know about you and how the injury or loss has affected you, the better we can tell your story in court.
STEP 7: NOTICE
We send letters of representation and evidence preservation letters, putting the defendant, insurance companies, and others on notice of our representation and requiring them to preserve documents, photos, video, electronic data, and other evidence related to your case. We inform them that legal representation has commenced, and a lawsuit may be filed.
STEP 8: MEDICAL CARE
If your case involves an injury, you will remain under the care of doctors, physical therapists, medical specialists, and others to ensure that your injuries are treated appropriately. Your attorney will review your progress and help you with issues relating to your medical care. Our attorneys have years of experience helping clients with similar injuries. We can often provide helpful guidance.
STEP 9: INVESTIGATION & DOCUMENTATION
We investigate and work up your case. We identify the defendant(s) and gather police and accident reports, medical records, surveillance videos, photos, witness statements, medical bills, electronic data, insurance information, lost wage verification, and other documentation to establish negligence and show the damages you have suffered. In some cases, we must file a lawsuit right away to prevent the destruction of documents and evidence. We conduct a crash or accident scene investigation, research the defendant’s history of safety or legal violations, and hire an expert, if needed. We research legal statutes and case law to build a powerful claim on your behalf.
We also evaluate the strength of various liability claims, as we often have more than one claim we can bring. Sometimes, we choose to bring some claims but not others. When we present claims, we regularly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our case and our opponent’s case, so that we can do a better job attacking and defending the case.
Our attorneys work hard to fully explain these subjects to you and help you understand all the legal and factual issues that affect liability. These issues affect the ultimate success of a case, and they also have a direct impact on settlement discussions.
STEP 10: DAMAGES
We assess the damages in your case and determine the dollar amount to ask for in economic and non-economic damages. We help you understand these aspects of your case, so you can make an informed decision when the time comes to consider settlement offers.
STEP 11: DEMAND
Your attorney may present a settlement demand in your case, supported by extensive documentation, to defendant’s counsel or insurance companies. This is where your attorney demands financial compensation for you.
STEP 12: NEGOTIATION
Your attorney may negotiate settlement with defense counsel or insurance company representatives to achieve the highest payment possible. Negotiations can be ongoing as your case progresses through the legal system.
STEP 13: OFFER
The defendant’s insurance company may make an offer of settlement. They will often only make their best financial offer after many rounds of lower offers. We seldom receive a best offer as a first offer. Negotiations are usually a process, and they can often involve extensive back and forth trading of offers and counter-offers.
STEP 14: YOUR DECISION
Ultimately, the decision to accept or reject a settlement offer is yours. As lawyers, we can advise you on whether or not we believe the case “has more value,” but that is merely our opinion as to whether or not we believe a jury might award more in damages at trial. You have to decide whether to take the case to court or accept the offer being made.
IF YOUR CASE DOESN’T SETTLE:
STEP 15: LITIGATION
You sue the defendant in court and begin litigation.
STEP 16: DISCOVERY/PRODUCTION
Both the plaintiff and defendant engage in discovery. You will answer written questions or Interrogatories and produce documents and other information. You will also give a deposition, which is testimony before a court reporter, typically recorded on video.
STEP 17: MEDIATION
Both parties can participate in non-binding mediation to attempt to reach a settlement with the assistance of a third party neutral, or Mediator.
STEP 18: TRIAL
Lawyers for both sides present the case in court. You put on evidence (witnesses and documents) and argue the case to the judge or jury. Typically, you will testify in support of your case. In most personal injury cases, the jury decides who wins.
STEP 19: APPEAL
The party losing the case can appeal. This is uncommon.
IF YOU WIN AT TRIAL OR SETTLE:
STEP 20: DISBURSEMENT
Your attorney receives a check for the amount of the settlement or judgment. Out of that check, the attorney will deduct the attorney’s fees, case expenses, and outstanding medical bills and liens. The attorney will write you a check for your share.
STEP 21: THANKS
As your lawyers, we work hard on your behalf throughout the above process. We are grateful for your trust and confidence, and we are confident that you will be happy with our hard work and service.
Disclaimer: This description of the steps in the process of an injury case is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Nor does the information above create an attorney-client relationship. However, we look forward to the opportunity to try to help you. Please contact us today to discuss your potential case.
Attorney Terry Bryant
Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]