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The Houston Personal Injury Case Timeline: Initiating A Houston Personal Injury Case


When an individual is injured in an accident by the negligence of another person or party, they may wonder how they can get justice for the trauma and financial costs they have endured as a result. Initiating a court case may seem like a daunting task for a person who has just experienced an accident, and it may be confusing where to turn to for help. It is important for those who are interested in potentially initiating a personal injury case to understand the basics of the legal process.

Seeking Out the Help of an Experienced Houston Injury Attorney

At the outset, it is important for an individual who is potentially interested in initiating a personal injury lawsuit in Houston to contact an experienced Houston injury attorney. Contacting an experienced Houston injury attorney from the beginning can be extremely beneficial to the case. An experienced Houston injury attorney can create a strategy for the particular case and take initial steps, based on their experience, to start the case off on the right foot. An experienced Houston injury attorney will learn their client’s side of the story, order records and get other information for the legal proceedings, and will fight for their client’s rights in court and with the other side.

Filing a Personal Injury Complaint in Court

In order to initiate a personal injury case in Houston, and throughout the United States, an individual must file a legal document called a “complaint” in court. The complaint is the first document in the case, and it sets forth the facts and claims in the case, as well as the “jurisdictional basis” (the facts that show that the complaint can be filed in the particular court) and other legal criteria. The complaint is a short and plain, yet thorough, summary of the facts in the case that form the basis of the claims. The claims will also be plead in the complaint, as well as a request for relief. State and local court rules apply to the complaint, and govern things like where the complaint must be filed, how it must be styled, and other criteria. Typically, there is a filing fee for filing a complaint that is paid to the court. Typically, a summons is also filed along with a complaint, and these documents (along with any other initiating documents, such as a trial schedule, depending on the court) are then served on the other party to the lawsuit. A summons is a legal document that puts the other party on notice of the lawsuit, and demands that they or it answer the lawsuit within the legally mandated period.

After a Houston Personal Injury Complaint is Filed

After service of the complaint and summons has been made on the other party to the lawsuit, the clock starts ticking. Under Texas laws, with some exceptions, a party typically has 20 days to respond to a summons and the allegations in the complaint. The legal document that contains the other party’s response is called an “answer”. The answer will respond to the factual allegations in the complaint and set forth any defenses to the claims.

How to Get Started in Your Houston Personal Injury Case

Because the laws and rules that govern Houston personal injury cases are specific and complicated, it is important for a person who is interested in initiating a Houston personal injury case to get in touch with an experienced Houston injury attorney. The experienced Houston personal injury attorneys at the Gilde Law Firm offer a free and confidential consultation to hear your side of the story and to see if they can help. Contact the Gilde Law Firm today to get started with your free and confidential personal injury consultation.

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