Timeline for Texas car accident settlements and how they work

Timeline for Texas car accident settlements and how they work

As the victim of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. The process of obtaining a settlement, however, can often seem complicated and drawn out. Knowing what to expect and the general timeline of events can help reduce stress and allow you to focus on your recovery. Talk with a Texas Car Accident Lawyer to get started if you feel you have a case. 

What to Expect After a Car Accident in Texas

After a car accident in Texas, there are several steps you can expect in the process of pursuing a settlement.

Reporting the Accident

The first step is to report the accident to the police and obtain a police report. The police report contains important details about the accident that will be useful for insurance and legal purposes. You should also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Seeking Medical Care

Even if you feel fine after an accident, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries do not become apparent until hours or days after an accident. Seeking prompt medical care will also provide documentation of any injuries for your claim.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

You will likely have to deal with insurance companies on both sides to handle medical bills, vehicle damage, and other losses. It may take weeks or months of negotiation to reach a fair settlement amount. If an agreement cannot be reached, you may need to pursue legal action.

Consulting an Attorney

If negotiations stall or if injuries are serious, consulting with an attorney experienced in car accident cases may be necessary. An attorney can handle negotiations on your behalf, determine a fair settlement amount, and file a personal injury lawsuit if needed. Lawsuits can take 6-18 months to settle, depending on the specifics of the case.

Receiving Your Settlement

Once a settlement is reached through either negotiation or litigation, you will receive the monetary compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, and other accident-related expenses. The entire process from accident to settlement can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. Patience and persistence are key.

Investigating Your Car Accident Claim

Once you've reported your car accident to the police and insurance companies, the next step is investigating your claim. This process determines who is at fault and the compensation you may be owed.

Gathering Evidence

Collect any evidence from the accident scene like photos of vehicle damage, witness contact information, police reports, or traffic camera footage. Get repair or replacement estimates for your vehicle. See a doctor as soon as possible for a checkup and keep records of any medical bills and time off work.

Determining Liability

Your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will investigate to determine who caused the accident. They consider factors like traffic laws, road conditions, and accounts from you, the other driver and any witnesses. If they find the other driver mostly or entirely at fault, their insurance should cover your damages. If liability is disputed or shared, your insurance may have to partially or fully cover costs.

Calculating Your Settlement

Once liability is established, the at-fault insurance company will determine a settlement amount that covers your expenses and compensates you fairly for pain and suffering. Your insurance company and lawyer can negotiate with them to reach a fair settlement. This process can take weeks or months based on the severity of injuries and complexity of the claim.

With the proper evidence and a liability decision in your favor, you have a good chance of recovering costs for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. However, there are no guarantees in the settlement process, so patience and persistence are important. Stay actively involved in your claim to help get the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.

Negotiating a Settlement With Insurance Companies

Once you have evaluated your claim and determined the at-fault party’s insurance company, it is time to begin negotiating a settlement. The settlement process typically involves the following steps:

Submit an Initial Demand Letter

Your attorney will submit an initial demand letter with evidence to support your claim, including:

  • Medical records and bills
  • Witness statements
  • Photos of vehicle damage

The letter will specify a monetary demand to settle the claim. The insurance company will review the demand and evidence to determine their initial offer.

Evaluate the Initial Offer and Counteroffer

The initial offer from the insurance company is typically much lower than the initial demand. Your attorney will evaluate the offer based on the merits of your claim and may submit a counteroffer. This process of negotiating back and forth may continue for some time. Your attorney is advocating on your behalf to maximize the settlement amount.

Attend a Mediation or Settlement Conference (Optional)

If negotiations stall, mediation or a settlement conference may be suggested. This involves meeting with a mediator, who will evaluate the case and try to facilitate a compromise between the two parties. Mediation is non-binding but can be an effective way to resolve the dispute.

Review and Accept the Final Offer

Once a satisfactory offer is made, your attorney will review the final offer with you. If accepted, you will sign a release of liability and the settlement check will be issued, typically within 30 to 60 days. The entire settlement process can take 6 to 18 months in some cases.

Your attorney is working to negotiate the maximum compensation on your behalf while avoiding the time and expense of a trial. Settlement allows both parties to resolve the dispute amicably and avoid further legal costs and uncertainty. With patience and persistence, a fair settlement can be achieved.

If Negotiations Fail, Taking Your Claim to Court

If negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company are unsuccessful, you may need to pursue litigation to recover damages. Taking a claim to court typically follows these steps:

Filing a Lawsuit

To initiate a lawsuit, your attorney will file a complaint with the court stating the facts of your case and the damages you are seeking. The at-fault driver will then have the opportunity to respond to the complaint.


During discovery, both parties exchange information relevant to the case, including police reports, medical records, and witness statements. Depositions may also be conducted, where attorneys can interview parties and witnesses under oath. This process can take 6-18 months.

Motions and Hearings

Either party may file motions to resolve certain issues before trial, such as the validity of evidence. The judge will hold hearings to determine the outcome of motions. Additional motions may delay the trial for up to a year or more.


If the case proceeds to trial, both parties will present arguments and evidence to a judge and jury. The trial can take a few days to a few weeks. The jury will deliberate and return a verdict in your favor or the defendant’s favor. If they find the defendant liable, they will also determine the damages award.

Post-Trial Motions and Appeals

After a verdict, either party can file post-trial motions challenging the outcome or damages award. They can also appeal the decision to a higher court, which can delay final resolution of the case for up to a year or longer.

Taking a claim to court requires patience and persistence. While the process can be lengthy, going to trial may be necessary to recover fair compensation for your injuries when settlement is not possible. An experienced attorney can help guide you through litigation and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Getting Compensation - How Long Does It Take?

Getting Compensation - How Long Does It Take?

After a car accident, you will likely file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your damages. The timeline for reaching a settlement can vary depending on the details of your case.

Typically, less complex cases with clear liability and minimal injuries can settle in a few months. More serious accidents involving severe injuries, disputed fault, or insurance issues often take 6-12 months to resolve. Some factors that determine your timeline include:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation into the accident. Gathering evidence like photos, witness statements, and police reports to establish fault.
  • Filing a lawsuit if liability or damages cannot be agreed upon. Lawsuits add time but help ensure fair compensation.
  • Negotiating with the at-fault party's insurance company. Exchanging settlement offers and counteroffers can be a lengthy process.
  • Completing medical treatment and determining a final prognosis. All injuries and costs must be accounted for before settling.

While waiting for resolution, focus on your recovery. Keep records of all expenses, lost work time and correspondences related to your claim. Your attorney will handle negotiations to get you the maximum settlement in an efficient manner. Though it may take patience, rest assured you will be compensated for your ordeal.

If settlement talks reach an impasse, mediation or arbitration can help facilitate an agreement. As a last resort, taking the case to trial may be required to get the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will advise you on the best path forward based on the details of your unique situation.

With the help of a personal injury lawyer, most car accident cases in Texas are resolved within 9-15 months. Staying actively involved in your claim and cooperating fully with your attorney will help move things along as quickly as possible. Though waiting is difficult, focus on your health and trust that justice will be served.

Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help

Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help

If you have been in a car accident in Texas, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. We have successfully represented many clients in obtaining settlements from insurance companies.

As soon as possible after an accident, you should seek medical attention for any injuries. Be sure to notify the police and exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. Next, contact our law firm to discuss your legal options and the process for pursuing a settlement.

We will launch a thorough investigation into your accident, collecting police reports, medical records, photos of vehicles and the accident scene, and witness statements. We determine liability by analyzing factors like traffic laws, road conditions, and actions of all parties involved. If we find the other driver was negligent or at-fault, their insurance provider is typically responsible for compensating you fairly.

Settlement negotiations with insurance companies can often take 6-18 months. We will submit a demand letter with evidence to support your claim, including costs of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and vehicle damage. The insurance company will review and likely submit a counteroffer. We then negotiate further on your behalf to maximize the settlement amount. If talks break down, we are fully prepared to take the case to court.

Our goal is to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We work on contingency, meaning you owe us no upfront legal fees. We only get paid if we win your case. Don’t delay—contact our office today for a free consultation on your Texas car accident settlement. We are here to answer your questions, review the details of your accident, and start building your case.


The process of pursuing a car accident settlement can be complicated and frustrating. However, by understanding the key steps and timeline involved, you'll be better prepared to navigate the system. While every case is different, you can generally expect the initial stages of filing a claim, conducting an investigation, and determining liability to take 3-6 months. Negotiations and settlement talks may require several months more. Don't get discouraged if it's taking longer than you had hoped. Have patience, continue to document details, and work closely with your legal counsel. Though it can be a long process, staying the course will help ensure you recover fair compensation for your injuries and damages in the end. With time and persistence, justice will be served. Call Fletcher Law for help today.