Deciding to accept or reject a settlement offer after a car accident in Texas is a major decision that affects your finances and recovery. This guide will examine the key considerations if you’re thinking of refusing an offer. You’ll learn about assessing your damages and the negotiation process, where experienced lawyers are essential.

Feeling unsure about a settlement offer is common. The first offer might seem quick and easy, but it might only partially compensate for your losses. Rejecting this offer and negotiating further can often secure a settlement that reflects your true damages. This decision should be made with a thorough understanding of Texas liability laws and a competent personal injury attorney’s advice.

This guide will explain the process after you refuse an offer. It will also prepare you for going to trial, where the risks and potential benefits are greater. Each section aims to provide the knowledge and strategies needed to make a well-informed choice on handling your settlement offer in Texas.

What Happens If You Refuse a Settlement Offer in Texas?

Refusing a settlement offer after a car accident in Texas initiates a complex series of negotiations and legal moves. These can significantly influence the compensation you ultimately receive. This critical decision should not be made lightly. It sets the stage for potentially intensive legal strategies. These involve meticulous planning, detailed evidence collection, and possibly, entering mediation or arbitration before any trial proceedings. 

Let us explore the steps that follow when a settlement offer is declined. Understanding these steps will give you the knowledge to navigate this process well. It will ensure your rights are protected and your potential for compensation is maximized.

#1 Continued Negotiations 

If the initial offer does not adequately cover your damages, your attorney will engage in further negotiations. Using all available evidence, your legal team will advocate strongly on your behalf. This may involve:

  • Reassessment of Damages: Your lawyer will reevaluate the financial, physical, and emotional impacts of your injury. They will ensure the demand reflects your suffering and losses fully.
  • Strategic Use of Evidence: This includes presenting detailed medical records and expert testimonies. Also, show any other important information that supports your claim. The goal is to strengthen your position and encourage the insurance company to increase its offer.
  • Counteroffers: If necessary, your lawyer will submit a counteroffer that better reflects your damages and begins a new round of negotiations.

These steps are part of a dynamic and repeating process where your attorney actively advocates for your best interests. They will aim to secure a fair settlement that fully addresses your damages. This might take several rounds of negotiation where each side presents their evidence and adjusts their demands.

#2 Discovery and Evidence Gathering 

The discovery phase is a foundational element of preparing for trial. It involves the meticulous collection and analysis of evidence. This stage is crucial for establishing the strength of your claim and laying the groundwork for negotiations and trial presentations. Here’s a detailed exploration of what this phase entails: 

Medical Documentation

Medical records are collected to document the injuries caused by the accident and the treatments needed, both immediately and in the future. This includes initial evaluations, detailed follow-ups, and assessments that show the possible long-term effects of the injuries. Records from specialist consultations are especially important as they give more information about medical problems and help predict future medical requirements and expenses.

Expert Testimony 

Expert witnesses such as medical professionals, life care planners, and vocational experts offer critical testimonies that enhance the understanding of the case. Medical experts explain the nature of the injuries and the necessary treatments. Life care planners estimate future medical expenses. Vocational experts discuss the injuries’ impact on the plaintiff’s job capabilities. They also discuss the plaintiff’s potential future earnings.

Accident Reconstruction 

Specialists in accident reconstruction play a key role in clarifying the dynamics of the crash. They use accident scene data to recreate the event. This provides insights into the causes and factors of the accident. This analysis helps to show who is liable. It does this by illustrating how each party may have caused the incident.

Witness Statements 

Collecting detailed statements from eyewitnesses provides more views on the accident. They give evidence that agrees or disagrees with the claims of the involved parties. Beyond eyewitnesses, we need statements from character witnesses. They can attest to the plaintiff’s condition before and after the accident. These statements show the accident’s impact on the plaintiff’s life.

Documentation and Analysis 

Organizing and analyzing the collected evidence is critical. This helps in preparing for negotiations and court presentations. It also helps in planning the best approach based on the evidence’s strengths and weaknesses. Before the trial, lawyers talk with experts and witnesses. They do this to make sure their testimonies will support the case. They work to make sure the testimonies fit the narrative being built for the trial.

Discovering and gathering evidence demands precision. It also needs strategic planning. The goal is to build a compelling case. It must be supported by irrefutable evidence that can withstand the scrutiny of negotiation tables and the courtroom. This phase sets the tone for how well the arguments and claims will hold up. It greatly influences the potential trial outcomes. Each piece of evidence, from medical records to expert testimonies and witness statements, plays a pivotal role in crafting a strong, convincing case that accurately reflects the complexities and nuances of the incident.

#3 Mediation or Arbitration 

When direct negotiations stall, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation and arbitration offer effective paths to agreement.  They avoid the complexities and costs of court trials. Both mediation and arbitration involve neutral third parties. They help facilitate or decide the outcome. But, their roles and the formality of the processes differ a lot. 


This involves a neutral third party who facilitates a discussion between both sides to try and reach an agreement. It’s a non-binding process, meaning the mediator cannot impose a decision. Mediation is flexible and confidential. It often leads to cost-effective and successful resolutions without trials. 


Unlike mediation, arbitration involves a neutral third party making a decision after hearing arguments from both sides. The arbitrator’s decision is usually binding and can only be challenged in court under extreme circumstances. This process is faster and generally less expensive than going to trial.

#4 Preparation for Trial 

If negotiations and alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) such as mediation or arbitration fail to resolve the conflict, trial preparation is the next step. This stage is critical as it sets the groundwork for how your case will be presented in court. It will greatly impact the potential outcomes significantly. Here’s a detailed look at what preparation for trial typically involves:

  • Developing a Case Strategy: This involves creating a comprehensive strategy that includes identifying the key points of contention, planning how to effectively present these issues, and deciding the order in which witnesses will be called.
  • Mock Trials: Conducting mock trials to gauge how certain arguments and pieces of evidence will likely be received by a real jury. This can also help refine your case presentation.
  • Jury Selection: Participating in the jury selection process to ensure a fair trial. This involves assessing potential jurors for biases that may affect their judgment.
  • Trial Presentation: Preparing opening statements, witness examination, closing arguments, and rebuttals to anticipate and counter the opposition’s claims.

Each of these components requires meticulous planning and a strategic approach. Your legal team’s skills in orchestrating these elements can be the difference between winning and losing your case. Preparing for trial is a big task. It involves not just readying your case. It also involves strategically anticipating and countering the moves of the opposition.

What to Expect After the Trial

Navigating the aftermath of a trial can be as critical as the preparation leading up to it. This section explores what happens once the court has reached a verdict. Understanding these final phases is essential for effectively managing the outcomes and ensuring that any favorable verdict translates into tangible benefits. Being well-informed about these processes will help you secure and protect your awarded compensation.

Post-Trial Motions and Appeals

After a verdict is reached, the trial may not be the end of the legal journey. The losing party has the opportunity to file post-trial motions that could alter the outcome of the case. These motions can request a new trial or seek to amend the jury’s decision. If these motions are denied, the next step could be an appeal, which involves higher courts reviewing the trial court’s decision to ensure the law was applied correctly. Understanding these possibilities is crucial as they can extend the duration and complexity of your case.

Settlement Post-Verdict

In some cases, parties may choose to settle even after a verdict is reached, especially if there is the potential for an appeal. Settling post-verdict can provide a guaranteed outcome and potentially reduce the legal costs associated with ongoing litigation.

Enforcing the Judgment 

Obtaining a favorable verdict is only part of the battle. Enforcing the judgment is the next critical step. Enforcement involves legally collecting the awarded compensation through various means:

  • Garnishment: This involves collecting the judgment directly from the debtor’s wages or bank accounts.
  • Liens: Placing liens on property owned by the debtor until the debt is cleared.
  • Seizure of Assets: In some cases, the debtor’s assets may be seized in order to fulfill the judgment.

Legal Guidance and Future Considerations

Navigating the post-trial landscape can be as challenging as the trial itself. It is advisable to continue working with your attorney to:

  • Understand your rights and the legal remedies available to ensure you receive the full benefits of your verdict.
  • Prepare for potential appeals and understand the implications they may have on your case.
  • Evaluate the financial implications of the judgment, including tax obligations and financial planning post-compensation.

The Role of Your Personal Injury Attorney in Texas

Having a skilled attorney who understands the complexities of Texas car accident laws and settlement negotiations is invaluable. Here’s how your attorney will support you throughout the process:

  • Legal Strategy and Advocacy 

Your attorney will develop and execute a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your specific case. This includes making persuasive arguments. It also involves representing you in court and negotiating on your behalf. Effective advocacy ensures that your case is presented forcefully and professionally. It maximizes your chances for a favorable outcome.

  • Navigating Legal Challenges 

The legal system is full of challenges. They can be difficult to navigate without professional help. Your attorney will guide you through legal hurdles. This includes filing motions and handling appeals. They will also ensure that your case follows all procedural rules.

  • Personalized Legal Advice

Each car accident case is unique, and personalized legal advice is crucial. Your attorney will provide tailored advice based on the specifics of your case, your circumstances, and the likely outcomes. This personalized approach ensures that you make informed decisions that align with your best interests.

Contact McKinnon Law Today

Refusing a settlement offer in a Texas car accident case takes careful thought and strategic planning. From the initial negotiations to potentially going to trial and beyond, each step requires meticulous attention to detail and a profound understanding of legal strategies. With the help of McKinnon Law, PLLC, you can navigate this complex process and work for a resolution that adequately compensates for your damages and losses. Remember, the goal is not just to win, but to secure a judgment that truly reflects the full extent of your suffering and provides the means for a proper recovery.

At McKinnon Law, PLLC, we are committed to advocating for your rights across a wide range of personal injury cases. Our skills extend beyond car accident disputes. We also handle 18-wheeler truck accidents, workplace injuries, oilfield injuries, premises liability, negligent security, and wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. Each of these areas requires a deep understanding of the law. They also need precise strategy formulation and aggressive representation, all of which our attorney is ready to provide.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident, do not settle for less than you deserve. Let McKinnon Law, PLLC help you achieve the compensation you need to help your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.