What Is The Statute Of Limitations For An Auto Accident Claim In Texas?
Anytime that you’re involved in a car accident or wreck in Texas, time is like a clock that starts ticking on the time to file a lawsuit in the event that the case cannot be resolved. This is called the claims’ statute of limitations period. The statute of limitations on a car wreck can vary from person to person depending on whether you’re an adult or a minor. A minor is a person who is under 18 in the state of Texas at the time of the wreck. If you have an accident on day one, you have two years from that date in which to either have settled your personal injury claim or have to have a lawsuit on file and have all the proper parties properly served with that lawsuit or you could be forever barred from any type of reimbursement or to compensate you for any losses you’ve had from the persons responsible or their insurance company. If you have a minor child that’s involved in a car wreck then that minor child has a little more time than you would.
However, sometimes a car wreck claim can be further complicated when the injuries are on-going, because the parent only has the two years to make a claim for any out-of-pocket lost medical care or any medical care that’s still due because that is the responsibility of the adult, but the medical care after the child reaches adulthood may be the adult child’s claim. Thus, any medical care in the future or any pain or suffering to the child, whether it’s temporary or permanent, belongs to the right of the child and that child has up until two years past their 18th birthday. However, each claim is different so that’s why if you do have a child who is injured as a result of a car wreck. it’s important that you discuss the time limits with an experienced personal injury attorney so you can put on your calendar the dates that your time limit will expire in the event the case does not settle. Most cases resolve.
Hopefully, you will either have your case resolved or you’ll have your case protected by having a lawsuit on file so that you can have the time you need to prepare and present your case thru litigation or otherwise settle your case after the lawsuit is filed. I have settled many cases for clients after the initial filing of a lawsuit, after some work has been done presenting the facts and validity of our client’s injuries and damages, through mediation, after a jury trial has started, and even after a trial is complete. Every case is different as every person is different. The goal for me is to max out the money recovery for the client.
What Steps Should I Take If I Have To File An Auto Accident Claim After Sustaining An Injury?
If you suspect you’re going to need to file a claim or a lawsuit, because there is either injury or damage to your auto, I think the first step you should take is at the actual scene of the accident or the wreck. For example, if the other driver is blaming you or somebody else at the scene then you should take some immediate steps if you are certain that the wreck is not your fault. Even if the other driver accepts that it’s their fault, you still should take some immediate steps to protect yourself because what the other driver tells you at the scene is not always the position the insurance company takes when it comes time to try and resolve the dispute both as to the car as well as to the injuries. We have helped clients in situations where the other driver apologized at the scene and told our client they were at fault out of a sense of guilt, but later changed their story to the police officer who arrived later on the scene or to their own insurance company.
However, it is always important to note that the first step is to make sure you are all right at the scene and it’s safe for you to stay at the scene and that your injuries are not such that an ambulance or hospital visit is immediately necessary. If you can’t tolerate the pain or if you struck your head as a result of the accident or if you’re experiencing any dizziness or nausea or foggy feeling right there at the scene or if you feel like you’re unable to understand or respond to questions, you need to get yourself to a private doctor immediately. If you are feeling okay to feel you are able to stay at the wreck area and you even if you feel shook-up as most people experience but you are able to tolerate being at the car wreck, then the first thing is to make sure that you speak to the police officer. In the event that the investigating police officer arrives, make sure that you speak to him respectfully and make sure that when you speak to the police officer, the officer understands your version of what happened and what the other driver did wrong to cause the wreck or accident.
If the other driver does own up and admits fault then tell the officer that information that the other driver is giving in error and ask the officer to note it into the police report. If you have a camera in your smartphone, computer tablet, device or if you happen to have some kind of camera available make sure you take photos. Photographs of the area of the wreck, anything from the lights to the lighting, to the position of the cars after the impact, to the cars themselves involved, if there was damage to one side of the car or the other, if there was any debris on the road, and anything that fell off the cars. If there were any witnesses, take photos of any witnesses, and take photos of the other driver if there’s anything unusual. If you see any beer cans in his car or her car then take any photos of that. If they’re being rude, you can take photos of that or even record them if you have the ability to record them on your smartphone or whatever else that you might have with you to record both audio and video of not only the other driver but any helpful witnesses.
It’s very important that you try to get as much of that information as promptly as possible before the scene changes or witnesses leave. Try to get as much witness information if you can. Usually witnesses are willing to help at the beginning of a car wreck but sometimes their memory can fade and sometimes their interest in helping can also fade. If you can get the witness name, email, contact info, and maybe if they’re driving get a license plate, ask them politely for their address, more contact information, telephone number, and email address, as sometimes an insurance company will want to have a dispute about something about the wreck and they will want to argue something in their favor which actually is contrary to what the witnesses viewed that happened. On occasion, we’ve actually had some client’s call us right from the scene of a wreck because they’re scared and they don’t know what to do and we kind of walk them through the steps we explain here.
We can either do that by talking to them or we can text them or even email them right to the scene of the wreck because we are available 24 hours a day for serious life changing wrecks. In some major crashes where family members are involved, they even asked us to go out to the scene of a major car or truck wreck and help them right then and there. Especially in those cases where a wreck involves a grave injury or a death, it’s best for you to try to contact a firm like mine who can respond immediately. Many times, I use private investigators who can go out and secure the information that’s necessary right there at the scene that can protect your rights in later disputes because at the beginning, we can secure the evidence as time goes by. Sometimes evidence gets lost or gets changed and it could affect your case negatively.
That’s why it’s important to call us when it’s a big wreck or there is some grave injury so that we can get out there right away and secure the scene and protect your rights. I have had some cases that I have actually had to go to court and get an emergency court order not to destroy evidence on vehicles or trailers or tractor trailers just to make sure important things are preserved that help my client’s case including things such as tires or brakes. Many vehicles now come with a computer data recorder that can record speeds and impacts, braking, and preserve a lot of information. It’s important that we are able to get that information quickly and respond to a client’s call and get that court order to secure that information, which will help our client’s case down the line. Most people involved in wrecks and accidents will know whether they have soreness or pain and whether the pain they feel is normal for what their body can handle or tolerate or is unusually high.
Most pains, especially minor pains, may go away in a day or two but sometimes in car wrecks or accidents involving muscles, nerves or tendons there is no initial pain at the accident scene because you’re overcome by the adrenaline of being in a car wreck but sometimes the pain is just something that comes on later and lingers and doesn’t go away. Pain can start becoming constant or strong. After a client figures out the pain that’s not going to go away even though they’d like it to, the client should have themselves checked out by a doctor or clinic that routinely handles injuries due to car wrecks or falls or something that’s traumatic as opposed to something you’re born with or that you’ve injured separately. It’s important that if this is what you experience, you need to take the step of getting the proper medical care to properly evaluate and treat your injuries and your symptoms. Many people do not realize that insurance companies don’t pay for medical evaluation and treatment upfront even if they’re driver is at fault. Insurance companies will not accept a person’s word that they’re in pain or they have an injury except in the most grave of cases. Insurance companies usually will actually want it both ways.
Sometimes they’ll criticize you if you rush off to a doctor to get evaluated and treated and say, “Why didn’t you wait”. However, when you do wait, sometimes the insurance companies will take the very opposite position and they’ll say, “You waited too long to go seek out medical treatment, so that means you weren’t that hurt”. This is why it’s important that you discuss your injuries and your problems as well as the car wreck with an attorney that’s experienced in these types of situations and have seen this issue before so they can advise you when it’s important to follow up with the doctor and when the doctor’s visit can wait until you feel like it’s necessary or the claim or insurance coverage has been validated.
For more information on Statute Of Limitations For Accident Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (210) 225-2828 today.
Call Now For A Free Case Evaluation