One of the most unfortunate and undeniable facts of car accidents is that no one can predict when they will occur. It is very likely that if given a chance, people would decide to avoid an accident altogether. However, accidents happen more frequently than people realize and the resulting injuries can often be devastating for the victims. In this article, you will find information that can help you understand how long car accidents cases take in Texas. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in the Dallas area, call our Dallas car accident injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., for a free and confidential consultation on your case.
Texas’ At-Fault Car Insurance System
In contrast to a “no-fault” system where the insurance company provides coverage for a car accident regardless of who was at fault, Texas uses an “at fault” system. This means that the insurance company is going to determine responsibility and fault before providing coverage. For this reason, it is extremely important that people comply with the state’s minimum insurance coverage, so they are lawfully covered in case of an accident. The minimum insurance coverage that people must have according to Texas’ law includes:
- $60,000 per accident for bodily injuries
- $30,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $25,000 for damage to property
People can choose to get higher coverage from their insurance company if they want. This is especially useful in cases where there are multiple cars and multiple injuries involved.
Determining Liability in a Car Accident
To win a personal injury case in Texas, there are several elements you must prove to establish the defendant was responsible for your accident. The elements a plaintiff must prove are the following:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty.
- The defendant breached the duty owed to the plaintiff.
- The failure or breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The injury sustained resulted in damages (financial consequences of the injury).
These for elements are key in determining who is responsible for the accident. Proving these elements might be confusing and difficult to tackle on your own, so talk to an attorney who can guide you through the process.
Texas’s Comparative Fault System and Legal Rules
If you are involved in a car accident and you had some degree of fault for it, chances are your compensation will be reduced. Texas has a “comparative fault” system that determines who shared what degree of responsibility for the injuries. This will ultimately affect the amount of compensation you will receive at the end of your case. For example, if the jury determines that you were 20% responsible in a car accident case where the total compensation was $100,000, you will ultimately receive $80,000.00. In this system, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage fault. It is very important for people to fully understand this rule and how it affects their overall compensation.
Texas’s Statute of Limitations
Whenever a person suffers car accident injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or even whiplash injuries, it takes a lot of effort and time to recover from the physical and emotional injuries suffered in the collision. However, while this may be a trying time for you and your family, it is important you understand that there is a limited window to file a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
This time is known as the “statute of limitations.” In short, the statute of limitations is the time set forth by the law to file a lawsuit. If a person fails to comply with this law and files a lawsuit after the allotted time frame, the court most likely will not take your case leaving you without any legal recourse. Therefore, it is important you waste no time and act fast.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases (including car accident cases) is two years from the time of the accident. While two years might sound like a long time, you should consider several things like the time it takes to investigate the crash. As long as your case is filed within this two-year time limit, you should be able to file your case.
How Long Will Your Car Accident Take?
Every car accident case is different, and circumstances change from case to case. Some car accident cases might take long months while others might take years depending on the parties involved and the injuries sustained. The above information can give you an idea of everything that involves a car accident and the importance of knowing that all of it requires time that can be added up to your case.
It is important to consider the fact that between everything your attorney files, the defendant gets a chance to respond. This means that every motion presented to the court could take over 20 days to resolve. After the case is scheduled for trial and a jury is empaneled, the case will likely take less than a week, but it can take months to investigate and exchange evidence with the other side.
Dallas Car Accident Injury Lawyer Serving Houston, and Fort Worth Areas
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, call a lawyer today. Remember that time is of the essence. Call our Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation at (817) 476-1797.