How Long Do I Have to Contact an Attorney After an Accident in Texas?
People who are involved in accidents involving motor vehicles often don’t know what their next steps should be. The consequences of the injuries that you or your vehicle might sustain as a result of the accident will likely be your chief concern. However, it is important for you to keep track of some of the important aspects of the legal timeline for filing a lawsuit if the accident was caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone else.
In Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit for damages stemming from a vehicular accident caused by negligence or recklessness. You should look to contact an attorney well ahead of this two-year deadline, as the process of gathering information and properly preparing a complaint can take time. You should also contact a lawyer before making any kind of statement or settlement with another party’s insurance company.
We at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. know the difficulties associated with motor vehicle accidents. Our excellent Dallas personal injury attorneys will work hard to make sure that you are fairly compensated for any injuries to you or your property. To set up a consultation, give us a call at (817) 476-1797.
Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits After an Accident in Texas
The State of Texas generally allows for lawsuits to be filed at any time within two years of the date of the accident. According to the statute of limitations, the victim of an accident involving a bicycle, boat, car, or bus has exactly two years from the time that the parties involved know or reasonably should be aware of the accident and the subsequent damages. In almost every case, the parties become aware of the accident at the time of the accident. If the defendant leaves the state in which the accident occurs for a significant period of time during the two-year time frame, the statute of limitations clock stops until they re-enter the state.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Accidents in Texas
While the two-year statute of limitations is relatively concrete, there are exceptions to the rule for motor vehicle accidents in Texas where certain circumstances exist.
Accidents Involving Government-Operated Vehicles in Texas
If the party responsible is maintained or operated by a government entity, your deadline is significantly shorter than the typical two-year statute of limitations. Texas state law requires a person who intends to name an arm or agency of the government to submit a separate claim to the appropriate section of government. This notification must happen within six months of the day of the accident, and must include information such as the date and location of the accident, a description of how the accident occurred, and the injuries and damages that were caused by the accident.
If you are trying to sue a municipal government body rather than the state government, you may face an even shorter clock. Most cities often have their own specific rules on how suits may be brought against their government bodies and officials. Our Houston personal injury attorneys can provide you information about your government adversary’s unique rules and act promptly so that you meet all your deadlines.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits from Vehicular Accidents
If a loved one has died as a result of an accident involving a bicycle, boat, car, or bus in Texas, the family of the deceased may wish to file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. In the case of wrongful death suits, the two-year time limit still applies. However, the clock only starts to run on the day of the person’s death.
Accidents Involving Injuries to Minors
If the person who is injured in an accident involving a bicycle, boat, car or bus is a minor (i.e., under the age of 18) at the time of the accident, the two-year statute of limitations still applies, but only begins once the minor in question turns 18. For instance, if someone is injured in a boating accident when they are 14, they have until their 20th birthday to file their personal injury lawsuit.
Why You Should Contact an Attorney Early if You Are Involved in an Accident (Bike, Boat, Car, or Bus)
The earlier that you get the assistance of an attorney, the more likely you will achieve a successful resolution to your personal injury case about your vehicular accident. An attorney can not only help you avoid missing your deadlines but also assist you in your interaction with representatives of the liable insurance company.
Typically, people who are injured in an accident involving a bicycle, boat, car, or bus will be contacted by the other party’s insurance company as soon as the other party reports the accident. The insurance company will try to discuss the incident with you or try to offer you a payout to settle any potential claim that you might have as a result of the accident.
Insurance companies are not interested in giving you a fair shake. Their goal is to limit their own liability. Often, the first offer that you receive from an insurance company will be substantially lower than what you could get by proceeding with your claim. Further, an insurance company could try to use the information that you provide about your accident against you if you proceed to court.
An attorney can negotiate your settlement offer with the insurance company on your behalf and give you an idea of what you stand to gain by pursuing your claim further. Letting an attorney communicate to the insurance companies can safeguard you from harming your case were it to end up in a Texas court.
Call Us Today for Help With Your Personal Injury Lawsuit from an Accident
The respected Irving personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. are dedicated to making sure that our clients aren’t shortchanged by inconspicuous deadlines or insurance companies acting in bad faith. Call us to set up your consultation today at (817) 476-1797.