Jason Stephens | January 31, 2023 | Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident in Texas, your time to file a car accident claim is limited. Failing to take steps to protect your legal rights could result in missing the window to receive compensation for your damages. Talking with a Fort Worth car accident lawyer is the best way to protect your best interests.
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim for a Fort Worth Car Accident?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims. State law requires drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance.
Drivers must have at least $30,000 per person (maximum of $60,000 per accident) liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance compensates accident victims for damages caused by the insured driver.
Most car accident cases settle through negotiations with the insurance company for the at-fault driver. However, if the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, you can sue the at-fault driver for damages.
The Texas statute of limitations sets the deadlines for filing lawsuits after a car accident. Typically, you have two years from the accident date to file a car accident lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, if you sue a government entity under the Texas Tort Claims Act, you must notify the government entity of your intent to take legal action. The deadline to provide notice is six months from the accident date. Some cities have shorter deadlines for notifying the government of a legal claim.
In some situations, the court can toll (pause) the statute of limitations. For example, the deadline for filing a lawsuit can be extended for a child injured in a car accident. Likewise, if the person who caused your car crash leaves Texas, the court could pause the deadline until the person returns to the state.
The best way to ensure you meet the deadline to file a car accident lawsuit is to meet with a car accident lawyer for a free consultation. An attorney calculates how long you have to file a car accident claim in Texas. When you hire an injury lawyer to handle your case, the attorney monitors the deadline to file a car accident lawsuit as the attorney works to settle your personal injury claim.
Do I Need To Hire a Lawyer To File a Car Accident Claim in Texas?
You are not required to hire a lawyer to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. You can represent yourself. However, hiring a Fort Worth car accident lawyer has many advantages.
Ways a car accident lawyer helps you with your case include:
- Handles all communications with the insurance company
- Files insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits
- Documents your damages to calculate how much your claim is worth
- Hires expert witnesses to assist with your case when necessary
- Defends you against allegations of failure to mitigate damages and contributory fault
- Prepares a settlement demand letter and reviews settlement offers
- Advises you of the pros and cons of accepting a settlement agreement or pursuing a legal action
Your car accident claim could be worth much more money than you realize. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster will not tell you if you are asking for an amount that is less than your damages are worth. The adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible to resolve your claim.
However, an accident attorney knows exactly how much your claim is worth. In addition, the lawyer understands the strengths and weaknesses in your case and whether a settlement offer is fair, given the facts of your case.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Car Accident Claim in Texas?
Most individuals know they can receive compensation for their economic damages after a car crash. Those damages include reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses.
However, they might not realize they could also receive compensation for their out-of-pocket expenses. They might also not be aware they can demand compensation for future loss of income and decreased earning capacity.
Additionally, accident victims might not know they can recover money for their non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you experience because of your injuries or the accident. You could receive compensation for your:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Impairments and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- A decreased quality of life
The settlement amount or jury verdict for a car accident claim depends on many factors. Each case is unique. Therefore, your case could be worth more or less than another case.
Before accepting a settlement offer, talk with a lawyer. If you sign a settlement agreement without legal advice, you could give up your right to pursue more money if you discover additional damages.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107