Read Our Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
How much is my car accident claim worth? Will my case be settled out of court? Why do I need an attorney to represent me in a truck crash claim? We answer these questions and many more in our FAQs. If your question is not answered here, feel free to call us to set up a free consultation.
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What's The Deadline To File Your Injury Lawsuit?
As a personal injury attorney serving clients in places like Starr, Cameron, and Hidalgo counties, I am frequently asked by clients what the statute of limitations is in Texas for personal injury cases.
The important thing to remember in any personal injury civil suit is that regardless of the statutory time limits, the personal injury lawyer that is hired will want as much time as possible to review medical records, gather evidence, and prepare his or her arguments. So the time to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer is really as soon as practical after you recognize the injury. You should not, however, delay medical treatment because you are concerned with it affecting your case. Your medical records can be subpoenaed at a later time and an intentional delay in treatment on your part may adversely affect your claim.
Statute of Limitations in the State of Texas
The amount of time that you have to file a civil suit in Texas for a personal injury case is usually two years. Depending on the type of case, however, the two-year clock could begin at different points. In most cases, the statute of limitations countdown starts at the time of the accident or the date when you become aware of the injury—the two are not always the same.
- Medical Malpractice – Two years from the date of the procedure, misdiagnosis, or failure of the treatment
- Personal Injury – Two years from the date of the incident
- Product Liability – Two years from the date the product failed
- Wrongful Death – Two years from the date your spouse, child, or loved one died (not the date of the accident that led to their death
The bottom line is that the sooner you contact a TX personal injury attorney who handles your type of case, the better your chances of receiving full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Texas Personal Injury AttorneyI have helped hundreds of men and women in South Texas receive total remuneration for their injuries. My practice proudly serves clients in Edinburg, McAllen, Brownsville, Rio Grande, Raymondville, as well as Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy, and Cameron counties. Call (956) 686-1977 to schedule an appointment.
I was injured in an accident, what should I do?
When you are involved in a personal injury accident, it can be one of the most chaotic and stressful times you will ever experience in your life, especially if you have been badly injured and hospitalized.
If you are physically able to do so after the incident, here are a few steps that will help you if you decide to pursue a claim.
- If you are physically able to after the incident, take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Write down everything you remember about the incident. Be sure to include even the smallest of details. You don’t want to count on your memory alone if you have been injured or are under a large amount of mental stress as a result of the incident.
- Preserve anything that you feel may be evidence that can substantiate a future claim.
- Say as little about the incident as possible, but don’t deny law enforcement and medical personal pertinent facts, especially if you need medical treatment or stating these facts may support a future claim you make.
- Consider getting legal representation or contacting your family attorney right away.
- When talking to the offending party’s representatives or insurance company, do not discuss details of the incident. It is best to decline to give a statement until you have spoken to a personal injury attorney.
What should I do if I need to file a personal injury case in Texas?
If you feel that you have a legitimate claim that entitles you to compensation for a personal injury that happened to you as a result of someone else’s negligence, then it is recommended that you take steps to pursue that claim as soon as possible after the incident. The sooner you start the legal process, the better chance of success you will have at being granted a favorable settlement or judgment.
Should You File a Personal Injury Case Yourself?
You can file a claim on your own behalf. However, before you do so, we encourage you to consider your options very carefully. It has been shown that you are much more likely to win your claim if you have a well-educated and experienced personal injury lawyer representing you. Not only are you more likely to win the case with legal representation, but you will also be more likely to be awarded a higher settlement amount.
It is also important to keep in mind that the party you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit against is probably going to surround themselves with legal counsel, especially if an insurance company is involved. Insurance companies have adjusters and lawyers on staff whose sole purpose is to get your personal injury claim denied or to settle it by paying you as little money as possible. It is one of the main reasons why it is so important for you to have legal representation in a personal injury case.
Legal consultations at the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo are free, so before you decide to go it alone, take the time to sit down and talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer at our firm and let us give you legal insight into your case. You will probably end up being surprised by how much you did not know and how many different ways we can help you.
5 Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim and Getting Resolution
There are several steps that may be a part of the legal process to solve your claim. It is a lot more complicated than just filing some papers and going to court. A large majority of personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom.
We will go over the major steps in the process and how they can play out. Keep in mind that these are just the major steps; some additional steps may be required and there can always be negotiations, which may cause you and your lawyer to repeat a step.
Filing a Complaint or Petition
Your claim officially starts when a complaint or petition is filed in court. This is generally an outline of the case that you will present to the court with details about your case against the defendant. It will also name the defendant of the lawsuit, establish the court’s jurisdiction over the lawsuit, and state your legal claims and supporting facts. Your complaint or petition should include the amount and type of restitution that you seek.
In the summons, the court notifies the defendant of the fact that he has been sued, the date the matter will be heard, and the location of the court where the matter will be heard. The summons must be legally served on the defendant and signed for by the defendant. The defendant will be directed to respond within a certain amount of time. If the defendant does not respond within the required time, then the defendant will be in default and a judgment may be entered against the defendant.
This is exactly what it sounds like. It is the defendant’s reply to your lawsuit, and it indicates how the defendant intends to proceed. The lawsuit can start to get complicated here. The defendant may place a counterclaim against you that is similar to your complaint. The lawsuit may also have a cross-claim by another party or the defendant may try to pass the blame on to a third party in an attempt to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing. Often when this happens, the third party then becomes part of the lawsuit.
During settlement negotiations, you and the defendant (or your attorneys) may attempt to resolve the dispute. You may go back and forth several times as each party makes offers and the other party responds with counter-offers. If no settlement can be reached, then the case will be resolved in court.
This is the first attempt to resolve the lawsuit in a courtroom. It will most likely involve selecting a jury, both sides presenting their cases, and a verdict being reached. The process may end here or it may continue through the legal system.
If you or the defendant are not happy with the trial results and there is a legal basis for appeal, then you or the defendant may appeal the case to the proper court.
Of course, this process can be a lot more complex than what is written here, but this outline gives a good frame of reference on what to expect from the personal injury claims process. As you can see it can quickly become complicated, which is why most people choose to have legal representation instead of trying to prove their case by themselves. Please contact us directly for a free consultation about your rights and about how we can help you with a personal injury case.