Personal Injury Attorneys in Texas
After an injury-causing car accident, you might think about hiring a personal injury attorney. If you do, it's important to ask some basic questions during your interview. It's also essential to know the statute of limitations and fault laws for your state when attempting to settle a personal injury case. Make sure you understand your case before you get involved in a lawsuit.
NOTE: The content of this website is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not a source of legal advice and should not be used as such.
A personal injury attorney can be a huge asset when attempting to navigate a tricky personal injury case.
Having the help of a lawyer can significantly increase your changes of getting the appropriate compensation for your case.
Hiring a TX Personal Injury Attorney
When you get into a car accident, you may be able to work solely with your car insurance company (or the other driver's insurance company) to get the appropriate compensation. However, in some cases it might be more difficult to get the compensation you deserve.
Certain situations are more likely to get complicated and leave you needing the help of a personal injury lawyer. You might consider hiring an attorney if:
- The insurance company is offering a settlement far lower than what you deserve.
- Your injuries are severe.
- You've experienced emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or other non-economic losses.
Questions to Ask a Potential Attorney
If you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, you should get all the information that you can upfront. You don't want to hire an attorney and then find out you didn't get what you wanted.
Before saying yes to a personal injury lawyer, ask at least the following questions:
- What is your track record?
- How many personal injury cases have you taken on?
- How many have you won?
- How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
- What is the average time spent on cases like mine?
- How can I contact you during my case?
- Will I be able to contact you directly?
- What are your fees?
- Do you work on a contingency basis?
- If I have to go to court, will you be the lawyer trying my case?
Aside from having a firm understanding of your attorney's background, track record, and fees, it's important to understand certain factors that may affect your personal injury case, such as the state's statute of limitations and laws regarding fault.
Texas Statute of Limitations
When you get injured in an auto accident, you have a limited window in which you can actually file a personal injury lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations, and it varies from state to state.
In Texas, this window is 2 years from the date of your accident/injury.
Once you've passed this point, you will not be able to initiate a lawsuit.
Texas Laws That May Affect Your Compensation
A state's laws regarding fault can affect the damages you receive in a personal injury settlement. For example, states that have forms of comparative negligence laws reduce the amount of possible compensation by the percentage that the claimant is at fault.
Texas has modified comparative negligence laws, which means:
- The total compensation you can receive will be decreased by a percentage equal to the amount of fault you bear for the accident.
- HOWEVER, if you are more than 50% at fault, you won't be entitled to ANY compensation.
Let's say you were in an accident in which another driver hit you. You were found to be 25% at fault because you were speeding at the time.
If the total damages were $20,000, you would be entitled to $15,000 ($20,000 reduced by 25%, or $5,000).
In the same situation, since the other driver was 75% at fault, he would receive ZERO compensation. Remember, this would apply even if he were only 51% at fault. Any time you are more than 50% at fault in a state with modified comparative negligence laws, you cannot collect any damages.
Understanding Your Personal Injury Case
Whenever you have a personal injury accident, it's important to comprehend all the factors that affect your case. Attempting to settle a case without fully understanding the law or your rights can negatively affect the outcome of your case.
If you've hired a personal injury attorney, they should be able to explain these factors to you and answer any questions you may have.