If you’ve been involved in an accident in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and to recover medical costs, other expenses, and loss of earnings. That’s as long as you didn’t do something to cause the accident and it wasn’t your fault.
Personal Injury Claim in Texas
The law gives you two years to make a personal injury claim in Texas. While it might seem like a lot of time, there’s a lot you have to do to prepare for a claim, and it’s best not to delay. These are the steps to take to make your claim, one that will hopefully be successful and get you justice and a financial settlement.
1. Collect Evidence
As the victim of an accident — whether it happened on the road, at the mall, at work, or anywhere else — the burden of proof lies on you. That means you have to provide insurers — and possibly a court — strong evidence that you were not at fault and that the other party caused the car, motorcycle, or truck accident; slip and fall; oilfield accident; or many other kinds that led to your injury.
So you’ll need to get a police report detailing what happened as well as medical reports outlining the extent of your injuries and what treatment you received. These vital documents may take time to get hold of, but they may demonstrate you were not at fault and entitle you to compensation.
2. Hire a Lawyer
You can file your own personal injury claim in Texas, but the law can be complex, the burden of proof difficult to show, and there will be intense negotiations with insurers and possibly a court trial. Trying to do it all yourself, as a legal novice, could get you nowhere, and you might end up with nothing after all your efforts.
Like most personal injury lawyers in Texas work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there’s nothing to pay upfront, and they take a percentage of a settlement as their fee, there’s nothing to lose. Look around and see what personal injury lawyers are available in your area, check their recommendations in online reviews, and get in touch, so you get the legal advice you need in your case.
Once you have your police and medical reports, it’s time to get talking to the other party involved in the accident — the one who’s responsible for your injuries — and associated third parties like their insurance company. If you have a personal injury lawyer, they will help collect this evidence for you and handle the negotiations.
Insurance companies will typically not want to settle in a personal injury case, or they will make an offer that’s too low for the injuries you sustained. They will fight to get you the maximum payout for what happened to you. This is why you must have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side because they will know how to deal with insurance companies and their oftentimes evasive ways.
4. Prepare for Court
If an agreement cannot be reached with other parties to your personal injury claim in Texas, your lawyer might deem it necessary to file a lawsuit in court. Again, you will need an expert personal injury lawyer who has successfully managed a personal injury trial in Texas courtrooms and not someone new to this kind of specialist legal action. Your lawyer will prepare for your trial, including possibly getting expert witnesses on the stand and present it before a judge. The court will hopefully then rule in your favor and order a financial payout.