How Soon After An Accident Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
In the aftermath of an accident, whether it’s a car accident, a mishap at work or a slip and fall, your first thoughts will naturally turn to your health. Before you do anything else, you need to make certain you’re taking the right steps to ensure maximum recovery from your injuries. But if your losses were due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to take legal action to pursue full and fair compensation. How soon should you hire a personal injury attorney? What are the benefits of immediately securing legal representation?
What is the Statute of Limitations for A Personal Injury in Texas?
In Texas, as in all other states, there’s a written law, known as the statute of limitations, which requires that you file a lawsuit within a specific period of time or risk losing the right to pursue damages. In the State of Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. There are good reasons for the statute of limitations—it helps you secure evidence before witnesses die or move away, and while recollections of the facts are still fresh. It also ensures that a defendant doesn’t have to live in perpetual fear of a lawsuit.
But there’s really nothing to be gained by waiting to hire a personal injury lawyer. In fact, while it’s not necessary to place a call from the ambulance on your way to the hospital, the sooner you retain legal counsel, the more assurances you’ll have that all your interests and concerns will be protected:
- Access to the right medical care — An attorney won’t just protect your legal rights. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also be your advocate with health care providers, ensuring that all potential conditions are treated.
- Your rights with respect to insurance — Insurance disputes can arise almost immediately after any type of accident or injury. You may need certain types of care, but run into difficulties getting your health insurance company to approve or pay for them. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, there can be disputes about the types of coverage that apply, the deductibles you must pay or the amount of your losses. When you have legal counsel handling your injury claim, you’ll have an advocate in all matters, from legal to health to insurance needs.
One of the typical strategies of insurance companies is to make a fairly quick offer of a settlement. You don’t ever want to have discussions about settlements, benefits or compensation from an insurer without having an attorney present. The insurance company knows what to expect, and can anticipate certain types of injuries or losses you may be unaware of. With an attorney on your side, you’ll also have someone who understands the full potential of losses you may incur.
- Compilation and preservation of evidence — The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner you’ll have someone gathering, evaluating and safeguarding the evidence in your case. That’s the best way to ensure that evidence doesn’t get lost or destroyed, that witnesses don’t die or move away (before you can get a statement), and that memories remain intact. That’s particularly helpful when it comes to expert witnesses. In any personal injury lawsuit, you can expect that the defendants will have insurers who are seeking to minimize the damage award. They’ll most likely have their own experts—you’ll want your own, and you’ll want to make certain they have full and accurate information about what happened.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
At Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every personal injury client. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.