When a truck accident injures you, immediately contact a truck accident attorney. While you have some time to file a claim against the responsible party, collecting evidence and negotiating takes time—the deadline will come quickly. This blog outlines the steps you and your lawyer may take before filing your lawsuit.
The Truck Accident Claim Statute of Limitations
Victims may file a personal injury lawsuit within two years under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code – CIV PRAC & REM § 16.003.
However, some exceptions apply to the two-year time limit, such as if:
- The injured party was a minor
- The injured party was incompetent
- The at-fault party leaves the state of Texas
Understanding the truck accident claim process can help you understand why it is crucial to contact a truck accident lawyer in Texas well before this two-year period expires.
The Process of Filing a Truck Accident Claim
Many people believe that lawyers take every personal injury case to court. However, this is not true. Only four or five percent of civil claims go to court. So what do personal injury lawyers do? Often, personal injury lawyers take steps to negotiate claims outside of court.
Here are the typical steps a truck accident lawyer takes before filing a lawsuit:
- Accident investigation and evidence collection: Any time you file a truck accident injury claim, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident. Doing so requires evidence collection and analysis. Texas truck accident lawyers begin by reviewing police accident reports, taking statements from witnesses, and obtaining any available camera footage. They also review medical information regarding your injury and may work with an accident reconstruction team.
- Filing a claim with the insurance company: Filing claims can become complicated because a truck accident may involve more than one insurer. The truck driver may be entirely at fault. In other cases, the trucking company, another driver, or a municipality may also bear liability for your injury. A truck accident lawyer will gather the information to send a demand for settlement to the insurance companies so you can pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses associated with the accident.
- Settlement negotiations with the insurer: Once an insurer has your claim information, they may pay the demand immediately. However, this is rare. Most of the time, the insurer will present a counteroffer.
- When negotiations fail: If settlement discussions break down because the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair settlement, your lawyer might take your case to court. Texas courts stay busy, so securing a trial date may take some time. Because of the complexities of taking a case to trial, we prepare to fight in court from the beginning to be ready when a judge or jury hears the case.
When you start working with a truck accident claim lawyer from the time of the accident, they will prepare your case for trial from the beginning.
Your lawyer will prepare to demonstrate:
- Liability: Your lawyer will gather and present evidence to clarify liability for the accident.
- Current financial losses: Your lawyer will also present evidence that establishes the financial losses you have suffered because of medical bills, loss of income, and other expenses you incurred because of your injury. Examples include costs associated with hiring aides in your home to perform tasks you did before your injury.
- Future financial losses: If you sustained a severe injury, your lawyer might help you seek compensation for future medical care and lost wages. Your lawyer may use special formulas or seek expert opinions to estimate a reasonable figure.
- Nonfinancial losses: Your lawyer will establish your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other similar losses during a trial. They will consider your age, physical condition before the accident, and the extent of your injuries to determine a reasonable value for your claim.
One of the most common questions truck accident victims ask is what their accident injury claim may be worth. There is no hard and fast number because every accident, victim, and situation is different. However, your lawyer will be able to discuss the specifics of your case with you and explain why they recommend pursuing a specific amount.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer as Quickly as Possible
Make no mistake—filing a successful truck accident claim and reaching a fair settlement is not easy. Never believe that the at-fault party’s insurance company will fairly pay out your claim without a good deal of negotiating. Insurers for truck drivers, their employers, and others involved in the suit will try to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible.
Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer protects you from insurance company tricks. Remember, the insurers you face will have a team of lawyers advising them. When you hire a lawyer, you level the playing field. Your lawyer will protect your interests. They will ensure that your case is as strong as possible before it goes to trial.
Contact an experienced truck accident injury lawyer as soon as you can after a truck accident. While you have two years to file a lawsuit, you do not want to put yourself in a position where you and your lawyer do not have enough time to prepare for the possibility of your case going to court.