There are time limits on everything. This is especially true for any personal injury claim. From the time you get into a car accident, the clock starts running. You have up to two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance company. There are two different ways to handle a personal injury claim. Following is the advice to should follow to ensure that you do not waive your right to collect from the at-fault party’s insurance:
1. Pre-suit: Following an incident, most people and their attorney’s goal is to settle the claim instead of filing a lawsuit and incurring fees. At the onset, your case enters into what’s called “pre-litigation.” This is the stage where your damages are presented to the insurance company with a demand for settlement. The adjuster for the insurance company can make an offer to you for settlement. If your case is in pre-litigation stage, you must complete your claim (settle your case) before the two-year mark. If it is evident that the case will not settle, or cannot settle, you must move forward and file a lawsuit on your claim before the two years are up. This will ensure that your claim is preserved.
2. Litigation: In a personal injury case, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. For instance, if the incident occurred on January 11, 2017, you have till January 11, 2019 to file a lawsuit. Once you file a lawsuit, among other things, your claim is preserved and you can move forward with litigating the case. If you do not file a lawsuit within the two-year mark, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit. This means that the court will dismiss your case and you will not be allowed to collect against the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you file a lawsuit within the two-year limitations period, then you do not have to settle your case within those two years.
Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to personal injury claims. You should not handle a personal injury claim on your own and should definitely seek an attorney if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit. Should you have any questions or concerns or require representation for your claim, contact an experienced Arlington TX personal injury attorney today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into personal injury practice and the concept of a statute of limitations.