After you’ve been hit by a car, mistreated by your employer, or injured at someone else’s place of business, you might be in shock for several weeks or months. You may not have the necessary energy to file a lawsuit and claim compensation right away. Fortunately, you have plenty of time to do so, since the statute of limitations is generous. But at what point should you hire personal injury attorneys in Houston, Texas and initiate the process?
The answer is that it depends on your injuries and individual situation. In general, it’s better to get started as soon as possible. You can research lawyers in your area online to find someone suitable, then get in touch with them and ask for an initial consultation. A great firm will offer you this first meeting for free, so you can get to know the attorneys and find out what level of compensation you could receive with their help.
When Should You File Your Personal Injury Claim in Houston, Texas?
The best time to contact a personal injury lawyer and get the process started is as soon as you have sufficiently recovered to function. If you are still in the hospital with acute injuries, it might be best to wait until you are discharged or until you are able to speak to your lawyer for at least one hour. However, once you are starting to feel stronger, you shouldn’t delay getting in touch because your attorney will need some time to build your case.
They will work with you to find evidence of negligence and the consequences for your life. What’s more, they might want to monitor your condition for a length of time to find out how it develops. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can expect to receive the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills, make up for the emotional trauma, and cover your living expenses while you are unable to work.
The Statute of Limitations
In our state, the statute of limitations on virtually all personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. At first, this might seem extremely generous, but the time will pass quickly, which is why you need to get started as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute because you might lose out, and once the two years are up, you will have trouble receiving any money.
We often get asked why a statute of limitations is necessary. The reason for this law is that it speeds up personal injury cases and makes our legal system more efficient. The longer we wait, the more likely it is that evidence has been tampered with or that witnesses are no longer able to testify accurately. They might have passed away, forgotten the exact sequence of events, or become unavailable. Thus, filing quickly is the best course of action.
What If I Missed It?
If you missed the deadline and are still suffering from the physical, mental, or financial consequences of your incident, you should request a consultation with a lawyer. The statute of limitations doesn’t apply to everyone in the same way. For instance, if the victim was under the age of 18 or not of sound mind at the time of the accident, the countdown doesn’t start until they either turn 18 or their mental state improves.
Similarly, people who have left the state of Texas for a while might still be able to file, since the time they are away doesn’t count towards the two years. If the victim didn’t realize that they could claim compensation, your lawyer might use this fact to argue that they should be allowed to file a lawsuit now. It’s best to speak to expert personal injury attorneys in Houston and find out whether any of these exemptions apply to you.
How to Get Started
Simply knowing when to file your lawsuit isn’t enough. You will also need to know what steps to take to get started and how to best find a lawyer who will suit your needs. Doing your research is always important, since you need to find someone who has the necessary experience and knowledge to fight for your rights. The initial consultation can be very helpful because you get to see the lawyers in action and therefore evaluate whether they are a good fit.
Even before you speak to an attorney, you can facilitate their work by finding as much evidence as possible. Compile all the photographic and video evidence of the incident, keep a diary about your injuries and how you feel on a daily basis, and make sure you keep any records of your medical treatments. It is also very helpful to your lawyer if you have the contact details of any witnesses and if there are family members or friends who can testify.
Hire Competent Personal Injury Attorneys
Finding a great personal injury lawyer is easy because all the information is available online. Browse websites of attorneys near you and find out whether they have worked on cases similar to yours before. You should also read their biographies to see whether they attended reputable schools and what experience they have in the field of personal injury law.
Many of the best lawyers are part of professional associations, such as the National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. That way, they can stay current in their field, and they will be the first to know about any changes in the law.
Attend Your Initial Consultation
Once you’ve found a suitable lawyer, you can request an initial consultation. This allows you to meet them in person and figure out whether they are a good fit. They can listen to your story, then let you know what to expect from your case. A great personal injury law firm will offer this first meeting free of charge, so you can make up your mind without having to spend any money.
Put Together Your Case
If you decide that the lawyer is a good fit, you can hire them to work on your case. Together, you will compile all the evidence necessary, find witnesses and experts who will testify on your behalf, and put together a strong case. Because your attorney is highly experienced in this field, they will be able to reassure you during the process and make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
A personal injury is always traumatic, and it might take you many months to recover and be able to function. For this reason, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your accident in Texas. However, you should speak to personal injury attorneys well before this deadline, since the filing process will take some time. By getting in touch early, you can receive your compensation and restart your life sooner.
Your lawyer will invite you to a consultation, during which you will go through what happened and explain your injuries to them. Then, you can make a decision about whether you’d like to hire them. If so, you and the attorney will work together to build up a strong case and maximize your compensation. Call or message us today at Houston Injury Lawyers to book your first meeting with one of our experts.