Bill Adler: Hi folks, and welcome back to Hammer TV. I’m[name]Bill Adler, and today is another episode of our series on the most frequently-asked-questions we get from clients and the public. Today, we’re tackling a timing question-specifically, the question of when someone who has been in a car or truck accident should hire an attorney. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the answer.
Narrator: If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car or truck accident, you’ll want to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after the crash, for several reasons. The first reason has todo with a law called the statute of limitations. Every state, including Texas, has a statute of limitations, which says that, after an accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. Once that time period expires, you’re legally no longer allowed to file, regardless of how severe the accident was or how badly you were hurt. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a car accident case is typically two years. But every state has different laws. For example, in Louisiana, the statute of limitations is only one year.
While two years may seem like a long time, you should find a lawyer as soon as possible after your crash, because developing a strong case takes time; time to collect evidence, make demands, go through negotiations, and more. And all of these things generally need to take place before a suit is filed, especially if you ultimately would prefer to settle without actually filing a lawsuit (which many people do). It’s important to note here that the only thing that stops the statute of limitations is having a lawsuit filed-not having a lawyer hired. In fact, if you wait too long, a lawyer may not even be able to help you if there’s not enough time to properly process and argue your case.
Another reason we recommend that you get an attorney involved in your case on day one after your accident is because of the insurance company. The insurance company is going to have a lawyer or, more likely, a team of lawyers, working on the case from their side. So, If you don’t have legal experience, particularly in the area of personal injury, you could accidentally make some mistakes that affect your case negatively in the long term. For example, an insurance company attorney might ask you to give them a statement–while recording you-and manipulate you into offering more information than you wanted to or alter your version of events. Additionally, they may offer an amount of money that is far less than what you deserve, in return for settling quickly. Without an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you could end up signing your rights away without even realizing what you’ve done.
For all of these reasons, and more, it’s always a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney about your case as soon as possible after an accident.
Narrator: If you have questions about this information or would like to discuss your case, you can get in touch with Jim Adler and Associates via the contact form atjimadler.com or by giving us a call at 1-800-567-7575.