How much time do you have to file a personal injury claim? What happens if you wait several months before deciding to seek compensation for your damages? If you are worried that you missed out on the payout you deserve, you should know that you may have more time to file a claim than you think. A personal injury attorney in Huntsville, TX or Madisonville, TX can give you information on how to submit a claim months after the accident.
I Was Injured Three Months Ago: Can I Still Make a Personal Injury Claim?
Yes. In Texas, three months is well within the statute of limitations (the legal timeframe for submitting claims.) In most cases, individuals who are injured in car crashes or other kinds of accidents have up to two years to submit their claims. If your injuries took time to make themselves apparent, you could even request to have the statute of limitations extended.
Why Do Some People Wait to Submit Their Claims?
While it is best to inform your insurance company of an accident and contact an attorney right away, many people do not submit their claims until several months have gone by. They might be afraid that the compensation won’t be worth the effort of going through the submission process, or they might not realize how much medical attention their medical expenses will cost.
Many injuries that appear minor at first develop into costly conditions that can take the injured person away from work and require expensive medical treatments to correct. The adrenaline that often gets produced during a traumatic event can temporarily numb the body to serious injuries. However, many people who decline to go to the ER following a crash find that they need extensive treatment in the months that follow.
Deciding to Submit a Claim
The good news is that it’s not too late to submit a claim until the statute of limitations has expired. Even then, an extension might be possible. Since collecting evidence to support your claim might be challenging months after the accident has passed, you will want to work with a highly skilled attorney on your case.
Your attorney can help you assess the validity of your claim and strategize on the best way to present it to the insurance company. If you do not secure a settlement offer through negotiations, you and your attorney can take the matter to court.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Collect?
If you have grounds for a personal injury claim, chances are, the damages you could be eligible for will make submitting the claim worth the time and effort. Additionally, the right attorney can help you get through the process efficiently while maximizing your compensation.
According to Texas law, you should not have to pay out of pocket for any expenses you incurred as a result of another party’s negligence. A typical personal injury claim will list the following damages:
In a personal injury case, the medical expenses can range from several thousand dollars to millions, depending on the scope of the injuries. Your compensation should cover all services and medications needed to diagnose and treat your condition. Most accidents result in a trip to the ER followed by appointments with specialists. To facilitate your recovery, you may also need to purchase medical equipment for your home.
It is not always easy to predict how quickly an injury will heal, or how much time off work you will need to take. “Lost wages” refers to any income you miss out on during your recovery period.
In order to get the true value of your lost wages, you will need to make sure the insurance company knows about any benefits you did not earn, bonuses and commissions you missed, and overtime pay you could not get. Maximizing your lost wages involves careful accounting, and your lawyer can inform you on how to go through the relevant financial documents without becoming overwhelmed or making errors that could delay your payout.
Noneconomic damages are difficulties and stressors that need to be assigned a value, subjectively. For example, the physical pain you experience as a result of an injury is considered a noneconomic damage, along with emotional distress.
Accidents cause hardship in many ways, from economic uncertainty to the loss of enjoyable activities. Your lawyer will fight to get you the most money for your noneconomic damages by demonstrating the impact of your injuries in negotiation with the insurance company.
Punitive damages are intended to punish drivers for gross negligence and extreme risks. When a driver is found guilty of drunk driving or road rage, he or she is often ordered to pay punitive damages in addition to compensation for the accident-related expenses.
How Can You Collect Evidence Months After the Accident?
One reason why people hesitate to submit a claim months after their accident has occurred is that they are afraid they won’t be able to find enough evidence. In an ideal world, you would have taken footage of the crash, gotten the number of the police report, and asked permission to follow up with witnesses. The reality is that you may be missing some of this evidence due to the chaos the accident caused.
Your lawyer can help you do a deep dive to identify every piece of evidence that is still available. Many personal injury lawyers often have experience looking for evidence months after an accident has happened.
Proving the Other Driver’s Negligence
In order to win your case, your lawyer will need to show that the other driver was at fault. Apart from any documentation you may have done at the scene of the crash, the kinds of evidence that can be used to demonstrate the other driver’s negligence include:
- Surveillance footage of the crash
- Physical evidence, like the damaged vehicles
- The testimony of an accident reconstruction expert
Proving That You Incurred Damages
The second major task in a personal injury case is proving that the plaintiff experienced losses as a direct result of the accident. Evidence of your damages can include:
- Medical records
- Financial documents
- The testimony of an accountant
- The testimony of an economist
Ask an Attorney in Huntsville, TX or Madisonville, TX for a Case Assessment
Many people miss out on the compensation they deserve because they give up on their claim before even speaking with a lawyer. If you are wondering whether your claim is still valid, the best thing to do is schedule a consultation with a legal expert.
During the consultation, the lawyer you meet with should help you determine if you are within the statute of limitations. Towards the end, he or she will evaluate your chances of success. In many cases, having a lawyer can help overcome the challenges of filing a claim months after the accident.
It’s Finally Time to Get Compensation for Your Injury
If you have been hurt by another driver, you deserve compensation for everything you lost. That said, the only way to get reimbursed is by submitting a well-supported claim. A personal injury attorney in Huntsville, TX or Madisonville, TX can make the process more manageable and strengthen your case. With our free evaluations, you can learn about your options at no personal expense. To schedule your consultation, call Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer.