It’s a common misconception that an insurance company will take care of and properly represent its policyholder’s interests should the need arise. After a car accident, most people expect their insurance provider to work for them, the insured. Unfortunately, policyholders often discover in critical times of need that their insurance provider is not on their side as they expected. Regardless of insurance coverage, it’s recommended that Texas auto accident victims hire a local Lubbock personal injury attorney so that they are not taken advantage of or treated unjustly by insurance providers and other parties.
The main reason so many insurance carriers fail car accident victims is simply to dodge responsibility. This should alarm auto accident victims, especially since most policyholders believe their contract with the carrier will support them financially when they need to use their coverage to pay a claim. Insurance providers often present themselves as companies invested in policyholders and many will take the necessary steps to honor a policyholder’s needs; however, insurance providers remain at their core a business and thus always have their financial bottom line in mind.
Insurance providers will give policyholders the runaround, including underpaying victims for their injuries and property damage. Insurance carriers engage in deceptive behavior for profit, and for this reason it’s crucial that car crash victims take action to ensure they are fully financially compensated to the maximum extent allowed by law.
With the assistance of an experienced trial lawyer, a motor vehicle accident and its related evidence – including medical reports, bills, property damage estimates, and more can be properly assessed to determine cause and responsibility. Insurance providers and other corporate parties can be intimidating and use tactics to pressure accident victims into accepting low-ball settlement offers when they should not. In addition, a personal injury attorney will also advocate for the correct and just amount of compensation to which an accident victim is entitled. Without legal representation, victims may not only wrongly accept responsibility for the accident – which could result in significant financial burdens – but they could also be severely undercompensated or not compensated at all for the damages they suffered as a result of the car accident at a time when financial burdens can have catastrophic effects on their life and future financial stability.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
Many people don’t realize that Texas law limits the time within which someone has the ability to make a legal claim, called a statute of limitations. Like all states, Texas has imposed limits in its statutes with regard to how long someone has to go to court and file a claim after they have suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence. The time limit varies based on the type of case, but for a personal injury suit, the party claiming injury only has two years to file from the date of the incident. This is important because once the time period has expired – unless there is an applicable legal exception – the Texas court system will likely dismiss the case and the injured person will forfeit the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages forever. Being injured while a minor tolls the statute of limitations – meaning it doesn’t even begin to run until the day they turn 18, so they will technically have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit, no matter their age at the time of the injury. Hiring a personal injury attorney right away after a motor vehicle accident will ensure you do not miss these and other important deadlines.
What About Pain and Suffering?
Texas courts most commonly award injury victims financial compensation for medical expenses (past, present, and future), loss of income due to missing work because of the injury, property damage, and “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering refers to noneconomic damages an individual may be entitled to if he or she is hurt in a personal injury accident. Depending on the incident, Texas law has certain restrictions regarding pain and suffering awards.
Texas law categorizes pain and suffering under “noneconomic damages,” also known as “quality of life damages.” Noneconomic damages allow a personal injury victim to recover damages for the incident’s impact on their everyday life. Texas recognizes emotional, mental, and physical pain as compensable damages that can be recovered as a result of an accident.
Conveying the experience of the accident and how the injuries sustained affect a person’s life is crucial for a successful pain and suffering claim. It’s common for victims to become overwhelmed when recounting an accident and most don’t know what qualifies as a pain and suffering claim. For this reason, it’s important that victims hire an experienced Lubbock personal injury lawyer with a proven track record. Legal representation is crucial to effectively communicating a victim’s experience, so they are awarded the compensation they deserve.
Under Texas law, any of the following can qualify as noneconomic damages – whether or not they are compensable depends on a variety of other factors your lawyer must prove in court:
- Chronic pain and discomfort
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of services
- Mental anguish
- Pain from medical treatment
- Permanent disability, scarring, or disfigurement
- Permanent loss of important bodily function(s)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Psychological trauma
Pain and suffering damages can include any one or a combination of the above. Just as every case is unique, the experience and trauma endured by each victim varies, as does the amount of money victims are awarded.
Lubbock Personal Injury Attorneys for Accident Victims
While we expect that all parties involved in an accident – including insurance providers – will act honestly, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, those injured in car accidents may become victims twice due to a lack of quality legal representation. When this happens, victims are unable to properly recover and heal, as they are left enduring unnecessary additional stress and emotional trauma. The Lubbock personal injury attorneys of Liggett Law Group are longstanding advocates for injury victims and we work tirelessly to support our clients throughout the claims process. The first step in ensuring just compensation is contacting Liggett Law Group today to discuss your case at no cost. There is limited time to act following an accident in Texas, so don’t put this off for another day.