Is It Ever Too Late to Hire a Texas Car Accident Lawyer?

Car accidents are traumatic experiences and injury victims naturally spend the days and weeks following the accident focused on their painful injuries and sometimes injured loved ones as well. It’s common for car accident victims in Texas to assume the insurance process is on their side—especially when someone else caused the accident—and they’ll get the compensation they deserve for damages like their property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. Unfortunately, many Texas car accident victims discover that insurance companies routinely delay claims, unfairly deny them, or defend their clients by taking advantage of the state’s modified comparative negligence insurance system to assign car accident victims an undue percentage of fault. This allows them to minimize the payout on a claim for damages.

Sadly, many car accident victims believe it’s too late to hire an attorney to represent them once the insurance company has already evaluated the case, assigned them a percentage of fault, and offered them a low settlement that doesn’t cover all of their damages. But is it ever really too late to hire a car accident attorney in Texas to defend your rights?

Understanding the Texas Car Accident Insurance System And Why You Need an Attorney

Unlike the handful of no-fault insurance states that require car accident victims to file insurance claims against their own policies regardless of who caused the accident, Texas has a fault-based insurance system. In a modified-comparison negligence insurance system like Texas, car accident victims can recover damages minus their percentage of fault as long as they are not more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. Sadly, this incentivizes insurance companies to assign injury victims a percentage of fault in the accident so they can lower the amount they pay out on a claim by that percentage. 

According to  Texas Civil Code Sec. 33.001.:

“a claimant may not recover damages if his percentage of responsibility is greater than 50 percent. … the court shall reduce the amount of damages to be recovered by the claimant with respect to a cause of action by a percentage equal to the claimant’s percentage of responsibility.”

By hiring an attorney soon after an accident, your Texas car accident lawyer will promptly investigate the accident, document evidence of fault, and present the evidence in a compelling case to the insurance company of the driver at fault, or mostly at fault, for the accident to maximize the percentage you can recover for your damages.

Is It Too Late to Hire An Attorney If the Insurance Company Says I Contributed to the Accident?

Texas car accident lawyers often get calls from car accident victims after they learn that the insurance company of the at-fault party unfairly claims that they contributed to the accident and offered an unacceptably low settlement amount. Is it too late at this point in the process to hire an attorney? Fortunately, the answer is no. While it’s always best to hire a car accident lawyer very soon after the accident while evidence is available, it’s not too late as long as you’re still within the two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit to recover your car accident damages. In addition, some exceptions to the Texas time limit for car accident lawsuits exist, for example, if you discovered an injury later, the statute of limitations begins on the date of injury discovery. On the other hand, if the at-fault party is the driver of a government vehicle or a negligent city government road maintenance agency, the state reduces the time limit to file a lawsuit.

The good news is that our Austin car accident attorneys offer free consultations, so it’s never too late to call a lawyer and discuss your accident case.