Austin, Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Austin car accident that was caused by another motorist, you may be entitled to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. This will allow you to seek fair compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. However, you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation following a car accident. In Texas, there are time limits known as the statute of limitations that you must follow when claiming compensation following that accident.
The statute of limitations specifies how long you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. If you fail to file your claim within the time allowed, you may lose your right to seek a financial recovery.
The statute of limitations means you must move quickly to pursue a car accident claim. You need an aggressive, experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that your claim is diligently pursued. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the car accident attorneys of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., fight for the rights of car accident victims across Texas.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, Call Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. today at (361) 882-4357 or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. We’ll discuss your legal options and how our firm can help you pursue financial recovery after your accident.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in Austin, Texas?
Under Texas law, a driver involved in a car accident must report the accident to the local police department or sheriff’s office if the accident resulted in the injury or death of any person involved in an accident.
The driver’s insurance policy requires a driver to report an accident within a reasonable period of time, which may be as little as one or two days or as long as 30 days, as specified by the policy. If you fail to report your accident in the time required by your insurance policy, your insurer may deny a claim you make against your policy.
If you need to bring an injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused the accident, Texas law requires that you file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents is two years. This is measured from the date of injury and regardless of the type of incident that allegedly led to the injury. The affected party must bring suit for personal injury no later than two years after the day of the car crash, but under limited circumstances, more time may be allowed to file a lawsuit, such as for a child injury victim or if the injured victim does not know the identity of the at-fault party or parties.
In addition, if you have a car accident claim against the government (such as if you were hit by an official vehicle), you must provide the government with notice of your claim prior to filing a lawsuit. In most cases, you must provide notice in a shorter time frame than the statute of limitations in your case. In Texas, you must provide the state with notice of your pending car accident claim within 180 days of the accident. Many counties and municipalities in Texas have even shorter notice periods, sometimes as short as 60 days after your accident.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims in Texas
If you file a claim for your injuries and damages suffered in your car accident against the car insurance company, you will need to follow the Texas statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which is two years, measured from the date of your accident.
However, if you have a claim against the car insurance company itself for denying a claim for benefits, other statutes of limitations come into play. For example, if you bring a breach of insurance contract claim against the insurance company, you have four years from the insurance company’s alleged breach of the insurance policy to file your claim.
Alternatively, if you are bringing a claim of breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing or alleging that the insurance company violated the Texas Insurance Code, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the insurance company’s statutory violation of breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
What Happens If the Statute of Limitations Expires?
If you file a lawsuit after the expiration of the limitations period in your case, the court will dismiss your lawsuit, and you will be without an avenue to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you fail to provide timely notice of your claim against the government, or you do not get permission from the court to file a late notice, the court will be without jurisdiction to hear your lawsuit against the government and can dismiss any lawsuit you file.
However, courts do not dismiss late claims on their own. Instead, the defendant in the case must file a motion to have the case dismissed as untimely under the statute of limitations or tort claim notice requirements. You may be able to prove that the statute of limitations in your case was extended for some reason or that you should be given leave to file a late tort claims notice for car accident claims against the government.
How to File a Car Accident Claim in Austin, Texas
Filing a car accident claim should begin with reporting the accident to the local police department or sheriff’s office. The police will send an officer to prepare an accident report that will note details of the accident and may even include the officer’s opinion on how the accident occurred and who may have been at fault.
A police officer can summon emergency medical services if someone involved in the accident has been seriously hurt or appears to be in distress or summon the fire department if someone is trapped in a vehicle or if there is a risk of fire from fuel or other fluid leaks.
As soon as possible after your accident, you should report your accident to your insurance company, either at the scene of the accident or as soon as you are in a position to do so. If your car cannot be driven from the scene, your insurance company can arrange for towing and alternative transportation. Once you report your accident or file a claim with the insurance company, you will likely be contacted by a claims adjuster who will be the point person for your dealings with the insurance company.
If you have injuries from the accident, you should talk to a knowledgeable injury attorney before discussing the accident with an insurance adjuster. A car accident attorney at Herrman & Herrman can review the details of your accident and discuss whether you have a valid claim. We can help you understand the appropriate steps to take and whether you are entitled to hold the other driver’s insurance company liable for your injuries.
If you decide to go to court, you will likely want the assistance of an experienced attorney who can ensure you have the strongest possible legal claim.
Contact an Austin, Texas, Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Austin car accident through no fault of your own, the car accident lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., can help you pursue the compensation and justice you deserve. Our firm has office locations in Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth. Our law firm utilizes an Accident Investigative Team to get to work building the strongest, most persuasive claim possible.
We are honored by the positive reviews and feedback we’ve received from our clients on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms. We have a bilingual staff to serve both the English- and Spanish-speaking members of our community. Our firm also makes an effort to give back to our community, including providing innovation scholarships for high school and college students and sponsoring charity races and festivals that help many worthy causes in our community.
If you have a car accident claim, contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Austin auto accident attorneys to discuss your case and learn more about your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or fill out our website contact form to set up a consultation.