Recovering Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Texas Personal Injury Lawsuits
After a substantial accident, there are plenty of costs---lost wages, medical bills, repair costs, you name it. Sometimes, insurance covers some of these costs, but far too often, victims have to pay for what they need out of their own resources. The law allows your attorney to pursue the defendant to pay those costs back to you. Below, in our continuing discussion on damages we'll discuss how that works and how you can best preserve your case.
Whether you're a fellow attorney or new to law completely, check out our popular Comprehensive Guide to Personal Injury Law for a rundown of the basics.
Questions answered on this page:
- What does the law say about how much compensation I can get for out-of-pocket expenses after an accident?
- How do you prove how much compensation you should receive?
- How can an attorney help me get the most compensation possible for any out-of-pocket expenses I incurred after an accident?
Post-accident expenses can be charged against the person or company that hurt you.
In personal injury law, the whole point is to make sure the responsible party pays the bills. In other words, as attorneys, our task is to find who caused the accident, and then use the legal system to force them to compensate you for the monies spent to fix their mistakes. When victims are forced to come out-of-pocket for costs like medical bills, auto repairs, medication, or anything else, the law gives you the right to file a claim against the perpetrator in order to get compensated for what you've paid. This is, clearly, only fair. Since you didn't cause the accident but still had to pay money to others to pick up the pieces, why should you have to ultimately bear that cost?
The legal mechanisms for how this works are this:
- Your attorney files a lawsuit against the person who caused your accident and their insurance company;
- Your lawyer performs a months to year's long investigation in order to find out what happened;
- The defendant and his insurance company must weigh the evidence with the fact that a jury could award;
- The attorneys for both sides meet and try to work out a settlement that you will decide is appropriate; and
- If you don't take the settlement offer, we're off to trial.
In the end, what this process is designed to do is to make you whole by compensating you for what you've lost.
How to preserve your claim for out-of-pocket expenses.
Defendants in these cases have the right to defend themselves in court, of course. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make a huge difference in how much compensation you receive. An experienced attorney should do the following for you in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Have an attorney file your claim on time. In Texas, your claim expires two years after the accident happened. That means that, except in the most limited of circumstances, if you don't have a lawsuit on file within that time, your case goes away forever. Don't even think about waiting until you get close to that time. Call a lawyer now.
- Keep strict records of what you spend. If you have to pay for anything---prescription drugs, car repairs, doctor visits---keep a file at home with all your receipts for everything you spend. You'd be shocked at how much money gets spent that you won't remember, even with bank and credit card records.
The burden is ultimately on you and your attorney to provide evidence of your losses, so it's extremely important that you act fast.
Our Experienced Attorneys at Grossman Law Offices Can Help
If you or a loved one been hurt in an accident? Then call the personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices in Dallas, TX at (855) 326-0000 for a free consultation.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- Proving that an Accident Was Called by Negligent Hiring
- Who Decides Who Is at Fault For an Accident? A Jury
- Bystander Claims and Texas Law