Visitor Question

Is there a time limitation on hiring an attorney after a car accident?

Submitted By: Della (Houston, TX)

On September 30 I was a passenger in my daughter’s car. We were waiting at a stop light and were rear-ended. I was examined at the emergency room and they took X-rays and a CAT scan. I was released and told to followup with my doctor. My doctor said I had whiplash and wrote an absent from work order for 8 weeks from my job.

This is October 13th and I’m still hurting. I’m also beginning to have some dizzy spells. How long after the accident do I have to hire an attorney? Is there any time limit?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Della,

There isn’t a time limit within which you have to hire an attorney, but there is a time limit in which you have to either settle a claim or file a lawsuit. In Houston that time period is 2 years. The time period is referred to as a “Statute of Limitations”.

The best way to go about hiring an attorney is to interview several of them. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. You can learn a great deal about the quality of the case you may have as well as the quality of the attorney you may decide to retain.

Personal injury attorneys charge fees differently than most other attorneys. Most other attorneys charge either a flat fee or by the hour. Personal Injury attorneys charge what is referred to as a “contingency fee”.

A contingency fee is a fee based upon the amount of money the attorney recovers for you either when she settles your case without filing a lawsuit, or after the lawsuit is filed.

Most of the time those contingency fees are 33.3% or 40%; 33.3% is the fee normally charged when an attorney settles your case before she files a lawsuit, and 40% is the amount she receives after filing suit. In either case the attorney only gets paid when, and if she settles your case, or after she wins the case at trial.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by visiting with qualified personal injury attorneys.

Learn more here: Do I Need a Lawyer?

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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