Question: I was rear ended in a car accident about a week ago and now I have numbness and tingling down my leg. If the problem doesn’t stop, how long do I have to file for my injuries. Also, how will the insurance company determine the value of my car if it is totaled? Will they give me enough to replace it?
Robert’s Answer: In Texas, the time limit (statute of limitations) for a typical personal injury case is two years from the date of the accident. However, the statute of limitations should not be your focus at this point. You need to get to the doctor right away. Delay in your medical treatment may jeopardize the value of your claim especially if it turns out that you have a serious injury. Symptoms like this can indicate some sort of nerve impingement or nerve damage. Your doctor will do a complete physical evaluation and may have to order an MRI.
Documenting your injuries as soon as possible is critical in a personal injury case. You need to establish a clear trail of medical evidence connecting your injury back to the accident. Otherwise, it becomes more difficult to convince the adjuster (and a jury) that the injury was caused by the accident. Do not wait to see if the problem goes away, especially if you have been having problems for about a week now. I always recommend that you see a doctor within a few days of an accident if you continue to have issues.
As for your car, the adjuster will inspect your car and determine whether it is worth repairing. If not, then it will be declared a total loss. You are not necessarily entitled to “replacement value” of your car. Rather, you are entitled to the fair market value of your car. The adjuster will research recent sales of comparable vehicles in your area in order to calculate the fair market value.