Texas law allows you to recover prejudgment interest on your damages in wrongful death, personal injury and property damage cases. The prejudgment interest begins 180 days after you notify the Defendant, in writing, of your claim, or on the day the lawsuit is filed, whichever occurs first. If you intend to negotiate your own settlement, be sure and mail a written notice of your claim to the person responsible for your injuries as soon as possible so the 180 days can begin to run. That way, if negotiations break down and you hire a lawyer, you will be that much closer to proving your prejudgment interest.
Be sure and send your claim notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can prove the date you mailed it. Also, keep a photocopy of your signed letter in case it has to be used during the trial.
Prejudgment interest rules are set forth at Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated, article 5069-1.05 (Vernon Supp. 1997). See especially, article 5069-1.05, Section 6(a)
Written by Donald Ray Burger, Attorney at Law
Last revised: January 23, 1997
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