There are time limits in which you must settle your case or file a lawsuit. These time limits are called Statutes of Limitations. The standard Statute in Texas for a personal injury case is TWO years after the negligence has occurred. So if you had a car accident in Austin on 1/1/14, you have until 1/1/16 to settle your case or file a lawsuit. If you wait to file your suit on 1/2/16 your statute would have run and your case will almost certainly be dismissed.
There are a few exception to these rules which include Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage. Governmental agencies come with a whole lot of time limits which do not apply to the ones stated above. Other exceptions apply to minors (children under the age of 18) and to the mentally impaired. Please contact our office if you need more information to this complicated aspects of the law.
Finally, there are other exceptions to Statutes of Limitations. In a car accident there is a definitive date that the accident took place. But lets examine a medical malpractice case in which a sponge was negligently left in the plaintiff’s body. Lets assume the negligent surgery took place on 1/1/14, but the sponge was not discovered until imaging was done on 1/1/18, two years past statute. The statute will only expire two year past the discovery of the negligence. Hence in that matter, the Statute of Limitations expires 1/1/20.
Don’t Be SOL, watch your SOL (statutes of limitations). I always found it funny that these two acronyms are so closely related.