A statute of limitations sets the maximum period after a car accident during which legal action can be initiated. In Texas, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means you have a window of up to two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
If you were hit by a government employee, there are additional time notification limits, some as short as a month. Further, for medical malpractice cases, the statute has a few exceptions, which are best to be discussed in a phone call.
It’s vital to note that missing this deadline forfeits your right to seek compensation for the incident. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay informed about the statute of limitations and take prompt action if you’ve suffered an injury.
Don’t let time elapse without consulting a personal injury attorney regarding your accident. Reach out to Funk and Associates today for a free consultation. We will look at the facts of your case, let you know of any time limits, and promptly get to work fighting for your rights.
Don’t Wait Too Long To File Your Claim … Here’s Why
Why Does Texas Have Statutes of Limitations?
Statutes of limitations play a crucial role in promoting fairness and efficiency within the Texas justice system. They are essential for several reasons:
- Time Considerations: Statutes of limitations for personal injury cases make sure lawsuits are filed promptly. They should also allow victims the necessary time to assess the full extent of their damages. In cases of personal injury, it’s common for victims to discover the long-term impact of their injuries over time. Attorneys need to thoroughly document injuries and evaluate future care needs.
- Preserving Facts and Evidence: Over time, evidence can be vulnerable to tampering, destruction, or loss. In cases relying on individual memory, recollections may fade, become distorted, or the individual may pass away before providing testimony. Collecting evidence in a timely manner is essential to maintaining its integrity.
- Preventing Harassment: Statutes of limitations offer protection by ensuring that potential defendants are not subjected to the perpetual threat of a lawsuit hanging over them indefinitely. This helps maintain a balance in legal proceedings and prevents undue harassment.
By addressing these aspects, statutes of limitations contribute to a legal framework that is both fair and efficient. They provide a structured approach to legal proceedings while considering the complexities of gathering evidence and assessing damages over time.
Statutes of Limitations for Civil Claims in Texas
If you’ve suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions, it’s crucial to be aware of the limited timeframe for taking legal action. Here are the statutes of limitations for various civil claims in Texas:
- Personal Injury: 2 years
- Wrongful Death: 2 years
- Property Damage: 2 years
- Product Liability: 2 years (or 15 years from the product sale)
- Medical Malpractice: 2 years from the time of the negligence OR the two years starts running from the time you discovered the negligence. Imagine a sponge was left in your body on Day 1…You discover the sponge on day 50. The statute of limitations starts running on day 50 not day 1. So you would have two years and 50 days to file suit or forever be barred from collecting any compensation.
However, there are exceptions to the Texas personal injury statute of limitations, and three common scenarios can pause the countdown to the deadline, providing additional time to file a lawsuit:
- Legal Disability: If the victim was under 18 or of unsound mind at the time of the incident, the two-year countdown starts once the victim turns 18 or regains mental competence.
- Claims Against the Government: When filing a claim against the government or a government employee, it’s essential to consult a personal injury lawyer promptly. The government is protected by sovereign immunity, and specific written notice of a claim must be provided within a designated period.
It’s crucial to be vigilant about these timelines to protect your right to file a claim.
What If I Miss the Deadline To File My Personal Injury Claim?
In general terms, if the deadline for filing a lawsuit in a personal injury claim in Texas expires, you forfeit the opportunity to pursue financial compensation from the party responsible for your injury.
And this is why it’s so important to know the specified timelines to protect your legal rights and seek appropriate remedies for your injuries!
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Texas for a Car Accident Case?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for a car accident case is two years. If you sustain injuries in a car accident with evidence pointing to the other driver’s fault, you have the option to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the responsible party.
Let us repeat: You must initiate legal action within two years from the date of the car accident. If this timeframe expires, you forfeit the right to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Texas operates as a “fault” state, allowing individuals injured in accidents to file personal injury claims or lawsuits against the party at fault. In most instances, you would be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy in addition to the at fault driver and/or company and/or owner of the vehicle. This legal framework is designed to ensure accountability and provide recourse for individuals harmed in car accidents.
When Do I Need to File My Car Accident Claim?
Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code provides a two-year window for filing a lawsuit after a car accident to seek compensation for injuries caused by another party. It’s crucial to adhere to this timeline, as the court will not entertain a case filed after this deadline.
In the case of a car accident claim involving a local or state government, specific notice requirements outlined in Section 101.101 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code come into play. Failure to adhere to this notice requirement may impact your ability to pursue a claim against the government or its agencies. Being diligent about these legal timelines is essential to preserving your rights in such cases.