The Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Texas: Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Texas

After being hurt in an accident, you have a limited time period to file a personal injury lawsuit. That’s why you should talk to an attorney soon after being injured by someone’s negligence.

The Texas car accident attorneys at Pastrana & García Injury Law can help you file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations.

What Does ‘Statute of Limitations’ Mean?

A statute of limitations is a period of time that you have to file a lawsuit. Every state has a statute of limitations for various types of litigation, including personal injury lawsuits.

The clock for the statute of limitations usually starts on the date of the event that caused the injury. For example, if you were hit by a car at a busy Pflugerville intersection, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit starts on the day of the crash.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Texas

In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is usually two years. This means you must file suit within two years from the accident date to receive compensation. You also have two years from the incident date to file a property damage claim.

If you miss the deadline and file a lawsuit, the defendant will probably file a dismissal motion with the court. The court will likely dismiss your claim unless there is a highly unusual exception.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

While most personal injury lawsuits in Texas must be filed within two years, there are several exceptions to keep in mind:

  • Personal injury claims that involve minors
  • Sex crimes against those 18 and over
  • Medical malpractice claims
  • Personal injury claims against first-party auto insurance companies
  • Asbestos-related claims

Regarding minors, the statute of limitations clock to file a lawsuit begins when they turn 18. If the person is declared ‘of unsound mind,’ the clock would also start when they are determined to be mentally competent.

Also, you have only six months from the accident date to file a lawsuit against a government agency or the state. The Texas Tort Claims Act requires you to notify the appropriate government department of your intention to sue within six months. The notice must have the following information:

  • The date the accident happened
  • Where the accident happened
  • The injuries you suffered
  • A description of the accident

Some Texas municipalities have even shorter statutes of limitations. For example, Houston has a 90-day time limit, and Austin’s is only 45 days. Thus, retaining a Texas personal injury attorney quickly after the accident is essential.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

Did you lose a loved one because of someone’s negligence? The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is also two years, and the time starts on the date your loved one was involved in the accident.

In Texas, the following parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit if it is within the two-year statute of limitations:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Parents of the deceased

Why Is There a Statute of Limitations?

The use of statutes of limitations goes back centuries. These rules exist primarily to protect defendants from being sued many years after the incident. For example, suppose there was no statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit. In that case, someone could sue you a decade after the accident, significantly reducing your chances of finding evidence to exonerate you.

Speak to a Texas Personal Injury Attorney

Were you injured in a car accident in Pflugerville? You need to file your claim within two years of the injury date. Our personal injury attorneys at Pastrana & García Injury Law can assist you with filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

If you are injured in an accident in Austin, do not hesitate to contact Pastrana & García Law Firm.

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