Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: What You Need to Know
When you get injured due to another party’s negligence, you may qualify to recover compensation for your injuries. However, your right to recoup compensation from the negligent party does not extend indefinitely. Under Texas law, there’s a strict time limit on your right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Paying attention to this law, commonly known as the Texas personal injury statute of limitations, can help you protect your right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury Statute of Limitations in Texas
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, section 16.003, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the day of the injury. This means if you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Texas, you have up to two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
When does the Statute of Limitations start running?
When it comes to filing a personal injury suit, you should avoid making hasty decisions. You need to make sure that you have undergone all the possible medical treatments and all damages stemming from the accident have been accounted for before filing your suit.
However, it’s important to remember that you cannot wait forever to start pursuing justice for your injuries. If the allowed time window passes before you file a lawsuit, you may automatically lose your right to seek compensation through the court. But there’s no reason to fret. Consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer to understand when is the optimal time to file your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Exceptions to Texas’ Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
There are rare exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations. Talking to a team of experienced Houston personal injury attorneys can help you determine if your case falls within the exceptions available under Texas law.
Here are some of the exception to the Texas statute of limitations
- A lawsuit against the state – For claims against the state or federal government, the statute of limitations usually drops to six months from the date of the injury. The time window often starts to count on the day you get injured.
- Claims involving minors – When a personal injury claim involves a minor, the case is tolled until the minor is 18. This means that when a minor sustains an injury, the statute of limitations can not come into effect until the victim’s 20th birthday. However, the time can be shorter for medical malpractice claims because of the tort reform restrictions or if the victim dies due to the accident.
- Asbestosis and silica-related injuries – In the case of injuries or death resulting from exposure to asbestos or silica exposure, the two-year statute of limitations does not run until after an exposed person’s death, or after the date, a claimant serves the defendant with the required report (Sec. 16.0031).
- Sex crimes – when a personal injury results from a sex crime such as the sexual assault of a child, one may have up to 30 years to file a personal injury lawsuit (Sec. 16.0045).
- Claims subject to discovery rule – In some cases, the injuries can be inherently undiscoverable within the two-year statute of limitations. In such a case, the claim can be subject to an exception under the discovery rule. However, this exception can only be used in rare circumstances.
- Claims against first-party car insurance – A claim is defined as a first-party claim when you file an underinsured motorist claim, uninsured motorist claim, or a personal injury protection claim against your insurer according to your policy’s contract. When your insurer fails to pay, you have the right to sue them for breach of contract. The statute of limitations for a breached contract is generally four years from the date of the accident. However, for personal injury protection claims, the statute of limitations is defined by the contract. Your team of Houston personal injury attorneys can help you determine the limits specified in your policy.
- The negligent party leaves Texas – If at any point after the accident the negligent party leaves the state of Texas before the lawsuit is filed, the period of their absence will not be considered as part of the two years.
Contact a Texas personal injury lawyer for help.
If you’ve been injured and are not sure how long you have to file a personal injury suit, you shouldn’t despair. Instead, contact the experienced team of personal injury attorneys to help you determine the most appropriate time of filing your lawsuit while ensuring you don’t violate the statute of limitation.
The Burkett Law Firm has helped clients recover damages after injuries for the past 30 years with unmatched success. Feel free to call us at (361) 882-8822 or contact us online for a free consultation today.