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Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim in Texas

Posted On September 8, 2020 In Personal Injury

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the negligence, careless, or intentional actions of another person, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, securing this compensation may require filing a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. It is important to understand and comply with all time limits regarding personal injury lawsuits because a missed deadline could result in a person not being able to recover any compensation.

What Are the Statutes of Limitation for Personal Injury in Texas?

Statutes of limitation are timelines put in place under the law that dictate how long a person has to commence certain legal actions. These can be applied to both criminal and civil cases. For personal injury cases in Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury occurs (Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003). This means that a personal injury victim has a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the person believed to have caused the injury.

Exceptions To the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

There are a few scenarios that could result in a pause of the statute of limitations for a personal injury matter, effectively extending the deadline. This includes:

  • If the injured person is legally disabled under Texas law, which is defined as the person being under the age of 18 or “of unsound mind” at the time the injury occurs. If this is the case, the two-year statute of limitations “clock” will generally not start running until the period of legal disability has ended, which means the injured person turns 18 or they become mentally competent.
  • If, at any point after the underlying accident, but before a lawsuit can be filed, the alleged negligent party in the case leaves the state of Texas. If this happens, the period of absence will not be counted as part of the two-year statute of limitations countdown.

A personal injury lawyer from Texas will be able to help guide you through this case and examine whether or not any of the exceptions to the statute of limitations apply to your situation.

Is the Filing Deadline for a Personal Injury Case?

Missing a filing deadline for a personal injury claim can result in the injury victim being unable to recover any compensation for their losses. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed more than two years after the date the injury occurred, the case will likely be dismissed. It is strongly advised that you work with a personal injury attorney soon after you sustain an injury caused by another party to ensure the deadlines are met.

The personal injury statute of limitations has nothing to do with any reporting requirements set forth by insurance carriers involved in the case. For most personal injury incidents, insurance carriers need to be notified as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Failing to notify insurance carriers in a timely manner could result in the carrier delaying or denying a claim.

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