Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 4:35 am
If you suffer any injuries as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, or any other incident, due to another party’s negligent conduct you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them in a Texas court. However, the claim must be filed within a stipulated period, after which your rights to seek any justice in a courtroom will be deemed to have expired.
When it comes to such cases, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with the Statute of Limitations on injury claims in the state of Texas.
For more about the Texas statute of limitations on injuries, the reason why you need to familiarize yourself with it and any exceptions to the rule, read on below.
What Is A Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a rule applied by courts with regard to the timing of the filing of lawsuits. In this case, injury victims have a limited amount of time within which they can bring forth a lawsuit.
A statute of limitations is usually used to protect defendants against having cases brought against them after an extended period. The rule also ensures that the victim files a lawsuit while evidence and witness accounts are still fresh and verifiable.
Texas Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim
In the state of Texas, injury victims need to file a lawsuit before a court of justice within two years after the occurrence of the cause of the action. If the victim brings their case in front of a court after the expiry of this period, the defendant is likely going to ask the court to dismiss the case by filing a motion to dismiss.
Regardless of whether you can prove that the defendant is liable, or how substantial your injuries are, you will no longer have the right to claim any damages after this happens as the court is most likely going to dismiss the case.
The expiry of the statute of limitations not only results in the loss of your right to claim damages in a court of law, but also takes away any leverage you might have had in out of court negotiations for compensation. Once the other party discovers that you have no legal right to claim damages in a court of law they are likely to withdraw from the negotiations.
Exceptions To The Rule
Even though the Texas statute of limitations is 2 years, this window may be reduced, delayed or extended depending on the situation. Here are the main exceptions to the general rule:
Delay Under A Legal Disability
According to Texas law, the start of the 2 year countdown is delayed when the victim in question is deemed to have been under a legal disability when the injury causing incident occurred. The legal disability could mean that the victim was of unsound mind or a minor when the incident occurred.
The countdown only starts when the victim’s legal disability is over. This might mean that the victim has become mentally competent or has attained the age of 18.
Delay Due To Defendant’s Absence From The State
If the defendant, person accused of causing the incident that resulted into the victim’s injuries, leaves the state of Texas after the incident but before a case is filed, their period of absence from the state is not counted towards the 2 year window.
Claims Against The Texas Government
For any injury claims that involve the Texas state government or any of their officials as liable parties, different rules apply. For starters, you cannot file a case against the government of Texas under such circumstances.
In such a case, the victim needs to file a formal claim with the specific unit of government they deem to be responsible for the incident. The claim must include a detailed description of the incident, injuries sustained and the location of the incident. This claim must be filed in six months.
Get Professional Help As Soon As Possible
As you can see from the above, the Texas statute of limitations on injuries is set at 2 years. However, there are several exceptions to this rule that may warrant the extension, delay or even reduction of this window. Consult a seasoned Texas personal injury attorney if you have any questions about a looming or past deadline, with regard to the state’s injury statute of limitations.