If you sustain an injury in a car or truck accident in Texas, you may wish to seek justice via a personal injury claim. While the law entitles you to do so, you should know that there are certain mistakes you may make that could cost you your ability to recover financially.
One common mistake that accident victims make is failing to file their claims in time. Each state, including Texas, has a filing deadline for each type of legal action. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Nolo summarizes everything you need to know about the statute of limitations as they apply to personal injury claims in Texas.
The statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Texas
According to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims in The Longhorn State is two years. Typically, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident that caused the injury. The two-year time limit applies to both intentional torts and cases that arise out of negligence. If you miss the filing deadline and attempt to file a claim for compensation regardless, the defendant can respond with a motion to dismiss. Except in cases of rare exceptions, the courts are likely to grant the defendant’s motion and, in the process, eliminate any chance you have at recovery.
Exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations
Texas lawmakers have identified two instances that might delay the date on which the statute of limitations begins. The first is if, on the date the accident occurred, the victim was either under the age of 18 or of “unsound mind.” In these instances, the clock would not start ticking until the injured party either turns 18 or receives a “mentally competent” diagnosis from a doctor. The second exception occurs if, at some point between the date of the accident and the filing of the lawsuit, the defendant leaves the state of Texas. In such an instance, the time period in which the defendant was out of state would not count as part of the two years.
If you hope to recover compensation via a personal injury claim, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with Texas law as it pertains to civil suits. Failure to do so could cost you your claim. Fortunately, with the right help, you can do what you need to do when you need to do it and prevail.