In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 2 years. This means you have 2 years from the date of your accident or injury to file a lawsuit in civil court. Another way to think about the statute of limitations is as a filing deadline. Every state has a different one, but you can find information about filing a lawsuit in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. “Limitations of Personal Actions” appear in Chapter 16, Subchapter A, and the 2-year limitations period is addressed in Sec. 16.003.
Are There Exceptions to the Statutes of Limitations?
Of course. As with any law, there are exceptions. The “clock” will not start ticking until you are of sound mind, and minors under the age of 18 cannot file lawsuits. If you are in a coma or undergoing intensive medical treatment, for example, you will have 2 years from the time you wake up or stabilize, and if you are injured when you are 16, the 2-year clock will start ticking when you turn 18.
The state of Texas also accounts for defendants who leave the state. If the person who harmed you leaves Texas, the time will not “toll” while the person is gone.
What If You Miss the Deadline?
If you try to file your personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. Unless you have a valid exception (see above), the court will grant this request.
Put more simply, missing your filing deadline usually means you lose your right to legal action.
For this reason, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as you are able after your accident or injury. Not only will this protect your right to sue but contacting a lawyer sooner rather than later will also help strengthen your case.
The more time that goes by, the more difficult it will be for your legal team to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and build your claim. If you call a lawyer immediately after your accident, on the other hand, they may be able to go directly to the scene, gather important evidence, and collect witness statements.
Speak to the Law Office of James M. Stanley About Your Situation
Whether you are coming up on your filing deadline, think you have an exception, or just want to get ahead of the legal process, you’ve come to the right place.
The Law Office of James M. Stanley is dedicated to fighting for your rights. We’ve been helping people like you since 1976, and we look forward to helping you, too.
Call us at (817) 591-4222 or contact us online for a free consultation – we are available 24/7 to take your call.