When you must file a claim for compensation after being injured in a car crash, you should understand the Texas laws that will apply to your case—especially the statute of limitations for suing a negligent driver. The statute of limitations is the time period you have to file a lawsuit against the driver who injured you. Failing to meet this deadline will likely mean the dismissal of your case.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Texas
A car crash is one type of personal injury case. Other personal injury cases include slip and fall accidents, dog bites, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian accidents, and wrongful death actions. Depending on the type of accident you suffered, the statute of limitations could be different. Under Texas law, the statute of limitations is the same for auto, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents and wrongful death actions arising from these crashes. The following rules apply:
- The time period to file a lawsuit for compensation for personal injuries and property damage is two years from the date of the accident.
- The time period to file a wrongful death lawsuit when someone died as a result of the crash is two years from the date of the victim’s death.
If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you waive your right to compensation, and any complaint you file would be dismissed.
Why You Do Not Want to Wait to Pursue Your Claim
Even though you have two years under the statute of limitations to pursue your claim, you do not want to delay pursuing your right to compensation. Waiting to take legal action can hurt the value of your claim in many ways. Some harmful consequences of not promptly filing and pursuing a claim include:
- Evidence could be lost or destroyed.
- You may be unable to locate witnesses.
- Witnesses may not remember what happened.
- You could make an inadvertent mistake that hurts the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
- Surveillance tapes that could have shown how your accident happened could be taped over.
- You could make your attorney’s ability to obtain the compensation you deserve more difficult.
What should you do if you are worried that you missed the time period to sue? Contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. There may be an exception to the statute of limitations that applies in your case. Call our office at (817) 573-4300 to schedule a free consultation.