People who have been seriously injured in accidents have the right to go to court to get compensation from the person responsible for causing harm. However, state law imposes a limit on the amount of time that a victim can wait before bringing a claim to court. This deadline, called a statute of limitations, can vary depending upon the type of case and the person involved in the lawsuit
Time Limits on Filing an Injury Claim in Texas
The time limit on injury claims only applies to cases filed in court, and do not affect your ability to file a claim for compensation with your insurance company. That said, it is a good idea to file an insurance claim as soon as possible after an accident, since delayed reporting could affect the amount of an insurance settlement.
In general, the statutes of limitations for personal injury in Texas are:
- Two years. In most cases, victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for injury or property damage in civil court. This two-year time limit usually begins on the accident date, but could also begin on the date a victim discovered the injury.
- Six months. There is a special exception for injury cases that involve the liability of a state government agency or employee. Instead of filing a lawsuit, victims who were struck by a municipal vehicle or fell on government property must file a formal claim with the governmental agency within six months of the incident.
- Several years. Accidents that result in death may have extended filing periods depending on the circumstances of the case. A wrongful death lawsuit qualifies for an extension of the statute of limitations for up to one year, and the limit may begin on the date of the deceased person’s death rather than the date of the accident.
The most important thing to know about the statute of limitations is that the court can refuse to hear your case if it is filed after the deadline has passed. If you do not file your lawsuit on time, your right to compensation will be lost forever, regardless of the strength of your case. We can examine the specifics of your case and explain your legal options for recovery. To get started on your case review, send us a message through our online contact form today.