Texas Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury

Texas Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury

A statute of limitations can be defined as a law that prevents people from bringing a lawsuit before a court after a certain period of time has passed. The statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas is two years. What this means is that a court may refuse to hear your personal injury case after two years even if you have a strong case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand statute of limitations and how it applies to your particular case. 

Why Statutes Of Limitation Exist

Statutes of limitations exist for the following reasons:

  • To protect the defendant from the cruelty of untimely litigation 
  • It encourages the people who file lawsuits to pursue their lawsuit with reasonable diligence
  • To help prevent important evidence from getting lost over time and to prevent witnesses from forgetting the events as they happened

You should know that the jury may not trust witnesses for an accident that happened several years before you filed the lawsuit. One reason for this is that the witnesses may not be able to remember the events accurately and may leave out many important details.

Calculating The Statute Of Limitations

Texas Statute Of Limitations For Personal InjuryThe statute of limitations mostly begins when the accident or event that leads to lawsuit occurred. In other words, you begin counting the two years the day the personal injury event happens. You can file the lawsuit at any time within that two year period. File as soon as you can within the two years because it can be hard to calculate when the statute of limitations for your case expires. However, there are certain situations where you can still file after the statute of limitations expires. These include:

  • If the person that caused the accident left the state of Texas at some point after the accident, the period of the absence will not be counted as part of the two years. For example, in situations where the defendant flees after committing a crime, the time the fugitive was on the run will not be counted within the statute of limitation.
  • If the plaintiff is under 18 or is of unsound mind at the time of the accident, the two year clock will only start running once that individual turns 18 years old or becomes mentally competent

Your lawyer can review your case to determine if you can still file a lawsuit  after the statute of limitations have expired.

What Are The  Statutes Of Limitations For Civil Claims?

In Texas, the statutes of limitations for civil claims are :

  • Two years for property damage: For cases such as, taking or detaining personal property  of another, or trespass or injury to the estate or to the property of another
  • Two years for personal injury: Applies to cases where an individual’s action causes injury or death of another person
  • Two years for wrongful death: Also has to do with an individual’s actions causing another person’s death
  • Two years for Medical Malpractice: Applies to actions of healthcare workers that lead to injury or death
  • Two or fifteen  years for product liability: When a product or service is faulty or causes injury 

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