The quick answer to this question is that you have 2 years from the date of the accident that led to your injuries to raise a claim. One exception to this rule is when you discover injuries later on. In this situation, you may have two years from the discovery, but you should discuss this with an attorney.
However, there are a number of reasons why you should file as soon as possible, and the best way to protect your chances of success is to involve a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident, giving them time to build the strongest case and investigate while calculating your damages.
Here at Abraham Watkins, we can help you to understand the legal time limits placed on you by the statute of limitations following an injury. We handle personal injury cases on a daily basis and have served victims in the state of Texas for over 70 years.
In all cases involving personal injury, such as car accident cases, maritime accidents, and wrongful death, the sooner you involve an attorney, the better.
Call us today at 713-535-9319.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Texas?
Sec. 16.003. TWO-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD. (a) Except as provided by Sections 16.010, 16.0031, and 16.0045, a person must bring suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.(b) A person must bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues in an action for injury resulting in death. The cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations places a time limit of two years on individuals to make a claim after an accident that has led to their injury.
With wrongful death cases, you have two years from the date of the death, not the date of the incident, meaning that if your loved one was in a car crash six months ago, but only died from their injuries two months ago, you have two years from their death, not the crash.
Why Do We Have Statutes of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is put in place to protect defendants from being unfairly prosecuted many years down the line from an incident. After a certain time period, evidence that is relevant to the case is likely to be missing or impossible to find, making it hard to prosecute them or assign liability with any certainty.
Exceptions to the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
You should be aware of several exceptions when it comes to the legal time limit placed upon you by the statute of limitations. You may have more time to bring your personal injury lawsuit against the liable party in these cases. If you have reason to believe you fall into the following categories, you must discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer who will be able to confirm.
The exceptions are:
Product Liability Cases
Victims who have suffered an injury because of an unsafe product have an extended period of 15 years from the date the product was sold to them to make a claim. Product liability action is slightly different from a personal injury claim, but your attorney will be able to discuss this with you.
Personal Injuries Resulting in Fatalities
When a victim suffers injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, and those injuries later lead to the death of the victim, the statute of limitations begins upon the date of the death, not the accident. This means the immediate family or executive of the deceased’s estate has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If the personal injury claim involves the sexual abuse of a minor, Section 16.0054 gives the victim an extended period of 15 years to bring their case against the party.
In cases involving sexual assault, forced prostitution, aggravated sexual assault and human trafficking, the state of limitations are extended to 5 years under Texas law.
Construction workers are granted an extended period of time to raise a claim if the injury was caused by a defect that was created by a surveyor or architect.
The best way to understand the time limit that may apply to your case is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Most personal injury lawsuits, however, fall under the 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury.
When Does the Clock Start Running on the Texas Statute of Limitations?
For the majority of personal injury claims, the statute of limitations will begin as soon as the accident has happened. The exception is when the person who was injured dies from their injuries. In this situation, the clock resets upon the date of their death.
What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you miss the filing deadline for a personal injury case in Texas, your case may be barred and you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years from the date of the injury. If you miss the deadline, the court may dismiss your case, and you may lose your right to pursue compensation. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury to ensure that your rights are protected and that you meet all relevant deadlines.
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for Me?
When you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you will likely be up against an aggressive and capable legal team employed by the at-fault party’s insurance company. This legal team spends every day defending the insurance company and its clients from paying out in claims. They will be working hard to devalue your claim and if at all possible, will work to deny it entirely.
While you are fully within your right to pursue a personal injury claim without an attorney, facing off against an insurance company legal team will be difficult without the relevant legal knowledge and training.
Choosing to obtain representation from a personal injury attorney with a proven track record for success ensures that first, you have an extremely capable attorney as your advocate, and second, will ensure that you are treated fairly and seriously by the other party and their insurance company.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
When it comes to personal injury claims, the compensation that is awarded to a claimant or the settlement they are offered will depend upon the value of the damages they have suffered. One of the most important jobs that your attorney will carry out on your behalf is the calculation of these damages. Every cost you have incurred following your accident should be included in these calculations. These damages are known as your economic damages and include:
Any wages or income that you have missed out on as a result of the accident should be recoverable in a successful claim. This includes all time off you have had to take for your recovery, and it should also include any future time you may have to take off for further treatment.
In the most serious of cases, cases where victims will never be able to return to work in the same capacity, your attorney may wish to work with financial experts to calculate what this lifetime of lost earning potential may cost you, so they can recover it in your claim.
Medical care and medical treatment is expensive in Texas, and you should not be left paying your medical bills when somebody else caused your accident. In a successful claim, your attorney will help you recover all of your medical bills and expenses, both past and future.
This is one of the reasons it is important to hire an attorney. With their help, resources, and access to medical experts, you will be able to accurately gauge what your future medical care may cost, so you can claim enough to cover it.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage, meaning it is subjective. For non-economic damages, your attorney will have to judge what they believe the damages to be worth. These damages are meant to compensate the injured party for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the injury. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and other non-economic losses.
Contact Abraham Watkins Today!
At Abraham Watkins, we have been fighting to protect the rights of personal injury victims in Texas for over seven decades. Our experienced lawyers provide quality legal representation and understand that everyone deserves access to justice.
We operate on a no-win no-fee basis and offer free consultations to ensure everyone has the opportunity to seek our legal services. Our team is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients and will work hard to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injury.
Call our office today on 713-535-9319 and let us fight for your rights.