You don’t have forever to bring a personal injury claim. Like all states, Texas has established a time limit to file personal injury claims. This law is called the statute of limitations.
The Texas personal injury statute of limitations is two years, subject to certain exceptions. Once the statute of limitations has passed, a plaintiff loses their right to sue for compensation. Thus, it is crucial to be aware of these deadlines.
At Armstrong, Lee, & Baker LLP, we know the deadlines. We can investigate to see if any exceptions apply to your case. We will stay vigilant and help ensure you do not miss your personal injury claim filing deadline. Don’t delay, and contact us for a free consultation.
What Is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Texas?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years. The statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the accident or other event that caused your injuries.
For example, for a truck accident, the statute of limitations clock will start to run on the day of the accident. For a wrongful death claim, the statute of limitations will start running on the day of your loved one’s death.
What Happens If I Miss the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Deadline?
Missing the statute of limitations deadline means the court will likely dismiss your claim if you try to file. If the deadline passes, you lose your chance to seek compensation for your injuries.
Why Have a Statute of Limitations in Texas for Personal Injury?
Nearly every criminal and civil case has a statute of limitations. These deadlines preserve the judicial system’s integrity and protect both parties’ rights. The statute of limitations is essential for the following reasons.
Time is essential when filing lawsuits. The two-year deadline allows victims time to do the following:
- Regain their footing,
- Assess their injuries, and
- Contemplate legal action.
On the other hand, there must be a deadline so lawsuits can be filed within a reasonable time following the incident.
Preservation of evidence is critical in all personal injury cases. Evidence doesn’t last forever. Physical evidence can be destroyed, lost, or altered. Witnesses can move away, drop off the grid, or die. And memories can fade or become jumbled.
Fairness is the foundation of our legal system. A statute of limitations upholds this fairness doctrine and does not leave potential defendants with a never-ending lawsuit threat.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Texas – Personal Injury
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. These exceptions stop the clock from running for a certain amount of time. This stopping of the clock is called tolling. Here are some exceptions to the statute of limitations.
A person has a legal disability if they are younger than 18 or have an unsound mind. Texas law tolls the statute of limitations for persons with a legal disability.
Thus, the statute of limitations does not start to run until the victim turns 18. For a person with an unsound mind, the statute of limitations clock is tolled until their mind is sound.
Some injuries are not obvious. If so, the statute of limitations deadline does not start ticking until the victim knows or should have discovered the injury with reasonable diligence. The discovery rule is a rare exception.
Sex Crime Victims
Personal injury victims have different statute of limitations deadlines if their claim results from a sex crime.
The statute of limitations is 30 years after the event if the injury arises from one of the following crimes:
- Sexual assault of a child,
- Aggravated sexual assault of a child,
- Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or disabled individual,
- Certain sexual trafficking of a child,
- Compelling prostitution of a child, and
- Indecency with a child.
For personal injury relating to the following crimes, the statute of limitations is five years:
- Sexual assault,
- Aggravated sexual assault,
- Compelling prostitution, and
- Sex trafficking.
A personal injury attorney can help you file your claim timely before the deadline.
Contact Armstrong, Lee, & Baker LLP for a Free Case Evaluation
At Armstrong, Lee, & Baker LLP, our kind and compassionate attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience with the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas.
We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. But you mustn’t miss your opportunity to file your personal injury claim. Even if you think the statute of limitations has passed, speak with one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys.
One of the statute of limitations exceptions may apply. We offer free consultations, so there is no risk. And you pay us only if we win. Contact us now and see how we can help you.