All states have imposed legal limits on the amount of time individuals have to file a lawsuit in civil court.
Personal injury cases in the State of Texas are a form of civil lawsuits that typically fall under a two-year statute of limitations, with some accidents requiring action in less time, depending on the circumstances or location where the injury occurred.
Our Harris County personal injury lawyer, Charles J. Argento, explains your legal options and the time constraints to file the proper claim under our Texas laws.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Texas
With only a few minor exceptions, which we will outline below, Texas statute of limitations laws read that individuals who have suffered a personal injury caused by another’s negligent actions or inactions have exactly two calendar years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
If the injured party does not file the lawsuit before the two-year deadline expires, the judge will likely refuse to hear the case, which means your right to pursue financial compensation for the damages that resulted from your injury will expire.
What Are the Exceptions to the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Laws?
Our personal injury attorney in Houston would like our clients to think of the statute of limitations as a running clock.
The clock begins ticking the moment the injury occurs, working towards the two-year statute of limitations — when time is up.
In Texas, there are several scenarios that may stop the clock, temporarily pausing and extending the deadline to file a personal injury claim.
The circumstances that may modify the standard personal injury statute of limitations timeline can include:
- The injured person is under the age of 18, or as described by Texas law — under a legal disability
- The injured person is of not of sound mind
The clock will begin running once the injury victim turns 18 or becomes mentally competent.
Another possibly acceptable delay in filing a personal injury case is if the person responsible for the injury — which could include a drunk driver, or another negligent party — leaves the State of Texas.
The period of the responsible party’s absence will not count as part of the two-year statute.
What If I Am Filing an Injury Claim Against the Texas Government? Is the Statute of Limitations the Same?
If your injury occurred due to the negligence of a Texas state or local government employee or agency, you must file a formal claim with the governmental unit that you believe may be responsible for causing your injury within six months of the accident.
Since the timeline and the filing requirements are more stringent than a non-government-related personal injury claim, it is important to consult with an experienced Houston lawyer immediately after the accident occurs to ensure your rights are protected.
What Happens If I Miss the Personal Injury Filing Deadline in Texas?
The two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas should be adhered to unless a rare exception entitles you to additional time.
If not, you may lose the right to pursue the financial recovery you deserve for your medical costs, lost wages, and miscellaneous expenses, which can be overwhelming when you suffered severe injuries.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by another person, party, or entity’s negligence, contact our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, by calling (713) 225-5050 today for a free consultation.