When is the Right Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas?

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The statute of limitations, or the time limit on filing a lawsuit in court, is an important law to follow to ensure you will receive the compensation you deserve and that your case will not be dismissed. This timeline is strictly enforced in Texas civil court, although there are a few instances in which the deadline may be extended. As always, if you have any questions regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury cases or about personal injury in general, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today.

The Standard Timeline for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit can come about from injury caused by a slip-and-fall, traffic accident, or other types of accidents. In Texas, the specific deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in court is two years from “the day the cause of action accrues,” or the date of the accident that led to the injury. The entire Texas personal injury statute of limitations can be found in the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003. The two-year deadline still applies even if your injury was caused by someone’s act to harm you, whether it was intentional or not. If you still are in the two years from the time of your accident, our attorneys can help you get your case started right away in this crucial time frame.

What Happens After the 2-Year Deadline?

Suppose you miss the two-year deadline after the accident for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, the person or organization you are attempting to sue will likely file a “motion to dismiss.” It is in your best interest to file a lawsuit within the stated timeline. Otherwise, any court in Texas will immediately dismiss your case once they receive this motion and realize it has been over two years since the accident occurred. Once your case is dismissed, you will be unable to recover damages awarded by the court for your injuries, no matter if the accident was intentional by the defendant or how significant the damages may have been. In addition to filing a formal lawsuit, the two-year deadline also affects settlement negotiations. If you want to recover compensation through a settlement agreement with the defendant and their insurance company, staying within the two-year timeline is imperative to have a good position at the negotiation table. If it is discovered that the deadline for your claim has passed, you will lose leverage even for recovering damages from a settlement.

Possible Extensions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Fortunately, certain circumstances may warrant an extension to the two-year deadline of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if an exception may be granted or not. It is always best to speak to an attorney regarding your injury case, whether you fall within the statute of limitations or not. The injured party will likely be granted an extension to the statute of limitations if they are found to have a legal disability under Texas law. You would have had to be under the age of 18 or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident that caused the injury. In this case, the statute of limitations would begin at the end of the legal disability (Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.001). Another matter that may warrant an extension is if the defendant has left the state between the time of the accident and the filing of the lawsuit. The amount of time they were out of the state will not be counted as part of the two-year timeline (Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.063).

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, it is not too late to find out if you are eligible to receive compensation. Whether or not you filed your lawsuit within the two years after your accident, you may still have a case. Our team is here to help you get the justice you deserve for your injuries. Reach out to one of our skilled personal injury lawyers today to set up a consultation to speak about your circumstances.

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