How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?

After experiencing a car crash in Texas, submitting a claim is perhaps the last thing you’d want to deal with. However, the Texas statute of limitations dictates that you should file your claim as soon as possible.

A statute of limitations is legislation that specifies how long an individual has to file a civil lawsuit. Note that no matter how reckless the other party was in causing the accident, you lose your right to file a claim after the statute of limitations expires.

Therefore, knowing the limitation period could be the difference between recouping losses and being responsible for them yourself. Remember that the statute doesn’t dictate the deadline for settling a claim. It merely determines how long you must file a court claim.

What is the Texas Statute of Limitations Regarding Personal Injury Claims?

In Texas, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim for damages. Nevertheless, some exceptions to this rule can stretch or tighten the cutoff date.

What are the Rule’s Exceptions?

Under Texas law, injuries caused by a government entity or employee are exempt from the filing deadline. In such cases, you have only six months to submit a notice on a personal injury case, or the complaint may be precluded.

However, it is not possible to sue the state. You must file a formal complaint with the governmental entity that you think may be liable for your injury. The claim must include a summary of the injury or damage, the time and location of the event, and a summary of what transpired.

There are additional instances in Texas where the clock may temporarily stop or the deadline may be extended. These instances include:

  • If the victim is under 18, the limitation period does not begin.
  • The limitation period can be extended past two years if the plaintiff relocates before legal proceedings.
  • If the defendant’s negligence couldn’t have been discovered in two years.
  • The personal injury plaintiff has a physical or mental disorder that prevented timely filing.
  • The defendant engaged in fraud.

A seasoned personal injury attorney in Texas can assist you in determining whether an exception applies and how this may affect your ability to file a lawsuit.

How Quickly Should I File A Claim For Personal Injury?

Now that you understand the specifics of the personal injury statute of limitations, let’s discuss timing. Personal injury claims require equilibrium. Understandably, you’d like to meet the cutoff date, but you should also give yourself enough time to assess your injuries fully.

Some damages are immediately noticeable, whereas others take time to emerge before you can evaluate their effect on your life. Note that scrapes and bruises can develop into major injuries, resulting in future medical expenses, long-term care expenses, and other financial losses.

If you take a settlement offer from an insurer or a respondent, you forfeit your right to more compensation. Before accepting a buyout offer from an insurance agent or the plaintiff, you must determine how much remuneration you should seek for your injuries.

Here’s when issues arise since the limitation period ticks away in the background. Therefore, you should consult with an attorney immediately. They can assist you in initiating the filing process, documenting your injuries, and preventing you from making decisions that could compromise your compensation rights.

What If My Due Date Has Passed?

You must ensure ample time to gather the evidence needed to bolster your claim, but you cannot miss the cutoff date. Courts in Texas strictly apply the state’s statute of limitations. If you skipped the two-year time limit to submit your injury lawsuit, you will likely not hold the negligent party liable for your injuries, regardless of their severity or the strength of your case against them.

The individual you are attempting to sue will likely leverage the missed deadline to advocate for a “motion to dismiss.” If none of the above exceptions apply, the Texas court system will probably grant their plea and discharge your case. Due to the complexity of understanding the Texas statute of limitations, it’s best to hire an attorney and let them do all the hard work for you.

Kerry L. Tucker

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Early in his journalism college years, Kerry had a revelation: there were not nearly enough law communicators. Peoples’ difficulties in understanding the law, procedures, and how the justice system worked stemmed from the fact that no one took the patience to explain complicated matters to them. Therefore, he took upon him the task of helping people navigate legal matters easier. He works with attorneys and other legal journalists, and spends time doing research so that everyone – from a mother whose child got a bike injury to a company needing insurance counsel – to find the actionable answers they are looking for.


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