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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Can a Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Deadline Be Extended in Texas?

After being injured in an accident, victims don't have much time to claim compensation and take legal action for their losses. In fact, the Texas personal injury statute of limitations will only be two years from the date of the victim's accident, so there's a two-year period to file the personal injury lawsuit and recover damages.

In most personal injury claims, there is a two-year period, but specific circumstances could affect the Texas personal injury statute of limitations. Since the time frame is quite short, it's crucial to take action quickly. It's wise to speak with a Dallas or Austin personal injury attorney, and Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys goes to war for 214! They're also able to help with questions such as What if I'm partially at fault for my injury in Texas?

What's the Statute of Limitations in Texas for a Personal Injury Claim?

What's the Statute of Limitations in Texas for a Personal Injury Claim?

The personal injury Texas statute of limitations is two years, which was set by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (16.003). This starts when the victim discovers the injury or two years from the date of their accident. With the restriction in place, victims don't have much time to file their personal injury cases to get financial compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Different personal injury cases could have varying statutes of limitations in Texas. Here is a list of the general time frames:

  • Car Accident - Two-year limitations period

  • Premises Liability (Slip and Fall) - Two-year statute of limitations

  • Truck Accident - Two years

  • Product Liability - Two years from the date of the accident or 15 years from the product sold date

  • Government Tort Claims - Usually six months

  • Medical Malpractice Cases - Two years but can't go beyond 10 years

  • Wrongful Death - Two years

Most personal injury cases have the two-year limitation. Though this applies to medical malpractice cases, the statute of repose in Texas prevents victims from bringing a claim 10 or more years after the accident date. Additionally, a defective product claim can't be filed 15 years after the sale date of the item, regardless of when the injury occurs.

Why Do Personal Injury Claims in Texas Have a Statute of Limitations Period?

The statute of limitations for Texas personal injury lawsuits encourages victims to file a claim before the crucial evidence gets lost. Having accurate details and evidence to support the case is necessary if justice is to be served. After too much time has passed, it's difficult to identify damages and prove negligence.

Every state has a statute of limitations for claims. When it expires, the court will generally dismiss the personal injury case. The deadline is designed to be fair for the defendant and plaintiff.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Start?

Though each personal injury case is different, the Texas statute of limitations starts running when the victim discovers the injury or on the accident date. In most cases, victims know they're injured the day of the accident. However, it's possible for injuries to surface days, months, weeks, or years after the accident occurred.

For instance, a patient needs minor surgery and several months later experiences serious symptoms and pain because the surgeon was negligent. The statute of limitations in this case would start on the date the person learned of the injury instead of the surgery date.

The process for determining the time limit of a case is confusing. Therefore, it's wise to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in Dallas. They can help victims determine if there is a case and the deadline involved.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Texas

Certain circumstances could affect the two-year filing deadline for a personal injury case in Texas. Here are the most notable exceptions for the statute of limitations:

Minor Victim

If the injured person was a minor (under 18 years old) when the incident occurred, the statute of limitations will pause or "toll" until the victim turns 18. If the minor child's parents didn't make a claim, the adult victim has two years to pursue it after they become an adult.

However, the rule changes for medical malpractice situations. Texas law states that medical malpractice victims under 12 years old have until they turn 14 to file the claim and recover damages.

Parents and guardians often file the lawsuit on behalf of the child after the incident. If this occurs, the victim cannot bring another suit when they reach adulthood.

Mentally Incompetent Victim

The statute of limitations is often extended for mental incompetency. If the victim is mentally incompetent, the statute pauses until they're legally mentally competent, which can take a while.

Legally Disabled People

If the injured victim has a legal disability, the statute of limitations is often modified. They might be of "unsound mind" or under 18 years old when the incident caused the injury. The deadline clock pauses until the legal disability is over.

Claims Involving Asbestos or Silica Exposure

Suppose the wrongful death or personal injury claim involves silica or asbestos exposure. In that case, the two-year limitation starts on the date of the exposed person's death or when they serve the defendant the report for the injury claim.

Defendant Leaves the State

When the at-fault party/defendant leaves the state before the victim files the lawsuit, the statute of limitations will toll until they return. Therefore, the period of time when the defendant isn't in Texas won't count toward the limitation.

The Discovery Rule Applies

If the injury was "inherently undiscoverable" during the two-year limitation period, the victim could have two years from the discovery to file the claim. The discovery rule applies for fraud, evidence concealment, and more.

Defendant Is Considered a Government Entity

There's a shorter time frame to sue a government entity than with any other personal injury claim. Texas law will require victims to send notice of a claim within six months of the accident. It's wise to work with a personal injury attorney in this case because of the specific information needed. They can also answer questions like what is a demand package in a personal injury case?

Maritime Claims

The Federal Court has jurisdiction over maritime laws/claims. These are highly complex cases and have different statutes of limitations that could apply under state and federal law.

How Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Helps Clients File a Lawsuit

How Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Helps Clients File a Lawsuit

If a victim is injured because of another person's negligence, it's wise to seek a personal injury lawyer immediately. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to assist. Please use the online form or call to request a free consultation.


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