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Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Texas

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Texas

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Texas 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

How long do I have to file a personal injury case?

After an accident, you may feel as though time is standing still.  You might find yourself struggling to cope with the physical injuries associated with the accident and your sudden inability to support yourself or perform the tasks you normally would.  Even once the immediate aftermath of the accident has passed, it is common to become wrapped up in attempting to return to your life as normal.  Months may pass before you finally get around to meeting with a personal injury lawyer.  In Texas, as in most states, injured accident victims will only have a limited window within which to file their claim.  Waiting too long could result in the inability to bring your action.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Texas

Each state sets its own specific limits on how much time you have to file a personal injury claim.  Statutes of limitations across the country vary from just one year to as long as six years.  In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years.  

The statute of limitations will normally start to toll on the day of the incident.  At times, the day of the incident and the day on which you realize you were injured will not match.  As such, it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after any serious accident so that you can be assessed.  

Exceptions do exist to the two-year statute of limitations.  First, Texas has a discovery rule that may allow you to file past the two-year time limit if you suffered an injury that cannot be linked to a specific date.  Injuries sustained over time, such as the inhalation of toxic chemicals in your work place, may qualify for an exception to the rule, which would give you two years from the date on which you discovered your cause of action.

In addition, the statute of limitations can be tolled under some circumstances.  For example, if the accident victim was a minor at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations would not start to run until the victim turns 18.  

Protect Your Legal Rights Today

Two years may seem like a long time to file your case, but building a personal injury case takes time.  It will require thorough investigations, compiling of much paperwork, and more.  The sooner you meet with an attorney, the quicker your lawyer can get started protecting your legal rights.