Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Lawsuit
For those that are unfamiliar with the term, a ‘Statute of Limitation’ is a time limit, set by law, which says that after a certain amount of time, no legal action can be taken for timeline limitations in a personal injury lawsuit.
The term applies to both criminal and civil actions, such as personal injury lawsuits, but for obvious reasons, we will limit our discussion here, to how they apply to civil law and can affect your ability to collect damages if you should be injured due to the negligence of others.
What are the time limits in civil lawsuits?
According to Texas law, in the majority of cases, you have two years from the time that you discover an injury to file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. The exceptions to this rule are when a municipality is involved in the case or where contract law may come into play, such as a case involving a cruise ship. Then your allotted time may be as short as six months.
Why time is of the essence, for a personal injury claim?
It may be possible for your attorney to get these deadlines extended, but the odds are very slim and to be honest, you should probably consider the clock to be ticking, as soon as an accident occurs. Damages or injuries that are not documented for seven days can appear very suspicious to a jury making it more difficult for you to recover a settlement.
That is why we always recommend that you get a full medical exam and contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as an accident occurs.
Beyond these reasons is a simple truth that the longer you wait, the more difficult you make a life for your attorney.
As the old saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither is a personal injury case.
Key Points to Remember in Personal Injury Case
- The time limits are, as a general rule, strictly enforced. This means that by waiting you could lose the ability to pursue a claim forever.
- Your personal injury attorney needs every opportunity to investigate, preserve the evidence from, and speak to witnesses of the incident, while it is fresh in their minds.
- Many claims have requirements that must be met before a lawsuit can be filed. Your attorney needs time to properly explore the incident and prepare your case before filling it.
- Even before going to court, your attorney can be a great help to you. He/she can assist you in dealing with insurance adjusters, medical bill processing, car replacement, and much more, leaving you to focus on your recovery.
- Finally, the old saying, “the sooner the better.” Most times, the statute of limitations will begin to run out as soon as the injured person knows, or should have known, that they suffered an injury. That last phrase is a very important point as it leaves a great deal of room for interpretation.
Time and the law wait for no man.
Many times, in the aftermath of an accident, especially one that resulted in a life-altering injury, it can be difficult for people to regain their mental and emotional bearings enough to once get on with life. Unfortunately, the law can be a very unforgiving mistress, with little to no regard for personal feelings or circumstances. As is often quoted, “The law is the law; nothing more and nothing less.” To give your personal injury lawyer the best opportunity to help you have the greatest chance of recovering the damages that you are entitled to, remember that time is of the essence and act sooner, rather than later.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and would like to speak with an attorney specializing in personal injury law, contact 844-308-8180 for a free consultation.