A study by the Texas Department of Workers Compensation reveals Texas employers recorded over 177,900 non-fatal workplace injuries in 2018. Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation recorded 19,506 serious injury crashes, with 30,992 serious injury victims and 3,722 motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. If you had an accident and considering the possibility of bringing a personal injury suit in the state of Texas, Thompson Law Injury Lawyers offers answers to all your questions.
What Is an Injury Claims Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is an imposed statutory limit on the duration you have filed a lawsuit after suffering some type of harm. All the US states have set statutory limits on the duration you have to file an injury lawsuit.
After a slip and fall, traffic accident, and other damages caused by other persons, you could be thinking of filing a personal injury in Texas’s law courts system. Before you do so, you must acquaint yourself with the state’s injury claims statute of limitations.
What Is Texas’ Injury Claims Statute of Limitations?
Texas’s statute of limitations for a personal injury directs that you file the injury lawsuit within a two-year time limit from the date of the injury (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 16.003.). You must file your lawsuit within this timeline to avoid losing a chance to receive damages for your injuries as per your rights.
What If I File the Injury Lawsuit After the Deadline?
Should you file your lawsuit after the two-year window has lapsed, the court may refuse to hear that claim. This means you will lose a chance to get fair compensation regardless of how strong your case is. After you file the case, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss the case based on a lapsed deadline. The court will summarily dismiss the case. However, there are rare exceptions that may entitle you to extra time. Contact your personal injury attorney whenever you are in doubt.
The Exceptions to Texas’s Injury Statute of Limitations
The state of Texas has identified several situations that may extend the filing deadline to allow litigants to file their injury claims past the two-year limit.
A few scenarios that may likely lead to the modification of the Statute of Limitations include:
Claims Involving Minor
Where the injured person is legally termed as “Under a Legal disability” as per the Texas law, the Statute of Limitations may be modified. A person who is termed as “under a legal disability” could either be under the age of 18 or of “unsound mind” when the accident or incident that caused them personal injuries occurred. In such a case, the deadline clock is paused until the period of legal disability is over. This means that the statute of limitation will be applied once the injured person turns 18 or becomes mentally healthy.
Claims Involving Sex Crimes Against Adults
Under Texas law, a victim of sex crimes should bring a suit for personal injury not later than five years from the day they suffered harm. The injury should arise due to conduct that infringes specific provisions of section 21 and 43 of the Texas Penal code that outlaws sexual assault of an adult, aggrieved sexual assault of an adult, actions that promote the prostitution of an adult, and sexual trafficking of an adult.
Claims Against First-Party Automobile Insurance
In Texas, the deadline for filing the claim against first-party automobile insurance is between two and four years. First-party automobile insurance suits include an underinsured motorist claim, an uninsured motorist claim, or a personal injury protection claim. The lawsuits are filed against your own insurance company according to a written contract.
Some Maritime Claims
Maritime accidents have several statutes of limitations that may apply under state and federal law. However, the standard time for filing maritime claims is three years from when you suffer an injury.
Inherently Undiscoverable Injuries
If an injury qualifies as ‘inherently undiscoverable’ within the two-year statute of limitation, by the exercise of due diligence, a claim can be subject to the discovery rule. If the court rules that the discovery rule applies, the statute of limitations is suspended until such a time when the injury is discovered in the exercise of due diligence.
Asbestos and Silica-Related Claims
Claims for personal injuries or death that result from asbestosis or silica-related illnesses have an extended statute of limitations. The two-year statute limit will not run before the date of the exposed person’s death or and the date that you serve a defendant a required report.
If the Defendant Leaves the State
If the defendant leaves the state of Texas at some point after the accident and before the lawsuit is filed, the deadline clock will pause until their return. As such, the period of their absences is not counted as part of the two years stated in the Statutes of Limitations.
Why Do We Have Statutes of Limitations?
The Statutes of Limitations have been part of the US judiciary system for hundreds of years. The main objective of these rules is to protect the defendants’ rights and enhance the credibility of the court processes. These rules encourage the plaintiffs to pursue their lawsuit with some level of diligence. The statute of limitation also ensures critical evidence is not lost over time. It also guarantees the witnesses who will testify in court can draw on more recent and reliable memories.
Do You Need Help with Personal Injury Claims? Trust Thompson Law Injury Lawyers
A personal injury from road crashes, unsafe environments, or abuse can alter your life and those of your loved ones in an unprecedented manner. After a devastating injury, you need help to deal with insurance companies and lawsuits. At Thomson law, our personal injury lawyers are committed to fight for you and ensure you receive fair compensation so that you focus your energies on full recovery. With us, you only pay when we win. For more details, get a free case review with one of our experienced attorneys at law.