The statute of limitations is the maximum length of time you have to file a lawsuit. State set different timelines for different types of cases. If you have a legal claim under Texas law, the following deadlines might apply:
- Personal injury: two years from the date of the incident (such as the date of your car accident)
- Wrongful death: two years from the person’s death
- Cases against the government: provide notice within six months of the time of injury
In certain types of cases, like product liability claims involving a dangerous or defective device, other technical rules, like statutes of repose, can impact your claim’s time limits. When in doubt, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer—they can help you ensure that your lawsuit is filed in time.
If you miss your deadline, you might lose your right to compensation.
For example, suppose you file a personal injury lawsuit three years after your car crash. You got busy and just didn’t file your lawsuit within the two-year window. While the clerk will accept your documents and filing fee, the insurance company’s lawyer could quickly file paperwork with the court, called a motion for summary judgment. This document will explain how you missed your filing deadline and asks the judge to dismiss your case. Unless you fall into a rare exception, the judge might grant this request—ending your legal claims.