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How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?

  1. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
  2. What Is a Statute of Limitations?
  3. Are There Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations in Texas?
  4. When Should I Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
  5. Contact Will Adams for Assistance With Your Complex Personal Injury Case

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, commercial vehicle wreck, or another incident because of someone else’s negligence, you only have a limited time to file a legal claim and demand compensation. Once this time passes, the courts may dismiss your lawsuit, making it impossible to get compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what the phrase “statute of limitations” means, how long you have to file a personal injury claim in Texas, and why you should contact the skilled attorneys at Will Adams Law Firm for help navigating your case.

Related Content: Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

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.

Are There Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations in Texas?

Yes, but they are relatively rare. The most common reasons to extend Texas’ statute of limitations involve:

  • Minors: The statute of limitations is tolled (or paused) until an injured child turns 18. Then, they have until they are 20 years old to file their claim. If a minor dies in the incident, their next of kin is not eligible for this tolling provision.
  • People who are mentally incompetent: if you are of “unsound mind,” the statute of limitations might be paused until you are mentally competent.
  • Negligent party leaves Texas: if the at-fault party leaves the state and cannot be found, you can toll (or pause) the statute of limitations until they return to Texas.

In most cases, you should assume that there is a two-year filing deadline for your personal injury claim.

If you already filed an attorney to help with your claim, and they failed to file your lawsuit on your behalf before the statute of limitations elapsed, you could be eligible to file a legal malpractice claim.

“Will treats his clients with great kindness and compassion. He fully understands the pain and injustice each victim is going through. This compassion and understanding allows Will to prosecute your case to the fullest. Will is tenacious in pursuing what he feels is the correct settlement for his clients.”

- B & ES – Dallas, TX

“Will, Chris & Sarah. K and I just want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and our family. Throughout this process you have kept us informed and been patient with us (especially me) as we navigated through unchartered territory. Putting things in your hands allowed Karl and I to focus on him getting better.”

- SC – Katy, TX

“Hi Will, I just wanted to take a minute and let you and your wonderful staff know just how much we appreciate each one of you! All of you have been so great to us. Y’all have always answered any and all questions immediately and never left us hanging or wondering about anything. All of you have made this.”

- SB – Katy, TX

"Dear Sarah, you are the best legal assistant in the history of such creatures of legend and lore. (And Brian is in the tribe too) Do take a copy of this email to your next annual performance review... you have raised the bar. Thank you for all your help!"

- AM – Houston, TX

"I wanted to thank you both for a job well done and for an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. I appreciated your expertise and your thoroughness of preparation, as well as keeping me informed of the possible outcomes at each major point.Will, I think that Chris did an excellent job and wanted to bring that to your attention."

- MJ – Katy, TX

When Should I Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Two years might sound like a lot of time, but you should contact a lawyer long before your statute of limitations expires.

First, as time passes, memories will fade and evidence will disappear. If you wait a year or more to contact a lawyer, you might miss out on valuable information that could strengthen your case. For example, trucking companies only have to hold on to the drivers’ logbooks, maintenance records, and GPS data for a limited amount of time. This information, which can pinpoint the company’s errors and missteps could be long-gone if you wait too long.

Second, it takes time to build a strong legal strategy. Our lawyers might need to do detailed legal research, consult with expert witnesses, talk to your doctors, order medical records, and interview witnesses. It’s not a good idea to rush this process—and the more time we have, the better.

Contact Will Adams for Assistance With Your Complex Personal Injury Case

A personal injury can have severe and prolonged effects, and a wrongful death leaves the victim’s friends and family devastated and forever changed. And while you can never undo the wrong done to you or your loved one, filing a successful personal injury claim is the closest you can get to achieving justice on their behalf.

If you’ve been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, you should contact a proven and experienced personal injury attorney to help file your claim. With the amount of evidence collection, witness testimony, depositions, and medical treatment involved in your claim, things can get very complicated very quickly. A skilled lawyer can handle all of this and more and even take your case to trial if the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement offer.

At Will Adams Law Firm, we have helped thousands of personal injury victims recover just compensation. Please call (281) 371-6345 or complete this brief form today to schedule your free consultation where we can discuss the details of your claim, offer sound legal advice, and begin building your case.

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