If you think you have a legitimate personal injury case, but you didn’t file a claim because the incident was months ago, the Texas statute of limitations may change your mind. Personal injury claims can sometimes be filed well after the injury occurred, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you file your case, as long as it is within the timeframe the State of Texas allows. Even if you think that time has run out on your case, you should still contact a lawyer to see if your case falls within the parameters of Texas’ statute of limitations.
Q: What is the Texas statute of limitations?
A: The Texas statute of limitations is a set of laws that outline the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In other words, these laws define the time limit you have to take legal action on something.
Q: Does Texas have the same statutes of limitations as every other state?
A: No, each state in the US has the authority to set its own statutes of limitations, meaning that the timeframes for filing various types of legal actions can vary widely from state to state.
While some states might have similar timeframes for certain types of cases, there is no uniformity across all states.
Q: How long does the Texas statute of limitations say I have to file a personal injury claim?
A: In the context of personal injury cases in Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file within this time, you will usually be barred from bringing a lawsuit regarding that injury in the future. However, there can be exceptions or circumstances that might extend or shorten this period.
It’s important to note that different types of cases have different statutes of limitations. For example, if your case involves a contract, you have four years to file a lawsuit.
Q: What happens if I do not get my case scheduled by the expiration of the statute of limitations?
A: If you do not file your lawsuit within the time period set by the statute of limitations, you will likely lose your right to sue. The court will probably dismiss your case as “time-barred.”
In other words, if you try to file your personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the person or entity you are trying to sue can use the expired statute of limitations as a defense. This means they can ask the court to dismiss your case, and the court would usually grant that request.
There are some exceptions, but they are rare. For example, sometimes the clock on the statute of limitations can be “tolled” or paused, such as when the injured party is a minor or mentally incompetent.
Q: I am from Louisiana, but I had a car accident in Texas. Where do I file my personal injury lawsuit?
A: If your car accident occurred in Texas, you would generally file your personal injury lawsuit in Texas, regardless of where you live. The laws of the state where the accident occurred would typically govern your case. This is because the jurisdiction – the authority of a court to hear a case – usually lies where the incident took place.
Q: Is the statute of limitations the same for incidents involving government employees or agencies?
No, the statute of limitations for incidents involving government employees or agencies can be different and often more complex compared to those involving private parties.
In Texas, if you plan to sue a government employee or agency, you must typically give notice of a claim (sometimes called an “intent to sue”) within a short period after the incident – sometimes as few as 30 to 180 days, depending on the specifics of the situation (see Sec. 101.101).
This requirement to provide notice is in addition to the regular statute of limitations, which is the deadline to actually file the lawsuit in court. The notice requirement ensures the government agency has adequate information and time to investigate the incident.
As always, due to the complexity of these laws and potential exceptions, it’s highly recommended to consult with an attorney experienced in cases against government entities to guide you through the process.