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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Car Accident Victims Beware: Know Your Statute of Limitations

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after my car accident in Texas?

A case out of Texas should serve as a reminder to all car accident plaintiffs of the importance of filing early. A Texas appeals panel recently held that a car accident plaintiff lost her right to pursue damages against a tire company because the suit, while filed timely, was not served within the statute of limitations against the defendant. This case illustrates the harsh stance that the law takes on untimely claims. Anyone injured in a car accident in Texas will need to consult with an automobile accident lawyer right away to find out more about their legal rights.

The Statute of Limitations in Texas

The statute of limitations is the timeframe in which an injured party must seek damages against the person or entity that caused the accident. Every state sets its own statute of limitations, with most states providing plaintiffs with two years to file, but others setting time limits that are shorter or longer. The statute of limitations is critically important as it can make the ultimate difference between a strong recovery and a nonexistent cause of action.

In Texas, personal injury plaintiffs will generally have two years from the date of the accident to file suit. If you do not file within this timeframe, or even if you do timely file but it is too late to timely serve the defendant, you may permanently waive your right to pursue damages. While two years might seem like a long amount of time, building a strong personal injury lawsuit takes time.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

Exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist. For car accident victims who are under the age of 18, the statute of limitations will be tolled or suspended until attaining the age of majority. Additionally, in some instances, the statute of limitations will not start until discovery of the injury, which may differ from the date of the accident. Exceptions to the statute of limitations are rare and car accident victims should never delay consulting with a knowledgeable Texas automobile accident attorney.


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