If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or intentional act, you have a set amount of time to file a lawsuit seeking a remedy for your injury. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations and it is outlined in Chapter 16 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.
The Statute of Limitations is Two Years for Most Claims
In most instances, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of the accident or injury, meaning a lawsuit must be filed no later than two years from that day. Lawsuits filed after this two-year period will be summarily dismissed unless you meet one of the few exceptions to the statute. Missing this statutory deadline means giving up the ability to ever pursue a remedy (also known as damages) for your injury claim.
There Are Very Few Exceptions to the Limitations Period
If you are under a legal disability the statute of limitations is tolled (suspended) until the disability is removed. These legal disabilities include:
- Minor person under the age of 18
- The statute is tolled until his/her 20th birthday, two years after reaching the age of majority (Weiner v. Watson, 900 S.W.2d 316, 321)
- Persons of “unsound mind” who are “unable to participate in, control, or understand the progression and disposition of a lawsuit.” (Grace v. Colorito, 4 S.W.3d 765, 769)
- It would have to be proven to the court that a person did not have the “mental capacity” to pursue litigation for a definite period of time.
If you believe you have a personal injury claim it is better to seek out the advice of a qualified personal injury attorney sooner rather than later. A Texas personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your claim’s statute of limitations and take steps to protect your rights.