The most populous in Texas and the fourth most populous in the US, Houston is a city that has no shortage of people or activities. Unfortunately, with such a high population comes the risk of accidents.
If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, Texas, you may be wondering how long you have to file a lawsuit against the people or entity that caused your injury. The answer depends on the statute of limitations in the city.
In general, the statute of limitations is a deadline that limits the time you have to file a personal injury claim. Before filing a legal claim, you should check for the best personal injury law firm in Houston.
In this article, we are going to discuss the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Houston.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Houston, Texas
Under Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the statute of limitations for many personal injury cases in Texas is two years from the date of the injury. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident or the date your injury was discovered to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. This rule applies to any civil claim for injury filed in Texas, such as:
- Auto accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Dog Bite
What are the Exceptions to the Statute of limitations in Personal injury Laws?
In Texas, there are few exceptions and special circumstances that will impact the statute of limitations in your personal injury case. For instance, the deadline will be extended or tolled if:
- You were under the age of 18 or of unsound mind at the time of the injury. In this case, the two-year clock may not start running until you turn 18 or become mentally competent.
- The person or entity you want to sue leaves the state before you can file a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, the period of absence will not be counted within the two-year period.
Pros of the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
- The statute of limitations speeds up the process of getting justice and compensation for the victim.
- It helps maintain the integrity of evidence by making sure that claims are brought within the deadline. The evidence will remain fresh, and the witnesses will still be available when the case is being handled. By doing this, you can protect the evidence from being damaged, and the events that happened will be fresh in the witnesses’ memory.
- By filing a personal injury claim within the time limit, you can address medical needs with the compensation you receive.
Cons of the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
If you fail to file your lawsuit within the two-year deadline, you will likely face the following consequences:
- The defendant will ask the court to file a motion to dismiss your lawsuit, arguing that you have missed the filing deadline. The court will agree with the defendant and dismiss your case, and you will lose your legal right to get compensation.
- The statute of limitations can be used by the insurance company of the defendant to reduce or deny your personal injury claim. The insurance company will argue that you waited too long to file the lawsuit and that the evidence or witnesses are no longer reliable or available. Moreover, the insurance company will try to prolong or delay the negotiation process until the statute of limitations expires and then refuse to pay any compensation.
The statute of limitations is a crucial thing to consider in any personal injury case. It can impact the victim’s ability to pursue justice and compensation, as well as the defendant’s liability. So it is advisable to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible for anyone who has been harmed by someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence.
An experienced lawyer can help you understand the statute of limitations in their state and file the lawsuit before it expires. Moreover, they can let you know of any potential extensions or exceptions to the statute of limitations that will apply to your personal injury case.