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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How Long Can You Sue after a Car Accident in Texas? | Explaining the Statute of Limitations

When a person suffers injuries in a car accident due to another's negligence, under the personal injury law in Texas, they may be able to pursue legal action to recover the damages. However, the statute of limitations prevents them from obtaining compensation after a certain period of time.


Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the injured victim may not have a lot of time to seek compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have successfully pursued many personal injury cases, and they can help guide the affected party following their car accident.


Those who have suffered injuries in Houston, Texas, should reach out to the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their case and learn more about their rights. They can explain how to calculate pain and suffering car accident in Texas.


What Is a Statute of Limitations?

What Is a Statute of Limitations?


The statute of limitations refers to the timing of personal injury claims or lawsuits. This rule, applied by the courts, dictates the time the affected party has to pursue compensatory damages following their injuries.


Typically, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is around two years from the date of the accident. However, this may vary depending on the facts surrounding the claim or lawsuit.


Failure to file car accident lawsuits within the time frame mentioned under the Texas statute of limitations bars the victims from recovering compensation. The negligent party could use that as a defense and have the personal injury case dismissed.


What Is the Importance of the Statute of Limitations?


To many people, the statute of limitations governing personal injury cases may seem unfair. It is there to protect both the plaintiff and the defendant in the event of an accident.


When an accident causes injuries to a person, the statute of limitations allows them to do their due diligence, investigate the incident, and bring a strong civil case to recover the damages.


However, this rule also protects the defendant in a personal injury case. The statute of limitations prevents affected parties from pursuing legal action years after the traumatic event.


If an individual, for example, brings a car accident claim against the negligent party 10 or 15 years after the incident, it may be difficult for the defendant to defend themselves. The jury may find it difficult to believe the stale evidence or witnesses with fuzzy memories of the incident.


How Long Can You Sue after a Car Accident in Texas?


Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003(a), the statute of limitations pertaining to car accidents is two years from the date of the traumatic event. It is the same for car crashes involving serious injuries, wrongful death, or property damage.


However, the statute of limitations for a car accident lawsuit is shorter than two years if the case involves a government entity. Injured victims only have six months to file a notice of claim with the relevant state department to start the legal process.


Depending on the municipality, the statute of limitations could be shorter than six months for those looking to pursue a car accident claim against a government entity.


Under Texas law, the City of Houston, for example, only allows victims to pursue legal action within 90 days. It's crucial for the affected party to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance.


What Are the Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Texas?


Although the statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury claims, there are two main exceptions that can extend or pause this rule in Texas. These are as follows:


Car Accident Claims Involving Minors

If a car accident happened when the victim was a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin until the affected party turns 18. This is also referred to as "tolling" and extends the time period a person has to pursue legal action.


When the minor turns 18, they have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to bring a car accident claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company.


Car Accident Claims Involving Delayed Symptoms

Typically, the statute of limitations begins from the date the accident occurred. However, when car accidents result in delayed symptoms, the clock starts ticking on the date that the injuries reasonably should have been known. This exemption is commonly referred to as the "Discovery Rule."


A car accident that causes a head injury, for example, may lead to migraines and other symptoms months after the traumatic incident. In such a situation, the injured person may start counting down the days from when the migraines began.


The Discovery Rule is often challenging to prove, as the injured victim must establish a relationship between the car accident and their injuries. They also have the burden of proof to demonstrate that a reasonable person wouldn't have known about the damages until now.


Injured victims should not rely on the two-year statute of limitations period or the Discovery Rule. Every personal injury claim is unique, and the facts surrounding the case might differ.


It's crucial for the affected parties to reach out to reputable car accident attorneys to learn more about the time they have left to pursue legal action.


Does an Injured Victim Need a Lawyer after Their Car Accident?

Does an Injured Victim Need a Lawyer after Their Car Accident?


In Texas, car accidents are more common than one can imagine. It can lead to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Fortunately, an injured victim in the Lone Star state can pursue a motor vehicle accident claim against the negligent party.


However, they don't have much time, which is why they must reach out to a skilled and reputable auto accident attorney in Houston. A lawyer can help them understand how long they have left to pursue legal action.


An attorney can also assist in avoiding a lawsuit by gathering evidence and negotiating a motor vehicle crash settlement. This would help the affected party save time and money. They can help with questions like How long does it take to get a settlement from a car accident in Texas?


Injured Victims Should Not Wait to Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys


Those who have suffered injuries from car accidents due to another's negligence in Houston, Texas, should call to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.


They can help assess the case and protect the victim's rights by pursuing legal action and holding the at-fault party responsible for the damages.

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