How Long Do You Have to Sue for Personal Injury?

by Terry Bryant

How long you have to sue for personal injury in Texas is generally two years from the date of the accident that led to the injury. This time period is called a statute of limitations, and the provisions can be found in detail at Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003. (***ALWAYS SPEAK TO A LICENSED TEXAS ATTORNEY TO UNDERSTAND ALL THE DEADLINES THAT APPLY TO YOUR SPECIFIC CASE.***)

Personal injury cases are civil lawsuits that involve the injured party, called the plaintiff, seeking compensation from a defendant, the person or business claimed to be at fault and causing that injury. Texas personal injury law is complicated, and the amount of time you have to bring a personal injury lawsuit depends on several factors. No matter what type of accident caused you harm, it makes sense to consult with a lawyer who can examine your individual situation and tell you how the statute of limitations and other Texas personal injury laws apply to you.

At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we know what is needed to win your case. We use all the necessary resources to achieve successful outcomes for our clients. Not only do we handle the daily processes required with a claim, but we also go the extra mile to ensure our clients understand what is going on with their case. Mr. Bryant has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1986, as well as being a Former Judge. Our team is handpicked for their work ethic, skill, knowledge, and ability to provide exceptional service to our clients in Houston and across Texas. We know the courts, the judges, and the system, and how to fight for the settlement you deserve.

We offer a free consultation, and you do not have to pay anything unless and until we win your case. Contact us today at (713) 973-8888 for your free and confidential consultation so we can get started working for you within the framework of the statute of limitations.

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Personal Injury?

After any type of accident that caused serious injury, your first thought is dealing with your recovery, and bringing a lawsuit may not be on your mind. However, if the injury involved the negligence or fault of another party, you should be aware that the amount of time you have to sue for personal injury is limited. To make sure you do not lose out, you should contact an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able.

Generally, the two-year time limit to file a lawsuit begins to run when the event that caused the injury occurred. You do not have to have your case heard or tried within the two-year limit, but you do have to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations period. If you fail to get your lawsuit filed before the window closes, the Texas civil court system will most probably refuse to hear your case, and you will permanently lose your right to seek compensation at any time in the future.

Exceptions to the Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In forcing plaintiffs to file lawsuits quickly, the Texas statutes of limitations protect both plaintiffs and defendants by keeping important evidence from being lost or destroyed over time and witnesses from losing memories or even disappearing.

Therefore, if you try to file a lawsuit after the two-year statute has passed, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss the case with the court. The court will then dismiss the case even if the defendant seems obviously at fault.

However, there are some exceptions to the two-year limit of time you have to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, there are several ways the court may agree to delay the running of the statute of limitations “clock,” or do so even after it is already running.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Legal disability — According to Sec. 16.001 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, the statute may be extended if the defendant is under a legal disability. This means the person is: younger than 18 years of age, or of unsound mind.

In the case of a legal disability, the two-year “clock” probably won’t start running until the injured person turns 18 or becomes mentally competent.

  1. Temporary absence from the state — According to Sec. 16.063. of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, should the defendant be absent from the state, the running of the applicable statute of limitations will be suspended for the period of the person’s absence and not be counted toward the running of the two-year statute of limitations.

Since the statute of limitations and its exceptions can be complicated to figure, it makes sense to contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 for help as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline. (***ALWAYS SPEAK TO A LICENSED TEXAS ATTORNEY TO UNDERSTAND ALL THE DEADLINES THAT APPLY TO YOUR SPECIFIC CASE.***)

Time limitations for Injury Claims Against the Texas Government

If your personal injury case involves the potential liability of a Texas government entity or employee, the time you have to sue for an injury is different. In Texas, instead of filing a lawsuit against the government, you must file a formal claim with the governmental unit that you believe may be responsible for causing your injury. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, many government units require a notice to be filed within 6 months from the time the incident occurred. Some local and municipal governments, however, have an even shorter limit. For example, the City of Houston has a 90-day time limit and the City of Austin has a 45-day time limit. Your claim will need to include many things, including but not limited to the following: a description of the damage or injury, the time and place of the incident, and a summary of what happened. (***ALWAYS SPEAK TO A LICENSED TEXAS ATTORNEY TO UNDERSTAND ALL THE DEADLINES THAT APPLY TO YOUR SPECIFIC CASE.***)

Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys for Help

If you have suffered harm and are even considering bringing a personal injury lawsuit, the experienced attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help make life easier while recovering from an accident and pursuing your injury claim within the framework of the Texas statutes of limitations. Our team will handle the many processes required in filing a claim, such as preparing documents, staying on top of dates and deadlines, and corresponding with third parties – including the insurance agencies. In addition, we will conduct investigations, consult expert witnesses, and build a sound case to try to maximize your chances of a successful claim.

Do not delay. Contact us today at (713) 973-8888 to set up your free consultation.