Every State Has Different Statute of Limitations
If you have been injured or involved in an accident, you may be wondering what it takes to file a personal injury claim in Texas. Every state has a different statute of limitations (the deadline to file a lawsuit), which is one of the reasons to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Before you file a lawsuit, it is important that you understand Texas’s statute of limitations, as well as some other important factors when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
We recently discussed the car accident settlement process timeline in Dallas, but today we are going to take a broader look at the Lone Star state’s statute of limitations in regards to personal injury cases. If you have any questions that are not answered below, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Dallas personal injury lawyers. We are here to help you better understand your rights and what the personal injury case process looks like.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years for most civil cases. This is a pretty standard timeline that many other states adhere to as well. However, in Louisiana, the deadline (prescriptive period) to file a personal injury lawsuit is one year. Louisiana follows Spanish and French Law and has its own terminology for many key terms regarding litigation. One of the differences is the use of the terms “statute of limitations” v. “prescriptive period.” These terms have the same meaning, except Louisiana is the only state in the country that uses “prescriptive period” to define the deadline you have to file a lawsuit.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
The main exception to Texas’s two-year deadline is if you are filing a lawsuit against the government or a branch of the government. If this is the case, you have six months to bring suit. Another exception is if a minor was involved in the accident. A minor has until he/she reaches 20 years old to file suit if the minor was injured on or before his/her 18th birthday. However, there is no set rule of lawsuits involving minors, so you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away if this type of scenario pertains to you.
The statute of limitations may also be suspended/tolled if the following occurs:
- The suspect/negligent party was not living in the state
- The time period of indictment
Furthermore, there is no statute of limitations in place for the following crimes:
- Manslaughter and murder
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated assault
- Crimes committed against young children
- Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death
- Human trafficking
How Long Can a Personal Injury Case Take?
Every single personal injury case is different, making it difficult to say exactly how long it can take to reach a resolution. Some personal injury cases two to four years while others may resolve in six months to a year. Factors that may contribute to the length of a personal injury case include the type of case, who was involved, the number of parties involved, the extent of negligence involved on the at-fault party, and how serious the injuries were.
How Much Should I Ask for a Personal Injury Settlement?
Again, the amount of compensation will depend on numerous factors. To calculate how much your settlement may be, it can be helpful to look at the different types of damages you are seeking, such as:
- Economic damages (lost wages and medical bills)
- Non-economic damages (pain and suffering)
- Punitive damages (damages to punish the at-fault party)
The simplest way to calculate your damages is by adding up the number of days you have been in pain and multiply it by the number of days it has been since you were in the accident. This can be confusing, so it may help to discuss this with your personal injury lawyer.
What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, just four to five percent of all personal injury cases in the United States go to trial. The majority (95 to 96 percent) of cases are settled out of court.
How Do I Know I Have a Personal Injury Case?
There are many different factors that determine whether or not someone has a personal injury claim. From the type of accident and injuries to the statute of limitations, it is important you discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys at Shamieh Law will advise you on whether you need to hire a lawyer and if the case should go to court or be settled before filing a lawsuit. If the person or company responsible for the accident was negligent and this negligence caused the personal injury, you may have a case on your hands. To learn more, please contact the experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers at Shamieh Law today.