Certain Places Have Different Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit
If you have been injured or involved in a car accident, you may be wondering when your deadline is to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. Every state has a different statute of limitations (the deadline to file a lawsuit), which can make the process even more complex. Before you move forward, it is important you take the time to understand Texas’ statute of limitations, as well as some of the important details when filing a personal injury case.
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. Remember, your initial consultation is free, and if we decide to take your case, we only get paid if we win.
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.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Texas?
The main exception to Texas’ two-year rule is if you are filing a lawsuit against the government. If this is the case, you have six months to notify the government unit about your claim. Specifically, Section 101.101 of the Texas Tort Claims Act states that notice of a claim must be filed with the appropriate government unit within six months of the date of the accident. The notice must include a description of the injury or damage, the time and place the incident occurred, and a description of what happened.
Some local and municipal governments set shorter time limits for filing notice of a claim. For instance, the City of Houston has a 90-day time limit. In the City of Austin, the time limit is only 45 days.
Another exception is if a minor was involved in the accident. If a minor is the injured party, the minor has until his 20th birthday to file suit. However, if the minor incurred medical bills, the claim for the minor’s medical bills is actually the responsibility of the minor’s parent(s) and/or legal guardian. The parents’ claim must be filed within two years of the minor’s injury.
The statute of limitations may also be suspended (“tolled”) if the following occurs:
- The at-fault party left the state for an extended period
- 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 take far longer than others because of a host of factors, whereas others move through the system relatively quickly. Factors that may contribute to the length of a personal injury case include where it occurred, how backed up the court system is in that specific county, the type of case, the number of parties involved, 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, medical bills)
- Non-economic damages (pain and suffering, physical limitations)
- Punitive damages (damages to punish the at-fault party)
There is no set calculation to figure out what your case is worth. Please contact a qualified personal injury attorney at our office to further discuss your case and what your case may be worth.
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 pretrial. If the person 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.