Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Texas Personal Injury Cases
This is the next post in our series on the personal injury process in Texas. Our last post discussed the comparative negligence laws in Texas and stressed the need to speak with an attorney after suffering an injury to better understand your rights. We will use this article to discuss another topic that is important for injury victims to be aware of—the statute of limitations in a personal injury case.
Texas plaintiffs can lose the right to file a lawsuit if they miss their statute of limitations
A statute of limitations defines the amount of time in which a lawsuit must be filed after an incident giving rise to a cause of action occurs. In most Texas personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury occurs. For example, if one was injured on January 1, 2015, the deadline for that person to file a lawsuit related to the injury would be January 1, 2017. However, certain factors and circumstances can change the limitations period so it is important to promptly meet with a lawyer after suffering an injury to understand the limitations period in your case. In the case of an injury to a minor, different limitations periods may apply. The limitations period may also vary based upon the type of action being brought by the plaintiff. If a case is not filed within the applicable time period, a victim can totally lose their right to recover.
By meeting with an attorney immediately after suffering an injury you can gain an understanding of deadlines in your case and allow the attorney adequate time to investigate your case prior to filing a lawsuit. This allows the lawyer and investigators to determine things such as parties who may be liable, key witnesses in your case, and the full extent of your injuries. Hiring counsel early in the process may also allow time for a pre-litigation settlement with the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company prior to the statute of limitations impacting your case. If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, it is important that you seek representation immediately to understand the time constraints involved in your case. Our offices handles cases in Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, Denton, and Wise counties as well as Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Arlington, Keller, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth, and all of Texas.
The importance of immediately retaining counsel in Texas catastrophic injury cases
The need to quickly retain an attorney after suffering an injury is especially important in a catastrophic injury or wrongful death case. With cases of this magnitude, it is important to give counsel adequate time to investigate the case before litigation begins. In addition, insurance companies defending cases involving catastrophic injuries will often attempt to reach out to involved parties immediately to obtain recorded statements and other evidence before the victim or the victim’s family has time to retain an attorney. Do not let this happen to you. Protect your rights by understanding the statute of limitations that applies to your case.
When selecting a personal injury attorney it is important that you select a firm which handles major injury cases and in which the lawyers have substantial experience. You should also determine whether the attorneys are board certified and whether the firm employs a full time investigator. Finally, you should determine whether the firm is large enough to advance court costs and whether the office can devote multiple attorneys to your case. This is true whether you were injured in counties including Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, and Wise as well as Fort Worth, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Arlington, Keller, Grand Prairie, and Dallas.