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Deadline to Submit a Personal Injury Claim | Statute of Limitations Explained

If you've been hurt in an accident in Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This is called the Statute of Limitations. 

In this article, we will discuss how the Statute of Limitations applies to an individual that has been injured, as well as how to come across some of the limitations and exceptions that individuals can experience when dealing with their personal injury case.

Due to the fact that not all cases are the same,we strongly suggest you contact us here at the Anderson Law Firm with any questions specific to your case. All phone calls are 100% free and no obligation. 

How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to Submit an Injury Claim?

In Texas, The Texas Statute of Limitations gives you two years to file a lawsuit before your time limit to make a legal claim expires.

According to Texas law, injury victims have a two-year deadline from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you allow that deadline to pass and you haven't yet taken action, it's too late: you will be barred from submitting a claim to the insurance company, and you will be unable to recover compensation for your medical bills, damages, and so on.

Please note that contacting the insurance company is not enough. You must actually file a lawsuit at the courthouse. There may be times when you’re getting close to the statute date but you haven’t yet reached the point in the process when you’d normally file a lawsuit. If this happens, your personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit to ‘save’ the statute; i.e. to prevent the statute from running out in the event that the case cannot be resolved short of a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit and What It Means for You

If you were in a car, truck, bus or motorcycle accident in Texas and it was the other driver's fault, you have a right to make a claim against them (and their insurance company) for compensation. This is the reason we all carry insurance.

The money paid out by their insurance will help cover your medical bills, lost wages, car repair bills, pain, suffering, lost earning capacity and more. This is referred as “compensation”, and is one of the biggest reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney would be a good step to take. Remember, you do not have to be stuck paying for medical bills and other accident-related expenses if the accident was not your fault!

However, if you and the other driver's insurance can't come to an agreement on the terms of your wreck (for instance, they don't want to pay you enough money to cover your medical bills), you might have to file a lawsuit against them. This is most common when the insurance company's offer is extremely low compared to your actual bills and you can't afford to cover the cost of the difference on your own. 

Why Do Some People Wait to File a Claim?

There are a lot of reasons people might delay filing a claim. Some examples include:

  • They procrastinate
  • They don't have time
  • The process is too confusing
  • They don't want to be "sue happy" 
  • They don't realize how hurt they are or how much their medical bills will be
  • They think they should settle it "under the table"
  • They're afraid of the outcome
  • They don't realize there's a deadline

What if I Missed the Deadline to Submit A Personal Injury Claim in Texas?

Unfortunately, after the two year deadline, you've lost your right to make a claim forever. If you think you're approaching the two year deadline and you're worried about the future of your case, you should consult your personal injury attorney.    

What If I Don't Know If I Want to File a Claim?

It's an important decision, so I understand why you might be unsure. However, I want to warn you against taking too long to decide whether or not to file a claim. The sooner you choose to pursue a claim, the sooner evidence can be collection, witnesses interviewed and other important documents secured. If you want help making the decision, I'd suggest calling your personal injury attorney; they can tell you if you have a good case and whether or not it's worth pursuing. 

And again, if you wait longer than two years to file a claim with the insurance company, you will forgo your right to do so entirely. 

Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

Yes, a few, most of which apply to children who were injured before they turned 18. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney to see if there are any other exceptions to the statute of limitations date, as well as how to apply those exceptions to their case. Personal injury attorneys can guide someone who had their personal injury accident before they turned 18 years-old. This can come to great use if there is evidence that is difficult to obtain without the help of an attorney, as well as if the evidence requires special legal access to obtain it.

My Statute Date Is Coming Up Soon. What Should I Do?

If you have a statute date that's approaching soon and you have questions about the next best steps, please contact our office to set up your free consultation with our attorneys. During the consultation, our attorneys will look at the details of your case and let you know the next best steps to take, and whether it's worth filing a lawsuit. The consultation is no obligation and at no cost. 

Mark A. Anderson
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Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas