In Texas, The Statute of Limitations Gives You 2 Years To Sue
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, you may have a valid claim against them for your losses. Still, life goes on and you’re busy with putting your life back together. Talking to lawyers about potentially filing a claim is often pushed off while victims worry about other things. Still, the amount of time you have to file a claim or lawsuit is incredibly limited. If you do not file a claim against the responsible party within the allotted time, the court will bar you from ever filing a lawsuit forever. This means that the negligent person who hurt you goes completely unpunished and you will be forced to suffer without any assistance.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Even Exist?
The statute of limitations exists to serve several goals: to make victims to bring their claims quickly and efficiently, to ensure that evidence is fresh as possible, and to allow some closure to potential defendants. The courts understand that lawsuits can frequently disrupt the lives of everyone involved. If you are injured, the court expects you to bring your claim within a reasonable amount of time.
On its face, this can seem mostly beneficial to the defendant. After all, he gets “off the hook” completely if you file your lawsuit 2 years and a day after the accident that he caused. And this is true! Over the years, we’ve been forced to turn down many good cases simply because the victims waited too long to come talk to us.
But hiring a lawyer and filing a case quickly has benefits for you, too. Most importantly, having a limited amount of time to file also helps to ensure the effectiveness of the evidence. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit the evidence may be lost, destroyed, or altered in some way. Think about it this way: are you more likely to have a receipt from a restaurant in your home or car from 2 weeks ago, or 2 years ago? Further, are you more likely to accurately remember an event from three months ago or a year ago? By forcing you to bring your claim within a reasonable amount of time, the court is attempting to preserve the evidence that you’ll need to prove your case.
Further, key witnesses to your accident may move. If you file within a year of the accident, it should not be too hard to find the witness and have them testify. But if you waited 10 years to file a claim, that witness may have moved or may have even passed away and will be unable to testify. Waiting is always a bad idea.
The Two Year Limit Is Even Shorter Than It Sounds
If you have been injured by the negligence of another person, you generally have two years to file a personal injury claim for damages in the State of Texas. This period begins to run the day that you were injured (or the day in which you knew you were injured). This 2 year time limit is an incredibly short period of time considering everything you and your family may be experiencing. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you may have suffered severe injuries which required an extended stay in the hospital. This means that you may have spent months at a hospital recovering from your injuries. It is not uncommon that during this time, neither you or your family even realize that you have a personal injury claim against the person who caused the car accident.
But here are some reasons why the time period is more limited.
- Even the most efficient attorney needs time to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will need to research where to file, which court, where the defendant lives, and draft up a lawsuit. In cases where serious injuries occur, the cases become even more complex.
- Once a lawsuit is filed, facts may come to light that another potential defendant should also be brought into the suit. For example, the drunk driver who hit you may be identified easily enough, but you could have a claim against the bar at which he was drinking. Finding that out takes time.
The bottom line: you can’t wait. The time restraints associated with a Texas personal injury lawsuit can be catastrophic to the success of your claim if you do not have an attorney who understands these important details. To schedule a meeting with our attorneys and learn more about time restraints which will affect your claim, contact Grossman Law Offices today.