Texas personal injury victims must understand and follow the state’s statute of limitations to ensure that their claims are addressed. The statute of limitations provides plaintiffs with a strict time period within which they can bring their lawsuits. This mechanism serves to protect defendants by encouraging plaintiffs to diligently and expeditiously pursue their claims. The statute of limitations also increases the overall reliability of evidence, by limiting the amount of time witnesses have to recount their experiences and preserving fragile physical evidence.
In most cases, the statute of limitations begins when the incident giving rise to the lawsuit occurs. A claim does not have to be heard by that time, but rather, plaintiffs must file their cases within that time. Generally, under Texas law, assault and battery, false imprisonment, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, property damage, product liability, trespass, and wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the incident. The plaintiffs must file contract and fraud claims within four years and slander and libel claims within one year. However, each of these statutes of limitations has exceptions and nuances that may apply on a case-by-case basis.
There are two crucial exceptions to the Texas personal injury statute of limitations; the discovery rule, and tolling. Plaintiffs may be able to assert the discovery rule when their injuries cannot be linked to a specific date. For example, when a person suffers injuries as a result of toxic chemical exposure at their workplace, they may not be able to pinpoint the exact time of exposure. In these situations, the signs and symptoms associated with the incident may occur slowly, making it impossible for a plaintiff to know that they were injured within the statute of limitations. In these cases, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the plaintiff becomes aware of their condition, or reasonably should have become aware of it. The tolling exception allows plaintiffs to extend the time period under specific situations. Some common examples of tolling occur when a prospective plaintiff is incompetent or during the time that they were a minor.
Although two years seem like a lot amount of time to file a lawsuit, there is significant work that must be done to ensure that a claim is set up for success. Texas personal injury attorneys need time to conduct investigations, gather documents, depose witnesses, and compile expert testimony before filing a lawsuit. Thus, Texas injury victims should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Do You Have a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit Approaching the Statute of Limitations?
If you or someone you know suffered injuries because of the negligence of another, you should contact the Texas injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw. The attorneys at our office have over two decades of experience successfully advocating on behalf of Texas injury victims. Our attorneys are committed to victims’ rights and work tirelessly to meet the applicable Texas statutes. We have won over 35,000 personal injury and Texas wrongful death cases, recovering substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys also take an individualized approach to each case to ensure that our clients’ concerns and requests are addressed. Contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw to discuss your injury case today by calling 800-862-1260.