What is a Statute of Limitations?

If you sustain injuries in an accident that is someone else’s fault, you could file a compensation claim with their insurance company or a lawsuit in court. However, you must act within a given timeframe or forfeit your right to demand a settlement for the injuries.

Otherwise, the statute of limitations may bar a claim. The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time you can initiate legal action after an accident. In Texas, the deadline to bring personal injury claims is two years from the accident date or the date you discover the injuries.

Why Does Texas Have a Statute of Limitations?

The law puts statutes of limitations in place to make the process of civil and criminal matters fair to plaintiffs and defendants. In civil cases, statutes of limitations serve the following purposes:

  • Time: The deadline encourages personal injury victims to file lawsuits promptly while allowing them to assess the full extent of their damages. Houston personal injury lawyers have enough time to document the injuries and assess future care needs to determine how much to demand as compensation for their clients.
  • Evidence: It is possible for evidence to be tampered with, lost, or destroyed over time. Evidence that relies on memory can fade or become skewed if a long time passes before presenting it in court. The statute of limitations ensures the integrity of the collection and preservation of crucial evidence.
  • Harassment: Statutes of limitations ensure that defendants are protected from the potential of having a lawsuit hanging over their heads indefinitely. If a lawsuit is not filed within the statutes of limitations, the defendant can live without fearing having an old matter brought up against them years later.
  • Legal efficiency: Courts can prioritize more recent matters without the burden of allocating resources to older cases. A shorter period encourages plaintiffs to build stronger arguments in a shorter time, ensuring only worthy cases come to court to reduce the burden on the legal system.

What Happens If I Don’t File My Lawsuit Within the Deadline?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit with the court, you lose the chance and your right to pursue compensation from the negligent party.

That’s why you should take swift action immediately after the accident to pursue legal action. It’s advisable to consult skilled personal injury attorneys in Houston as soon as possible to protect your rights.

However, extenuating circumstances could cause you to delay filing a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations.

When Can the Statute of Limitations Be Tolled?

Certain circumstances allow victims to halt or pause the statute of limitations in a personal injury case. Tolling means that the clock on the lawsuit is temporarily put on hold because of legal factors that allow for the deadline extension. You should contact an attorney to see if your case is subject to an exception.

The law does not punish you for circumstances beyond your control, but the clock will start ticking once the tolling factors are no longer an issue.

Are There Claims with Different Statutes of Limitations?

The statute of limitations may be different based on the type of claim for which you seek recovery. If you have a civil lawsuit but are unsure which statute of limitations applies, consult lawyers from a reputable civil law firm in Houston. They can evaluate your case and help you file appropriately to protect your rights. Their legal representation can also go a long way in enhancing your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Helping You Beat the Filing Deadline

There’s a lot you need to know when filing a personal injury lawsuit against a party that caused your injuries. One of the crucial things to remember is the deadline, as missing it can significantly tamper with your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact experienced personal injury attorneys in Houston to guide you after your accident.

The Shariff Law Firm is a top-notch civil litigation law firm with skilled personal injury lawyers. We have legally supported and represented many personal injury victims for many years and fought to help them obtain the compensation they deserve, and we can help you, too.

Remember that time is essential to allow us to create a strong case on your behalf. Call us at 713-881-9739 to schedule a FREE consultation.