What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Crash Injury and Loss Claims in Texas?
When you are injured in a car accident in Texas, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the other driver or third party who is responsible for causing the crash. Common damages that you may receive compensation for when filing a car crash injury lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical treatments and personal care
- Loss of income, including past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage for the repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional stress
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, your injury, or your recovery
However, if you do not act quickly to protect your right to file a lawsuit, you may not receive the compensation you deserve for your claim.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Each state in the country has a statute of limitations for various types of lawsuits, including motor vehicle accidents. The statute restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit against a third party to seek compensation for damages. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the deadline set in the statute of limitations, you lose your right to pursue your claim.
Texas’ Statute of Limitations Related to Car Accident Claims
The statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury lawsuits, including car accident claims, is two years from the date of the accident. In addition, the statute for property damage caused by the crash is also two years from the date of the accident.
However, if the motor vehicle accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations does not begin until the date of death. Therefore, the deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit could be different from the date to file a personal injury lawsuit related to the accident.
In addition, the deadline to file a lawsuit regarding claims for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) related to a motor vehicle accident is three years from the date of the crash. If you are filing a claim under your Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance coverage, you have four years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. UM lawsuits are considered breach of contract lawsuits; therefore, UM lawsuits have a longer deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Exceptions to the Rule for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
There are limited exceptions to the general two-year restriction on filing an accident lawsuit. For instance, if the victim is under the age of 18 years at the time of the crash, the time limit to file a lawsuit does not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18 years. This is the case regardless of how young the child may have been at the time of the crash.
Another exception applies to individuals who are judged to be incompetent or are out of state for a length of time. Because this exception can be very complex and difficult to determine, it is best to consult a personal injury attorney if you believe you may have an exception to the rule.
Don’t Wait to File Your Lawsuit!
Even though you may have two years to file your lawsuit, it is never a good idea to wait until the last minute to file your lawsuit. An innocent miscalculation in the date could result in you losing your right to receive compensation. It is always best to file your car accident lawsuit well in advance of the deadline set by law.