Did you know that there are about 62 million injuries in the United States every year? These include everything from home accidents to motor vehicle crashes and workplace incidents. Unfortunately, many of these are the result of wrongdoing or negligence by an individual, business, or organization.
If you have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation, but you must prove that through the judicial system. This entails meeting all the requirements laid out by the law, including the statute of limitations in Texas. This is a timeframe during which you can file a valid claim.
Establishing this can be complex. This article explains the statute of limitations laws in Texas and how they apply to different situations. It will help you determine if your claim is eligible and how to move forward.
A “statute of limitations” is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time that you can file a lawsuit from when the harm was done. (It also refers to the amount of time you can charge someone for a criminal act after it was allegedly carried out.)
If you file a claim after the time set by the statute of limitations has passed, a court will reject it. The filing period can vary by jurisdiction. It also may be different for distinct offenses, and there are exceptions for certain circumstances.
In most situations, the statute of limitations in Texas is two years from when the “cause of action,” or the incident that caused the harm occurred. While this is a good rule of thumb, there are exceptions based on particular circumstances that the case involves.
For instance, personal injury suits involving sexual assault are five years but could be longer in some situations. For sexual assault involving a child, the statute of limitations is 30 years from the time the child victim turns 18.
There are other exceptions as well. In many of these, the two-year rule applies, but the clock does not start ticking from the moment the harm is done.
Conditions like mesothelioma or lung cancer that result from asbestos exposure are good examples. In these cases, the statute of limitations does not accrue from the time of exposure, but from the time it is reported, or from the moment of the victim's death. Similar standards apply to cases involving silica exposure.
If a person leaves the state of Texas for a period, this can affect the counting. If the claimant or a witness involved in the harm has a disability, then the statute of limitations may be longer for filing a claim.
Other exceptions and factors can impact how time is calculated. These variables are the main reasons you should seek legal help from an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will be able to advise you based on the unique circumstances that your case involves.
Now that you understand how the statute of limitations in Texas applies to personal injury suits, you can determine the validity of your claim. Remember that many different factors can impact this limit. If you are uncertain, the best thing you can do is seek advice from a qualified attorney.
At Calhoun Meredith, we understand how overwhelming navigating the complex legal system can be. We will leverage our many years of education and experience to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.