The car accident statute of limitations in Texas is generally two years from the date of your accident, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. A car accident is a stressful experience and may cause you considerable harm. You or your passengers may have injuries, and then there is damage to your vehicle.
You must take all this into account if you decide to file a lawsuit—and you should know that the statute of limitations governs when you can do so.
There May Be Exceptions to This Statute
Every state sets its own limits on the period you can file a certain lawsuit. In Texas, you typically have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you file after this time, the court will dismiss your case. However, there are certain exceptions that the court may consider:
- If the end of the two-year period falls on a day when the county office is closed, the limit will end on the next working day
- If the defendant has left the state – You can’t bring a case against someone who isn’t in the state, so the court will allow you to wait until they return.
- If the defendant is a minor – The court may allow you to wait until they turn eighteen.
- If the defendant is incompetent – You may wait until he is competent to answer the charge.
- If the defendant is on active duty – You may wait until they return from service.
- If the defendant is in prison – You may wait until they have finished their sentence.
Do not rely on exceptions to the rule. You should always aim to file your lawsuit within the two-year period. The court will decide if it can wait.
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What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Immediately after your car accident, you should:
- Make sure that everyone is safe and call emergency services.
- Take photographs of everything at the scene.
- Collect contact information from any witnesses.
- Get a police report.
All this information will be useful to your case later.
As soon as possible after your car accident, you should:
- Ensure that everyone receives full medical attention. In a serious accident, emergency treatment will be immediate. No matter how you feel, seek a medical evaluation. Some injuries are not obvious at the time but may become evident once the adrenalin has worn off.
- Do not post details on social media. Anything that you write could damage your case. For example, you post that you were on your way home from dinner at a restaurant when you had an accident. This may seem innocent, but the defendant’s insurance company may try to argue that you had too much to drink.
- Keep records of any expenses. You may have medical bills or a rental car payment.
Damages You Could Claim in a Car Accident Case
An accident can leave you with many damages. You should seek compensation for any direct or indirect expense. Your case could include:
- Compensation for lost earnings – You might have had to take time away from work. This is not your fault, so you should claim the money you have lost.
- Reduced earnings – It is possible that you cannot do as much work as you did before the accident. You can claim the difference.
- Medical bills – Under medical bills, you should include the cost of any treatment you have had. This may include emergency treatment, ongoing treatment, and therapy.
- Pain and suffering – It can be difficult to calculate the cost of pain and suffering. Your lawyer can employ one of a few methods to determine the value of your pain and suffering.
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Get Reliable Legal Representation
Bringing a case for compensation is complicated work. You may want to do it yourself to save some money, but an attorney knows the procedure. They can guide you through the process and ensure that your case is a promising one. They will also ensure that you meet your case’s two-year deadline.
Two years might seem like a long time, but it will soon pass by. So, it’s important to allow a lawyer to get to work on your case immediately. There is a lot to accomplish. Texas residents who decide to consult an attorney can contact Underwood Law Office. We will inform you of your options and the best course of action for your case.
Then, if you decide to hire us, we will guide you through the claims and/or litigation process and ensure your case is comprehensive. As the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose by asking for an informed opinion. Whether you employ a legal representative or not, you should always keep all relevant documents.
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Contact Our Law Firm Today for Legal Help in Texas
The statute of limitations for car accidents exists for a good reason. The more time that passes, the more difficult it becomes to assess an accident. Even so, completing a case within the required period only adds to the victim’s stress at a difficult time.
You may consider that putting your case in professional hands is the best way to proceed. By doing this, you can be confident that your attorney is looking after your interests. Additionally, you can focus on your recovery, which is most important. Call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377 for a free consultation with a team member.