After you have suffered an injury in a car accident where the other driver was at fault, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. So how long do I have to file a car accident claim? In the majority of situations in Texas and West Virginia, state law gives the victim up to two years to start the proceedings. However, exceptions do exist under the law.
It usually is in the injured party’s best interest to start the proceedings in a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible after the crash. Doing so means that the facts in the car crash are still fresh in the minds of witnesses, which can be helpful for you and your personal injury lawyer when you are trying to prove that the other driver was fully at fault for the crash.
Adhering to the Statutes of Limitations for Filing Car Accident Claims
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after a car crash is a part of the law in nearly every state. This deadline is important to know for any victim of a car accident where another driver was at fault. Failing to adhere to the statute of limitations in your state could cause you to forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Deadlines for statutes of limitations in these cases vary from state to state and situation to situation.
Texas Statute of Limitations
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, the majority of personal injury cases in Texas must be filed within two years after the accident that caused the injury.
There are a couple of exceptions to this two-year window, including:
- Unknown date of accident: where if the injury cannot be linked to a certain date, the deadline could be extended, such as if you were in more than one car accident in a span of several weeks.
- Minor child: where if the injured party was a minor at the time of the accident, the two-year deadline does not begin until the child turns 18 years old.
West Virginia Statute of Limitations
The WV Code § 55-2-12 in West Virginia gives the victim in a car crash with injuries up to two years to begin the proceedings for filing a claim.
The primary exception to this law in West Virginia deals with minor children, where the statute of limitations does not begin until the child’s 18th birthday.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 535-6377
Common Reasons One May Delay Filing a Claim After a Car Accident
There are a few different reasons someone may wait to file a personal injury claim. However, waiting too long could leave the victim with no recourse, should the deadline for starting the process expire.
Nervous About Filing an Accident Claim
Some people are a little leery about filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. They may be nervous about the time that may be required, or they may not want to face questions from other lawyers.
However, by hiring a personal injury attorney to help with your situation, you may end up spending less time on the case, because your attorney will take some of the tasks off your plate.
Unsure of Their Personal Injuries
The most common reason car accident victims wait to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim is because they are unsure about their injuries. Perhaps you did not feel injured after the crash, so you put off seeing a doctor.
Eventually, you realized that the nagging injuries and pain you are feeling is related to the car accident, but you may be unsure whether a doctor can help you now. Even if you are close to or past the deadline for filing a claim, you should see a doctor for help.
Contact Our Office to Learn More About Car Accident Claim Time Limits
If you have suffered personal injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering, how long do I have to file a car accident claim? This amount of time is generally two years in the majority of states, but the amount of time can vary between one and 10 years, depending on the state where the accident occurred and the circumstances around it.
Once you are ready to start the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, consider contacting Underwood Law Office. We know how frustrating it is to be facing injuries and an uncertain future after a car crash that was not your fault. We are ready to help. Call us at (972) 535-6377 for a free consultation.
Some of the services we can provide include negotiating with the insurer on your behalf, leaving you more time to heal; studying the facts in the case to show that the other driver was at fault and to determine a fair settlement amount; and representing you in a court case, should the other driver’s insurance company refuse to come to a satisfactory settlement.
The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.