If someone else’s negligence led to you suffering an injury that leaves you missing work and facing significant medical bills, you may be wondering, how long do I have to file a personal injury claim? In Texas and West Virginia, the majority of personal injury cases give the victim a two-year deadline to start the proceedings.
However, exceptions to these deadlines do exist. If you are uncertain if you are going to fit within the deadline for starting a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney for clarification.
You are eligible to file a personal injury claim when the negligence of someone else put you in the situation where you suffered the injuries. Some examples of situations that commonly lead to personal injury cases include:
In a personal injury case, you are eligible to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and reduction in quality of life.
After suffering an injury at the hands of another person in the state, the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 says that victims have up to two years to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim in the majority of cases. The countdown for the two-year window begins at the time that the accident and injury occurred.
This deadline applies to either the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit or of beginning negotiations with the insurance company for the responsible party. If you do not notify the insurer about your injuries within the two years, you may forfeit your right to seek damages.
There are a couple of exceptions to the two-year deadline for starting a personal injury case in Texas, including:
For a personal injury case in West Virginia, the statute of limitations is two years, according to WV Code § 55-2-12.
The two-year clock begins at the time of the injury or at the time that the victim reasonably should have discovered the injury. This does give the victim a little bit of time regarding the deadline if the injury was discovered well after the accident occurred.
An exception that is allowed in West Virginia is if the victim in the personal injury case is less than 18 years old at the time of the injury. His or her two-year window would only start on the child’s 18th birthday. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if you qualify for any exception.
If you miss the deadline in your state for starting the process, and if you do not fit under any of the exceptions listed in state law, you probably will give up your right to seek damages. Should you attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit outside of the deadline, the court almost certainly will throw it out and deny your claim, even if the other party was clearly at fault.
By setting a deadline, states are trying to protect defendants from being subjected to a lawsuit several years or even a few decades after the original injury occurred.
If several years had passed since the time of the injury, it would make collecting facts in the case extremely difficult, meaning it could be almost impossible for a judge to make a fair ruling.
If you suffered an injury at the hands of another person, who was behaving in a negligent manner or who injured you on purpose, you may be wondering, how long do I have to file a personal injury claim? It is important to understand the exact amount of time you have to start the process of filing a claim.
For help with determining whether you fit within the statute of limitations for your particular case, consider contacting Underwood Law Office. During a free review of your case, our legal team can give you advice on the best way to proceed regarding your claim.
Call us today at (972) 535-6377 today for your free consultation.