Victims of car accidents, unfortunately, have a limited time in which they are legally allowed to file a claim against a negligent driver. The law that determines the restricted period for filing is known as the “statute of limitations,” and it varies slightly across states. The logistics of the law does not differ as extensively as the timeframe in which you, as the victim, can pursue legal action against the negligent driver. Still, it is imperative to be aware of legal deadlines when filing your claim as they preside in your state to ensure that you open your case when appropriate.
Texas’s Statute of Limitations
In every state, as mentioned, there is a specific timeframe in which the victims of car accidents can exercise their right to pursue legal action against the negligent driver that caused their collision. In some states, you may have more time than others to do so. The statute of limitations in Texas grants a two-year period in which victims can file a claim against a negligent driver for personal injury and property damage.
The statute applies to the following individuals who may have been harmed by an auto collision:
- Motorists: drivers of cars and motorcycles
The law also applies to cases of wrongful death; however, the countdown for the limited timeframe does not begin until the individual has passed.
The Importance of the Statute of Limitations
What is the significance of this law? Think, for example, about the potential of incurring an injury during an incident that changes or worsens over time. In such an instance, you would not want to rush to a settlement, as you would not be aware of the full extent of your condition, and, therefore, the expenses required to recover.
This is often the case with severe injuries that result in paralysis or severe mental health disorders, for example. These types of physical conditions do not develop quickly, and some can take months, even years, to manifest entirely. In each instance, you would want the negligent party to be accountable for the full depth of your condition and all it takes to recover from it.
This takes repeated visits to a medical professional over quite a while, during which time the doctor will supply you with visit summaries and further documentation pertaining to your condition and everything required to treat it. Since this documentation is imperative to the soundness of your case, you want to allow as much time as possible to learn the complete nature of your injuries.
On the other hand, for individuals who have been found liable for the collision, the statute of limitations stands as a measure of protection for them. How so? If a victim did not sustain injuries following a crash, but did end up experiencing physical ailments later on, they will not have the legal grounds then to attribute this later ailment to the past incident. The statute of limitations prevents drivers from being wrongly accused of injuries they were not responsible for.
If you are ready to file a claim for compensation of the injuries you incurred during a recent accident, review the laws in your state to ensure that you do so within the appropriate period.