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How the Statute of Limitations Affect Personal Injury Cases

— December 4, 2023

Your legal representative can inform you about the specific deadline relevant to your claim and initiate your case without delay.

A person who has suffered injuries in a car mishap may be eligible for monetary relief. However, this right to compensation is time-bound. Delaying too long before lodging a claim could potentially bar a car accident victim from pursuing damages. 

If you believe you’ve suffered unjust injury from a car accident, it’s advisable to begin your search for a personal injury law firm in Houston. Be aware that stringent rules govern the statute of limitations in Texas.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations serves as a time limit within which you initiate a lawsuit following an unforeseen injury. It’s akin to an invisible timer that gets activated from the instant you encounter an accident.

This allotted time frame is your window to lodge a civil lawsuit for damages against the individual liable for your injuries. If this period lapses, your entitlement to pursue a lawsuit and claim compensation is relinquished.

What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit in Personal Injury Cases?

The legal framework in Texas sets varying statutes of limitations for diverse personal injury cases. The duration within which you need to lodge your claim is contingent upon:

  • The nature of the injury you have endured
  • The source of your injury

Here’s an outline of some of the most frequently applied statutes of limitations in Texas’ personal injury cases:

  • Bodily injury: A two-year window from the date of your accident is provided.
  • Property damage: Two years from the accident date is given to file a claim.
  • Medical malpractice: The claim must be filed within two years from the date of injury.
  • Product liability: Depending on when the injury was discovered, the claim can be lodged within two, four, or five years.
  • Wrongful death: Two years from the date of the victim’s demise is given to file a claim.
  • Birth injury: Any claim must be lodged before the injured child turns eight years old.

If you’re uncertain about which statute of limitations applies to your personal injury case in Houston, it’s vital to preserve your right to legal action by promptly consulting with knowledgeable Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.

Black and white analog egg timer; image by Marcelo Leal, via
Image by Marcelo Leal, via

Does the Government Abide by Different Regulations?

There might be situations where harm is caused due to the oversight of the government. In such cases, you can claim to secure compensation from them. It’s important to understand that personal injury legal actions against the government don’t tread the same path as traditional cases.

To begin with, you’re given a timeline of three years instead of the usual four to initiate a personal injury claim. You may also need to bring a lawsuit against the government institution that caused the harm. The government gets six months to accept or reject the personal injury claim. If your claim is turned down, file a personal injury lawsuit in a federal court.

Statute of Limitations Exceptions 

There are certain exemptions to the personal injury statute of limitations in Texas. These specific situations can delay the start of the deadline countdown, affording you extra time to commence a lawsuit. The following three circumstances can potentially prolong the deadline under the statute of limitations:

  • The case where the affected individual is “under a legal disability“, which translates to the victim being either a minor (below 18 years) or mentally unstable at the time of the occurrence. The two-year countdown only starts once the victim reaches adulthood or regains mental soundness.
  • If the individual responsible for inflicting the injury departs from Texas for a while, the countdown freezes. The duration of their absence isn’t considered part of the two-year term, and the countdown restarts only when they come back.


Due to the diverse range of limitation periods in Texas, it’s prudent to seek advice from a seasoned personal injury lawyer promptly following an accident. Your legal representative can inform you about the specific deadline relevant to your claim and initiate your case without delay. They will assist in gathering evidence and constructing the strongest case possible.

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