Those wishing to pursue compensation for damages caused in a car crash must understand the essential statutes, including the statute of limitations. The legislation sets the maximum amount of time people must initiate the civil case, and time frames can vary depending on the cause of action and reason for seeking a settlement. Failing to understand and follow the steps required under the regulations can have severe consequences, including losing eligibility to collect compensation from the negligent party.

While parties reach an agreement and settle in many cases through insurance company negotiations when those involved cannot agree, filing the case in accordance with personal injury laws is essential. Luckily, a diligent vehicle wreck attorney could help ensure compliance with the Houston car accident statute of limitations.

Time Limit to File the Lawsuit

The personal injury, also called tort statute of limitations, sets a strict court-enforced time frame for filing a claim to collect damages for out-of-pocket expenses and non-monetary injuries. The damages can include pain and suffering, permanent disability, and property damage. The maximum time to petition the civil court with a claim and commence legal action for the state vehicle collision cases is two years. That includes damages for cases involving two or more cars, pedestrians, and bicycle accidents.

The statute of limitations protect defendants by preventing suits for damages that occurred years ago, ensuring injured people in Houston file the case within a reasonable amount of time. A car wreck attorney could answer specific questions about this law and handle the legal paperwork and filings to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are some exceptions to the expiration date of the statute of limitations. Per the instructions provided under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, the civil court may extend the maximum time for filing for specific circumstances, including:

  • When the plaintiff seeking damages is a minor at the time of the traffic event, the time starts running when they turns 18
  • If the injured party suffered damages in the collision causing legal incapacity, the clock begins the day the disability ends
  • When the at-fault party leaves Texas before the plaintiff files the lawsuit, the time starts when they return to the state

Building a case as soon after the automobile wreck also benefits the plaintiff because all the evidence is more readily available. Calling a lawyer to schedule an appointment immediately protects you from missing the deadline to file a car crash injury claim in Houston and improves the plaintiff’s chances of winning a fair settlement.

Missing the Deadline

When someone who suffered damages because of someone else misses the deadline, the defendant can file a motion to request the court dismiss the case immediately without hearing it. Unfortunately, in most cases, except in rare circumstances, the civil court judge will honor the request and dismiss the case. That would leave the plaintiff no other options for holding the at-fault party financially accountable for the damages they caused.

Call an Attorney About the Statute of Limitations on Car Wrecks in Houston

You have the right to initiate legal action to pursue compensation from the liable party if you suffered injuries and other losses in a crash caused by someone else’s recklessness. Personal injury, also called tort laws, protects people from paying the monetary damages caused by another party’s negligence.

Even so, the laws are complex, and adhering to the rules and guidelines of the regulations is vital for successfully collecting a settlement. Contact a compassionate lawyer knowledgeable about the Houston car accident statute of limitations if you need help with a claim.