What is the Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents in Texas?
The statute of limitations is a state law which sets out the time frame you have to file a lawsuit. The Houston, TX statute of limitation gives two years after a car accident to take legal action. This statute of limitations prevents car accident victims from bringing a lawsuit after that period. The law encourages plaintiffs (those who file lawsuits) to pursue a car accident claim within a reasonable time. It guarantees important evidence is not lost over time.
The law also ensures that a witness in a lawsuit can draw on reliable and recent memory. Defendants are also protected by this law. Imagine a lawsuit brought 15 years after a car accident. The witnesses’ memory would be rusty. Hence, the jury would have a difficult time believing their evidence. Someone who caused an accident 15 years ago would not expect to be sued so this law works for them. The laws help claimants to have a fair trial while evidence is still available, and details are still fresh.
If you’re a victim of a car accident, you should talk to a Houston, TX auto accident attorney. The attorney will explain how to file a car accident lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
What a Car Accident Attorney in Houston Will Tell You About Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
The courts in Texas take the statute of limitations very seriously. So, if you decide to seek damages from a negligent driver you should do that within the two years given. The two years starts from the time the accident took place. After an accident, the first thing you should do is get proper medical attention. The second most important thing you should do is talk to a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX. In cases where an accident resulted in a death, the family of the deceased can file a lawsuit. The driver at fault would face a wrongful death lawsuit. The family of the deceased must also file this lawsuit within two years. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death starts when the victim dies not right after the accident.
The timeframe given to take legal action applies to all car accident victims. This includes the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations but these are rare. For example, if signs of injury don’t show immediately after an accident, an exception may be given. The statute of limitations may begin to apply from the time you discovered your injuries. If you want to claim property damages, the time given to do so is also two years.
Why is It Important to File Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations in Houston, TX?
The court will most definitely refuse to hear your case if you bring it after the two years have lapsed. Even if they allow it, the defendant will bring a motion to dismiss. They will argue you failed to comply with the law set out to make your claims. Their motion to dismiss will certainly be granted by the court. Even if you have a very strong case, you will lose out on compensation. This simply because you didn’t adhere to the statute of limitations. It is crucial to talk a Houston auto accident attorney to ensure you don’t miss the filing deadline. Beginning your claims process early also gives your lawyer adequate time to prepare for your case. You also want to ensure insurance companies don’t take advantage of your late filing. The insurer may see the time to pursue a lawsuit is close and drag the settlement process. They will be doing so knowing once the statute of limitation has passed, you don’t have leverage over them. Without this leverage, they will possibly offer a lower settlement than what you deserve.
Contact a Houston Auto Accident Attorney.
The car accident lawyers at McDonald Worley can work with you to get compensation after a car accident. Our Houston car accident attorneys will look at the facts of your case thoroughly. They will then advise on how much time you have to file a claim and the compensation to expect. Even if your case is simple and can be settled, talk to our car accident lawyers in Houston. Talking to one immediately after your accident leaves plenty of time to file a lawsuit if necessary. If the deadline is close, a lawyer will also work hard to ensure you file your claim on time. To talk about your case, call our offices at 1-800-610-2001. You aren’t charged for consultations so feel free to get in touch with us.