There are laws in place that limit the amount of time a person can pursue a lawsuit after being injured. These are called statutes of limitations. It protects people from having suit filed against them several years or decades after an incident occurs. If you have been injured in a car or any other type of accident, it’s important that you understand what these limitations are.
Specific Civil Suits
There are a number of statutory limitations in Texas. Not all acts of negligence or injury are treated the same. In most cases, your best choice is to file suit as soon as possible so that you do not miss the time limit. Here is a brief example.
Professional Malpractice – 2 years
Personal Injury – 2 years
Fraud – 4 years
Libel, Defamation or Slander – 1 year
Injury to Personal Property – 1 year
Specific Performance of a Real Estate Contract – 4 years
When discussing statutory limitations, people may here of statutes of repose. These are different. A statute of repose is the time limit for filing a lawsuit, even if an injury or illness occurs because of the incident after the statute of limitations has expired.
For example, you may have surgery this year and not realize any injury or illness from the surgery until 2027. You would not be able to file suit: The statute of repose for medical malpractice claims is 10 years.
But what if you don’t realize you have an injury until several months or years after an accident has occurred? What if the statute of limitations has expired? The discovery rule will kick in, provided you have not expired the statute of repose. The discover rule says that as long as your suit is filed within a reasonable amount of time after the issue was discovered, you can proceed. The discover rule does not apply in every situation.
If you have been involved in an accident in Austin, consult an attorney who can tell you about the statute of limitations that pertains to your specific case. An attorney can tell you if you are within the allowable time frame and can proceed with a lawsuit.
When you need a personal injury lawyer in Texas, give our office a call. A member of our team will speak with you at no charge. Call now for assistance.