Aug 12

Defining the Statute of Limitations in a Texas Personal Injury Case

by Tate Law Offices, P.C.Products Liability, Statute of Limitations

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Personal injury law provides injured parties the ability to recover compensation for damages they sustained by the negligence or actions of another individual or party. Depending on the nature of the injury, as well as the circumstances, the injured party may secure payment for medical bills, pain and suffering, and even lost and future lost wages.

However, if you have been injured by someone else’s actions or neglect, it is important to realize that there is only a specific period of time in which you may attempt to recover compensation, after which you may be forever barred. This time period is determined by a statute of limitations, and is integral to the outcome of every personal injury case.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is nothing more than a law that bars claims after the passing of a specific period of time after an injury. For example, if an individual is injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations provides a certain amount of time after the accident in which they can attempt to file suit. If the injured party waits too long, they may no longer be successful in a personal injury claim, and will be forced to cover the costs associated with the injury themselves.

The statutes of limitations are generally in place to protect defendants in personal injury claims. Without a statute of limitations, an injured party could hold the defendant liable for an indefinite period of time; instead, the statute of limitations incentivizes quick actions, and releases the defendant of liability after the statute expires.

It is also important to note that statutes of limitations will not only vary depending on the injury, but also depending on the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit takes place.

What Are the Statutes of Limitations in Texas?

If you have sustained an injury in Texas, it is imperative that you understand the statute of limitations in order to have the best chance at a successful outcome for your case. The statutes of limitations in Texas are governed by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16, and regulate all time periods related to civil suits. This law provides two years to initiate an action for injury or wrongful death, which pertains to most cases. In other cases, if the injury was caused by the defendant’s violation of penal codes regarding sexual assault, compelling prostitution, or other egregious felonies, time frame increases to five years after the date of injury.

Beyond this, in the case of products liability actions, a legal concept known as a statute of repose must be noted as well. The statute of repose bars the initiation of civil suits if an injury occurs after a specific point in time. For products liability actions in Texas, the statute of repose is 15 years; if an individual is injured by a product more than 15 years after the date of purchase, they can no longer hold the defendant liable.

An Attorney Can Help You

Both statutes of limitation and statutes of repose are clearly complex subjects, yet both are key aspects in personal injury claims. If you have sustained injuries here in Texas, contact Tate Law Offices today by calling 888-662-3892 for any questions regarding time limitations concerning your claim as well as a free case review.