What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?

Tormey & McConnell May 12, 2022

In the wake of an accident that leaves you injured, your primary focus is recovery. Getting back into working order is our primary instinct, leading many people to put off filing a personal injury lawsuit to collect compensation for the ordeal. You need to be careful when waiting, however, as Texas has a statute of limitations for civil suits that you can’t afford to miss.

When you miss the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Amarillo, Texas, you’re essentially out of luck. The court isn’t going to hear a case that wasn’t submitted on time. Don’t let that happen to you. Learn how long you have to file your personal injury lawsuit, and discover how an Amarillo personal injury lawyer can help get your filing done on time and get the compensation owed to you.

Statute of Limitations

Every state in the country has a specific statute of limitations regulating how long you can wait to file, and Texas’ statute isn’t exactly the most generous. From the date your personal injury occurred, you’ll have up to two years to file your lawsuit in the civil court system. Make sure you file within this time frame. If you fail to do so, you’ll have no chance of getting the compensation due to you.

Filing a personal injury claim against the government goes by an entirely different set of rules, so make sure you’re familiar with them if the responsible party for your injury is a city, county or state employee or entity. Keep in mind that the target of your lawsuit cannot be the Texas government. It has to be the particular entity or unit within the government that caused your injury. Additionally, you only have six months to file your claim, so don’t wait.

Shared Fault

The two-year limit for filing is among the shorter limits in all the states, but it still offers plenty of time to sort out the details of your case. One of the most important things you need to consider before filing your claim is shared fault. A single negligent party is not always to blame for a personal injury. In some cases, the injured is partially liable, and that affects the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive.

The liability of each party involved in the case is represented by a percentage. You only have a chance of getting compensated fully for all damages if the court finds the defendant 100 percent liable for the injury. If a defendant is liable for a lower percentage, you’ll only be entitled to that amount. For example, if the court found you to be 20 percent liable for your injury, you can only collect 80 percent of your compensation from the defendant.

Imagine you’re approaching a stop light and it turns yellow. You apply the brakes moderately hard in order to stop in time, and you get rear-ended. The injury from that accident should theoretically put the person who rear-ended you completely at fault. Some circumstances can actually put a portion of the fault on you, such as having a brake light out. Because of your faulty brake light, a court may determine that you’re 20 percent responsible for the accident. If your case is worth $20,000, you’d therefore only be able to collect $16,000 from the defendant.

Caps on Damages

In many states, there are caps on the amount of damages you can collect from personal injury lawsuits. If you want the court to take you seriously, you need to make sure what you’re asking for is in compliance with the cap. In Texas, there is only one cap on the books currently, and it’s only applicable to medical malpractice lawsuits. If medical malpractice caused your personal injury, you can only collect $250,000 at most for non-economic damages from each defendant, with a maximum $500,000 limit overall.

Personal Injury Lawyer Amarillo

Finalizing the internal contents of your personal injury lawsuit is essential if you want it to go anywhere, but nothing kills a case faster than missing filing deadlines. Make sure you don’t miss the two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, so you can get the compensation owed to you.

A good personal injury lawyer in Amarillo like those at Tormey & McConnell Law can help see your case through from beginning to end. We know you just want to get your life back after a personal injury, and our decades of experience and willingness to take tough cases can make it happen. Contact us today for a free consultation.