How Long Do You Have to File a Premises Liability Claim?
In Texas, as in all states, owners and persons in control of residential or commercial property have a legal duty to maintain the premises in a way that minimizes the risk of injury to anyone legally present on the property. That duty requires reasonable monitoring of the property for hazardous conditions and taking reasonable measures to protect visitors from such conditions. Such measures may involve eliminating the dangerous condition, preventing visitors from accessing the part of the property that poses the risk, or providing a reasonable warning regarding the danger.
If you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall on someone else’s property, you have a right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. However, you must do so within a specific period of time, as governed by the Texas statute of limitations on personal injury claims.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a written law, enacted by the legislature body (state or federal), that identifies the time limit for filing certain legal actions. As a general rule, different types of legal claims have different statutory periods—criminal actions, breach of contract, and personal injury may have varying time limits. The time period set forth in a statute of limitations may also vary in different states.
As a general rule, if you fail to initiate legal proceedings within the period allowed by the statute, a court has the right to refuse to hear your case. In very limited circumstances, you may be able to petition the court to allow your lawsuit to go forward.
A lawsuit for injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall in Texas is governed by the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. In Texas, you must file a personal injury claim within two years of the date of the injury, with a couple of notable exceptions:
- When a minor sustains a personal injury, the statute of limitations is “tolled” (i.e., does not begin to run) until their 18th birthday, which means that they have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- If you are legitimately unaware of an injury, the statute of limitation may be tolled until you either actually discover or should reasonably have discovered the injury. Typically, this exception applies when an injury is “inherently undiscoverable” or is unlikely to be discovered through the exercise of ordinary diligence.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?
The statute of limitations functions to protect all parties to a personal injury claim. An injured party benefits because of the increased likelihood that evidence will be preserved and memories won’t fade. In addition, requiring the injured party to take legal action within a prescribed period means the potential defendant won’t spend an unreasonable amount of time living in fear of a potential lawsuit.
Contact the Proven Premises Liability Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we know the impact that a personal injury can have on every area of your life. If you’re hurt in a fall on commercial or residential property, send us an email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.