What Is the Statute of Limitations? How Does It Affect Your Right to Recover Compensation? What Are the Reasons for the Statute?
In Texas, when you’ve been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for lost wages, unreimbursed medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship/consortium, and pain and suffering. You must, however, bring any legal action against potentially responsible parties within a specific period of time, as set forth in the statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a written law, enacted by the Texas legislature, that sets forth the time period in which legal action must be filed, based on the nature of the claim. For personal injury lawsuits in Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury.
What Are the Reasons for the Statute of Limitations?
The primary objective of the statute of limitations is to ensure that disputes are resolved with access to the most accurate accounting of the facts. Memories fade, witnesses move or die. The longer you wait to initiate litigation, the greater the risk that witnesses will not remember clearly what they saw or heard, or that they’ll simply be unavailable, whether due to relocation or even death. The statute of limitations helps ensure that the jury hears testimony that is relevant and accurate.
The statute of limitations also ensures that a defendant will have his or her day in court in a timely manner and won’t have to live for an unreasonable period of time under the cloud of a potential lawsuit.
What Happens If the Injuries Caused by an Automobile Accident Are Not Immediately Apparent?
It’s not uncommon that injuries suffered in any type of accident take some period of time before you are aware of them or before they negatively affect your life. In Texas, in limited circumstances, the court will extend the period of time before the statute of limitations expires, under a doctrine known as the “discovery rule.” The discovery rule says, in essence, that the clock on the statute of limitations does not start to run until the injured party discovers (or should reasonably discover) the injury. Accordingly, if you are hurt in a car crash, but seem to be alright until a year later, when pain in your back or neck becomes disabling, you may be able to get the court to give you two years from the date of discovery of that injury to file your lawsuit.
What Happens If You File a Claim after the Statute of Limitations Has Expired?
As a general rule, a complaint filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations will be dismissed, unless the injured party can show good cause why the filing was delayed.
Contact the Experienced Automobile Accident Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we will aggressively help you pursue full and fair compensation when you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.