Texas time limits for filing injury or death-related lawsuits
If you have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, or worse one of your loved ones has died as the result of such an accident, and in either case if that accident was caused by the negligent act of another person, then you may have a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death under Texas state law.
At the same time that the law provides a cause of action, it also imposes some restrictions on your ability to take advantage of that cause of action. One of the most important of these restrictions is the time limit within which you must commence legal proceedings or lose the right to do so. This restriction is referred to as the statute of limitations.
Concerning personal injury and wrongful death actions, the Texas statute of limitations set forth the following time periods:
- For personal injury, you must file a lawsuit not later than two years after the date on which the injury took place.
- For wrongful death the statute of limitations is also two years, but the date on which the time limit begins is not the date of the underlying injury but rather the date on which the death occurred.
Texas law provides for a way to increase the duration of the statute of limitations: legal disability. For statute of limitations purposes, a legal disability is defined as being either younger than 18 years of age or being subject to a mental disability (“unsound mind”). Thus, for example, if a person is injured in a car accident while 17 years of age, the statute of limitations would not commence until that individual’s 18th birthday.