Statue of lady justice with scales and a sword behind a gavel in a courtroom

Following a vehicle crash, your finances will be a source of worry and anxiety– with a growing stack of medical bills and lost wages. You have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash but remember that you have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit.

The statute of limitations is a set time limit that begins to expire the day the accident occurs. A Dallas car accident lawyer can help ensure you meet these deadlines.

What is the statute of limitations?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for a motor vehicle accident is the same as any other personal injury claim. Under state law, you have two years. There is an important exception to this. If your accident claim involves the government, you must take specific actions to move your claim forward. You have six months to provide the government entity with formal notice of your claim.

Understanding the statute of limitations is not always easy. However, if you were injured in a car accident, your attorney will help ensure you comply with the statute.  

Why is there a statute of limitations?

At first glance, the statute of limitations might seem unfair. However, there are several reasons why it is necessary. Primarily, it exists to protect defendants against old claims. The more time passes, the harder it can be to investigate an accident and prepare a defense. The statute of limitations is intended to prevent a defendant from suddenly facing a claim for compensation years or decades after the incident.

The court system also puts a premium on cases proceeding in a timely manner. Without these limitations, the court system could suddenly face an unexpected influx of cases that would overwhelm the system’s infrastructure.

Exceptions to the statute

The statute of limitations generally applies to all injury claims in Texas. However, there are a few exceptions worth mentioning. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to pause the statutory period to prevent it from expiring. Some of these exceptions include:

  • Age. If a person under 18 has a legal claim, the statute does not begin to expire until their 18th birthday.
  • Mental Capacity. A person who does not have the mental capacity to sue could see their statute paused until they do.
  • Discovery rule. The statute of limitations only begins to expire when the plaintiff discovers their injury. While this typically does not affect car accident claims, there are some cases where an injury might not be immediately apparent.

Contact our team of Dallas car accident lawyers for a free consultation

The good news is that you do not have to guess as to when the statute of limitations might expire in your case. Contact a personal injury lawyer from Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today to discuss the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. The initial consultation is free, and since we work on a contingency-fee-basis, there are no upfront legal costs.