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What Are the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Case in Texas?

There is a limited time in which you can file a legal claim against the negligent driver who caused your auto collision. The law that enforces this finite period is known as the “statute of limitations,” and the specifics of this legislation vary across state lines. Fortunately, the Texas statute of limitations does not differ too drastically from most states in the U.S. Yet, when you are involved in a car accident it is very important to be aware of the specific limited timeline that Texas enforces so that you maintain compliance when filing your claim.

The Statute of Limitations in Texas

Texas drivers have two years to file a claim against an individual responsible for a car accident. Within these two years, you have the right to pursue compensation for bodily and personal injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and any other losses you incurred in the crash. Note that this timeline begins on the date of the incident, with a few exceptions:

  • According to TEX. CIV. PRAC. & 4-REM. CODE AN. § 16.072, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations for accidents that occur on weekends or holidays. In these cases, the two-year limit would begin on the following business day.
  • In the case of a wrongful death, the statute of limitations can be extended for up to one year. (Additionally, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim does not take effect until the person dies, rather than the incident date.)

This law applies to all victims of auto incidents, including:

  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists
  • Motorists
  • Passengers

When filing your claim under the statute of limitations, it is imperative that you maintain awareness of the time allotted to you. If you and your lawyer reasonably practice due diligence in serving the citation to the defendant, your case may still be valid, even if it falls outside of the two-year period. However, you must do everything in your power to comply with the standard timeline, since the failure to do so places your ability to secure compensation at risk. Further Information on the Statute of Limitations

For car accidents that involve government employees in Texas, there is a slightly different set of rules to follow. If you were truck by a city bus, for example, you can still file a claim against the negligent driver; however, instead of the standard two years, you will be required to file within six months. However, be sure to consult with your lawyer when filing such a claim, since the case must meet special conditions to prove liability on behalf of the government driver.

Firstly, they must have been operating within the scope of their employment, meaning they should have been on the clock and performing work duties at the time of the crash. Secondly, you must be able to prove that the driven would have been liable for the crash, whether they were a government employee or not. Claims against the government are limited, so you will not be able to secure more than:

  • $250,000 per person
  • $500,000 per occurrence (specifically for bodily injuries)
  • $100,000 per occurrence (for property damage)

Consult with your car accident lawyer to identify any potential exceptions to the statute of limitations for your case, and to initiate your claim as soon as possible.