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How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas? 

Judge's gavel with clock and calendar on the table.

The amount of time you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit before your claim is legally — and forever — barred is called the statute of limitations. These deadlines are strictly enforced by courts and vary based on the type of case and state you are in, which is why it’s so important to consult with our Houston personal injury lawyers as soon after an accident as possible.

Why It’s Important to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit As Soon As Possible

After a serious accident or the loss of a loved one, a personal injury lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind, but the truth is, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to hold the wrongdoer accountable and recover full compensation for your losses.  

Evidence disappears quickly and the other side is likely already talking to their lawyers, so it’s always in your best interests to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away and get the information you need to decide what’s best for yourself and your family.  

A personal injury attorney will help you understand your rights and options after an accident and work quickly to file a claim — long before the statute of limitations is up — so that they can begin proving your case, while you can focus on recovering. 

Our undefeated Texas personal injury attorneys have won billions and recovered the largest verdicts and settlements in history for injured workers and their families, ensuring our clients have the financial resources to access the best medical care available and continue to provide for their families for the rest of their lives. 

Contact us today at 1-888-603-3636. 

The Texas Statute of Limitations is Two Years 

In Texas, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Two years may sound like a lot of time to file a lawsuit, but the longer you wait, the harder it becomes for even an experienced personal injury attorney to preserve evidence and recover damages. 

The Benefits of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Quickly  

An individual who fails to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires forever forfeits their right to collect damages and hold the wrongdoer accountable. And insurance companies will do everything in their power to delay and prolong the “negotiation” process, knowing that the longer you wait, the less the insurance company will likely have to pay.  

You need an experienced trial attorney on your side who knows how to fight for you, hold the defendants accountable, and recover ALL of your damages

Evidence and witness testimony is still fresh 

It’s critical that your lawyer be able to obtain evidence as soon after the accident as possible, while the evidence still exists and witnesses memories are fresh.   

For instance, skid marks disappear at a crash scene disappears, important equipment at the scene of an explosion is destroyed, and crucial electronic evidence – like black box data in a truck – is overwritten.  

It’s important that you obtain this evidence immediately, as it can often definitely prove the defendant was at fault for the accident and your injuries and losses.   

Your personal injury lawyer will use this evidence to negotiate a potential settlement before trial and, if the case doesn’t settle, to show the jury what actually happened at trial. Without it, you could lose, because the plaintiff (the injured party who files the lawsuit) has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent. And in order to meet that burden, you need evidence.  

You’re Able to Hold the Wrongdoer Fully Accountable

The longer the delay, the more opportunity that companies and their team of lawyers have to make important evidence disappear. And they will. Whether the evidence is “lost” or “destroyed,” the other side will do whatever they can to make sure the evidence you need to prove your case cannot be found and that they are not held accountable for their reckless or negligent conduct.   

Bottom line: Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer with a track-record of success, experience in the courtroom, and who knows what evidence to look for and how to use it to ensure that you recover the maximum compensation for your losses as soon after the accident as possible.  

What is the Statute of Limitations in Other States? 

Not every state has the same statute of limitations as Texas.

In Louisiana, for example, accident victims only have one year from the date of the incident or wrongful death to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

The following is a list of the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in each state:  

  • Alabama: 2 years 
  • Alaska: 2 years 
  • Arizona: 2 years 
  • Arkansas: 3 years 
  • California: 2 years 
  • Colorado: 2 years 
  • Connecticut: 2 years 
  • Delaware: 2 years 
  • Florida: 4 years 
  • Georgia: 2 years 
  • Hawaii: 2 years 
  • Idaho: 2 years 
  • Illinois: 2 years 
  • Indiana: 2 years 
  • Iowa: 2 years 
  • Kansas: 2 years 
  • Kentucky: 1 year 
  • Louisiana: 1 year 
  • Maine: 6 years 
  • Maryland: 3 years 
  • Massachusetts: 3 years 
  • Michigan: 3 years 
  • Minnesota: 2 years 
  • Mississippi: 3 years 
  • Missouri: 5 years 
  • Montana: 3 years 
  • Nebraska: 4 years 
  • Nevada: 2 years 
  • New Hampshire: 3 years 
  • New Jersey: 2 years 
  • New Mexico: 3 years 
  • New York: 3 years 
  • North Carolina: 3 years 
  • North Dakota: 6 years 
  • Ohio: 2 years 
  • Oklahoma: 2 years 
  • Oregon: 2 years 
  • Pennsylvania: 2 years 
  • Rhode Island: 2 years 
  • South Carolina: 3 years 
  • South Dakota: 3 years 
  • Tennessee: 1 year 
  • Texas: 2 years 
  • Utah: 4 years 
  • Vermont: 3 years 
  • Virginia: 2 years 
  • Washington: 3 years 
  • West Virginia: 2 years 
  • Wisconsin: 3 years 
  • Wyoming: 4 years 

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations? 

There are.  If you were a minor when the incident occurred or if you were of unsound mind due to your injury, you may be able to file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed. 

Also, in states that adopt the “discovery rule,” if your injury or illness wasn’t discovered until years after the negligent conduct that caused it — for instance, if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos at work — you may still be able to bring a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run.

What if the Statute of Limitations Expired? 

If you do NOT file a personal injury claim in time, you will almost always lose your right to take legal action against the person or company that caused you harm.  

If you think you may have missed the time limit to file your case, talk to an experienced injury attorney right away to determine if an exception may apply or what legal rights and options are available to you. 

Don’t Wait. Contact Our Undefeated Houston Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-888-603-3636.  

If you or a loved one were seriously injured by another person’s or company’s negligence, don’t give the defendants an advantage by waiting until important evidence disappears.    

Protect and secure your future today by contacting our Undefeated Houston Personal Injury Lawyers at  1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us a confidential email. 

With Billions won and the largest verdicts and settlements in history, our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers have the knowledge, resources, and expertise to ensure that our clients and their families receive the maximum compensation possible for all of their injuries and losses. 

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay us anything unless we win your case

We proudly serve Harris County, Midland County, and its surrounding areas:

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
2700 Post Oak Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77056
(888) 603-3636

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Midland
306 W Wall St Suite 701, Midland, TX 79701
(432) 220-0000