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How Long After a Car Crash Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

 Posted on November 19, 2021 in Truck Accidents

dallas personal injury lawyerAfter a car accident, the faster you act, the better. The sooner you start the process of seeking compensation, the more likely it is that needed evidence will be easily located and preserved. However, it is not always possible to act right after a car accident. Delayed injuries may not be easily attributed to the crash for some time, and people under legal disability often cannot file a lawsuit right away. While the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years in Texas, there are a variety of situations that may extend that limit. If you were hurt in a car accident, whether recently or last year, it may be wise to speak to a qualified attorney when you are able. 

What is the Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations? 

In Texas, the general rule is that you have two years from the date of the crash to file a complaint with the court. Statutes of limitations serve an important purpose. Years after a car crash, much of the evidence has probably been lost and witnesses have likely forgotten what they saw. Despite this proof problem, there are a few exceptions for special cases where the statute of limitations can be paused, including: 

  • Minors - Because minors do not have the legal ability to file a lawsuit on their own behalf immediately, the statute of limitations pauses until they have turned 18 years old. From the date of their 18th birthday, the minor then has two years to initiate a lawsuit. 

  • Wrongful death - A wrongful death action cannot begin until a death has occurred. In cases where a victim lived for days or weeks after the accident before succumbing to their injuries, the statute of limitations does not begin running until their passing. 

  • Death of driver - Careless drivers are not immune to the consequences of the crashes they cause. If the negligent at-fault driver dies before you are able to file a suit, the statute of limitations pauses for a year or until their executor can be appointed. You may still recover compensation from the estate. 

  • Mental disability - People with mental disabilities are exempt from the statute of limitations until their disability lifts. 

  • Out-of-state - If the responsible driver leaves the state and cannot easily be sued in Texas, the statute of limitations pauses until they come back. 

Relying on any of these exceptions is not ideal. When possible, filing a lawsuit quickly after the crash is always the best bet. 

Call a Texas Car Accident Attorney

Jerry D. Andrews, P.C. will begin investigating your accident claim as soon as we get your call. Our experienced Dallas car accident lawyers are dedicated to recovering compensation for those injured by careless drivers. Call 214-221-5800 to schedule a free consultation. 



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