In any personal injury law proceeding, one of the most critical things to keep in mind is the date for filing your lawsuit. Texas has different statutes in place that limit the time in which a lawsuit or personal injury claim can be brought against a responsible party. If these deadlines are not met, even the strongest case can be barred by the statute of limitations.
Whether the injury resulted from a car accident, a defective product, or an injury at the workplace, different deadlines may apply and they can have a serious impact on your claim. It is important to consult an attorney about how these deadlines apply to your particular situation. Below are the most common deadlines for personal injury claims in Texas:
Bodily Injury Claims: Generally two (2) years from the date of the accident in question.
Wrongful Death Claims: Two (2) years of the date of death.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims: An employee must notify the employer of the injury within 30 days. The employee must also submit a written claim within one (1) year from the date of the injury with the Texas Department of Insurance/Division of Workers’ Compensation. (This claim form can be obtained from the Texas Department of Insurance/Division of Workers’ Compensation, 4000 South IH-35, Austin, Texas 78704-7491 or call 1-800-252-7031.)
A Special Note About Personal Injury Claims Against State and Local Government Units in Texas: Personal injury claims against a governmental unit in Texas must comply with the applicable notice provisions for that government unit in order to avoid waving the claim. Section 101.101 of the Texas Tort Claims Act also requires that a Texas governmental unit receive notice of a claim against it not later than six (6) months after the day that the incident occurred and it specifies what must be included in this notice.
Medical Malpractice: Legal actions against medical professionals must be filed within two (2) years of the date of the act that resulted in the injury or two years from the conclusion of treatment if the injury occurred during ongoing treatment. If a suit is being filed on behalf of a child under the age of 12, the suit must be filed by the child’s 14th birthday.
Professional Malpractice: Legal actions against professionals (accountants, attorneys, etc.) must be filed within two (2) years of the date the injurious act was (or should have been) discovered.
Product Liability: Actions must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the injury.
Fraud: Must be filed within four (4) years.
Defamation: Charges of libel, slander or defamation must be filed within one (1) year from the date of the action.
Justin is an attorney at Roberts & Roberts and focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, where he specializes in helping individuals who are harmed by recalled or unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. He has earned recognition as a “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. Prior to joining Roberts & Roberts, Justin served as an attorney in all three branches of Texas’s state government, including as a Briefing Attorney on the Texas Supreme Court. He also represented electric and natural gas utilities in complex regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Justin is a published author in the St. Mary’s Law Journal.