How does the statute of limitations affect your case in Texas? The statute of limitations controls the amount of time you have to file a claim with an insurance company after an accident or injury. You lose options to seek compensation after the time limit expires.
The statute of limitations for civil cases varies based on the type of case you have and the claim you file. You can learn more about the statute of limitations in Texas and its impact on personal injury cases with our team at the Buzbee Law Firm.
Why Are Statutes of Limitations Important?
Legally, statutes of limitations play several roles in handling civil and criminal cases. First, they control the amount of time you have to move forward with certain legal proceedings. For example, most states have a statute of limitations for settling an insurance claim after an accident.
You may also face a statute of limitations if you face criminal charges. In this situation, the statute of limitations restricts how long the prosecution can wait before filing charges. If they wait too long, they can no longer file charges in the criminal court system.
In both cases, the statute of limitations plays an essential role in resolving your legal issue. You can learn more about any statutes that apply in your situation by reaching out to a lawyer in Texas.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Texas?
Texas has several statutes of limitations that cover different legal issues. For example, most civil claims, including those involving accidental injuries, have a two-year statute of limitations under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
The amount of time offered by the statute of limitations may vary. For example, you may have less time if your case involves a government employee. Other situations that impact the statute of limitations include:
The Involvement of a Minor
The legal system might give you more time if a minor experiences an injury. In some cases, the court does not start counting down the statute of limitations until the minor turns 18.
Parties from Multiple States
Sometimes, legal cases involve people from multiple states. If the defendant in the case leaves the state while the clock is running for the statute of limitations, the court pauses the clock until they return.
Cases Involving Disability
The court grants statute of limitations exceptions in some cases involving an individual with a disability. Individuals dealing with serious injuries, like cancer, may receive an extension to the statute.
Filing for bankruptcy may also cause the court to adjust the statute of limitations.
Is There a Way Around the Statute of Limitations?
Many people wonder: can the statute of limitations be extended? Can you still file a claim after the statute expires if you take specific legal steps to sue for something that happened years ago?
Generally, the regulations associated with the statute of limitations hold firm for filing an insurance claim. Additionally, prosecutors only have so much time to move forward with criminal cases to protect the justice system.
A lawyer can help you understand all the regulations associated with these statutes.
Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended Due to COVID?
We’ve discussed the statute of limitations as it functions in normal circumstances. However, the ongoing pandemic has impacted the court system throughout the U.S. Some states granted extensions to the statute of limitations due to disease.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), Texas implemented a narrow approach to handling the statute of limitations during the COVID outbreak. You may speak with a lawyer to find out if your claim experienced any impact from the virus.
Note that you do not have to resolve all legal claims through the court system. You may avoid going to court in some cases.
When does the Statute of Limitations Start?
Many people wonder when the statute of limitations starts. Generally, the statute of limitations begins counting down from your date of harm. The date of harm may represent the time of an accident, injury, or property damage. However, this is not the case in every situation.
Date of Discovery and the Statute of Limitations
Some individuals do not realize that they sustained an injury or loss immediately after an accident. For example, let’s say that you visited a doctor for a basic surgical procedure. The doctor performed the treatment, and you left the hospital.
However, you realized several months later that the doctor made a mistake during the procedure, perhaps leaving behind a surgical implement. In this situation, your statute of limitations starts from the date of discovery of your injury, not the date of your surgery.
In some cases, the court may start the statute of limitations from the date when you “should” have discovered your injury or harm. The court may set this date regardless of your actual knowledge of the injury.
Can You Pause the Statute of Limitations?
As you can see, the statute of limitations can severely impact your case. However, you may pause the statute for a time with a tolling agreement. These deals require both parties involved in a legal matter to agree.
A tolling agreement allows you to suspend the statute while focusing on negotiating to settle the dispute. You can discuss this option and other legalities surrounding the statute of limitations with your lawyer.
Speak to Us About the Statute of Limitations and Your Case
How does the statute of limitations affect your case? It can control how long you have to move forward with a claim here in Texas. You can review the specifics of the impact on your case by reaching out to our team at the Buzbee Law Firm.
Call us today or complete our online contact form to get started.