Statue of Limitations and Injury Claims – Why Time Matters.
The statute of limitations governs the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit regarding a cause of action or case. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is “not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.” In nine cases out of ten, the time limit is two years beginning from the day after the injury occurs. Filing a case after the deadline set by the statute of limitations expires will likely result in the court rejecting your case. You may lose the chance to gain compensation through a claim.
Even in cases, where the injury may lead to a death, the statute of limitations is of two years. But in such cases, the statute of limitations may commence from the date of death, which may not be the same as the date of the injury. This is an important point to keep in mind because it has a bearing on whether or not you can sue successfully for claims.
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code has different rules in place for asbestos- and silica-related injuries. The cause of action accrues at the date of the exposed person’s death or when the claimant serves on a defendant a report complying with Section 90.003 or 90.010(f) for asbestos-related cases and Section 90.004 or 90.010(f) for silica-related cases.
If you can prove that a death occurred because of an asbestos- or silica-related injury, then the statute of limitations begins from the date of demise. Or, the time period for filing a claim begins when a legally acceptable report is served on a defendant. Your best bet lies in hiring a law firm that knows how asbestos- and silica-related cases are to be handled.
Personal injury cases related to sexual abuse of children attract a statute of limitations of up to 15 years. Details of the offenses covered can be found in section 16.0054 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and trafficking of persons are offenses with a statute of limitations of five years.
Claims related to injuries from construction defects must be filed “not later than 10 years after the substantial completion of the improvement or the beginning of operation of the equipment in an action arising out of a defective or unsafe condition of the real property, the improvement, or the equipment.” This covers claims against architects, engineers, interior designers, and landscape architects in Texas.
Section 16.012 covers the statute of limitations for Products Liability claims. It states, “A claimant must commence a products liability action against a manufacturer or seller of a product before the end of 15 years after the date of the sale of the product by the defendant.” However, if a manufacturer gives a written warranty that the product has a useful and safe life longer than 15 years, then the time limit extends to the life of the product.
In addition, the time limit for filing a claim may go beyond 15 years if the user claims exposure before the end of 15 years after the product was first sold, or the bases for action stems from a claimant’s exposure to the product that resulted in disease or if the symptoms of the claimant’s disease, after purchase and before fifteen years, did not appear with an intensity or for a duration that would serve to signal a reasonable person about a change in health.
Statutes of limitations in Texas for personal injuries are complex, and only an experienced and informed lawyer can help you with your case.
Personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, and medical malpractice have a time limit of two years for filing a case. As mentioned above, product liabilities may have a timeframe of two years or fifteen years.
Statutes of limitations exist to protect defendants and discourage plaintiffs from pursuing frivolous claims. With these limitations in place, plaintiffs have to make sure that they have the facts ready before the approach the court. Such statutes also ensure that evidence does not get lost over time. With time, there is a possibility that witnesses may forget events and their testimonies may not be reliable.