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“A Limited Time to File a Claim”? What does the Statute of Limitations Mean in Houston Personal Injury Cases


Most Houstonians have heard at least one attorney advertisement in their lives offering help for injuries related to an automobile accident, slip and fall, wrongful death case, or even a dog bite. Typically, at the end of these commercials, the lawyer themselves or the voice of a seasoned narrator cautions the viewer that “you have a limited time to file your claim, so call now.” But what does this disclaimer mean and why do Houstonians who have been injured only have a limited time to file a personal injury case? The answer lies in Texas civil laws governing what is called “the statute of limitations.”

What is a “Statute of Limitations”?

Under Texas civil laws, a person has a right to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by someone else’s negligent, reckless, or willful conduct, but that right does not exist for forever. In Houston, Texas personal injury claims must be brought within a “reasonable” time frame, or are forever barred from being brought. These strict time limits exist in order to promote efficiency in the legal system, as well as fairness. Statutes of limitations help to ensure that claims that are brought are fresh for adjudication, thus leading to a higher chance of ultimate resolution. The statute of limitations varies from claim to claim, so it is important to learn about the statute of limitations that is specific to the type of case you seek to bring.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Houston Personal Injury Claims?

Under Texas civil laws, “…a person must bring a suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action arose.” Thus, in Texas, an injured person must bring a personal injury lawsuit no later than 2 years after the cause of action arose. If a person, for example, attempts to bring a personal injury lawsuit in Texas even one day past the two-year statute of limitations expires, they will be barred from bringing their claim in court.

Help with Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in Houston 

The statute of limitations can be a difficult and tricky issue in a Houston personal injury case, and it is best to speak with an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer about any filing deadlines that may be soon approaching. Being aware of the statute of limitations and taking any necessary action before it expires is a way to protect your rights in your Houston personal injury case. The experienced Houston personal injury lawyers at the Gilde Law Firm offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help fight for you to get compensation due. Contact the Gilde Law Firm today and speak to an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer about your case for free.

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