The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Texas depends on the unique circumstances of that case. While the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code does establish a general statute of limitations for various personal injury cases, the real-life application of these statutes is much more complicated and your Texas personal injury attorney would need look at the details of your case for nuances and exceptions.
For example, in some cases the statute of limitations is not tied to the event that caused your injury, but rather the point at which you knew or should have known that an injury occurred. A statute might even provide that you have two years to bring an action from the date you knew of an injury while also stating that you have no more than six years from the date of the event in question to file suit.
This is why it is essential that you consult with a lawyer when trying to determine if the statute of limitations has expired on your case.
Typically, the statutes of limitations for personal injury claims are as follows:
- General personal injury: 2 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a))
- Medical malpractice: 2 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 74.251(a))
- Product liability: 2 years or 15 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a); Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.012(b))
- Legal malpractice: 2 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a))
- Assault and battery: 2 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a))
- Wrongful death: 2 years (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a))
Statute of Limitations for Injured Children
There are circumstances where Texas law allows for an existing statute of limitations to be “tolled” (or extended). For example, in cases where a minor is injured, personal injury claims are tolled until the child turns 18-years-old or is otherwise legally deemed an adult. The child would then have two years from the date they were legally recognized as an adult to settle or prosecute their personal injury case.
It is important to note, however, that this extension only applies to claims that legally belong to the child. Claims that apply to the child’s parents must be satisfied within the normal statute of limitations. As an example, claims for medical expenses would not be tolled because, under Texas law, the child’s parents have the legal duty to provide medical care for their child. This means any claims made in connection with those medical expenses would belong to the parents as well.
Examples of damages that may be tolled include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Medical expenses procured as an adult