Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. While there is a general statute of limitations for personal injury claims, there are many case-specific exceptions to the general rule. Thus, if you have been hurt in a wreck or lost a loved one in a fatal crash, it is imperative that you take swift action to protect your legal rights.
Only an insurance company would have the audacity to deny an injured woman’s uninsured motorist claim, fail to file an answer to the lawsuit she was forced to file in order to get the coverage for which she had paid premiums, ask the court for a new trial after it granted the woman a new trial, and then complain about the amount of time it took the woman to file suit against it in the first place.
Fortunately, an east Texas appellate court did the right thing when this exact scenario unfolded recently. It reinstated the default judgment against the insurance company, making it pay the woman the money awarded to her by the trial judge.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should know that you have a limited time in which to file suit against the person whose negligence you believe caused the crash. In Texas, this period is generally two years. (Of course, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced injury attorney about the details of your particular case.)
Except in very rare instances, a failure to timely file suit will result in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case, regardless of its merits.
Every plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must comply with local state laws applicable to their case. One of the initial and most important legal rules to follow is the time period within which the case must be filed. This is called the statute of limitations. In East Texas and throughout the state, personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date of the occurrence. Furthermore, not only must the case be filed within two years, but also if the plaintiff serves the defendant after the limitations period has elapsed, service is valid only if the plaintiff exercised due diligence in effectuating service. These are complicated issues that must be resolved in accordance with the law, or else the plaintiff could lose the right to pursue the action. Anyone who has suffered injuries due to another’s negligence is encouraged to contact an experienced East Texas injury attorney, someone who handles car accident claims on a routine basis.
In a recent Texas case, the plaintiff lost the right to pursue her negligence case for failing to properly serve the defendant with the complaint. Here, the parties were in a car accident in December 2010. Two years later, just prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the plaintiff brought an action against the defendant for negligence. In September 2013, the plaintiff moved for “substituted service” and finally served the defendant in November 2013. The defendant asserted various defenses, including a statute of limitations defense, arguing that the plaintiff was not diligent in serving him with process.
Car accidents occur all too frequently on roads and highways in East Texas and throughout the state. Unfortunately, many of these collisions cause innocent victims to sustain serious injuries, resulting in loss of work, medical bills, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
At the very least, an injured person may be entitled to recover compensation for his or her particular losses. But in order to achieve the best possible result, plaintiffs must comply with every applicable law and court rule. The failure to do so could result in the loss of an opportunity to be compensated for one’s injuries. In order to ensure that your case is appropriately filed, pleaded, and proved, you are encouraged to consult with an experienced injury attorney from the local East Texas area.
A recent Texas case is a good example of the need to follow local procedural laws when filing a car accident lawsuit. Here, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries in an automobile accident with the defendant on July 2, 2009. She waited until February 14, 2012 to file the lawsuit. Under Section 16.003 (a) of the Texas civil procedure code, plaintiffs must bring a personal injury lawsuit no later than two years after the date on which the cause of action arises. In her complaint, the plaintiff pleaded that the defendant resided in Oklahoma. Therefore, she argued that the statute of limitations period of two years was tolled, due to the defendant’s absence from the state.