Articles Posted in Statute of Limitations

Under Texas law, people hurt in car accidents have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for their harm. They must do so within the time prescribed by the statute of limitations, though, otherwise, their claims will most likely be dismissed. While typically determining whether an action is timely is a straightforward undertaking, governmental orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can complicate the process. In Olivia Segovia v. Suzanne Stebbins (NO. 14-21-00078-CV), the Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (14th Dist.), analyzed whether emergency orders required the tolling of the statute of limitations in a lawsuit arising out of a car crash, ultimately determining that they did not. If you suffered harm in a collision, it is in your best interest to meet with a Texas car accident attorney about your potential claims as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in an auto accident involving the defendant in October 2018. She filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the defendant over two years after the date of the accident. The defendant filed an answer in which she argued that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

Reportedly, following discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that Texas’s two-year statute of limitations for negligence claims required the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. In response, the plaintiff argued that emergency orders issued by the Supreme Court of Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic extended or tolled the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

Surely everyone knows by now that those who have been hurt in a Texas car accident or other vehicular wreck have only a limited time in which to file a lawsuit. Still, too many people put off talking to a lawyer about their case, making it more likely that their suit won’t get filed on time.

Granted, there are a few -a very few – situations in which the statute may be tolled, but a would-be plaintiff should never count on this. The best course of action is to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident instead of putting off the important step of seeking legal advice about the case.

This not only allows for a timely filing of the necessary paperwork but also allows for a more thorough investigation of the accident itself, increasing the likelihood of a finding of liability against the negligent party when the case eventually goes to trial.

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The importance of retaining an attorney as soon as possible after being involved in an east Texas car or truck accident cannot be overstated. There are many deadlines that must be complied with, or else the injured party may forfeit his or her right to pursue fair and just compensation from the person whose negligence caused the collision.

Unfortunately, far too many people wait until the last minute to talk to a lawyer about their situation. When this happens, the chances of having a case dismissed due to an issue of timeliness greatly increases.

Part of the reason for this is that there is not just a single deadline that must be complied with. Depending upon the particulars of a given case, there may be multiple deadlines and filing requirements. Missing even one of these important deadlines can be fatal to an otherwise valuable claim for money damages.

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Most people who have been injured in an east Texas auto accident are at least somewhat aware that there is a deadline for filing a negligence claim against the at-fault driver. Called the “statute of limitations,” this important deadline is non-negotiable; if you miss it, your case is going to be dismissed (unless it meets one of the very few, very narrow exceptions under Texas law).

Not only must the complaint be filed with the appropriate court clerk within the limitations period, but also the plaintiff has an obligation to serve a copy of the complaint on the defendant within a certain time frame. Failing to do this can result in the dismissal of an otherwise timely filed lawsuit.

Facts of the Case

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, it may be tempting to take a “wait and see” approach. You may be thinking, “As long as I file my case by the statute of limitations, I’m good, right?” Not necessarily.

In some east Texas car accident cases, there are other considerations that effectively “move up” the filing deadline, and a delay can result in the dismissal of an otherwise valid claim. A recent federal case illustrates the point.

Facts of the Case

Most people have heard the term “statute of limitations” and are aware that the plaintiff in an east Texas car accident case has only a certain amount of time in which to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

The term “statute of repose” may be less familiar, but this law can further limit the time for filing a claim in certain situations, including a product liability action for injuries suffered in an automobile accident due to a defective or unreasonably dangerous vehicle.

A plaintiff who does not file a claim within both the statute of limitations and the statute of repose faces the dismissal of his or her case on procedural grounds.

If you or a family member has recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident in east Texas, you probably have a lot of questions, beginning with, “How long do I have to file a claim?”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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