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Statute of Limitations in Texas Motorcycle Accident Cases

If you get involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas and need to file an injury claim, you have a legal time limit in which to do so known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations is generally two years for a motorcycle accident claim. However, some exceptions to the rule can result in shorter or longer deadlines.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

Every state has different statutes of limitations. These laws place a deadline on an accident victim’s ability to file a personal injury claim. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to encourage victims to initiate civil lawsuits in a timely manner, both to make the courts more efficient and to protect defendants (accused parties) from having the possibility of a lawsuit hanging over them indefinitely.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Motorcycle Accident Case in Texas?

In Texas, the general personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. This is the law under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 16.003. This law states that, with some exceptions, a person must bring a suit for injury to a person or property not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.

In most cases, the clock on the statute of limitations begins to count down on the day of the motorcycle accident. However, exceptions to the rule could give a claimant additional time in certain situations.

The Discovery Exception

The discovery rule can toll, or pause, the clock on Texas’s statute of limitations until the date that the victim discovers his or her accident-related injuries, or reasonably should have discovered them with due diligence.

In a motorcycle accident case involving a brain injury that the victim does not detect until later due to delayed symptoms, for example, the claimant would have two years from the date of injury discovery rather than the date of the crash to file a claim.

Other Exceptions to the Two-Year Rule

Special circumstances can result in additional exceptions to Texas’s two-year rule. For instance, there is a unique statute of limitations for injured minors (individuals under the age of 18). In Texas, an injured minor has two years from the date he or she turns 18 to file a motorcycle accident claim.

The age exception generally means the statute of limitations does not run until the victim’s 20th birthday, even if more than two years have passed from the date of the crash. Another exception applies to wrongful death cases. If a loved one passes away in a fatal motorcycle accident in Texas, the victim’s surviving family members have two years from the date of death, not the date of the accident, to bring a legal action.

Finally, motorcycle accident cases involving a government agency as the at-fault party have shorter statutes of limitations. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, claims against the government must be filed within deadlines set by each municipality. This is as short as 45 days in some Texas cities.

Act Quickly to Protect Your Rights

If you wait too long and miss your statute of limitations to file a motorcycle accident case in Texas, you will most likely forfeit the ability to seek financial compensation for your losses. It is essential not to wait to take legal action. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident in Texas to avoid missing your filing deadline.

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Fogelman & Von Flatern is a personal injury law firm that believes it matters why we practice law: to make sure good people in unfair circumstances who want reasonable options are taken seriously, especially by their attorney. We value transparency, compassion, and justice, and we strive to embody that in our practice. At FVF, you can trust that you've got the best people on your case, for the right reasons.

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