Is the Injury Statute of Limitations Different for Children and Adults in Texas?
When filing an injury lawsuit in Texas, the age you sustained your injuries matters. Because there are different filing deadlines for children and adults in Texas, victims need to know which deadline applies to them.
In Texas, adults generally have two years from the date of injury to file an injury claim against a negligent party. While the same two-year statute of limitations applies to children, it typically only begins to run once a victim turns 18. While it’s important to file within the statute of limitations for injury lawsuits, there are some exceptions to the general filing deadline. Your lawyer can help you learn whether or not you qualify for an exception and help you file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party.
Our lawyers are dedicated to helping Texas victims, both adults and children, get the justice they deserve in an injury lawsuit. For a free case evaluation with the Arlington personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., call today at (817) 476-1797.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Adults to File an Injury Lawsuit in Texas?
If another person’s negligence caused you injury as an adult in Texas, you need to know the statute of limitations. Generally, the filing deadline for these types of lawsuits is short, so you should hire an attorney quickly if you plan to sue a negligent party for compensatory damages.
According to Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 16.003(a), adults generally have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. That means that if you were injured as a result of another’s negligent or intentionally wrongful act as an adult, you only have two years to file a lawsuit.
While that may seem like a short period, the statute of limitations exists for a reason. Generally, victims need fast access to compensatory damages, so it serves them to hire a Dallas personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit quickly. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit can cause adults in Texas to lose their right to compensatory damages. Delaying a lawsuit can make your injuries appear insignificant to a judge or jury.
In order to give their attorneys ample time to compile evidence and build a case against a negligent party, adult victims should hire an attorney right away. Waiting will only do a disservice to your potential case and risk your access to compensatory damages.
Injury Statute of Limitations for Children in Texas
If another person’s negligence caused you injury as a child, you have a bit more time to file a lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations is tolled until a child victim reaches majority age. Once that happens, the clock starts ticking.
Note: If you have a question specifically about a vehicle accident, call our car accident law firm in Arlington, TX.
Child victims can file an injury lawsuit against a negligent party within two years of their 18th birthday. The statute of limitations is paused or “tolled” until a child victim turns 18. After that, the countdown begins. Once a child victim turns 18, the same two-year statute of limitations for adults applies. So, child victims generally have until their 20th birthday to file an injury lawsuit against a negligent party in Texas.
That being said, a victim’s parents can hire a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to sue a negligent party before a child reaches majority age. The statute of limitations is tolled to allow child victims to sue a negligent party independently and without their guardians. Before a child’s 18th birthday, they cannot file a lawsuit of independently in Texas.
Another reason for the difference in filing deadlines for adults and children in Texas is maturity. Understandably, child victims may have more difficulty recognizing injuries, depending on their nature, and identifying the responsible party.
Are There Exceptions to the Injury Statute of Limitations for Children and Adults in Texas?
Under certain circumstances, there are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for injury lawsuits in Texas. For example, injury lawsuits relating to asbestos or silica have a four-year statute of limitations. Additionally, adult and child victims can bring injury lawsuits arising from sexual abuse within a much larger timeframe.
Asbestosis and Silicosis Cases
According to Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 16.0031(a) and (b), claimants in a personal injury lawsuit relating to asbestos or silica have longer than two years to sue a negligent party. Generally, victims in such cases can file an injury lawsuit within four years of informing a defendant of their injuries, regardless of their age.
While this may seem like a niche scenario, it’s just another example of why hiring a Texas personal injury lawyer is crucial. Victims with injuries caused by asbestos or silica may be unaware of this exception to Texas’s normal injury statute of limitations and believe they have missed their chances of recovering compensatory damages.
There are additional exceptions to the filing deadline for injury lawsuits originating from sexual abuse. For example, according to Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 16.0045(a) child victims of sexual abuse can file a lawsuit against an abuser within 30 years of their 18th birthday. Adult victims of sexual abuse in Texas also have a longer statute of limitations to bring a civil suit against an abuser. According to Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 16.0045(b)(5), adult survivors of sexual abuse may have five years from the date of injury to file an injury lawsuit against an abuser.
In cases of medical malpractice, children also face different requirements. In general, Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 74.251(a) gives people 2 years to file their claims, but some rules might extend that deadline. For other types of injuries, the statute of limitations would usually be tolled for a child until they turn 18. However, Children who suffered medical malpractice injuries before age 12 must file before age 14. In any case, no medical malpractice claim can be brought more than 10 years after the incident happened under Tex. Civ. Prac & Rem. Code § 74.251(b).
Although there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations for filing an injury claim for adults and children in Texas, victims should never assume they qualify. It’s always best to consult an attorney and file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations for injury claims in Texas.
Our Attorneys Can Help You File an Injury Lawsuit in Texas
Whether you were injured as a child or adult, our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against a negligent party within Texas’ statute of limitations. For a free case evaluation with the Houston personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., call today at (817) 476-1797.