The “statute of limitations” refers to the time frame within which an individual may file a lawsuit after an alleged harm has occurred. In Texas, the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits varies depending on the type of case. Understanding the statute of limitations is important because once the deadline has passed, the right to sue or take legal action is usually lost, even if the harm was significant.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Civil Lawsuit in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for most civil lawsuits that are classified as torts is two years. However, this can vary depending on the type of case. It is important to note that the statute of limitations begins to run from the date the cause of action accrued, which can mean the date the harm or injury occurred or when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury or harm.
Types of Civil Cases and Their Respective Statutes of Limitation
Each type of civil case is governed by its own set of laws and regulations, and they each have varying statutes of limitations. For example, the statute of limitations for defamation, libel, or slander is 1 year from the date of the statement. A personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. Contract disputes and fraud have four-year statutes of limitations from the date of breach or discovery. You can refer to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code for an extensive list of the current statutes of limitations in Texas.
In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended due to factors including, but not limited to, the plaintiff being a minor, the plaintiff’s legal incapacity, and other statutory exceptions provided by the law. An attorney can assist in determining if any exceptions apply in a specific case.
Consult with an Attorney
If you are considering filing a lawsuit in Texas, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney. If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, your right to pursue legal action may be lost. An attorney can determine the statute of limitations for your specific case and be sure to take action within the prescribed time frame.