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What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Texas?

April 22, 2024 | Injury Law

The statute of limitations in personal injury law dictates the deadline by which you must take file a lawsuit after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. This deadline does not apply to filing a lawsuit and not an insurance claim; insurance claims should generally be filed much sooner.

Texas Generally Has a Two-Year Deadline To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Texas, those seeking to file a personal injury lawsuit generally must do so within two years from the date of the accident causing their injuries. This deadline applies across various types of personal injury claims, such as slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, defective product claims, and most medical malpractice claims.


(a) Except as provided by Sections 16.010, 16.0031, and 16.0045, a person must bring suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues. (b) A person must bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues in an action for injury resulting in death. The cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person.


The two-year deadline typically starts from the date of the accident or injury.

Exceptions to the Texas Statute of Limitations

Though the two-year statute of limitations is the rule in most cases, several exceptions exist that could either extend or shorten this timeline. Some of the most common exceptions include the following:

Suing Government Entities

If you were in an accident and need to file a claim against a government entity – for example, you were in a car crash caused by a government employee – the statute of limitations is quite different. The Texas Tort Claims Act requires you to file a notice of claim within just six months from the date on which injury occurred.

Failure to comply with these terms could mean forfeiting your chance at recovering compensation, no matter how strong your case is.

The Injured Party is a Minor

When the individual hurt in an accident is a child, the law provides an extension of the statute of limitations.

(b) If a person entitled to bring a personal action is under a legal disability when the cause of action accrues, the time of the disability is not included in a limitations period.

The countdown does not begin to run until the injured party turns 18, meaning they typically have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.

A Minor Was Injured by Medical Malpractice

For medical malpractice cases involving children, there is a longer statute of limitations than the general two-year deadline. If a child has been injured by medical malpractice before reaching 12 years old, they will have until they turn 14 to file their claim.

…provided that, minors under the age of 12 years shall have until their 14th birthday in which to file, or have filed on their behalf, the claim. Except as herein provided this section applies to all persons regardless of minority or other legal disability.

However, they must file their claim within 10 years, no matter how old they were when they were injured.

A claimant must bring a health care liability claim not later than 10 years after the date of the act or omission that gives rise to the claim. This subsection is intended as a statute of repose so that all claims must be brought within 10 years or they are time barred.

The Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is another exception that can toll – or pause – the statute of limitations, providing the injured party with a longer deadline. This is relevant in situations where an individual may not be immediately aware of their injury or its connection with a particular incident.

For example, if an individual experiences exposure to a hazardous substance, the adverse health effects or injuries might not emerge for years following the initial incident. Once the injury is discovered or should have reasonably been discovered, this triggers the statute of limitations to run.

Fraudulent Concealment

When an individual or entity actively misrepresents the truth or hides information to prevent another from discovering a claim they’d otherwise be entitled to make, the statute of limitations is paused.

…party asserting fraudulent concealment must establish an underlying wrong, and that “the defendant actually knew the plaintiff was in fact wronged, and concealed that fact to deceive the plaintiff.

Once a person discovers the fraud or should have discovered it through reasonable diligence, the clock starts again.

Fraudulent concealment only tolls the running of limitations until the fraud is discovered or could have been discovered with reasonable diligence.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the exceptions that may exist, and there are other factors that will affect the statute of limitations. If you believe you have a claim or have questions, reach out to us as soon as possible to determine the deadline so you don’t miss your chance to recover compensation.