You're injured, and you need extensive and costly medical treatment. Perhaps it was a car accident. Perhaps you slipped and fell on a broken sidewalk. Maybe you fell from a defective ladder that collapsed under you.
No matter how you got hurt, you feel buried by those bills. It's more money than you ever dreamed you'd owe. You can't imagine how you'll ever pay it off. You're wondering how it's going to impact your ability to get other loans.
Does this derail your plans to take out a mortgage and buy your own house? Will you never be able to afford a college education or that dream car? Can you even provide for your family?
These are important questions to ask. You're fairly certain you're entitled to compensation since the accident wasn't your fault. What you're wondering, though, is when you need to get the legal case started.
What is a statute of limitations?
The short answer to your question is that it's typically best to act as quickly as possible so that you don't exceed the statute of limitations. This is basically just a time limit, a countdown until you can no longer start a civil case. Even if you have a completely valid case, all the evidence is on your side and you clearly were not at fault, exceeding this time limit can mean there's nothing you can do.
What is the limit in Texas?
The statutes of limitations vary based on state law. They also vary based on the type of case. For example, there is no limit on some serious criminal cases. Civil cases often have a strict limit.
In Texas, for a personal injury lawsuit, that limit is two years. This starts when you're injured or when you reasonably should have known you were injured. That second standard is often used in medical malpractice cases. Injuries sometimes don't show themselves for months or years, especially when patients expect a certain amount of pain and discomfort as they naturally heal.
As you can see, putting off the case could result in a breach of the time limit and the inability to start a case at all. This is why it's important to quickly seek the help of medical professionals. They can give you official reports that show the extent of your injuries, the ramifications and changes to your life, exactly when you got hurt and much more. Not only is getting medical assistance quickly best for your health, but it also shows you if you'll need a personal injury lawsuit well before the statute of limitations runs out.
Never assume anything when it comes to legal action. As you can see, it's critical to know exactly how the law works, what steps to take and when you must take them.