Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

How long does one have to pursue plaintiff litigation in Texas?

When a person is injured due to another person's negligence, for example due to a car crash, their primary concern may just be regaining their health, so they can return to their normal life. Unfortunately, doing so can cost a lot of money, from medical bills, to missed work to emotional distress. Or, say a business owner entered into a contract that has been breached, causing them to lose the benefit they contracted for and costing them greatly both in money and time. In either of these cases, the harmed party may wish to file a lawsuit. However, a person who wishes to pursue plaintiff litigation should not wait too long to do so. This is because Texas, like all other states, has a "statute of limitations" with regards to civil claims.

A "statute of limitations" is basically the period of time that a person has to file a lawsuit. Once that time period is over, a person is barred from filing a lawsuit, even if they would have had grounds for doing so based on the facts of their case. There are different statutes of limitations based on the type of claim being filed.

Personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations. Breach of a written contract has a four-year statute of limitations. And libel and slander have a one-year statute of limitations. Keep in mind that these are general time periods, and those who wish to pursue a lawsuit should consult with a professional to determine what the timeframe is for doing so.

As this shows, it is important if you think you have a civil claim to take appropriate actions within a specific period of time. No one who believes they have a civil claim and is owed compensation wants to lose the opportunity for pursuing that claim. Therefore, those interested in civil litigation will want to seek legal guidance, so they can determine what steps they need to take moving forward.

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