In the wake of a car accident, the last thing on your mind may be how to pursue financial compensation for your injuries. Navigating medical treatments, insurance companies and time away from work is hard enough. However, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible so you can start your personal injury case without worrying about time limits.

It can seem unfair that a person may “get away with” causing your injury, especially if the accident caused a permanent disability you will deal with for the rest of your life. Yet, Texas law outlines a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. This means that you must file your lawsuit with Texas civil claims court within two years. Otherwise, you may forfeit your right to a trial.

What is the reason behind this time limit?

Texas law is not looking to protect those who committed a crime against you with this time limit. This statute works to protect evidence that the court would need to decide fault.

Accident reconstruction methods can work best when the details of the incident are still fresh in your mind. An accident reconstruction expert may look at the damage to your vehicle, ask about the position of the cars or even visit the crime scene directly. Those facts can help determine who was at fault in the accident or determine if the other driver was engaging in negligent or risky behavior.

The two-year statute helps ensure the fair treatment of everyone involved in the incident and makes sure that the case moves forward with the most accurate evidence.

How does the statute of limitations affect a settlement?

Most personal injury cases end in a settlement outside of court. In those cases, your attorney may work directly with the other party’s attorney or insurance company to award you financial compensation instead of taking the case to trial. The time frame still comes into play, though, as insurance companies can be more motivated to settle your case fairly if you still have the option of a lawsuit.