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Texas Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can be devastating. If you are injured in such an event, you can suffer from significant emotional trauma and long-term physical complications. You may require extensive medical care and miss out on weeks of work. 

Texas law allows people who are injured in bicycle accidents to file lawsuits against the drivers responsible for their collisions. However, victims have a limited time to bring a claim to a civil court. This is due to a law known as the statute of limitations.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents in Texas?

If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you have two options to recover compensation: you can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance, or you could file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The Texas statute of limitations for personal injury claims is governed by Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003.

According to this law, any person injured in a bicycle accident must file a lawsuit no more than two years from the date of the collision. If you do not file by this deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case and prevent you from recovering damages. 

The statute of limitations also applies to insurance claims. You have two years from the date of your accident to file, but it is generally a smart idea to initiate your case much earlier.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Texas Statute of Limitations?

There are some exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations. If any of the following situations apply to your case, your statute-of-limitations clock will pause and begin at a later date:

  • If you were under the age of 18 or of unsound mind at the time of the accident, your clock will not start running until you turn 18 years old or your legal disability ends. For example, you could file two years from the date of your 18th birthday or from the date you become mentally competent.
  • If the at-fault party leaves the state of Texas before you could file the lawsuit, the clock will stop running on the day that he or she leaves the state. The clock will begin again on the date that the at-fault party returns to the state.

While these situations can help extend the filing deadline, they are rare and may not apply to your bicycle accident claim. It is still important to file your lawsuit as soon as you possibly can and speak to an attorney about your legal options.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

The steps you take immediately after a bicycle accident could have a major impact on the outcome of your claim. It is important to seek help, report the incident, and gather as much evidence as possible.

First, call the police and report the accident. Make sure to collect the responding officer’s name and badge number if you are able. Seek emergency medical care as soon as you can, even if you do not feel injured. Save all records related to the incident.

If you are able, document evidence at the scene of the accident by taking photographs, shooting videos, and gathering contact information from witnesses. After you take these steps, contact a McAllen bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and file your claim.