Was your child who is under the age of 18 recently injured in a commercial vehicle accident because of the negligence of someone else? Well, if you want to hold the negligent party responsible and collect compensation for your child’s injury in the state of Texas, you need to understand that statutes of limitation for a personal injury claim involving a minor are handled differently than a claim that involves an adult.
Statute of Limitations in Texas
Wherever you live in Texas (whether that be Fort Worth, Dallas, Lubbock or El Paso), a personal injury claim must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. However, when a minor is injured, this two-year statute of limitations does not start until the child reaches the age of 18 or is otherwise legally deemed an adult. The reason for this ‘extension’ is to give the child time until he or she becomes a legal adult to bring the claim. Once the child turns 18, however, the two-year period runs from that date forward to bring the suit.
Keep in mind that the extension is only applicable to personal injury claims that legally belong to the minor. Claims that belong to the parents are not extended and may proceed to the courtroom immediately. For example, claims for medical expenses are claims of the parents and must be brought within two years of the crash.
Why Is There Only Two Years to File a Claim for Medical Expenses?
Because Texas law states that the parents have the legal duty to provide for the medical care of their child. Likewise, if the child gets medical treatment for any injury while a minor, recovery for those medical bills is a claim that belongs to the parents. What this means is, if your child has suffered significant injuries following the accident that resulted in multiple costly medical bills, it may be better for you to file a claim without waiting. This way, you will not have to bear the cost of the expenses all by yourself.
Is My Child’s Money Protected?
If the jury rules in your child’s favor and a personal injury claim is awarded to them, it usually takes of these two forms:
- The money is put in Texas’ Registry of the Court and is paid to the minor as soon as (s)he turns 18, or
- An insurance policy, also known as an annuity, is purchased with the settlement. The annuity can be paid out to the minor at various times after (s)he turns 18.
The Last Word
If you know someone that has been impacted by this, or a similar, tragedy, please let them know they can contact us for a free strategy session to answer any questions they might have, to make sure they get compensated to the full extent available under the law, and that those reckless individuals caused who caused such a preventable tragedy are held completely responsible and brought to full justice. You may reach me directly at [email protected] or 469-466-2600 with any questions.