Injuries sustained in car accidents and other similar incidents can permanently change a person’s life. When someone is injured because of another person's negligent actions, the injured party can hire personal injury lawyers to seek compensation on their behalf. There are specific procedures that must be followed in order for an injured victim to file a claim against the at-fault party to receive consideration for damages. Texas personal injury attorneys recommend discussing an accident case involving injuries with lawyers experienced in this field, as many injury claims are not as simple as they appear.
Personal Injury Statistics in Texas
Thousands of Texas residents are injured every year in a variety of ways. While many of these injuries are not serious, there are still a significant number of serious and catastrophic injuries from different causes. Car accidents are a major cause of serious or catastrophic injuries, along with falling, being struck by or against something, and other causes of injury.1 Burns, eye and ear injuries, brain, and spine injuries are examples of other injuries that are caused by these incidents.
Trauma resulting from car accidents is the second most prevalent cause of serious injury in Texas.2 Regardless of the cause, someone injured in Texas due to the fault of another party is often entitled to compensation for such injuries. This is when an injured person should retain skilled personal injury lawyers to help.
Texas Laws on Personal Injury
Although it may appear simple enough for a significantly-injured party to file suit against the person who is at fault, numerous laws and regulations must be considered before any legal action is taken:
- Statute of Limitations - There is a statute of limitations in Texas that prevents anyone from bringing suit against another party after a certain amount of time. Two years is the most common statute of limitation, although this may be extended in certain instances. This generally means that anyone considering filing suit must do so within two years from the date of incident that led to the injuries.
- Shared Fault Laws - Lawyers advise that determining fault is an important part of obtaining compensation for injuries suffered in an accident. Because Texas is a shared fault state, an injured party may be found partially responsible for the accident and assigned a percentage of fault. In this type of jurisdiction, a claimant can still be awarded damages from the party assigned a higher percentage of fault. In other words, an injured person who was deemed to have been 30% at fault and has been awarded a claim for $10,000 will have that amount decreased by $3,000 and receive a total of $7,000.
- Claims Against Government Agencies - When injuries occur on government property or as the result of negligence by a government agency, the claim process is not standard. There are deadlines in which claimants must put the government on notice of their claim. If proper notice is not given, it may limit a claimant's ability to pursue a claim and personal injury attorneys advise that specific information must be provided to the governmental entity to provide proper notice. It is basically an entirely different claims process than the normal filing a complaint against a person or business.
- Damage Caps - Texas is also a state that exercises damage caps. In certain injury situations, a limitation of the amount of damages that can be received by an injured party is limited to a certain pre-determined amount of money. The limitations currently exist only on medical malpractice injury claims. This affects the amount of compensation that can be awarded in any malpractice injury case to a certain amount.
Although only a brief overview of some laws pertaining to personal injury claims in Texas, personal injury lawyers advise that they are important things to know and understand regarding an injury claim. Because every injury case is different, lawyers suggest that anyone injured in an accident caused by someone else discuss their case with experienced personal injury attorneys before concluding a claim settlement.
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1Texas Dept of State Health Injury Reports
2Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Highlights 2014