Personal Injury Claims in Texas

Have you been involved in a work place accident, slip and fall or auto accident? If so, then filing a personal injury claim may be on the horizon. Texas, like other states, has some limits on the time to file a claim and how much can be awarded for a particular claim. We are here to help sort out all that information to make it easier for you.

What is Considered a Personal Injury in Texas?

In Texas personal injury claims are normally based on accidents that have been caused due to a person's negligence. A victim has to be able to prove that the person who caused the accident did not act in a reasonable way which includes considering others when he or she acted in such a way that you were injured. Examples where personal injury claims take place are as a result of the following:

  • truck accidents;
  • product liability;
  • premises liability;
  • car accidents;
  • slips and falls.

How to Prepare a Personal Injury Claim in Texas

The first thing you do following an accident is to visit a doctor so you can get a diagnosis and a treatment plan for your injuries. It is important to keep any documents including receipts for an ambulance and medical treatment as you will need them when filing your personal injury claim. You must also follow your physician’s instructions and don’t miss regular appointment times. It will help your personal injury claim if you keep a record of doctor’s visits as this proves your injury is severe.

Contact Your Lawyer

You should communicate with your lawyer while in the process of filing your personal injury claim and provide all the evidence required proving that someone else is to blame for your accident. This includes witnesses’ accounts of the accident, a police report (if applicable), your doctor’s report and photos of the accident scene. Even if you’re not certain that some evidence is useful you should still offer it to your lawyer.

He or she can help prepare the best claim you can expect based on medical evidence and even an amount for pain and suffering if you have experienced it. The more evidence you provide the easier it is for your lawyer to build up a favorable settlement that will help you cover any financial hardship you have endured due to an accident that was not your fault.

Keep Your Personal Injury Lawsuit to Yourself

You should never discuss your lawsuit and in particular on social media platforms. Social media platforms are notorious for affecting the outcome of personal injury claims. If you need to discuss it at all leave this to immediate family. They will understand your situation and will be far more likely to support your efforts and are unlikely to obstruct your claim. Chatting with neighbors or co-workers could affect your case if some misunderstanding takes place.

Be Ready to Accept a Settlement

As soon as your lawyer comes up with a settlement don’t dismiss it if it’s not exactly the amount you expected. Base your decision on how much of your financial hardship it’s likely to cover such as wages you may be losing due to being unable to work and the cost of medical treatment that you are likely to require until you are well enough to return to work.

Statute of Limitations

Were you involved in a slip and fall, auto accident, or other personal injury, and you are now having physical ailments from it? There is a limit for how long after a personal injury you can file a claim known as the “statute of limitations”. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury is 2 years. After the 2 years are up, the chances of your claim being heard in court are slim to none. They can and most likely will refuse no matter how big or small injuries are.

What Auto Insurance Must you Carry in Texas

Owning a car comes with the added responsibility of carrying insurance on that car. Texas has some minimum requirements to the car insurance you must have:

  • $30,000 for each injured person
  • $60,000 for injuries per incident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Of course these are only the minimums you must carry on your insurance, however, there are plenty extras you can add. For example:

  • Collision: Helps pay for damages to your car
  • Uninsured Motorist: covers you if you are involved in an accident caused by a driver that in uninsured.
  • Comprehensive: You would get this added to help pay for damages to your automobile caused by things like hail, tree falling, anything that is not collision-related.
  • Towing and labor

Who is at Fault for an Accident in Texas?

Texas is a state that uses a modified comparative fault system when determining who/what caused the accident. Basically, this means that the award amount a plaintiff can receive will be reduced by the percentage of the degree he or she is at fault for his or her injuries. For example, if you were in a car accident that resulted in $10,000 worth of damage, but you were found to be 25% at fault in the accident, the most you could be awarded in this case would be $7,500. Furthermore, Texas follows what is known as the “51% Bar Rule” which means if the damaged party is 51% or more at fault, he or she cannot collect damages.

A Prior Texas Personal Injury Claim

In 2010, Brenda Alcala, from Dallas was awarded $1.2 million for a slip and fall incident. It occurred in front of the Quad-City hotel where there was an icy patch of sidewalk. Because of the fall she shattered her ankle, had two surgeries and now walks with a limp. These types of cases can be difficult to prove because it has to be determined that the hotel did everything they could to melt the ice. However, the paramedics on the scene ended up spreading their own salt to melt the ice.

Damage Caps in Texas

Many states institute a cap on the amount of dollars that can be awarded in a personal injury case. In Texas, limitations on damages are only applied in cases involving medical malpractice. If you are involved in a medical malpractice case, you can sue the doctor for non-economic damages for up to $250,000 and also the healthcare facility for up to $250,000. Nonetheless, if you have suffered a personal injury due to the actions of another party, such as an injury from a slip and fall incident or a car accident, you should consult with an Texas personal injury attorney to discuss how to recover any losses you may have incurred.

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