Personal Injury in Texas: 9 Frequently Asked Questions
After a serious accident, you need money to pay your bills and support your family. The personal injury claims process exists to help injured victims get justice and accountability. Unfortunately, too many people struggle to get the full and fair financial support that they deserve. It is crucial that you understand your rights, responsibilities, and options after a major accident.
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, we provide top level legal representation to injured victims and their families. Negligent defendants and insurers must be held accountable. You need full financial compensation after an accident. Here, our Houston personal injury attorney provides answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury claims in Texas.
Following a serious accident in Southeast Texas, it is crucial that you take the proper steps to protect your health, safety, well-being, and legal rights. To start, injured victims should seek immediate attention from a qualified doctor. Not only is seeing a doctor important for your health, you must see a doctor to be eligible to bring a personal injury claim. Beyond seeing a doctor, it is important to proactively document your accident. The sooner you consult with an experienced Houston, TX personal injury lawyer, the better position you will be in to bring a legal claim.
You must initiate a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Texas, most personal injury cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Any personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Though, there are some limited exceptions to our state’s general statute of limitations. You may have more or less time to file in certain circumstances. A Houston personal injury lawyer can answer questions about the statute of limitations.
No—at least not until you consult with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney. An insurance adjuster may reach out to you shortly after an accident seeking information. As a general rule, insurance company representatives are looking for things that they can use against you to reduce the value of your claim. You are not required to submit a recorded statement immediately after a serious accident. Work with insurers through a Houston personal injury lawyer.
In Texas, personal injury liability is generally based on fault. Put another way, the party found to be “at fault” for causing your accident can be held liable for your damages. Fault usually arises based on the legal theory of negligence. If your accident was caused by negligence—on the part of a driver, a trucking company, a business, a property owner, or any other party—you can hold them liable.
Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care. What constitutes negligence is highly fact-specific. A party is negligent if they fail to act with the care that a reasonably prudent person would have acted within under similar circumstances. As an example, a driver who runs a red light and causes a crash is negligent. A reasonably prudent driver would have stopped. Likewise, a property owner that lives a slip and fall hazard unaddressed for multiple hours may also be deemed negligent. A reasonably prudent property owner would have taken action to keep guests safe.
Under Texas law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 33.001), tort claims are subject to a proportionate responsible standard. Also known as comparative negligence, each party to an accident in Texas will be held liable in a manner proportionate to their share of the fault. An injured victim could even be held partially responsible for their own accident.
With a small exception for punitive damages, Texas allows injured victims to seek compensatory damages. In other words, the value of your personal injury claim will be worth the actual extent of your economic and non-economic damages.
In Texas, you can seek personal injury compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. You may be eligible to recover financial compensation for the following types of losses:
- Property damage (motor vehicle repairs/replacement);
- Ambulance costs and emergency room care;
- Hospital bills and related health care costs;
- Lost of current and future wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent scarring;
- Physical impairment or disability; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Most personal injury claims are settled outside of court. While litigation is always a possibility, only a small share (fewer than 5%) of personal injury cases go to trial. Most people who bring a personal injury claim after an accident in Texas are not required to go to court.
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, our Houston personal injury lawyer is a relentless advocate for injured victims. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the personal injury claims process so that you can secure the full financial compensation you deserve. Call us at (713) 401-3998 or send us a direct message to arrange a free, no commitment review of your case. With an office in Houston, we represent injured victims in Harris County and throughout Southeast Texas.