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January 24, 2018

What Are The General Laws Regarding Personal Injury In Texas?


There are a vast number of rules related to personal injury law in Texas. To win your case or to defend yourself if someone has filed a personal injury suit against you, it is imperative that you know what those laws are and that you follow them. The best way to handle a personal injury lawsuit in Texas is to hire a personal injury attorney. They will know best how to guide you so that you have the proof necessary to win your case. These are the specific rules related to personal injury, and they are ones that anyone who involved in a personal injury case should know.

Statutes of Limitations for personal lawsuits

Every state has their own set of statutes of limitation laws for personal injury suits. You only have a specific amount time to file a claim if you feel you have been the victim of a personal injury. The timelines depend on the specific type of suit you are involved in. In general, Texas law stipulates that you have two years from the day that you sustain an injury to file a lawsuit against someone or something in civil court.

It’s important to file within the timeline because if you don’t, then you will not be eligible to collect or to gain compensation if you are injured in a personal injury suit. If you miss the two-year window, then you will likely have no recourse to have your injuries covered in a court of law. If you wait longer than the statute of limitations, a Texas court will refuse to listen to your case and any right you have to be compensated for your injuries will be lost.

What are shared fault rules?

In Texas, when you file a claim against someone or a business, it is possible for them to say that you were responsible for your own injuries, or at least that you are partially responsible for them. If you do end up being partially to blame, then you may bear a portion of the liability for your injuries and damages. If you are found to share negligence, then it can end up costing the at-fault party less in compensatory damages.

In personal injury lawsuits, Texas follows the modified comparative negligence rule. If you are found partially responsible, then you are liable for the percentage of compensation that you have been found liable for. For instance, if you are found 10% at fault for an accident, then you are only able to collect 90% - the amount that you aren’t at fault for. But if one person is found to be more than 50% at fault in an accident, then they are liable and responsible for paying for all the damages and injuries.

Injury liability for the owner of an animal

There are no specific personal injury laws regarding what to do about dog bites. Typically, Texas courts will go by the “one bite” rule. It means that if you know that your dog had the propensity to bite, then you will likely be liable and responsible for injuries if your dog ends up biting someone.

What are damage caps in Texas?

Texas has specific caps limiting different types of personal injury awards. The caps are In place due to high compensation payouts, which were causing a strain on the medical industry and the general overall economy. For medical malpractice suits, you are only allowed to recover $250,000 for noneconomic damages. If the medical malpractice suit also involves wrongful death, then the cap for the lawsuit is $500,000. Because the cap was started in 1977, the current cap has been adjusted for inflation, so it is now $1.9 million for wrongful death medical malpractice suits.

According to Law Offices of Hugh Howerton, personal injury law is based on someone causing someone else’s injuries and damages due to negligence. Because there are different classifications of personal injury, it is important that if you are involved in a personal injury case, you find a lawyer who has expertise in the type of personal injury for which you are suing. Finding someone who knows how to put on the best offense will benefit you and increase the likelihood that you will be awarded what you deserve. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.

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