Overview of Personal Injury in Texas
- What are Tort Claims?
- The Statute of Limitations for Tort Claims in Texas
- Types of Personal Injury Claims
- Additional Resources
What are Tort Claims?
Tort claims are time-sensitive and encompass various personal injuries cases. The statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury claims is two years from the moment of the injury (See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003). Therefore, you will have two years from the date of your injury to bring your claim to a civil court. Unfortunately, underestimating your injuries and allowing time to pass after the injury can hinder your ability to recover compensation for your damages.
Tort Cases can be categorized into three main types: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. In a personal injury claim, the lawyer must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent and at-fault for the damages the victim sustained. Furthermore, because Texas state is a modified comparative fault state, the lawyer will have to demonstrate that the plaintiff (the victim) was not negligent or at-fault for the damages he/she sustained. There are four elements used to demonstrate negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Statute of Limitations for Tort Claims in Texas
One of the most important reasons for victims to retain legal counsel as soon as possible is the simple fact that people only have a very limited amount of time to file legal claims for personal injuries in Texas. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 establishes that a person must bring suit for personal injury no later than two years after the day the injury occurred. This usually means that you have two years after the day you were injured in an accident to file a lawsuit, or you lose the ability to file that suit forever. In general, a person who does not file his or her claim before this time limit expires will forfeit his or her ability to hold the negligent party accountable. Nevertheless, state laws do provide some exceptions to their two-year limitation.
Below are Texas state laws that are exempt from the two-year statute of limitations:
- Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.0031 – In asbestos-related or silica-related injuries, the cause of action accrues on the earlier of the date of the exposed person’s death or the date that the claimant serves on a defendant a report complying with Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 90.003 or § 90.010(f).
- Civ. Prac. & & Rem. Code §16.001(b) – A person is also considered to be “under a legal disability” if he or she is younger than 18 years of age (regardless of whether he or she is married) or of unsound mind. When a person entitled to bring a personal action is under a legal disability when the cause of action accrues, the time of the disability is not included in a limitations period. In other words, the typical two-year statute of limitations does not become applicable until the victim turns 18 years of age or until after the disability is lifted.
- Civ. Prac. & & Rem. Code §16.0045 – A person has up to 30 years to bring suit for personal injury arising as the result of certain criminal offenses, such as sexual assault, indecency with a child (See Texas Penal Code § 21.11) or trafficking of persons. The statutes of limitation does not begin to run until the person’s 18th birthday.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury is part of tort law, which allows for injured individuals to hold the party responsible for their damages legally accountable. Personal injury claims aim to provide the injured individual with financial compensation for their damages because of another party’s negligence, a lapse of judgment or malice intent. There are multiple situations in which personal injury law applies, therefore if you have been injured because of another’s negligence or malice actions, understanding if personal injury law applies to the fact of your case is crucial.
At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our lawyers will diligently work with you and for you to provide you with the service that you deserve. We will gather the evidence necessary to hold the negligent party liable for your suffering. Our team of experienced and qualified lawyers are ready to help you.
Below are various personal injury claims our lawyers at The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC tackle:
- Car Accidents – Motor vehicle accidents happen, especially when driving a car is part of many people’s daily commute. Car accident injuries can range from minor burns to a severe spinal cord injury, depending on the type of accident. After surviving a car accident some victims might not be able to return to work because of their injuries.
- Truck Accident – A commercial truck accident is also a motor vehicle accident. When a collision occurs between two different size vehicles, usually the smaller vehicle will sustain most of the damages. The catastrophic injuries from a commercial truck accident are life-changing. If the victim does survive the accident, the injuries he/she sustained will make it difficult to provide for themselves and recover.
- Motorcycle Accident – Unlike cars and trucks that provide their occupants with tons of metal protection, motorcycles do not provide their riders with protection from the environment of the road. Motorcycle crashes are horrendous and the catastrophic injuries such as paralysis, can be physically, mentally and emotionally devastating knowing your life will not be the same.
- Ridesharing Accident – Ridesharing services are a form of transportation for many commuters and a source of income for others. If you were in an accident while on a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft, it’s important to seek legal assistance. Transportation Networking Companies that hire drivers do not have extensive requirements. Although it may seem as the driver is liable for your injuries, that may not be the case, consulting with a legal professional that can review the facts of your case can help determine liability.
- Premises Liability – Business owners, homeowners, and even government agencies have a duty to their invitee and licensee to provide a safe environment. If the owner did not exercise reasonable care nor did he/she warn of the condition and failed to correct them, then that person can be held accountable for your injuries. Even if the accident was as simple as a slip and fall on their premises.
- Product Liability – If you sustained damages because of a defect on a product such as a car, motorcycle, household appliances, etc. you might be able to hold the party accountable. Having legal representation in a product liability claim is extremely important because it can be complicated.
- Workplace Accident – Some careers and industries are more dangerous than others, for instance, working in construction can be more dangerous than working in an office. However, accidents can happen in any office or workplace and there are specific injuries that can be based on the job duties of a profession.
- Wrongful Death – At times victims succumb to their injuries and families are left to morn and suffer the loss of a loved one. If your loved one has died because of the negligence or malice intent of another, you might be able to seek compensation.
Harris County Personal Injury Resources
Personal Injury | Public Education | American Bar Association (ABA) — The ABA identifies itself as one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with more than 400,000 members and over 3,500 entities. Visit this section of the ABA website to learn more about how personal injury cases and tort claims work. You can find answers to several frequently asked questions.
National Personal Injury Statistics – This link will take you to some basic statistics regarding personal injury numbers across the country. For instance, the link shows the number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents as well as unintentional falls. There are also links to government reports and studies about personal injury.
Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics – Auto accidents are the most commonly litigated personal injury cases. This link is to the Texas Department of Transportation website and shows the latest statistics regarding car accidents in the state broken down into simple charts. The website also has useful links for drivers such as safety tips and maps.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Houston, TX
Did you sustain serious injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in Southeast Texas? You will want to contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC right away.
Our Houston personal injury attorneys help individuals in communities throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown, and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.