What to Know About Personal Injury and its Statute of Limitations in Texas
When it comes to filing a claim for an accident, it is important to act quickly. Otherwise, if you miss your window of opportunity, you will be denied from receiving any compensation. So, it is in your best interest to know what the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is. Here is everything you need to know about personal injury cases in Texas and their statute of limitations.
In law, a personal injury is any damage that one receives in a civil law case, such as lost wages, property damage, emotional pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs. A claim must be filed within the statute of limitations window to receive compensation. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is 2 years from the time of the accident.
Common Types of Personal Injuries
There is a vast range of possible personal injuries that one may like to receive compensation for. While almost any damage caused by negligence can count as a personal injury, examples of some of the most common types of injuries include:
- Auto accidents
- Slipping and falling
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accident
- Defective products
- Hazardous substances or drugs
Related: Texas Personal Injury FAQs
What is the Difference Between Personal and Bodily Injuries?
The terms “bodily injuries” and “personal injuries” are sometimes used interchangeably when referring to damages a person may have received. However, there is a distinct difference between the two.
Bodily injuries refer to injuries involved in criminal court cases in which a victim has suffered a physical injury from a crime on their body. For example, when someone is a victim of assault or battery. This is also used in insurance contexts when calculating compensation and coverage. In general, it is used for physical injuries.
On the other hand, personal injuries often refer to victims of civil cases, which may not strictly be physical. This may range from physical damage to emotional damage to death. These often happen through accidents and are referred to as “damages.”
Texas Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
There is a limited amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit after a personal injury. This is known as the statute of limitations. While the statute of limitations for personal injuries varies by each state, those in Texas have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. It is essential that the victim file for compensation within these 2 years, otherwise their case will be dismissed without a hearing.
Determining Liability in Personal Injury Cases in Texas
Determining who is liable and to what extent is important when handling personal injury cases. Texas is a shared-fault state, meaning that if the defendant is partially at fault for the accident, then that will be considered when calculating how much the victim is due as compensation.
This is because Texas courts apply the pure comparative negligence rule, meaning that the amount one is due as compensation for damages will roughly be reduced according to the percentage by which that person was responsible for the accident.
Shared Fault in Personal Injury Cases
So long as someone is partially responsible for the damages in a case, they will be charged as part of the compensation. For example, many nuanced factors go into understanding who is responsible for car accidents, especially in instances where there is more than one car involved.
While there may be scenarios in which one person may be at fault, such as if a driver fails to stop at a red light and crashes directly into other cars, the situation might not always be so clear. For example, consider an instance in which a car rolls too far forward and hits a second car. If that second car was standing dangerously close to the car in front of it, causing the frontmost car to also be hit, then multiple parties (the second and last car) can be considered liable for the accident. Partial responsibility is shared between the last two cars.
The court may determine that the last car was 70% responsible, while the second car was 30% responsible for the accident, then the total amount of compensation will be split percentage-wise between the two drivers. If the defendant is also found partially responsible, a percentage of the total compensation will be deducted.
How to Create the Best Defense for Personal Injury Cases in Texas
The first step to having a good chance of receiving a favorable outcome in court is to hire an excellent lawyer. One other measure to take to have a strong defense is to make sure to collect sufficient evidence to prove liability. This can be in the form of photos, videos, police reports, and witness statements.
It may also be beneficial to prove the damages that were dealt to you. This can be injury documentation, medical bills, or proof of damage to property. Since fault is weighed and compared, it is important to have sufficient evidence to show that you were not responsible for the situation.
If you are the victim of a personal injury in Texas and need a lawyer, get your free consultation with a Her Lawyer attorney today.