If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit or insurance settlement
in Texas, several state laws will come into play, at some point in your
case. Let us take an in-depth look at some of Texas’s personal injury laws.
Time Limits on Personal Injury Lawsuits
All states have statutory limits on the amount of time you have to file
a lawsuit in court after you have suffered some type of harm. The statutory
limit varies depending on the type of case you want to file. This kind
of law is called a statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations in Texas gives you two years from the date
of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system.
If the lawsuit is not filed within the two-year period, the Texas civil
court system will likely refuse to hear your case at any time in the future,
and your right to compensation will be lost.
Texas Shared Fault Rules
A person or business you are filing a claim against may argue that you
are actually to blame for the incident that led to your injury. In case
this allegation is found to be true, or in other words, if you share some
degree of liability, it can end up affecting the total amount of compensation
you can receive from other at-fault parties.
Texas courts are obliged to follow this rule in an injury lawsuit that
makes it to trial. Don’t be surprised if the other side’s
insurance adjuster raises the issue of Texas’s comparative negligence
rule during settlement talks.
Owner Liability for Injury Caused by a Dog or Other Animal
Texas has no specific statute governing personal injury for
dog bites. Owners are held liable to injuries caused by their dog or other animal,
if the injured party can prove that the owner “should have known”
the animal was dangerous and thus restrain its movement in public places.
This is known as the “one bite” rule.
Caps on Injury Damages
Some states place caps on the types of damages that an injured person can
claim if he/she is successful in a personal injury trial. Statutory limitations
on damages in Texas only apply to
medical malpractice. These caps are too complex to be fully explained here. But in most
medical malpractice cases, non-economic damages, such as those meant for compensation in pain
and suffering claims, are limited to $250,000 per defendant, and $500,000
overall. In medical malpractice cases that involve
wrongful death, there is a cap indexed for inflation. The cap in 1977 was $500,000. It
has been adjusted with the rising inflation, and is now closer to $1.5 million.
Take note that these caps are not applicable to all personal injury cases
across the board, but only those stemming from medical malpractice.
Injury Claim Against the State
If your injury claim is potential liability against a state entity or employee
of the state of Texas, for example, you slipped and fell on an improperly
maintained stairway in a state-owned building, you cannot simply file
a lawsuit against the state government.
Instead, you should file a formal claim with the government unit that
you believe is responsible for causing your injury. This claim needs to
be filed within six months of the underlying incident.
If you have suffered a personal injury,
contact the attorneys at
The Kyle Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.