If someone is injured in Texas and becomes involved in a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance settlement, there are several state laws that may impact your case. This article will provide an overview of Texas’ personal injury laws.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits in Texas
In Texas, as in all U.S. states, there are statutory limits on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following an injury. These restrictions are referred to as statutes of limitations and the deadlines involved can vary depending on what type of lawsuit you want to file. For personal injury cases, Texas allows you to file a lawsuit up to two years from the date of the injury in the state’s civil court system. It’s essential to recognize and abide by this two-year deadline. Otherwise, if a lawsuit is filed after the deadline expires, the court will likely reject the petition and your right to an award for your injuries will be lost.
Texas Shared Fault Rules
It’s important to note that Texas is a shared fault state, which means that a business or individual you’re filing a claim against can argue that you’re actually to blame (in full or partially) for the accident that led to your injuries. As a result, if you’re found to share some degree of liability, it can impact the amount of the award received from other at-fault parties. Specifically, Texas adheres to what’s known as a modified comparative negligence rule in shared fault cases. Simply put, this rule states that the amount of compensation an injured person is entitled to receive will be reduced by the amount equal to your percentage of fault. However, if it’s deemed that you, as the injured party, are responsible for more than 50 percent of the legal blame, then the claimant cannot collect any award at all from the other at-fault parties. In Texas, any injury lawsuit that makes it to trial will adhere to this rule. It’s also common practice for insurance company representatives to raise this issue of Texas’s comparative negligence rule during settlement talks.
Liability for Injuries Sustained via Animals
In Texas, there are no statutes governing personal liability for injuries sustained via animals (e.g. maulings, dog bites, severe lacerations, wrongful death, etc.). This stipulation is referred to as the “one-bite” rule. Under Texas law, animal owners will be held liable for injuries caused by their animals if the injured parties can demonstrate that the owner was aware the animal posed a danger to society.
Limits on Injury Damages in Texas
While many U.S. states place limits on the types of damages that an injured person can receive after a successful personal injury trial, caps on damages only apply to medical malpractice cases in Texas. In today’s money, these type of awards can be limited to around $2 million. However, these caps don’t apply to personal injury cases across the board, only those involving medical malpractice.