If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, you may have a strong personal injury case. Simply showing that your injury was someone else’s fault, however, isn’t going to be enough in the state of Texas. There are many factors that go into these types of cases, and understanding them is important for determining the right course of action.
What is Liability?
When trying personal injury cases, the court will need to determine who is liable for the injury. Just because something happened on the property of a business, for example, doesn’t automatically mean it was their fault. Liability is determined by looking at the facts surrounding the injury, and determining if the defendant should have done something to prevent the injury.
Understanding Reasonable Duty
People often think that a property owner is responsible for keeping everything perfectly safe at all times, but that is not actually the case. The courts will have to determine if the defendant had a reasonable duty to perform some action, and their failure to do so is what resulted in the injury.
For example, a business is not typically going to be responsible if someone is injured due to a falling tree branch during a heavy wind storm. If that storm damaged a branch and it was clearly a danger for weeks before it fell and injured someone, however, the courts will likely rule that the business had a duty to safely remove the branch.
Modified Comparative Negligence
One of the most important, yet least understood, concepts for personal injury cases in Texas is that of modified comparative negligence. This is the concept Texas courts use when determining the compensation that can be awarded. For example, if you are rear-ended in your vehicle, the courts will attempt to determine who is at fault. If one of your brake lights was out, the court may determine that you were 20% at fault for the accident, and the defendant was 80% at fault. If the courts awarded you $100,000 in damages, you would get $80,000 because that is 80% of the total amount.
Limits to Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice
Texas has limits on the “non-economic” damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice personal injury case. These damages are commonly known as “pain and suffering” damages, and are limited to $250,000 per person, or $500,000 per case. This does not apply to direct costs related to the issue, such as the cost of the care that was provided.
Experience is Essential
While many movies and TV shows portray personal injury cases as simple “open and shut” experiences; however, that is far from the reality. Having an attorney with experience in this area of law will help to evaluate all the information of the case so that the best arguments can be put forward. Contact The Dieye Firm to schedule a consultation and determine what the best course of action may be.