Each state has different rules governing personal injury lawsuits and how much you may recover for all damages incurred ranging from a commercial vehicle accident to even a dog bite case.
First, there are different deadlines on when you must file a civil lawsuit. Texas has a two year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. That is, you must file a lawsuit two years from the date of the injury in order to recover in a Texas Civil Court at Law for all damages suffered as prescribed under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, Title 2 section 16.003. If you don’t file your lawsuit within this timeframe, a Court will not hear your case and you essentially have waived your right to recover from the at-fault party. It is imperative to not miss this deadline in order to protect all your interests.
Second, each state follows different standards of liability to determine who is at fault and for what percentage of liability. This standard affects total compensation from the negligent party. Texas, unlike other states, follows a “modified comparative negligence” standard to determine percentage of responsibility. This means that you may only recover from an at-fault party if you are not to blame for the incident or are found less than 50 percent at fault. Additionally, any compensation received will be reduced by your percentage of fault, if there is any. However, if you are held accountable for more than 50 percent, then you may not recover any damages. For example, if you are found at fault for 10% of an accident with damages of $100,000.00, then you may recover $90,0000.00.
Third, Texas implemented a cap on medical malpractice cases where a claimant may only claim up to $250,000.00 in damages per individual and no more than $500,000.00. Medical malpractice cases are very complex to comprehend. Further wrongful death cases have an even more complex statute to adhere to.
Fourth, although there is no specific statute or rule in Texas regulating dog bite cases, there is the “one bite” rule. Under this rule, owners will be found and held liable for all injuries caused by their pet animal if the owner “should have known” the animal had a propensity to be dangerous and did not proceed with caution to prevent injuries to others. This standard must be proven by the injured person in order to prevail on a dog bite case.
Thus, don’t let an insurance adjuster for the negligent party escape paying all your damages from a missed deadline to file your lawsuit! Don’t let that at-fault party argue and claim you are at fault for all injurie caused solely by their negligence! It is important and essential that you get the help of a competent attorney to fight for your best interests, to receive total compensation, and to not let that negligent party off the hook for the wrong they committed.
About the Author: Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997 with over 42 years of combined experience. Mala is a Board of Advocates for the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association GP Solo YLD, member of the Houston Bar Association, President Emeritus of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association.
This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you require advice on any particular legal question, you may contact Sharma & Associates at 281-893-8644 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.