It’s hard to know what to do when you or someone you love is harmed by another person. It’s even harder when the alleged guilty party seems unwilling to hear your side of the story. You may be left wondering what is considered personal injury and how to proceed.

What is Considered Personal Injury in Texas?

Personal injury often results from “negligence,” or the lack of required care due to the alleged injured party by the intended provider. 

When considering your personal injury case there are three important things to consider with a reputable Texas law firm:

3 Things to Know About Personal Injury in Texas

  1. What kinds of personal injuries claims can be made
  2. How long do you have to make your claim
  3. What special limitations apply (i.e. dog bites, caps on damages, statutes of limitations, and partial fault)

What can you claim for personal injury?

Personal injury claims include but are not limited to:

  • Contracts
  • Unpaid debt
  • Fraud
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Physical harm (slips, falls, dog bites, etc.)
  • Property damages
  • Libel/slander
  • Medical malpractice
  • Trespassing
  • Wrongful death

What kind of damages can be sought for personal injury?

There are three kinds of personal injury damages to be sought for.

3 types of personal injury damages:

  1. Economic
  2. Non-economic
  3. Punitive

Economic personal injury results in monetary damages as the term suggests. Non-economic injuries include psychological and emotional damages such as distress, pain and suffering, and anguish. The most insidious form of personal injury results in punitive damage, which yields strong-handed punishment from the court to deter any future bad behavior. 

How long do you have to sue someone for personal injury in Texas?

Texas Civil Statute of Limitations requires personal injury cases to be filed typically between 1-3 years, depending on the type of case. For instance, defamation claims must be submitted one (1) year after the alleged injury took place. Product liability claims have up to two (2) years to submit.

It’s important to remember that the court takes the “sooner the better” approach to case submission, so filing as soon as possible is the best way to make sure your claim is heard. 

Time limits by case types:

  • Contracts: 4 years (written)
  • Debt collection on account: 4 years
  • Fraud: 4 years
  • Injury to person: 2 years
  • Injury to personal property: 2 years
  • Judgments: ranges
  • Libel/slander: 1 year
  • Professional malpractice: ranges (6 months to 10 years)
  • Trespassing: 2 years

What are some unique personal injury rules that apply in Texas? 

Texas law has some unique personal injuries rules that apply specifically to the state. Some of the personal injury case rules that apply include but are not limited to:

  1. Government malpractice limitations
  2. Medical malpractice limitations
  3. One-bite rule

Government malpractice

Texas law is particularly rigid in the favor of government cases when it comes to the statute of limitations. Government malpractice claims require a formal complaint with written details of the claim’s specifics (location, description, time/date, etc.) within six months of the alleged personal injury

Medical malpractice

In the case of medical malpractice in Texas, there is a cap on non-monetary damages that can be sought – even if the injury results in someone’s death. Texas law limits non-monetary damages to $250,000 cap per defendant ($500,000 maximum overall).

One-bite rule

Texas law follows a “one bite” rule for dog bites following the 1974 Marshall v. Ranne case. Generally, the injured party must prove:

  1. The owner knew of prior bad behavior on the part of the dog (one or more prior bites or attacks)
  2. The owner failed to provide a reasonable amount of care to prevent the incident

Although this oversimplifies the rule, Texas law favors lenience when a dog owner has no prior history of negligence and demonstrated due diligence.

What happens if I am partially at fault for the personal injury?

When more than one party is held responsible for the personal injury, the court applies the “modified comparative negligence rule.” This rule typically applies a degree of fault to the injury, which affects the distribution of damages.

For instance, if a tenant slips and falls on an icy patch of their apartment complex, the landlord might be held liable for any injury that occurs. As a landlord, the person is reasonably held responsible for securing the premises. However, if the tenant was playing on the ice, the court may find the tenant 50% responsible for the injury. Half of the intended monetary damages would be awarded to the tenant. 

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio

Wilson Brown, PLLC provides representation for personal injury cases in San Antonio including car accidents, truck accidents, and wrongful death cases. Reduce the dramatic impact on your family by enlisting the aid of our experienced personal injury attorneys to resolve your case. 

Call (210) 591-2398 today or schedule an appointment online for your free consultation.

 


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