State Laws Addressing Personal Injury Claims
There are a number of different laws and statutes that govern how injured victims can pursue a personal injury claim. These are just a few of the laws addressing personal injury claims in Texas, including the time limit for filing claims and the amount of damages that may be recovered.
Statute of Limitations
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003, auto accident victims, such as drivers, motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and electric scooter riders must file their injury lawsuits within two years of the date of the accident or injury.
Modified Comparative Fault
Texas operates using the modified comparative negligence rule, with a 51% bar. Under this rule, you may recover damages if you were partially responsible for your injuries (50% or less). However, your damages will be reduced by your degree of fault. If are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will be barred from pursuing any damages from the incident.
For example, if the jury awards $100,000 in total damages, but you were found to be 10% responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 10%, or $10,000. You will only receive 90% of the initial $100,000 settlement, or $90,000. This is to account for your level of fault in the accident.
According to Texas Transportation Code Section 550.062, any motor vehicle crash that results in injury to a person, the death of a person, or property damage of $1,000 or more, the accident must be reported to law enforcement.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death can be defined as any preventable death that occurred due to an accident caused by negligent or wrongful actions. Pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.002, a wrongful death action may be brought if the "wrongful act, carelessness, neglect, unskillfulness, or default" of one party causes the death of another.
While, no amount of financial compensation can fill the void left by losing a loved one, filing a wrongful death claim can provide the decedent's family with some much-needed financial compensation that can help cover funeral expenses, burial expenses, loss of consortium, lost wages, and medical expenses that were incurred before the victim's death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.004, a wrongful death action may be filed by:
- The surviving spouse
- The decedent's adult children
- The decedent's parents
- The personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate
The time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the death.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Being in a traffic accident can have a devastating impact on your physical, financial, and mental well-being. Luckily, you don't have to go through these challenges on your own. If you have been hurt in a car accident, it’s so important to act quickly and hire an experienced Texas personal injury attorney to advocate for your rights and help you pursue fair compensation.
At The Law Office of Steve Brannan, we are committed to handling personal injury cases and car accident claims efficiently and professionally. As your legal counsel, we can help:
- Fight compassionately for your best interests and work to hold all liable parties accountable
- Review your case and conduct a thorough, private investigation
- Gather every relevant piece of information, evidence, and required documentation
- Work to prove fault and establish liability
- Determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate case-value
- Work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
- If necessary, file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit
So if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, don’t wait. Call or reach out to our firm today to schedule a free case consultation. Together, we can discuss the details of your case and outline a strategic plan that can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.