Personal injury laws revolve around tort law. The basic premise of tort law assumes that a person who suffers injuries due to the actions of another deserves compensation for the injuries. Texas law recognizes three types of torts:
- Negligent torts: Most injury cases fall under this category. In a negligence case, the plaintiff files a lawsuit stating that he or she suffers an injury as a result of negligence on the part of the defendant. A common example of negligence includes reckless driving that results in an accident with another car.
- Intentional torts: This category includes the wrongful actions that the defendant commits intentionally. Battery and assault are examples of intentional torts. In order to successfully win this type of case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant committed the tort and intended to cause harm.
- Torts based on strict liability: Strict liability is less common and contends that the defendant is liable for the injury regardless of fault. An example of this type of lawsuit is a case in which manufacturers are liable for injuries caused by their products.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations for injury cases in Texas is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. After this time elapses, you are no longer eligible to file a personal injury claim.
Resolving personal injury claims
Personal injury claims are resolved in one of two ways:
- Injury settlements: The majority of cases are resolved in settlements in which the plaintiff accepts compensation from the defendant and agrees not to take the case to court.
- Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to court. In court, a judge makes the final decision regarding the amount of compensation.