• 16th June 2024

Basic Facts and Concerns In Personal Injury Law

Economic Losses and Legal Representation

As of August 2017, Texas ranked sixth in the States with the highest accident rate.  Auto accident deaths have been steadily increasing since 2014. In 2016 almost nineteen thousand one hundred people died from an auto accident with an estimated cost of $205 billion.  It is essential to hire a personal injury law firm in Houston, TX if you live in Houston and have an auto accident.

The attorney or firm you hire should aggressively represent its clients who suffer personal injuries as a result of car accidents, work injuries, or any injury caused by a business, individuals or government agencies. The qualities of the attorney or law firm that you are seeking should have experience in personal injury law, an excellent financial recovery rate, and trustworthiness.

Personal Injury Law

To prosecute a personal injury case, your legal expert should first provide you with a free case evaluation to determine whether you have a viable personal injury claim. The personal injury may be physical, emotional, loss of consortium (i.e., a spousal relationship was harmed) and a financial loss. Upon acceptance of a claim for legal representation, the client only pays fees and costs if there is a successful settlement or jury award. In Texas, a legal claim seeking damages for a personal injury is civil and not criminal, and the claim for damages is under the category of tort law.

A Tort Claim

In establishing damages in a personal injury tort claim, four elements must be proven:

  1. The person or entity (business or government) causing an injury (the defendant) had a duty to protect the injured party (the plaintiff),
    2.  The defendant breached this duty,
    3.  This breach resulted in an injury,
    4.  The plaintiff was harmed by the defendant endangering the plaintiff’s health and safety.

The breach of duty can be negligent, meaning that the defendant did not behave appropriately or failed to take appropriate action, or the defendant’s behavior towards or the harm to the plaintiff was intentional.  If you suffer property damage, as well as physical, the same tort rules apply. The injured party is entitled to damages to compensate for the plaintiff’s financial losses.

Comparative Negligence

Your personal injury law firm in Houston TX must advise you of any changes in the law or what laws may affect your case.  The skyrocketing damage awards in the millions have caused political unrest.  In Texas, your damage award could be reduced by legislative means because of Texas’ Comparative Negligence Statute.  Historically if a defendant was found to have caused the injury to the plaintiff and the plaintiff established the amount of the financial award, typically, that is the amount that the defendant had to pay, which would be 100% of the damages the plaintiff sought.   The only way the damage award could be reduced is to have a court reduce the damage award.

However, Texas’ Comparative Negligent legislation dramatically changed the calculation of the amount of money the defendant had to pay the plaintiff’s jury award if the jury found that the plaintiff contributed to his injury.  Thus, in Texas, the jury award can be modified to the extent that the plaintiff contributed to his or her injury. This reduction is referred to as a modified comparative negligence.

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