Personal Injury

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Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Houston, Texas:

Understanding Key Terms and Phrases In Civil Lawsuits

In Houston Texas, personal injury is defined as harm inflicted to an individual's body, mind, or emotions, as opposed to damage to property. The term is frequently used in reference to tort lawsuits, where a person brings a suit after experiencing harm to their body or mind.

These cases are handled under civil law and can be brought against the responsible party if the injury was caused by their negligence. The court then determines who was at fault and the amount of compensation the victim will receive.

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Personal Injury Cases in Texas

Common Terms and Phrases

A summary of all official records and documents that impact the title to a piece of real property.

A Latin term meaning "for the lawsuit". A court may appoint an attorney as an ad litem to assist the Court in performing some due diligence tasks. A guardian "ad litem" may be appointed by the court to represent an incapable victim, such as a child or legally incompetent adult.

To resolve a legal case.

When a person knowingly chooses to take on a risk despite being aware of the danger. In such a scenario, the individual assumes the risk and cannot seek monetary damages from those they believe to be liable.

A group of rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and belonging to all citizens. Civil law allows individuals whose rights have been violated to file a lawsuit against a person, private companies, or government agencies to recover damages and rectify practices that violate civil rights.

A civil action related to physical or mental harm sustained by the plaintiff, or on behalf of the injured victim, due to the defendant's carelessness.

A suit filed by a plaintiff or plaintiffs on their own behalf and as representatives of others. Class-action lawsuits are often filed to hold a company accountable for the liability of its products, such as defective pharmaceutical drugs or toxic materials.

Comparing the plaintiff's contribution to the accident to the defendant's negligence. A plaintiff may only recover compensation if their negligence is less than the defendant's. In such cases, the plaintiff's total damages are reduced by the proportion they are determined to be at fault.

A type of payment made to make up for the loss of an injured dependent or worker.

A fee, usually monetary, retrieved in a civil court case for an injury or loss caused by another person's negligence. It can be compensatory or punitive.

Aim to restore the plaintiff to their prior state by covering basic economic losses, while punitive damages serve to deter future misconduct by punishing the defendant for extremely harmful behavior such as malice, fraud, oppression, or violence that resulted in serious injury or death.

The person or entity being sued in a civil lawsuit by the plaintiff.

A legal obligation to act with a certain level of caution to protect others from harm. Neglecting this obligation is considered negligence and can result in legal action.

An individual with specialized knowledge who is qualified to testify in a trial relevant to the case.

A deliberate act of lying or deception designed to convince someone to give up their valuable assets or legal rights.

Purposeful disregard of a duty of care, often involving careless behavior that threatens the health or property of others. This type of negligence is also known as willful negligence.

If an individual sustains an injury while on the job, their compensation insurance should cover it. However, if a third party not affiliated with the employer played a role in the injury, a claim may be made against them.

In Texas, drivers are responsible for the accidents they cause. An injured party has the option to file a claim with their auto insurance carrier (first-party claim) or seek compensation from the other driver's insurer (third-party claim). They may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.

Physical contact with harmful substances or exposure to toxic substances in the air that can cause health problems. The parties responsible for hazardous exposure may include the product manufacturer, the company responsible for the building, or the building owner such as a landlord or employer.

A court proceeding brought by the plaintiff against the defendant to seek compensation or punishment for an injury.

Legal responsibility to fulfill a duty, often involving payment of monetary damages.

The process of taking legal action, including the filing of a lawsuit.

Damages awarded to a close family member, typically a spouse, for the loss of companionship due to the death of their loved one.

Carelessness or departure from the standard of care by a healthcare professional such as a doctor, surgeon, or nurse, causing injury to a patient.

Limits on the amount of compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive, put in place to keep insurance premiums low and vary by state.

Factors that do not excuse an offense but can be used to reduce the degree of fault.

In civil law, a failure to meet the standard of care required by law to protect others from unreasonable harm.

A condition developed due to long-term exposure to a particular type of work, such as cancer in construction workers exposed to asbestos.

In a workers' compensation case, benefits are often based on the injured worker's earning capacity and refers to disabilities that are less than total.

This aspect of the law encompasses all physical, financial, and emotional harm caused by another person's failure to exercise reasonable care. Personal injury cases are considered civil torts, rather than criminal charges. Some common examples of personal injury cases are car accidents and premises liability.

In civil law, the individual or entity who initiates a legal action or lawsuit, also known as a complainant.

The legal responsibility of a property owner or occupant to provide compensation to individuals who are hurt while on their property.

The level of evidence required for a plaintiff to win a civil case. A preponderance of evidence means that the evidence presented by the plaintiff must be more convincing or outweigh the evidence presented by the defendant. To win on this standard, the evidence must simply tip the scales in the plaintiff's favor, as opposed to the higher burden of proof required in criminal cases, which must be "beyond a reasonable doubt."

The area of civil law that holds those responsible for making faulty products available to the public accountable for the harm caused, including manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others.

Texas has a "one-bite rule" which protects dog owners the first time their pet causes injury if the animal had never shown aggressive tendencies before.

The dangers present in an oilfield, including toxic substances and heavy machinery, make it a hazardous workplace. Our oilfield injury attorneys can help workers injured in blowouts, drilling rig accidents, gas truck crashes, pipeline explosions, and more.

The primary reason for an injury or harm to occur, which must have been foreseeable and without which the incident would not have happened.

An agreement reached by both parties in a lawsuit.

In a workers' compensation case, compensation for loss of limbs, permanent paralysis, hearing or vision, total or partial disability, or disfigurement.

For cases involving negligence, the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under similar circumstances. In medical malpractice cases, healthcare professionals who fail to meet the legal standard of care established to protect patients from harm may be liable for damages or injury resulting from their actions.

The amount of time prescribed by law for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit, which can vary depending on the type of case and location of the injury.

A legal principle that holds a defendant accountable for harm caused by their actions, regardless of intent or level of care.

A type of lawsuit in workers' compensation law where a party other than the employer is held responsible for causing an injury.

A civil wrong that results in legal liability for harm to a person or property.

A compensation awarded to an employee who is unable to work due to a work-related injury.

An injury to the head that results in a change of consciousness and can affect cognitive abilities, physical abilities, and emotional or behavioral functioning. TBIs often occur in severe car accidents or sports injuries.

The final decision made by a judge or jury in a case.

The responsibility for another person's torts.

A mandatory insurance that all employers must have to protect their employees from economic losses caused by job-related injuries or illnesses.

A lawsuit against an individual or company for causing the death of a person through negligence or wrongful behavior. The surviving family members, usually a spouse, can recover damages for mental and physical suffering, lost wages, funeral and medical expenses, loss of income and earning capacity, loss of consortium, and more.

Limits on the amount of compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive, put in place to keep insurance premiums low and vary by state.

Factors that do not excuse an offense but can be used to reduce the degree of fault.

Offshore workers are often exposed to dangerous conditions, and their employers are obligated to protect them. Our offshore injury lawyers can help workers injured in crane failures, diving accidents, vessel collisions, and other offshore accidents.

Survivors of plant and refinery accidents may suffer from severe burns, mobility issues, or permanent impairment. Our plant and refinery explosion lawyers can help those injured in chemical plant accidents, defective machinery incidents, plant explosions, and more.

Personal Injury in Houston, Texas

Individuals have a responsibility to act reasonably and not harm others through neglect or irresponsibility. When this responsibility is not met and someone is physically or emotionally injured as a result, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for their suffering. Injuries such as traumatic brain damage, loss of limb, or severe disfigurement often result in significant pain and reduced quality of life and may warrant higher compensation.

What to Do After a Car Accident?

Car accidents are a common occurrence in Texas, with a reported injury every 2 minutes and 3 seconds and a crash every 56 seconds. Even if there are no physical injuries, a car accident can still be disruptive and costly. For those who do sustain injuries, the recovery process can be both painful and expensive.

In order to receive the proper compensation, it is important to know what steps to take immediately following a car accident. These initial steps can greatly impact the outcome of a personal injury claim.

Protect Your Rights with Legal Guidance and an experienced personal injury lawyer in Texas, can protect your rights to obtain a settlement and help you recover from your injury. Get the legal support you need to receive the maximum possible compensation. Contact us today.

Calling 911 is the quickest way to get help and report the accident to the authorities. It's essential to inform the emergency operator of any injuries or death, and if the crash damage makes the vehicle unsafe to drive. It's also important to file an official police report, even if no immediate physical injury is felt, as symptoms may develop later.
Collecting evidence is crucial in determining fault and receiving compensation for damages and injuries. You can gather evidence by taking photos or videos with your phone, observing the cars' positions and damage, noting road conditions, asking eyewitnesses for their contact information, taking pictures of your injuries, and making notes of the accident. Avoid discussing the details with anyone at the scene and do not admit fault.
Immediate medical care is essential after a car accident to detect any injuries, including brain, neck, spinal cord, or broken bones. Delaying medical care may harm your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Texas law requires drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage. It's important to inform your insurance company of the accident within a specific time frame.
  • Before making any statements or signing documents, it's best to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. Insurance adjusters work to reduce the insurance company's liability and may use your information to undervalue or deny your injury claim.
  • When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer: If you're injured or blamed for a car crash, consider hiring a car accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney will guide you through the process of filing a claim and help ensure you receive maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of life enjoyment, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.

Statute of Limitations in Houston, Texas

Every state has laws that limit the time an injured party has to file a personal injury claim and request compensation. In Houston, Texas, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury.

Personal Injury in Texas: Compensation and Filing A Lawsuit

  • Compensation for personal injury victims in Texas can come in the form of a settlement or a court-awarded judgment. This compensation can cover various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, both past and future. However, it is important to note that Texas operates under a modified comparative negligence rule, which means the amount of compensation may be reduced if the victim is found to have contributed to the incident. If the victim is deemed more than 50% at fault, they will not be eligible for compensation.
  • The process for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas begins with the pre-suit process. A personal injury attorney can assess the case and help gather evidence to strengthen the claim. The next step is to file the lawsuit, which should include documentation of the medical expenses and lost wages.
  • The defendants will then have a specified amount of time to respond to the lawsuit, which could include a defense or counter-claim. The discovery process is an important stage where both parties gather information and evidence. This can involve requesting documents, taking affidavits, and identifying potential witnesses.
  • If the case remains unresolved, it will proceed to trial where the plaintiff and defendant present their case to a jury. The jury will then decide if the defendant was negligent and, if so, the amount of damages to award the plaintiff.
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