What Does ‘Personal Injury’ Mean?
If you’ve been injured in an accident in the state of Texas, you may be curious as to how the law defines “personal injury.” If your injuries are severe enough, you may be justified in pursuing a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim can compensate you for your pain and suffering as the result of the other driver’s negligence.
If you, or someone close to you, has suffered a serious injury, it is in your best interest to consider exploring your legal options. A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the headaches and paperwork that could stand in the way of your getting the maximum damage award available to you.
Personal injury claims can only be filed for catastrophic injuries. Otherwise, everyone would file for minor injuries, and the courts would be inundated with cases, reducing their ability to handle those who need the help most. Permanent disabilities and life-threatening injuries both rise to the level of what the law would define as “catastrophic.” Likewise, an injury that requires long-term care to overcome can also be catastrophic under the law.
The following types of injuries are typically severe enough to warrant the filing of a personal injury claim:
- Injuries that result in the amputation or permanent disability of a limb
- Injuries that impair organ function (e.g., the loss of sight or hearing, or head trauma)
Any accident can potentially cause a catastrophic injury. It’s like dropping a mug on the carpet. Sometimes a mug can fall off of a table and not even chip. Other times, the angle at which the mug hits the floor can cause it to shatter into a million pieces.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of a car or truck accident, you may be interested in filing a lawsuit – and one of our lawyers can help.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the medical expenses you’ve incurred, but that’s not all. You can also sue for:
- Lost wages
- Your potentially impaired ability to earn money in the future
- Mental anguish
Additionally, if your injury is the result of negligence you can seek punitive damages. Punitive damages work to punish the responsible party and decrease the chances that they will act similarly in the future. That’s right – your lawsuit could end up saving someone else from similar suffering.
How much money an individual is entitled to seek for his or her personal injury case is unique to that individual. Everyone’s medical expenses and wages are different, as is the impact of the accident on their day-to-day living. This is why many people ultimately turn to an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.
The state of Texas has a negligence standard for personal injury claims. What this means is that if a jury determines you were partially responsible for the accident, they may modify the amount they award to account for your level of liability. If a jury determines your liability to be more than 50 percent, you may not be awarded any compensation whatsoever for your injuries.
This is why you need an experienced Houston traffic lawyer on your side. We can help you present the most comprehensive case possible to ensure no detail is left out. And, if it appears you were at fault for the accident, we can help you clearly convey your side to help set the record straight.
Statute of Limitations
Pain and suffering after an accident can last a lifetime. However, you do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to file a personal injury claim. In the state of Texas, you have two years from the date of your injury to file suit. There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- Being a minor at the time of the injury; or
- Having an exceptional reason for not knowing when the injury occurred (e.g. an accident with a truck involving a chemical spill that ultimately results in a cancer diagnosis)
The courts are not obligated to help you if you file your personal injury claim late. While suffering from a severe injury can, of course, impair your ability to get things done quickly, the state of Texas has determined that two years gives you the time you need to either file the claim or have someone help you file it. If you need help before time runs out, give our Houston car accident lawyers a call.
Suffering With a Personal Injury? We Can Help!
If your life is in shambles because of a personal injury after a car accident in the state of Texas, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you only have two years from the time of injury to file your claim. Dealing with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit may not be something you want to do right away after suffering a catastrophic injury, but your time is limited.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone. A Houston car accident lawyer can review your claim and advise you on how best to proceed. Fill out our contact form, or call us at 713-677-2179 to set up your free initial consultation. You are under no obligation to retain, so what do you have to lose? Give us a call today to get started!
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