People in Texas can be injured in any number of scenarios. They may be in a car or truck accident, might be injured by a medical professional, could be assaulted, or may be injured in any number of other incidents. No matter the cause, if you are injured due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you have legal rights. One such right is being able to seek compensation for your injuries.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our Texas personal injury lawyers can help you successfully file a lawsuit if you’ve been hurt. Call us today at (877) 446-9001 or contact us online if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s actions in incidents such as:
- Car accidents: Whether a driver is speeding, is distracted or is under the influence, a car accident caused by negligence can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.
- Truck accidents: Accidents involving 18-wheelers are much more likely to cause devastating and, in some cases, fatal injuries due to the size of the semi-truck.
- Wrongful death: Wrongful death can happen for any number of reasons, and when it does, the family of the deceased has the legal right to seek compensation.
- Birth injury: Birth injuries are a form of medical malpractice, involving a doctor who makes a mistake during the delivery of a baby that can have lifelong consequences.
- Construction site accidents: Construction sites are dangerous areas for both workers and passersby, and anything from falling tools to electrical shocks can cause injury.
- Medical malpractice: When a medical professional makes a mistake another reasonable professional wouldn’t, and that mistake causes injury, it can be the basis of a lawsuit.
- Premises liability: Slips and falls are the most common form of premises liability cases, but any injury that happens due to the condition of someone else’s property falls into this category.
- Nursing home abuse: Nursing home abuse may include the physical, emotional or financial abuse of a nursing home resident, which can result in severe injury.
- Defective products: Though products released to the public are required to be safe, unsafe or defective products can cause serious and, in some cases, fatal injuries.
Categories of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
Personal injury and wrongful death claim are usually one of three types of claims:
- claims for negligence,
- claims for an intentional tort
- claims for strict liability
Of the three types, negligence claims are the most common. Generally, a defendant is negligent if he or she does something a person of ordinary prudence would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the personfails to do that which a person of ordinary prudence would do under the same or similar circumstances. Negligence law thereby imposes a “reasonable person” standard on a defendant’s conduct.
Intentional torts are torts where the defendant’s actions were intentional rather than negligent. Examples include assault, libel and slander. Finally, claim
Damages for Personal Injury Claims
Persons or their families who have suffered serious injury or death may be entitled to compensation for their losses. Such compensation can be for economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those which can be calculated or quantified, including lost wages, past medical bills, loss of earning capacity, future medical bills and funeral bills.
Non-economic damages are for intangible injuries such as physical pain, mental anguish and loss of companionship. In a case involving a serious injury or death, economic and non-economic damages can easily be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
In rare instances, exemplary damages may also be imposed. These are damages intended to punish the defendant. In order for exemplary damages to be imposed, the actions of the defendant must include fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Exemplary damages in Texas are capped at either $200,000 or two times the amount of economic and noneconomic damages combined up to $750,000, whichever is greater.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
It is important to understand that personal injury and wrongful death claims must be brought within a certain period of time called the “statute of limitations.” Claims not brought within such time are barred as a matter of law.
Figuring out the statute of limitations for a particular claim can be extremely difficult. Different states have different statutory time periods. Some states recognize the “discovery rule,” which allows a plaintiff to bring a claim within a certain time of learning they have a claim rather than within a certain time of suffering their injury.
The classic example of the statute of limitations being delayed is one based on a doctor leaving a sponge or other foreign body inside a patient after surgery. In most states, the time to bring a claim under these facts does not begin to run until the patient actually learns that some foreign body was left inside him, rather than from the date of the surgery. In the context of a claim for wrongful death, most states apply their statute of limitations beginning on the date of death, regardless of whether the decedent’s family knew it had a claim at the time.
Statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims vary from one to six years, with two years being the most common among the various states, including Texas. Because of the complexity involved in determining the applicable statute of limitations, it is very important that victims contact a qualified attorney the moment they feel they may have a claim for personal injury or wrongful death. If they delay, they can lose their claims forever.
Laws Regarding Personal Injury in Texas
Texas has quite a few different laws on the books regarding personal injury. What’s more, there are many other past lawsuits that have set precedents in personal injury cases. Some of the most important laws and precedents include:
- Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, Title 2 section 16.003 grants you two years for the date of the injury to file a lawsuit
- Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, Title 2 section 33 lays out fault rules in Texas, namely that you cannot receive compensation if you are more than 51% at fault for your injuries
- Marshall v. Ranne, 511 SW 2d 255 (Tex. S.C. 1974) establishes Texas’s One-Bite dog attack rule
- Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code. Section 74.303 (b) establishes limits on compensation in medical malpractice and similar cases
- Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 101.101 lays out the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the state government
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
Many clients are concerned that they cannot afford an experienced, qualified personal injury attorney to handle their personal injury or wrongful death claim. Heygood, Orr & Pearson, however, handles almost all such claims on a “contingent fee” basis. A contingent fee is a fee based on a percentage of any actual recovery.
Under such an agreement, our firm pays all out-of-pocket expenses necessary to prosecute the case and is reimbursed for such expenses only in the event you recover money through a trial or settlement. Similarly, our personal injury attorneys only earn a percentage of the amount you receive from the verdict or settlement if you recover compensation. Contingent fees allow injured persons and their families to afford top-notch legal representation without taking any personal financial risk.
In short, when you hire Heygood, Orr & Pearson, you pay nothing upfront. If we don’t win compensation on your behalf, you don’t pay anything. We only get paid if we win your case.
Hiring the Right Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case
To successfully bring about a personal injury or wrongful death claim, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. They also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried numerous cases and have settled hundreds more. We also have the financial resources to handle personal injury cases from beginning to end. In fact, there are many instances when we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take a case to trial.
Our lawyers have been awarded several accolades, including:
- All three name partners have been selected by their peers to the Super Lawyers List (a Thomson Reuters publication), an honor given to only the top 5% of all attorneys in Texas, for several years in a row
- Our attorneys are Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
- All three name partners are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Based in Dallas, Texas, our law firm is prepared to handle cases involving personal injury and wrongful death that have occurred not only in North Texas but in all 50 states. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as the result of the actions of another person or entity, you may have a claim for compensation. Contact our Texas personal injury lawyers by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by filling out our online form for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation.