PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
Most personal injury claims never reach court, as both parties often reach a pre-trial settlement, but a Jury Verdict Research study published in 2021 pegged the median award in Texas personal injury trials at $862,892. It should be noted that that computation does include a $100 million award that inflated the median sum.
Still, the site Verdict Search reports that recent cases include a $140,000 award to a restaurant customer who slipped and fell on a mopped floor and $299,000 in compensation to a driver rear-ended by a cement truck.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in or around Houston, Texas, including Sugar Land, Baytown, Katy, or Pearland, contact our team of personal injury attorneys at McLaurin Law. We’ll stand by your side with compassion and aggressively pursue the just compensation you deserve.
PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS IN TEXAS
While the vast majority of personal injury claims arise from vehicular accidents, you are also susceptible to injuries from slips and falls or from products that malfunction. You can also develop an illness after being exposed to dangerous substances.
The legal concept of premises liability requires owners and operators of buildings (including personal residences) to exercise a “duty of care” to maintain their property free from hazards and unsafe conditions.
If, as in the example above, you slip and fall in a restaurant or other public building as a customer, or even as someone just walking the aisles and comparing products, then you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Building owners and operators will usually carry liability insurance, so you can file a claim against their policy, or seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The main consideration is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you decide on the best course of action and then carry it out.
If you are an employee and suffer an injury or an illness on the job, however, you are most likely going to be confined to a workers’ compensation claim unless there is a death and the company is grossly negligent. In Texas, workers’ compensation coverage is optional, so if your employer doesn’t carry insurance, you can then resort to a personal injury lawsuit.
AFTER YOUR ACCIDENT
DETERMINING FAULT IN TEXAS
Texas is a modified comparative fault state. This means that each party in a personal injury incident—the injured person and the party allegedly responsible for the injury — can be assigned a share of the fault. If you are rear-ended and suffer a back injury, and the jury determines that you were 20% at fault because of a broken taillight, your award will then be reduced by 20% ($10,000 in compensatory damages will become $8,000, for example). If you are found more than 50% at fault, you cannot collect anything.
Insurance adjusters will seek to establish a level of fault on the claimant’s part to reduce their companies’ liability.
WILL YOU NEED TO FILE A LAWSUIT?
If you are injured in a car accident, you will most likely start by reporting it to the at-fault party’s insurance company to seek compensation for your injury from that insurance company. However, you may end up filing a lawsuit if the insurer tries to lowball or deny your claim. Likewise, if you slip and fall on someone’s property (and you are there legally), you may well start by filing an insurance claim with their insurer before proceeding to the courtroom.
Successful auto and property liability insurance claims can cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and damage to your property (for example, your car in a vehicular accident). Insurance carriers may or may not compensate you for non-economic factors like pain and suffering and loss of consortium (companionship). In some circumstances, a personal injury lawsuit will need to be filed in order to ensure full coverage of both economic and non-economic damages, generally without any monetary cap (except in medical malpractice lawsuits).
There is, however, a two-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits in Texas, dating from the day of the accident itself. If you try to file a lawsuit more than two years after the date of your injury, your lawsuit will most likely be barred.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove negligence on the part of the defendant — the person or entity you claim is responsible for your injury. To do this, you must show:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The breach caused your injury
FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
If a member of your family dies due to the negligence of another party, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the victim are eligible to file such a suit.
You can recover both economic and non-economic damages, but you must file the lawsuit within three months of the date of the death. After that, the law says the personal representative named in the decedent’s will must file the lawsuit. If there is no will or no representative has been named, you’ll have to go to the probate court to have a representative appointed for the estate. The personal representative (or “executor”) is bound by the surviving family’s wishes, so if you don’t want to file a lawsuit, they are barred from doing so themselves.
WHY YOU NEED SKILLED ATTORNEYS
Personal injury cases can be complex and frustrating, especially if you try to go it alone. If you file an insurance claim, the adjusters for the other party’s insurance company will likely try to trick you into making statements that they can use against you to minimize your injury and maximize your share of the fault. You do not need to negotiate directly with these adjusters. Instead, you should rely on experienced personal injury attorneys to do the negotiating for you.
At McLaurin Law, we have years of experience in helping clients like you who have suffered injuries because of other people’s actions or neglect. We will fight compassionately and aggressively for your rights, with the goal of attaining the best possible compensation package for you.
PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS IN HOUSTON, TX
If you are in the greater Houston, Texas area, including Sugar Land, Baytown, Katy, or Pearland, call us for help. We’ll listen to your story, investigate your accident, explain your legal options to you, and then chart a course with you to pursue the rightful compensation that you deserve. Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation today.