6 Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Houston
When someone is physically or emotionally harmed due to the negligence of another party, it falls under the category of personal injury cases. This area of American law is extensive and diverse, encompassing workplace injury claims, injuries caused by defective products and motor vehicle crashes..
It is difficult to create an exhaustive list as accidents can happen in many different ways but in this article, we’ll cover some of the more common types of personal injury cases.
6 Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Houston
Houston is a large and populous city, and as such, accidents happen everyday. Not all these result in personal injury cases, but here’s a look at some of the most common types:
- Car accidents and collisions: The Texas Department of Transportation says that in 2021, 1 reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds. Car accidents caused by caused by negligent or reckless drivers are the leading cause of personal injury claims in Texas.
- Premises liability: This is when you get hurt at someone else’s property, such as a store, home, or workplace. Premises liability claims often arise from sliping or trippring on a wet, slippery, or uneven surface. Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits.
- Workplace accidents: These are cases where employees or contractors get injured at work. This could be due to equipment malfunctions, negligence of co-workers, exposure to harmful hazards, or other causes. In 2020, there were 469 fatal occupational injuries in Texas.
- Medical malpractice: These are claims of negligence or wrongdoing by health care providers, such as doctors, pharmacists, or hospitals. Medical malpractice causes serious harm or death to patients who receive improper care. In a 2022 survey by the American Medical Association, 31.2 percent of American physicians said they have been sued since they started their careers.
- Product liability: When defective products cause harm to consumers, they can make a claim for damages. These claims can arise from manufacturing or design defects as well as inadequate warnings on products..
- Dog bites: There are cases where the injured person was attacked or bitten by someone else’s dog. Dog bite injuries involve puncture wounds, infections or scarring. 6 months into 2022, there had been 1,283 dog bites in Houston.
Although these are some common types of personal injury cases, each case will have its own facts. You should consult an experienced lawyer to discuss your case.
Understanding Personal Injury Law in Houston
Personal injury law is the area of law that deals with the rights and remedies of people who have been harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others.
In Texas, it is based on the principles of tort law, a branch of the law that allows injured parties to seek compensation from those who caused their harm. The most common type of personal injury case is based on the legal theory of negligence.
Requirements for a Negligence personal injury case
For you to have a valid personal injury case based on Negligence, four elements must be shown, these are:
- Duty: The defendant owed you a duty of care to act reasonably and avoid causing you harm
- Breach: By acting negligently, recklessly, or intentionally, the defendant failed to fulfill that duty
- Causation: The breach was the actual and proximate cause of your injury
- Damages: You suffered actual harm or losses as a result of your injury
If your personal injury lawyer can establish these four elements with sufficient evidence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Statute of limitations
You may know that the statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit in court, but what does it mean in personal injury cases?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of injury. If someone injures you, a lawsuit must be filed within two years. And if you miss this deadline, you could lose the right to sue and recover damages.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations
As with most rules, there are exceptions or circumstances that extend or shorten the statute of limitations. Some of these are:
- If the injured person was 18 or mentally incompetent at the time of the injury
- The defendant left the state before the lawsuit could be filed
- The injury was caused by fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or certain debt collection claims
These are not all the exceptions though. To know the deadline for your case, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston as soon as possible after your injury.
Seeking Legal Help for Personal Injury Cases in Houston
Getting to a payday in a personal injury case is not easy. A skilled attorney not only protects your rights and interests, they will also:
- Evaluate your case and explain your legal options
- Investigate the cause and extent of your injuries and damages
- Gather evidence and witnesses to prove liability and fault
- File all the necessary paperwork and meet all the deadlines
- Negotiate with insurance companies and their lawyers
- Take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached
Finding the right lawyer
Having the best lawyer for your case is crucial for obtaining the compensation you deserve. Some tips on finding the right one:
- Do your research: You want a lawyer with a history of excellent results in personal injury cases. Use online directories, websites, reviews, and referrals to find potential candidates.
- Check their credentials: The lawyer must be licensed to practice in Texas.
- Schedule a consultation: Most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation where you can discuss your case and ask questions.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury law encompasses a broad spectrum of scenarios, including those involving slip and fall accidents, automobile collisions, and workplace injuries. If you have been injured in any type of accident, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the more likely it is that he or she can help you build a case and ensure that your rights are protected.
A personal injury case can be difficult to pursue, particularly if you are dealing with insurance companies and medical bills while also trying to recover from physical trauma. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer with experience in these types of cases can make all the difference.
Q: What are the most common types of personal injury cases?
A: The most common case types include:
- Car accidents
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Product liability
- Dog bites
Michael S Callahan is an attorney and founder of The Callahan Law Firm. He focuses his practice on representing individuals and families in personal injury cases involving motor vehicle and truck accidents, workplace accidents and defective products. With over 25 years of experience, he is dedicated to fighting on behalf of people whose lives have been forever altered by the negligence and carelessness of corporations and individuals. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Michael has been practicing law and fighting for justice for those who need it most since 1994. He is board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a member of various esteemed legal associations. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending quality time with his family, outdoor activities, and continually striving to improve as a trial lawyer and human being.