After receiving proper medical attention, your first step following a serious accident should be looking into your options for civil litigation. A successful lawsuit or settlement demand could allow you to recover financial restitution not only for your medical expenses, but for numerous other damages as well.
The best way to strengthen your claim is to retain an experienced Midland personal injury lawyer who could explain the legal process and help you pursue fair compensation. In addition to collecting evidence of fault and presenting it effectively on your behalf, a qualified injury attorney could also take the lead during court hearings or private settlement negotiations to recover maximum compensation while avoiding common pitfalls that may hinder your financial recovery.
What Makes Someone Liable in a Personal Injury Claim?
While there are some exceptions in certain types of cases, most personal injury claims in this area revolve around legal negligence by the defendant named in the lawsuit or settlement demand. Simply put, a person may be “negligent”—and therefore liable for injuries—if all the follow criteria apply:
- The defendant had an implicit or explicit responsibility called a “duty of care” to act reasonably and safely around the claimant
- By virtue of a reckless, careless, or intentional act, the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate or direct cause of an accident
- The accident was the proximate cause of the compensable losses for which the claimant is seeking restitution
Negligence can come in various forms depending on the circumstances leading up to an accident. For example, the standard at which a motorist may be liable is not the same as the standard at which a doctor may be liable. A Midland attorney could provide crucial guidance on what negligence might look like in a given personal injury case and what evidence may be necessary to prove fault for a particular accident.
Comparative Fault in Injury Claims
Successful personal injury litigation is often just as much about showing a plaintiff is not at fault for their injuries as it is about proving a defendant is at fault. Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code §33.003 grants civil courts authority to assign a percentage of fault to a claimant based on their own actions that may have caused their damages. According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§33.001 and 33.012, plaintiffs may respectively be barred from recovery altogether or subject to a proportional reduction of recoverable damages depending on whether they are 51 percent or more at fault for their injuries.
Statute of Limitations
Another crucial reason to retain a skilled lawyer in Midland sooner rather than later when building a personal injury claim is the statute of limitations. This section of state law restricts how long prospective plaintiffs have to file suit after their accident. Under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §16.003, personal injury claimants generally have only two years after discovering their injuries to start the litigation process. If they fail to meet this deadline, they could be time-barred from recovering compensation.
Talk to a Midland Personal Injury Attorney Today
Personal injury litigation can be complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, if you have little to no experience with civil law, pursuing a personal injury claim alone is almost never a good idea, as your chances of successful recovery could be slim.
Assistance from a knowledgeable Midland personal injury lawyer could make all the difference in how effectively you are able to seek the restitution you deserve. Call today to learn more.