The Theory of Recovery
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you must be able to demonstrate that the other person (or the other entity if it is a company) caused you to be injured as a result of their negligence. In order to prevail in a Texas personal injury claim, you will ultimately be required to show that the party who left you injured failed to execute adequate care in his or her actions and that this failure was directly responsible for your injuries. A good example is a negligent driver who leaves you injured in a car accident. Such negligence can take any of the following forms:
Any one of these can fit the bill for failing to execute adequate care regarding your safety and for fulfilling the theory of recovery in Texas.
In the State of Texas, the person bringing the personal injury claim (the claimant) cannot be more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident in order for the claimant to recover on his or her damages. For example, if you were injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver – but you were also speeding at the time – the court must first determine the percentage of blame you bear, and your court award will be reduced by this percentage (as long as it does not exceed 50 percent). If you are awarded $50,000 in damages but are found to share 10 percent of the blame, for example, your award will be reduced by 10 percent (resulting in $45,000 total damages).
The Damages Available to You
In the State of Texas, accident victims can seek what is known as compensatory damages for the injuries they suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for your losses, which can either be economic (with a price tag) or non-economic, including the following:
Your damaged property, such as your car in a car accident (economic)
Your medical expenses (economic)
Your lost earnings (economic)
Your pain and suffering (non-economic)
In extraordinary circumstances in which the at-fault party’s behavior was egregious, punitive damages – designed to punish him or her – may be available to you.