Potential Impacts to Your Slip and Fall Case
In personal injury law, we find it helpful to put aside the term, “Accidents happen.” Sound harsh? Mistakes do happen, but in certain situations, those mistakes can cause serious injury or even death – and that means the responsible party should be liable for the injuries. In personal injury law, there’s almost never a pure “accident” where defendants and claimants are completely without fault. There is always a cause and a way that the injury could have been prevented.
Understanding this fact is at the heart of what we do. In a slip and fall case, understanding the cause of an injury and gathering evidence are crucial steps to recovering a fair settlement for our clients. If your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence – a failure to use reasonable care – you deserve to be compensated.
Two principles can have a major impact on whether we can recover the settlement you deserve:
- Texas Statute of Limitations for personal injury
- The principle of Comparative Negligence
Today we will explain these principles and how they can impact your slip-and-fall case.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is two years. This is how long you have, from the time of your injury, to file a claim against a defendant. Claimants may not know the extent of their injuries until months later or not realize that they have options for pursuing a recovery. They may even try to work out their differences with the property-owner on their own. In most cases in Texas, a personal injury suit must be filed not later than two years after the date of the cause of the injury.
Two years is a long time, and much can happen. A business where the injury occurred could close. Management or business practices can change reducing the ability to prove negligence. Claimants can be injured in other ways, leaving doubt as to what actually caused the extent of the injuries in question. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your claim. At Chad West, PLLC, we never charge a fee unless we recover for you, so it’s always free to just call us to discuss your Dallas personal injury case.
There are some rare exceptions to the two-year rule, such as a defendant leaving the state, but for the most part, you need to make your move within that two-year window. If you attempt to file more than two years after the date of the injury and alleged negligence, the defendant will most likely file and obtain a motion to dismiss the case, regardless of how profound the injuries or how clear the negligence was.
Texas’ civil practice and remedies code states that “a claimant may not recover damages if his portion of responsibility is greater than 50 percent.” The code stipulates that in a civil trial, a percentage of responsibility shall be assigned to each claimant, defendant, settling person and responsible party. If the claimant is owed damages for their injury, the court shall reduce the amount of damages by an amount equal to their share of the responsibility for the injury. If you as the claimant are awarded damages of $50,000 but are also assigned 10 percent of the responsibility for your injury, your recovery would then be reduced by that same 10 percent. If you are assigned more than 50 percent of the blame, you would not receive any damages for an injury sustained in a premises liability or other injury case.
In Texas, a finding of negligence in a premises liability or slip-and-fall case can be particularly challenging. It’s important to get the details right from the start because mistakes can mean that you lose a portion of damages you are owed. Not knowing how to do a thorough assessment of the facts means you also risk being assigned a percentage of fault greater than 50 percent. Your Dallas personal injury team at Chad West, PLLC will thoroughly assess the facts and evidence of your claim and work with you to illustrate to the court that the negligent party owes you damages.
Don’t risk the compensation you are owed for your slip-and-fall injury because you didn’t make your claim early enough or didn’t provide thorough evidence. Call our offices for a free consultation. In all our personal injury cases, our contingency structure means you don’t pay unless we recover damages for you.