If you’ve been injured in an accident due to negligence by another person or entity, you can pursue compensation for damages in a personal injury claim. Texas law allows accident victims to sue an at-fault party for a wide variety of damages related to their injuries. 

To get the most out of a personal injury claim, however, a Texas personal injury lawyer can help you navigate through the requirements to prove negligence in a personal injury case. An experienced McAllen personal injury lawyer can establish a claim, collect evidence, and argue your position to the defendant, their insurer, and ultimately a judge or jury. 

The goal in filing a personal injury claim is to make the victim of an accident “whole” again through financial compensation. 

What Are the Elements of a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?

There are four key elements of a personal injury claim in Texas: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. 

  1. Duty of Care. The first element to prove in a personal injury case is that the defendant owed some duty of care to you when the accident happened. This is a legal obligation to exercise some reasonable level of care in a situation. For example, a store owner has a duty of care to prevent wet floors and other hazards that could injure a customer. 
  2. Breach of Duty. Once the expectations are established for the defendant’s duty of care in a personal injury claim, a court would ask whether the defendant breached that duty. This means that the at-fault party failed to live up to their duty of care to the plaintiff. A surgeon who leaves a medical instrument inside the patient during surgery can be said to have breached their duty of care to the patient. 
  3. Causation. To prove causation in a Texas personal injury claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate a causal connection between the defendant’s act and the plaintiff’s injuries. It is not enough that a shopper fell and was injured at the defendant’s store. They must show evidence that some act (or failure to act) led to their injuries and that there was not some other cause for the plaintiff’s damages. 
  4. Damages. An accident victim must show they were harmed in some way and are entitled to damages. Some examples of damages in a personal injury claim include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and costs for therapy and ongoing health care needs. Damages can also include non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. 

You may recover damages for your injuries and losses if you prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Texas Personal Injury Claim?

The statute of limitations in a Texas personal injury claim is two years. This means that a plaintiff has two years from when a cause of action “accrues” to file their claim in court. Accrual refers to the date that a victim knew – or should have known – of their injuries caused by the defendant. 

Often, this is the date of the accident. However, some injuries don’t become known until much later. 

In the example of a patient who underwent surgery and a medical tool was left inside them, they might not know of their potential claim until months or years later. Regardless of when the statute of limitations applies to your personal injury claim, it is critical to move forward with a Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. 

Steps to Take After an Accident 

To prepare for a personal injury claim, some immediate steps to take after an accident include: 

  • Obtaining medical treatment. Even if you are unsure about the extent of your injuries, it is crucial to seek medical help and establish a record of what happened. 
  • Providing information to police. If you were injured in any type of vehicle accident, police are typically called to the scene. A police report describing the accident, vehicles involved, individuals involved, and potential witnesses will help your personal injury lawyer make the best case for financial compensation. 
  • Locating evidence and witnesses. Any video footage, photos, or audio recordings should also be obtained as soon as possible. If there are witnesses to the incident, getting their names and contact information is critical so they can be called to testify later. 

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help with Your Personal Injury Claim 

A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you get fair compensation and restore your quality of life after an accident. It is crucial to consult an attorney immediately following your accident to protect your ability to pursue a personal injury claim. 

Contact a McAllen, TX Personal Injury Lawyer of The Law Office of Lino H. Ochoa for more help

For more information, contact the McAllen, TX Personal Injury law firm of The Law Office of Lino H. Ochoa to schedule a free initial consultation.

We serve Hidalgo County and its surrounding areas:

The Law Office of Lino H. Ochoa
6316 N 10th St Building D, Suite 102
McAllen, Texas, 78504
(956) 815-0055

Hours: Monday to Friday,
from 9 am – 5 pm