personal injury

How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Texas

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

When you have been involved in an accident that left you injured, your focus is likely on recovering as quickly and efficiently as possible. The act of filing a lawsuit may not be at the top of your to-do list. But while recovery is important, it often requires money to pay for all of your medical bills and lost work. This is why it can be so important to get help. If you have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.

It’s important to understand that insurance companies are just that – companies. The less they cover, the more money they keep. That’s why even though they appear to want to help you, many insurance adjusters will over you less than the full cost of your injuries – if they agree to cover anything at all. 

Under Texas law, an individual must demonstrate the following three things in order to be successful with their personal injury claim:

1. The other party was negligent. 

In order to recover from a personal injury lawsuit, it is not necessary to prove that the other person was intentional in their actions. Rather, you must show that they were careless, reckless, or acted in a manner with disregard for your safety. For instance, in a car accident, if another driver ran a red light and hit you, that would be enough to show negligence.

2. This negligence caused a personal injury. 

However, it is not enough to show that the other party was negligent. You must also be able to demonstrate that their negligence was the cause of a specific, identifiable injury. This injury may be to your person (body or mind) or to your property, such as damage to your vehicle. 

3. The personal injury resulted in compensable damages. 

Once the personal injury is identified, you must also prove that there are compensable damages. Under the law, “damages” refers to the amount of money that someone may recover from the negligent party. But once again, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) to prove that damages exist and to explain the amount of damages. Examples of damages include things such as medical bills and lost wages caused by injuries that leave the plaintiff unable to work. 

Collecting Evidence

It’s in your best interest to consult with a qualified attorney. He or she will help you to conduct an investigation by collecting evidence. But even prior to obtaining a lawyer, you should start to collect evidence. Immediately after the accident you can use your cell phone to take pictures and videos of the accident and your injuries. Additionally, if there were any witnesses to the accident, you should collect their contact information since their testimony may prove invaluable to your case. If you are too injured to collect evidence, it’s important that someone else you trust does so. Medical records are also important in proving the existence of your injuries to the court. 

Statute of Limitations 

Every type of claim has a period of time during which you may file a claim. After this period of time has ended, you are legally barred from filing a claim. This period of time is called the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. In other words, you have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim – or lose the ability to do so. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Injured in an Accident

If you have been injured in an accident, it’s vital that you understand what you are entitled under the law. With this information under your belt, you can make important decisions regarding how you want to move forward. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the impact that an accident can have on many parts of your life and the importance of properly dealing with such negligence or recklessness. That’s why we will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.