If you are involved in a car accident in Texas, there are steps you need to take following the accident and legal proceedings that occur.
Statute of limitations
After a car accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit claiming damages. This is the statute of limitations in Texas. After two years have passed since the date of the accident, you will no longer be able to file your lawsuit.
Types of damages
Texas recognizes two types of damages you will be able to obtain following a car accident: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are what people typically think of in personal injury suits. These damages include vehicle repairs, lost wages, lost ability to earn wages, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages are those for pain and suffering and disability.
Modified comparative negligence
In order for you (the plaintiff) to obtain damages following a car accident, you need to prove that the other driver was at fault. As long as you are not 50% or more at fault, you will most likely be able to obtain damages. To determine damages, Texas courts follow what is called a modified comparative negligence analysis. This means that the judge or a jury will determine levels of fault for all drivers involved in the accident. As long as you are not more at fault than any of the other drivers, you will be able to recover damages. The court will also reduce your damages in proportion to your fault.
Filing a car accident report in Texas
Following a car accident, you must report it with the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days following the accident. The report must include:
- Place and time of the accident;
- Name, address, and date of birth of all drivers;
- Driver’s license information of all drivers;
- Drivers’ license plate numbers and state;
- Name and address of all insurance policy holders;
- Name and address of all registered vehicle owners;
- Summary of events of the accident; and
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
The law surrounding car accidents in Texas can be convoluted and complex. Contacting an attorney experienced with car accident injury lawsuits in Texas can help guarantee that you receive compensation damages after a car accident.