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The Stano Law Firm is dedicated to helping personal injury victims in Cypress, Texas. Whether you have been injured while riding in a car, motorcycle, bus, or while walking down the street, we can assist you in seeking monetary compensation from the responsible parties. We can even represent you in filing a slip-and-fall accident lawsuit against a negligent store owner or in taking on your employer following a work-related injury.

Negligence and Personal Injury Claims in Cypress, Texas

Personal injury cases are rooted in the legal principle of negligence. Negligence means that you do not have to prove that someone injured you intentionally, although that would certainly qualify. Instead, negligence requires proof that a defendant acted in a reckless or careless manner that led to your injury.

The specific elements of negligence under Texas personal injury law require that you, as the plaintiff, show all of the following elements were present in your particular accident:

  1. The defendant owed you a “duty of care” under the law. This can be something as simple as a driver’s duty to obey the traffic laws .
  2. The defendant breached that duty, either by action or inaction. For example, if a driver is speeding or otherwise engaged in reckless behavior behind the wheel, that violates their duty of care to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner.
  3. You suffered an injury caused by the defendant’s breach. If the defendant ran a red light and plowed into your car, the injuries you sustained in the collision were a result of the defendant’s breach of their duty of care.
  4. The defendant’s negligence was a proximate cause of your injuries. There are many factors that can lead to a specific accident. You need to show that the defendant’s negligence bore a significant relationship to the injuries you sustained.
  5. You must have suffered actual harm or damages. Personal injury claims are not criminal proceedings. The goal is not to punish the defendant by throwing them in jail, but rather requiring them to compensate you for your accident-related losses. This means you must have suffered a demonstrable harm that can be compensated.

Texas also follows a “comparative negligence” rule in personal injury cases. In brief, a defendant can try and shift some–or all–of the blame for your injuries onto you. If a judge or jury agrees you were partly at-fault, your compensation may be reduced according to your share of the fault. And if you are found more than 50 percent responsible, you recover nothing.

What Compensation Can You Seek in a Cypress, Texas, Personal Injury Case?

Most damages in Texas personal injury cases are classified as compensatory damages. This is compensation intended to “make you whole” following an accident, at least in financial terms. Compensatory damages are generally divided into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are basically your measurable, out-of-pocket expenses arising from an accident. For most personal injury victims, medical bills are their most common form of economic damages. Other types include compensation for lost income–i.e., any wages lost due to time you had to take away from your job to seek treatment following an accident–and the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property, such as your car.

Noneconomic damages cover your intangible losses. These damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” But they are meant to broadly address the emotional trauma and long-term impact of an accident on your life that cannot be precisely measured in dollar terms. For example, noneconomic damages can also cover your loss of enjoyment of life or permanent effects of an accident, such as disfigurement or physical impairment.

In some cases, a Texas court can award exemplary or punitive damages . These are separate from compensatory damages, as the goal is to punish especially egregious acts of recklessness, and even to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Texas law currently restricts punitive damages to either twice the amount of economic damages plus up to $750,000 in non-economic damages awarded in a case, or $200,000, whichever is greater.

Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Cypress Today

Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. This deadline can quickly sneak up on an accident victim especially when accounting for the need to fully investigate all of the circumstances that led to their injuries. So it is imperative that you engage a qualified Cypress personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you need legal advice or assistance, contact The Stano Law Firm today at (832) 777-0390 to schedule a free initial consultation.