If an accident in Texas gives you or a loved one a spinal cord injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Bringing a claim against the person or a party who is at fault for causing your injury can result in financial compensation for your related expenses and losses. However, a spinal cord injury claim can be complicated and require assistance from a qualified attorney in Dallas. Breaking down this type of case into the basics can help you understand what to expect.
Grounds for Filing a Claim
First, recognize the legal grounds for filing a spinal cord injury claim under Texas law. Not all spinal cord injury survivors have the right to bring causes of action or recover financial compensation. To be able to file this type of lawsuit, you must have reasonable grounds to hold someone else accountable. Three potential grounds include:
- Negligence. Negligence is the most common option. It is the failure to exercise proper care, resulting in harm or injury to others.
- Strict liability. Strict liability means that someone is financially responsible for an accident regardless of actual negligence or intent to harm.
- Breach of warranty. A breach of warranty refers to a failure to fulfill a promise or guarantee.
You must identify your type of case and the legal basis of your lawsuit before you can proceed. If you were injured in a car accident, for example, you will most likely base your claim on negligence. If you were injured by a defective product, on the other hand, you may be able to base your case on strict product liability or a breach of warranty.
How to Prepare for a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
Once you know the legal grounds for your lawsuit, you can start to collect information and evidence to support your claim. Preparing for your spinal cord injury lawsuit in advance allows you to preserve key evidence, such as statements from eyewitnesses before the details become fuzzy. Do your best to collect the following evidence leading up to a lawsuit:
- Video footage
- Copies of accident reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical documentation
- Proof of your losses
An attorney can help you collect the evidence that is necessary to prove your claim. The requirement for a successful spinal cord injury claim is a preponderance of the evidence, or clear and convincing evidence that demonstrates that the defendant is more likely than not responsible for causing your injury.
Filing Your Claim
You must file a personal injury claim within your state’s statute of limitations. This is a law that places a deadline on the ability to file. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident or injury discovery. You should wait until you reach your point of maximum medical improvement (the point where your doctor believes your spine injury will not improve any further) to file for fair compensation, but be sure not to surpass the time limit.
When you are ready to file, an attorney can help you fill out and file the necessary paperwork in your county’s civil court. On your claims paperwork, you will need to identify the defendant(s), describe the grounds for your claim and list your losses. The defendant will then be served this paperwork and your claim will be initiated.
Compensation Available for a Spinal Cord Injury
Most spinal cord injury claims achieve settlements outside of court. If an insurance provider refuses to treat you fairly, however, your case may have to go to trial. A successful settlement or judgment award could pay you for many losses associated with your injury, including past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The compensation that your family receives could allow you to move forward with less financial stress.
For more information about spinal cord injury claims in Texas, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.