What Is Personal Injury?

Personal Injury Attorney

Imagine driving down an empty street. The traffic light turns red and a car screeches to a halt a couple of feet in front of the pedestrian walkway. In order to cross the road, the pedestrian is forced to go around the vehicle into oncoming traffic and is accidently hit by a vehicle. 

This incident would be considered a personal injury case involving a pedestrian. Although the first vehicle was stopped and did not hit the pedestrian itself, it was still responsible for coming to a complete stop before reaching the crosswalk. The victim in this scenario was injured. Personal injury is legally defined as an injury to a person’s body, mind, or even emotions. To prove mental or emotional injuries, it is typically required to have some physical manifestation of the injury. For example, if the victim is found to suffer from clinical depression because they lost their job after the accident, then the incident can be considered the cause of their clinical depression.

When it comes to cases like this, it is important to consider that the more evidence there is, the better the chances are to create a solid case. Ultimately, attorneys want the best compensation for their clients and for them to be satisfied with their results. If the victim was to take his or her case to trial, they should also consider what state they are in. Different states have different laws and different deadlines.

Statute of Limitations

For example, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Texas is two years. A statute of limitations is actually a law that sets a maximum amount of time after an incident in which a legal proceeding may be initiated. More clearly, a person in Texas has two years after an incident to file a lawsuit. Anything beyond that time period will face great difficulty reaching a trial.

If you do not live in Texas, the statue of limitation may be different.

Personal injury attorneys in Texas look for two key issues — the liability and the damages. Liability refers to the amount of responsibility the individual had for the incident and the damages refers to the injuries obtained. Did the individual have to go to the hospital? Has the individual lost income from the said injury? Was there anything the victim could have done to prevent the injury? Who is ultimately at fault for the incident in question?

Proof of Injury

Next, the personal injury attorney will gather documents, written statements, or sometimes depositions to build the case. This process helps clarify the events and asserts the claim. The claim will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but it typically regards the duty of one person to exercise reasonable care. Whether it is stopping before the pedestrian crosswalk or turning on a blinker, there are rules set in place to ensure the safety of all people. 

The case can either be contested or not. If the case is contested, then the parties do not agree on the liability or the damages. If the case is not contested, the defendant takes their percentage of the responsibility and they reach an agreement. The victim can either choose to settle for an amount offered by the defendant, or the victim can go through the entire trial process. 

Contact an Attorney

Only about two percent of personal injury cases actually go to trial because most cases are resolved outside of court; however, successful cases still take time. Luckily, there are many personal injury attorneys available in Texas, and across the nation. Contact a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX, if you think you might have a case. 



Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into what constitutes a personal injury case.