In the United States, general negligence is one of the most prevalent sources of litigation. It can be defined as the failure to act in the manner as a reasonable or prudent person would in exercising care toward others in the same circumstance. Injuries from general negligence differ from those from an intentional tort, such as an assault or other types of deliberate crime.
However, a crime like reckless driving that causes an accident could also result in negligence because of physical and/or property damage that may occur. Negligence claims could also cover business errors or miscalculations that could cause damages to the injured party.
How long do I have to file an insurance claim?
I get asked, "How long do I have to file the claim?" Generally in Texas, there's a two year statute of limitations period, which means you should settle your claim or file a lawsuit within two years. There's obviously many exceptions to that rule. That's probably one reason why you should consult with an attorney to find out whether your case fits in the two year limitations period, or whether there's a shorter or longer limitations period. One thing insurance companies do is they'll contact you, tell you that if you don't accept their settlement offer, they're gonna close their claim. They may do that within a week or a month after the accident. You don't have to accept their offer. They can't shorten the limitations period, so one of the things that I would advise you to do is consult with your attorney, find out what the limitations period is for your claim so you'll know how long you have to either get it resolved or file a lawsuit.
What is Required to Prove General Negligence?
According to the laws of negligence, there are four crucial elements that are needed in order to prove general negligence.
- Duty - A duty is considered an accepted legal obligation. To be sued for general negligence, a defendant must have been required to owe a duty to the plaintiff.
- Breach - The defendant’s actions are examined to determine whether his actions are below the standard of what a reasonable person would have done or what is required by law.
- Cause - The next step after determining a breach has occurred is to prove the Defendant’s actions have caused injury or damages to the Plaintiff.
- Harm or Damages - To sue for negligence, the Plaintiff must have suffered from harm from the Defendant’s breach of his duty. If no harm has occurred, then the Plaintiff cannot sue for negligence.
How Do General Negligence Claims Help Victims?
A general negligence lawsuit helps injured victims recover medical costs and losses attributed to the Defendant’s breach of duty. These damages may include:
- Medical Expenses Past and Future
- Loss of property that has been damaged because of the Defendant’s negligence
- Loss of income resulting from the Plaintiff’s inability to work because of the injuries he has suffered
- Future loss of income in cases where the Plaintiff’s injuries are disabling
- Non Economic Damages
- Physical Pain
- Mental Anguish
Compensation for services that the Plaintiff may have needed after being injured because they were no longer able to perform them himself such as:
- Child care
- Maintenance around the home
How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
In most states, including Texas, the courts follow the comparative negligence rule of law where the claimant could be held partly responsible for his or her injuries and other losses. A percentage of the blame can be placed on the claimant with the remaining amount being put on the accused. If the claimant is awarded damages for his or her injuries and other losses, the amount would be reduced by the percentage of blame that had been assigned. In Texas, 51% of responsibility is a bar to recovery.
Personal injury laws addressing general negligence can be complicated. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitation runs out could prevent you from filing for damages. Hiring an attorney experienced in dealing with general negligence cases could protect your rights to seek compensation by ensuring timely filings are made in accordance with the law.
If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you do have rights. The JThomas Law Firm is committed to helping the residents in the Dallas/Ft. Worth areas receive the fair treatment and compensation they deserve. Call (817) 381-4099 or go online for your free case review. There are no legal fees unless we win your case.