The Queenan Law Firm
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Arlington Personal Injury Attorney
Arlington, Texas is arguably one of the greatest places to live in the state. It has a thriving population, is home to the University of Texas at Arlington, and the Dallas Cowboys. However, no matter how perfect a place seems whenever there are people and cars around there are going to be injuries. Personal injury laws are laws that are designed to compensate people who have been injured, and also as a means of protecting others from being injured. If you have been injured in Arlington and are considering filing suit, then you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney who has experience working with the complicated laws here in Texas.
What are Personal Injury Causes of Action?
A personal injury is a form of tort law that is designed to help compensate those who have been injured in an accident. The goal of tort law is not to give a person compensation, but actually to restore them to the condition they were in or would be in had the accident not happened.
- Negligence – negligence is the most frequent source for personal injury actions and is based on the elements that a person owed you a duty, they breached that duty, and as a result you sustained damages.
- Wrongful death – the wrongful death statutes allow the parents, spouse, and children of the deceased to recover specified damages for the loss of their loved ones.
- Survival action - the survival statute allows the estate of the deceased to recover for the pain and mental anguish suffered by the deceased along with his or her last medical and funeral expenses.
- Medical malpractice - a claim for medical malpractice can be based on a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, it can be based on delays in treatment or failure to treat a condition, it can be based on wrongful death as a result of malpractice, or errors in prescription.
- Premises liability – premise liability is a form of personal injury that allows a person who has been injured on another’s property to recover their damages.
- Products liability – Products liability claims are based on the damage that results from a product. These claims can be based on a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or marketing defects.
Most personal injury actions have to be filed within two years of the injury. This is important for a person to be aware of because if a case is filed beyond the time limits, which are also known as the statutes of limitation then the case will likely be dismissed.
What are Survival Actions?
The Texas Survival statute allows the deceased’s estate to recover from the negligence defendant compensatory damages before his death as a result of the occurrence that caused his death.
Survival actions - the elements of survival actions are
- the plaintiff is the legal representative of the estate of the decedent
- the decedent had a cause of action for personal injury to his or her health, reputation or person before they died.
- The decedent would have been entitled to bring a cause of action for the injury if he or she had lived
- The defendant’s wrongful act caused the decedent’s injury.
In a survival action, the plaintiff can recover only those damages suffered by the decedent before death, that is those from physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, and funeral expenses. Future earnings are not recoverable in a survival action, however, exemplary damages are recoverable. The damages awarded in a survival action belong to the estate and are distributed to those who would have received them had the decedent obtained them immediately before death.
The limitations period for a survival action is the same as the limitations period for the decedent’s underlying cause of action, and if the decedent’s estate would have been barred by limitations had it been asserted immediately before the decedent’s death, a survival action based on the same alleged wrong is likewise barred.
What are Wrongful Death Actions?
In the past, there was no legal recourse for a family who lost a loved one because of the acts of another person other than to turn to the criminal law system. The Wrongful Death Act repealed this common law rule and allows for a parent, child, or spouse to sue for damages arising out of a loved one's death.
The elements of a cause of action for wrongful death are:
- That the plaintiff is the surviving spouse, parent or child of the decedent.
- A defendant is a person or corporation
- The defendant’s wrongful act caused injury to the decedent
- The injury resulted in the death of the decedent
Generally, there are four main areas of damages provided for in wrongful death claims. A parent, child, or spouse can recover for loss of companionship and society, pecuniary losses, mental anguish, and loss of inheritance. However, there is no exact amount or way for a court to determine how much a wrongful death action is worth. This is because it is very difficult if not impossible for a person to put a monetary amount on emotional elements such as love and companionship.
Where to File?
Where you file your case is a very important question, and one that needs to be addressed at the beginning of the case in order to avoid undue delay and to avoid the potential for having a case dismissed. Where you file a case in Texas is known as the venue and in its simplest form, it is the proper place where you should file and litigate a case. Texas has 254 counties spanning across 267,339 square miles.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies § 15.002 sets forth the basic rule for venue.
VENUE: (a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter or Subchapter B or C, all lawsuits shall be brought:
(1) In the county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred;
(2) In the county of defendant's residence at the time the cause of action accrued if defendant is a natural person;
(3)In the county of the defendant's principal office in this state, if the defendant is not a natural person; or
(4) if Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) do not apply, in the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time of the accrual of the cause of action.
If you want to file a case in Arlington Texas based on a personal injury claim then you will need to file your claim at the Tarrant County Courthouse:
Tarrant County Courthouse
100 West Weatherford - Room 490
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0240
Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston
If You Were Hurt in An Accident Contact an Experienced Arlington, Texas Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident you know how hard it can be to get back to normal. You may have many questions about what your next steps should be, or what your legal rights are. Queenan Law encourages all accident and injury victims to contact us about their cases, including during evenings and weekends. Kevin will determine whether he can help, and if not, he will personally refer you to a reputable colleague whom he believes is better suited for your case. For a free, completely confidential legal consultation with Kevin, call Queenan Law right away at (817) 719-8082.