Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer With a Track Record of Success
Accidents occur daily in Fort Worth. These unfortunate incidents happen unexpectedly and typically result in damage or injury. Motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of accidents, and they're not uncommon in Fort Worth along interstates 35W and 20, or the busy intersection of Western Center Blvd. and North Beach Street.
Each year, accidents injure countless individuals in Fort Worth, often through no fault of their own. When these injuries involve automobiles, heavy machinery, or dangerous products, the outcomes can be life-changing.
Texas personal injury law permits an injured person to make a claim and, if necessary, file a civil lawsuit against an at-fault party to obtain financial compensation for their injuries and losses, both economic and non-economic.
If you suffered injuries as the result of another's negligence, you should contact an experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at the Francis Firm, who can evaluate your case and help determine your best options.
Call us today at 817-409-7982 or submit the form below to schedule a free consultation and evaluation of your personal injury case.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury refers to a wide variety of situations in which the careless or intentional acts of one person injure another. In most cases, personal injury is an avoidable outcome that could have been prevented if the defendant had acted with reasonable care. There are typically a few main types of personal injury:
These are the most common situations that result in a personal injury claim, and they happen because someone is reckless and causes an injury to someone else. The at-fault person may not have meant to injure anyone, but they acted recklessly and harm occurred.
Accidents resulting from another's negligence include slips and falls, automobile crashes, dog bites, and other foreseeable harms that could have been prevented had a defendant acted reasonably and with due care.
Motor vehicle accidents are a very common type of accident involving negligence. They're more common than many realize, with Fort Worth reporting 14,679 car crashes in 2021 alone. Motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, tractor-trailer truck accidents, and rideshare accidents often hinge on claims that a driver was driving drunk or distracted or was otherwise not being careful and this recklessness caused someone's injuries.
In addition to negligent acts, Texas personal injury laws allow individuals to file a claim if they are injured due to another person's intentional actions. These are situations where someone purposefully causes harm to another. Examples include assault and battery, sexual assault, and other acts intended to harm another person.
It is important to note that personal injury lawsuits are separate from criminal charges. A person may be arrested by police and charged with battery, assault, or another crime, or they may not be. Despite what police decide to do and independent of any criminal charges or penalties, those who are injured by an intentional action can file a personal injury claim.
Product liability is a third category of personal injury law. Texas authorizes lawsuits from those injured by a defective or inherently dangerous product. Product liability actions allow recovery for defective designs, construction defects, failures to adequately warn, and breaches of warranty.
Texas law generally requires that a plaintiff demonstrate the defect that existed when the product left the manufacturer's control. Some examples of defective products include faulty engines and tires, tainted pharmaceuticals, and malfunctioning medical equipment.
Property owners are expected to take reasonable care to prevent injury to visitors of the property. When they fail to do so, they may face a premises liability claim. If a customer slips and falls on a wet store floor, for example, and sustains a broken bone or a back injury, they may have a premises liability claim. They may allege that the property owner failed to clean up properly and this led to the injury.
A related area of premises liability claims has to do with Dram shop liability, or serving alcohol to a visibly impaired customer who subsequently injures another in an automobile collision.
A significant premises liability risk involves swimming pool accidents. Both public and private pools need to be carefully maintained and secured to prevent children and others from sustaining injury in these pools. In Fort Worth, this gained city-wide attention in 2021, when 40 out of 97 pools were closed following safety inspections.
Personal injury cases may also include wrongful death claims brought by a deceased victim’s spouse, children, parents, or other surviving family members authorized by law.
Wrongful death lawsuits are meant to compensate surviving family members for economic losses sustained as a result of losing the deceased’s income stream. Plaintiffs may also seek damages for the emotional loss of consortium.
What Types of Personal Injury Claims Can The Francis Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys Help Me With?
The personal injury attorneys at Francis Law Firm have years of experience working with accident victims and can help you with your personal injury claim. Our experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate any of the following personal injury cases:
- Car accidents. These often occur due to the negligence or carelessness of other drivers, resulting in damages to the victim.
- Truck accidents. These involve a commercial vehicle and can cause serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries.
- Motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle crashes can result in life-changing injuries because riders do not have seatbelts, airbags, and other protective options the way car occupants do.
- Wrongful death claims. We help hold parties responsible for causing the negligent or wrongful death of a loved one.
- Brain injuries. When someone suffers a blow to the head, it can seriously affect the victim’s quality of life.
- Construction accidents. Whether you were injured at work or as a visitor or passerby to a construction site.
- Product liability claims. This involves defective or dangerous products or the lack of warnings about those products.
- Premises liability claims. These occur when the victim is injured on the property of another, whether someone else’s home or a business.
If you've been injured and are not sure how The Francis Firm can help, contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk in talking to our team and finding out what your options are.
What Is Negligence in Texas?
Negligence is perhaps the most common theory of recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. The four elements of negligence are:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached the legal duty;
- The plaintiff incurred injury; and
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury at issue.
To succeed in a negligence claim, a Fort Worth personal injury attorney must establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, each of these elements.
Defendant Owed Plaintiff a Duty of Care
To prove negligence, a plaintiff must first show that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty of care. This may be a general duty of care or a special duty of care.
To help determine the existence of a duty, an experienced personal injury attorney will analyze the relationship between the parties.
For example, a physician or lifeguard may owe a plaintiff a special duty of care, while a motorist may simply owe the other drivers on the road a general duty of care.
Defendant Breached Their Legal Duty of Care
Once a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer has established legal duty in a case, they'll need to show that the defendant failed to act reasonably with respect to that duty.
For example, a motorist has a duty to drive reasonably to avoid foreseeable injuries. Driving without windshield wipers in the rain, texting while driving, drinking while driving, following too closely, and accelerating through a yellow light might all constitute a breach of this duty.
The Defendant's Breach of Duty Caused the Plaintiff's Injuries
Causation is typically the hardest element to establish, and it is typically the most contested at trial. Your Fort Worth personal injury attorney must prove that the breach caused the injuries at issue.
To establish negligence in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must have suffered a legally recognized injury due to the other person's negligence. In the context of personal injury lawsuits, this can include physical and nonphysical injuries.
The plaintiff's personal injury lawyer must show that the plaintiff would not have been injured if not for the defendant's negligent conduct. They also need to show that the injury was a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the defendant's conduct.
The Plaintiff's Injuries Resulted in Damages
Personal injury victims must show that their accident-related injuries resulted in damages. Damages are monetary compensation someone can receive as compensation for the injuries and harm they suffered due to a negligent person’s actions. Identifying all the damages you suffer in an accident can be difficult.
To prove damages, a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer may rely on medical records and other documentation. Proving nonphysical injuries like emotional distress is more complicated. It may require expert testimony from a qualified psychiatrist or other mental health experts.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Texas employs a principle called comparative negligence in civil cases. Comparative negligence laws reduce a plaintiff's monetary reward by the percentage they are responsible for their own injury.
For example, a jury might determine that a motorist hit by a drunk driver at an intersection is 25% responsible because they themselves were speeding through a yellow light. If the jury awards the plaintiff $100,000, a Texas court will reduce the award by 25% to $75,000.
However, Texas comparative negligence laws prevent a plaintiff from recovering anything in a lawsuit if the plaintiff is 51% or more responsible for their own injuries.
What Is a Statute of Limitations in Texas for Personal Injury Claims?
A statute of limitations is a law that states how long you have to file a lawsuit against another that injured you. The time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Texas depends on the specific circumstances of your case and the nature of the injury.
The following are the time limits in which you and your Fort Worth injury attorney must bring a lawsuit in a Texas court:
- General personal injury: 2 years
- Defamation: 1 year
- Product liability: 2 years
- Assault and battery: 2 years
- Wrongful death: 2 years
- Medical malpractice: 2 years
To avoid having your personal injury case dismissed for missing your window of opportunity to sue, it's crucial to contact an experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury to assess your claim and help determine your best options.
Contacting an experienced attorney soon after your injury can ensure the clock won't run out on your right to seek a claim and can also give your lawyer a better chance to secure evidence before it is destroyed or lost. In addition, the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner your lawyer can start the personal injury claim process and protect your interests.
What Damages Can I Get in a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Injured parties in Texas seek damage awards in part because the cost of injuries is expensive and without a claim, some injured parties end up paying the costs from their own savings. No one is guaranteed financial recovery, even if they have been injured by someone's negligence. If damages are awarded, the amount can vary, depending on the injuries sustained, the severity of the injury's impact, and other factors.
Damages in Texas for personal injury claims fall into three general categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive or exemplary damages.
Economic Damages in Texas
The purpose of economic damage awards is to compensate the plaintiff for financial losses that occurred as a result of the injury. Economic damages can include medical bills for:
- Emergency room healthcare, including ambulance services
- Past, present, and future doctor appointments
- In-patient hospital care
- Pharmaceutical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Other medical expenses
Economic damages also can include a victim's lost wages, lost income, or loss of earning capacity. Typically, you can calculate the amount of your economic damages using receipts and bills. However, you may need an expert to help you establish future anticipated financial losses.
Non-Economic Damages in Texas
Non-economic damages can be more difficult to prove than economic damages because they involve physical, emotional, and mental injuries that are intangible and difficult to evaluate. Examples of non-economic damages in Texas personal injury lawsuits include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scars or disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of companionship
Punitive Damages in Texas
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for, particularly egregious conduct by making an example of them to other would-be tortfeasors. Punitive damages may apply in drunk driving cases and other scenarios where a defendant acts intentionally or with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
May personal injury victims do not realize the full extent and value of their personal injury damages and what they may be able to recover compensation for. It's important to talk discuss your case with a Texas lawyer experienced in personal injury law who can determine the full financial compensation to which you are entitled.
Experienced Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorneys Who Will Fight for You
If you have sustained a serious injury or if a loved one has been killed or injured, it is natural to have questions. You may wonder how much your claim may be worth and how long the claims process may take. You may wonder whether filing a lawsuit is the best way forward or if there are other options.
Since every personal injury case in Fort Worth is different, one of the simplest ways to get answers is to speak with the Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at the Francis Law Firm in a free, confidential consultation.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence or intentional act of another, contact our personal injury law firm for a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys. We serve clients in Fort Worth, Dallas, and surrounding areas. Your time to file is limited, and your case will be thrown out if you wait too long.
Our seasoned attorneys have decades of combined experience. Whether it be helping you get the medical treatment you need, negotiating a just settlement, or providing aggressive representation in court, we will be with you every step of the way.
If you or someone you love suffers from an injury in Fort Worth, call us now! You don't have to fight this battle alone. Please reach out to us online or call us at 817-396-7954 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. From our office in Southlake, Texas, we serve communities throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the entire state of Texas.
Fort Worth Office
640 Taylor St
Fort Worth, TX 76102