Houston is teeming with people. With nearly 2.2 million residents milling around the city, injuries can be an unfortunate part of life. Houstonians get hurt on the job, crash into each other on I-45, and scramble for shelter when a hurricane bears down. People suffer both economic and physical harm all the time, and Houston courts are where people go to recover for the injuries they sustain.
Houston personal injury law can help people fairly recover the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses. For our purposes here, a "personal injury" is the physical harm suffered because of another party's negligence or intentional bad conduct. With relevant legal information like this in hand, you can make the right choices after an injury occurs in Texas' biggest city.
Lawsuit Time Limits
You've probably heard the term "statute of limitations" before. It's a legal term stating that you have a limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit after an injury. That amount of time varies by jurisdiction. And while most everything is big in Texas, the statute of limitations isn't necessarily one of them. Generally speaking, you have two years from the time you learned -- or should have learned -- that you suffered an injury to file a suit in Houston.
So if a gas explosion damages your house, you have two years to sue CenterPoint Energy for damages. Same thing if your neighbor is injured jumping off your pool's diving board -- she would have two years to sue you. In the event of a death, loved ones of a deceased person also only have two years to pursue a wrongful death claim.
But not all types of injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations. Texas lawsuits for fraud have a four year statute of limitations, as do suits for collection of debt on an account. Beware that Texas law could change quickly, so the best course of action is to contact a Houston accident attorney for advice on your particular case.
If you pursue a claim for injuries, you will be the plaintiff. A multitude of Houston lawyers specialize in plaintiffs-side legal work. These lawyers often work for a "contingency" fee. Under this type of arrangement, clients pay nothing up front or during a case, but the lawyer gets a percentage of any winnings or settlement plus their costs. If someone sues you, claiming that you harmed them, then you will be the defendant. When looking for a defense attorney, the best place to begin is with your insurance provider. Often homeowners' insurance will provide legal defense for the homeowner's unintentional acts that cause harm -- sometimes even away from the home.
Harris County has no shortage of personal injury attorneys (as the billboards on Houston freeways can attest). Choosing legal counsel will be easier if you know what kind of claim you are dealing with. Here are a few examples:
You may become hurt in any number of different ways. If you are injured, or fear that you may have harmed someone else, it's a good idea to talk to a local Houston attorney. Make the call sooner rather than later, as procrastinating may end up costing you.
Contact a qualified attorney.