Tort law, also known as personal injury law, is when someone who is injured seeks to have their costs covered by the person who is responsible for their injuries. Whether it is an intentional act or not, if an injury was the fault of someone’s negligence, the plaintiff in a personal injury case has the right to be compensated. In personal injury law, several common things lead to lawsuits. These are the five most common types of Houston personal injury cases.
Car Accident Lawsuits
A personal injury lawyer can confirm that one of the most common types of personal injury suits is a car accident. The reason that most car accidents occur is that drivers aren’t following the rules of the road or taking reasonable care while driving. The driver who is “at fault” is the one who causes the accident and is usually liable to pay for the injuries of the other driver or pedestrian who was involved in the incident.
Defamation: Slander or Libel
Defamation lawsuits are based on the preface that someone has done something to tarnish your reputation due to their untrue statements about you or your business. The specifics of what you need to prove a defamation lawsuit are dependent on who the plaintiff in the case is.
If you are an average person and someone says something untrue about you that in some way negatively affects your character or your business, then you have to prove that you have suffered a “financial loss” as a result. If you are a public figure or a celebrity, however, you need to prove that the person who said something untrue had malice. That means that you have to prove that the statements made were either reckless or intended to hurt you.
Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall lawsuits are very common in personal injury law in Houston. Property owners have an obligation to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of their premises. That means they have to make sure that the property is free from hazards or anything that can lead to injury. However, this does not mean that anytime someone is injured on someone else’s property that the property owner is to blame.
The suit will depend on the capacity of the visitor, whether they were invited or trespassing, and factors like whether the plaintiff was a landowner and had a legal responsibility to maintain the premises. The specifics in Houston slip and fall lawsuits follow the guidelines of premises liability laws in Texas.
Assault, Battery, or Other Intended Torts
Unlike other personal injury cases, intentional torts are not based on negligence, an accident, or any carelessness. The person who is sued for assault, battery, or intentional tort willfully caused harm and injury to someone else. There is almost always the additional component of a criminal act with a perpetrator at fault. In these types of personal injury suits, there are almost always criminal charges made in addition to a personal injury lawsuit to recover for loss damages and injuries.
If a dog bites someone, the dog owner is typically responsible for any injuries sustained that are directly related to the dog bite. Texas is different from other states when it comes to dog bite liability. Texas has something called the “one bite rule,” which establishes whether an owner is responsible and liable when their dog bites someone. Houston does not have a “dog bite statute,” instead it adheres to common law.
The one bite rule means that a victim can only recover damages if the dog that bit them has bitten someone before, or if they were aware that the dog had a temperament that could be harmful. The term “vicious propensities” is when an owner knew ahead of time that their dog showed the tendency to be violent. If those conditions are established, then the victim of a dog bite may initiate a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit the best way to proceed is to have a professional personal injury attorney walk you through the process to recover for your injuries and damages. Always consult a personal injury attorney when you are hurt due to the negligence of someone else and don’t ever agree to a settlement without first consulting a lawyer.