Sutliff & Stout are Texas Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Clients Injured in Accidents in Cleveland
Did you know that one person is killed in a motor vehicle crash in Texas approximately every two hours, and that one person suffers injuries in a traffic collision every two minutes?
The Texas Department of Transportation reports those statistics, along with others that illuminate the serious risks of auto accidents in Cleveland, Texas.
While many accidents and injuries are linked to traffic collisions—from trucking crashes to pedestrian accidents—there are numerous ways in which Texas suffer preventable injuries every day in the state.
Sutliff & Stout, PLLC
16375 Texas 105 Suite A
Cleveland, TX 77327
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Some accidents and injuries occur when an employer fails to take property safety precautions, for example, or when a business owner fails to ensure that her property is reasonably safe for customers. When a serious accident results in personal injury, or when a defective product causes a consumer to get hurt, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.
One of the aggressive Cleveland personal injury lawyers at Sutliff & Stout can speak with you today about your options for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Our Attorneys Can Assist with a Wide Variety of Cleveland, Texas Accident and Injury Claims
No matter what type of injury or accident claim you have, one of our experienced Cleveland injury lawyers can help. At Sutliff & Stout, we regularly assist clients with many different kinds of personal injury lawsuits and accident claims, including but not limited to the following:
- Aircraft accidents;
- Motor vehicle crashes, including bicycle accidents, car collisions, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents;
- Nursing home abuse and other types of elder abuse and neglect cases;
- Premises liability lawsuits, including slip and fall accidents;
- Product defects, including motor vehicle defects and other defective consumer products;
- Medical negligence claims, including birth injuries;
- Train accidents;
- Workers’ compensation claims;
- Workplace accidents and injuries, including asbestos cases, construction accidents, maritime injuries, mesothelioma lawsuits, pipeline explosions, and oil and gas accidents; and
- Wrongful death lawsuits following any of the above accidents and injuries.
When you get hurt in an accident, your injuries can be severe and debilitating. Our firm helps clients seek compensation for a wide variety of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions;
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs);
- Burn injuries; and
- Other catastrophic or debilitating injuries.
What is Negligence Under Texas Law?
Most personal injury claims rely on a theory of negligence. In short, the legal theory of negligence allows an injury victim to file a claim against the party who caused the injuries as a result of negligence or careless behavior. The elements of a negligence claim in Texas are established through case law, and they require a plaintiff to prove the following:
- Defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;
- Defendant breached that duty of care; and
- Defendant’s breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
How do you prove that the defendant owed a duty of care? In many situations, you may not realize it, but this duty of care already attaches. For instance, anytime you get behind the wheel and drive, you owe a certain duty of care to other drivers and passengers on the road. A plaintiff typically can show that the defendant breached the duty of care by behaving in a negligent, careless, or reckless manner.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Cleveland, Texas
What is the statute of limitations? Under Texas law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. Sections 16.001-16.012), personal injury causes of action each have a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that a plaintiff has from the date of her injuries to the time in which she must initiate a lawsuit.
For many types of personal injury cases, the clock begins to “run” or to “toll,” so to speak, on the date of the accident in which the injury occurs. For example, most motor vehicle crash claims will have a statute of limitations in which the clock begins tolling on the date of the collision. For other types of cases, such as mesothelioma and asbestos claims, the clock might begin ticking years after the injured party was exposed to the harmful substance.
What is the statute of limitations? Generally speaking, the following are the statutes of limitations for most types of personal injury claims in Texas:
- Medical negligence or malpractice: 2 years;
- Personal injury: 2 years;
- Property damage in an accident: 2 years;
- Product liability: 2 years or 15 years, depending on your particular case; and
- Wrongful death: 2 years.
The statute of limitations does not refer to the amount of time you have to complete your case. Rather, it refers to the amount of time you have to file your lawsuit. While two years can seem like a significant amount of time, it is often better to start your claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely that evidence will be lost. An aggressive Cleveland, Texas accident lawyer can tell you more about the process of filing a lawsuit.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Texas
When a plaintiff bears some responsibility for an accident, does this prevent her from obtaining compensation? In short, the answer in most cases is no. Texas law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. Sections 33.001-33.017) follows a theory of modified comparative fault. What is modified comparative fault? It means that a plaintiff can still recover damages if she was partially at fault for an accident or for the severity of her injuries, but only as long as she is not 51 percent or more to blame. Then, her damages award is reduced by the portion of her fault.
Here is an example: imagine that a plaintiff is in an auto accident and files a claim against the defendant. The jury awards the plaintiff $100,000 but says that she was 20 percent responsible for the accident. The plaintiff would still recover, but the award would be reduced by her portion of the fault—20 percent, or $20,000—and she would recover $80,000. If the jury had determined the plaintiff was 51 percent or more at fault, she would not be able to recover anything.
Discuss Your Case with an Accident and Injury Attorney in Cleveland, Texas
Were you injured in an accident in Cleveland, Texas? An experienced Cleveland accident and injury attorney can assist you. Contact Sutliff & Stout today to learn more about the services we provide to Texans who are injured as a result of another party’s negligence.