Personal injury rates have risen nationally over the past 18 months, in a predictable reflex to the lower rate of regulation and compliance brought on by labor shortages. This has led to a string of high profile failures in litigation, which was exemplified by one litigation case in August in which, according to Bloomberg, an employer was let off the hook following a procedural error by the plaintiff. Understanding the rights of individuals when it comes to personal injury, and the challenges facing Texas, will help to ensure cases are fairly heard.
Texas has a fairly broad definition of what personal injury is and who can be held liable. This ranges from simple workplace injuries, where the employer is liable, through to suing an estate for personal injury in Texas, where a deceased person is liable for injuries caused. Where Texas differs from some states is in their hardline interpretation of the statute of limitations. As Nolo outlines, any cases brought outside of that limit will be struck out with very little legal recourse.
The good news is that Texas law does support workers. USA Today highlights the fact that employees are able to sue their employers in case of personal injury, if the terms of their cover does not allow otherwise. This is a departure from many state laws where worker’s comp is the start and the end of the story when it comes to injury – the most egregious, OSHA-defying rule breaks aside.
The reduced rate of personal injury settlements and heard cases has led to significant interest from lawyers around the state. Dallas News highlights the expansion of one noted personal injury firm into new locations, clearly spurred on by the prospect of providing justice and gathering settlements in a newly invigorated market. There is a lot of work to be done to help return workplaces and public spaces to safety again, and a huge role will be played by personal injury firms. In the long run, this will help to drive standards back up.
Higher standards will lead to lower rates of injury and that’s something that everyone in the state can get behind. Texas has a diverse and vibrant working culture that deserves protection. Through proper legal support and a precise framework of litigation, this can be achieved.