Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

It is not uncommon for employees of municipal entities to be involved in collisions while in the course of their work. While such entities may be liable for any harm caused by such crashes, people pursuing claims against cities must comply with the requirements set forth under the Texas Torts Claims Act, as discussed in Brian F. Wilson v. City of Houston (NO. 14-22-00666-CV), a recent Texas car accident case. If you were injured in a car crash, you have the right to seek damages from the responsible parties, and you should speak to a Texas car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Case Background

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant City, alleging negligence and other causes of action after a collision between his vehicle and a City fire truck responding to an emergency call in September 2017. The plaintiff initiated the legal proceedings in September 2019, asserting claims under the Texas Torts Claim Act (TTCA) and additional allegations, including negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se, negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, and exemplary damages.

Allegedly, in response, the defendant filed a combined traditional and no-evidence motion for summary judgment, contending, among other things, that Wilson failed to provide timely notice of his claims as required by the TTCA. The trial court granted the motion, prompting the plaintiff to appeal. Continue Reading

Car accidents are common in Texas, and while some people involved in collisions are fortunate enough to walk away unscathed, many sustain significant trauma. Regardless, it is not uncommon for defendants in car accident cases to argue that a plaintiff’s harm arose out of something other than the subject collision. Recently, in the case of Rankin v. Hernandez, the plaintiffs, Erica Hernandez, Delcia Saldana, and Chantay Solano (NO. 14-22-00565-CV), the Court of Appeals of Texas Houston (14th Dist.) discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish causation in car accident cases. If you were hurt in a collision, you may be owed compensation, and you should talk to a Texas car accident about your possible claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs were involved in a car accident when they were rear-ended by a vehicle driven by the defendant. Following the accident, the plaintiffs sought medical treatment for neck and back injuries from a chiropractor. They subsequently filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for their injuries. The case proceeded to a jury trial.

Allegedly, the jury returned a verdict awarding a total of $143,000 in damages for the three plaintiffs. The defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to establish a causal relationship between the accident and the injuries claimed by the plaintiffs. Continue Reading

In Texas, car accident injury victims typically have a two-year window from the collision date to file claims against the responsible party. However, if the responsible party is a state political subdivision, the injured party must provide them notice of the claim well before the statute of limitations runs. Failure to comply with them can lead to the dismissal of your claims, even if filed within the statute of limitations.  A recent ruling issued in City of Houston v. Bustamante (NO. 01-22-00699-CV) discussed what constitutes sufficient notice in such cases. If you were involved in a car accident, it is smart to consult a Texas car accident attorney promptly to protect your right to recover compensation.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that in 2019, the plaintiffs were traveling eastbound on a street in Houston, Texas. The firefighters and paramedics employed by the defendant were traveling northbound on another street in response to a 911 call. As the defendant’s employees proceeded through the intersection of the two streets, they collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff and her children were transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Allegedly, an officer from the Houston Police Department investigated the accident and charged the plaintiff with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. In April 2021, the plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence, alleging that the defendant’s employees failed to yield the right of way and T-boned the plaintiff’s vehicle in the intersection. She claimed to have timely provided written notice of their claim and damages to the defendant. The defendant responded by asserting governmental and official immunity as defenses, arguing that the plaintiff failed to provide timely written notice of their claim as required by Texas law. Continue Reading

In Texas lawsuits arising out of collisions, a plaintiff generally must establish two elements to prevail: liability and damages. In other words, even if a plaintiff proves that the defendant caused a collision, they may not ultimately be awarded significant compensation if they cannot also demonstrate that the collision caused them to suffer measurable harm. The importance of proving both liability and damages was illustrated in a recent Texas case, Danae Ruth McGann v. Hannah J. Lilly (No. 05-22-00455-CV), in which the jury found in favor of the plaintiff but awarded her nominal damages. If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by a reckless driver, it is in your best interest to speak to a Texas car accident lawyer about your potential claims.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries in a car accident. The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence related to the crash, claiming the collision caused her debilitating post-concussion syndrome. At trial, the plaintiff presented expert testimony from several medical providers who treated her after the accident and attributed her symptoms to a traumatic brain injury from the collision. In response, the defendant elicited evidence that the plaintiff had inconsistently testified about her pre-accident conditions and symptoms and had withheld relevant medical history from post-accident treaters.

It is also reported that the defendant also presented expert testimony from a physician and accident reconstructionist, who opined, based on the accident forces and the plaintiff’s pre-existing conditions, that the collision did not cause her alleged injuries. He testified her symptoms predated the accident and that secondary gain was a factor. The jury awarded limited damages to the plaintiff, who appealed the judgment. Continue Reading

The Texas Tort Claims Act law generally protects governmental entities from civil liability. There are exceptions, however, under which parties injured by government employees acting in their scope of work can pursue claims against the government. In doing so, they must follow the proper procedure, which, in part, requires them to provide the government entity with notice of their claim within the statutory timeframe. In a recent Texas case arising out of a collision involving an ambulance, City of Alvin, v. Edna Fields (No. 01-22-00572-CV), the court discussed what evidence is needed to establish actual or constructive notice. If you were injured in a crash caused by another party’s negligence, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a Texas car accident lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is reported that in October 2019, the plaintiff called 911 due to a headache and weakness in her left arm. She had suffered an intracranial bleed two weeks prior.  Emergency medical technicians employed by the defendant city responded. After assessing the plaintiff, they suspected she suffered a stroke, and they decided to transport her to the hospital via ambulance.

It is alleged that while approaching an intersection at about 65 miles per hour, the ambulance entered against a red light, colliding with a pickup truck. No significant injuries were reported at the scene. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit nearly two years later, alleging negligence claims against the defendant and the pickup truck driver. The defendant claimed governmental immunity, arguing that the plaintiff failed to give the defendant notice of her claim within six months. The trial court denied the defendant’s plea to the jurisdiction and motion to dismiss. The defendant appealed. Continue Reading

Pursuant to Texas law, parties that cause fatal collisions may be deemed liable for any damages sustained by the deceased person’s survivors as a result of the accident. These damages include not only economic harm, like the cost of medical care or lost earnings, but also non-economic losses, including mental trauma and anguish. Regardless of the character of the compensation awarded, however, it must be reasonable and fair, as discussed in Gregory v. Chohan, 66 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 1086 (2023), a case in which the court found that the evidence did not support the non-economic damages awarded to the plaintiffs for wrongful death claims. If you lost a loved one in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a Texas car accident lawyer regarding what claims you may be able to pursue.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is reported that the widow of the decedent, along with their children and the decedent’s parents, brought a wrongful death action against the driver of a jackknifed truck and the driver’s employer. The plaintiffs alleged that the jackknifed truck caused a multi-vehicle accident on the interstate, resulting in the death of the trucker while he was outside his truck. The plaintiffs set forth vicarious liability claims against the employer, as well as claims for negligent entrustment, supervision, and training.

Allegedly, after a jury trial, the court entered a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them approximately $16.8 million; the vast majority of the damages award constituted non-economic damages for the loss of the decedent’s companionship and the mental anguish caused by his death. The driver and employer appealed the decision, but the court of appeals affirmed the judgment. The driver and employer then petitioned for review. Continue Reading

Under Texas law, government agencies have sovereign immunity from tort claims pursuant to the Texas Tort Claims Act. The immunity can be waived in certain circumstances, however, such as when a government employee harms a person via a motor vehicle used in the course and scope of their employment. Recently, the Texas courts discussed said waiver in Martin v. Village of Surfside Beach (NO. 14-22-00085-CV), a case in which the plaintiff appealed the trial court’s dismissal of her claims. If you were hurt in a car crash involving a government employee, you may be owed damages, and you should contact a Texas car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a car accident with the defendant’s employee,  a was driving a truck owned by the defendant. The plaintiff claimed to have suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against defendant’s employee and the defendant, alleging negligence on the employee’s part for not yielding at a stop sign and arguing that the defendant was responsible under the legal principle of respondeat superior.

Allegedly, Defendant then sought to dismiss Defendant’s employee from the case, and the plaintiff dropped her claims against him while continuing with the case against the defendant. The defendant argued in its plea to the jurisdiction that the plaintiff had not demonstrated a waiver of governmental immunity under the Texas Tort Claims Act, as the employee was not acting within the scope of his employment during the accident. To support its plea, the defendant presented a declaration from Defendant’s employee stating that he had left work, ran a personal errand, and was driving home when the collision occurred. The trial court accepted the defendant’s plea and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

How Texas courts interpret statutes has real consequences on the exercise of government power and the outcome of disputes. For example, a recent Texas car accident case, Sibel Onasis Ferrer v.  Madalena Elizabeth Almanza et al., No. 21-0513, illustrates the difference between a pragmatic common-law approach, which empowers courts to void statutes they view as obsolete, and a formal textualist approach, which adheres to the ordinary meaning of the words enacted and leaves updating to the legislative branch. Despite previous statements favoring the latter approach, the Court, in this case, opted for the former, deviating from the ordinary meaning of Texas’s tolling statute’s language. If you were injured in a car crash, it is important to speak to a Texas car accident lawyer as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by one of the defendants. The plaintiff suffered injuries in the crash and subsequently instituted a lawsuit against the defendants. Following discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the statute of limitations barred the plaintiff’s claim.

Allegedly, the plaintiff objected to the defendant’s motion, averring that Texas’s tolling statute applied because the defendant driver was away at college following the accident, and therefore, her claim was timely. The court found in favor of the defendants, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

Under Texas law, people injured in car accidents can recover a variety of damages, including compensation for the cost of any past or future medical care. In order to recover such damages, however, they must adequately demonstrate that their alleged injuries were caused by the accident in question, which in many instances requires expert testimony. In a recent Texas case, Mary Lou Lara v. Jimmy Bui (NO. 01-21-00484-CV), the court examined what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish causation in a car accident case before ultimately determining that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof. If you were hurt in a car crash, it is smart to speak to a Texas car accident lawyer about what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a car accident in 2018. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting a negligence claim against the defendant; in it, he alleged that he suffered various personal injuries due to the crash. The case proceeded to trial, during which the plaintiff testified that he did not suffer any fractures or internal bleeding due to the collision. Nevertheless, he stated that over time, he began to feel pain in his back and began to seek chiropractic treatment.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then began treating with a pain management specialist, who also testified at the trial. Specifically, he described what care the plaintiff may need in the future but failed to offer an opinion as to whether the plaintiff’s injuries or need for further treatment were caused by the accident. The jury ultimately issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him past medical costs and $150,000 in future medical expenses. The defendant moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict. The court denied the motion, and she appealed. Continue Reading

Under Texas law, people hurt in car accidents have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for their harm. They must do so within the time prescribed by the statute of limitations, though, otherwise, their claims will most likely be dismissed. While typically determining whether an action is timely is a straightforward undertaking, governmental orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can complicate the process. In Olivia Segovia v. Suzanne Stebbins (NO. 14-21-00078-CV), the Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (14th Dist.), analyzed whether emergency orders required the tolling of the statute of limitations in a lawsuit arising out of a car crash, ultimately determining that they did not. If you suffered harm in a collision, it is in your best interest to meet with a Texas car accident attorney about your potential claims as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in an auto accident involving the defendant in October 2018. She filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the defendant over two years after the date of the accident. The defendant filed an answer in which she argued that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

Reportedly, following discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that Texas’s two-year statute of limitations for negligence claims required the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. In response, the plaintiff argued that emergency orders issued by the Supreme Court of Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic extended or tolled the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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