Court Discusses Pursuing Car Accident Claims Under the Texas Tort Claims Act

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.

Pursuing Car Accident Claims Under the Texas Tort Claims Act

On appeal, the court emphasized the significance of subject matter jurisdiction in deciding a case and noted that a lack of subject matter jurisdiction can be raised in a no-evidence motion for summary judgment.

The court explained that to establish subject matter jurisdiction, a plaintiff must affirmatively demonstrate the court’s jurisdiction, and failure to comply with the notice provisions of the TTCA requires dismissal. In this case, the defendant argued that the plaintiff had not provided evidence of satisfying the TTCA’s formal notice requirements or demonstrating that the City had actual knowledge of his claims.

The plaintiff presented a pro se letter and a police report as evidence in response. The court, however, found that these pieces of evidence did not create a material issue of fact regarding formal or actual notice.

The plaintiff’s argument that the City had actual knowledge was unsupported by citations to the record and lacked explanation, and the court concluded that the plaintiff failed to raise a material issue of fact on timely formal notice or actual notice. As a result, the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendant was affirmed, and the plaintiff’s lawsuit was dismissed.

Confer with a Capable Texas Attorney About Your Case

If you were hurt in a car crash caused by another person’s negligence, it is shrewd to talk to an attorney about your rights. Earl Drott is a capable Texas attorney with the resources and knowledge needed to help you seek the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can contact Mr. Drott for a free consultation through the online form or at 903-531-9300.

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