Buckle Up or Pay The Consequences

The Texas Supreme Court reminded everyone to “buckle up” or pay the consequences in a recent opinion.

At issue was the question about whether the injured party’s non-use of a seat belt could be introduced at trial and considered by the jury. For many years the statutory law provided that a jury could not hear evidence about whether a Plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident was wearing a seat belt. Even after the statue was changed, many courts still barred evidence about wearing a seat belt.

That’s all old news. The Texas Supreme Court held that evidence could be introduced about whether the plaintiff was wearing a seat belt. That evidence can then be used by a jury or judge to decide who was at fault for the plaintiff’s injury. Under Texas law, which allows a jury to determine the percentage of fault, that means a plaintiff, while technically not at fault in the accident, could be found to be at fault for causing the amount of his injury.

Personal injury cases in Texas are subject to a two year statute of limitations, which in most cases means a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the accident.

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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.