What Are Questions of Fact in Texas Law, and How Do They Work in Personal Injury Cases:
When accidents happen because of someone allegedly making a mistake, it’s very rare that the wrongdoer will admit fault. In part, this is caused by a genuine dispute as to who did what in the accident. However, many if not most of defendants are reluctant to admit fault simply because they want to escape punishment. This leads to lying, conflicting stories, and accusations that the plaintiff isn’t really hurt as badly as they claim to be.
How then are we to know who is ever truly at fault in an accident? The answer is that it’s up to a jury. The legal process is designed to find out what happened and, ultimately, when the two parties can’t agree to certain basic facts, a group of twelve strangers gets to decide for them. This process is often long and typically quite cumbersome, but the truth is what we’re after, and ultimately juries decide who is telling the truth.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What are questions of fact in a personal injury case?
- What decides questions of fact under Texas law?
- What is the difference between questions of law and questions of fact?
What Does Questions of Fact Actually Means?
Let’s say that you come home and your computer has been dropped on the floor. You have two kids, and both claim the other did it. Clearly, the computer didn’t just fall on the floor on its own, so it is likely that one of your kids is telling the truth. That, at its core, is how fact questions work in lawsuits. There is evidence that seems to indicate X, but also evidence that it’s actually Y.
In injury cases, there are always controversies over key facts about what happened. For example:
- One witness said the light was green when the truck came through the intersection and hit you, while you are 100% certain that the YOU had the green light.
- A few of a bar’s employees claim that it never over-serves patrons alcohol, but other employees say it happens all the time. In a dram shop case, this would go to whether the bar can utilize the Safe Harbor Defense.
- In a workplace accident, you were hurt by what you consider a faulty step in the store you worked in, whereas your boss claims he saw you hurt yourself on purpose.
In each of the above examples, a jury will have to decide which testimony it finds more credible than the other. Anytime there is any evidence counteracting a claim, it becomes a “fact question.” So, even if 100 priests swear on a stack of Bibles that you ran a red light and you caused your accident, so long as you claim otherwise, it will have to go to the jury to decide.Not a Moment to Waste The importance of a prompt investigation...Read More >
What are some of the Questions of Fact that the jury decide?
Here are some examples of the kinds of questions that the jury answers:
- Was the plaintiff injured and to what extent?
- Should the defendant be made to pay the plaintiff?
- Who did what in the accident?
- Who was telling the truth and who was lying?
- What is the amount that should be awarded?
- Does the defendant deserve extra punishment in order to be taught a lesson?
- How should fault be divided between the parties?
As you can see, these don’t include questions like “Who has the right to sue?”, “How should certain laws be interpreted?” These are Questions of Law and these are answered by the court.
Why this matters.
It’s no secret that most cases never go to trial. However, every personal injury case has the possibility of being dismissed from court prior to even the chance to either settle or go to a jury. Courts allow defendants to file motions for summary judgment that in essence tell the judge: “They don’t have any evidence and their case should be dismissed.”
Indeed, there IS no reason for a case to ever go to a jury at all when there’s nothing more than a scintilla of evidence that you’re right.
In order to prevent something like this from happening, you need a team of attorneys on your side who will go out and interview every witness, subpoena every document and shred of evidence, and put on record through deposition testimony and statements we find that can lend credence to your case. We’ve done this for 25 years, and we’ll put all that experience behind your case to win—not get tossed out.
If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one, make sure you call us today. We’re here to help at (855) 326-0000.
Other articles about personal injury cases that may be helpful: