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The Election and Victims' Rights

Posted By Tim Maloney || 19-Mar-2014


Everyone is talking about the Wendy Davis race for Governor, however there is an equally, and certainly as important election going on in the Texas State Senate. For many years, the Senate has had a rule whereby no bill could be brought to the floor unless there are at least 21 votes. The Democrats, being in the minority in the Senate, have routinely been able to stop some truly devastating pieces of legislation. However, all that may change if the Senate decides to suspend the rule and allow legislation to reach the floor on a simple majority vote.

Your Ability to Retain a Lawyer Can Be Affected

What that will mean for consumers and victims in Texas is that your ability to hire a lawyer will be severely curtailed, or even completely shut off. The goal of big business in Texas is to eliminate any and all lawsuits brought by “common people”. They believe the legislation should be reserved for only the rich and the powerful. What frightens these corporations is your ability to fight them equally in court.

This is done through a contingency fee, whereby the attorney will front all the expenses and costs in exchange for a percentage of any possible recovery. The majority party in the Senate wishes to do away with contingency fees and make it impossible for the average person to afford an attorney. This has been their agenda for many, many years. You can expect that many pieces of legislation will be introduced curtailing the rights of victims and consumers. Specifically, there will be a cap on all non-economic damages, not only in medical malpractice cases, but in all litigation including car accidents, products liability and any cases involving personal injury. This means the ability to effectively control dangerous products and unsafe companies will be eliminated.

Though the Wendy Davis election is taking most of the headlines, all of the races are equally important. If the rule in the Senate is suspended for all practical purposes, all litigation in Texas involving personal injury victims, those cheated by deceptive business practices, or injured by a careless oil company, will be eliminated.

All local elections must be considered as equally important as the governor’s race. Pay particular attention to who is running in your district, and find out how they feel about your rights as a consumer and as an individual who should have the right to hire an attorney on any terms they see fit.