Texas Causes of Action & Theories of Liability
© 2014 Mark Courtois
If you or your company have been sued, or if you are thinking about bringing a lawsuit, you should be aware of the elements of the causes of action that might be involved in your case. Understanding the elements of the claim can assist in determining what evidence is relevant to the case, how to defend or present the case, and whether insurance may cover one or more of the claims. For insurance carriers, this guide can be used to assess claims that are presented against insureds for liability and coverage positions. We can assist you in assessing your case and how best to defend or prosecute your case, and whether and how insurance will be involved. Frequently more than one cause
of action is asserted in a case, and following the trial of the case, the plaintiff elects the best recovery. Texas appellate courts have defined a cause of action as a plaintiff's primary right to relief and the defendant's act or omission that violates that right. Krchnak v. Fulton, 759 S.W.2d 524, 526 (Tex. App.--Amarillo 1988, writ denied) (citing Stone Fort Nat'l Bank v. Forbes, 126 Tex. 568, 91 S.W.2d 674, 676 (1936)). The right to a remedy for an injury is a constitutionally protected right.Tex. Const. art. 1, § 13 (All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law).
In practical terms, a cause of action is what a plaintiff pleads in a lawsuit, governs what evidence is relevant, and what questions are submitted to the jury. Knowledge of the elements of a particular cause of action or theory of liability is essential to the proper prosecution or defense in any civil lawsuit. This online guide provides a helpful quick reference to many civil causes of action and theories of liability available in the State of Texas.