Negligence is a term used in the legal field to describe the lack of care or prudence expected of a reasonable person in a given situation. When someone acts negligently, they put the safety or well-being of other people at risk. For example, if a driver runs a red light and collides with another vehicle, he is considered to have acted negligently.
To prove negligence in a Texas personal injury case, the plaintiff must establish these elements:
- Duty of care: The defendant had a duty to act with care towards the plaintiff, depending on the circumstances.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The defendant breached that duty by acting recklessly or irresponsibly.
- Cause of fact: The breach of duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injuries; that is, there was a direct connection between the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff’s damage.
- Proximate Cause: The breach was the primary cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, meaning the damage was foreseeable and not due to other causes external to the defendant.
- Damages: The plaintiff incurred compensable damages due to the defendant’s breach, including economic and non-economic losses.
Negligence can present itself in different ways, depending on the situation and the degree of fault of each party. Some types of negligence are:
- Contributory Negligence: This applies when the plaintiff was also partly at fault in their own injury. In Texas, this type of negligence prevents the plaintiff from recovering any compensation if the plaintiff’s percentage of fault is equal to or greater than 50%.
- Pure comparative negligence: This applies when the plaintiff can recover compensation proportional to the percentage of fault from him, no matter how high it is. For example, if the plaintiff is 80% at fault and the defendant is 20% at fault, the plaintiff can get 20% of the total damages. This type of negligence is not used in Texas.
- Modified comparative negligence: This applies when the plaintiff can recover compensation proportional to the percentage of his fault, as long as it is less than 50%. This is the type of negligence used in Texas. For example, if the plaintiff is 40% at fault and the defendant is 60% at fault, the plaintiff can get 60% of the total damages.
As you can see, negligence is a key concept in Texas personal injury cases. If you have been the victim of a personal injury caused by the negligence of another person, we recommend that you seek the legal advice of a lawyer who specializes in this type of case. An attorney will be able to evaluate your situation, determine if you have a viable case, and help you obtain the maximum possible compensation for your damages.
We hope you have found this blog useful and informative. If you have any questions or comments about negligence or personal injury cases in Texas, feel free to leave us a message below. Thanks for reading, and until next time. 😊