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The Role of Negligence in Texas Personal Injury Claims

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Nov 09, 2017 in Personal Injury

legal office with gavel and scaleNegligence is a legal term that refers to when an individual fails to act in a manner that a reasonable person would.

Negligence is central to all Texas personal injury claims.If a victim can prove another person, company or entity is negligent, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the damages related to the accident.

Our personal injury lawyers know exactly what is necessary to prove negligence and obtain compensation. If you or someone you love has been harmed in any way due to another’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We will pursue every legal option available to help you obtain the compensation you need.

Elements of Negligence

There are four distinct elements to the legal theory of negligence that must be proven for a claim to be successful:

1. Duty of Care

The first element your attorney must prove is that the party responsible for your injury had a duty to act with reasonable care to prevent causing you harm.

For example, a motorist must drive in a manner that a responsible person would in order to prevent collisions and subsequent injuries.

Duty of care also extends to other situations. For example, manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe and do not cause harm to consumers who use them in the intended manner.

2. Breach of Duty

The second element of negligence occurs when the at-fault party breaches its duty of care. This happens when the at-fault party acts in a reckless or careless manner that causes harm to another person.

Duty can be breached through a person’s actions or through the failure to take the appropriate steps to prevent harm to another person. For example, a person who texts on the phone while driving has breached his or her duty of care.

3. Causation

The next element of negligence is causation. An attorney must prove the at-fault party’s breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injury.

This means a causal link between the at-fault party's actions and the victim’s injury existed, and that the accident would not have occurred had the at-fault party behaved differently.

4. Damages

The final component of negligence is damages. This typically comes in the form of physical injury, mental injury, property damage, medical expenses, the inability to work and even the loss of enjoyment of life.

Damages for a personal injury claim can be thought of as the various types of harm the victim suffered after being injured because of the at-fault party’s negligence.

Comparative Negligence

In some instances, there is more than one individual at fault for damages or losses. If multiple parties are partially at fault for an accident, each one is liable for its portion of responsibility for the damage.

Texas's uses a modified comparative fault law that prevents a victim from obtaining compensation if a court determines he or she is more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident.

If the victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident, his or her compensation is decreased by the percentage of fault he or she is responsible for.

For example, three people are involved in a car accident where it is determined that party A is 45 percent at fault for the injury, party B is 30 percent at fault and the victim who filed the claim is 25 percent at fault.

If the victim filed a claim for $10,000, it will be reduced by 25 percent to $7,500. Party A will pay 45 percent of the award and party B will pay 30 percent of the award.

Get Help from a Skilled Attorney in Fort Worth

If you were injured because of another’s negligence, you may have a claim that entitles you to compensation from the at-fault party.

Our team of qualified personal injury attorneys will analyze the facts of your claim, during a free, no obligation consultation. If we determine that you have a strong case against the at-fault party, we will craft the best possible legal strategy and fiercely advocate on your behalf.

At Stephens, Anderson and Cummings, we have years of experience building formidable cases to prove negligence and obtain compensation. Our attorneys work only on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we reach a fair outcome for your claim.

Call (877) 920-9009 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now.