Proving Negligence in a Texas Personal Injury Case

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Have you been injured in an accident in Texas? If so, recovering compensation likely means proving another party’s negligence was to blame. There are many aspects of legal negligence, some of which can be difficult to understand. Fortunately, Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs thoroughly understand Texas negligence law and how it might affect your case. Contact a personal injury attorney at our firm to learn more about how we investigate, determine, and demonstrate negligence. 

What Are Comparative Negligence Laws in Texas?

Some states utilize the legal concept of “pure” comparative fault, which means an injured party may recover compensation as long as they are not entirely responsible for their injury. A court may reduce this party’s recovery in proportion to the percentage of fault it assigns them for the accident.

Texas, however, has “modified” its comparative fault law to also bar injured parties from recovering compensation if they are primarily responsible for their injuries. For this reason, Texas comparative fault law is referred to as the “51 percent rule” since injured parties can recover compensation as long as they are less than 51 percent to blame.

What are the Main Types of Negligence?

There are four main types of negligence: 

  • Comparative negligence comes into play when more than one party involved in an accident shares blame. In states that follow a comparative negligence model, injured individuals may still be able to recover financial compensation as long as they are not entirely at fault. A jury or judge determines the amount of liability a person bears. 
  • Vicarious negligence is a type of negligence that allows another party to be held liable for the conduct of another. For example, if an employee injures someone while on the clock, the injured party can also hold the employer liable. 
  • Criminal negligence results when a person disregards an obvious risk and puts the safety and life of others in jeopardy. Unlike other classes of negligence, criminal negligence can result in criminal charges and jail time. 
  • Gross negligence is the reckless disregard for the safety of others. It is more severe than general negligence but does not rise to the level of intentionally causing harm. 

What is Required to Prove Negligence?

To prove a negligence lawsuit in the state of Texas, the injured party and their personal injury lawyer must establish five elements: 

  • Duty: The defendant owed them a duty of care, meaning the defendant was responsible for their safety to some degree. 
  • Breach of duty: The defendant breached this duty of care by either action or inaction. 
  • Cause in fact: This breach resulted in an injury. 
  • Proximate cause: A reasonable person should have known that their breach of duty could result in injury.
  • Damages: The injured party suffered financial losses. 

If an injured person can establish these elements in court, they may recover financial compensation from the defendant through a personal injury lawsuit. The amount of compensation will be determined by various factors, including the cost of their medical expenses, injuries, and related losses, whether they share any fault for their injuries, and the defendant’s ability to pay. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain how much you could potentially receive in a claim.

Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More

Texas negligence law can be complex, and if you intend to file a personal injury claim, you will want the help and guidance of an experienced lawyer. You should not have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs today to discuss your case with a Houston personal injury lawyer.