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personal injury

What Is Negligence?

“Negligence” and “negligent” are frequently used terms in personal injury. Whether you’ve had a car accident, a slip and fall in a shopping mall, or a workplace accident, the crux of any case is to discover whose negligence was responsible for the accident.



Negligence Defined

Negligence is a common cause of most types of personal injury cases.

In many cases, all parties have a requirement to uphold a duty of care. Failure to uphold that duty of care is considered “negligence.” It can mean either doing something or failing to do something. Some examples of upholding the duty of care include:


  • Stopping at a red light or a stop sign
  • Closing a gate to prevent the public from entering a dangerous area and putting up signs to warn people away.
  • Performing necessary repairs or maintenance on-premises to prevent an accident or injury, such as broken stairs, cracked sidewalks, or damaged flooring
  • Adequate restraint of a dog or other animal to avoid or prevent a bite, jump, or attack, such as leashing or kenneling
  • Keeping dangerous items out of the hands of children, such as power tools and firearms

Whenever someone’s failure to exhibit care ends in an accident that causes an injury, negligence comes into play. But because liability isn’t always clear and obvious, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney to conduct a full investigation into the causes of the accident.


How Do You Prove Negligence?

It’s not just enough to claim negligence, you’ll have to prove it, too, with these four elements:


  • At the time of the accident, the defendant owed you a duty of care. This will depend on the circumstances of your case.
  • Through either an act of negligence or a failure to act, the defendant breached their duty of care.
  • This negligence was directly responsible for your accident and injuries.
  • You suffered damages resulting from the accident, which includes your injuries and other losses.

Texas courts require the plaintiff to clearly prove that the defendant’s breach of duty, the intent of harm, recklessness, or negligence was directly responsible for the accident that caused their injuries. Part of that proof will require physical evidence such as police and other reports, sworn witness statements, and visual evidence such as photographs and surveillance or other videos.


Comparative Negligence

Many defendants (or their insurance companies) use comparative negligence as a go-to defense because it shifts the blame to the plaintiff. It also means that the plaintiff caused the accident themselves and knew or should have known better.

For example, if you are walking through a retail store and slip on a slick area because there were no warnings, there may be negligence on the part of the owner. But if you were texting while you were walking and didn’t see the apparent slick spot or the warning signs, a court may rule that you were partly responsible for your accident, employing comparative negligence.

If the plaintiff is found to be at fault, the damages they collect may not be as much as they would if the defendant’s negligence is found to be 100%. Should the plaintiff be found to be more than 52% at fault, they would not be able to collect damages, and a defendant has the right to file a countersuit.


Contact Paxton Law Today For Personal Injury

If you or a loved one was injured because of another’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A Texas personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and discover who may be liable for your losses and injuries. Contact the personal injury attorneys at The Paxton Law Firm today at 281-978-2244 or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation with our legal team. Let us help you handle your legal case so you can move forward after an accident.


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