What determines whether you have a case?

Negligence law is a legal term you hear a lot in car crash and personal injury cases. In fact, negligence law is what determines whether legal accountability exists. Different states have different ways of viewing negligence and holding individuals accountable for their actions or inactions.

Cornell Law defines negligence as: “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).“

What Conditions Must Exist to Bring an Accident Claim?

In order to bring claim based on negligence there must be:

  • A legal duty that one party owes to another party
  • A breach of that duty to the other party
  • Injury or damage that the party suffered due to the breach
  • Proof that the injury or damage resulted from the breach of duty

What Type of Negligence Does Texas Use in Car Accidents Cases?

Every driver on the road has a duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely. When drivers violate (breach) traffic laws, others can suffer injury.

Texas applies what is called modified comparative negligence to car crashes. What this means is each party in a car accident is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. While in some accidents one party may be completely at fault, this is not always the case. In many accidents, both parties contribute to the accident. In Texas, if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you cannot sue for damages.

Accident cases have two opposing sides, a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff is the person who is suing the other person for damages. The person being sued is the defendant. Here is an example of how modified comparative negligence would apply in an accident case:

The plaintiff suffered a total of $100,000 of damages as a result of car damage and injury. The court determines that the defendant who made a left hand turn at an intersection was 80 percent at fault. Because the plaintiff was driving five miles over the speed limit, the court ruled that the plaintiff was 20 percent at fault.

The maximum amount of economic damages the plaintiff would be able to recover based on the defendant’s degree of fault would be $80,000.

Were you seriously injured in a car accident?

Car accidents in Texas are common, whether you’re driving in Dallas, Beaumont or Houston. If you’ve suffered serious injury and believe the other driver was at fault, contact the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz. We can investigate and advise regarding legal action.