What does negligence mean?

The law of negligence requires people to behave in a manner that conforms to specific standards of conduct. Where a person's actions violate those standards, the law requires the person to compensate anyone who is injured as a result. In some instances, the law of negligence also covers a person's omission to act.

In tort law, which includes all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm, negligence is defined as "conduct that falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm."

The elements of negligence

In a successful negligence claim, the injured person, called the plaintiff, must show that each of the following factors, or elements, was present:

(1) a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff;

(2) a breach of that duty;

(3) an actual causal connection between the defendant's conduct and the resulting harm;

(4) proximate cause, which relates to whether the harm was foreseeable;

(5) damages resulting from the defendant's conduct.

Duty can arise from all types of circumstances. For example, a driver owes a duty to other motorists to drive safely, maintain control of the vehicle, and observe the rules of the road. By running a stop sign, the driver breaches that duty. If someone was injured as a result, the injured party could argue that the breach was both the cause in fact and proximate cause of the injuries.

Have you been injured due to negligence?

The outcomes of personal injury cases depend on various factors, but having the help of a good injury attorney can make the biggest difference. Even if the facts are on your side, it takes the expertise of a lawyer to properly present your case and file the necessary processes. If you want information and feedback on a potential personal injury claim, you can have an attorney review your claim at no initial cost or obligation.

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Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

What Contributes to Texas Crashes?

As is true with all states, Texas roadways can be very dangerous places. According to a May 2014report from the Texas Department of Transportation[1], statewide crashes in 2013 totaled more than 115,000 just from those drivers who were did not control the speed of their vehicles. Learn more here about common factors in Texas car crashes...

Laredo, TX

How Modified Comparative Negligence Can Affect Your Texas Claim

When an injured party is making a claim against another party, the Court will sometimes apportion some fault to the injured claimant for the event that led to the injury. If it is determined there is shared or apportioned liability, the Court will allocate a percentage of fault to every party involved, including the injured party. Read more here about this important issue related to Texas car accident claims.

Laredo, TX

New Developments: Takata Air Bag Recall

In new developments in the Takata air bag recall, air bag designer and manufacturer Takata Corporation is currently in the process of adding additional recalls to what has become one of the largest airbag recalls to date. 

Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

Have You Had Enough to Drink?

From a purely technical standpoint, there is no simple answer to the question of just how much alcohol a person can drink without being considered too impaired to drive. There is, however, an easy answer with respect to what the law says on the matter. Go here to learn more about this important issue.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Want to avoid a DUI? Try these tips

There are the old-fashioned methods of crashing on a friend's couch, or designating a sober driver. Modern technology such as apps for our ubiquitous smart phones is another way to make sure no one gets behind the wheel while drunk. Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats of Bill Coats Law works for the victims of drunk drivers on Washington roads and has a few ways we can all drive safer. For tips on avoiding a DUI, click here. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

What if the negligent driver hit you and doesn't have insurance? You have options.

It's  yet another shock after someone crashes into you to learn that they don't have insurance at all, or not enough to pay for your losses. Yet about a quarter of drivers on Washington State roads don't carry insurance at all, even though it is a state law that they must. But this doesn't mean that you are stuck with the bills for an accident that wasn't even your fault. Click here to learn what to do when the negligent driver doesn't have insurance.