WHAT IS GENERAL NEGLIGENCE?
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When someone does something to cause an injury to you or a loved one, you have the right to legally hold that person (or business) responsible for their negligent or reckless behavior. That’s because of an area of the law known as “general negligence.”
Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care to avoid a foreseeable harm to person or property. Sometimes, someone can be found to be legally negligent without meaning to cause harm. The law recognizes both intentional and non-intentional negligence.
Some of the most common examples of general negligence include negligent vehicle operation that leads to a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident. Negligent property maintenance or security is often at the source of slip and fall injury cases.
Types of negligence in Texas
Other examples of negligence include:
In accidents involving negligence, the defendant (the one who is accused of being negligent and causing the accident) may raise the following defenses (laws vary from state to state, so some defenses may not be used) against the plaintiff (the injured person):
- Contributory negligence – Claim that the plaintiff did not take enough care for their own safety, which contributed to their injuries. In a few states, if contributory negligence can be proved, the plaintiff will not receive any compensation in the case.
- Comparative negligence – This is a legal concept which takes into account the percentage of each party’s fault for the accident, including the plaintiff’s own fault for their own injuries, to determine a percentage of the compensation that the plaintiff will receive in the case. When there are multiple defendants, comparative negligence is also used to determine how much of the award each defendant is responsible for; for instance, one defendant may be 70 percent at fault while another is responsible for the remaining 30 percent. Every state uses some form of comparative negligence.
- Limited comparative negligence – This form of comparative negligence allows a plaintiff who is partially at fault for their own injuries to recover compensation, as long as the percentage of fault is below a certain threshold. This threshold is known as a “bar” on recovery.
Texas has a Modified Comparative Fault Rule with a 51 percent bar. That means if the plaintiff was at least 51 percent at fault, the plaintiff cannot recover damages (financial compensation) for their accident. However, a plaintiff who is 50 percent at fault or less can recover compensation, which will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault. For instance, if the plaintiff is awarded $100,000 but found to be 30 percent at fault, that award would be reduced by $30,000 for a final award of $70,000.
Don’t underestimate the complexity of your case. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from our San Antonio law firm who understands the law in Texas. Contact the Herrera Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.